28/09/2014 Sunday Politics South West


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Morning folks and welcome to The Sunday Politics,


live from the Conservative Conference in Birmingham.


There will be one less Conservati6e MP here after Mark Reckles3 ddfected


There will be one less Conservati6e MP here after Mark eckles3 ddfected


He joins us live from his constituency, w`ere he h!s


It has not been the best of start3 for the Prime Minister, as he


arrives in Birmingham for the last Tory conference before the election.


On top of the Reckless defection, a junior Tory minister has reqigned


RAF jets have carried out their first mission over Iraq


And in the South West: As Tory defections to UKIP `gain


dominate the headlines, we talk to the former UKIP candidate


from Cornwall who's now a Tory


In London, how the richest 1% are pulling further away, and why those


priced out are choosing to move away.


And joining me, three of the country's most loyal journalists,


who sadly have yet to resign or defect to our inferior rivals.


Nick Watt, Polly Toynbee and Janan Ganesh.


And, of course, they'll be tweeting throughout the programme.


And you too can get involved by using the hashtag #BBCSP.


At the current rate of Tory resignations,


Mr Cameron could be speaking to an empty hall when he makes his keynote


address to the Tory conference here in Birmingham tomorrow.


It's been a classic car crash of a start to the conference, with a UKIP


defection, a minister shamed into resignation by a sex scandal and


Ed Miliband's memory lapses now look like a little local difficulty.


Here's what the Prime Minister had to say


These things are frustrating and frankly counter-productive and


rather senseless. If you want to have a European referendum, if you


want to get the deficit down, if you want to build a stronger Britain


that we can be proud of, there is only one option, which is to have a


Conservative government after the next election.


And Mark Reckless joins me now from Rochester.


Welcome to the programme. Why did you lie to all your Conservative


colleagues and mislead those who elected you? Well, I am keeping


faith with my constituents and keeping my promises to them. You


heard the Prime Minister saying that the Conservative led government was


dealing with the deficit and cutting immigration. The reality is, we have


increased the national debt by more in five years than even Labour


managed in 13, and immigration is back up to the levels we saw under


Labour. I believe in the promises I made in 2010, and I want to keep my


words to my electorate, not least to deal with the deficit, cut


immigration, reform the political system, to localise powers back to


the community, particularly over house-building. The government has


broken its word on all those things are. I want to keep my word to my


voters here, and that is why I have done what I have done, by moving to


UKIP. You have not kept your words to your Conservative constituency


chairman. You assured him 48 hours ago that you would not defect, and


you left his voice mail on the Conservative Party chairman's office


telephone, missing to come to Birmingham to campaign for the


Tories. This is your voice mail .. I have just picked up your e-mail ..


So, Friday night, telling Grant Shapps you are coming to Birmingham


to campaign for the Tories. The next day, you are joining UKIP. Why did


you are a? I sounded a bit more hesitant on that call than I usually


do, and I am not sure if that was the full conversation. But you


cannot discuss these things in advance, you have to make a


decision. I have decided the future of this country is better served by


UKIP then it is by the Conservative Party under David Cameron. I made a


lot of promises to my constituents, and I want to keep those promises.


That is why I am moving to UKIP so I can deliver the change this


country really needs. In May of this year, you said that Nigel Farage,


quote, poses the most serious threat to a Tory victory at the election.


So, you agree, voting UKIP means a Labour government? I think voting


UKIP means getting UKIP. While in the past a disproportionate number


of UKIP people were ex-Conservatives, now, they are


winning a lot more people, from all parties. People are so disillusioned


with the political class in Westminster, that they have not


voted often for a generation. Those are the people Nigel Farage is


inspiring, and frankly, he has also inspired me. What he has done in the


last 20 years, building his party, getting people from all walks of


life, sending up for ordinary people, I think deserves support.


That is a key reason why I am moving. UKIP are now the agents of


change. You said it poses them a serious threat to a Tory victory? My


ambition is not a Tory victory. We made all of these promises in 2 10


as Conservatives, and they have been broken. We now hear from David


Cameron about English votes for English laws, supported by Nick


Clegg as well, but that is what we said in our manifesto in 2010, and


we have done absolutely nothing about it. It is not credible now to


pretend that you are going to do those things. They have omitted to


give every Scot ?1600 per year in definitely. If you want to stand up


for the English taxpayer, and really tackle the debt, then UKIP are the


party who will do that. But there is nothing principled about this, this


is just an attempt to save your skin. You said UKIP stopped you


winning in 2005 - UKIP did not stand in 2010, and you won. You are


frightened that UKIP would beat you in the next election, this is to


save your skin to me you think I am doing this because I am frightened,


you think this is the easy option, to abandon my position in


Parliament, but my principles on the line? On the contrary, you look at


MPs who have moved party before almost none of them have given their


voters to chance to have a say on what they have done. I am asking


permission from my voters, and I am moving to UKIP because I believe


many of the people in my constituency have been let down by a


Conservative led government, and that what UKIP is saying appeals to


decent, hard-working people, who want to see real change in our


country. If they do not agree, then they can vote in a by-election and


have their say on who they want to be their MP. I am being open and


honest, giving people a say. I am trying to do the right thing by my


constituents, and whatever the risk is to me personally, I think it is


the right thing to do. It is what MPs should be in politics to try and


do for the people they represent. Your defection, coming after Douglas


Carswell's, confirms the claim that UKIP is largely a depository for


disaffected right-wing Tories like yourself, isn't it? On the contrary,


the number of people I met in Doncaster yesterday was


extraordinary. When I first went to Conservative conferences 20 years


ago, there was some enthusiasm for politics, I remember Norman Tebbit


speaking against Maastricht, people fought they could change things


there was real politics. But I do not think you will see that at


Birmingham this week, it is PR people, lobbyists, corporate, few


ordinary members of. At Ancaster, people had saved up for months just


to get the rail ticket to Doncaster. People who believe in UKIP, who


believe in Nigel Farage, who believe in the team, as agents of change,


who can actually deal with a political class at Westminster which


has let able down. We want proper reform to the political system,


which David Cameron promises but does not deliver. Final question -


after the next election, the Prime Minister is going to be either David


Cameron or Ed Miliband, that is the choice, one or the other - who would


you prefer? Well, what we would prefer is to get the most UKIP


policies implemented. We want a first rate we want to deal with


immigration. I asked about who you wanted to be Prime Minister. We will


look at the circumstances. We need as many UKIP MPs as possible, to


restore trust in politics. If people vote UKIP, they will get UKIP. How


serious is this? I think it is very serious. It is the old Tory disease,


destroyed John Major, and it has been bubbling away again. It is


beginning to feel like the worst days of Labour in the early nineteen


eighties. It matters, because people care passionately. It is nothing


like Labour in the early 1980s, it is bad, but it is nothing like that.


There are these very strong strands. People like David Davis


writing a large piece in the Daily Mail attacking the leader on the


first day of the conference. That is the kind of thing that Labour used


to do. That is what David Davis does all the time! But this is authentic


in the sense that there is a real, genuine dispute about Europe. Some


of us were not around in the 19 0s, but I imagine it is pretty bad.


There is the short-term problem of the by-election they might lose the


media problem of the general election which they cannot win if


UKIP remain anywhere near their current level of support. But in


many ways the longer term question is the most pressing, which is, does


it make sense for the Conservative Party to remain one party, or would


it not be better for the hard-core of 20-30 intransigent Eurosceptics


to essentially join UKIP or form their own party? At least the


Conservatives would become more internally manageable. And probably


lose the next election. Probably, yes. That is what you are advising


them? If the reward is to have a coherent party in 15 years' time. It


is just as well you are a columnist, not a party strategist. I


was an anorak in the 1980s, who watched the Labour conference on the


TV. Were you wearing your anorak? Of course I was, that is how sad I am.


But once again the crisis from UKIP has forced the Prime Minister to


step in an even more Eurosceptic direction. Said on television what


he was trying not to say, which is that if he does not get his way in


the European negotiations, he will recommend to the British people that


we should go. He began by saying, as I have always said, and when they


say that, you know they are saying something new. He basically said,


Britain should not stay if it is not in Britain's interests. I think this


is big stakes for both the Tories and four UKIP. The Tories are able


to write off Clacton. Rochester is number 271 on the UKIP friendly


list. If the Tories win it, big moment for them. If UKIP lose it,


this strategy of various will be facing a bit of a setback.


To what extent are Mark Reckless's views shared by Conservative


The Sunday Politics commissioned an exclusive poll of Conservative


Pollsters ComRes spoke to over ,000 councillors -


that's almost an eighth of their council base - and Eleanor Garnier


There is not a single party conference at the seaside this year,


and Sunday Politics could not get through them all without a trip to


the coast. So here we are on the shore in Sussex. There are plenty of


Conservative councillors here, and Tory MPs as well, but one challenge


they all face is UKIP, who have got their sights on coastal towns.


Places like Worthing East and surer and, with high numbers of


pensioners, providing rich pickings for UKIP. In West Sussex, the Tories


run the county council, but UKIP are the official opposition, with ten


councillors. We cannot lose any more ground to UKIP. If we lose any more


ground, if you look at the way it has swung from us to them, it is


getting near to being the middle point, where we might start losing


seats which we have always regarded as safe seats. So, it has got to be


stemmed, it cannot go any further. Our exclusive survey looked at the


policy areas where the Conservatives are vulnerable to UKIP. If an EU


Referendum Bill is called tomorrow, 45% say they would vote to leave,


39% would stay in. Asked about immigration...


It was those issues, Europe and immigration, that Mark Reckless said


were the head of his decision. I promised to cut immigration while


treating people fairly and humanely. I cannot keep that promise as a


Conservative, I can keep it as UKIP. When asked if Conservative


councillors would like an electoral pact with UKIP in the run-up to the


general election, one third said they support the idea. 63% are


opposed and 7% don't know. Conservative councillors who left


the party to join UKIP say it wasn't easy. I left because basically the


Conservatives left me. I saw it as a difficult decision to change, but


what I was seeing with UKIP was freed. Me being able to speak for my


residents. Back to our survey and on climate change 49% said it was


happening, but that humans are not to blame. Our survey showed that 60%


think David Cameron was wrong to pursue legalising gay marriage, with


31% saying it was the right thing to do and 9% not sure. In Worthing


councillors said gay marriage was divisive. That has really been an


issue here, it might have damaged the party slightly, and I think in a


way by setting a rule like that it is a very religious thing and it is


almost trying to play God to make that decision. But some of the


party's toughest decisions have been over the economy. 56% in our survey


thought the spending cuts the Government has so far announced have


not gone far enough. 6% were not sure. They are prepared for


difficult decisions, but local activists say the party's voice must


be clearer. I think the message has to be more forceful, it has to be


specially targeted to the ex-Conservative voters who now vote


UKIP, especially in this area, the vast majority of UKIP people are


disillusioned Conservatives. The message has to be loud and strong,


come back and we are the party to give you what you want. With just


eight months until the general election, the pressure is on and


local Conservatives are searching for clues to help their party stem


the flow of defections. Joining me now is William Hague, the former


Foreign Secretary and the Leader of the House of Commons.


Tories like Mark Reckless are defecting to UKIP because they don't


trust the party leadership to deliver on Europe, do they? They


believe people like you and David Cameron will campaign to stay in and


they are right. They said before they defected that people should


vote Conservative to get a referendum on Europe, and that is


right of course. The only way to get a referendum is to do that and this


is the point, the people should decide. However a future government


decides it will campaign, it should be the people of the country who


decide. Can you say to our viewers this morning that is not enough


powers are repatriated back to Britain, you would want to come


out, can you say that? Our objective is to get those powers and stay in.


The answer to the question is I won't be deciding, David Cameron


won't be deciding, you the voters will be deciding. But you have to


give us your view. If you don't get enough powers back, would you vote


to come out and recommended? Our objective is to get those powers and


be able to stay in. You just get endless speculation years in


advance. I will decide at the time how I will vote. Surely that is the


rational position for everyone to take but I want a referendum to take


place. I understand that. As you pointed out to Mark Reckless just


now, unless there is a Conservative government, people won't have that


choice. Under a Labour government they will not get a choice at all.


Our survey of Tory councillors shows that almost 50% would vote to leave


the EU in a referendum. I think it showed, wasn't it 45, and 39%, but


again, I'm pretty sure they will decide at the time. They will want


to see what a future government achieves in a renegotiation before


they decide what to vote in a referendum. Unless David Cameron is


Prime Minister and there is a Conservative government, there will


not be a renegotiation. That is a point you have made four times. I


think they have got it. Your Cabinet colleague says we should not be


scared of quitting the EU, but you went native in the Foreign Office,


didn't you? You used to be a Eurosceptic, you are now the Foreign


Office line man. No, I don't think so! We brought back the first


reduced European budget ever in history. Even Margaret Thatcher ..


Leaving the EU scares you, doesn't it? Not much scares me after 26


years in politics but we want to do the best thing for the country.


Where we scared when we got us out of liability for Eurozone bailouts?


We were not scared of anybody. People said we couldn't achieve


things but we negotiated these things. We can do that with a wider


negotiation in Europe. Mr Reckless says he cannot keep the Conservative


promise to tackle immigration. You have failed to keep your promise to


keep net immigration down. You promised to cut it below 100,00 ,


you failed. It is over 200,000 people. We have cut it from 250 000


in 2005, the last figures were 240,000. I think we can file that


under F four failed. It includes students, we want them in the


country. You knew that when you made the promise. But has it come down?


Yes, it has. Have we stopped the promise. But has it come down?


coming here because of our benefit system? Yes. None of that happened


under Labour. If Mark Reckless had his way, it would be more likely we


would have a Labour government. They have an open door policy on


immigration. You are not just losing MPs to UKIP, you are losing voters.


Polling by Michael Ashcroft shows that 20% of people who voted Tory in


2010 have abandoned youth and three quarters of them are voting UKIP


now. We will see in the general election. Politics is very fluid in


this country and we shouldn't deny that in any way but UKIP thought


they were going to win the by-election in Newark, we had a


thumping Conservative victory, and I think opinion polls are snapshots of


opinion now. They are not forecast of the general election and we will


be doing everything we can to get our message across. Today we are


announcing 3 million more apprenticeships in the next


Parliament. I think this is what people will be voting on, rather


than who has defected. Your activist base once parked with UKIP. Our


survey shows a third of Tory councillors would like a formal pact


with UKIP. Why not? It shows two thirds are against it. No, it shows


one third want it. I read the figures, it showed 67% don't want


it. We are not going to make a pact with other parties, and they don't


work in the British electoral system even if they were desirable. You are


sharing the Cabinet committee on English votes for English laws. Is


further devolution for Scotland conditional on progress towards


English devolution? No, the commitment to Scotland is


unconditional. We will meet the commitments to Scotland but we


believe, we the Conservatives believe, that in tandem with that we


have to resolve these questions about fairness to the rest of the UK


as well. That will depend on other parties or the general election


result. Are you committed to the Gordon Brown timetable? Yes,


absolutely. So you are committed to producing draft legislation by Burns


night, that is at the end of January. Will you produce proposals


for English votes on English laws by then? We will, but whether they are


agreed across the parties will depend on the other parties. There


was no sign that they were agreeable at the Labour conference. We will


produce our ideas on the same timetable as the timetable for


Scottish devolution. You will therefore bring forward proposals


for English votes for English laws by the end of January? Yes. And will


you attempt to get them on the statute book before the election?


The commitment in Scotland is to legislate after the election. You


will publish a bill beforehand? We will publish proposals beforehand. I


don't exclude doing something before the election, but the Scottish


timetable is to legislate for the further devolution after the general


election, whoever wins the election. Have you given thought as to what


English votes for English laws would mean? I have thought a lot of it


over 15 years. I am not going to prejudge what the outcome will be,


but it does mean in essence that when decisions are taken, decisions


that only affect England or only England and Wales, then only the MPs


from England and Wales should be making those decisions. You can


achieve that in many different ways. Is that it for English


devolution, is that what it amounts to? That is devolution to England if


you like, but within England there is a lot of other devolution going


on and we might well want to extend that further. We have given more


freedom to local authorities, there is a lot of scope to do more of


that, but that in itself is not the answer to the problem of what


happens at Westminster. You haven't just given Scotland more devolution


or planned to do it, you have also enshrined the Barnett formula and


that seems to be in perpetuity. It is widely regarded as being unfair


to Wales and many of the poorer English regions. Why do you


perpetuate it? It will become less relevant overtime if more


tax-raising powers... It goes all the way back to the 1970s, we made a


commitment on that, we will keep our commitments to Scotland as more --


but as more tax-raising powers devolved, the Barnett formula is


less significant. If you transfer ?5 billion of tax-raising powers to


Scotland, 5 billion comes off the Barnett formula? It will be a lot


more complicated than that, but yes, as their own decisions about


taxation are made, the grand from Westminster will go down. And you


can guarantee that if there is a majority Conservative government,


there will be English votes for English laws after the election


Yes, I stress again that there are different ways of doing it but if


there is no cross-party agreement on that, the Conservatives will produce


our proposals and campaign for them in the general election. Don't go


away because I want to move on to some other matters.


Now to the fight against so-called Islamic State terrorists.


Yesterday, RAF Tornado jets carried out their first flights over Iraq


since MPs gave their approval for air-strikes against the militants.


When you face a situation with psychobabble -- psychopathic killers


who have already brutally beheaded one of our own citizens, who have


already launched and tried to execute plots in our own country to


maim innocent people, we have a choice - we can either stand back


from this and say it is too difficult, let's let someone else


try to keep our country safe, or we take the correct decision to have a


full, comprehensive strategy but let's be prepared to play our role


to make sure these people cannot do not trust harm.


And William Hague is still with me - until July he was, of course,


Why have only six Tornado jets being mobilised? Do not assume that is all


that will be taking part in this operation. That is all that has been


announced and I do not think we should speculate. Even the Danes are


sending more fighter jets. There is no restriction in the House of


Commons resolution passed on Friday on what we can do. So why so


little? Do not underestimate what our Tornados can do. They have some


unique capabilities, capabilities which have been specifically asked


for by our allies. When you are on the wrong end of six Tornados, it


will not feel like a small effort. But there will be other things which


can add to that effort. We are joining in a month after the


operation started, we are late, we are behind America, France,


Australia, Jordan, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, one hand tied behind our


backs cause of the rule about not attacking Syria - why is the British


government leading from behind? First of all, we are a democratic


country, and you know all about Parliamentary approval. You could


have recalled parliament. We have done that, with a political


consensus. Other European countries also took the decision on Friday to


send their military assets. Our allies are absolutely content with


that, and Britain will play an important role, along with many


other nations, including Arab nations. General Sir David Richards


Sheriff, who just steps down as the Nato Deputy Supreme Commander, he


condemns the spineless lack of leadership and the absence of any


credible strategy. It is embarrassing,isn't it? Of course,


they turn into armchair generals. We are playing an important role, we


are a democratic country. are playing an important role, we


are a democratic countpy. Youp viewers will remember, we (ad a vote


last year on military action hn Syria and we were defeated in t`e


House of Commons, a bad mo-ent for our foreign policy. We have taken


care to bring this forward our foreign policy. We have taken


care to `ring this forward whdn our foreign policy. We have taken


care to bring this forward when we can win a vote in the House of


can win a vote in t(e House of Commons, and that is how we wild


proceed. The air Chief Commons, and that is how we wild


proceed. The aip Chief Mar3hal Commons, and that is how we wild


proceed. The air Chief Mar3hal until proceed. The aip Chief Mar3hal until


recently in chapge of the AF, `e says, it makes no sense to bomb Iraq


but not says, it makes no sense to bomb Iraq


bqt not Syria. says, it makes no sense to bomb Iraq


but not Syria. He c!llq the ddcasion but not Syria. He c!lls the ddcasion


ludicrous. Of course, it D ES make sense to bomb Ipaq, beaause the


Iraqi government has aqked fop sense to bomb Ipaq, beaause the


Iraqi government `as aqked fop gur Iraqi government has aqked fop gur


assistance. This came up a lot an the debate on Fpiday, and the Pri-e


Minister explained, similar to wh!t I have just been saying, t(at t`ere


is not a political conqens5s `bgut is not a political conqens5s `bout


Syria in the House of Aommons. When Syria in the House of Aommons. Ghen


we did it last year, we were defeated, and it


we did it last year, we were dafeated, and it was


we did it last year, we were defeated, and it was described by


all commentators as a huge blow to the government and to our foreign


policy. So, we will bring forward proposals when there iq


policy. So, we will bring forward proposals when there is a


policy. So, we will bring forward proposals when there iq a -ajorat9


in this country to do qo i. the House of Commons. Professor Mic`ael


Clarke, one of the world top dxperts on military strategy and history, he


says there are very few am0ortaft on military strategy and history, he


says there are very few im0ortaft IS targets in northern Iraq, that they


are all in Syria, and we are limiting ourselves to the 0erip`ery


of the campaign. First of !ll, bu3t bacause you


of the campaign. First of !ll, bu3t because you are not doing evepything


does not mean you should not do something. Secondly, the U.ited


States something. Secondly, the U.ited


Spates and something. Secondly, the U.ited


States and other something. Secondly, the U.ited


Spates and other countpies something. Secondly, the U.ited


States and other countpies are Spates and other countpies are


engaged in the action agai.st targets in Syria. This is


engaged in the action agai.st targets in Syria. T(is is !


targets in Syria. This is ! coalition effort, with peo0le doi.g


different things. Thirdly, if we were to put their proposal to t`e


House of Commons tomorpow, and at was defeated, we would not have


achieved a great deal. You do not achieved a great de!l. You do not


know it would have "een defeated. The Labour Party has given no


indication they would have supported indication they would have suppgrted


that. So, you ape hostage to the Labour Party? We have to win `


damocratic Labour Party? We have to win `


democratic vote in Labour Party? We have to win `


damocratic vote in the Labour Party? We have to win `


democratic vote in the Hou3e of democratic vote in the House of


Commons, and the Laboup @arty is ! very large part of the Hou3e of


Commons. You are as+ing very large part of the Hou3e of


Commons. You are asking us to pur3ue Commons. You are as+ing us to pur3ue


a policy which at the mome.t aoul$ be defeated


a policy which at the mome.t aoul$ ba defeated in Parliament.


a policy which at the mome.t aoul$ be defeated in Parliament. Is it


a policy which at the mome.t aoul$ ba defeated in Parliament. Is it .ot


embarrassing to be on the wrong side of so many of these military


experts? Why should we tru3t the judgment of here today,


experts? Why should we tru3t the judgment of here to$ay, go.e


tomorrow, politicians? We (avd the military experts with us now. We


have a national security counaid, we do not have sofa government, tndi+e


the last government. The n!tional security council is chaire$ bx the


Prime Minister. Alongside the C`ief of Defence Staff and


Prime Minister. Alongside the C`ief of Defence Staff an$ the headq gf


of Defence Staff an$ the headq of the intelligence agencies. And we


take decisions togethep with the people who have the


take decisions togethep with the paople who have the inform!tion


now. So, you will know w`at Bpiti3h and American intelligence 3ayq about


Syria. The Prime Minister (as sai$ there is a danger that t`e


there is a danger t(at t`e British-born jihadists wall come


back and attack us. But the intelligence reports which you will


have seen are clear - Al-Q!ed` an$ ips


have seen are clear - Al-Q!ed` an$ its associates are selecti.g,


indoctrinating and trainan' jihadists in Sypia, not Ar!q. Doe3


jihadists in Sypia, not Ar!q. Dge3 that not make the Syrian exclusao.


even more ludicpous? that not make the Syrian exclusao.


even more ludicrous? I can.ot comment on intelligence. I3 the


situation in Sypia direct threat to this country? Ies, it i3. Have we


excluded action? No, we `a6en't Could you come `ack to t`e House?


The Prime Minister said, it was i. the motion put to the House of


Commons, that if we want to take action in Cyria, we will come bac+


to the House of Commonq. B5t we h!ve not taken any decision abo5t that


and we would not do so if we thou'ht we were going to be defeated `gai..


The government supports ES stpice3 on Syria, show you must relieve t(ey


are legal. Either w!y the on Syria, show you must relieve t(ey


are legal. Either way the legal are legal. Either w!y the leg`l


basis differs from are legal. Either w!y the leg`l


basis differs fpom one are legal. Either w!y the leg`l


basis differs from one cou.try are legal. Either w!y the leg`l


basis differs fpom one cou.try to another, according to their readi.g


of international law. @ut 9ou have supported it. We do believe that


they and Arab countries are takan' action legally and we qupport t`eir


action. @ut I action legally and we qupport t`eir


action. But I understand action legally and we qupport t`eir


action. @ut I understand your legitimate questions. @ut it aoee3


back to your basic questio., legitimate questions. @ut it aoee3


back to your basic questao., why legitimate questions. @ut it aoee3


back to your basic questio., why in Iraq and not Syria.


back to your basic questio., why in Iraq and not Sypia. Nonetheleqs$ it


is important to take aatio. in Iraq. We are also engaged in Qyri!


in building up the politic!l strength of


in building up the politic!l sprength of the more


in building up the politic!l strength of the more moder!te


opposition and in trying to bpifg about a peace agreement, a.d we do


not exclude action in Qyri! in the future. If we ppopose doan'


future. If we ppopose doin' something, then we ask


future. If we ppopose doin' something, then we !sk for


future. If we ppopose doin' something, then we ask for the


something, then we !sk for thd specific legal advice. W`y would 9ou


not ask for the legal advice not ask for the legal `dvice


anyway? Because you have to bd sure anyway? Because you have to be sure


of the legal advice at t`e time$ !nd also we do not comment on the advice


also we do not aomment on the a`vice given to us by the aw officeps Mr


Blair ended up publishing (is. Dh!t was because there was a `u'e legal


dispute. So you have not h!d legal a`vice yet


dispute. So you have not h!d legal advice yet that Britain attaciifg


Syria would be legal? The leg`l situation is unlikely to be the


barrier in this case, let -e put it that way. Within international daw,


you can act in the event of extre-e humanitarian distress and eleatave


self-defence, humanitarian distress and eleatave


salf-defence, so one humanitarian distress and eleatave


self-defence, so one can i-agine strong legal justification, btt of


course, we will take the legal advice


course, we will take the legal a`vice at the


course, we will take the legal advice at the time.


watching The Sunday Politics. We 3ay goodbye to viewers in Qcotland, w(o


Scotland. Coming up hepe i. 20 minutes, The Week A(ead.


Coming up on the Sunday Polhtics in the South West:


The local view on air strikes over Iraq


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


Labour MP Alison Seabeck, the Lib Dem peer John Burnett


The decision to approve air strikes. I think everyone is agreed `mongst


the three of you that is thd right way to proceed but there is the


remaining question of Syria. Some MPs say Syria should have bden


involved in the package deb`ted on Friday and other MPs like the MP who


is a former soldier there is that, irrespective of the fact it wasn't,


it will be mission creep. John Burnett, you are another former


soldier. I think it will. I hope we stop their momentum but there is a


larger question, are the policies towards defence... The world is a


dangerous place and we have two beef up our defence and spend more on the


defence of our country. We have hundreds of thousands of people


abroad working in dangerous places like oilfields in Africa who are in


constant danger. We have do have the Navy, the Royal Marines and an army


and air force that is fully equipped and manned. Do you think it will go


in that direction or should it? Richard Drax said there would be


mission creep for good reason. It will be a long campaign. We have to


see the momentum stopped off ISIL. We have two start to push them back


and in doing that you start to be able to win a propaganda war and


open a space for political discussion to be had around Syria. I


listened very carefully to the debates in the House and thd range


of different views. At the loment, we have no legal basis to go into


Syria. From my respective, we could only do so if that was in place


In terms of defence spending, several critics have said wd are


punching above our weight and trying to act as a power but we haven't got


the military muscle to do that. We have a strategic review due after


the election and at then we need to properly set out and think through


what Britain want to do and what should Britain have to do.


Therefore, shape our forces to fit our aspirations. At the momdnt, we


have six tornadoes going to operate in Iraq and they will undoubtedly do


that task professionally and well. But, as I say, what we need to do in


the UK has to be sorted out and that is quite right that it should be


done at the Security Defencd And Reviews case `` stage. Did that


administer get his fingers burnt last year and doesn't want to repeat


that again? I think if the case was made to go into Syria... Thdre is


powered to have cross`party consensus on issues of war. It is


bad to go into an exercise when you don't have cross`party consdnsus


with the opposition of board. Dash`mac on board. I don't think it


matters that much at this stage because we are part of a broad


coalition with Arab states `nd the US involved in air strikes `nd other


countries as well as the Frde Syrian Army. Sentence Smack We Can Focus


Our Efforts On Iraq. UKIP is likely to being plaxing


on the minds of Conservativds more than ever as they gather


for their conference in Birlingham. Yesterday, the second Tory LP


in a month defected to UKIP. Meanwhile, here in the South West,


the Conservatives have lost control of a Devon council ` again,


partly due to a defection to UKIP. George Eustice do you think you have


any insight to broker any hdaling because of your past experidnce You


tried to do that with a refdrendum vote, didn't you? My position is


clear. I left UKIP because they are counter`productive to the c`use they


claim to believe in. They sdverely undermined the campaign agahnst


membership of the rope I saxing we had to leave the euro if we wanted


to keep the pound but they were wrong about that `` the EU row.


Anyone who wants to leave the euro or who wants to see a reforled euro


has two have a Conservative government to have that negotiation


and give everyone their say. All that will happen with the action


that the two MPs have taken is they undermine the prospects of the


Conservative government and if there is no David Cameron there whll be no


referendum. All parties are coalitions but is the Conservative


party a broad enough church to include people who are very unhappy


with the Prime Minister who seems to have conceded a referendum relax in


the and who they say is looking at Gerrish eating very little change


and doesn't represent a strong strand of opinion within thd party?


We did a poll today and 45% of Tory councillors said they would vote to


leave Europe and a third wotld like an electoral pact with UKIP. There


is an arty `` ideological dhvide in the party, isn't there? Thex will


not be a referendum unless we have a conservative majority though all


this talk is counter`productive and undermines the case. As well as


having the guard `` advantage that it is a bad thing to do, I `lso


spent years working for Davhd Cameron and I know his mind. I know


he is serious about getting reform in the European Union and hd has my


trust and the full backing of the party. He gave the most important


speech a year ago that any prime minister has given since thd war on


Europe and we should rally behind that and give people a say hn a


referendum. Moving away frol Europe, listening to things that Mark


reckless has said today, thdy think a lot of UKIP's domestic policies


like grammar schools and pl`nning and gay marriage, they think it


chimes with them better than the policies espoused by David Cameron


and that is a problem, isn't it They have a whole package of


policies that are more appe`ling? They have picked up support from


people who are disillusioned with politics in general. You will find


many people who have voted Lib Dem traditionally... But they only said


this week that most of their policies are the same as thd


Conservatives for pop but UKIP are pulling their support from `cross


the political spectrum. I think it is fair to say disproportionately


from the Conservatives but they are getting support from the Lib Dems


and Labour 's voters as well. What we have to do is say to people that


we have a record, we've sorted out the deficit and got growth hn the


economy and we have a plan going forward. Part of that is to have a


referendum on Europe and if you want that you have to vote conservative.


Listening to George, wouldn't it be a shattering blow to that argument


if Ed Miliband said, you can have a referendum under us as well? That is


interesting, isn't it. No, what we are looking at is Tories wanting to


link with UKIP and that says a lot about where UKIP are coming from. We


have seen a proposed cuts to income tax which means money going to


millionaires that previouslx would have funded deprived communhties and


infrastructure. This is abott getting negotiations done properly


and fully and that is the w`y we have to go first was. I want a


comment from the Eurosceptic wing of the Lib Dems. Thank you. I opposed


the euro and he was the secretary of our "don't join the euro" group We


want Devo Max for the United Kingdom, for want of a bettdr


expression at, and I want to see that successfully achieved. But I


want us to stay, if possibld, in the European Union.


Both the Prime Minister and the Labour Minister had


a lot to say about climate change and green energy this week.


In his conference speech, Ed Miliband pledged to remove all


carbon from electricity gendration by 2030 and promised a big dxpansion


in renewable energy. I asked him


whether this meant restoring subsidies cut by the coalithon


and removing its restrictions and wind turbines and solar parks.


We will look at those issues in pursuit of our goal


of becoming the world leader in green technology and services.


We can create one million ndw jobs in green technology and part of it,


by the way, is the stabilitx of clarity about the aims.


Meanwhile, ahead of his conference. UKIP leader Nigel Farage made it


clear the wind industry would be in serious trouble under a TKIP


government. Wind turbines are codswallop. There


are ugly and they don't work and their unreliable. They have put up


domestic electricity prices. I would not continue with that subshdy which


would mean every single one of them would the unviable.


A bold objective from Ed Miliband. Looking at onshore wind and solar


parks they are incredibly controversial. It would be taking


your life in your hands in some parts of the south`west, arguably,


if you looked at removing some these restrictions. He is talking about


eight terrific game and we need to go for it if we are talking about


tackling global warming. In this region we have expertise and


knowledge in wave or tied and the engineers to back it up. He is


right, there are jobs for the south`west in what Labour is


proposing. I hear the comments from UKIP. It is a piecemeal and


fragmented statement rather than strategy. I think that is the


problem we have. We need a strategy for tackling lime it change and Ed


has set us on the task. The Lib Dems are much keener on things lhke wind


energy than the Conservativds. Are you or are you on the side of the


wind...? You have to be candid and I have opposed a number of onshore


wind farms because you can't store electricity. Whenever you drive past


these things they don't seel to be working half the time. But @lison is


right in that we need a str`tegy. We've got one. It's important that


we have a real mix of energx, including nuclear. Decisions were


made and that was neglected a bit. We have made difficult decisions and


we are ploughing in the mondy to do it.


George, there was a mention about confidence stability in the


industry. There was a dig whnd farm planned in, but the confidence ``


company said it didn't have confidence to proceed. Have you


pulled the rug under a lot of these things? No, we have reduced


subsidies as the cost of reducing electricity reduces as well.


Therefore, a lot of developdrs were looking into extortionate profits as


a result of the subsidy not changing to reflect their costs that is what


we put in place. I have a concern as farming Minister, particularly


around solar farms, is that we are losing in many parts of Cornwall


important land needed for agricultural production. Thdre are


many dimensional is to this bait. There is a role for renewable energy


but we are approaching saturation point for wind energy. You have to


take into account the loss of agricultural land the cut food


security is important to in the coming decade. Quickly, the reality


is a lot of people on the rhght wing of your party agree 100% with UKIP,


don't they? I've just set ott what our policy is. We've been clear that


we've issued new guidance to strengthen the role of local


communities when it comes to wind and solar and we are reducing


subsidies because there is ` limit to how much wind and solar power we


can have. There is huge potdntial for wave power in Devon ankle and


the more you give up the grhd forcing `` things like solar power


the more you undermine the tech `` potential for more promising


technologies. A Devon woman needed hospit`l


treatment and has been left in pain after being run over by a mobility


scooter at an Exeter cafe. She says people should have to pass


a compulsory driving test Devon and Cornwall Police s`y 1


collisions involving motor scooters were reported to them last xear


one resulting in a fatality. Isgard Bright`Roberts was enjoying


coffee with friends and her two children


when an elderly men on a mobility scooter ploughed into her t`ble


Everything was going fine and then suddenly


from nowhere I was on the floor I was underneath


the mobility scooter. It was running over me.


Luckily, my friends managed to get the children out of the way


I wasn't holding my baby. She required hospital treatlent


for a damaged back and thred weeks on is taking painkillers.


Considering the vehicle can this reach up to eight miles an hour


there needs to be something done before someone is badly injtred


My main concern at the time was that he could have hit my childrdn.


He could have injured himself. The river is just over here.


Had he been pointing the other way, he could have gone straight


into the river. Devon and Cornwall police don't keep


records of incidents on pavements but figures for road


accidents involving mobilitx scooters show a slight incrdase


in reported incidents over the past three years with last year's figures


showing one fatality. Exeter Shop Mobility providds


scooters to rent and they insist everyone receives


training before taking to the pavement and say there should


be regulation to stop peopld taking to the streets without training


There is a case for training on scooter.


It is a large thing of steel plastic and it can do a lot of damage.


There is no one to police them and no one to do any compulsory


training. Users themselves agree.


Some of them have never seen one before.


They haven't a clue what they're doing.


They're very dangerous. You've got to be in control of them.


Although the overall number of reported incidents remains low,


the reality is few people are going to ring the police because they ve


had a bump with a mobility scooter. For people like Gladys,


she says the public percepthon of them being a menace could


backfire on people like her who see them as a vital lifeline.


She says regulation is important. For what they are for, for


disabilities, they are a godsend. You can't go out without ond.


You definitely need it. This is an issue you've raised in


the past. Yes and we do need to take some action.


I received a dissertation from a student at Loughborough University


and his findings reinforce what we saw, that people are not tr`ined,


50% of them had no idea of laws or regulations applying to mobhlity


scooters. People misuse thel. We need some action in this arda as we


are seeing more incidents lhke the ones reported in Exeter. Thd police


are now recording incidents with motor vehicles but other thhngs


happen on the pavement that aren't reported. I would like to sde


training and some organisathons do. They are cleared the people who have


training are safer on our p`vements and roads full top do you think


there is an argument, John, for control of these devices?


We have to remember that, for some, they are a lifeline and we don't


want to curb use. But perhaps something could be looked at. We


have disabled car parking. Do we need to have a genuine need to use


but we do not want to curb people 's abilities to use these machhnes


because they are a lifeline and the difference between living and


existing. There was a man whth a red flag walking in front of motor


vehicles in the past becausd they travelled at four miles an hour We


soon came to a view that regulation was needed for motor vehiclds and we


need to have training around mobility scooters.


George, do you think that would be nanny state is `` state? I would be


reluctant for compulsory tests because it helps people get out and


about and lead an inclusive life. Alison said training rather than


testing. I do think you need legislation but I think you need


suppliers and manufacturers to come to gather and come up with `


voluntary code of conduct that requires retailers to give training,


like the gentleman `` gentldman in your package already does. Time now


for a round`up in 60 seconds. Shocked and devastated `


the reaction from the Mayor of Chard at the news that Dairy Crest is


closing its creamery with the loss of 60 jobs.


Dairy Crest or its predecessors were here and able to employ a lot


of people in the town. The Chief Constable of Devon


and Cornwall police says he will accept only the highest standard


of behaviour from officers after a detective sergeant was


dismissed for gross miscondtct. An honest mistake will be


treated honest and fairly. Anything dishonest or malichous ..


you probably do not have a future in the organisation.


Renewed calls for a transit site for travellers after a serids of


illegal camps in Cornish carparks. It's causing


a problem with cars are pilhng up. Someone could get injured.


And a pony charity has causdd uproar by suggesting one of the best ways


of protecting Dartmoor ponids is to sell them for human consumption


One quick thought from the farming Minister on the idea of eathng


Dartmoor ponies to conserve the breed. I wouldn't want to e`t horse


meat. Having gone through the row of horse meat contamination last year I


don't want to encourage it. It's not illegal and some countries do


consume it but we have wonddrful Dartmoor ponies and I hope they will


continue. A farmer as well as a lawyer and


ex`soldier. Ex`Royal Marine. Very different, Martin! I think of those


words from Shakespeare, "a horse, a horse. My kingdom for a horse". They


eat it on the continent. We export horse meat for human consumption but


the trouble is the market isn't good at the moment. We have two have


horses on Dartmoor as they're part of the ecology of them all. Whether


you like the idea yourself, it is and I commend that it could be an


effect of conservation. It hs a very British thing to dislike eating


horse meat but we have to look at how to preserve the breed. H've


heard what the charity had said It is quite difficult, though, to say


it is the way to do it. I would like to look at other means first.


Banks to George in London and Alison and John here in the studio. We will


take our respective trains to My thanks to you both. Andrew, back


to you. Here we are back in Birmingham with


the Conservatives. The Tories thought all they had to do was come


here, have a rally, a jamboree, and off they go to the races, or in


their case the general election Two races later it hasn't quite worked


out like that. Let's look at the state of this conference as it gets


under way. On our panel we are joined by David Davis. You wrote an


article in the Mail on Sunday this morning which was an Exocet at the


heart of David Cameron's modernising strategy. It was designed to act as


a lever. It was designed to cause trouble. No, we are in the running


for the next general election. One of the characteristics of having a


five year fixed term Parliaments is that the last year is about


campaigning. It is important we beat Miliband, he would be a disastrous


Prime Minister. You think the whole modernising strategy was a wrong


turn, that is what the article said. Yes. Has that opened the door to


UKIP? It has left a lot of people disillusioned with politics. What do


you do to get it right? Who was listening to you?


Frankly we need to take a more robust series of policies. How many


more UKIP defections will there be? I do not think there will be any


more. I would be very surprised I know Nigel Farage has a brilliant


sense of timing, but I do not think he has got the resources to do that,


namely, another Tory MP. So it could be another Labour one, maybe? I


think an awful lot will hinge on what happens in Rochester. Because


that is not a slam dunk. Clack and unfortunately looks like it will be


a walkover for them. But Rochester is a different scene. And so, there


could be a kind of Newark situation. When I campaigned in Newark, two


labour families I spoke to said they would vote Tory to keep UKIP out.


How bad was the Labour conference last week? One politician said after


he had a really bad performance that his television performance was


suboptimal. I think that would be a good way of describing Ed


Miliband's speech. The problem for Ed Miliband in memorising speeches


is that we are not auditioning for a new lines Olivier, we're rehearsing


for Prime Minister. He failed the Laurence Olivier test, and therefore


failed the Prime Minister test. I think the real problem for him was


forgetting to mention the deficit. He spoke from the heart about issues


which she really cares about, the NHS, the rupture between wages and


inflation, and forgot the deficit. Those issues are important, but if


you are not addressing things like the deficit, then people are really


not going to be listening to your messages on the areas that matter.


Was it bad? Yes, suboptimal, I am afraid. I hope that this ends the


nonsense of leaders wasting their time learning speeches off by


heart. You could learn a Shakespeare play in the time it takes to learn


70 minutes of a leader's speech I think we should just go back to


sensible reading what you have written. You can then alter it just


beforehand. A lot of things were changing, which is not surprising,


but he did not have time to learn it. It is a silly gimmick, it worked


once or twice, but that is enough for that. Despite some of the


derision of Mr Miliband, the Tories are flat-lining in the sun decks,


they have been there almost since the disastrous budget, the


omnishambles, of 2012, Labour is still several points ahead, nothing


seems to change? And David Cameron is now the leader in trouble. It is


almost as if a week is a long time in politics. I thought the Labour


and friends was Saab -- sub-suboptimal. It was so parochial.


You could've watched the top speeches without knowing that the


borders of Ukraine, and Iraq and Syria were in question. I hope,


because of Friday's discussion in Parliament, that this conference


will raise its sights a bit, and we will have something in Cameron's


speech, possibly that of George Osborne as well, which is a bit more


global. People hoped UKIP had gone away during the summer, people at


this conference, I mean, but it is back with a bang. They are still up


at 15% in the polls, the Tories languishing on 32 - what is going to


change? UKIP won 3% of the last election, I always thought they


would get about 6%. If, by the turn of the year, they are still in


double digits, I think at that point you can begin to wake of his


party's chances of winning. I have had three people say to me so far,


come election day, it will be fine, people will sober up and so on. It


will be all right on the night is not a very good strategy, frankly.


When they get past 5%, I start to bite into our 3-way marginal seats,


with liberals, Labour and Tories, and we have got about 60 of those in


the Midlands and the north, so it really is quite serious. And if I


may steal one of David's lines, when you were interviewing Mark Reckless


this morning, and was not talking about the EU referendum, he was


talking about how he felt he had broken his pledges to the electorate


because the Conservatives he said had failed on immigration and on the


deficit, and those sort of bread-and-butter issues could be


really potent on the doorstep, which means the Tories have got to run the


kind of campaign they ran in Newark, which is a real centre ground,


Reddan but a campaign, in which they would hope to get Liberal Democrat


and Labour voters out to vote tactically against UKIP. I think


today we have seen Cameron been pushed to the right. He has had to


say, yes, I would leave Europe, which he has never said before. It


is a huge stepping stone, a big difference. It takes the Tory party


somewhere else. May be get them a lot of votes. But it has not so far.


But I think it loses a lot of people. The industry organisations,


for example. The prospect of going out of Europe, but is quite a fight


for them. Is it not the lesson that you can out UKIP UKIP? Well, you do


not need to, really. I agree, last week was sub-sub-suboptimal. Hold


on, that is enough subs! I would not be crowing too much! But what I was


going to say, he left out something incredibly important, the deficit.


But how many people outside the M25 are thinking about the deficit? One


problem we face with Miliband is, he is good at politics and bad at


economics, in a way. He comes up with bonkers policies which people


love, price-fixing, things like that. Our problem will be about


relevance on the doorstep. I do not think at the end of the day it will


be about Europe. But was there not a moment of danger for you at the


conference, that one area where Miliband is potentially vulnerable


is not having credible team with business. Who turned up at the


Labour conference, the head of Airbus, saying, we have got to stay


in the European Union? The danger is that Europe allows the Labour Party


to gain credibility with business. There is some truth in that. But we


are in effectively the home straight, the last six months, and


people will be fussing about prices and jobs. Very parochial. They will


not be saying, what does the CBI think about this? It is, what is


happening to me, in my town, in my factory, in my office. That is where


the fight will be. Is it not the truth that if UKIP stays anywhere


near around this level of support, it is impossible for the Tories to


win an overall majority? I would say, if it is this level of support,


it is impossible for the Tories to finish as the biggest party, even in


a hung Parliament. The Tories keep trying to win back UKIP voters with


cold logic - witches it makes Ed Miliband becoming prime minister


more likely. UKIP is basically a vessel phenomenon, coming from the


gut, and David Cameron has never found the emotional pitch in his


rhetoric to meet that. I wonder whether we will see that moron


Wednesday. It is just not him. I hope we do. -- more on Wednesday. I


hope you're right that we do actually engage on emotion. So far


with UKIP, our policy has been to insult them. It does not work. I


know that from my constituency. We have to say to them, there is a


wider Tory family, we understand you are patria, we understand you are


worried about your family, and we do the same. What does it tell us about


the state of the Tories, seven months from the election, the


economy is going well, they are not that far behind Labour, and yet


there is all sorts of leadership speculation? It is extraordinary.


They are doing well, they are in with a shout. It depends. UKIP has


to be kept below 9% of. -- below 9%. I think David Cameron is one of


the few who speaks human, actually talks quite well to people and does


not look like a swivel-eyed loons. Whereas a lot of people behind him


do. You look at Duncan Smith and Eric Pickles, they are all kind of


driven, ideological men, with very right-wing policies. And nice


people! Don't hold back! He is not the Addams family, he is basically


quite human. I think a lot of people do not realise how ideological he is


himself and how well he has led his party in the direction they all want


to go. You go on about him being this metropolitan moderniser, I do


not think that is what he is, really. It may not be visible from


the guardian offices in the metropolis! Everybody where you are,


Polly, is a metropolitan moderniser. And where you are, too. That is the


nature of living in London. The trouble is, when these people get


into Westminster, they are part of Westminster, too. If you could only


win by being an outsider, the moment you get in, you are done for. All


teeing up nicely for Boris Johnson to be the next leader? I do not


think so! The point of my Exocet, or lever, this morning, is that I think


this is winnable. If we are good Tories for the next six months, we


can do this. It is by denying ground to UKIP, not giving in to them, not


buckling. Denying ground. Thank you to our panel. They did all right


today, but the normal. That is your lot for today. I am back tomorrow.


We will have live coverage of George Osborne's speech to the conference.


I am back next week in Glasgow for The Sunday Politics at the Labour


conference. How could you miss that? Remember, if it is Sunday it


is The Sunday Politics. Bye-bye of statutory press regulation in


sponge cake may be a bridge too far. I think I've overdone it


with the pistachios and somehow, the custard's split,


but it's too late! of statutory press regulation in


sponge cake may be a bridge too far.


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