06/04/2014 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate, including a look over Maria Miller's expenses apology. With Labour's Caroline Flint.

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Morning folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics.


Pressure on Culture Secretary Maria Miller mounts as the Tory press


Tory voters and even a Tory Minister turn against her. That's our top


story. The economic outlook is getting


rosier. But Ed Miliband is having none of it. The cost of living


crisis is here to stay, says Labour. Shadow Minister Caroline Flint joins


us for the Sunday Interview. And we bring you the Sunday Politics


Gallery. But which former world leader is behind these paintings of


In awe of you. world leaders?


new London borough. A blue flint for regeneration or economic Armageddon?


And with me as always, the best and the brightest political panel in the


business - Janan Ganesh, Helen Lewis and Nick Watt. Their tweets will be


as brief as a Cabinet Minister's apology.


A frenzy of betting on the Grand National yesterday. But there was


one book on which betting was suspended, and that was on the fate


of Culture Secretary Maria Miller, now the 2/1 favourite to be forced


out the Cabinet. She galloped through her apology to the Commons


on Thursday in just 32 seconds. But speed did her no favours. There s


been mounting pressure on her to resign ever since, especially from


Tories. And this weekend the Chairman of the Independent


Parliamentary Standards Authority, Ian Kennedy, said it's time MPs gave


away the power to decide how colleagues who break the rules are


punished. An inquiry into Maria Miller's expenses claims was launch


in 2012, following allegations he claimed ?90,000 to fund a house she


lived in part time with her parents. She had designated this her second


home. She was referred to the Parliamentary Standards


Commissioner, who recommended that she repay ?45,000. But this week the


Commons Standards Committee, comprising of MPs from all parties,


dismissed the complaint against Maria Miller and ordered her to


repay just ?5,800 for inadvertently overclaiming her merge claimants.


She was forced to apologise to the Commons for the legalistic way she


dealt with the complaints against her. But Tony Gallagher told the


Daily Politics on Friday: We got a third call from Craig Oliver who


pointed out, she is looking at Leveson and the call is badly timed.


I think if you are making a series of telephone calls to a newspaper


organisation investigating the conduct of a Cabinet Minister, that


comes close After that interview Craig Oliver


contacted us, saying there was no threat in anyway over Leveson. I


mead it clear at the time. Tony Gallagher is talking rubbish about


me, and you can use that. The Daily Telegraph have released a tape of a


phone call between Maria Miller s aid, Joanna Hindley, and a reporter


investigating her expenses claim. Joanna Hindley said:


Maria's obviously been having quite a lot of editor's meetings around


Leveson at the moment. So I'm just going to kind of flag up that


connection for you to think about. The Prime Minister is sticking by


his Culture Secretary, but this weekend's crescendo of criticism of


her presents him with a problem and he could be wishing Maria Miller


would just fall on her sword. Even over 80% of Tory voters in a Mail on


Sunday poll think she should go On the Andrew Marr Show, the Work and


Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, defended his colleague. I've


known her always to be a reasonable and honest person. But is she doing


the Government or her any good by staying in office at the moment do


you think? This is a matter the Prime Minister has to take


consideration of and she herself. My view generally is I'm supportive of


Maria, because if we are not careful we end one a witch-hunt of somebody.


And I'm joined now by the Conservative MP, Bob Stewart, and


the man in the white suit, former MP and anti-sleaze campaigner Martin


Bell. Welcome to you both. Stuart Stuart sturkts let me put this to


you, a Conservative MP told this programme, this is a quote, she has


handled this appallingly. Downing Street has acted like judge and


jury, for Craig Oliver to get involved is disastrous. She's been


protected by the whips from the start. What do you say to that? It's


not great, is it? The fact of the matter is the question one should


ask is, did she deliberately try to make money? Did she deliberately try


to obscure ate? The answer is she certainly didn't deliberately try to


make money, in the system, which was the old system, and with regard to


obscure ago, I wasn't there, but let's put it this way. She was going


through a quasi-judicial process and might have ended up in court, so she


has a right to defend herself. Hold on o you said she doesn't do it to


make money, she remortgaged the house a couple of times to earn more


interest to us, the taxpayer, and when interest rates went down she


didn't reduce the amount she was charging in expenses. Well, the


point is the adjudicator said there was ?45,000 she was owed. And then a


committee, Standards Committee, said actually it should be reduced. That


was mainly MPs but there are three lay members. Yes, but they don't


have the vote. OK, fine, that is where it is wrong and we've got to


get it sorted. Let me put another quote from our Conservative MP. He


didn't want to be named. None of you do at the moment. I'm being named.


But you are backing her. George young in cahoots. He's been leading


on the Standards Committee to find her innocent. The Standards


Committee is unfit for purpose. I think the Standards Committee should


be revisited. I think the system is still evolving. And I think actually


we ought to have totally independent judgment on MPs' pay and allowances.


We haven't have not got there yet and that is where it is wrong.


Martin Bell, have MPs interfered in the Maria Miller process and with


the current Standards Commissioner in the same way that they saw off a


previous Commissioner they thought was too independent? Andrew it is


exactly the same. Yesterday I looked at a diary entry I made for May


2000, I said, dreadful meeting standards and privileges, they are


playing party politics. One of them told Elizabeth fill kin to her face


the gossip in the tea room was she had gone crazy. Nothing's changed.


What this shows is most of all, what's the committee for? If it is


just going to rubber stamp what the party wants and its mates, I don't


see any point. But it hasn't rubber stamped. It's changed it. Well, it


has watered down. That's why we should make it totally independent


and it shouldn't be involved in the House of Commons. It is plus plus ca


change isn't it? MPs', scandal, and MPs closing ranks for one of their


own. Has the Commons learned nothing? And this is after the


expenses scandal, where everything was out for everybody to see, you


would think MPs would be careful. This is before the expenses scandal.


We are looking at an historical event, during your time, Martin not


mine. I'm clean on this. You campaigned for him as an


independent. I did, he was a good friend of mine. And now you've


joined the club. And now you are defending Maria Miller? I'm


defending someone who hasn't been proved guilty of anything beyond the


fact she was rather slow to come forward with evidence. My point on


that, is I understand that. MPs are being lambasted the whole time these


days. There were a heck of a lot of them, Martin, who are utterly


decent. She didn't try to make money. We've just been through that.


I don't think that's right. The jury is out on that. What should have


happened in the Miller case, Martin Bell? I don't think there should be


a committee on standards. I think the Commissioner should make a


report. There has been to be justice for the MP complained against. Then


the committee of the whole House can consider it. But we are, the House


of Commons, then as now is incapable of regulating itself. That's been


proving yet again. She made a perfunctory apology. She threatened


and instructed the Standards Commissioner investigating her, and


her special adviser linked expenses to Leveson, when trying to stop the


Daily Telegraph from publishing I mean, is that the behaviour of a


Cabinet Minister? Well, it's probably not the behaviour of


someone that's got time on their hands. She's a very busy Cabinet


Minister. Well, she had enough time to write lots of letters to the


Standards Commission ser. She felt under such threat. She had the time.


She had to make the time. Die know the lady is not trying desperately


to make money. I disagree but on that. The fact of the matter is


this was an old, old system, that we've tried to put right, or the


Commons has tried to put right. I agree that MPs shouldn't get


involved in this. Should we get rid of this committee? It serves no


purpose except to cause trouble The adjudicator has said that and it


should be the end of it. It shouldn't come back to the Commons.


Although her special adviser threatened them over Leveson she was


and is the Minister responsible for trying to introduce something like


Leveson and that is something a big chunk that the press doesn't want.


She is a target. It has a good record on this issue. It played wit


a straight bat. The facts aren't in dispute are they? Will she make it


to the next cabinet reshuffle and then go? Iain Duncan Smith said it


is a matter for the Prime Minister. In my view, as things stand, I


question did she deliberately want to make money? I don't think she


did. Should she go? No. Should she be reshuffled? I don't know.


Goodness me, you are asking someone who will never be reshuffled,


because he will never make it. I was only asking for your opinion, not


your ability to do it. This is a problem for Cameron isn't it? It is


a problem for Cameron. There is nothing wrong with returning to be


badge benches, as you know. Hear, hear. To that. Stick with me. Helen,


can she survive? Is I'm going out of the prediction game when I said


Clegg is going to win the date, so I owe Janan a tenner on that one.


Grant Shapps has supported her. She was ringed by Sir George young and


Jeremy Hunt... This is pretty devastating. On past form David


Cameron hates having to bounce people out of the cabinet. He will


want to keep Maria Miller until the summer reshuffle. This is a question


mark on whether she survive this is. This isn't damaging to the


Conservative or the Labour Party, it is damaging to everyone. This is


catastrophic damage to the entire political establishment. Every


single speech that David Cameron and Ed Miliband have given since 20 9,


talking about restoring trust, they can wipe them from their computers,


because voters are going to look that there and say, this lot haven't


learnt anything. They are giving perfunctory apologies and then you


have MPs sitting in judgment on MPs and rather than paying back ?45 000,


she pays back ?5,800 after MPs have been into it. Damage is huge. Just


getting rid of one Cabinet Minister, you will need to do more than that.


You will notice that Labour haven't made huge weather of this. No,


goodness me, they have their own skeletons. Exactly. The person who


has made hay out of this is Nigel Farage, who has not been backwards


in coming forward. He doesn't seem to care about skeletons. The Prime


Minister has be-Gunby backing her, but that's not popular even with


Tory voters. How does he get out of this? This is the problem for him.


Five years ago his reaction to the expenses scandal was seen by many


Tory backbenchers as excessive. They felt hung out to dry by a man who is


independently wealthy. To go from that to making a special exemption


to Maria Miller because it is politically suitable is more


incendiary and provocative. It is not just upsetting the voters and


the Daily Telegraph but a good number of people behind him. I think


they will get rid of her. I think the Government, to paraphrase


Churchill, will zoo the decent thing after exhausting all options, of the


European elections a reshuffle. The culture department has gone from a


baulk water in haul to one of the most politically sensational jobs


because of its proximity to the Leveson issue. She has to be


replaced by someone Lily skillful and substantial. Mr Cameron is not


short of smart women? Nikki Morgan, the education department, these are


absolutely outstanding women and the problem that the generation elected


in 2005, Maria Miller generation, there are some really good people


elected in 2010. You are not responsible for hacking into the


culture Department's Twitter account last night? I was out at the time!


They all say that! One so, Maria Miller is like a modern-day Robin


Hood... She robs the poor to help the rich. Which one of us has not


embezzled the taxpayer? I reckon it is the lady. You have the perfect


cover. We would not know how to would we? You cannot tweet from a


mobile device, can you? Play it safe. No, do something dramatic


Have lots of pledges. Have just a few pledges. Ah, there must be a


Labour policy review reaching its conclusion because everyone has some


free advice for the party about its message and the man delivering it.


Here's Adam. He is well liked by the public don't quite buy him as a


leader. The papers say he is in hock to the unions and the party has a


lead in the polls but it is not solid. Bartenders Neil Kinnock. That


is what they said Winnie who lost the 1982 election. The whole country


deserves better and we will work to ensure that the day will come when


with the Labour government, the country will get better. Someone who


was there can see some spooky parallels. The important lesson from


1992 is it cannot rest on your laurels and hope for the best, you


cannot sit on a lead of seven points because the election narrows that


and you cannot rely on the government not getting its act


together because the Conservative Party was well funded and organised,


the double whammy posters, the tax bombshell, but incredibly effective


and the message was unified and they beat us on the campaign. The lesson


for Labour today is this lead will evaporate quite possibly over the


next few months and we might go into the election behind in the polls.


But Ed Miliband is getting conflicting advice about how to


avoid 1992 happening. Be bold, be cautious and then, the idea that


Labour can squeak into office with just 35% of the vote, which worries


some people. Each month, the Labour Party meets around the country and


last week, everybody spoke about the dangers of this 35% strategy. They


were increasingly unhappy and it is very important that those people


around the leader naturally have a duty to protect him and they make


sure he gets this message that while there is total support for him, they


do want this key year in the run-up to the General Election to be


putting out an alternative which we can defend on the doorstep. The


doorstep where Neil Kinnock made his concession speech is crammed with


Spanish back hackers. The old Labour offices are no a budget hostel.


Labour headquarters is down the road and they are putting the finishing


touches to a speech Ed Miliband will give this week about the cost of


living and I am told he will drop hints about new policies in juicy


areas like housing, low pay, growth and devolving power. As for the


charge that they are not radical enough, his people say they want to


be bold but they have to be credible as well. They say that Labour is


more united than it has ever been but there has been some grumbling


that the cost of living campaign is not the same as a vision for the


country. And that Ed Miliband was not statesman-like enough at Prime


Minister's Questions and one figure who sat at the same table in the


Neil Kinnock years summed it up like this. Things are OK but it feels


like we're playing for the draw Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline


Flint joins me now for the Sunday Interview. This 35% victory


strategy, it does not sound very ambitious? I am campaigning to win


this election with a majority government and everybody else around


the table is also. But we want to go to every corner of the country and


win votes for Labour and win seats, that is what we are working towards.


To avoid last time, the coalition bartering. But that 35% is a victory


strategy so are you saying there is no 35% strategy and that no one at


the heart of Labour is not arguing for this? We are working to win


around the country and to win all of those battle ground seats and we


must have a strategy that appeals to a cross-section of the public but


within that, that broad group Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and. You


could do that with 35% of the vote? There is lots of polling and


everyone looks at this about what we need to do to get seats and we want


to have a comprehensive majority at the next election to win to govern


this country. Last week, we have been reading reports of splits in


the party over policy and on tactics, even strategy. A struggle


for control of the General Election manifesto, we are told. What are you


arguing over? I said on the committee and just listening to the


film before, it is about being radical but also credible and we are


talking about evolution and that is an important subject but we are also


united and to be honest, in 201 people were writing us off saying we


would turn on ourselves and that has not been the case. We are not


arguing about the fundamentals, we are discussing the policies that are


coming up with different colleagues and talking about how we can make


sure they are presented to the public and that is part of a


process. That is a discussion, not disagreement. The Financial Times,


which is usually pretty fair, reports a battle between Ed


Miliband's radical instincts and the more business fiscal conservatism of


Ed Balls. What side are you on? I am for radical change, I am for energy


and I believe strongly we must be formed the market and people might


portray that as anti-business but this is about more competition and


transparency and others coming into this market so our policy on this is


radical, not excepting the status quo. It is also for business.


Opinion polls show that few people regard Ed Miliband as by Minister


material -- Prime Minister material. That has been true since he became


leader. And in some cases, they have been getting worse. Why is that


Opinion polls say certain things about the personalities of leaders,


David Cameron is not great either. And they were not great when he was


in opposition. At this stage, he was getting 49% as Prime Minister real


material and Ed Miliband, 19. - Prime Minister material. When you


look at certain questions that the public is asked about who you think


you would trust about being fair in terms of policy towards Britain who


understands the cost of living crisis, they very much identify with


Ed Miliband. We are ahead in the polls. Ed Miliband has made that


happen. We have one more councillors, we have been running in


by-elections and we have held this government over the barrel over six


months on energy prices. That is to do with his leadership. The more


that voters save him, the less they seem convinced. In 2011, he had been


leader for one year, and only 1 % regarded him as weird, by 2014, that


was 41%. Look at that! Look at that weirdness! What people need is to


know where the Labour Party stands on fundamental issues. And in those


areas, particularly the cost of living and fairness and people being


concerned that we are entering into a period where people will be worse


for the first time ever at the end of the Parliament, these things are


important and Ed Miliband is part of our success. Definitely. I think


this is ridiculous, to be fair, he is not a politician that says, I am


dying with the Arctic monkeys, I know who is the number one. He did


not play that game. -- down. He is not either there to portray himself


as someone who was with the children, I know everything about


popular culture. His authenticity is the most important thing. People do


not think he is authentic, unless they think we were at is authentic.


Is it true that his staff applaud him when he comes back after giving


even a mediocre speech? I have never heard that. I have never heard about


him being applauded. And I am pleased to applaud him with he makes


speeches, I have given him a standing ovation. You have to do


that because the cameras are rolling! No, he made a good speech.


Five minutes without notes. It took a long time to memorise I don't


blame him! The cost of living. Focusing on that, it has paid


dividends. But inflation is falling and perhaps collapsing, unemployment


is falling faster than anybody thought, as we can see. Wages are


rising, soon faster than prices Retail sales are booming, people


have got money in their pockets Isn't the cost of living crisis


narrative running out of steam? I do not think so and I should say that I


welcome any sign of positive changes in the economy, if anybody gets a


job in Doncaster, I am pleased by the end of this Parliament families


will be over ?900 worse off because of tax and benefit changes and the


working person is ?1600 worse off and it is the first government since


the 1870s where people will be at the end of the Parliament. We


believe the government made wrong choices that lead the rich off at


the expense of those on middle and lower incomes. -- let the rich. The


average family ?794 worse off from tax and benefit changes. That has


been backed up. They are those figures. But he has skewed these


figures by including the richest, where the fall in tax and the


penalty they pay is highest. If you take away the richest, it is nowhere


near that figure. Everybody agrees and even the government and


knowledges that at the end of their tenure in Parliament, people will be


worse off. 350,000 extra people who would desperately like full-time


work who are working part-time and 1 million young people unemployed and


the reason the cost of living has a residence is people feel that. I was


in a supermarket and at Doncaster and someone summed this up, he said


I work hard and at the end of the week, beyond paying bills, I have


got nothing else. If you take away the top 10% who are losing over


?600,000, the average loss comes down to around ?400, less than half


of what you claim. That figure is totally misleading. These are the


figures from the IFS. It still shows... Whatever way you shape


this, people will still be worse off, families worse off because of


these changes to tax and benefits and working people because wages


have not kept up with prices. Your energy portfolio, you back the


enquiry into the big six companies and you intend to go ahead with the


price freeze and reconfigure the market even before it reports. If


you win, this is a waste of time? Whilst we have had this process


before the announcement, we always feel if it goes that way, there


might be areas we have not thought of that the enquiry will also draw


attention to that we might want to add on. You are right, our basic


reforms for the new regulator, to separate generation supply, we will


pursue that. What happens if this report concludes that your plans are


not correct? You will still go ahead? I don't think so. Actually,


if you look at the report that Ofgem produced, some of the issues Labour


has been drawing attention to like vertical integration, they cover


that. I was asking about the Competition Commission? The report


last week is a result of working together and I think it is clearly


accepted in this sector, look at SSE last week, they will separate the


business. We are pushing at the open door. It has already pulled out of


gas. So it follows if you freeze energy prices across the market it


might be the right thing to do but there will be a cost in terms of


jobs and investment, correct? Well, I met with SSE last weekand the


chief executive and talked about these issues. The jobs changes are


partly about them looking at how they could be more efficient as a


company. On offshore wind that wasn't really to do with the price


freeze. That was more to do with issues around confidence in that


area and therefore willing to put the money into it, as well as


technical issues as well But there'll be job losses. Is that a


price worth paying? We believe the reason we are having a price freeze


is these companies have been overcharging customers and haven't


been investing in their organisations and making them more


efficient. I do not believe a price freeze is linked to job losses.


These companies do need to be more efficient. Goal for all of us is


realising the fantastic opportunity for more jobs and growth from an


energy sector that has certainty going forward. That's what Labour


will deliver. Caroline Flint, thank you.


It's 1130 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 evidence driven policy. I think it


is Molly. survey suggests that our future is N


Rather than out of Europe. @nd we are knocking to families affected by


immigration policy. We are `sking if their government is right to blunt


cupids arrow. We hope are two guests will bring some fresh era to our


studio after a week of last. Steven Croft from UKIP and Darren Jones,


Labour candidate for North West Bristol. We start with the


governments attempts to standardise cigarette packaging. Where do you


stand on this? I like to go with evidence driven policy whendver


possible. There is evidence this will reduce the number of children


taking up smoking. Even thehr health of the tobacco industry in Bristol


would be overridden. I would rather less children in Bristol took up


smoking every year. We need to protect jobs in Bristol and across


the country but you need to get the balance. Has UKIP got a polhcy on


this? We tend to be opposed to the nanny state in all its forms, but as


an ex`smoker I do not think this will harm anybody. Anything that


discourages children from t`king up smoking must be good. Peopld who


smoke make their decisions on what they smoke at an early age `nd stay


loyal. People do not see thd smoke these because they have a lovely


locks. It will not harm anybody The debate over leaving Europe came to


life this week with a showdown between Nick Clegg and Nigel


Farage. Much was made of how our economy with the affected. Today


this programme can reveal the results of a survey of firms in the


region. First are business correspondent has been lookhng at


the numbers. Either you shouldn't. Busindss does


not get more international than less. We have got clients from


Australia to the United States. 100 people work here writing colputer


programmes and safety manuals. It is a huge international trade. The sort


of people you would expect to be fully committed to staying hn


Europe. I would tick the box for out. The EU is a particular block


for this man. People are given a fright in to see if they can out of


the EU they cannot do international business. That is rubbish. How many


other companies think it is time to leave the EU? Not as many as you


might think. Then our survex just 18% were for. Just. That will come


as something of a relief to Euro enthusiasts like the Lib Dels. There


is a rescue. It is like the debates between Scotland and the rest of the


UK. It is a leak of faith. The market remains largely open. You are


part of the single market btt have no see over the rules. He whll find


support in this industrial dstate. This high`tech firm is worrhed about


leaving the EU. We would be worse off. I remember when we used to have


huge amounts of documenting processes to get anything exported,


where as now it is very simple. They sell all over Europe. This bottle


will end up in Greece. This study is destined for Slovenia. Therd are


hundreds of companies selling across Europe. Then the survey we


discovered that 50% think wd are better then the EU. Do they love


Brussels? No. Why not? Becatse of this stuff. It is the oldest


complaint in the book and the most common in the survey. Red t`pe they


is stifling trade. Although all of our ingredidnts are


completely safe we now have two really registered the entird


products. It is just the sale ingredients that we have to do a lot


more proving. How much will it cost you? This will cost ?250,000 that is


a huge amount of money that it is something we have to do. So you back


the EU but you do not love this red tape. I wish they would takd more


notice of the problems that we suffer a wife and the kind of


efforts that we have to go through to meet all these wonderful


regulations. No love for Brtssels from business. Instead a rather


grudging better in than out. He to digests the figures from this


survey is Stephen Robertson on the chairman of business West. What did


you make of the findings? What we found was that about 50% of the


respondents big and small btsinesses said that on balance they w`nted to


stay in the EU. Slightly fewer than 20% said they would be bettdr off if


we left. Even that 50% who wanted to stay and were far from happx with


everything about Brussels and they had criticisms as your piecd brought


to life. Red tape. Waste. Possibly seeing that we need change puickly.


All these firms that were asked did they have a stake in Europe? They


were a mixture of big and slall and a mixture of exporters,


manufacturers, as well as pdople did not export. A whole cross`sdction.


Was there any point in asking people who did not export? There is a world


be on Europe as well. Steve Crowther, does this law a whole


under the water line for yot? I was very encouraged by the pack`ge. The


point was made clearly. Gentleman that makes insect repellent said on


balance he was like to be in because he remembered all the paperwork


Later in the package she is having to rip up the paperwork and spends


?250,000 making a new requirements. Vince Cable illuminated this. He


says there is a risk. Busindsses are being taught that as a rest. You do


not think it is a rest. I do not think there is a risk. Digbx Jones


said last year and 24 hours of the UK was withdrawing from the European


Union it would have all the trade agreement it needs. Is Labotr going


to come out battling for thd EU I was pleased to see this report


because it reflects Labour Party policy. We just have to be sensible


about this. We cannot resort to the rhetoric that we have seen of the


last weeks. This is about pdople 's likelihoods. You are clearlx in and


no referendum? If there is ` major transfer of power to Brussels


British people will have thd right to see. People are not happx with


the EU at the moment. The kdy point here. You look at the Conservative


policy that says they will negotiate and have a referendum in 2007. We


have said we are for reform in Europe but it has to be a strong


button in Europe. Let us go back to the business point of view. Our


company is out of step with general public opinion? What businesses are


seeing is that this level of uncertainty is hurting us and we


need to set this issue quickly. Businesses are looking at the issue


from the point of view of m`king sure that bottom line is intuitive


from the difficulties. As wd have seen in the debates recentlx the


debate is far reaching. I do not think the business element of the


debate is either intrusive dnough or secondly I do not think we `re


getting firm information from government, from other political


parties, to tell us what can be done. Could we have free tr`de


agreements and 24 hours? Th`t sounds an extraordinary claim. Digby Jones


said it. He used to be head of the CPI. He ought to know what he's


talking about. A couple of weeks ago I met a commissioner in Str`sbourg


and had an off the record anything. He was under no illusion thdy would


play hardball potentials to me. Why cut off their nose to spite your


face? We are the biggest export markets. Business does not work like


that. That does not how bushness works. Look how long it is taking


the EU to set up featuring agreements. It is lagging bdhind


Switzerland. We have to press on. What price love? If you want to


bring a loved one year from outside Europe the answer is just over


?18,000 per year that is wh`t you need to Aaron to make sure xour


partner qualifies for a Vis` to come and work with you. `` that hs the


salary you need to achieve to make sure your partner qualifies for a


Visa. What happens when you fall hn love


with someone who has not allowed to live in the UK. That happens to Andy


and Molly Russell from Bath. British citizens have to earn ?18,600 to


bring their partners you thdy are not from Europe. At the timd and


they did not. It meant Mollx had to work in China. They made thhs video


to show what it was like. I would come home every evening to


the realisation that my wifd is thousands of miles away on her own.


The boys were without both their mum and dad. They took it very `ctually.


What sort of man cannot keep this family together? But their love


story does have happy ending. Andy now has a job paying over the


threshold and Molly is a job paying over the threshold and Mollx is


allowed to live with her in that system think the policy is cynical.


To win votes they are giving the British public what they thhnk the


British public want. The newspapers tell us that immigration is a


problem. Even one of my colleagues said there is no space. It hs hard


to keep a relationship going when you can only communicate online I


have spoken to several families in the West to have had to do that


That the government says thd new rules are effective in helphng to


keep down emigration. The Home Office did not want to be


interviewed about these new rules come through because they are


currently subject to a legal challenge. That they said:


strictly, even to those who have served their country. This lan was


born in South Africa but is now British and has been living in


Swindon. He served in the British Army for ten years. He did Jews of


Afghanistan and Iraq. After being made redundant they had been earning


below the threshold. `` the served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thdy are


what drives me. It is a sad situation. It is emotionallx


breaking me. I feel so let down It is Conservative Party policx to


reduce net migration to the UK to the tens of thousands. Latest


figures show emigration rishng. The High Court does decide the new


income rules are too strict form the eating that come at harder.


Steve Carell you would need a heart of stone to keep a family apart


These are sad stories. One of the issues that we see here is that the


government is trying to control immigration, but it has both hands


tied behind its back. We have open door freedom of movement to all of


the citizens of the European Union. All of the difference it can make


has to be for Bristol peopld from outside the European Union. If you


get when and where can out of Europe then presumably those same


restrictions on partners coling would apply if you met someone on an


EU country. So if you met someone in France they could not come back and


live in England. They would be rules. Of course there would be


rules. You could not marry ` new European and bring them back to work


in England. I am not saying that. That is the logic. That is not the


logic. We need to control immigration and a complex and


sensible set of rules that dnable us to simply control the quality and


the quantity of people that come to the country. That is how we will


manage to maintain public sdrvices. At the moment you cannot brhng


somebody back from China. Would that be the scene a few met somebody in


Paris or Rome? If we had left the EU? The rules would be the same


across the world. That is the point. At the moment we are constantly


trying to manipulate statistics over a narrow band of people. With Labour


dry to change this? What is this shows is that the Tory government is


heartless. The High Court h`s shown a sensible approach to this case by


seeing that the level at whhch. . You would relax the rules and drop


the ?18,000 threshold. The position in the Labour Party is we agree that


taxpayers should not have to take the hit. You see the Tories are


being heartless that you will not commit to changing the rules. Let me


answer the question. I quickly with the concept. It is the level that I


disagree. ?18,000 is too high. The High Court said a similar thing


Maybe relieved to look at mhnimum weight level. `` maybe we nded to


look at a minimum wage level. Do you accept that petition patients has


worn thin because Labour did not have any control over the Borders at


all. Ed Miliband has apologhsed because we should have done more. We


have to leave it there. The CRB is a long time in politics. He is our


rundown in 60 seconds. `` the sea hour week is a long


time. Opponents to the policy of killing


badgers welcomed the decision to delay the roll out more cal zones. A


study concluded that so far the culling had not been effecthve. That


has not deterred the farming Minister. We want to focus the


improvement on the cal is that we have started and make sure we get


the process right before rolling it out further. The Prime Minister was


back on the Somerset levels. David Cameron came to see the


dredging work he had ordered. It is going to be a continuous process. It


is a 20 year plan. To cash`strapped councils receive money to hdlp them


merits. Pubs and clubs in Cheltenhal have a


new tab to settle. This is only the second place in the country to bring


in a late`night levy. The money raised will help to pay for the


clean`up. Another busy week. That is `ll we


have time for this week. Banksy Steve Crowther and Darren Jones


taking part. `` thank you to Steve Crowther.


You can keep track of what we're up to on Twitter. We are back


chair next week. And with that, back to Andrew. Welcome back and time now


to get more from our panel. So they can justify their meagre patents.


This cost of living mantra will last all the way until the election.


Cannot? Ed Miliband leaves he is onto something and for most of this


Parliament, inflation has outstripped wages. That is going to


go the other way and wages will rise, to which you say Ed Miliband


has nothing to say. He says if you think people are going to feel


better in the blink of an eye, you are a Conservative and do not


understand the depth of this and he is taking the message from a


presidential election in America in 2012 and make Romney was ahead on


some of the economic indicators but Barack Obama was ahead on the key


one, do you believe this candidate will make your family's life


better? The message that Ed Miliband will try to say is the next election


is about whose side are you on? And he believes Labour will be on the


side of more voters than conservatives. It would be crazy for


Labour not to talk about the cost of living because even if wages exceed


inflation next year, it is not as if voters will walk around feeling like


Imelda Marcos, they will still feel as if they were struggling and not


just compared... Retail sales are slowing? That is not the sign of


palpable disparity. Circumstances are better than three years ago but


not better than five years ago. The Reagan question will still be


employed, are you better off than at the last election? But things in


America were actually getting worse when he asked that. I covered that


election, that is why it resonated and they did get worse. The


Ayatollah had quadrupled the price of oil. This is based on things


getting relatively better, after a very long wait, so the cost of


living critique will have to adapt? It will but it gets out of a very


sticky spot and the IFS says wages will not outstrip inflation and by


that time they can start talking about other things, plans for the


railways and tuition fees and at the moment, everything is up for grabs.


Labour know that every time they talk about something they want to


do, the question is, how do you pay for it? They can talk about the


economy and they don't have substantial things to say. Is it


true that Mr Iain Duncan Smith was going to make a major announcement


on benefit cheats? Or something to do with that this morning? But he


decided against it because of the tobacco over Maria Miller? It would


be very odd to go on to The Andrew Marr Show to have a chat and see


what he is having for lunch. Patrick went from the Guardian said he was


going to set out higher financial penalty phase for providing


inaccurate information in claims. This is a bad day to do that, given


that MP expenses are treated far more lenient the than any one from


Joe public. That would be fascinating, if true. And he is


making a very big speech on well for tomorrow and this tweet from Patrick


went at the Guardian, he has proper sized on welfare matters and he


tends to know what is going on. But it would be deeply unfortunate if


that was the message today. How can he make a speech that has anything


about cracking down on benefit claimants? Not today but I am not


sure tomorrow. Do you get the impression that nobody in both main


parties is very confident of winning in 2015? I column last week said the


result, the most likely result from one year on is another hung


parliament and which government results from that depends on the


mathematical specifics of whether the Tories can do a deal as well as


Labour, leaving everything in the hands of Nick Clegg or whether one


party can do a straightforward deal but I do not detect any sense of


exuberance or confidence in either camp. And the Tories are still


shooting themselves over losing the boundary commission reforms because


that was going to net them 20 seats and they lost that because they


messed up the House of Lords reform and there are still furious with


themselves. The former US President, George W Bush, has been a busy boy


and here at the Sunday Politics we thought you'd like to see the


results of his artistic endeavours. Time for the gallery.


I was a prize to find myself saying, some of these are not bad! --


surprised. Vladimir Putin? I like the one of Tony Blair but his early


ones of dogs, to be in the presence of the master is to see his portrait


of a Joanne Love. He is not of the Turner prize but I was surprised. He


gets the mask of Vladimir Putin also Tony Blair. I was impressed


that he did not allow personal or political grudges to influence his


artwork. Jacques Chirac, he comes out of this incredibly well! And


Angela Merkel comes out astonishingly well. Quite generous


as well. Tony Blair is the best one and the reason is he had the closest


relationship with them and he has talked about this portrait, saying


he was quite fond of him and you can see that. These are awful, they


would not get you an A-level but you must admire him to have the guts to


do this, and display them publicly! An A-level? Just doing joined up


numbers gets you that these days! What do you do when you retire? This


is less embarrassing than some of the other things people have done.


As good as Churchill? I don't know... No! Churchill was brilliant!


And on that! That's all for today. Tune into BBC Two every day at


lunchtime this week for the Daily Politics. And we'll be back at the


later time of 2:30pm next Sunday after the London Marathon. Remember,


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


International teams searching for the missing Malaysian airliner are


investigating three electronic signals received in the southern


Indian Ocean. It's thought


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