12/05/2013 Sunday Politics West


12/05/2013

Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate, guests include defence secretary Philip Hammond.


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In the West: How thousands of lives in Bristol are being put at risk

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because of pollution from vehicles in the city centre. So should the

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1887 seconds

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Mayor introduce a congestion charge 23,000 Bristolian us are having

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their health put at risk because the of pollutants in the atmosphere.

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That is coming up but let's make our guests today. The Conservative

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MP for Kingswood and the mayor of Bristol. I want to talk about the

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Queen's speech and the news that the Government will try to limit

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NHS cover for a short stay immigrants. You have been part of

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that, what does it mean exactly? Yes, I was calling debates on this

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going to the Department of Health arguing that we need to do this. At

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the moment there are tens of millions of pounds being spent on

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here. We will make sure NHS trusts will make sure people have the

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documentation to prove they are eligible for that here. Who will

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get turned away? Obviously when it comes to emergency treatment and

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someone's life is at risk they will not be turned away but obviously

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they will then be presented with a bill if they are not a British

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citizen. Who will this applied to? Anyone who is not ordinarily a

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British citizen. Anyone who comes over here to use the NHS services

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without being entitled to. It is not an international health service.

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It is a British one. And what do you think? I think it is up to a

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story. You or I could go almost anywhere in Europe and get

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treatment. I think we have got to be really careful about it. We have

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as many people going to other countries in Europe as we have

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coming to us. I think mean this is not a very good policy. Our economy

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is driven by a lot of these people who have come into the country.

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There is a terrible sense of panic being generated at the moment. I am

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certainly not one who has a knee- jerk reaction against helping

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people who are in this country for good reasons. A pregnant woman

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arrives at Bristol airport and needs treatment, that should be fee

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and we should pay for them? general assumption would be that

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they are not taking the mickey. are shaking your head. When it

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comes to Europe week pay and of full lot every year. We are

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spending �10 billion on the NHS and we have to rein in the costs. This

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is what is driving all the debate around emigration. I recognise that

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hard-working people pay their tax. Thousands of people living in

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Bristol are being exposed to harmful levels of the gas nitrogen

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dioxide. It is colourless and odourless and released from

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vehicles on the road. It can be very damaging to people's health.

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Cities like Bristol are breaking EU law and could face heavy fines. Our

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reporter has more. You cannot see it or even smell it but the

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atmosphere here carries a dirty secret. The particles are much

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smaller but they are no less toxic, it they may even be more toxic

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because they can work through the lungs and into the bloodstream.

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According to the council's own figures, 23,000 people in the city

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are being put at risk because they are living in areas where the

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pollutants are above agreed European limits. I think it is time

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for the people of Bristol to wake up to how much of a problem this is.

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It is not just an issue for politicians, it is an issue for

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everyone. This is one of the most congested and polluted parts of

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Bristol. What does that mean for our health? According to this

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document from the city council, the damaging effects and costs to

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society are on apart with smoking and obesity. They have known about

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the rest for years and according to D Greens in the city something has

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to be done. Levels of nitrogen dioxide have been above those which

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are designated as safe so people are still being exposed to what are

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widely considered by health officials across the world as

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dangerous levels of pollution. Europe could reduce the number of

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vehicles on our roads and impose fines. Our governments came

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together and set certain targets to be met at European level. The

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European authorities including the European Parliament where I set

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have quite rightly said you set those targets, go out and meet them.

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So, the pressure is on. Will Europe actually find us for cleaning up

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our hair? Of course we are in favour of less the air pollution.

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We do not want their pollution at any level but this is not the right

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way to go about it. We have got to rely on ourselves, not on a series

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of EU directives which are liable to be enforced by us and not by

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other European countries. So here it has become a European issue and

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a local nightmare for the mayor. There is no simple way for the

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Mayor to clean up their pollution in Bristol, if there was, it would

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be done. All he can do is reduce the numbers of cars and lorries

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moving hour -- using our roads and where they are used, make the

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pollution from them less. The mayor does do his own little bit for

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Bristol's their quality by getting on his bike. Cyclists see him as a

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friend but so far he has been unable to convince enough motorists

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to join him. The nitrogen dioxide levels are far above the targets.

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We should be spending more on better public transport, walking

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and cycling. I know there are many priorities but air pollution should

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be top of the list, it will save lives in the city and create a

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healthier environment for our children. So the mayor has been

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warned, it is the health of tens of thousands of his residence at stake.

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We are joined by the man who has to sort it out. Do you welcome the

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challenge and will you fix this? absolutely welcomed the challenge.

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It was top of my Agenda for Bristol. I think we need a longer period

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than the 5.5 months we have had to make the difference. Bristol

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monitors air quality really well. We have been praised by Europe for

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monitoring it really well, that is the irony. We have had imposed on

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as many diesel vehicles. It has risen from 10% to 50%. This is

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mainly about car traffic, big buses and lorries. It is not mainly about

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industrial pollution. One option is that ingesting charge, where do you

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stand on that? Congestion charges one of a number of possible

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measures. I am definitely bringing in a resident's parking zone which

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will help with the reduction of commuter traffic. I am definitely

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working with my partners to produce much, much better public transport.

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I am working to make quite sure that we become a much more

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pedestrian and cycle friendly city. Yes, but what about the congestion

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charge? I have asked that the congestion charges looked at by one

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of my officers. Are you instinctively in favour or against?

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I am instinctively in favour of things that improve the health of

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the residents of Bristol. There are some people in this city who have a

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life expectancy 10 years less than others because of the places the

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living. There are probably on average 500 people in this city

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dying 10 years earlier because of the level of air pollution in their

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area. The only other major city to have done the congestion charges

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London. Ken Livingston introduced it and has this advice. I had three

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years of people predicting it would be a disaster. The more significant

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thing is that there could not be a bigger difference between myself

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and Boris Johnson and he has kept the congestion charge because it

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works. If you are going to rule it out, rule it out now. I am not

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ruling anything out, that would be irresponsible of me. I am going to

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make this the most liveable city in the UK and part of it is to make

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sure that we have a healthy city. People using active transport which

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does not pollute. I drive an electric car. Is there a danger

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that this report will be used by a minority political groups and

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single issue action groups to impose some pretty heavy penalties

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on drivers? We have got to be serious about the issue. This is

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not about being anti-car as some people will paint it. It is about

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being pro-life. Making quite sure that our children are able to walk

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safely to school. Making sure they do not begin these horrible

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particles. Making sure they do not have to deal with climate change.

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It is about the bigger picture and making sure we free up the roads

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for essential driving. His ambit of the air pollution a price worth

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paying for a busy commercial city? Bristol has always had a problem in

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terms of its layout. The congestion is caused by cars backing up.

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going round and round because they cannot find a parking space.

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reason I think our local mayor is an asset is because he will make

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changes that have been needed for years. On the congestion charge I

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would say I would opposed that tooth and nail. The reason Ken

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Livingston lost his position is because he tried to extend the

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congestion charge. The air has been a lot of work but what are you

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going to do? By June this year I will be producing an air-quality

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strategy which will be local action. There is no silver bullet to this

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but it is a matter of taking the leadership and making quite sure

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that we drive through these serious measures to reduce the amounts of

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pollution. I am happy to take the flak if I believe I am doing the

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right thing. Labour have admitted the local election results in this

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part of the world where a let down and a cause for concern. Across the

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country they gained about 20 councillors. Our reporter has more.

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After World War II have the male population worked in the coal

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industry. It was a working-class area. Now tourism is the major

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breadwinner. Back 50 years the forest of Dean had a Labour MP. The

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county council was Labour lead to but times have changed. At a museum

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dedicated to the Forest's mining history I met up with a former

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miner turned poet. He was a Labour supporter for many years but he has

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now given his support to UKIP. He explains in a poem. Politics,

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Labour and Conservative, you've been in and out of power. I believe

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your promises have now all turned sour. There are more on the dole

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than there ever was before. This country is not just for the rich

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but also for the poor. Let's give UKIP to have a chance. Their

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promising the moon. Then the getting to the Government and the

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show you a photograph of it, that is all you are going to get. Locals

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here tell me why they have steered away from the main political

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parties when they went to the polls last week. I voted UKIP, I am

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usually a Labour supporter. always supported Labour but I only

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changed because I like the people that are with UKIP. Over a pint in

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the pub I met one of the newly elected UKIP counsellors. He says

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they are here to stay. I will keep building on it. I will just listen

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to people. If people will follow that lead and get away from the

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rubbish that we are racist I think they will progress quite steadily.

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Many agree that the Tories were the biggest losers and UKIP the biggest

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winners. UKIP did not just pick up disaffected Tories. The Labour

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leader in the House of Lords grew up in the Dean. She admits they

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have not done well enough. I think people have been disappointed and

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disillusioned by mainstream politics. They are struggling

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economically to put food on the table. They are wanting jobs. They

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will find mainstream politics has not been offering the answers they

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need. This will Labour district councillor who lost out to UKIP for

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a seat on the county council says his party should not underestimate

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UKIP. I do not share the perception that UKIP is a Tory problem. I

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think it is a problem for all of those who have lost votes to them.

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They did not get the results they got in the Forest of Dean without

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harvesting some previous Labour boats and we have got to do

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something to get that back. -- Labour votes. Will it take a shift

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to the left or the rights? So I am joined by a member of the policy

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forum. You are failing to connect with people. I do not think that is

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true. People have not talked about some of the policies that Labour

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are interested in. You kept have filled that gap. The biggest losses

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were for the Tories. Labour have made some reasonable progress but

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probably not enough. I think it was Peter Mandelson who said about Ed

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Miliband that he test drives his policies on a national scale. He

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does not understand the people living in the Forest of Dean.

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not think that is true. They have elected three UKIP county

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councillors. I met someone I work with who used to vote Tory but

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voters UKIP. He said the one issue he did that because of was

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immigration. In the past there was a bigger influx than we might have

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anticipated but we brought in the minimum wage and without policing

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that and making sure people cannot undercut, this is a danger. If UKIP

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is a threat to you it is a disaster. Not really, when you look at the

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country, Bristol only polled 3%. They did not take any seats. It is

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becoming fragmented. You would not want to do a deal with UKIP?

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because when you look at their policies, they are a protest party.

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Their spending commitments would mean massive cuts to the NHS which

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I would not welcome. Now look at the political news this week in

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just 60 seconds. It was an deep for pomp and ceremony. At the heart of

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it Steven Williams who made one of the loyal addresses after the

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Queen's speech. The Prime Minister and I were born just hours apart

:53:16.:53:26.
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but for the avoidance of tax he is the older. Negotiations following a

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ruling by the National Party Executive Committee. Meanwhile, in

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Gloucestershire talks are under way to form a new administration. The

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Conservatives remained the largest group and are seeking co-operation

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from other parties in advance of next week's meeting. The former

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head of public help in the West claims the response to the measles

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epidemic has been slowed down by computer changes to D NHS. It is

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really unclear who is responsible for what. Let's pick up on one of

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these stories, whether Labour will join the cabinet in Bristol. Birdie

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in or out at the moment? We are having very civilised discussions

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and I expect it will be resolved some time on Monday. You were

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elected in November and you have invited Labour members into your

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cabinet. They have not served. I think it is a shame they have not

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been there. We have had disagreements and I am very happy

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for those disagreements to be open. I encourage my cabinet members to

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say exactly what they think. That is my style of Government. You are

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an historian, does coalition work? Coalitions often end up being

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temporary but people respect them when they are in the national

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interest. What I would see here is that democracy does not always

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deliver a clear result and when it does not you have got to act in the

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Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate, guests include defence secretary Philip Hammond.


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