14/05/2017 Sunday Politics South East

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Andrew Neil and Julia George are joined by shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, housing minister Brandon Lewis and American political pollster Frank Luntz.

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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.


Theresa May unveils plans to build many more affordable homes


in England, but with no price tag, timetable or building targets -


Labour takes aim at the City with what it calls a Robin Hood Tax


to fund public services, but will traders just


Don't look at the polls - Jeremy Corbyn, at least,


insists he can win this election - so which way will


As the General Election approaches, group in Leeds.


we explore which party has the best ideas


to sort out problems on our roads and railways.


and here, what the parties are saying about tackling the air


pollution problem in London. And with me, our own scientifically


selected focus group of political pundits -


they're not so much undecided as clueless -


Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott They'll be tweeting


throughout the programme. So, we've got two new


policies this morning. Labour say they will introduce


a financial transaction tax if they win the general election


and what they're calling "the biggest crackdown on tax


avoidance in the country's history". The Conservatives say they'll work


with local authorities in England to build council houses


with the right to buy. Theresa May says the policy


"will help thousands of people get on the first rung


of the housing ladder". Steve, what do you make of them? I


have been conditioned after doing tax and spend debates in


pre-election periods for many decades to treat policy is not as


literal but as arguments. In other words if you look back to 2015 the


Tory plan to wipe out the deficit was never going to happen and yet it


framed and large event. In that sense the Robin Hood tax is a


sensible move for Labour to make at this point because it is part of a


narrative of reconfiguring taxation to be fair. Treating it as an


argument rather than something that would happen in day one of Labour


government is sensible. In terms of building houses Theresa May said


right from the beginning when she was in Number Ten that there is a


housing deficit in this country rather than the economic deficit


George Osborne was focusing on, and this is an example of trying to get


house-building going. It seems entirely sensible, not sure how it


works with right to buy but again as framing of a 90 minute it makes


sense. I disagree with Steve on one front which is how sensible Theresa


May's policy is on the housing announcement. I think more broadly


these two announcements have something in common which is that


over the next 24 hours both will probably unravel in different ways.


Ye of little faith! The Mayor of London has already said he doesn't


agree with this, and when people see the actual impact of what looks like


a populist tax will very potentially affect people's pensions, it might


become a lot less popular. On the Tory housing plans, I think it is


difficult to imagine how they are going to implement this huge, what


looks like a huge land and property grab. Through compulsory purchase


orders, which are not a simple instrument. They say they will


change the law but really the idea of paying people below the market


value for their assets is not something I can see sitting easily


with Tory backbenchers or the Tories in the House of Lords. Tom. Both


would appear superficially to be appealing to traditional left and


traditional right bases. What is more Tory than right to buy, then


councils sell on these houses, and Labour slapping a massive tax on the


city. The Tories' plan, I would say look a bit deeper and all of the


Tory narrative from the last six years which hasn't worked well is


talking about the private sector increasing supply in the market. Now


Mrs May is talking about the role for the state after all so this is


the shift creeping in. On the Labour transaction tax, one of the most


interesting things I heard in days was from Paul Mason, former BBC


correspondent, now a cog in Easter extreme. On Newsnight he said don't


worry about whether the Labour manifesto will add up, I'm promising


it will, the bigger Tory attack line should be what on earth will be the


macroeconomic effect of taking so much tax out of the system. Very


well, we shall see. At least we have some policies to talk about.


Now, on Tuesday Labour will launch its manifesto.


But we've already got a pretty good idea of what's in it -


that's because most of its contents were leaked to the media


Labour has a variety of spending pledges including an extra


?6 billion a year for the NHS, an additional ?8 billion for social


care over the lifetime of the next parliament,


as well as a ?250 billion in infrastructure over


The party will support the renewal of the Trident submarine system,


although any Prime Minister should be extremely cautious


about its use, and the party will hold a strategic defence


and security review immediately after the election.


In terms of immigration, Labour will seek "reasonable


management of migration", but it will not make "false


Elsewhere, university tuition fees will be abolished,


and the public sector pay cap, which limits pay rises


for public sector workers to 1%, will be scrapped.


The party also aims to renationalise the railways, the Royal Mail


and the National Grid, as well as creating at least one


A senior Labour backbencher described it to the Sunday Politics


as a manifesto for a leadership who don't "give a toss


about the wider public", and several other Labour candidates


told us they thought it had been deliberately


leaked by the leadership, with one suggesting


the leak was intended to "bounce the National Executive"


And we're joined now from Salford by the Shadow Business Secretary,


Welcome to the programme. The draft manifesto proposed to renationalise


the number of industry. You will wait for the franchises to run out


rather than buy them out at the moment so can you confirm the


railways will not be wholly nationalised until 2030, after three


Labour governments, and Jeremy Corbyn will be 80? I'm not going to


comment on leaks, you will just have to be patient and wait to see what


is in our manifesto. But you have already announced you will


nationalise the railways, so tell me about it. We have discussed taking


the franchises into public ownership as they expire, however the detail


will be set out in the manifesto so I'm not prepared to go into detail


until that policy is formally laid out on Tuesday. That doesn't sound


very hopeful but let's carry on. You will also nationalise the National


Grid, it has a market capitalisation of ?40 billion, why do you want to


nationalise that? Again, I'm not going to speculate on leaks, you


will just have to be patient. But you said you will nationalise the


National Grid so tell's Y. The leaks have suggested but you will just


have to wait and see what the final manifesto states on that one. So is


it a waste of time me asking you how you will pay for something that


costs 40 billion? Be patient, just couple of days to go, but what I


would say is there is growing pressure from the public to reform


the utilities sector. The Competition and Markets Authority


stated in 2015 that bill payers were paying over till debt -- ?2 billion


in excess of what they should be paying so there is a clear need for


reform. The bills we get are from the energy companies, you are not


going to nationalise them, you are going to nationalise the


distribution company and I wondered what is the case for nationalising


the distribution company? As I said, our full plans will be set out on


Tuesday. In relation to the big six energy companies, we know in recent


years they have been overcharging customers... There's no point in


answering questions I am not asking. I am asking what is the case for


nationalising the National Grid? There is a case for reforming the


energy sector as a whole and that looks at the activities of the big


six companies and it will look at other aspects too. You will have to


be patient and wait until Tuesday. What about the Royal Mail? Again,


you will have to wait until Tuesday. Why can't you just be honest with


the British voter? We know you are going to do this and you have a duty


to explain. I'm not even arguing whether it is right or wrong. The


Royal Mail was sold off and we know it was sold under value and British


taxpayers have a reason to feel aggrieved about that. There is a


long-term strategy that would ensure the Royal Mail was classified as a


key piece of infrastructure but the details of that will be set out in


our manifesto because we want to ensure businesses and households


ensure the best quality of service when it comes to their postal


providers. You plan to borrow an extra 25 billion per year, John


McDonnell has already announced this, on public investment, on top


of the around 50 billion already being planned for investment. You


will borrow it all so that means, if you can confirm, that many years


after the crash by 2021, Labour government would still be borrowing


75 billion a year. Is that correct? We have set out ?250 billion of


capital investment, and ?250 billion for a national investment bank. Our


financial and fiscal rules dictate we will leave the Government in a


state of less debt than we found it at the start of the parliament so we


won't increase the national debt at the end of our Parliamentary term.


How can you do that if by 2021 you will still be borrowing around 75


billion a year, which is more than we borrow at the moment? The 500


billion figure is set out over a period of ten years, it's a figure


that has been suggested by Peter Helm from Oxford University as a


figure that is necessary to bring us in line with other industrial


competitors. Similar figures have been suggested by groups such as the


CBI. By the way I have not included all 500 billion, just the 250


billion on public spending, not the extra money. You talk about the


fiscal rules. The draft manifesto said you will leave debt as a


proportion of trend GDP law at the end of each parliament, you have


just said a version of that. What is trend GDP? In clear terms we will


ensure the debt we acquire will be reduced by the end of the


parliament. We won't leave the Government finances in a worse state


than we found them. OK, but what is trend GDP? Our rule is we will


ensure public sector net debt is less than we found it when we came


to power in Government on June the 8th. But that is not what your draft


manifesto says. I'm not going to comment on leaks, you are just going


to have to wait until Tuesday to look at the fine detail and perhaps


we will have another chat then. You have published your plans for


corporation tax and you will increase it by a third and your


predictions assumed that will get an extra 20 billion a year by the end


of the parliament. But that assumes the companies don't change their


behaviour, that they move money around, they leave the country or


they generate smaller profits. Is that realistic? You are right to


make that point and you will see when we set out our policies and


costings in the manifesto that we haven't spent all of the tax take.


We have allowed for different differentials and potential changes


in market activity because that would be approved and direction to


take. But corporation tax is allowed to be cut in France and the United


States, it's only 12.5% in Dublin. Many companies based in Britain are


already wondering whether they should relocate because of Brexit,


if you increase this tax by a third couldn't that clinch it for a number


of them? No, we will still be one of the lowest corporation tax rate in


the G7. Let's look at what's important for business. Cutting


corporation tax in itself doesn't improve productivity, or business


investment and there's no suggestion cutting corporation tax in recent


years has achieved that. Businesses need an investment in tools in


things they need to thrive and prosper, they also need to reduce


the burden at the lower end of the tax scale, before we get to the


Prophet stage. One key example is business rates. We have made the


proposal to government to in -- exclude machinery so businesses can


invest and grow operations in the future but the Government refused.


Corporation tax has been cut since 2010. When it was 28% it brought in


?43 billion a year. Now it is down to 20%, it brought in ?55 billion a


year. By cutting it in the last year, it brought in 21% more, so


what is the problem? It might have brought in more money, but has it


increased business investment in the long term. It is not just about


cutting corporation tax, but it is on the ability of businesses to


thrive and prosper. Business investment in the UK is below are


industrial competitors. Wages are stagnating which doesn't indicate


businesses are not doing well. Let me get it right, you are arguing if


we increase business tax by a third, that will increase investment? I am


not saying that. You just did. Know I didn't, I said reducing business


tax isn't enough, you have to invest in the things businesses need to


thrive and prosper. You have also got to lessen the burden on


business. You have announced a financial transaction tax. Your own


labour Mayor of London said he has vowed to fight it. He said I do not


want a unilateral tax on business in our city, so why are you proceeding


with it? This isn't a new initiative, there is a growing


global pressure to make sure we have fairness in the financial sector.


Ordinary British people are paying for our banking crisis they didn't


cause. Another important point, stamp duty reserve tax was brought


in in the 1600 and there have been little reforms. The sector has


changed and we have do provide changes to the system for that


change. High-frequency trading where we have a state of affairs where a


lot of shares are traded on computers within milliseconds. We


need a tax system that keeps up with that. What happens if they move the


computers to another country? Emily Thornaby said this morning, other


countries had already introduced a financial transaction tax, what


other countries have done that? There are ten countries looking at


introducing a transaction tax. Which ones have done it so far? They will


be later announcing a final package, going through the finer detail at


the moment. But the European Commission tried to get this done in


2011 and it still hasn't happened in any of these countries. But you are


going to go ahead unilaterally and risk these businesses, which


generate a lot of money, moving to other jurisdictions. There is not a


significant risk of that happening. The stamp duty reserve tax is levied


at either where the person or company is domiciled or where the


instrument is issued rather than worth the transaction takes place.


This tax in itself is not enough to make people leave this country in


terms of financial services because there is more to keep these


businesses here in terms of the investment we are making, the


economy that Labour will build, in terms of productivity improvement we


will see. Thank you very much, Rebecca Long-Bailey.


And listening to that was the Home Office Minister, Brandon Lewis.


Over the years, you have got corporation tax by 20%, it is lower


than international standards, so why are so many global companies who


make money out of Great Britain, still not paying 20%? It is one of


the problems with the point Labour were making and Rebecca could not


answer, these companies can move around the world. One of the


important things is having a low tax economy but these businesses, it


encourages them to come at a rate they are prepared to pay. People may


say they are right, if they were paying 19, 20% incorporation tax.


But they are not. Google runs a multi-million pound corporation and


did not pay anywhere near 20%. There are companies that are trading


internationally and that is why we have to get this work done with our


partners around the world. Has there been an improvement? It is more than


they were paying before. Whether it is Google or any other company,


alongside them being here, apart from the tax they pay, it is the


people they employ. The deal was, if you cut the business tax, the


corporation tax on profits, we would get more companies coming here and


more companies paying their tax. It seems it doesn't matter how low, a


number of companies just pay a derisory amount and you haven't been


able to change that. As you outlined, the income taken from the


changing corporation tax has gone up. That is from established British


companies, not from these international companies. It is


because more companies are coming here and paying tax. That is a good


thing. There is always more to do and that is why we want to crack


down. In the last few weeks in the Finnish Parliament, Labour refused


to put to another ?8.7 billion of tax take we could have got by


cracking down further. You claim to have made great progress on cracking


down on people and companies to pay the tax they should. But the tax gap


is the difference between what HMRC takes in and what it should take in.


It has barely moved in five years, so where is the progress? He have


brought in 150 billion more where we have cracked down on those tax


schemes. The gap is still the same as it was five years ago. It's gone


from 6.8, 26.5. It has gone down. The Prime Minister and the


Chancellor said they want to continue work on to get more money


on these companies while still having a competitive rate to


encourage these companies. While big business and the wealthy continue to


prosper, the Office for Budget Responsibility tell us those on


average earnings in this country will be earning less in real terms


by 2021 than they did in 2008. How can that be fair? I don't see it


that way. I haven't seen the figures you have got. What I can say to you,


Andrew, we have made sure the minimum wage has gone up, the actual


income tax people pay has gone down. So in their pocket, real terms,


people have more money. You are the self-styled party of work. We keep


emphasising work. Under your government you can work for 13 years


and still not earn any more at the end of it, and you did at the start.


Where is the reward for effort in that? I have not seen those figures.


There are 2.8 million more people, more jobs in economy than there was.


1000 jobs every day and people are working and developing through their


careers. This is what I thought was odd in what Rebecca was saying,


investing in people is what the apprenticeship levy is about,


companies are investing their works force to take more opportunities


that there. We are talking about fairness, politicians talk about


hard-working people and we know the average earnings are no higher than


they were in 2008. We know the pay and bonuses of senior executives


have continued to grow and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has


shown 3 million of the poorest households will lose an average of


?2500 a year in the next Parliament, benefits frozen, further sanctions


kick in. 3 million of the poorest losing 2500. Under the Tories, one


law for the rich and another for the poor. It is quite wrong. First of


all, we have got to be fair to the taxpayer who is funding the welfare


and benefit system. Which is why the welfare was right. Get more people


in work and then it is important to get more people upscaling. As that


allowance rises, people have more of the money they earn in their pocket


to be able to use in the economy. People will be worse off. 2500,


among the poorest already. They will have more money in their pocket as


we increase the allowance before people pay tax. We have seen


millions of people coming out of tax altogether. The reason I ask these


questions, you and the Prime Minister go on and on about the just


about managing classes. I am talking about the just about managing and


below that. It is all talk, you haven't done anything for them. We


have made sure they have an increasing minimum wage, it has gone


up more under us than any other previous government. Their wages


will be still lower in real terms. Let me come on to this plan for


housing. We have announced a new plan to increase affordable housing,


social housing, some council housing and social housing built by the


associations. How much money is behind this? It is part of the 1.4


billion announced in the Autumn Statement. How many homes will you


get for 1.4 billion? That depends on the negotiations with local


authorities. It is local authorities, who know the area best.


I will not put a number on that. 1.4 billion, if you price the house at


100,000, which is very low, particularly for the South, back at


you 14,000 new homes. That is it. What we have seen before, how the


local government can leveraged to build thousands more homes. That is


what we want to see across the country. It is not just about the


money, for a lot of local authorities it is about the


expertise and knowledge on how to do this. That is why support from the


housing communities minister will help. What is the timescale, how


many more affordable homes will be built? I will not put a number on


it. You announced it today, so you cannot tell me how many more or what


the target is? It is a matter of working with the local authorities


who know what their local needs are, what land they have got available.


What we saw through the local elections with the Metro mayors,


they want to deliver in their areas, whether it is the West of England,


the north-east, Liverpool, Manchester and we want to work with


them. You have said variations of this for the past seven years and I


want some credibility. When you cannot tell us how much money, what


the target and timescale is, and this government, under which


affordable house building has fallen to a 24 year low. 1.2 million


families are on waiting lists for social housing to rent. That is your


record. Why should we believe a word you say? This is different to what


we have been doing over the last two years. We want to develop and have a


strong and stable economy that can sustain that 1.4 billion homes. This


is important. In 2010, we inherited the lowest level of house building,


75,000 new homes. That is about 189,000 over the last four years.


That is a big step forward after the crash, getting people back into the


industry. More first-time buyers onto the market. Final question, in


2010, 2011, your first year in government, there were 60,000


affordable homes built. May not be enough, but last day it was 30 2000.


So why should we trust anything you say about this? On housing, we have


delivered. We have delivered more social housing. Double what Labour


did in 13 years, in just five years. This is what this policy is about,


working with local authorities to deliver more homes to people in


their local areas. Thank you. Now, they have a deficit


of between 15 and 20% in the polls, but Jeremy Corbyn and those


around him insist Labour can win. If the polls are right they've got


three and half weeks to change voters' minds and persuade those


fabled undecided voters We enlisted the polling organisation


YouGov to help us find out how the performance of party leaders


will affect behaviour Leeds, a city of three quarters


of a million people, eight Parliamentary seats and home


to our very own focus group. Our panel was recruited


from a variety of backgrounds and the majority say they haven't


decided who to vote for yet. Watching behind the glass,


two experts on different sides Giles Cunningham, who headed up


political press at Downing Street under David Cameron


and Aaron Bastani, Corbin supporter, under David Cameron


and Aaron Bastani, Corbyn supporter, I think Theresa May sees herself


as a pound shop Thatcher. Milliband's policies but when it


came about who you want,


if you wake up on maybe a 2015, We found in a couple of focus


groups, people saying we'd be quite relieved,


even though some of those same people have been saying we quite


like the Labour policies. I think the fact that Corbyn's


going so hard on his values, this is a really progressive


manifesto, they live But I think that's a new challenge,


that wasn't there in 2015. Is there anyone here that


you don't recognise? After a little warm up,


the first exercise, recognising I think it's nice to have a strong


woman in politics, I do. But I've got to say,


when she comes on the news, I kind of do think,


here we go again. Tell me about Tim Farron, what


are your impressions of Tim Farron? It isn't going to do anything,


it isn't going to change anything. You'll be surprised to hear it's


actually the Greens. Strong and stable leadership


in the national interest. Yes, Team May, it's


the British equivalent of make What do we think about this one


for the many and not the few? It's not quite as bad


as strong and stable, but it will probably get


on our nerves after a while. We must seize that chance today


and every day until June the 8th. But that's not quite my


question, my question is, if you are Prime Minister,


we will leave, come hell or high water, whatever is on the table


at the end of the negotiations? If we win the election,


we'll get a good deal with Europe. Assertive and in control


and he felt comfortable But the second one, I thought


he was very hesitant. I thought he was kind of,


hovering around, skirting around and that's the second


time I've seen a similar interview with the question


being asked regarding Brexit. I don't think I'd have


any confidence with him You think you are going up


against some quite strong people, how are you going to stand


up for us? When you are in negotiations,


you need to be tough. And actually is right


to be tough sometimes, particularly when you are doing


something for the country. There's a reason for talking


about strong and stable leadership. It's about the future


of the country, it's It's just that people kind of listen


to that kind of thing and think Both on The One Show


and in the news. She attracts the public better


than what Corbyn does. She didn't answer the question


in a more articular way than Corbyn Imagine that Theresa


May is an animal. So, in your minds,


what animal is coming to mind I've done a Pekinese because I think


she's all bark and no bite. Alpaca because she's


superior looking and woolly I don't think his policies


are for the modern, real world. A mouse because they are weak


and they can be easily bullied, but also they can catch


you by surprise if you're What do you take away


from what you saw then, and what message would you send back


to the Tories now? I think what came over is people see


Theresa May as a strong politician, not everyone likes her,


but you don't need to be liked to be elected,


because ultimately it's about who do you trust with your future


and your security. I think what I also take out


of that focus group, was it was a group of floating


voters, there was no huge appetite for the Lib Dems and there was no


huge appetite for Ukip. So my messaged back to CCHQ


would be stick to the plan. I thought the response


to the manifesto was excellent. It's clear that people aren't


particularly keen on Theresa May, There are some associations with her


about strength and stability, which is exactly what the Tory party


want of course, but they are not positive and nobody thinks


that she has a vision So, what I'd say the Jeremy Corbyn,


what I'd say to the Labour Party is, they need to really emphasise


the manifesto in Jeremy Corbyn himself has to perform


out of his skin and I think he has to reemphasise those


characteristics which may be have come to the fore may be


over the last 12 months, resilience, strength and the fact


that he's come this far, why not take that final step and go


into ten Downing Street? We're joined now by the American


political consultant For the sake of this discussion,


assume the polls at the moment are broadly right, is there any hope for


Mr Corbyn in the undecided voters? Know, and this is a very serious


collection with serious consequences to who wins. Nobody cares whether


you can draw and what animal they represent, they want to know where


they stand, and I felt that was frivolous. I come to Britain to


watch elections because I learned from here. Your elections are more


substantial, more serious, more policy and less about personality


and that peace was only about personality. That's partly because


Mrs May has decided to make this a presidential election. You can see


on the posters it is all Team May. I agree with that, and in her language


she says not everyone benefits from a Conservative government, I don't


see how using anything Republicans have used in the past. In fact her


campaign is more of a centrist Democrats but it is a smart strategy


because it pushes Corbyn further to the left. Of course you said Hillary


Clinton have won. On election night the polling was so bad in America,


the exit polls that were done, the BBC told America she had won. No, I


was anchoring the programme that night, I ignored your tweet. The BBC


had the same numbers. Yes, but we did not say she had won, I can


assure you of that. Because of people like you we thought she had


but we didn't broadcast it. That was a smart approach. My point is other


than teasing you, maybe there is hope for Jeremy Corbyn. I think you


will have one of the lowest turnout in modern history and I think Labour


will fall to one of the lowest percentages, not percentage of


number of seats they have had, and this will be a matter of


soul-searching for both political parties. What you do with a sizeable


majority, and she has a responsibility to tell the British


people exactly what happens as she moves forward. He and Labour will


have to take a look at whether they still represent a significant slice


of the British population. Do you see a realignment in British


politics taking place? I see a crumbling of the left and yet there


is still a significant percentage of the British population that once


someone who is centre-left. And they like a lot of Mr Corbyn's policies.


I'm listening to Michael foot. I went to school here in the 1980s and


I feel like I'm watching the Labour Party of 35 years ago, in a


population that wants to focus on the future, not the past. Thank you.


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now


I'm Julia George and this is the Sunday Politics


This morning, in the first of our general election programmes


focusing on key issues affecting the region,


we'll be looking at our road and rail services, both sources


of increasing frustration for commuters and motorists.


To discuss these, I'm joined by Huw Merriman for the Conservatives,


Labour's Vince Maple and Chris Bower from the Liberal Democrats.


The row between Southern Rail and the unions


has rarely been out of the headlines over the past year.


Strikes over the rail company's plans to introduce driver only


operated trains are costing the South East economy


So what can be done to improve our railways?


We sent our reporter Briony Williams to find out.


Packed trains and commuter chaos have become synonymous


with the Southern Rail network over the past 12 months.


31 days of strike action called by the RMT Union has made it


the worst industrial action to hit the rail industry for 23 years.


The year-long dispute over driver only operated trains has affected


hundreds of thousands of journeys across 156 stations


for people's personal lives and livelihoods.


There was a month where I didn't pay myself


and, if it had carried on much longer,


footfall in the station in general was down,


and it had a big knock-on effect on local business,


Over the past year, 58,983 trains were fully


With the overall cost to the economy and the South East amounting


On top of that, the Government has paid out


That's not the only problem for commuters in the region.


A recent survey by the independent watchdog, Transport Focus,


found that Southern was the worst performing train operator


in the country, with only 30% of those surveyed saying


that their last journey was punctual, and only one in eight


saying that the company dealt well with delays.


Southeastern and Thameslink didn't fare much better.


Southern and Thameslink bosses say it's improved in recent months,


Southeastern say many of its passengers


and it's investing to improve where it needs to.


I think it could be better, but it could be worse.


So I'm less unhappy than many of the people


who were affected by the strikes, I suspect.


Yeah, no, they are very good, very dependable,


It's badly managed, it's irregular, it's inconvenient,


In Brighton and Hove, the main arguments are...


I think if rail was brought back into public ownership,


it would help solve some of the problems we've seen


not least because you would know where the buck stopped.


I mean, trying to fight with Southern over the fact


they have had such dreadful service for well over a year now


because you never know exactly who is responsible for what,


and they duck and they dive and they blame the Government,


So, at the very least, we would have real accountability,


and I think that's absolutely essential


when it comes to our railway services.


We should bring our railways back into public ownership,


and I think many more people in Brighton think that we should.


So, under a Labour government, we're going to renationalise our railways,


we're going to have proper investment


and deliver a good, publicly owned service.


What we need is an ombudsman to champion commuters,


and to have accountability so there is somewhere for commuters


to go to to get their money back and to champion their rights.


And, for those who are impacted day in, day out?


I think there needs to be some tangible changes to the way


and what the unions are allowed to get away with.


With the train drivers union, Aslef, and the RMT Union both due to resume


separate talks with the Southern bosses this coming week,


there is still no definitive end in sight.


So can any of the solutions put forward by the political parties


And we've just seen the latest report on rail performance


by the regulator, the Office for Rail and Road,


which shows Southern's parent company, Govia Thameslink,


in terms of cancellations and delays in over a decade.


Let's start with you, Chris Bower. Let's clarify the Liberal Democrat


position. Tim Farron told the BBC that he wanted to strip Southern of


its franchise. That sounds like we nationalise a. Is that your policy?


The policy which will come out in the manifesto is that we want to


strip Southern of its franchise, but we also want to work towards a


long-term franchising opportunity. There will be an interim period


where it will be owned by the gunmen, the same with Govia


Thameslink. We need to have some elected local authority


representative is as part of that. Is it just Southern that you would


strip of its franchise? Southern and Govia Thameslink. One of the most


compensated franchises in the country. It is Southern's management


who file. We have to put a word in for their staff, they do a brilliant


staff, covering up for the failures of their management. It sounds a lot


like renationalisation. In what way is it not? I you afraid to use the


word because Labour use the word in delicate manifesto. It involves the


local authority management. In what way we do involve the local


authority? You have boards which involve local councillors. Just for


scrutiny? For scrutiny, overall covenants, but we would have rail


companies actually running the railways, we're not going back to


the state running the railway. In some ways, that sounds more radical


than your party. You would wait until the franchises expire before


the nationalising. In some parts of the network, they would still be


radically owned in 2029. It is about finding a pragmatic solution. What


we have seen in the last 12 months with the southern dispute has been


chaos for commuters. I agree with Chris that the blame for that is to


be very carefully with the senior management. They have been tried


bring those parties together. The policy we have in our manifesto is


clear, the public are frustrated with expensive fares, a regular


train services, they want to see a decent public service, not for


profit, but for the public service for commuters across the region who


... We have to be clear, the management are not here to defend


themselves. I do agree that longer term, we need to take it in a


southern deadlock is broken, is your southern deadlock is broken, is your


Holocene to crush your things and hope the problem goes away? It was


terrible in 2016, we had industrial action and the redevelopment of


London Bridge, Southern's management maintain that was a key factor. What


we now have is Southern's public performance measurement going up


from six to 5% last year to 87%, which suggests that the fault was


with the unions were going on strike and with nationalised Network Rail


the overrunning of London Bridge. To turn back to those policies in terms


of nationalisation and giving unions or power would send us back to where


we were last year, which would be a disaster. We need to move forward.


To be fair to Southern, if they have turned the corner, we need to help


them get on with it. Looking at the wider issues on the railways, and


you can come back on this. In 2011, Philip Hammond said, and cup double


fact another one, the railways are already a vertically rich man's toy


come the whole railway. If you are a party for the people who are just


about managing, what will you do about managing, what will you do


see how Labour's figures will stack see how Labour's figures will stack


up. They are talking about getting rid of driver controlled trains, 76%


of Southern's trains are driver controlled. It doesn't add up to me


at all. What is important is that railways self fund themselves, which


allows us to put money into upgrading the tracks and stations.


You don't agree that we need to do something about rail fares? I agree


that they are expensive, but we need to make sure that they pay for the


service, which allows taxpayer money to go into improving in the


structure. What gets me is this whole business about hiding behind


the militant unions. How are customers of the railways going to


be any better about the Government be any better about the Government


that hides behind the union? They also want to know what you what to


do about fares. I have a friend who is an ICU nurse, on her part-time


nurses wage, she has to pay ?35 50 every time she travels from the


bridge wells to London Bridge. What are your party is going to do about


rail this question Mike in the coalition, we work on reducing bus


fares. We would love to bring the rail fares down. What are you going


to due to bring rail fares down? We will maintain the profit element.


Your ICU nurse friend, part of that there will be going to pay


shareholders. That should not be the case, it should be for the public,


not the profit. Our railways may need improving,


but are the roads faring any better? When the government announced


a giant ?250 million lorry park it was meant to be a solution


to Operation Stack, a temporary measure that


turned parts of the M20 into a lorry park a total


of 32 times in just that year. But work on the project appears


to have stalled because of


a pending judicial review. Our reporter, Heather Edwards,


joins us from the proposed site of the lorry park in


the village of Stanford. Well, other than the distant


rumble from the motorway, here in the countryside


around Stanford. We've had the dog


walkers out already. The Government has bold


plans for this land. It wants to build what could be


the world's biggest lorry park, twice the size of Disneyland,


with capacity for 3,600 lorries. I'm sure you can imagine, many local


people are horrified at the plans. I'm joined here by the chair


of Stanford parish council, Matthew Webb, and also


Christopher Snelling, from the Freight Transport


Association. Matthew, this is not


going to be Disneyland. Horrified, is that a reasonable


description of how you feel? Our residents provide and dismayed


that this should be proposed. They are very concerned


about the environmental health of their families,


and also we just do not think it doesn't get the freight


anywhere any more quickly. What you need to do is improve


capacity and resilience And Eurotunnel, Port of Dover have


helped do that in recent months. There's been better security around


the Channel Tunnel on the French side, the Jungle has been cleared,


and all of those things have helped contribute to the fact


that we haven't seen Operation Stack I mean, your members at


the Freight Transport Association, Would you want this


on your doorstep? I think the first important


thing to say is that this won't be a lorry park,


it's a lorry area. It's supposed to be


empty most of the time. It's an emergency reserve


for the normally two or three days a year that we need it


for Operation Stack. The purpose of it is to get


the lorry divers safe, and somewhere where they have


toilet facilities. Also, most importantly,


to keep the motorway open. If the motorway ever shuts,


that's a massive blight on the people of Kent and anyone


trying to get through it. You talk about blight -


as Matthew said, 3,600 diesel lorries in one location,


pumping out fumes. You can understand, surely,


the concerns of local people and the impact it's going to have


on the environment. If they are sat here


in a lorry area, they are not


going to be pumping out fumes because they are going


to be switched off. It is an essential resource for us


to be able to keep the motorways functioning for everything


else and everyone else We have to keep Kent working,


even when Operation Stack occurs. That is an important


point, Matthew, surely? 11,000 lorries a day,


rolling on and off ferries at Dover. Those lorries have got


to have somewhere to go. I would say that you need


to bear in mind that during the summer of 2015,


there were 9,000 lorries stuck You will still have 5,400


on the motorway, not going anywhere. You need to fix the problems that


cause Stack, not the symptoms. 3,600 lorries when we had 9,000


lorries stuck during 2015, it's not big enough,


and it's an awful lot of money. That was only for the very worst two


or three days we ever had. Normally, Stack is on the order


of 2,000 or 3,000 vehicles, Matthew was right,


the best thing of all We don't want to be sat here,


waiting, we want to be getting across the Channel


and servicing our customers. But some of those


problems are intractable. We're never going to fix


the weather in the channel, it's still going to be a problem


from time to time. We need to have emergency


plans in place. And, of course, we've got


Brexit on the horizon. The CEO of Dover says that that


could mean we have Operation Stack Christopher, briefly,


how worried are your members about what is going to happen


in two years' time? It's one of the chief


issues for us with Brexit, that if we have any potential


additional customs checks that we have to go through at Dover,


if the border is brought back, then that could add a lot


to the time getting across. If you are talking about 10,000


or 11,000 movements every day, it would not take much for that


to go wrong, and suddenly you've got


Operation Stack a lot more often, The judicial review


is in the autumn. For now, thank you both


very much indeed. Matthew Webb


and Christopher Snelling, Thank you.


Thank you. Huw Merriman, you were on the


Transport Select Committee, which is critical on the lorry park. You have


heard it before, the Government's decision was taken hastily in


reaction to the events of 2015. They came up with the policy and came up


with a justification afterwards. To what agreed you agree with those?


Three months previously, we put our first report out before the covenant


had taken action. We reported it was hard to find any other possible


solution bar a lorry park at Stanford. Three months later, we


then attacked the Government for making a hasty decision. I did not


agree with the second report. I made a menace to the report to stop us


being hypocritical. We heard evidence from all the local


authorities, we only heard evidence that was against it. That summer in


Kent was chaos. It was bad for health, for business. We cannot see


that happening again. It will seem extraordinary for people that you


don't need planning permission for this enormous lorry park. There has


been a consultation period set for people to feedback. There will be


the usual legal process. No planning permission? What we have got in


place is a park that has had work already start on it. There is a


judicial review around the corner. When Terminal five was built, it


took eight years to get through the legal process would I don't want


that to happen again, otherwise you will have another summer in Kent


like pretty 15. Surely you can see the need for this lorry park? What


is clear to me is that the status quo of Operation Stack happening for


ever is not viable. We need that the happen. You plunged when you had the


support that with Brexit coming, we will have Operation Stack everyday.


Is that hyperbole? Who knows? We need to be prepared for these


things. I love living in Kent are part of the problem is that we have


the huge Port of Dover, which comes with challenges. The reality is we


need to have solutions to those problems. Have all of the solutions


being looked at here? I looked at being looked at here? I looked at


the footage of the committee, hours of that footage. The question that


they not properly looked at the they not properly looked at the


alternatives? Where are the cost analyses of all of the alternatives?


Part of that is looking at what will Part of that is looking at what will


happen if this goes ahead. There needs to be funding to make sure


this goes ahead. They need to be a costing structure. The risk is, if


it is not done properly... We need a solution. We need to look at farm


alternatives, more rail freight, get more freight off the roads and on


the rail capacity. Do we need to do the rail capacity. Do we need to do


that as well? Yes, we do, we need to improve communications. When we talk


about Brexit, we talk about the custom union and the single market.


This is the real application of that. If we leave the customs union,


leave the single market, Operation Stack will seem like being stuck for


a couple of minutes at a red traffic light. The boards are telling us


that they are already at capacity for the administration of seeing


vehicles through. If we are then going to have extra customs


formalities, that will make it unworkable. The new President of


France... He wants to bring the border over to this country. In this


case don't we need the lorry park and other lorry parks and your idea


about moving the freight onto the railways, and possibly the getting


of details to the drivers. We need to make sure we keep all of the


lorries out of the South East until they know it is going to be clear,


then you need the last resort. All of these points will add that in the


amity report. Looking at other ports, looking at additional lanes


on the motorways will take years and on the motorways will take years and


cost billions. In the meantime, Kent continues to suffer the inherent


danger of that summer chaos. We can't allow that to happen. What


about the inherent danger to people about the inherent danger to people


living in Stanford, looking at the particulate from those diesel


lorries. They are right to say, where is the investigation into the


environment or health issues here? That has all been studied as part of


the consultation. Let's look at the alternative, all those lorries


engines running, not just on the engines running, not just on the


motorways. The villages are blocked, there is a pollution there as the


noise and inconvenience, as well as being unable to get to hospitals or


to work. This is a better outcome than suffering the consequences that


Kent suffered last summer. It is not just about the whole of Kent. It was


North and West Kent affected as well, the whole county, it is a


national issue. If we can't get the freight moving, it will impact


business. Would you have this scrapped immediately if you were


elected? We would put it on hold. We cannot solve solutions with predict


and provide. We have to address them an first. A quick question, would


this operate as a conventional lorry park all year round? How report


suggested do so. The issue with Stack, and also illegal parking. We


want to see it operated all the way around as a legal lorry park was a


big deals with two issues rather than just one. Thank you.


And now here's some of the other news you may have missed


The chairman of the Kent branch of Ukip has confirmed


he will be standing down from the role,


and as the party's candidate in Sittingbourne and Sheppey.


It follows critical comments made on this programme


about the party leader, Paul Nuttall.


We could have a different leadership team at the top.


But Richard Palmer told the BBC that he needed a rest,


and the local party had made a decision not to field a candidate


Parents in Brighton and Hove have launched a campaign


in the run-up to the general election,


calling for greater funding for schools.


Banners were displayed, claiming cuts to school budgets


would have devastating impact on education.


It's going to have a detrimental effect on my children


and therefore the future of the country.


The Government says it's spending more than ever on schools.


showing a workman removing a star from the EU flag,


The street artist's latest work, believed to be a comment on Brexit,


Dover District Council said it would be monitoring


A really quick thought on beta won. A blessing or a curse? Yes, Gita. A


blessing, yes. Love it. Consensus! Thank you.


This programme is part of a series of shows


we will be hearing from all the major parties


standing candidates in the South East on a range of issues


during the general election campaign.


That's all we've got time for from the South East this week.


Natalie Graham will be here next week.


Tories are saying. It is a very emotive subject and we have run out


of time. On Thursday nominations closed


in the 650 parliamentary seats across the country,


so now we know exactly who's We've been analysing the parties'


candidates to find out what they might tell us


about the make-up of the House Well, we know Theresa May is


committed to delivering Brexit and analysis of Conservative


candidates has shown that in their top 100 target seats,


37 candidates supported leave during last year's referendum


campaign and 20 supported remain; 43


have not made public In the last parliament,


the vast majority of Labour MPs were hostile to Jeremy Corbyn so how


supportive are Labour Well, of 50 of Labour's


top 100 target seats 17 candidates have expressed


support for Mr Corbyn. 20 candidates supported Owen Smith


in last year's leadership contest or have expressed


anti-Corbyn sentiment, and If they won those,


the Labour benches would be marginally more sympathetic


to Mr Corbyn than they are now. What do the figures tell us


about where the other Well, the Lib Dems have decided not


to stand against the Greens in Brighton Pavilion,


and are fielding 629 candidates this year -


that's two fewer than 2015. The number of Ukip candidates has


fallen dramatically. They are standing in 247 fewer


constituencies than 2015, throwing their support behind


solidly pro-Brexit Tories in some areas such as Lewes


and Norfolk North. The Greens are fielding


103 fewer candidates than at the last election,


standing down to help other progressive candidates


in some places. The most liking statistic is the


demise in Ukip candidates, is this their swansong? And I think so. It


is remarkable how few Ukip candidates are standing. It is hard


to see they will suddenly revive in the next couple of years. I think


this is probably the end. Frank Luntz mentioned the fragmentation of


the left was a feature of this election, but also there is the


consolidation of the right, and if you take the things together that


could explain why the polls are where they are. Absolutely, that's


precisely what happened at the start of the 1980s, the right was


incredibly united and that's when we started talking about majorities of


over 100 or so. No matter what the size of Theresa May's majority, it


will be the total collapse of Ukip, but not just because we are now


leaving the EU and that was their only reason for being, but a whole


lot of people voted for Ukip because they felt the Tories were no longer


listening. Theresa May has given the impression that she is listening,


and that is the biggest possible thing that could happen to the Tory


vote. Fragmentation of the left, consolidation of the right? It's one


of the lessons that is never learnt, it happened in the 1980s, it doesn't


take much for the whole thing to fracture so now you have on the


centre-left the SNP, the Labour Party, the Greens, the Liberal


Democrats all competing for the same votes and when you have, fleetingly


perhaps, large numbers coalescing on the right in one party, there is


only going to be one outcome. It happens regularly. It doesn't mean


the Tories haven't got their own fragility. Two years ago, David


Cameron and George Osborne the dominant figures, neither are in


Parliament now which is a symptom of the fragility this election is


disguising. Mrs May's position in a way reminds me of Mrs Thatcher in


the 1980s, I won't be outflanked on the right, Nicolas Sarkozy in


France, I won't be outflanked on the right, so the National Front didn't


get through either timed he ran to the second round on like this time,


and now Mrs May on Brexit won't be outflanked Iver and as a result has


seen off right flank. And also she is looking to the left as well with


some of the state interventions. What was interesting about the


analysis you showed a few minutes ago was the number of Tory


candidates who have apparently not declared which way they voted in the


referendum, and you would have thought if this election was all


about Brexit, as some would claim, that would become an unsustainable


position, and actually more it's about leadership. But the point that


I'm now hearing from a number of Labour candidates that they are


seeing Tory leaflets that don't even have the Tory candidate's name on


them, it is just about Theresa May. I am glad they are keeping to the


law because by law they have to put it on. It has been harder for some


of the smaller parties too because of the speed of the election being


called. We have the manifesto is coming out this week. I think Labour


Forshaw on Tuesday, we are not yet sure when the Tories will bring


bears out. I suggest one thing, it will at least for people like me


bring an end to the question you will have to wait for the manifesto.


And Rebecca Long baby will never have that excuse again, isn't it


wonderful! She is not the only one. When you are trying to take the


north and Midlands from Labour, I would go to one or the other. For


me, I can barely hold back my excitement over the Tory manifesto.


This will be, I think, the most important day for the British


government for the next five years. That wasn't irony there? You


actually meant that? I'm not even being cynical at all on Sunday


Politics! This is a huge day and it's because I think we will see...


I don't think Mrs May will play it safe and I don't think we will get


the broadbrush stuff that she might be advised to do. I think she will


lay out precisely what you want to do over the next five years and take


some big risks. Then finally after a year of this guessing and


theorising, we will finally work out what Mrs May is all about. She will


say she doesn't want the next parliament to be all about Brexit,


though she knows that's the next important thing she has to deliver


in some way, so she gets a mandate for that if the polls are right but


she does have very different ideas from


Mr Cameron about how to run a country. She will I assume one to


mandate for what these different ideas are. Otherwise there is no


point in holding an early election. You will get a majority, but if you


get a mandate to carry on implementing the Cameron and Osborne


manifesto it would be utterly pointless. I agree, it is the


pivotal event of the election and it will be interesting to see the


degree to which she expands on the line which interests me about its


time to look at the good that government can do. Because in a way


this moves the debate on in UK politics from, from 97 the Blair


Brown governments were insecure about arguing about the role of


government. Cameron Osborne government similarly so, so here you


have a Labour Party talking about the role of government and the


state, and Tory leader apparently doing so was well. I think that will


be really interesting to see whether it is fleshed out in any significant


way. And it is not a natural Tory message. Harold Macmillan talked


about the role of the state, Ted Heath Mark two was pretty big on the


state, the industrial policy and so on, and even if it is not thought to


be that Tory, does she get away with it because she deliver such a big


victory if that's what she does deliver? Just inject a little note


of scepticism, I wonder how much of this is authentically Theresa May. I


was interested to and talk to someone who used to sit in cabinet


meetings during which Theresa May never expressed an opinion on


anything outside the Home Office briefs. Other ministers were roving


all over their colleagues' briefs. So where are the ideas coming from?


I think we can point to Nick Timothy. One of her closest advisers


in Downing Street. It will be interesting to see how that evolves.


On Thursday I think we will all be talking about something called


Urdington Toryism. Urdington is the suburb of Birmingham where Nick


Timothy comes from, who is very much Theresa May's policy brain and


leading inspiration. Urdington Toryism is about connecting the


party with traditional working class voters, and their belief to do that


is not just taking away government out of their lives but showing them


that government can actually help their lives. It can be a force for


good to rebuild the trust. A lot of what Mrs May talks about is all...


It is talk and then a lot of it suddenly goes by the wayside. What


happened to worker directors on the boards. It is designed to appeal to


that constituency and then nothing happens. She had an excuse before in


the sense that it wasn't in the 2015 manifesto and she had a small


majority so therefore she arguably had to water down some of the stuff


for example in her Tory conference speech, which had a lot of this


active government material in it. If she puts it in the manifesto, it is


a sign she plans to do it and will have no excuse if she then gets


nervous afterwards because it will be in there. If it wasn't for


Brexit, this great overwhelming issue, I think this election will be


seen as quite a significant development in terms of an argument


around the role of government, much-needed. But Brexit


unfortunately overshadows it all. As much as we like our arguments over


the role of government we will hear strong and stable, stable and strong


ad nauseam, aren't we? Absolutely, and we heard the same old lines from


the Labour Party as well so they are all at it. It will be a fascinating


week, stop talking it down! Thanks to our panel.


The Daily Politics will be back on BBC Two at noon


I'll be back here at the same time on BBC One next Sunday.


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Andrew Neil and Julia George are joined by shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey and Home Office minister Brandon Lewis to discuss the party manifestos for the forthcoming general election. Plus American political pollster Frank Luntz, and a chat with undecided voters in Leeds. Journalists Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards review the papers.