24/11/2013 Sunday Politics South West


24/11/2013

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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.

:00:36.:00:40.

Labour's been hit hard by scandals at the Co-op. Ed Miliband says the

:00:41.:00:43.

Tories are mudslinging. We'll speak to Conservative Chairman Grant

:00:44.:00:46.

Shapps. Five years on from the financial

:00:47.:00:49.

crisis, and we're still talking about banks in trouble. Why haven't

:00:50.:00:52.

the regulators got the message? We'll ask the man who runs the

:00:53.:00:58.

City's new financial watchdog. And he used to have a windmill on

:00:59.:01:01.

his roof and talked about giving hugs to hoodies and huskies. These

:01:02.:01:06.

days, not so much. Has the plan to make

:01:07.:01:10.

In the South West: The warning from the wind and solar industry that

:01:11.:01:15.

story talk of cutting green warned that benefit falls will be to

:01:16.:01:19.

homelessness and population ships. What is the evidence?

:01:20.:01:26.

And as always, the political panel that reaches the parts other shows

:01:27.:01:31.

can only dream of. Janan Ganesh Helen Lewis and Nick Watt. They ll

:01:32.:01:35.

be tweeting faster than England loses wickets to Australia. Yes

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they're really that fast. First, some big news overnight from

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Geneva, where Iran has agreed to curb some of its nuclear activities

:01:43.:01:45.

in return for the partial easing of sanctions. Iran will pause the

:01:46.:01:50.

enrichment of uranium to weapons grade and America will free up some

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funds for Iran to spend. May be up to $10 billion. A more comprehensive

:02:01.:02:03.

deal is supposed to be done in six months. Here's what President Obama

:02:04.:02:06.

had to say about this interim agreement. We have pursued intensive

:02:07.:02:15.

diplomacy, bilaterally with the Iranians, and together with our

:02:16.:02:19.

partners, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China,

:02:20.:02:23.

as well as the European Union. Today, that diplomacy opened up a

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new path towards a world that is more secure, a future in which we

:02:30.:02:35.

can verify that Iraq and's nuclear programme is peaceful, and that it

:02:36.:02:42.

cannot build a nuclear weapon. President Obama spoke from the White

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House last night. Now the difficulty begins. This is meant to lead to a

:02:46.:02:51.

full-scale agreement which will effectively end all sanctions, and

:02:52.:02:57.

end Iran's ability to have a bomb. The early signs are pretty good The

:02:58.:03:01.

Iranian currency strengthened overnight, which is exactly what the

:03:02.:03:07.

Iranians wanted. Inflation in Iraq is 40%, so they need a stronger

:03:08.:03:14.

currency. -- information in Iran. France has played a blinder. It was

:03:15.:03:18.

there intransigence that led to this. Otherwise, I think the West

:03:19.:03:22.

would have led to a much softer deal. The question now becomes

:03:23.:03:27.

implementation. Here, everything hinges on two questions. First, who

:03:28.:03:33.

is Hassan Rouhani? Is he the Iranians Gorbachev, a serious

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reformer, or he's here much more tactical and cynical figure? Or

:03:39.:03:45.

within Iran, how powerful is he There are military men and

:03:46.:03:47.

intelligence officials within Iran who may stymie the process. The

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Western media concentrate on the fact that Mr Netanyahu and the

:03:56.:03:59.

Israelis are not happy about this. They don't often mention that the

:04:00.:04:04.

Arab Gulf states are also very apprehensive about this deal. I read

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this morning that the enemies of Qatar and Kuwait went to Saudi king.

:04:10.:04:20.

-- the MAs row. That is the key thing to watch in the next couple of

:04:21.:04:25.

weeks. There was a response from Saudi Arabia, but it came from the

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Prime Minister of Israel, who said this was a historic mistake. The

:04:31.:04:34.

United States said there would be no enrichment of uranium to weapons

:04:35.:04:38.

grade. In the last few minutes, the Iranian Foreign Minister has tweeted

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to say that there is an inalienable right -- right to enrich. The key

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thing is the most important thing that President Obama said in his

:04:53.:04:57.

inaugural speech. He reached out to Iran. It failed under President

:04:58.:05:01.

McKenna jab. Under President Rouhani, there seems to be progress.

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There is potentially now what he talked about in that first inaugural

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address potentially coming through. In the end, the key issue - and we

:05:13.:05:18.

don't know the answer - is the supreme leader, not the president.

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Will the supreme leader agreed to Iran giving up its ability to create

:05:23.:05:27.

nuclear weapons? This is the huge ambiguity. Ayatollah Khamenei

:05:28.:05:33.

authorise the position that President Rouhani took to Geneva.

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That doesn't mean he will sign off on every bit of implementation over

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the next six months. Even when President Ahmadinejad was president,

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he wasn't really President. We in the West have to resort to a kind of

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Iranians version of the study of the Kremlin, to work out what is going

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on. And the problem the president faces is that if there is any

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sign... He can unlock these funds by executive order at the moment, but

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if he needs any more, he has to go to Congress. Both the Democrat and

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the Republican side have huge scepticism about this. And he has

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very low credibility now. There s already been angry noises coming

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from quite a lot of senators. It was quite strange to see that photo of

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John Kerry hugging Cathy Ashton as if they had survived a ship great

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together. John Kerry is clearly feeling very happy. We will keep an

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eye on this. It is a fascinating development.

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More lurid details about the personal life of the Co-op Bank s

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disgraced former chairman, the Reverend Paul Flowers. The links

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between Labour, the bank and the wider Co-op movement have caused big

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problems for Ed Miliband this week, and the Conservatives have been

:07:05.:07:09.

revelling in it. But do the Tory allegations - Ed Miliband calls them

:07:10.:07:13.

"smears" - stack up? Party Chairman Grant Shapps joins us from Hatfield.

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Welcome to the programme. When it comes to the Co-op, what are you

:07:24.:07:32.

accusing Labour of knowing and when? I think the simple thing to say here

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is that the Co-op is an important bank. They have obviously got into

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difficulty with Reverend flowers, and our primary concern is making

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sure that that is properly investigated, and that we understand

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what happened at the bank and how somebody like Paul Flowers could

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have ended up thing appointed chairman. You wrote to edge Miliband

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on Tuesday and asked him what he knew and when. -- you wrote to Ed

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Miliband. But by Prime Minister s Questions on Wednesday, David

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Cameron claims that you knew that Labour knew about his past all

:08:09.:08:15.

along. What is the evidence for that? We found out by Wednesday that

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he had been a Labour councillor Reverend Flowers, and had been made

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to stand down. Certainly, Labour knew about that, but somehow didn't

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seem to think that that made him less appropriate to be the chairman

:08:31.:08:37.

of the Co-op bank. There was no evidence that Mr Miliband or Mr

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Balls knew about that. I ask you again, what are you accusing the

:08:44.:08:48.

Labour leadership of knowing? We know now that he stood down for very

:08:49.:08:58.

inappropriate images on his computer, apparently. You are

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telling me that they didn't know. I am not sure that is clear at all. I

:09:02.:09:06.

have heard conflicting reports. There is a much bigger argument

:09:07.:09:10.

about what they knew and when. There was a much bigger issue here. This

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morning, Ed Miliband has said that they don't have to answer these

:09:16.:09:19.

questions and that these smears This is ludicrous. These are

:09:20.:09:22.

important questions about an important bank, how it ended up

:09:23.:09:26.

getting into this position, and how a disastrous Britannia -- Italia

:09:27.:09:33.

deal happen. -- Britannia deal happened. And we need to know how

:09:34.:09:40.

the bank came off the rails. To be accused of smears for asking the

:09:41.:09:44.

questions is ridiculous. I am just trying to find out what you are

:09:45.:09:48.

accusing Labour of. You saying that the Labour leadership knew about the

:09:49.:09:54.

drug-taking? Sorry, there was some noise here. I don't know what was

:09:55.:10:03.

known and when. We do know that Labour, the party, certainly knew

:10:04.:10:07.

about these very difficult circumstances in which he resigned

:10:08.:10:12.

as a councillor. I think that the Labour Party knew about it. We knew

:10:13.:10:18.

that Bradford did, but not London. Are you saying that Ed Miliband knew

:10:19.:10:21.

about the inappropriate material on the Reverend's laptop? It is

:10:22.:10:26.

certainly the case that Labour knew about it. But did Mr Miliband know

:10:27.:10:33.

about it, and his predilection for rent boys? He will need to answer

:10:34.:10:40.

those questions. It is quite proper to ask those questions. Surely,

:10:41.:10:45.

asking a perfectly legitimate set of questions, not just about that but

:10:46.:10:49.

about how we have ended up in a situation where this bank has made

:10:50.:10:53.

loans to Labour for millions of pounds, that bank and the Unite

:10:54.:10:59.

bank, who is connected to it. And how they made a ?50,000 donation to

:11:00.:11:06.

Ed Balls' office. Ed Balls says that was nothing to do with Reverend

:11:07.:11:11.

Flowers, and yet Reverend Flowers said that he personally signed that

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off. Lots of questions to answer. David Cameron has already answered

:11:17.:11:20.

them on Wednesday. He said that you now know that Labour knew about his

:11:21.:11:26.

past all along. You have not been able to present evidence that

:11:27.:11:30.

involve Mr Miliband or Mr Balls in that. So until you get that, surely

:11:31.:11:35.

you should apologise? Hang on. He said that Labour knew about this,

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and they did, because he stood down as a councillor. If Ed Miliband

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didn't know about that, then why not? This was quite a serious thing

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that happened. The wider point is about why it is that when you ask

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perfectly legitimate questions about this bank, about the Britannia deal,

:11:55.:11:58.

and about the background of Mr flowers, why is the response, it is

:11:59.:12:08.

all smears? There are questions about how Labour failed to deal with

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the deficit and how it hasn't done anything to support the welfare

:12:12.:12:15.

changes, but there is nothing about that. Let us -- lets: To the wider

:12:16.:12:24.

picture of the Co-operative Bank. Labour wanted the Co-op to take over

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the Britannia Building Society, and it was a disaster. Do you accept

:12:33.:12:37.

that? The government of the day has to be a part of these discussions

:12:38.:12:44.

for regulatory reason. The government in 2009 - Ed Balls was

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very pleased... But you supported that decision. There was a later

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deal, potentially, for the Co-op to buy those Lloyds branches. There was

:12:57.:13:00.

a proper process and it didn't go through just recently. If there had

:13:01.:13:08.

been a proper process back in 2 09, would the Britannia deal have gone

:13:09.:13:14.

through? First, you accept that the Tories were in favour of the

:13:15.:13:19.

Britannia take over. Then your Chancellor Osborne went out of his

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way to facilitate the purchase of the Lloyds branches, even though you

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had no idea that the Co-op had the management expertise to become a

:13:28.:13:35.

super medium. Correct? The difference is that that deal didn't

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go through. There was a proper process that took place. Let's look

:13:41.:13:47.

at the process. There was long indications as far back as January

:13:48.:13:53.

2012 that the Co-op, as a direct result of the Britannia take over

:13:54.:13:58.

which you will party supported, was unfit to acquire the Lloyds

:13:59.:14:02.

branches. By January 2012, the Chancellor and the Treasury ignored

:14:03.:14:09.

the warnings. Wide? In 2009, there was political pressure for the

:14:10.:14:12.

Britannia to be brought together. Based on the information available,

:14:13.:14:17.

this was supported, but that process ended up with a very, very

:14:18.:14:20.

problematic takeover of the Britannia. Wind forward to this

:14:21.:14:26.

year, and when the same types of issues were being looked at for the

:14:27.:14:29.

purchase of the Lloyds deal, the proper process was followed, this

:14:30.:14:34.

time with us in government, and that purchase didn't go through. It is

:14:35.:14:38.

important that the proper process is followed, and when it was, it

:14:39.:14:42.

transpired that the deal wasn't going to be done. But it was the

:14:43.:14:52.

Treasury and the Chancellor who were the cheerleaders for the acquisition

:14:53.:14:56.

of the Lloyds branches. But there was a warning that the Co-op did not

:14:57.:15:00.

have enough capital on its balance sheet to make those acquisitions,

:15:01.:15:04.

but instead of heeding those warnings, your people went to

:15:05.:15:09.

Brussels to lobby for the requirements to be relaxed - why on

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earth did you do that? Our Chancellor went to argue for all of

:15:15.:15:18.

Rajesh banking, not specifically for the Co-op. He was arguing for the

:15:19.:15:23.

mutuals to be given a special ruling. The idea was to make sure

:15:24.:15:29.

that every bank in Britain could have a better deal, particularly the

:15:30.:15:34.

mutuals, as you say. That is a proper thing for the Chancellor to

:15:35.:15:37.

be doing. We could go round in circles here, but in the end, there

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was not a takeover of the Lloyds branches, that is because we

:15:42.:15:46.

followed a proper process. Had that same rigorous process been followed

:15:47.:15:50.

in 2009, the legitimate question to ask is whether the Co-op would have

:15:51.:15:55.

been -- would have taken over the Britannia. That is a proper question

:15:56.:15:58.

to ask. It is no good to have the leader of the opposition say, as

:15:59.:16:03.

soon as you ask any of these questions about anything where there

:16:04.:16:05.

is a problem for them, they come back with, oh, this is all smears.

:16:06.:16:10.

There are questions to ask about what the Labour government did, the

:16:11.:16:14.

debt and the deficit they left the country with, the way they stopped

:16:15.:16:19.

work from paying in this country. The big question your government has

:16:20.:16:24.

two answer is, why, by July 201 , when it was clear there was a black

:16:25.:16:27.

hole in the Co-op's balance sheet, your government re-confirmed the

:16:28.:16:33.

Co-op as the preferred bidder for Lloyds - why would you do that?

:16:34.:16:38.

Well, look, the good thing is, we can discuss this until the cows come

:16:39.:16:41.

home, but there is going to be a proper, full investigation, so we

:16:42.:16:45.

will find out what happened, all the way back. So, we will be able to get

:16:46.:16:50.

to the bottom of all of this. Grant Shapps, the only reason the Lloyds

:16:51.:16:55.

deal did not go ahead was, despite the Treasury cheerleading, when

:16:56.:17:00.

Lloyds began its due diligence, it found that there was indeed a huge

:17:01.:17:03.

black hole in the balance sheet and that the Co-op was not fit to take

:17:04.:17:08.

over its branches. That wasn't you, it wasn't the Government, it was not

:17:09.:17:13.

the Chancellor, it was Lloyds. You were still cheerleading for the deal

:17:14.:17:19.

to go ahead... Well, as I say, a proper process was followed, which

:17:20.:17:23.

did not result in the purchase of the Lloyds branches. At that proper

:17:24.:17:27.

process been followed with the purchase of the Britannia, under the

:17:28.:17:33.

previous government... Which you supported. Yes, but it may well be

:17:34.:17:37.

that under that previous deal, there was a excess political pressure

:17:38.:17:41.

perhaps put on in order to create that merger, which proved so

:17:42.:17:49.

disastrous. The Tories facilitated it, Grant Shapps, they allowed it to

:17:50.:17:54.

go ahead. I have said, we are going to have a proper, independent

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review. What I cannot understand is, when you announce a robber,

:17:59.:18:03.

independent review, the response you get to these serious questions. The

:18:04.:18:09.

response is, oh, this is a smear. It is crazy. We are trying to answer

:18:10.:18:14.

the big questions for this country. We have done all of that, and we are

:18:15.:18:24.

out of time. The Reverend Flowers' chairmanship of the Co-op bank was

:18:25.:18:27.

approved by the regulator at the time, which no longer exists. It was

:18:28.:18:32.

swept away by the coalition government in a supposed revolution

:18:33.:18:36.

in regulation. But will its replacement, the Financial Conduct

:18:37.:18:39.

Authority, be different? Adam has been to find out. Come with me for a

:18:40.:18:49.

spin around the Square mile to find out how we regulate our financial

:18:50.:18:53.

sector, which is almost five times bigger than the country's entire

:18:54.:18:58.

annual income. First, let's pick up our guide, journalist Iain Martin,

:18:59.:19:03.

who has just written a book about what went so wrong during the

:19:04.:19:09.

financial crisis. The FSA was an agency which was established to

:19:10.:19:11.

supervise the banks on a day-to day basis. The Bank of England was

:19:12.:19:16.

supposed to have overall responsible at for this to Bolivia the financial

:19:17.:19:20.

system and the Treasury was supposed to take an interest in all of these

:19:21.:19:24.

things. The disaster was that it was not anyone's call responsibility, or

:19:25.:19:30.

main day job, to stay alert as to whether or not the banking system as

:19:31.:19:34.

a whole was being run in a safe manner. And so this April, a new

:19:35.:19:38.

system was set up to police the City. Most of the responsibly delays

:19:39.:19:47.

here, with the Bank of England, and its new Prudential Regulation

:19:48.:19:50.

Authority. And the Financial Services Authority has been replaced

:19:51.:19:54.

with the new Financial Conduct Authority. Can we go to the

:19:55.:20:00.

financial conduct authority, please? Canary Wharf, thank you. Here, it is

:20:01.:20:06.

all about whether the people in financial services are playing by

:20:07.:20:09.

the rules, in particular, how they treat their customers. This place

:20:10.:20:14.

has got new powers, like the ability to ban products it does not like, a

:20:15.:20:18.

new mandate to promote competition in the market, the concept being,

:20:19.:20:22.

more competition means a better market, plus the idea that a new

:20:23.:20:26.

organisation rings a whole new culture. Although these are the old

:20:27.:20:33.

offices of the FSA, so maybe not quite so new after all. It has also

:20:34.:20:38.

inherited the case of the Co-op bank and its disgraced former chairman

:20:39.:20:42.

the Reverend Paul Flowers. The SCA will be part of the investigation

:20:43.:20:46.

into what happened, which will probably involve looking at its own

:20:47.:20:51.

conduct. One member of the Parliamentary commission into

:20:52.:20:54.

banking wonders whether the new regulator, and its new boss, are up

:20:55.:21:00.

to it. I have always said, it is not the architecture which is the issue,

:21:01.:21:04.

it is the powers that the regulator has, and today, it does not seem to

:21:05.:21:08.

me as if there is any increase in that. And with the unfolding scandal

:21:09.:21:14.

at the Co-op, it feels like the new architecture for regulating the City

:21:15.:21:22.

is now facing its first big test. And the chief executive of the

:21:23.:21:24.

Financial Conduct Authority, the SCA, Martin Wheatley, joins me now.

:21:25.:21:30.

Welcome to The Sunday Politics. The failure of bank regulation was one

:21:31.:21:33.

of the clearest lessons of the crash in 2008, and yet two years later, in

:21:34.:21:39.

2010, Paul Flowers is allowed to become chairman of the Co-op - why

:21:40.:21:45.

have we still not got the regulation right? We have made a lot of changes

:21:46.:21:49.

since then. We have created a new regulator, as you know. At the time,

:21:50.:21:54.

we still had a process which allowed somebody to be appointed to a bank

:21:55.:21:57.

and they would go through a challenge, but in the case of Paul

:21:58.:22:01.

Flowers, there was no need for an additional challenge when he was

:22:02.:22:03.

appointed to chairman, because he was already on the board. But going

:22:04.:22:10.

from being on the board to becoming chairman, that is a big jump, and he

:22:11.:22:15.

only had one interview? That is why today, it would be different. But

:22:16.:22:19.

the truth is, that was the system at the time, the system which the FSA

:22:20.:22:25.

operated. He was challenged, we did challenge him, and we said, you do

:22:26.:22:28.

not have the right experience, but at the time, we would not have

:22:29.:22:33.

opposed the appointment. What we needed was additional representation

:22:34.:22:35.

of the board of people who did have banking experience. You can say that

:22:36.:22:40.

that was then and this is now, but up until April of this year, it was

:22:41.:22:45.

still the plan for the Co-op, under Mr Flowers, and despite being

:22:46.:22:48.

seriously wounded by the Britannia takeover, to take on 632 Lloyds

:22:49.:22:54.

branches. That was the Co-op's plan. They needed to pass our test

:22:55.:22:58.

as to whether we thought they were fit to do that, and frankly, they

:22:59.:23:02.

never passed that test. It was not the regulator that stopped them It

:23:03.:23:07.

was. We were constantly pushing back, saying, you have not got the

:23:08.:23:11.

capital, you have no got the systems, and ultimately, they

:23:12.:23:14.

withdrew, when they could not answer our questions. You were asking the

:23:15.:23:19.

right questions, I accept that, but all of the time, the politicians on

:23:20.:23:25.

all sides, they were pushing for it to happen, and I cannot find

:23:26.:23:28.

anywhere where the regulator said, look, this is just not going to

:23:29.:23:34.

happen. I cannot comment on what the politicians were doing, but I

:23:35.:23:38.

continue what we were doing, which was constantly asking the Co-op

:23:39.:23:41.

have you got the systems in place, have you got the people, have you

:23:42.:23:45.

got the capital? And they didn't. But it only came to a head when

:23:46.:23:49.

Lloyds started its own due diligence on the bank, and they discovered

:23:50.:23:52.

that it was impossible for them to take over the branches, it was not

:23:53.:23:57.

the regulator... In fairness, what we do is ask the questions, can you

:23:58.:24:02.

do this deal? And we kept pushing back, and we never frankly got

:24:03.:24:06.

delivered a business plan which we were happy to approve. Is the SCA

:24:07.:24:13.

going to launch its own inquiry into what happened? -- the FCA. The

:24:14.:24:24.

Chancellor has announced what will be a very broad inquiry. There are a

:24:25.:24:29.

number of specifics which we will be able to look at, relating to events

:24:30.:24:34.

over the last five years. Could there be a police investigation I

:24:35.:24:38.

think the police have already announced an investigation. I am

:24:39.:24:42.

talking about into the handling of the bank. It depends. There might

:24:43.:24:46.

be, if there is grim low activity, which we do not know yet. You worked

:24:47.:24:55.

at the FS eight, didn't you? I did. Some of those people who were signed

:24:56.:25:02.

off on the speedy promotion of Mr Flowers, are they now working

:25:03.:25:08.

there? Yes, we have some. I came to join the Financial Services

:25:09.:25:11.

Authority, to lead it into the creation of the new body, the SCA.

:25:12.:25:17.

We had people who were challenging and they did the job. There was not

:25:18.:25:28.

a requirement to approve the role as chairman. There was not even a

:25:29.:25:31.

requirement to interview at that stage. What we did do was to require

:25:32.:25:37.

that he was interviewed, and that the Co-op should get additional

:25:38.:25:48.

experience. One of the people from the old organisation, who signed up

:25:49.:25:53.

on the promotion of Mr Flowers to become chairman is now a

:25:54.:25:56.

nonexecutive director of the Co op, so how does that work? Welcome he

:25:57.:26:03.

was a senior adviser to our organisation, one of the people who

:26:04.:26:07.

made the challenges, and who said, you need more experience on your

:26:08.:26:11.

board. Subsequently he then went and joined the board. Surely that should

:26:12.:26:15.

not be allowed, the regulator and the regulated should not be like

:26:16.:26:20.

that. Well clearly, you need protection, but we have got to get

:26:21.:26:25.

good people in, and frankly, we want the industry to have good people in

:26:26.:26:29.

the industry, so there will be some movement between the regulator and

:26:30.:26:33.

industry. We all wonder whether you have the power or even the

:26:34.:26:36.

confidence to stand up if you look at all of the really bad bank

:26:37.:26:40.

decisions recently, politicians were behind them. It was Gordon Brown who

:26:41.:26:45.

pushed the disastrous merger of Lloyds and RBS. It was Alex Salmond

:26:46.:26:49.

who egged on RBS to buy the world. All three main parties wanted the

:26:50.:26:54.

Co-op to buy Britannia, even though they did not know the debt it would

:26:55.:26:58.

inherit, and all three wanted the Co-op to buy the Lloyds branches -

:26:59.:27:02.

how do you as a regulator stand up to that little concert party? Well,

:27:03.:27:07.

that political pressure exists, our job at the end of the day is to do a

:27:08.:27:11.

relatively technical job and say, does it stack up? And it didn't and

:27:12.:27:16.

we made that point time and time again to the Co-op board. They did

:27:17.:27:19.

not have a business case that we could approve. The bodies on left

:27:20.:27:24.

and right -- the politicians on left and right gave the Co-op special

:27:25.:27:31.

support. They may have done, but that was not you have made a warning

:27:32.:27:37.

about these payday lenders, but I think what most people would like to

:27:38.:27:41.

see is a limit put on the interest they can charge over a period of

:27:42.:27:46.

time - will you do that? We have got a whole set of powers for payday

:27:47.:27:50.

lenders. We will bring in some changes from April next year, and we

:27:51.:27:55.

will bring in further changes as we see necessary. Will you put a limit

:27:56.:27:57.

on the interest they can charge That is something we can study. You

:27:58.:28:03.

do not sound too keen on it? Well, there are a lot of changes we need

:28:04.:28:08.

to make. One change is limiting rollovers, limiting the use of

:28:09.:28:11.

continuous payment authorities. Simply jumping to one trigger would

:28:12.:28:16.

be a mistake. Finally, an issue which I think is becoming a growing

:28:17.:28:21.

concern, because the Government is thinking of subsidising them, 9 %

:28:22.:28:25.

mortgages are back - should we not be worried about that? I think we

:28:26.:28:30.

should if the market has the same experiences that we had back in 2007

:28:31.:28:34.

- oh wait. We are bringing a comprehensive package in under our

:28:35.:28:40.

mortgage market review, which will change how people lend and will put

:28:41.:28:43.

affordability back at the heart of lending decisions. -- 2007-08. You

:28:44.:28:54.

have not had your first big challenge yet, have you? We have

:28:55.:28:56.

many challenges. It was once called the battle of the

:28:57.:29:05.

mods and the rockers - the fight between David Cameron-style

:29:06.:29:07.

modernisers and old-style traditional Tories for the direction

:29:08.:29:10.

and soul of the Conservative Party. But have the mods given up on

:29:11.:29:17.

changing the brand? When David Cameron took over in 2005, he

:29:18.:29:22.

promoted himself as a new Tory leader. He said that hoodies need

:29:23.:29:26.

more love. He was talking about something called the big society. He

:29:27.:29:33.

told his party conference that it was time to that sunshine win the

:29:34.:29:37.

day. There was new emphasis on the environment, and an eye-catching

:29:38.:29:42.

trip to a Norwegian glacier to see first-hand, supposedly, the effects

:29:43.:29:47.

of global warming. This week, party modernise and Nick bone has said

:29:48.:29:51.

that the party is still seen as an old-fashioned monolith and hasn t

:29:52.:29:56.

done enough to improve its appeal. The Tories have put some reforms

:29:57.:30:05.

into practice, such as gay marriage, but they have put more into welfare

:30:06.:30:09.

reform band compassionate conservatism. David Cameron wants

:30:10.:30:13.

talked about leading the greenest government ever. Downing Street says

:30:14.:30:21.

that the quote in the Son is not recognised, get rid of the green

:30:22.:30:28.

crap. At this point in the programme we were expecting to hear from the

:30:29.:30:31.

Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker. Unfortunately, he has

:30:32.:30:34.

pulled out, with Downing Street saying it's for ""family reasons"".

:30:35.:30:40.

Make of that what you will. However, we won't be deterred. We're still

:30:41.:30:45.

doing the story, and we're joined by our very own mod and rocker - David

:30:46.:30:48.

Skelton of the think-tank Renewal, and Conservative MP Peter Bone.

:30:49.:30:54.

Welcome to you both. I'm glad your family is allowed you to come? David

:30:55.:30:59.

Skelton, getting rid of all the green crap, or words to that effect,

:31:00.:31:04.

that David Cameron has been saying. It is just a sign that Tory

:31:05.:31:07.

modernisation has been quietly buried. I do think that's right

:31:08.:31:13.

Modernisation is about reaching out to the voters, and the work to do

:31:14.:31:19.

that is now more relevant than ever. We got the biggest swing since 931,

:31:20.:31:24.

and the thing is we need to do more to reach out to voters in the North.

:31:25.:31:29.

We need to reach out to non-white voters, and show that the concerns

:31:30.:31:38.

of modern Britain and the concerns of ordinary people is something that

:31:39.:31:42.

we share. And what way will racking up electricity bills with green

:31:43.:31:45.

levies get you more votes in the North of England? We have to look at

:31:46.:31:52.

ways to reduce energy bills. The renewable energy directive doesn't

:31:53.:31:54.

do anything to help cut our emissions, but does decrease energy

:31:55.:32:01.

bills by ?45 a year. We should renegotiate that. That is a part of

:32:02.:32:05.

modernisation and doing what ordinarily people want. And old

:32:06.:32:11.

dinosaurs like you are just holding this modernisation process back I

:32:12.:32:16.

am very appreciative of covering on this programme. The Tory party has

:32:17.:32:21.

been reforming itself for more than 150 years. This idea of modern eyes

:32:22.:32:26.

a is just some invention. We are changing all the time. I'm nice and

:32:27.:32:33.

cuddly! So you are happy that the party made gay marriage almost a

:32:34.:32:38.

kind of symbol of its modernisation? Fine Mac the gay marriage was a free

:32:39.:32:46.

vote. David Cameron was recorded as a rebel there because more Tories

:32:47.:32:51.

voted against his position than ever before. It was said that this was a

:32:52.:32:54.

split between the old and young but it actually was a split between

:32:55.:32:59.

those who were religious and nonreligious. It is a

:33:00.:33:02.

misinterpretation of what happened. Is a modernisation in retreat? I

:33:03.:33:10.

think modernisation is an invention. Seven years ago, in my

:33:11.:33:15.

part of the world, we got three councillors elected, two were 8 and

:33:16.:33:22.

one was 21. A few months ago, a 25-year-old was chosen to fight

:33:23.:33:25.

Corby for the Conservative Party. He came from a comprehensive School. He

:33:26.:33:31.

was one of the youngest. The Tory party is moving on. So you found

:33:32.:33:37.

three young people? Hang on a minute. You can't get away with

:33:38.:33:46.

that. Three in one batch. Does modernisation exist? Modernisation

:33:47.:33:51.

is about watering our appeal and sharing our values are relevant to

:33:52.:33:54.

voters who haven't really thought about voting for us for decades now.

:33:55.:33:59.

Modernisation is about more than windmills and stuff, it is about

:34:00.:34:03.

boosting the life chances of the poorest, it is about putting better

:34:04.:34:11.

schools in poorer areas. It is also saying that modernisation and the

:34:12.:34:16.

Tory party... When has the Tory party been against making poorer

:34:17.:34:20.

people better off? Or against better schools? Do you think Mrs Thatcher

:34:21.:34:24.

was a moderniser when she won all those elections? The problem we have

:34:25.:34:28.

at the moment is that UKIP has grown-up. If we could get all of

:34:29.:34:33.

those people who vote UKIP to vote for us, we would get 47% of the

:34:34.:34:38.

vote. We don't need to worry about voters on the left. We need to worry

:34:39.:34:43.

about the voters in the north, those people who haven't voted for us for

:34:44.:34:51.

decades. Having an EU Referendum Bill is going to get people to

:34:52.:34:57.

vote. We have to reach out to voters, but not by some sort of

:34:58.:35:02.

London based in need. You have to broaden your base. I agree with you

:35:03.:35:07.

on that. We have to broaden our appeal, but this back to the future

:35:08.:35:10.

concept is not going to work. We need something that generally

:35:11.:35:15.

appeals to low and middle-income voters, and something that shows we

:35:16.:35:19.

genuinely care about the life chances of the poorest. Do you think

:35:20.:35:26.

that the people who vote UKIP don't support those aspirations? We are

:35:27.:35:33.

not doing enough to cut immigration. We don't have an EU Referendum Bill

:35:34.:35:36.

stop we have to get the centre right to vote for us again. Do that, and

:35:37.:35:44.

we have it. Tom Pursglove, the 25 euros, will be returned in Corby

:35:45.:35:47.

because we cannot win an election there. -- the 25-year-old. Whether

:35:48.:36:00.

you are moderniser or traditionalist, people, particularly

:36:01.:36:06.

in the North, see you as a bunch of rich men. And rich southerners. You

:36:07.:36:15.

are bunch of rich southerners. We need to do more to show that we are

:36:16.:36:19.

building on lifting the poorest out of the tax. We need to build more

:36:20.:36:26.

houses. There is a perception that the leadership at the moment is

:36:27.:36:31.

rich, and public school educated. What we have to do is get more

:36:32.:36:35.

people from state education into the top. You are going the other way at

:36:36.:36:42.

the moment. That is a fair criticism. Modernisers also say

:36:43.:36:50.

that. I went to a combo hedge of school as well. -- do a

:36:51.:36:56.

comprehensive school. We need to show that we are standing up for low

:36:57.:37:05.

income. Thank Q, both of you. You are watching the Sunday Politics.

:37:06.:37:07.

Coming up in just under 20 Hello.

:37:08.:37:23.

Coming up on the Sunday Politics in the South West: The wind and solar

:37:24.:37:36.

industry is warning that Tory talk of cutting green taxes is scaring

:37:37.:37:38.

investors and threatening jobs. And for the next 20 minutes, I'm joined

:37:39.:37:42.

by The Lib Dem Peer Robin Teverson and Labour Councillor in Plymouth

:37:43.:37:45.

Nicky Williams. Welcome both of you.

:37:46.:37:54.

Let's start with council cuts. This week, the Conservative mayor of

:37:55.:37:57.

Torbay blamed the government for his council's plans to remove funding

:37:58.:38:00.

from charities which work with drug users and homeless people. Meanwhile

:38:01.:38:02.

in Somerset the Conservative County Council put plans to cut children's

:38:03.:38:06.

centres on hold. When you are talking about children's services,

:38:07.:38:10.

of course it will be an emotive subject. We are going to go out and

:38:11.:38:14.

continue to listen so we make sure we come up with the right result. 18

:38:15.:38:19.

children's centres are under threat in Somerset. Is this now the cuts be

:38:20.:38:28.

inviting? I think it is. `` really biting. There are challenges to all

:38:29.:38:35.

of the services. Implement, have you seen any children's centres become

:38:36.:38:45.

vulnerable? `` implement. We are making sure that families in need

:38:46.:38:51.

are being helped. We have done a lot of work to secure our future. There

:38:52.:39:00.

has been support of children's centres, but the councils are saying

:39:01.:39:04.

it is their fault for the budget cuts in the first place. Can there

:39:05.:39:09.

be such aggressive cuts in spend be upset with the cuts are biting? Cuts

:39:10.:39:17.

have been biting. Local authorities clearly can now spend the money that

:39:18.:39:21.

they have left on the services that they want to. There is a lot more

:39:22.:39:26.

flexibility there. Which services oh or stay is another issue. `` go or

:39:27.:39:35.

stay. Eg the villages passing the buck? `` you do not feel it is

:39:36.:39:42.

passing the buck? I am sure that is not the case. There is only so far

:39:43.:39:46.

it can go, and I think central government will have to be very

:39:47.:39:50.

careful in the future. Plenty more to discuss today.

:39:51.:39:56.

This week the Prime Minister denied reports he'd told his team to get

:39:57.:40:01.

rid of all the green rubbish. His earlier talk of rolling back green

:40:02.:40:04.

levies is causing concern in the South West. With one renewable

:40:05.:40:07.

energy expert this week warning David Cameron's comments are already

:40:08.:40:09.

frightening investors and threatening jobs in the region.

:40:10.:40:12.

Just how green do the Conservatives want to be? The issue hit the

:40:13.:40:22.

headlines this week after one newspaper printed claims from what

:40:23.:40:25.

it called a unnamed senior party member that the PM was making a U

:40:26.:40:32.

turn on environmental issues. It comes only weeks after this

:40:33.:40:36.

statement in the Commons. We need to roll back some of the cream

:40:37.:40:45.

chargers. `` green charges. Last month, David Cameron revealed he was

:40:46.:40:48.

considering rolling back green levies on energy companies to make

:40:49.:40:51.

bills more affordable. Such talk inevitably sets alarm bells ringing

:40:52.:40:54.

in the green energy sector. We need clarity and a long`term framework.

:40:55.:40:59.

The message we are reviewing is very unhelpful. Many of the 10,000 jobs

:41:00.:41:05.

in renewables are at some parts `` are at some degree of risk. South

:41:06.:41:13.

West Conservatives have been pressuring David Cameron to cut the

:41:14.:41:16.

subsidies given to some forms of renewable energy. Among them, the

:41:17.:41:21.

Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox, who pledged to oppose all new

:41:22.:41:25.

commercial wind farms in his constituency, and Richard Drax,

:41:26.:41:27.

whose Dorset South constituency lies near to the proposed Navitus Bay

:41:28.:41:29.

offshore wind farm. A development he spoke out against

:41:30.:41:32.

in Westminster this week. Eight other states `` sites have been

:41:33.:41:39.

identified. There is no World Heritage Site or coastline site. Why

:41:40.:41:43.

can't we do that? But despite this, Mr Drax is also a supporter of

:41:44.:41:46.

renewable. He's just had planning approved for a 175 acre solar farm

:41:47.:41:51.

on his estate in Dorset. Something campaigners were dismayed and

:41:52.:41:56.

slightly bemused by. He is credited as being opposed to the subsidy that

:41:57.:42:01.

government is giving to green energy. Apparently he has been very

:42:02.:42:08.

vocal about that and also about offshore wind farms. Then he

:42:09.:42:14.

proposes a development of this sort. So are the party that once urged

:42:15.:42:18.

people to vote blue and go green sending out mixed messages? The

:42:19.:42:24.

Prime Minister has strongly denied the comments reported in the press.

:42:25.:42:27.

But those in the renewable energy sector might need a bit more

:42:28.:42:30.

convincing. Earlier, I asked the Conservative MP

:42:31.:42:34.

Geoffrey Cox if he thought he'd won his campaign to get the Government

:42:35.:42:40.

to cut green energy subsidies. I think what we have one is a review,

:42:41.:42:47.

and it is a perfectly sensible and I think proper thing to do at the time

:42:48.:42:51.

of extreme financial hardship for many people that we review all of

:42:52.:42:54.

these kinds of charges that fall heavily on the ordinary consumer and

:42:55.:43:00.

see whether we can do better for last. What does that mean for jobs

:43:01.:43:05.

in the region? It doesn't necessarily mean anything for jobs.

:43:06.:43:10.

But we have heard that there are worries about the threat to jobs in

:43:11.:43:18.

the green industry. That is a response to mood music, not any

:43:19.:43:22.

particular detail. The Prime Minister is committed to green

:43:23.:43:26.

policies. We have the first green investment bank. We have a whole

:43:27.:43:33.

range of policies on green issues. He did `` do you think he used the

:43:34.:43:36.

words that were quoted in the newspaper? I do not know, but I know

:43:37.:43:45.

he is committed to seeing whether we can make this file less heavily on

:43:46.:43:51.

the householder. There may be people that feel cheated by this, that you

:43:52.:43:57.

are relaxing the green agenda. I do not buy that. We are not rolling it

:43:58.:44:01.

back. What we are doing is reviewing its to make it cleaner. But David

:44:02.:44:06.

Cameron said he was rolling it back. We are rolling it back in the sense

:44:07.:44:10.

that we want to reduce the charge on the consumer, but there are other

:44:11.:44:17.

ways of getting this particular cat `` skimming this particular we can

:44:18.:44:23.

make it default less on the individual householder. But you are

:44:24.:44:29.

doing it as a knee jerk reaction to Labour talking about freezing

:44:30.:44:34.

prices. Freezing prices is going to cause massive upset in the

:44:35.:44:40.

marketplace. Except profits have soared under this government by 70%,

:44:41.:44:46.

and the average bill has gone up by about ?300 under this Parliament.

:44:47.:44:51.

That is true, because the wholesale price of electricity and energy has

:44:52.:44:56.

gone up. Let me just finish one answers so that the message is very

:44:57.:45:01.

clear. The review is going to look at how we make it lighter on the

:45:02.:45:05.

householder. There are plenty of other ways of raising this money and

:45:06.:45:09.

not allowing it to fall so heavily as it does on the householder. At a

:45:10.:45:13.

time of financial hardship, that has got to be the right thing to do. You

:45:14.:45:19.

surprised by the negotiations on the deal to get a vast solar farm that

:45:20.:45:28.

covers around ten football pitches? I do not think it is for me to

:45:29.:45:33.

comment. I do not know enough about the detail about what Richard is

:45:34.:45:37.

planning. I simply do not know enough about the detail. It is but

:45:38.:45:42.

it would get around ?2 million of subsidies, and he has actually been

:45:43.:45:46.

opposed to these subsidies himself. I am not going to comment on any

:45:47.:45:51.

personal or individual case, certainly not about a colleague, the

:45:52.:45:54.

detail of which I certainly do not know. I do want to say that it must

:45:55.:46:01.

be right to reduce the charge on the householder of these levies. I have

:46:02.:46:04.

to stop you there. Thank you for joining us. You speak on energy.

:46:05.:46:16.

What is Jeffrey talking about here? He says that there are other ways to

:46:17.:46:20.

raise money and not allow it to fall happily on the householder. You have

:46:21.:46:26.

to put it through direct taxation. I suspect that is what the Chancellor

:46:27.:46:30.

is trying to do. In some ways, that is quite good. What it does do is

:46:31.:46:37.

create a whole uncertainty in the industry, particularly in the South

:46:38.:46:43.

West, and in terms of investment, and this whole argument about cost

:46:44.:46:49.

to the consumer of electricity, the trouble is, because of the lack of

:46:50.:46:53.

investment we have had from the big energy companies in the past, if we

:46:54.:46:59.

stayed stuck to gas and coal, we have seen how price rises go up and

:47:00.:47:02.

up, and we need to get off of that fossil fuel junkie that we have

:47:03.:47:09.

become and get renewables in. Are you worried that David Cameron's

:47:10.:47:14.

comments about rolling back green levies infesting green investment

:47:15.:47:19.

and jobs are threatened? Absolutely. This is real. This is politics. The

:47:20.:47:24.

whole reason we have been going through this over a two`year period

:47:25.:47:29.

is to get investing competence in the industry `` confidence in the

:47:30.:47:36.

industry, and this is seriously undermining it. I do not think

:47:37.:47:40.

George Osborne believes in this agenda at all and he is driving

:47:41.:47:43.

David Cameron to this degree. It is a real split within the Tories will

:47:44.:47:49.

stop it is bad for investment. `` Tories. Can you make these cuts

:47:50.:47:55.

without affecting the green industry? I believe that we can. We

:47:56.:48:01.

need to reset the energy market, which is why we want to do a

:48:02.:48:05.

two`year freeze, and then we can reset the market by making it much

:48:06.:48:08.

more fair and transparent and break down the power that the big five

:48:09.:48:14.

have. Robin was saying that you could freeze the price is now on a

:48:15.:48:18.

budget should have been doing this a long time ago. Is that what you were

:48:19.:48:27.

thinking? Yes all stop `` yes. The companies have too much power at the

:48:28.:48:31.

moment. Under the Labour government, I think it was down to six

:48:32.:48:37.

companies. We do not have a good enough market and the government

:48:38.:48:40.

hasn't done enough about it so far. We need a radical change but a price

:48:41.:48:47.

freeze is a sticking plaster. The price freeze will give us the time,

:48:48.:48:52.

whilst discontinuing the ?300 extra people have been facing in their

:48:53.:48:59.

pockets on energy, to actually put the legislation through, to break

:49:00.:49:02.

the monopoly that these big five companies have. What about the idea

:49:03.:49:07.

that we need to support green energy in other ways? We need a balanced

:49:08.:49:13.

market. Yes, we need to support green energy. The problem is, we

:49:14.:49:17.

have seen that there has been a fall in investment in green energy since

:49:18.:49:23.

2009, where it was at an all`time high. It has dramatically dropped to

:49:24.:49:27.

what it is today. There is more renewable generation, it is up about

:49:28.:49:36.

15% in the second half of the last year. That is quite wrong. It is the

:49:37.:49:44.

highest it has ever been. It was a 7.2 billion. Before we argue too

:49:45.:49:48.

much about this, what do you make of the solar farm idea? Do you think

:49:49.:49:53.

there is any hypocrisy going on there? I think he is a very astute

:49:54.:50:01.

businessman and it is up to him to put the pathway between his business

:50:02.:50:04.

and his parliamentary career. We will move on.

:50:05.:50:12.

Figures out this week revealed nearly 3,000 families in Cornwall

:50:13.:50:15.

have been hit by what Labour calls the bedroom tax. April's benefit

:50:16.:50:18.

changes mean people in social housing with spare bedrooms get less

:50:19.:50:21.

money. They can apply for an emergency bailout to help them

:50:22.:50:25.

adjust to the cuts but that cash is normally time limited and for some

:50:26.:50:36.

tenants it's about to run out. When his marriage broke down and his

:50:37.:50:40.

wife and twins moved out, Matt Pope was left with two spare bedrooms.

:50:41.:50:44.

He's had to find an extra ?80 a month to pay his rent because of new

:50:45.:50:47.

rules on under occupancy which have seen his housing benefit cut. It's

:50:48.:50:53.

been a tough year for him. My wife left and took my children. I had

:50:54.:50:58.

previously lost my job, and that all of the sudden, I had letters from

:50:59.:51:03.

the council saying that they were going to charge me for the now

:51:04.:51:09.

vacant rooms that I had. It felt like the straw that broke the camels

:51:10.:51:19.

back `` camel's back. I attempted suicide in April. It was a

:51:20.:51:22.

culmination of all of those issues at that point. Matt fell behind with

:51:23.:51:30.

the rent and recently got a letter from his council warning him that he

:51:31.:51:33.

could be evicted if he didn't pay the ?78 he owed. The Council has

:51:34.:51:36.

spent thousands of pounds and keeping me in this property, for

:51:37.:51:44.

adapting the place to suit my requirements, to meet my

:51:45.:51:48.

disability. It would have been easy for me to move into a glow that was

:51:49.:51:56.

disabled adapted `` a small home that was disabled adapted. Matt has

:51:57.:52:06.

been claiming discretionary housing payment to help him cover the

:52:07.:52:09.

shortfall in his housing benefit but the amount has reduced over the past

:52:10.:52:13.

three months and it is due to end in December. Figures obtained by BBC

:52:14.:52:16.

Sunday Politics South West show there has been a big rise in the

:52:17.:52:20.

number of people on benefits asking for emergency cash or what's known

:52:21.:52:23.

as discretionary housing payment to help them pay their rent. Last year,

:52:24.:52:26.

between April and September 2012, 1,600 people applied for the help.

:52:27.:52:29.

This year over the same period, applications have more than doubled,

:52:30.:52:39.

with 4,100 applying. The government has given councils more funds for

:52:40.:52:41.

discretionary housing payment this year in anticipation of the impact

:52:42.:52:48.

of its welfare reforms. But some housing providers say there isn't

:52:49.:52:51.

enough money to help everyone who needs it. There is variation in the

:52:52.:52:55.

ways that the local authorities work, and in some of our areas, we

:52:56.:53:01.

are not being successful. We have one area where we made seven

:53:02.:53:04.

applications and they were all refused. In Plymouth, the number of

:53:05.:53:19.

people on benefits applying for emergency cash for their rent has

:53:20.:53:23.

more than tripled. From 200 last year to more than 700 this year.

:53:24.:53:26.

Oliver Colvile, the Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

:53:27.:53:29.

says the benefit changes are needed. There are some people who do not

:53:30.:53:32.

need family houses. The big issue, though, is that there are an awful

:53:33.:53:36.

lot of people who are living in cramped conditions. And my

:53:37.:53:39.

constituency, it is about 5,000 families who come and talk to me

:53:40.:53:43.

about how it is that they have been stuck in cramped accommodation, and

:53:44.:53:47.

we have to make sure that those people have the right accommodation.

:53:48.:53:55.

Back in Mid Devon, Matt Pope is now up to date with his rent because the

:53:56.:53:58.

parish council stepped in and used a community crisis fund to pay off his

:53:59.:54:02.

arrears. But he's worried about the future because he knows this is just

:54:03.:54:08.

a temporary fix. A temporary fix for him. It seems there are a lot of

:54:09.:54:13.

temporary fixes going on. This emergency cash that is being

:54:14.:54:17.

supplied is only temporary. It is not all temporary. In terms of

:54:18.:54:23.

forces families and retired people, in terms of foster parents, all of

:54:24.:54:28.

those have been permanently fixed. Certainly Liberal Democrats would

:54:29.:54:31.

include disabled people, but we have not been able to persuade our

:54:32.:54:37.

colleagues in the coalition. A number of local authorities do

:54:38.:54:42.

manage to fulfil those requirements from money that has been sent out to

:54:43.:54:47.

local government. There was one specifically that had not responded.

:54:48.:54:51.

I think that is down to attitude of particular local authorities at that

:54:52.:54:55.

time how that works. Surely the point of this is to free up some of

:54:56.:55:00.

these houses, and if you are going to hand out emergency and out of

:55:01.:55:04.

emergency cash to different people, then you are not actually freeing up

:55:05.:55:08.

the houses. Maybe you do need to evict a few more people. What we are

:55:09.:55:15.

doing is putting out enough money for people in need. Yes, the

:55:16.:55:20.

reconfiguration within the housing market is needed, because what we

:55:21.:55:24.

had under the previous government was 420,000 fall in the number of

:55:25.:55:29.

social and council homes in the country. The Labour government

:55:30.:55:32.

actually introduced spare room tax in terms of people having to live in

:55:33.:55:37.

the private rented sector. Yes, it has had to spread into the public

:55:38.:55:41.

sector. It is not good but things have to change. It is fundamentally

:55:42.:55:47.

unfair, which is why Labour have said they would get rid of it. You

:55:48.:55:55.

invented it in 2008. But it is inherently unfair. Implement, we

:55:56.:56:02.

have 600 families who wants to downsize. There is nowhere for them

:56:03.:56:08.

to go will stop we not `` them to go. It is causing more money because

:56:09.:56:12.

more people are having to go to private landlords, where it costs

:56:13.:56:16.

more, so they are claiming more in benefits, so this is a complete

:56:17.:56:20.

false economy. It is very well to say we need to build more houses,

:56:21.:56:23.

but if you desperately need those houses now, maybe this is the

:56:24.:56:30.

solution. We don't have the houses available for people to downsize. We

:56:31.:56:35.

have an enormous problem in that there are too many people on the

:56:36.:56:39.

waiting list. We are not building enough houses across the country. We

:56:40.:56:44.

are trying to put that right under lease of land onto the market and

:56:45.:56:47.

work with housing associations to bring forward more affordable

:56:48.:56:53.

accommodation. The stock of social housing and council housing during

:56:54.:56:56.

the Labour government went down 420,000 nationwide. You have waiting

:56:57.:57:03.

lists of up to 12,000 people that are not able to get decent housing

:57:04.:57:07.

because, during the Labour government, you did not build the

:57:08.:57:14.

houses. The number of housing stock has been reduced because of the

:57:15.:57:19.

right to buy policy. So why did you not do anything when you were in

:57:20.:57:23.

government? You didn't. You stop local authorities from replacing the

:57:24.:57:28.

houses that were sold. Your government stop you from replacing

:57:29.:57:31.

council houses that you sold under right to buy. We are working with

:57:32.:57:36.

housing associations to release more land so that we can actually build

:57:37.:57:42.

more houses. Labour has pledged to work out solutions to actually solve

:57:43.:57:47.

this problem. The bedroom tax is not a solution. It is just pledging more

:57:48.:57:53.

and more people into poverty. `` plunging. It is trying to get to a

:57:54.:57:57.

problem that we inherited as a government. It is not perfect. It is

:57:58.:58:02.

always fun to debate this but we have to move on because it is time

:58:03.:58:05.

for our round up of the political week in 60 seconds.

:58:06.:58:12.

Concern about rising water bills was raised in Parliament. If my right

:58:13.:58:21.

honourable friend convinced that the regular age or is robust enough and

:58:22.:58:26.

ensuring that future rises will be kept to a minimum? The problem of

:58:27.:58:32.

pay day lending was put to the Prime Minister by the MP for Torbay.

:58:33.:58:35.

Devon and Cornwall's Police Commissioner revealed he's spending

:58:36.:58:38.

more than half a million on consultants. I think it is

:58:39.:58:40.

ridiculous. I think he needs to go to the public and say, what do you

:58:41.:58:44.

think? The majority of them would say to put police back on the

:58:45.:58:48.

streets. It emerged that some Devon councillors have been failing to pay

:58:49.:58:53.

their council tax. They bowed these things in and they should be

:58:54.:58:56.

prepared to pay for them themselves. `` bowed to pay for them

:58:57.:58:59.

themselves. `` voted these things in. Councillors in Weymouth said

:59:00.:59:04.

Dorset was missing out on its olympic legacy. These things should

:59:05.:59:10.

be used now. And the campaign to get a Cornish tick`box on the census was

:59:11.:59:17.

revived. We haven't much time. Would you like

:59:18.:59:27.

a Cornish text box on the census? Yes, absolutely. Take away. Do you

:59:28.:59:32.

think that is ridiculous? Would you like a dev in the box? `` Devon. I

:59:33.:59:44.

do not see a reason why that data cannot be collected. You never

:59:45.:59:48.

know, there is still time. That is Sunday Politics in the South West.

:59:49.:59:54.

Thank you to my guests. Before we go back to Andrew in London, just time

:59:55.:59:59.

to tell you that, as always, the programme is available to watch on

:00:00.:00:02.

the eye player, and you can always check out Martin's blog, which you

:00:03.:00:08.

can go to buy the BBC website. `` through the BBC website.

:00:09.:00:10.

those people who want to cycle. We will be returning to this one. Thank

:00:11.:00:14.

you. A little bit of history was made at

:00:15.:00:25.

Prime Minister's Questions this week. A teensy tiny bit. It wasn't

:00:26.:00:30.

David Cameron accusing one MP of taking "mind-altering substances" -

:00:31.:00:32.

they're always accusing each other of doing that. No, it was the first

:00:33.:00:36.

time a Prime Minister used a live tweet sent from someone watching the

:00:37.:00:39.

session as ammunition at the dispatch box. Let's have a look We

:00:40.:00:48.

have had some interesting interventions from front edges past

:00:49.:00:54.

and present. I hope I can break records by explaining that a tweet

:00:55.:00:58.

has just come in from Tony McNulty, the former Labour security

:00:59.:01:02.

minister, saying that the public are desperate for a PM in waiting who

:01:03.:01:07.

speaks for them, not a Leader of the Opposition in dodging in partisan

:01:08.:01:12.

Westminster Village knock about So I would stay up with the tweets if

:01:13.:01:16.

you want to get on the right side of this one! We are working on how the

:01:17.:01:21.

Prime Minister managed to get that wheat in the first place. What did

:01:22.:01:25.

you think when you saw it being read out? I was certainly watching the

:01:26.:01:32.

Daily Politics. I almost fell off my chair! It was quite astonishing He

:01:33.:01:36.

didn't answer the question - he didn't do that the whole time. But I

:01:37.:01:41.

stand by what the tweets said. I have tweeted for a long time on

:01:42.:01:46.

PMQs. Normally I am praising Ed Miliband to the hilt, but no one

:01:47.:01:52.

announces that in Parliament! Because the Prime Minister picked up

:01:53.:01:56.

on what you said, it unleashed some attacks on you from the Labour side.

:01:57.:02:01.

It did, minor attacks from some very junior people. Most people were

:02:02.:02:05.

supportive of what I said. They took issue with the notion of not doing

:02:06.:02:11.

it until 12:30pm, when it wasn't available for the other side to use.

:02:12.:02:16.

Instant history, and instantly forgettable, I would say. Do you

:02:17.:02:21.

think you have started a bit of a trend? I hope not, because the

:02:22.:02:25.

dumbing down of PMQs is already on its way. Most people tweet like mad

:02:26.:02:35.

through PMQs! Is a measure of how post-modern we have become, we have

:02:36.:02:38.

journalists tweeting about someone talking about a tweet. That is the

:02:39.:02:45.

level of British politics. I am horrified by this development. The

:02:46.:02:48.

whole of modern life has become about observing people -- people

:02:49.:02:55.

observing themselves doing things. Do we know what happened? Somebody

:02:56.:03:00.

is monitoring the tweets on behalf of the Prime Minister or the Tory

:03:01.:03:05.

party. They see Tony's tweet. They then print it out and give it to

:03:06.:03:09.

him? There was a suggestion that Michael Goves had spotted it, but

:03:10.:03:13.

Craig Oliver from the BBC had this great sort of... Craig Oliver was

:03:14.:03:23.

holding up his iPad to take pictures of the Prime Minister, which he then

:03:24.:03:28.

tweeted, from the Prime Minister. People will now be tweeting in the

:03:29.:03:32.

hope that they will be quoted by the Prime Minister, or the Leader of the

:03:33.:03:38.

Opposition. I wasn't doing that I'm just talking about the monster you

:03:39.:03:44.

have unleashed! I hope it dies a miserable death. I think Tony is a

:03:45.:03:49.

good analysis -- a good analyst of PMQs on Twitter. Moving onto the

:03:50.:03:58.

Co-op. You were a Co-op-backed MP, white you? I was a Co-op party

:03:59.:04:07.

member. There are two issues here about the Co-op and the Labour

:04:08.:04:11.

Party. All the new music suggests that the Co-op will now have to

:04:12.:04:16.

start pulling back from lending or donating to the Labour Party, which,

:04:17.:04:21.

at a time when Mr Miliband is going through changes that are going to

:04:22.:04:24.

cut of the union funds, it seems quite dangerous. There are three

:04:25.:04:30.

things going on. There's the relationship that the party has

:04:31.:04:33.

politically with the Co-op party, there is the commercial relationship

:04:34.:04:39.

you referred to, and then there is this enquiry into the comings and

:04:40.:04:43.

goings of Flowers and everybody else. The Tories, at their peril,

:04:44.:04:50.

will mix the three up. There's a lot of things going on with a bang.

:04:51.:04:54.

Labour has some issues around funding generally, and they are

:04:55.:04:59.

potentially exacerbated by the Co-op issue. The Labour Party gets soft

:05:00.:05:07.

loans from the Co-op bank, and it gets donations. ?800,000 last year.

:05:08.:05:14.

Ed Balls got about ?50,000 for his private office. You get the feeling,

:05:15.:05:18.

given the state of the Co-operative Bank now, that that money could dry

:05:19.:05:24.

up. We will see. There's lots of speculation in the papers today At

:05:25.:05:28.

the core, the relationship between the Co-op party and the Labour Party

:05:29.:05:33.

is a proud one, and a legitimate one. I don't think others always

:05:34.:05:38.

understand that. Here is an even bigger issue. Is it not possible

:05:39.:05:43.

that the Co-op bank will cease to exist in any meaningful way as a

:05:44.:05:50.

Co-op bank? Is the bane out means it is 70% owned -- the bail out means

:05:51.:06:01.

that it is 70% owned, or 35% going to a hedge fund, I think I read

:06:02.:06:06.

Yes, there is a move from the mutualism of the Co-op. But don t

:06:07.:06:10.

confuse the Co-op bank with the Co-op Group. Others have done that.

:06:11.:06:21.

I haven't. Here's the rub. The soft loans that Labour gets. They got

:06:22.:06:29.

?1.2 million from this. And 2.4 million. They are secured against

:06:30.:06:38.

future union membership fees of the party. What is Mr Miliband doing? He

:06:39.:06:44.

is trying to end that? You have this very difficult confluence of events,

:06:45.:06:49.

which is, could these wonderful soft loans that Labour has had from the

:06:50.:06:53.

Co-op, could they be going? And these union reforms, where Ed

:06:54.:06:59.

Miliband is trying to create a link between individuals and donations to

:07:00.:07:04.

the Labour Party... Clearly, there could be real financial difficulties

:07:05.:07:08.

here. The government needs to be careful, because George Osborne

:07:09.:07:11.

launched one of his classic blunderbuss operations this week,

:07:12.:07:14.

which is that the Labour Party is to blame for Paul Flowers' private

:07:15.:07:22.

life. No, it's not. And that all the problems, essentially... Look at

:07:23.:07:28.

what George Osborne was doing in Europe. He was trying to change the

:07:29.:07:32.

capital requirement rules that would make it easier for the Co-op to take

:07:33.:07:37.

over Lloyd's. If there is to be a big investigation, George Osborne

:07:38.:07:40.

needs to be careful of what he wishes for. This is another example

:07:41.:07:45.

of the Westminster consensus. All of the Westminster parties were in

:07:46.:07:49.

favour of the Britannia takeover. This is how the Co-op ended up with

:07:50.:07:54.

all this toxic rubbish on its balance sheet. All the major parties

:07:55.:07:58.

were in favour of going to get the Lloyds branches. The Tories tried to

:07:59.:08:02.

outdo Labour in being more pro-Co-op. There was nobody in

:08:03.:08:09.

Westminster saying, hold on, this doesn't work. It is like the

:08:10.:08:15.

financial bubble all over again Everyone was in favour of that at

:08:16.:08:20.

the time. I think there is no evidence so far that the storm is

:08:21.:08:24.

cutting through to the average voter. If I were Ed Miliband, I

:08:25.:08:29.

would let it die a natural death. I would not write to an editorial

:08:30.:08:33.

column for a national newspaper on a Sunday. That keeps the issue alive,

:08:34.:08:39.

and it makes him look oversensitive and much better at dishing it out

:08:40.:08:47.

than taking it. I agree about that. The Labour press team tweeted this

:08:48.:08:50.

week saying that it was a new low for the times. And this was

:08:51.:09:00.

re-tweeted by Ed Miliband. It isn't a great press attitude. It is very

:09:01.:09:06.

Moni. Bill Clinton went out there and fought and made the case. So did

:09:07.:09:11.

Tony Blair. If you just say, they are being horrible to us, it looks

:09:12.:09:17.

pathetic. And it will cut through on Osborne and the financial

:09:18.:09:23.

dimensional is, not political. I shall tweet that later! While we

:09:24.:09:32.

have been talking, Mr Miliband has been on Desert Island Discs. He

:09:33.:09:38.

might still be on it. Let's have a listen to what he had to say.

:09:39.:09:46.

# Take on me, take me on. # And threw it all, she offers me

:09:47.:09:58.

protection. # A lot of love and affection.

:09:59.:10:09.

# Whether I'm right or wrong #. # Je Ne Regrette Rien. #.

:10:10.:10:25.

Obviously, that was the music that Ed Miliband chose. Who thought -

:10:26.:10:31.

you would have thought he would choose Norman Lamont's theme tune!

:10:32.:10:40.

He chose Jerusalem... He has no classical background at all. He had

:10:41.:10:51.

no Beethoven, no Elgar. David Cameron had Mendelssohn. And Ernie,

:10:52.:11:00.

the fastest Notman in the West. -- fastest milkman. Tony Blair chose

:11:01.:11:10.

the theme tune to a movie. Tony Blair's list was chosen by young

:11:11.:11:13.

staffers in his office. It absolutely was. Tony Blair's list

:11:14.:11:24.

was chosen by staff. The Ed Miliband this was clearly chosen by himself,

:11:25.:11:28.

because who would allow politician to go out there and say that they

:11:29.:11:38.

like Aha. I am the same age as Ed Miliband, and of course he likes

:11:39.:11:42.

Aha. That was the tumour was played in the 80s. Sweet Caroline. It is

:11:43.:11:53.

Angels by Robbie Williams. I was 14-year-old girl when that came out.

:11:54.:12:02.

I thought Angels was the staple of hen nights and chucking out time in

:12:03.:12:09.

pubs. The really good thing about his list is that the Smiths to not

:12:10.:12:12.

appear. The Smiths were all over David Cameron's list. The absolutely

:12:13.:12:17.

miserable music of Morris he was not there. What was his luxury? And

:12:18.:12:27.

Indian takeaway! Again, chosen for political reasons. I would agree

:12:28.:12:33.

with the panel about Aha, but I would expect -- I would respect his

:12:34.:12:41.

right to choose. Have you been on Desert Island Discs? I have. It took

:12:42.:12:46.

me three weeks to choose the music. It was the most difficult decision

:12:47.:12:50.

in my life. What was the most embarrassing thing you chose? I

:12:51.:12:56.

didn't choose anything embarrassing. I chose Beethoven, Elgar, and some

:12:57.:13:01.

proper modern jazz. Anything from the modern era? Pet Shop Boys.

:13:02.:13:13.

That's all for today. The Daily Politics will be on BBC Two at

:13:14.:13:16.

lunchtime every day next week, and we'll be back here on BBC One at

:13:17.:13:20.

11am next week. My luxury, by the way, was a wind-up radio! Remember,

:13:21.:13:23.

if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.

:13:24.:13:30.

Andrew Neil and Martyn Oates present the latest political stories, with Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and a look at Ed Miliband's choices for Desert Island Discs on Radio 4.


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