13/04/2014 Sunday Politics South West


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Aternoon folks, and welcome to the Sunday Politics. As MPs head off for


their Easter break, campaigning for the European elections in six weeks'


time gets underway. In a Sunday Politics special, we'll debate the


issues at stake on May 22nd with senior party figures from the


Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, and UKIP. And as ever


we'll be discussing the week ahead with our panel of top political


In the south`west. The plans to commentators.


In the south`west. The plans to create more jobs and boost wages.


And the row about the cost of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley


Point. newspapers which some claim are


politically slanted and not impartial about informing people of


local services. So all that to come between now and


quarter to four and for the next thirty minutes or so we'll be


debating the European elections Here in the studio we have Syed


Kamall, leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, Richard


Howitt, chair of the Labour group of MEPs, Sarah Ludford, deputy leader


of the Lib Dems in Europe, and Patrick O'Flynn, UKIP's director of


communications. Welcome to you all. In a moment, all four will give us


their opening pitch for the elections. A little earlier they


drew lots to decide who'll go first. And that privilege goes to Syed


Before that, though, here's a quick reminder of what all the fuss is


about. The vote to choose members of the


European Parliament takes place on Thursday the 22nd of May. The same


day as local elections are held in England and Northern Ireland. The UK


sends 73 England and Northern Ireland. The UK


sends NTP is to Brussels. And the vote is a form of proportional


representation. In total, there are 751 MEPs from the 28 member states.


What do they do all day? The European Parliament's power has


grown. A vet of the EU commissioners and they can amend, approve or


reject nearly all EU legislation and the EU budget. Some laws MEPs have


been responsible for include price caps on mobile phone chargers,


banking regulation and cover food regulation two -- labelling.


Syed Kamall, you have 30 seconds. Europe cannot go on as it is. Europe


needs to change. And our relationship with Europe needs to


change. Only the Conservatives have a plan to deliver that change and of


the British people and in-out referendum. Labour and the Lib Dems


will not and UKIP simply cannot Only the Conservatives will offer


the three yards, with Conservative MEPs working alongside a


conservative Prime Minister. For, really is and above all a


referendum. Sarah Ludford is next. Your choice is simple. If you think


Britain is better off in Europe vote for the Liberal Democrats. The


Lib Dems are the only party of Ian, fighting to keep Britain in Europe


and in work. There is nothing patriotic about UKIP's desire to


pull-out. That is playing Russian roulette with Britain's economy and


jobs. The Conservatives are flirting with exit and Labour lacks the


courage to speak up. Thought Liberal Democrat on May the 22nd to say in


Europe for jobs and security. Sarah Ludford. Next, Richard Howitt from


Labour. The European elections are about who represents you. They are


not a referendum on a referendum. Labour MEPs believe in putting jobs


and growth first. A guarantee to help young people into work,


reforming energy markets so that bills are brought down for good


Labour believes in reform in Europe, but within. It is David Cameron who


is risking your job and Britain s prosperity because of divisions in


his own party. Labour MEPs put British interests first. Our fourth


opening statement from Patrick O'Flynn. The EU is old hat. It is a


declining regional trade bloc in an era of global trade. It is a


20th-century political project designed to prevent conflict in


Europe that is now reawakening old hostilities. It is an attempt to


force on the European people European this as their primary


collective identity. It has hollowed out British democracy and now we do


not even control our own borders. That is why you should vote UKIP.


That is the opening statements. Let's get on with the debate. Why


should people vote in the selections? If you vote UKIP, we can


deliver an earthquake that will rock the foundations of British politics


and the European political class. We can send a signal to Europe that


Britain has had enough, that Britain wants to retain its nation state


status and regain political power and the ability to forge trading


deals across the world. Britain leading Europe to freedom twice in


the last century through bloodshed. We feel that a UKIP win in those


elections could help Britain set an example to lead European nation


states back to free assembly again. Syed Kamall, isn't it the case that


many Tory voters will vote you clip to keep you honest, to keep your


feet to the fire? Whatever you think of the European Parliament or the


EU, the fact is that the European Parliament as equal power with the


28 governments of the EU. When David Cameron delivered the first cut to


the EU budget, the first ever cut, he needed a strong team of


Conservative MEPs working alongside him. But many of your supporters


will vote for UKIP for the reasons I gave. Many will vote Liberal


Democrat. Not very many. Many of our supporters will vote for us because


we are the only party trying to change the EU and offer reform. We


have offered renegotiation and a referendum. And how would you vote


in such a referendum? We have no idea whether he would vote yes or


no. Let him answer. I will answer that question. If the EU continues


on this road, towards a United States of Europe, and if there was


no change at the time of the referendum, then I would probably


vote to leave. You have no confidence in David Cameron? We


Javier Culson opportunity to read negotiate our relationship with


Europe and the Conservatives are at the forefront of that agenda. David


Cameron have not given a list of demands. He said that if things do


not change, he will probably vote to leave, is that right? If at the time


of the referendum, things had not changed, I would vote to leave and


we have a golden opportunity to perform the agenda. Richard, the


last time the British people had a say on this was over 40 years ago.


Under a Labour government. Which was deeply divided on the issue. And


that was a say on the common market. Today's EU is a very different


animal from the common market. Why can we not, under another Labour


government, have another vote? First of all, we want it to be more than a


free trading area. We make no apologies about that. But in the


elections because this is half of Britain's exports and investment. If


you care about your job and business, you cannot hear from the


party of government that they probably want you to leave because


the CBI, the engineering employees in Federation and the chimp of


commerce, 80% of them say it is necessary to stay in. So why not


give us a vote? When David Cameron says he wants to repatriate social


powers, he means takeaway maternity rights and holidays. If the case is


so strong, why not give us an in-out vote? David Miliband has said that


there will be a referendum if there was a proposal to change powers Why


wait? This is based on a series of reforms. Labour has a set of


reforms. David Cameron is silent about what they would be. That is


because he knows that if he put them forward, they would either be


unsatisfactory to his Eurosceptic backbenchers and he would be out of


a job, or they would be unacceptable to European leaders. Why is your


leader missing in action? Ed Miliband is unable to say even the


positive things that you are saying. He has run away from the argument.


He actually said there would not be a referendum in his time.


For a conservative to say they will have a referendum but not give the


reforms, it is a mistake. Nick Clegg gave Nigel Farage a huge opportunity


in that debate. He said that the Eurosceptic view was to leave


Britain like Billy no mates. I can say that he is the best qualified


person to say that. Sarah Ludford, you have said that lots of people


are going to vote Lib Dem but that is not what the polls are saying.


You are 7% in two polls this morning. Eclectic's decision to


champion Europe has been a disaster for you. You face wet out. We swayed


a lot of people our way with Nick Clegg's debate. Where is the


evidence? We are the only party that is completely united, saying that we


are wanting to stay in. It is essential because formally and jobs


are supported by our trade with the EU. Linked to the EU. We are finding


a lot of moderate conservative voters are actually fed up with the


Tories being split and divided all over the place. Syed Kamall saying


that we might vote in rout. -- in or out. We are consistent. A poll in


London showed that 18% would vote for us. I am delighted about that.


London is not the whole country it may surprise you. We need to move on


to immigration, an important issue. We are a member of the EU and the


rules say that with a few caveats, our fellow EU citizens are free to


come here if they want. Why can we not just accept that? Britain has a


proud record when it comes to immigration. We have been open to


people across the world for centuries. But we welcome people who


come to our country to contribute to pay taxes and two wards are a


society positively. But there are three real concerns that we have to


address. The first one is numbers, and secondly people who may come


here not to work but for benefits, and thirdly, getting a hang of the


numbers. I think it is shameful that only this week the office for


National said that they did not collect sufficient figures under a


Labour government. 350,000 extra people came in and they did not


count the numbers. That is the size of a city like Cardiff. That is


shameful. 350,000 came from all over the place. Do you accept the free


movement of peoples within the EU? I accept and am open to people who


want to come here and contribute. In the same way... Do you accept the


free movement of peoples within the EU? In our manifesto, we have said


it is an issue for reform. We have to make sure that people are coming


here to work and contribute positively, not simply to come here


and take advantage of the system. I will tell you what else is


shameful. What is shameful is David Cameron making a pledge to the


British people on an issue that they really care about, to bring net


immigration down to the tens of thousands a year, having no means of


fulfilling that pledge. And we see now it is back up to 212,000 a year


because we have no volume control and no quality control from


immigration from our neighbours And that is a disgrace. How could UKIP


address that issue? Because we would leave the EU. How? Tell me how. You


do not have a single member of Parliament. He will not get a single


member of Parliament. How are you... ? TUC are hoping to get an


MEP. What do you say? -- he is here today hoping to get an MEP. All of


-- almost 2 million Brits live and work in the rest of the EU. Is that


worth having? The majority are wealthy, retired people. Why do not


object to bilateral agreements with countries with similar living


standards to us. France, the Netherlands, that works fine. But


these three people want Turkey to join the EU, 75 Na Li and people


running our country, only 10% of which... Syed Kamall is Michael year


to say whether they are in favour of free movement for work, not for


benefits... That is what I'm saying. You said you were unable to


be clear. That leaves 2 million British people absolutely unsure as


to whether they would have a right to continue to live in other


countries. It is a two-way street. You are putting those people in a


state of uncertainty. EU migrants have been good for the British


economy and contribute far more than they take out in services and


benefits. One in seven businesses were founded in -- by migrants. And


they cannot just turn up and claim benefits. The coalition government


has legislated to make sure that they cannot claim for three months.


They will not be able to claim for more than six months. Richard


Howitt, Jack Straw said it was A spectacular mistake for Labour to


allow EU migrants from Poland and Hungary to work in the UK from


2004." Why should we trust a party that makes spectacular mistakes and


hasn't apologised for it? We accept it is a mistake and I apologise We


make a firm commitment for new EU states we will put down transitional


controls. When I listen to the Conservatives and UKIP trying to


re-write history, saying immigration was out of control, uncontrolled,


open door, we hear it over and over again. It is not true. Anyone who


was around at the time... Come on, Richard. Hold on, you undercounted


by 350,000. You were letting 2 million in over the years, an


under-counted by 350,000 people you didn't know came in. You should have


tightened the benefit rules. The Conservative MEP today has, in four


years in government in Britain, is trying it blame the previous Labour


Government over the fact they won't count people in or people out.


Yvette Cooper - it is not easy for people to come to the country and


benefits are changing, changing the habitual residence test and we are


going to say that migrants can't come and claim child benefit if


their children are outside the country. Labour a has shown they


have listened to concerns but we say it is a stronger, better, country


because it is diverse and multicultural snoo.d this is fantasy


politics from all the Peters. They are committed to a system with no


volume control and no quality control. You talk about benefits as


if it is only out of work benefits. In work benefits cost a lot of money


for the British taxpayer. Big businesses bring in minimum wage


workers. It is ?5,000 per perschool place What are you going to do? Have


all the pensioners come back to Britain? How will will you fund the


health care? Do you really think Spain and pour tu ghal their current


situation, are going to turn their backs on British property owners


with wealth? -- Portugal. They might not wanting pensioners to use their


health service. Pensioners often come back to Britain to use the


health service. You have shown it represents wealthy people's


interests. A second Conservative Party. Hang on a minute... Blue


collar wages were down. They want it character for the National Health


Service, have cuts that go farther and comprehensive education. This is


a debate on the wider politics between Conservatives and UKIP and


Labour will... You can't both talk time. UKIP - they haven't thought it


through, thousand they will have trade access in the EU, hasn't


thought how they will have trade deals that the Liberal Democrats


support, like with the United States: Would you have a cap on


non-EU immigrants? We are not in favour of a cap. No cap on either.


No. Well it is a target. It is a moving feast, as it were. Would you


have a limit on non-EU limits? We have limits on quality. We have


people who are skilled migrants coming in. Lip its? . By quality,


not by quantity. -- Limits. How do you do that? We need to move


on to foreign affairs. Should we pool more sovereignty to


give the European Union more clout in foreign and defence matters? I'm


Labour's defence and foreign affairs spokesperson. No we don't need to


pull more powers into Europe. As we undertake this live debate there are


guns being fired in Ukraine as we speak. Europe is facing, for the


first time, since the end of the Second World War, Armies crossing


national borders and floatening peace. Doesn't it -- threatening


peace. Doesn't it need to come together of the We don't need more


powers. We need political will. With Vladimir Putin, in my view, he has


-- we have fallen short in the sanctions. But it is Europe, not


Britain. Remember Putin calling Britain little England a small


island with no influence. Labour doesn't agree with that. But if


that's the mindset that allows someone like Vladimir Putin to send


troops across borders threatening peace, it is worrying. And when we


have, in UKIP a party that say they admire Putin and support his


policies, that is no recipe for how Europe should be wrong. I was


waiting for that. Let me ask him. We don't admire Putin as a leader. .


Oh. No we don't. What Nigel Farage said, was he admired him as a


political operator. Testifies Franklin D Roosevelt who said a good


foreign policy was speaking softly but carrying a big stick. The EU


shouts its mouthed off while carrying a matchstick. It is fantasy


that you wiebl it stand up to Putin over the Ukraine. -- that you would


be able to stand up. Do you admire what Putin is doing in the Ukraine?


No. What matters in foreign policy is the outcould. We have a terrible


outcome in the Ukraine, like Syria, and Georgia... What would UKIP do?


What u skip would do, would be to keep our people safe -- UKIP.


How? And not commit our Foreign Office and troops Foreign wars.


Patrick O'Flynn. You brought up this issue of foreign wars. Now Nigel


Farage said in previous debates that Britain should leave the EU because,


"We have had enough of endless foreign wars." Which wars has the EU


taken us into? The EU has ban very important factor in the push towards


trying to get military intervention in Syria, for example. What wars has


the etch U taken us into it -- EU. Fortunately the EU doesn't have its


own army yet. It has wanted to sign up to an expansionist agenda. Did it


want Iraq? No, that was Labour. UKIP opposed Iraq, so did most of the


mainline Europeans. Germany was against Syria and Libya. No EU


policy. We had an Anglo French deal on Syria. A by lateral deal. A


European dimension. No, buy lateral. We have a European Union that wants


to expand ever-more into other people's spheres of influence. If we


are going to stand up to what Putin is do, which obviously Nigel Farage


has no intentions of doing, you have to get your act together on economic


sanctions and diplomatic force and in trade matters, in supporting


eastern European countries. Sayeria, who and whose army? And NATO and


working transatlanticically, is important through NATO. I will come


to you in a moment. Nick Clegg said that the idea of an EU Army was "A


dangerous fantasy that is simply not true ""Why then, are we already


working on etch U-owned and controlled drones -- EU-owned and


the President of the European Parliament has said that the


majority of MEPs want the EU to have "deployable troops." He is not


speaking for me or Liberal Democrats. The EU does not and will


not have an army. Our defence is mainly shaped through NATO. He is


President of the Parliament What we must do is to get equipment which


can operate together. We waste an awful lot of our spending in Europe


because we duplicate equipment. We don't get the bang for our bucks


that we should. It is a useful role for the EU, to get equipment working


together. That doesn't make sense. You say military equipment, a NATO


job. No, the EU, there is a kind of dimension of the EU members of NATO,


in working together on a common quument o o so they can talk to each


other -- on common equipment, so they can talk to each other. The EU


has a role but not an army. So a European defence agency, that helps


our defence industries and those jobs are extremely important and


would be threatened if the Conservatives and UKIP took us out


of Europe but it is 100 years since the start of the fist world war


Remember that Europe was set up to try to get a secure peace within


Europe T succeeded. Now look on Ukraine but also on the southern


borders to the Arab Spring countries in North Africa. It is more


important than ever that we work to keep keep peace and stability on our


borders. Can I say to Syed and the Conservative MEPs. You talk about


the three Rs, I have a fourth, retreat. If you take us out of the


European Union, it will be the worse retreat by Britain since Gallipoli.


Let him answer If he wants answers -- the British Parliament is the


right place with a British Foreign Secretary to decide our foreign


policy. You say that, but can I quote David Cameron, this is germain


to what you are saying, David Cameron said "There is no doubt that


we are more powerful than Washington, Beijing and Delhi,


because we are a powerful player in the European Union." Do you agree?


He is saying that there are times when it comes to international


foreign affairs when you have to cooperate with partners. Often they


are EU partners but often they are not. The problem we have...


Washington have made it very clear that it wants Britain to talk


through Brussels. No, not at all. Talk through the French and


Italians, come on, wake up? Through the EU collective. I'm vice chair of


the EU delegation. I hear it from the American counterparts. They want


the EU to get itself together and not least on Ukraine. Why should our


sovereignty be at the behest of .. ? I want to hear from Syed calm


amplgts the British Parliament is the right place to decide our


foreign poll sinchts sometimes we work with our European partners


sometimes we work with our non-European partners. It is our


choice to pull sovereign trito work together. G, we move on to our foirt


area. We hear a lot in this country about MPs expenses. Snted the real


scan dalt MEPs gravy train. -- isn't the real scandal, the MEPs gravy


train? You all have your snouts The trough? I don't think so. There is


transpancy. The way we use our expenses is online and anyone can


ask to examine those. We have actually voted to reform MEPs'


allowances. We regularly vote but unfortunately the majority in


Parliament don't. Have you voted to cut them? Yes. By how much? About


5%. A 5% We hoped to have economies I never fly except across the


Atlantic. Difficult to do it any other way. I didn't swim.


But we voted for economy flutes We voted for European Parliament policy


of transparency which other groups haven't. UKIP don't turn up to vote.


They don't earn their salaries. Dhoent do anything. They should hand


their salaries and allowances back. You can't ause UKIP of being on the


gravy train and the other that we don't claim our attendance allowance


because our MEPs are not there. Your attendance allowance is if you are


there, you are saying we don't turn up You are in the building and claim


the allowances. You are not an MEP, UKIP are so ashamed of what their


MEPs have done in Brussels, they didn't field a sitting MEP for


today's debate. I think each party decides who it wishes to field. I


have the honour of being the UKIP representative. I would say by going


in the past few weeks, xeeming to me saying - we are sick of the others.


-- people saying to me. : We are quite excited. Can I ask Patrick


O'Flynn. He says he touched a chord and his party is strong in the polls


today, between 18% and 20%. Haven't you also struck a chord with hip


crasscy. Two of your MEPs were jailed for expenses and benefits'


fraud. Two more asked to pay back ?37,000 for using European funds.


Nigel Farage has boosted about getting ?2 million in expenses and


he went on to employ his wife as a secretarial allowance after telling


other members not to People who do wrong and break the law, go to ja. I


have no time. -- go to jail. People who spend money they are not


entitled to should pay it back and that's right. But what UKIP does and


the good UKIP MEPs do, is use the allowances they are given to pursue


the political agenda they put up when elected which is to get Britain


out of this superstate. Instead of using it for parliamentary work


Very interesting. Richard Howitt. We were the first British political


party to have independent audits of our MEPs' expenses, from 1990, way


before the expenses crisis blew up. The Maria Miller scandal has of


course hit David Cameron and the Conservative Party hard as it should


do. But you are right, even in my own region you have UKIP candidates


and councillors who have been charged with fraudulently filling


out election papers and other shot lifting. Another independent inquiry


found he made racist comments. We had a European candidate last week


in Hertfordshire who got a parking ticket from the police and called


the police fascists. These people aren't here.


I'll let you have a quick reply We can bring up parochial cases. Let


him answer. Not so long ago a Liberal Democrat councillor was sent


down for firebombing, I don't say they are a bunch of arsonists, but


now I think, Nick Clegg might have burnt some cactuses, once. I'm glad


you pronounced that word carefully. Syed Kemal, the EU's auditors, they


are strongly critical of the EU s financials saying "Errors permist in


all main spending areas", the financials are poorly managed. It is


a shambles And that's something that all parties agree on. As we agree on


expenses, the British parties are at the forefront of transpancy. Every


year when we vote for the discharge of the budget, the Conservatives


also vote for it but we don't get enough MEPs from other countries to


investigate in favour. The Liberal Democrats have put forward to make


each Finance Minister, George Osborne and his counterpart to sign


a declaration to say all EU money is properly spent in my country.


Funnily enough they don't want to do that but I look forward to you


confirming that George Osborne will sign it. All the time we hear it is


about the money we pay in, about ?150 per family per year. What about


the money that comes back? ?1. billion that comes to Britain's


regions because of being in Europe. I myself helped to negotiate a fund


to help Britain's food banks to ensure so. Poorest and most


destitute people... Isn't it our money that went there first. Can I


tell you the Conservative-led Government have blocked us from


claiming that money. If you want to have the clearest choice at these


European elections, it is between... Tell us why. It affects our rebate.


Tony Blair gave away our rebate He is quite right. Lib Dems fought to


make sure that we apply for money to help with flooding. That is what the


Tories were blocking. If you want the clearest example at the European


elections, the Conservative Party and MEPs blocked the cap on bankers


bonuses, and then blocked a Labour victory to get money for free


banks. We need to move on to the future. It is important and people


are watching. The EU's Justice Minister says that we need to build


a United States of Europe with the commission as its government. Is she


right? Not at all. But the future, if we take the next ten years,


thinks about climate change and the fact that we are not going to hit of


the two degrees target. Europe has led and needs to lead towards


getting a new sustainable world. It is the political will to use these


powers, so she is wrong. It is about the threats from abroad. Labour


reforms like getting a commissioner for growth and rebalancing the


budget, reforming the common agricultural policy, all of those


things will need to happen to make Europe more democratic and open. But


against the rise of Brazil and China... We do not need more


treaties and powers. We need more action with more Labour MEPs. Sarah


Ludford, you would sign up to that? No. Unless they do not think that


should concentrate on institutional matters. What we need to do is


concentrate on making Europe progrowth and competitive and create


more jobs in a competitive world. We need more trade deals to open up our


exports, we need to streamline the EU. We need less red tape and


Liberal Democrats have done a lot on that. We need better scrutiny of EU


legislation at West Munster because the national parties... More powers


or less for the EU government? In some areas, I would like to see it


slimmed down. Including, I am not sure whether the EU should be


funding food banks. I think that is a national responsibility. Dearie


me. The EU have to concentrate on the economy and climate change. This


is the coalition talking. If we want to fritter away political capital on


things which are interfering in national matters, then we do not


have the support to tackle those big challenges. Would you still want to


join the Euro one-day? Now is not a good idea. We wanted the Eurozone to


still be sound, which is why... Did not ask you that. Do you want to


join the Euro one-day? If it is a success and it did the economy. Now


is not the time but in principle, the idea of a single currency has


advantages. That was a yes. We are not ruling it out for ever but not


in the foreseeable future. It is not on the horizon. What would our


relationship be with Europe in the future if UKIP got its way and we


left? We would be trading partners with Europe and we would seek


partnership in specific serious. I'd tell you what, can I just say...


Would we be Norway? We would be stronger than Norway because we are


the biggest export market in the Eurozone. We can negotiate a bespoke


trading agreement reflecting our enormous importance. Not on


services, which make up 80% of the economy. We are the biggest export


market in the Eurozone. Our biggest exports are services and they would


have to agree to free trade and services. They still have not. Can I


read you something? Let me read you something. There would be a free


trade agreement in place the day after our exit. Germany would demand


no less. Who said that? Not somebody from UKIP, but Digby Jones. Mr


business. He is talking about goods, not services. Norway has that


and they have no say. You would have to accept the EU rules without any


say. No MEPs are commissioners. Let me give you another. Enough. One is


enough. Syed Kamall, is it not looking forward pretty much Mission:


Impossible for Mr Cameron to get anything like the repatriations of


powers that would satisfy your irreconcilables? My father was a bus


driver in the 50s and one of the reasons I am here today is because


he told me that you can achieve anything if you work hard. He said


to me, do not listen to the doubters. When people tell you that


something cannot be done, it is a sign of their limitations, not


yours. They said that we could not pull Britain out of the bailout


mechanism but we did it. He said we could not be to a -- veto European


treaty and we did that. They said we would never cut the budget and we


did that. The first ever. But overall, we are paying more into the


European budget. And they are not sticking to it. More, not less. They


say that we cannot achieve reform but we have achieved reform and we


are at the forefront of that. Science's father came to Britain


because Britain was open and looking outward. What the Conservatives now


have, with leaderless Cameron, is an inward looking attitude. They are


allowing the rise of UKIP. They are putting so much at risk. People


should vote Labour. We are going to have to stop now. No point talking


because we are about to finish. I think you all for a spirited debate.


I'm sure Nigel Fries and Mr Clegg will have learned a lot about how to


debate. -- Nigel Farage. It's just gone 3pm, and you're


watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who


leave us now for Sunday Politics Scotland. Coming up here in twenty


minutes, Scotland. Coming up here in twenty


Hello, I'm Lucie Fisher. Coling up on the Sunday Politics in the


south`west. The row about the cost of a new


nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.


And for the next 20 minutes, I'm joined by the Labour peer Ann


Mallalieu, and the Lib Dem LP Adrian Sanders. Welcome both of yot to the


programme. Let's start with the state of the


roads. This week it was revdaled the region's councils are shellhng out


nearly ?1 million a year in compensation to people injured


because of potholes. A BBC freedom of information request showdd that


Torbay had had to pay out ?400, 00 in the last four years. Adrhen, that


is unsustainable, isn't it? There is no real answer to this. Shotld it


have been 800,000, 100,000, it reflects injuries that people


suffered who, quite rightly, sued for compensation. Can counchls do


more to reduce their chances of being taken to court? Yes, they can,


if they have the resources. If they have the money. They have an amount


of money available for this, but it doesn't go anywhere near covering


the cost of filling on all the holes. The local government


authority says the 200 millhon offered is a drop in the ocdan


compared with costs which they say are ?10 billion. That is thdir


answer. And I do think we whll see a proper answer to this until we have


better times and there is more money available. What do you think, Ann


Mallalieu? Should more be done about this? In an ideal world but I agree


there is in the money to do it as one would like. What does strprise


me is the degree all lack of prioritisation. I can understand if


there is a problem, they should go down and deal with that immddiately,


but a number of our roads and motorways, used by hundreds of


thousands of people are disgraceful. They should be put right at the


earliest possible opportunity. Well, stay with us because we havd plenty


more to discuss. Labour announced this week ht would


bring back a minister for the south`west as part of plans to


devolve more power to the rdgions plans. Ed Miliband is promising more


jobs and better wages. But one of the region's business leaders is


warning the Labour plan could mean Bristol gets the lion's share of


future investment. Tamsin Mdlville reports.


Being a peninsula has always been a challenge when it comes to


attracting investment. But this winter's weather made the south`west


feel especially vulnerable. The recent floods and storms just show


how interconnected we are as a peninsula and how we must work


together better. And the big investments that we have sedn in the


recent years, like the Wave Hub or Eden, or the Combined Universities


in Cornwall, none of those would ever get started now under the local


enterprise partnership regile. One of the first things the coalition


did was scrap the big regional development agencies and replace


them with 39 local enterprise partnerships to be the drivdrs for


economic growth. Nigel Costley thinks the focus is now too narrow.


They need to work together. And pack much more of a punch in Whitehall,


and they need to involve more people. This month, LEPs unveiled


plans for a share of a ?2 bhllion pot of government money to help grow


economies. Cornwall's local enterprise partnership wants to


build on the county's natur`l assets like this to create jobs, ilprove


infrastructure, and encourage housing. Joe says he is one of the


lucky ones. Happy in one of around 15 jobs created at this news cycle


trail at Lanhydrock. There's a lot of people out there looking for


them, but there's not that luch opportunity, whether it's someone


like myself, who isn't really that educated, or whether it is someone


who's got a degree or whatever it is. Whatever category you w`nt to


put it in, there's not a lot out there. The LEP wants to cre`te


thousands more jobs. One pl`n is to link with other bike trails and make


nearby Bodmin Cornwall's cycling town. But it's not all about bikes.


There's also hopes for improving the A30 and key roads around major


towns. And investing in rail and bus project. Those involved inshst their


strategy is right. It's abott looking at working with the private


sector for higher value jobs. Because absolutely our prim`ry aim


that is shared by all partndrs is how we increase salary levels in


Cornwall. Labour was putting wages at the heart of its proposals to


devolve more power to the rdgions this week. I want to explain why the


cost of living crisis is such a huge challenge. I want to say whx it s


happening. I want to explain why this government's approach hs


inadequate. A Labour governlent would encourage plans that cross


local government boundaries and double the amount of cash h`nded


down from Whitehall. But business leaders in Cornwall are cautious


about any moves back towards anything like the old regional


development agencies, or [email protected] What I thought in the latter days of


SWRDA became lost was what were the battles and who were they most


fighting for? And what people in Cornwall don't want is for ht to


become Bristol`centric when it doesn't have much relevance to us.


And I believe the LEP has h`d more relevance. Labour has also said it


would reinstate a minister for the south`west as a voice to boost the


economy. But others say this is simply reinventing the wheel.


Ann Mallalieu, a minister from the south`west, it sounds good, but so


did localism. Can we expect to see any real change? We've got to


because people are thoroughly fed up with the whole world revolvhng


around London. And places ehther north or south`west feeling very


isolated and left out. I thhnk there is a pot of money there which could


be filtered down and a lot of it, a lot more should come down to the


south`west, and the pot, and this is in my view, is a massive mistake


that is about to be made with HS2. If you want to create local jobs and


pull things out of the centre, you want to give people in thosd regions


the money they know what nedds doing. Before we come back to that,


HS2, we have encouraging figures from the IMF this week. Britain s


economy is going to grow more than any other economy in the G7,


overshadowing Ed Miliband's point. I think it has. It has got to be


sustainable. We are by no mdans out of the woods so far. There `re some


very unpleasant rumblings coming out of the east. And I think we have to


look at what we do with the money we can generate now in the futtre. For


too long, decisions both governments have made, the last one and this


present one, they've made vdry short`term decisions resulthng from


pressure of immediate media interest. I think it is important


that both parties look at areas of the country which haven't h`d a fair


shake of the dice. And the south`west undoubtedly is rhght I


hope my party, the Labour P`rty will see that it may not have many


MPs down here, but it has a lot of people who are sympathetic to many


of the things they want to do. And we need some investment. Thd growth


figures do indeed look good but there is this big divide between


London and the regions. What is the government going to do about that? I


think the MEPs have only re`lly been in existence for four years. And the


Devon and Somerset one has only got its act together in the last two


years, because it was delaydd because Cornwall wanted to go it


alone. We have to give them time to prove themselves. In theory, the


idea you can bring together unions, business, at a more localisdd level


to set local priorities, is a good one. The fundamental issue hs the


have a system where people bid for money, which is what we do have


right now, or do you have the Ed right now, or do you have the Ed


Miliband one, where you havd the money but not necessarily to every


part. It is to sided by London, not by a bidding process. The south`west


TUC is saying that big investments would not have got off the ground,


so this system isn't working. Business leaders say that if there


is a pot, it might go to Brhstol. I think the point here is what Ed


Miliband is saying, which is he wants to give it to large areas and


cities. There are not a lot of cities in the south`west. Btt there


are a lot of cities in the North of England. I can't see that doing what


Ann Mallalieu wants to do which is rectify the fact that the south`west


has been missed out. Ed Milhband was saying that ?2 billion will not be


enough, how much would be enough? A bigger slice of the money that is


about to be wasted. And I go back to HS2. A bigger slice of that, spread


around the country so that jobs are created not just along the places


along the line, and we don't just create a funnel back to London,


which is what I think will happen. I entirely agree but the problem is we


do have a large number of L`bour MPs in the North of England who are all


in favour of this, and a large number of Tory MPs in the South and


East of England who are also in favour of this. It's trying to get


the voice of the local people through. East Anglia, north of


Scotland and the south`west. Looking at the figures for Torbay, xour


constituency has the same GDP per head as Poland. There are not enough


jobs and London has five tiles that GDP per head. Surely the government


should be doing something drastically more? A minister for the


south`west, someone who can bring money down. A minister might be very


helpful. But, then again, it depends whether they have any real


influence. We are doing quite well intensive getting more monex. There


is the broadband money, the bypass, and the money hasn't been spent


That was the same under the last government. It's only now that it is


being recognised in getting some funding. If you look at it, we are


London centric. The new buzzword, there is more distortion now than in


the past. And certainly since the beginning of the recession. That is


true. But we are in austere times, there's not enough money to go


around, and yet we're getting lots more money funnelling into South


Devon. ?101 million for the bypass. I will have to stop you there. We do


have to move on. We can comd back to it.


On Thursday, the Green Partx staged an anti`nuclear protest at Hinkley


Point in Somerset. The plans for a new power station there got


government approval last ye`r, but the building works are being held up


by concerns about how much taxpayers' money is going in to the


project. This week the European Commission began investigathng the


price deal between the government and EDF Energy. John Henderson


reports. Protesting against the power. Green


Party activists at Hinkley Point in Somerset. It is the site for a new


nuclear power station. Given approval last year, it is expected


to generate 7% of the country's electricity supplied by 2024. At ?16


billion it's costly and controversial. The UK government


guaranteed power prices frol the plant for 35 years. Prices that are


almost twice the current wholesale cost of electricity. This is an


inappropriate use of state `id. The government came to power saxing it


would only promote nuclear hf it could be done with no public


subsidy. And, yet, it is perfectly clear there is a massive public


subsidy going into new nucldar at Hinkley. The debate at Hinkley isn't


the only time the region has seen protests over nuclear power. People


in towns and villages have taken to the streets. In the early 80s,


protesters were out in forcd when the central electricity gendrating


board was looking for a possible nuclear power station in Cornwall.


In the end, the site wasn't viable. But the protests led to the


country's first commercial wind farm. They were going to put a


nuclear power station in Cornwall. My wife was very much against it


indeed. I always say you can't say you can't have something. You can


only say what you want instdad. So it was blowing an absolute gale at


the time. She said, can't you do it from wind? I said, I'll find out.


And I found out. The wind f`rm here has recently been upgraded to


produce power for 7,000 homds. Hinkley C will power nearly six


million homes. It would takd 35 wind farms like this to match the


power output of Hinkley C. But nuclear comes with risks. Chernobyl


and Fukushima are examples of the dangers. Despite this, some in


Cornwall say if it was a choice between wind and nuclear, it would


be the latter. One nuclear power station compared with the ntmber of


turbines going up across Cornwall is no comparison. When it comes to


nuclear policy, all three Westminster parties are in favour.


The Lib Dems signing up in ` dramatic U`turn last year.


Yesterday, I did say I changed my mind. I've been changing it over the


last few years primarily because of the threat of climate changd. Back


at Hinkley, with contracts `lready signed, the Greens may have to


resign themselves to a new reactor. But, for them, nuclear is still a


disaster waiting to happen. Joining us to discuss this, we have


Windy Miller from the Green Party. Welcome. Your party would lhke to


see an end to nuclear energx. Where is the 20% that nuclear energy


provides going to come from? Indeed, the main point is that nucldar power


is unnecessary, it is an economic and unsafe. So, for instancd, we


could save 35% of our energx use if we put measures in for energy


efficiency, and, yet, what we had last year was the Energy Secretary


at European level arguing against energy efficiency measures. Energy


efficiency measures like wh`t? Through installation, through mainly


also decentralise sources of power, so, we lose a massive amount through


the idea of a national power grid, whereas it has been shown in Germany


how many community energy sxstems can produce energy without losing it


through the transmission. And it also benefits the local comlunity.


Germany is an interesting example because they have invested, since


Fukushima, heavily in renew`bles, 25% now. But prices of electricity


have gone through the roof `nd manufacturers might leave and go to


Eastern Europe. They are looking at coal`fired power stations again


Indeed, you can say it will be a transition. The thing to be`r in


mind, we might have been lucky at Hinckley. We were not so lucky in


1957, the year I was born, or channel ball, or Fukushima. It is an


ongoing disaster there which is going to cost as much as thd total


cost of building or nuclear power stations to date. And they cannot


even get near the nuclear rdactor. I use still hopeful that Hinckley


although the deal has been signed, are you hopeful you can stop it I


think as the truth comes out about the terrible cost and burden that


nuclear power can give to a country, let alone causing birth defdcts and


stillbirths, as ensuring noble. . I am going to stop you. Adrian


Sanders, the Lib Dems have done a U`turn. They were in the sale


position as Wendy and the Green Party a year ago, and suddenly last


year, they changed their mind. Certainly, in coalition, we have


signed up to Hinckley. Personally, I am very much with Wendy on this


issue in that if Germany can phase out all its nuclear power stations


by 2022, I don't see any re`son why we can't. We can do far mord... I


think there is another side to this. We can do far more in terms of


recycling, far more in terms of hybrid energy. But your party has


changed its mind and has signed up. The Parliamentary party in coalition


hands. The party itself in terms of its policy`making has not changed


its mind. That is the worry. Are you worried you will lose votes because


of this? In coalition, you have to find a compromise to get sole of


your policies through, and sometimes you have to play loot some of your


policies as well. People will judge the balance as to how well we have


done. Ann Mallalieu, you ard signed up to nuclear with Labour, how does


this sit with Ed Miliband's promise with freezing prices for fudl and


energy? This will be very expensive and we've promised to doubld the


price per unit so it is profitable for EDF. I've got concerns `bout the


price, first of all. I think everybody has. I've got concerns


about safety, which have bedn expressed already, but I want the


lights to stay on. And if wd do not have a mix of ways of providing us


with the end`mac `` with thd enormous amount of energy wd need,


those lights will not stay on and some of us can remember when we have


a three day week, and spells when the electricity was cut. Th`t is


nothing compared to what wotld happen if we didn't go ahead now and


produced truly efficient me`ns of production for the future. We have


been delaying for far too long. Labour was responsible for that Of


course it was. I come on and say my party has made mistakes every time!


My party is quite different than the party members and individual MPs and


those in government. Yukon to get away from the fact that the Lib Dems


in coalition have jettisoned quite a number of what seemed to me to be


firm tenets of their belief. We are 57 MPs in coalition with 300


Tories. That is what happens. You are quite happy to take the jobs,


yet you're not happy with the policies. We have improved hncome


tax, we have managed to help lower paid people, we have expanddd..


Just to jump in, the coalithon agreement gave your party and opt


out. You didn't have to takd it It AV didn't have to join at all. It is


a scare tactic to say keep the lights on. It really is. We can do


wave power, hydroelectric, solar, wind. Why didn't you take the opt


out? You would have to ask Dd Miliband. He worked with his Tory


colleagues who are less keen on green taxes. So Ed Davey is


responsible? At the end of the day, he will take the rap.


Now our regular round`up of the political week in 60 seconds.


Crime figures show domestic violence has risen by almost 20% in Devon and


Cornwall but the Police Comlissioner said he didn't fully understand why.


Neither my office, nor the police, nor Her Majesty's Inspector of


Constabulary, do at the momdnt understand the increase in rapes and


sexual crimes. Residents at Feniton claimed a


victory for people power as plans for more than 200 new homes were


turned down by a planning inspector. The fight against the closure of


Great Torrington Hospital continued. A parish poll saw over 1,000 people


voting to reopen it. The 24/7 care you get in our cottage hosphtal


can't be replicated anywherd else. Exeter's new incinerator took in its


first rubbish. And graffiti legalised in West Dorset. It's


endorsed. It's legal. And it's backed by council members.


So, let's look at housing. Ht is incredible, isn't it? The t`lk for


more housing, and developments like that have still been turned down by


the planning expect it. I think people want to see thriving


communities, and they realise they need more houses. Equally, they


don't want to see places sw`mped and consumed, and that seemed to me to


be a sensible solution by the planning inspector. I hope there


will be more developer 's allowed, developer 's that do not sw`mp


towns. We get too hung up on a numbers game on the number of


houses. We ought to be talkhng about the type of housing that medts local


need. You might be able to do that with fewer houses being built than


sometimes imposing it. That'll have to be topic of discussion.


That's the Sunday Politics hn risk. We have run out of time. --


particular candidates. Back to you, Andrew.


The sun's out, Ed Balls has run the London Marathon, and MPs leave


Westminster for their Easter break. Let's discuss what's coming up in


the Week Ahead. We will get more of what we have


just seen. Let's look back on the debate. What did we learn from the


argument is? That it is going to bore and irritate whole lot of


people, this election campaign. Four parties shouting at each other about


things that most people do not know much about. They know very little


about how the European Parliament works, what an MEP is supposed to


do. A lot of heat and not a lot of light. I've updated well, all of


them, but the net effect is not going to encourage people to go out


and vote and not many do. One thing that struck me was that on Europe,


the Labour and Lib Dem positions are not that far apart. They are pretty


much the same. And yet the knocks lots of each other. I suppose they


feel that they had to do that because that is the format. I'd


agree with Polly. Their word UKIP and the Tories to attack two we try


to make it exciting, and we know the issues are important. But people out


there have not heard of these individuals. It is not very


exciting. That is worrying because these are huge national questions


for us. We need to find a way of making it more fun. People may not


know these MEPs, they may not know the detail of the debate, but it is


an issue on which people have strong opinions. It is a visceral thing for


many people. Especially on the immigration issue. The debate took


off and became more vociferous at that point. To a large extent, you


wonder whether not only this European election but the eventual


referendum will be a referendum on the issue of immigration and free


movement. If we did not learn much from the argument, the thing we did


learn is that the structure of these televised debate influences the


outcome. One of the reasons that Nigel Farage did well in the debate


is that in a two-man debate, each man has as good a chance as the


other. If it is four people, one man can be ganged up on. Patrick O'Flynn


did well for a man who is not an elected politician yet. At times, 40


came under attack and did not hold the line as well as you would


expect. Does that create a perverse incentive for the main parties to


agree to a four way debate before the general election? I do not think


the David Cameron has nearly as much to worry about from a televised


debate in the run-up to the elections than his spin doctors


believe. When you put him up against Ed Miliband, and we have not


actually seen Ed Miliband in that format, I think he will come off all


right. This is an election which the polls would have us believe that the


battle for first place is between UKIP and labour. It certainly is.


Obviously, it is neck and neck and we will not know until we are


closer. And it matters a lot to both of them. If Mr Miliband does not


come first, that is not good news for the main opposition at this


stage. Except to some extent all of the people will put it to one side


and say that this is a bizarre election. A plague on both your


houses, let's vote UKIP. It is not clear how much that translates into


the next election. It is not too disastrous for Labour. It would be


better if they came first. If Mr Miliband comes first, not a problem,


but it becomes second and UKIP soars away, what are the consequences I


think there is a widespread expectation already at Westminster


that UKIP is very likely to come first. If Ed Miliband fails to come


first, there will not be a great deal of shock in the West Mr


village. Else think what is remarkable about Ed Miliband is that


despite consistently poor personal leadership approval ratings, the


overall Labour poll is consistently very high. We have seen that budget


blip, it seems to have taken us back to where we were before. Leadership


is not everything. Mrs Thatcher was miles behind James Callaghan but in


the end, it was the party politics that mattered more. If Mr Cameron


comes third and the Tories come third, maybe a poor third, is it


headless chicken time on the Tory backbenchers? It has often been said


that the Tory Party has two modes, complacency and panic. You will see


them shift into panic mode. By June, I think. Many of the stories in the


sun will be about David Cameron s personal leadership and his grip on


the party. There will be pressure on conference by the time that comes


around. It is a natural consequence of being the incumbent party. The


Lib Dems are 7% in two of the polls today. It was widely thought that in


the first and second debates, Nigel Farage won both. In retrospect, was


the challenge strategy a disaster for Mr Clegg? I do not think it was


because he had nothing to lose. But he is lower in the polls than when


he started. He has not lost a great deal. The polls were quite often


that low. I think it was a good thing to do. It raised his profile.


It made him the leading party in. That may be a difficult place to


be. That is how you end up with 7% in the polls. The reason he is


fighting with Labour is that he knows very well that all he has to


do is to get his votes back that have gone to Labour and labour have


to fight hard to make sure that they do not go back. Every party looks to


where it is going to get it support. If it is a wipe-out for the


Lib Dems, and they lose all their MEPs, not saying that is going to


happen but you could not rule it out for, are we back in Nick Clegg


leadership crisis territory? One of the astonishing things about this


Parliament is the relative absence of leadership speculation about Nick


Clegg will stop at the first couple of years, his position seems


tricky, but maybe that is because Chris Hughton is gone and he was the


only plausible candidate. This cable is not getting any younger, to put


it delicately. That was not delegate at all! And we have reached a


desperate stage where Danny Alexander is talked about as a


candidate. That was not delegate either! Maybe he is holding onto


power the lack of alternatives. If they ended up with no MEPs at all,


and a less than double digits score... With Danny Alexander, it is


clear that Scotland, one way or another, will be moving further


away. You could not have the leader of a national party be a Scot. But


he does not have the following in the party. I'm glad you're liberal


attitudes to immigration extends to me. I would not have been here for


43 years. There will be leadership talk after that holes. It has been


bubbling in the background, but you have to talk to the grass roots


activists. -- after the polls. The grass roots activists are


despairing. If things are bad, they lose their network of activists who


they need to fight the next election. I think you mean, not that


you could have a Scot, but that it would be more difficult to have a


Scot from a Scottish constituency. Absolutely. I think a Scottish


constituency, so many things will be different. Or to hold the great


offices of state. Let's come onto the Crown Prosecution Service is. It


is an English institution. Where does the CPS and after losing yet


another high-profile case come this time Nigel Evans? They had nine


counts against him and they did not win on one. It is obviously very


embarrassing. They will have a bit of explain to do but I guess the


threshold for bringing these cases is high. There has to be considered


at least a 50-50 chance of actually winning the case. We do not know


what went on behind the scenes when they weighed up whether to bring the


case. Nigel Evans makes an interesting point about whether it


is legitimate to bundle together a number of stand-alone relatively


weak accusations, and when you put them together to militantly, the CPS


uses that to make a case. Is that a legitimate thing to do? He was a


high-profile figure, not just because he was a Tory MP. He was the


deputy speaker of the House. And yet the CPS are certainly the police, to


begin with they did not have that many people to testify against him.


And then they trawled for more. You wonder if they would have done that


if it was not for the fact that he was a public figure. The trouble is,


they are dammed if they do and dammed if they do not. Particularly


with politicians and the reputation they have these days, if there is


any suggestion that they let somebody off because they are a


high-profile politician, and they are saying that about Cyril Smith,


that is the accusation. A strange story. Most unlikely and very


bizarre. But that is the accusation. If there is any with of that, I can


see why the CPS says, we better let the courts try this one. Also, they


are in trouble overrated cases because their success rate on


bringing people to court for rape is so thin. When it looked as if his


accusers were not really accusing him, it looks quite weak. You cannot


help but feeling that they are falling over backwards now in


high-profile cases because of their abject and total failure over Jimmy


Savile. I think this is exactly the kind of case that happens when you


are trying to make a point or redeem a reputation or change a culture.


All of these big things. As opposed to what criminal justice is supposed


to be about, which is specific crimes and specific evidence


matching those crimes. The CPS has no copper a fleet joined in this


list of public and situations that has taken a fall over the past five


or six years. We have had Parliament, the newspapers, the


police will stop I think this is as bad a humiliation as any of those


because it is Innocent people suffering. You are the most recent,


being a lobby correspondent in Westminster, and we now see on


Channel 4 News that basically, Westminster is twinned with Sodom


and Gomorrah. Yes. I know. Is this true? It is all rather the red. I do


not move in those circles. And you were in the lobby at one stage? Not


that long ago. Is it right. Is it right to be twinned with Sodom and


Gomorrah? I'll ask him for his opinion. Being technically a member


of the lobby, I can observe some of this stuff. And what surprises me is


that journalists, when the complain about Sodom and Gomorrah, write


themselves out of it. It is as if it is just MPs. We are unalloyed and


unvarnished. Actually, the fact is it has always been a bit like Sodom


and tomorrow. Of course it has. Think about how we have had wave


after wave of stories and scandals. But less of it recently. It was I


think that attitudes have slightly changed. I'll also think that if you


get 650 people in any organisation and you put that much scrutiny on


them, you will find an awful lot going on in most people's officers


of a scurrilous nature. Even in the BBC


In 2013, the public voted for a portrait of


At times he's interesting, at times he's very funny,


My life is a very happy life and I'm a very happy person.


Will you feel nervous when this is unveiled?


I suppose being the centre of attention but for ever.


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