04/05/2014 Sunday Politics West


04/05/2014

With David Garmston. Andrew Neil interviews the Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and Sir Malcolm Bruce, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, on the European elections.


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Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Walls are being

:00:36.:00:41.

re-painted in Belfast as Gerry Adams begins his fourth day in police

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custody in connection with one of the most brutal and shocking murders

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of the Troubles. That's our top story.

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He may have got egg on his face this week but Nigel Farage is a serious

:01:00.:01:02.

electoral threat in this month's elections. I'll ask the Conservative

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Party Chairman Grant Shapps how worried he is.

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And we're on the trail of Nick Clegg. You were voted the best

:01:08.:01:12.

How easy is it to change our likely to be a good

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How easy is it to change our relationship with the continent?

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questions of identity, immigration and independence. We have a table

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full of Euro candidates here to debate what it means for London.

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

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business - Nick Watt, Helen Lewis and Janan Ganesh. They'll be

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throwing metaphorical rotten eggs into the twittersphere.

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First this morning - Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, has spent a

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fourth night in police custody after he was arrested in connection with

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the killing of Jean McConville more than 40 years ago. Sinn Fein has

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claimed that the arrest is politically motivated coming, as it

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does, during local and European election campaigns. Northern

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Ireland's deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, has indicated he

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might review the party's support for policing in the province if Gerry

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Adams is charged. The Jean McConville murder was one of the

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most notorious cases of the Troubles.

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The widowed mother of ten was kidnapped from her home in December

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1972, never to be seen alive again. The IRA denied involvement but in

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1999 admitted it had murdered her and several others, known as the

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Disappeared. Before his death, the former IRA commander Brendan Hughes

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pointed the finger at Gerry Adams, claiming:

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In April this year, either Bell was charged with aiding and abetting the

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murder. -- Ivor Bell. Gerry Adams has always insisted he is innocent

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of any part in the abduction and killing all burial of Mrs

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McConville. We were hoping to speak to the

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Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers, but having agreed to do an

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interview with us this morning, she pulled out. But we are joined from

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Belfast by Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. And

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the police just doing their job by questioning Gerry Adams? Gerry Adams

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said publicly some time ago that he was available to speak to the

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police, but that is not what this is about at the moment, because what we

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have here is clearly evidence in our mind of political interference in

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what should be due process. Gerry Adams made it clear some time ago he

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wanted to speak to the police, it was available at any time, and yet

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that request was not taken up until three weeks into an election and we

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believe that was deliberately orchestrated by a small number of

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people. What evidence can you present this morning that proves

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that claim? The direct circumstances Gerry Adams finds himself in at the

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moment, take that in stark contrast when they have dealt with members of

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the British Army for instance... That is just circumstantial. The

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PSNI know that the soldiers involved in that and a number of other

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high-profile killings of citizens here, and not one of those people

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has been arrested. In fact any of the people who were interviewed were

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interviewed by request. There was a stark contrast, in terms of how they

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have dealt with the British military involving state killings. We haven't

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got too much time. Sinn Fein said it would review its support for the

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PSNI if Gerry Adams is charged. That sounds like political interference

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in the police process. It's not because we have a clear mandate from

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the people who elect us. Policing has been an important part of the

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peace process here for many years, Sinn Fein plays an important role in

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local policing partnerships. We negotiate to make sure we have

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powers transferred here to elected representatives in the north. It is

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a long way to go before we have policing highly accountable, and

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making sure they deliver a very impartial service. How will he react

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if Gerry Adams is charged? I am still trying to get a clear answer.

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If Gerry Adams is charged, will you withdraw support for the Northern

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Ireland police service? We view this as a serious situation and a serious

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ongoing situation and we will monitor how this pans out. We have a

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very important role to play to support the police service here. We

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have done consistently, worked with them on a daily basis, but we will

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not accept political interference by a small number of people in the

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police who are undermining the police. We will not accept political

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policing. If there was evidence, and I emphasise the word if, because we

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have seen none, but if there were evidence to justify Gerry Adams

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being charged, why should he not be charged? It is my understanding from

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the family of Gerry Adams that there has not been a single shred of

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evidence put forward. I understand that, but if there was evidence, why

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should he not be charged? You put that caveat yourself and then you

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expect me to speculate, there is no way I will do that. The fact of the

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matter is there hasn't been one single shred of evidence put to

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Gerry Adams in the last few days, in fact what has been put to him is a

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range of issues of newspaper cuttings, books, statements made

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from people, including from people who didn't want their statements

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released until they have died. who didn't want their statements

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was charged, again I emphasise the word if, does the police process

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fall apart? The police process is a fragile entity, it requires work and

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we have been saying this publicly and privately with the Irish and

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British and privately with the Irish and

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process has to be nurtured and developed. We are not out of the

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woods yet. From a Republican point of view we have been working flat

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out. I just wanted a quick answer to my question, is a yes or no? What

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question I asking me? Is the peace process in jeopardy? It is fragile

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and I am not going to have words put into my mouth but I don't want to

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use. It has to be worked out and nurtured. Thank you for joining us.

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Nick Watt, you were a Northern Ireland correspondent like myself in

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days gone by. Where is this going to go? It shows how challenging the

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peace process is because on the one hand you have the unspeakable pain

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of the McConville family, but you also have the danger of not having

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mechanisms to deal with the past. South Africa is a good example, you

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have to have some mechanism to deal with the past because if you don't,

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you are going to have, as Sinn Fein have now, someone in a police cell

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but you don't have the arrests of the Bloody Sunday soldiers.

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Paramilitary prisoners were released after two years... We have seen no

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action against somebody accused of the Hyde Park bombings, it is not a

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one-way street. We have the decommissioning of IRA weapons by

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the IRA, therefore destroying crucial evidence. You have these

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inconsistencies because you don't have an mechanism for dealing with

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the past, but doing that is really difficult because of the pain of

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real people. Don't you get a feeling that here in London they are hoping

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he will not be charged? Definitely because it would be nice if

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everything went away, but the civil case of the family is taken out of

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the hands of the police. You can see here a real failure in Westminster

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to see this as anything other than settled. David Cameron we know sees

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himself as a chairman. I was speaking to a friend in Northern

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Ireland who said he has never met Gerry Adams and I think this is very

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revealing. They consider this as a settled issue that will not trouble

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Westminster again. It would be, but the relatives of the disappeared

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don't want it to be settled. This points to the reality that the

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Belfast agreement probably had to be done, but the moral price at which

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it was purchased was far greater than we were willing to admit during

:11:34.:11:38.

the euphoria. For a country that prides itself by the rule of law to

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tolerate the early release of prisoners and former pal and

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military -- paramilitaries, I think was a very serious matter. As for

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the PSNI, it only exists because its predecessor failed to command the

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confidence of the nationalist community. It is a very big deal if

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even the PSNI ends up falling into the same trap. We have to is leave

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it there I'm afraid. It was the Conservative's local election

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campaign launch on Friday, and what did David Cameron focus on? Burning

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local issues like the state of our roads, rubbish collection or care of

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the elderly? No. It was Europe. The Prime Minister re-iterated again his

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promise of an in-out referendum on our membership of the EU in 2017.

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And it's being reported this morning that he will share a platform with

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Nigel Farage in a pre-general election debate. Here's what the

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UKIP leader had to say about the issue when he was on the Marr Show

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this morning with Ed Miliband. David Cameron very often makes these vague

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promises, then doesn't deliver afterwards. I don't think he has any

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intention of allowing me into any of these debates. Perhaps Ed Miliband

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wants to debate? We have got to have the TV debates as we did join the

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last general election. I think David Cameron is doing everything he can

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to wriggle out of them. It is up to the broadcasters but whether they

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invite Nigel. My main desire is that the debates go ahead. We are joined

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now by Grant Shapps. Will he be included? The debates were not

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without problems, they took place during the campaign period and

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disrupted the flow of the campaign, taking it out of the regions, people

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getting to speak to the leaders so a longer period for that would be

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helpful. I think they are good idea and they should go ahead, but all of

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the negotiation about who is involved is yet to happen. So it is

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not a done deal that Nigel Farage will be included? That needs to be

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negotiated with the TV companies. The Conservatives believe we should

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have debates, but exactly the format and the timing, all of the -- that

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will be debated in the autumn, but first we have European elections,

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the Queen 's speech and a Scottish referendum. The local election

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campaign was launched on Friday. Why did you talk more about Europe than

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local councils? Both are important. The local elections are critically

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important for people, their local services. It is easy to forget, for

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example, that the council tax has been largely frozen since this

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Government came to power, a big contrast to Dublin under the

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previous Labour government. So why did you go on and on about Europe?

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Let me show you the poster used to launch your local election campaign.

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There it is, and in-out referendum on Europe, the day of the local

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elections, where is the word local? Is it in small print? I hear what

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you're saying, I am happy to be here to talk about the local elections.

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But you are right, they are on the same day, and not many people know

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that only by voting conservative can you get an in-out referendum. --

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Conservative. UKIP cannot deliver, we can, it is the same date, so

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people... This was the launch of the local election campaign. Why does

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the Prime Minister have to keep on promising something he has already

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promised? The actual referendum would be in 2017. He promised it

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before, he keeps repeating it because he knows people don't really

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trust him. I think it is a question of the fact that, actually, unless

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you remind people that the pledges there, that the only way to get an

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in-out referendum is to vote for it, this is a critical moment at

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which we need people to vote for that referendum if they want it. It

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is not the case, as I saw this morning, being said by Nigel Farage,

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that a referendum was promised before and not delivered. There was

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no referendum in the last manifesto. There will be in the next one. There

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was a cast-iron guarantee, in the Sun in 2006. Let's just clear that

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up... Once the Lisbon Treaty... In the Sun article, he said, we will

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have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Clearly, because that treaty

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had been passed before the general election, it is difficult to have a

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referendum on something in the past. We joined Europe in the 1970s,

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having a referendum on that! Look, that is about the future. Our

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relationship with Europe is absolutely critical. Most people in

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this country feel, I was not old enough to vote in that referendum,

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most of those who voted, they voted for a Common Market, that is not

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what we have got. We want to continue the work we have been doing

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in the EU Budget, what did UKIP do? They voted against it. We want more

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of those powers brought home, and we will put it to a referendum, and

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people will have to vote Conservative to get it. We have been

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looking at new research, almost two thirds of Conservative members are

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considering voting for UKIP, almost two thirds. I have a simple message

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here, which is this. If you vote for UKIP... Can we have it up? 30% are

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likely, 30% are possible. That is why it is important we are making

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these arguments. If you vote for UKIP, you are voting to take us

:18:17.:18:21.

further away from returning powers to this country, further from a

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referendum. It is support for Ed Miliband becoming Prime Minister,

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and he will do exactly what Labour have always done - hand away powers,

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and away the rebate for nothing in return, giving Europe even more so

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over the day-to-day affairs in Britain. Why are so many people

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considering voting UKIP? It is to hold your feet to the fire, they do

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not trust you on a referendum, so they will vote UKIP to force you to

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tap in your line. We have a very tough line. If I had said four years

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ago that this government would manage to cut the overall EU

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budget, would take us out of the bailout fund that Labour got us

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into, passing a law that no more powers can go to Europe without a

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referendum, if I had said that, people would say, I do not believe

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it will happen. Not only have we done these things, we are promising

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and in-out referendum, and the only way to get it is to vote

:19:19.:19:21.

Conservative. Nigel Farage has said, we can't change anything in

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Europe, and it is no wonder that the president of the European Commission

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has said, we love having these UKIP MEPs, because they don't turn up and

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vote, apart from when they vote against the cut in the budget. It

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goes beyond UKIP in your party, because this research also showed

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that those Conservative members most likely to vote for UKIP, they said

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they do not feel valued or respected by their own leadership, and they

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regard David Cameron as ideological eat more remote from them than UKIP.

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What I would say is look at that list... Let me take that step

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further. What people need our series solutions to serious problems. When

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people vote for a UKIP MEP, I will say, which one of the 40% of the

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MEPs who got in for UKIP last time are you voting for, the ones above

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left or defected, the ones have gone to jail? 40% have ended up not

:20:29.:20:32.

delivering. People have a right to know what to expect when they vote

:20:33.:20:37.

in these elections. They can look at our record at home, and this goes to

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the point you have raised about what we have done in Britain to get this

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economy back on track, recover from Labour's recession. We are prepared

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to take those decisions in Europe as well. Presumably, active

:20:51.:20:57.

Conservative members, they know that, so why do they not feel valued

:20:58.:21:03.

by the leadership? I spend time going up and down the country

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meeting Conservative members, and they are on the doorstep, last

:21:07.:21:13.

weekend 150 out in Enfield campaigning for the European and

:21:14.:21:19.

local elections... Why are they keen on UKIP? When I meet somebody who

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says that, not necessarily a member... Have you met members of

:21:24.:21:31.

say they will vote UKIP? No, but a vote for UKIP is... Do not do it,

:21:32.:21:40.

you will end up with Labour having more control, handing away powers to

:21:41.:21:45.

Europe. 51-year-old meeting members who say they will vote UKIP, you

:21:46.:21:52.

must be out of touch. -- if you are not meeting members. Some of your

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members are thinking of voting UKIP. I spend huge amount of time

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travelling around, I just told you about this action day in Enfield,

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where we had an enormous turnout. Those members were on the doorsteps

:22:07.:22:11.

pointing out that you can only get reform in Europe by voting

:22:12.:22:16.

Conservative. Labour and the Lib Dems will not deliver, UKIP can't,

:22:17.:22:21.

Conservatives will. You have not got that message across, because a

:22:22.:22:25.

YouGov poll shows, on Europe, who has the best policies? Tories 18%,

:22:26.:22:34.

Labour 19%, UKIP 27%. On the economy, Tories 27%, Labour 23, UKIP

:22:35.:22:40.

4. Why don't you shut up about Europe and talk about the economy?

:22:41.:22:47.

Look, on the 27th of May, we have European elections, as well as local

:22:48.:22:51.

elections. If I don't talk about the European elections, you would say

:22:52.:22:54.

what you said at the beginning about not talking about the local

:22:55.:22:57.

elections! These are serious elections, and the point I am tried

:22:58.:23:01.

to make is that the issues at stake are not peripheral, they are not

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unimportant. Our MEPs have been battling to cut red tape from a

:23:07.:23:09.

European level on small businesses, the same thing this government has

:23:10.:23:12.

been doing for small businesses domestic league, where for example

:23:13.:23:15.

every small business owner watching this show knows they have got ?2000

:23:16.:23:22.

back in employment announced on national insurance contributions. We

:23:23.:23:25.

are doing it at home, we are doing it in Europe, and it is important to

:23:26.:23:30.

tie that together. Ireland that Mr Cameron saying, you should stop

:23:31.:23:44.

banging on about Europe... -- I remember. This is before the last

:23:45.:23:54.

general election, as in days for the Lib Dems, 18%. Even then, you didn't

:23:55.:23:59.

win the election, and now you are only three or four points ahead, it

:24:00.:24:03.

doesn't look good for you, does it? Even then, the poll did not turn out

:24:04.:24:10.

to be what it was on the day. No, that is what happens, that is the

:24:11.:24:14.

voting intentions now! You are in a worse position than a year before

:24:15.:24:17.

the last election, which you didn't win. We are almost proving the point

:24:18.:24:24.

that you can take a clip at any moment in time, not sounding like a

:24:25.:24:28.

politician, but the only poll that matters is on the day. In just over

:24:29.:24:34.

a year's time, people will have a completely different picture to look

:24:35.:24:39.

at than these opinion polls. We have an economy from being a basket

:24:40.:24:44.

case, the great Labour recession knocking 7% of this economy, hurting

:24:45.:24:49.

every family, to a point where we the fastest-growing economy in the

:24:50.:24:53.

developed world. In a year's time, I hope people will see that we are the

:24:54.:24:57.

people who've taken the difficult decisions, got the economy to the

:24:58.:25:01.

right place, more security for you and your family. Do not give the car

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keys back to the people who crashed it in the first place. If I had a

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pound for every time I have heard that! It is clearly not getting

:25:11.:25:15.

through. On the Pfizer attempted of AstraZeneca, Mr Miliband called this

:25:16.:25:22.

morning for a tougher public interest test such big takeovers. Do

:25:23.:25:26.

you agree with that or not? Let me be absolutely clear, if there is any

:25:27.:25:33.

kind of joining, we are in favour of British jobs, British aren't deep,

:25:34.:25:41.

expanding our pharmaceutical sector. -- R But what Mr Mallon and wants

:25:42.:25:54.

to do with rent caps, he is anti-business. -- Mr Miliband. He

:25:55.:25:58.

wants to take us back to the bad old those. -- bad old days. Should there

:25:59.:26:10.

be a bigger public interest test? We have seen some takeovers that people

:26:11.:26:14.

have criticised, but others, like Bentley, Land Rover, which have been

:26:15.:26:20.

very successful. Should there be a tougher test?! We will have tests

:26:21.:26:25.

that ensured this get-together becomes a great Anglo-American

:26:26.:26:29.

project, or it doesn't happen, but the Miliband approach is simply to

:26:30.:26:33.

be anti-business, anti-jobs and anti-job security. Grant Shapps,

:26:34.:26:37.

thank you. A challenging week for the Liberal

:26:38.:26:41.

Democrats with a local election campaign overshadowed by another row

:26:42.:26:44.

with the Conservatives about knife crime. Adam has spent the day with

:26:45.:26:51.

Nick Clegg on the campaign trail. How nice! Nick Clegg is taking me on

:26:52.:26:55.

a political mini break to the Cotswolds. Yes, we are getting the

:26:56.:26:59.

train. He wants to highlight what his party is doing in local

:27:00.:27:03.

government, and a personal passion of his in Europe. Graham Watson, the

:27:04.:27:08.

Lib Dem MEP for the south-west, has been running a campaign to have

:27:09.:27:14.

prunes recognised as a laxative. Is that Lib Dems battling for Britain

:27:15.:27:19.

in Europe? It is not our front page manifesto commitment! It is one of

:27:20.:27:22.

many things that Graham does, he does many other things. In fact, he

:27:23.:27:31.

is a good example of an MEP who took a pioneering role, for instance, in

:27:32.:27:35.

making sure... There is the proven world, but also the crime-fighting

:27:36.:27:42.

role. -- prune. He has done work to make sure that when British

:27:43.:27:45.

criminals flee justice, we can bring them back. And he has promoted

:27:46.:27:52.

prunes! First stop, a gorgeous country pub, but it turns out

:27:53.:27:55.

everyone is a journalist or a very on message activist. Dark days,

:27:56.:28:01.

being a Lib Dem in the last few years? Strangely not. If you find

:28:02.:28:07.

you are a Lib Dem deep down, you do not get that disheartened, because

:28:08.:28:10.

you know that, locally, you are doing so well for the people that

:28:11.:28:13.

you live next door to that, actually, I find I am almost

:28:14.:28:19.

impervious to what happens on a national level. I am mayor of

:28:20.:28:23.

Cirencester. Have you taken any leadership lessons from Nick Clegg,

:28:24.:28:27.

inspiring new in your leadership of Cirencester? I think what he has

:28:28.:28:33.

demonstrated his patience. It has been a tough time, he has taken a

:28:34.:28:37.

lot of flak, and as the mayor of a town, lots of people agree with you

:28:38.:28:42.

and a fair few don't. You are a full on mayor, he is just a Deputy Prime

:28:43.:28:47.

Minister, do you outrank him? I don't think so, he is in government,

:28:48.:28:53.

I am not. So our there any normal people in here? We are from

:28:54.:28:58.

Swindon, you cannot get more abnormal. Are you a big fan of his?

:28:59.:29:06.

No! What has he done wrong? I don't believe in his views at all. Where

:29:07.:29:11.

has he got to? Nigel Farage would have had a pint! At this time in the

:29:12.:29:19.

morning a copy was more appropriate. I have no time for a drink of any

:29:20.:29:23.

kind, because now we are off to look at a local traffic blackspot. This

:29:24.:29:27.

is amazing, like a Lib Dem election leaflet brought to life, Lib Dems

:29:28.:29:34.

pointing at a road. High-vis jackets! Next we had to giggle full

:29:35.:29:39.

bath, but there will be no Regency sightseeing for us, oh no, Nick is

:29:40.:29:43.

taking us to an abandoned wilderness. We have just had a

:29:44.:29:53.

health and safety briefing, we have been told to look out for

:29:54.:29:57.

dive-bombing seagulls and an angry fox. That is the sort of thing Nick

:29:58.:30:02.

Clegg has to put up with. He wants to talk about the economy but he has

:30:03.:30:07.

to dodge the day's beat new story, letters leaked by a Tory suggesting

:30:08.:30:12.

that Lib Dems are soft on knife crime. Isn't that a new kind of

:30:13.:30:23.

warfare? I just think it is silly. They may think they are clever by

:30:24.:30:27.

catching some headlines but they are not helping people who worry about

:30:28.:30:37.

knife crime, like I do. We work together... Just like the

:30:38.:30:42.

Coalition! This is a co-working space where different businesses

:30:43.:30:47.

share the same office. My time with the Deputy Prime Minister is drawing

:30:48.:30:53.

to a close. We haven't talked about the most important story of the

:30:54.:30:56.

week, that you were voted the best looking party leader and the most

:30:57.:31:04.

likely to be a good cook. Right, this is news to me and I can

:31:05.:31:08.

guarantee you that my scepticism of opinion polls has just been

:31:09.:31:14.

confirmed. Just as well because the more serious polls don't look great

:31:15.:31:20.

for him or his party. Goodbye, and thanks for the offer of a ride

:31:21.:31:26.

home! He is still walking. Malcolm Bruce

:31:27.:31:32.

joins us now. According to Lib Dem briefing documents, you are likely

:31:33.:31:38.

to choose -- lose a big chunk of your MEPs. If you lose a lot, what

:31:39.:31:42.

would that say about a party that boasts of its pro-Europe

:31:43.:31:46.

credentials? It would be disappointing because we have the

:31:47.:31:53.

most hard-working MEPs. The worry that we have is that people think

:31:54.:31:59.

the European Parliament is not important but it takes decisions

:32:00.:32:07.

that affect us. They would be disappointing for Britain as well as

:32:08.:32:11.

the Liberal Democrats. Isn't the problem that the more you bang on

:32:12.:32:15.

about your pro-European credentials, the more you slip in the polls? I do

:32:16.:32:21.

think so, we have two weeks to go and we are campaigning extremely

:32:22.:32:32.

hard. You are forced in the polls. I can tell you there are people out

:32:33.:32:37.

there who do believe Britain should stay in the EU and they are worried

:32:38.:32:42.

that other parties will take us out. The Liberal Democrats are clear, we

:32:43.:32:47.

want to stay in, we will work for reform and do it effectively. If you

:32:48.:32:52.

lose the Liberal Democrats, Britain's influence in Europe will

:32:53.:32:58.

be weakened. Your track record in Europe shows you have been

:32:59.:33:02.

spectacularly wrong again and again. In your 2009 manifesto you said the

:33:03.:33:10.

European Central Bank and the euro have been tried and tested over ten

:33:11.:33:14.

years providing a clear picture of the benefits of Eurozone membership

:33:15.:33:20.

and that proved to be nonsense. It was nonsense everywhere. Every

:33:21.:33:24.

developed bank in the world was tried and tested and failed. Europe

:33:25.:33:30.

may not be perfect, but the question people have to decide is if we are

:33:31.:33:34.

going to leave Europe and be isolated on RM, or use our influence

:33:35.:33:42.

to reform it from inside. We have allies, you work with them, that is

:33:43.:33:47.

something the Lib Dems do better than any other parties. Your 2004

:33:48.:33:53.

manifesto, you claim that being outside the euro would lead to job

:33:54.:33:58.

losses and reduced prosperity. You were just plain wrong, weren't you?

:33:59.:34:06.

Yes, but the reason is that to some extent the euro did not observe any

:34:07.:34:13.

rules and regulations when it was set up. That is why we never

:34:14.:34:17.

recommended Britain should join at the outset because the criteria had

:34:18.:34:23.

not been met. In 2001 Nick Clegg was writing to the Financial Times...

:34:24.:34:29.

Your track record is important. He wrote that the Tisch monetary policy

:34:30.:34:35.

is not all it is cracked up to be. Britain would gain greater control

:34:36.:34:40.

over its affairs by joining the euro. How wrong can he be? We have

:34:41.:34:50.

always argued that the currency had to abide by strict criteria. It

:34:51.:34:54.

hasn't done so and that is one of the reasons it has failed. We

:34:55.:35:01.

recognise there is no future for Britain joining the euro and we are

:35:02.:35:06.

not advocating it. Lets put your 2010 manifesto on the screen. I

:35:07.:35:14.

didn't say it was not our long-term interest. If Europe succeeds as an

:35:15.:35:19.

entity, if the euro becomes one of the world leading currencies, there

:35:20.:35:28.

will come a point when it may be justified. In the circumstances we

:35:29.:35:32.

are in the moment, there is no recommended timescale. Let's get

:35:33.:35:37.

this right. Despite the Eurozone crisis which has cost millions of

:35:38.:35:42.

jobs, countries that were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, the

:35:43.:35:46.

Eurozone now facing stagnation and some countries on the brink of

:35:47.:35:52.

deflation, you still won't rule out Britain joining? We are ruling it

:35:53.:35:57.

out in the foreseeable future. You can miss the point that we are

:35:58.:36:01.

working as a coalition partner in government that has secured recovery

:36:02.:36:07.

for the UK, and working as Liberal Democrats in the parliament that

:36:08.:36:12.

have cut back the European budget in cooperation with others. What would

:36:13.:36:17.

the world look like if it were right for Britain to join the euro? You

:36:18.:36:24.

have 27 states at the moment, with too many countries still struggling

:36:25.:36:28.

to meet the criteria so until you have a strong and cohesive enough

:36:29.:36:32.

single Eurozone in which all the countries can meet that criteria,

:36:33.:36:39.

Britain is better off out. So a more centralised Eurozone, that is what

:36:40.:36:44.

you would like Britain to join? No, because it can only happen by

:36:45.:36:48.

consent. Any circumstances in which any further powers would be

:36:49.:36:55.

transferred from the UK to the EU, we would support a referendum. You

:36:56.:37:01.

have just said that for the Eurozone to work, it has to be more

:37:02.:37:04.

centralised and you said if that happens, that is what Britain would

:37:05.:37:11.

join. I didn't say that, I said it would require the consent of all

:37:12.:37:14.

member states to agree to the criteria. We certainly do not

:37:15.:37:21.

envisage joining in the foreseeable future. Since you are the proud

:37:22.:37:27.

party of in, why weren't you just give us a referendum on in or out?

:37:28.:37:34.

Because it has to have a context. What David Cameron is doing is

:37:35.:37:39.

dangerous because I think the major players like Britain and France are

:37:40.:37:43.

not keen on the idea of being bullied into reforms on the

:37:44.:37:47.

instigation of just one member state which is threatening possibility to

:37:48.:37:51.

withdraw. They will have to agree to rules... Just have it now. Do you

:37:52.:38:01.

want in or out? To have a referendum against no background is to put it

:38:02.:38:05.

out of context. We are in the middle of a crisis, a year away from the

:38:06.:38:10.

general election. We have made it clear... You said we are in the

:38:11.:38:18.

middle of the Eurozone crisis? So we are not in the middle of it? What's

:38:19.:38:24.

the middle? The reality is that the Western world has gone through a

:38:25.:38:29.

deep crisis. The UK is coming out of it, the Eurozone is coming out of

:38:30.:38:34.

it. Greece have been able to borrow on the markets in recent weeks which

:38:35.:38:40.

is a sign of success. It is in our interest is the Eurozone succeeds

:38:41.:38:43.

and recovers and we should be part of it but not necessarily on the

:38:44.:38:47.

same conditions as everyone else. The Liberal Democrats work with

:38:48.:38:51.

others to deliver Britain's interests and if they are not there,

:38:52.:38:59.

their interests will be undermined. You are watching Sunday Politics. We

:39:00.:39:02.

say goodbye to viewers in Scotland now.

:39:03.:39:11.

Hello and welcome to the West Country part of the show on this

:39:12.:39:16.

bank holiday weekend. Coming up, we'll be taking a health check of

:39:17.:39:20.

the NHS, one year after the biggest changes in its history. And what do

:39:21.:39:25.

you get when you ask half a dozen Conservative MPs to write down the

:39:26.:39:28.

powers they'd like back from Brussels? We'll explore if David

:39:29.:39:31.

Cameron has the "je ne sais quoi" needed to unite his troops.

:39:32.:39:41.

First, let's meet our guests. They are the Conservative MP for North

:39:42.:39:44.

Wiltshire, James Gray, and the Independent Mayor of Bristol, George

:39:45.:39:47.

Ferguson. Let's start with that announcement from Labour over

:39:48.:40:06.

capping rent rises for tenants. I have written a lot about housing. Is

:40:07.:40:10.

a sense that there is more demand and supply, and therefore rent is

:40:11.:40:14.

becoming unaffordable for some people. So I do think we need to

:40:15.:40:19.

look at the way we can give access to people who are more vulnerable,

:40:20.:40:27.

who are unable to afford rent, and an awful lot of people who are not

:40:28.:40:30.

housed who we have to deal with people dealing with short tenancies.

:40:31.:40:37.

And Bristol is packed with buy to let properties. Absolutely. The

:40:38.:40:45.

devil will be in the detail. James, has Ed Miliband got the upper hand

:40:46.:40:50.

again by talking about the cost`of`living crisis and appealing

:40:51.:40:54.

to a lot of bubble in rented accommodation and want protection?

:40:55.:41:00.

It is old`fashioned socialism, you cannot control rent any more than

:41:01.:41:06.

you can control energy, which is the last attempt to curry favour with

:41:07.:41:15.

voters. To say to a landlord, you cannot increase your rent by more

:41:16.:41:20.

than a certain percent per year, why shouldn't you? It is their property

:41:21.:41:25.

and they bought it. But you could have the tenant over the barrel. But

:41:26.:41:33.

you do anyway. The Socialists used to protect people, they controlled

:41:34.:41:42.

rent a lot of years ago, and in `` it never worked. If I charge too

:41:43.:41:48.

much, my tenant leaves and I get someone else. At the central

:41:49.:41:51.

government trying to control how much I charge is absurd.

:41:52.:41:56.

It's been a year since GPs were put in charge of a large chunk of the

:41:57.:42:01.

NHS budget and ` for some ` it has not been an easy start. As well as

:42:02.:42:05.

having to make huge savings, the Clinical Commissioning Groups that

:42:06.:42:07.

doctors run are facing legal challenges over how they spend their

:42:08.:42:10.

money. Here's our Health Correspondent Matthew Hill.

:42:11.:42:15.

Dr Matthew Dolman used to spend more time with patients in his local town

:42:16.:42:19.

of Axbridge. Here he is back doing the rounds. But now it's more likely

:42:20.:42:33.

he'll be found here. He chairs a group of fellow GPs who now have to

:42:34.:42:37.

choose where to spend money on health services. It follows the

:42:38.:42:40.

biggest overhaul of the NHS in its history. Up until a year ago,

:42:41.:42:43.

managers working for the Primary Care Trust would commission services

:42:44.:42:46.

like emergency care, hospital treatment and mental health

:42:47.:42:49.

services. Now that work is done by GPs on Clinical Commissioning Groups

:42:50.:42:55.

or CCGs. And the budgets are huge. In Somerset alone Dr Dolman's CCG

:42:56.:43:02.

has ?650m to spend. The government says these groups are more in tune

:43:03.:43:05.

with the needs of their area but critics say doctors don't have the

:43:06.:43:09.

time or training to take on such an important role. It is an enormous

:43:10.:43:20.

task in trying to support the health and social care services as we move

:43:21.:43:26.

forward in an incredibly challenging financial environment.

:43:27.:43:37.

The financial challenge that Dr Dolman faces is that the group has

:43:38.:43:40.

to make savings of ?500 million over the next five years. That's ?40

:43:41.:43:44.

million a year. And it seems likely that one of the avenues they are

:43:45.:43:48.

going to have to explore is how they're going to use community

:43:49.:43:51.

hospitals. With around a quarter of beds in the county's community

:43:52.:43:54.

hospitals lying empty, the Somerset CCG has decided to mothball some `

:43:55.:43:58.

like here in Shepton Mallett. The CCG argues patients like Mike Sale

:43:59.:44:01.

are better off being treated at home. But fundraisers fear it's the

:44:02.:44:10.

start of a slippery slope. Yes, they will probably get 40 minutes a day

:44:11.:44:15.

from an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, but for the other

:44:16.:44:20.

23 hours, they will be dependent on what? Social services? Another CCG

:44:21.:44:24.

in the West faces more than just criticism. In Bristol these

:44:25.:44:27.

campaigners are taking legal action to fighting plans to contract out

:44:28.:44:36.

NHS services to private companies. It is time for the CCG to stop

:44:37.:44:41.

defending the indefensible and put transparent arrangements in place

:44:42.:44:44.

that explains to patients precisely how they will be involved in all the

:44:45.:44:54.

decision`making by the CCG. Campaigners say this is the faceless

:44:55.:44:57.

and unaccountable new NHS, which has no safety net in place to make sure

:44:58.:45:01.

patients are consulted properly on any changes.

:45:02.:45:06.

In a statement, the CCG say they take their commitment to the public

:45:07.:45:14.

very seriously but they maintain flexibility over the extent of

:45:15.:45:23.

consultation and exercise. GPs may not be used to patients questioning

:45:24.:45:26.

their decisions. But as their budgets become tighter and tighter,

:45:27.:45:30.

it seems they may have to get used to having their judgement

:45:31.:45:31.

challenged. Well, we did ask to speak to a

:45:32.:45:35.

Health Minister or indeed any chair of a local CCG but no`one was

:45:36.:45:42.

available. We can, though, talk to Mike Campbell from the campaign

:45:43.:45:45.

group Protect Our NHS which is taking its legal challenge against

:45:46.:45:48.

the Bristol CCG to the High Court. Why shouldn't we trust our GPs to

:45:49.:45:53.

make the right decisions? This is not about not trusting them to make

:45:54.:45:59.

these decisions. We need to look at this in the context of the

:46:00.:46:08.

reorganisation of the NHS. So what is the problem? Mr Cameron said

:46:09.:46:14.

there would be no top`down reorganisation of the NHS, and at a

:46:15.:46:19.

cost of ?3 billion we have massive reorganisation. We have a situation

:46:20.:46:23.

where the Secretary of State was my duty to helping a National Health

:46:24.:46:29.

Service has been abolished. We have increasing competition, health

:46:30.:46:36.

services being privatised... People still go to the GPs and then get

:46:37.:46:41.

referred to hospital, which is free, so what is the problem? The idea of

:46:42.:46:48.

giving patients more choice has become more and more confusing. I

:46:49.:46:57.

was speaking to a GP last night, and he says they often do not know where

:46:58.:47:01.

they are faring a patient because there are so many options. Is this

:47:02.:47:12.

mess? Many years ago, people complained and said they should

:47:13.:47:17.

bring back the doctors running the NHS, and that is what this has done.

:47:18.:47:28.

We got rid of lots and lots of pen pushers, the doctors and nurses

:47:29.:47:36.

hacking charge. But what has happened as there has been an

:47:37.:47:38.

increase in bureaucracy since the health and social care act. But do

:47:39.:47:46.

you want to unpick it? I am seeing a massive organisation has put more

:47:47.:47:51.

pressure on GPs, health care workers and patients. Waiting lists are

:47:52.:47:57.

longer. And you are in charge of public health now in Bristol? Yes, I

:47:58.:48:05.

have a great fan of the NHS. We had to move to a system that was much

:48:06.:48:11.

more joined up. I am very keen on us looking after early intervention, so

:48:12.:48:21.

that we reduce the problem early on. Does this allow you to do that? It

:48:22.:48:30.

does. But by shifting... But by shifting this across... I think it

:48:31.:48:37.

has improved the way we look after people. If you go to your doctor and

:48:38.:48:42.

say you have a bad back, do you not want your GP to be concentrating on

:48:43.:48:46.

your body rather than getting him out to do a deal with the hospital?

:48:47.:48:54.

Now, the number of GPs in the NHS are relatively small. Most

:48:55.:48:59.

consultants are still doing their proper daytime job. The National

:49:00.:49:03.

Health Service should be free. That is the only important thing about

:49:04.:49:11.

it. I think the National Health Service is the best we have got in

:49:12.:49:15.

the world, and the way we run it is rather good. Thank you very much for

:49:16.:49:23.

coming in. It was another good week for UKIP.

:49:24.:49:29.

They came top in an opinion poll ahead of the European elections. But

:49:30.:49:33.

while they want out of Europe, David Cameron is trying to strike a new

:49:34.:49:38.

deal with the continent. Can negotiations on such a huge scale of

:49:39.:49:45.

work? `` ever work? Four party leader swept through the West in as

:49:46.:49:51.

many days. But as different as they may be politically, each were united

:49:52.:49:55.

in condemning the Prime Minister was a European pledge, to try to take

:49:56.:49:59.

back power from Brussels. Whether it was the pro`European Lib

:50:00.:50:03.

Dems... David Cameron is trying to paper over the cracks. The

:50:04.:50:10.

anti`European UKIP. Why would anyone believe anything they say? The

:50:11.:50:18.

Conservatives offered a divided arty. If you think about what David

:50:19.:50:27.

Cameron wants, we are 180 degrees in the other direction. After a brief

:50:28.:50:43.

battle with the flip chart, we were ready to compile a list of what they

:50:44.:50:49.

want back. They came and they wrote, and they wrote, and they wrote some

:50:50.:50:53.

more. Some of it was easy to understand. Now, to the EU army. And

:50:54.:51:09.

Napoleonic code system trying to work. We had five West Country MPs

:51:10.:51:16.

contribute to this, but you can see the length of the list. There are

:51:17.:51:21.

some themes here, benefits comes up time and time again, but there are

:51:22.:51:28.

some specific details that Mr Cameron has to take on board,

:51:29.:51:32.

Habitat directive, fisheries, insurance, law and order, the Prime

:51:33.:51:45.

Minister will have his work cut out. First ahead to the road. The first

:51:46.:51:51.

place, the European commission representation. Most of these things

:51:52.:52:00.

can be achieved with our friends in Europe. These things are exactly

:52:01.:52:05.

what the Germans, the Dutch, the Swedes, they have already signed up

:52:06.:52:12.

to it. These are things that can be achieved but they do not have to be

:52:13.:52:15.

achieved by separating, they can be achieved by reform with our friends.

:52:16.:52:21.

But others don't trying to renegotiate with 27 other countries

:52:22.:52:26.

would ever be that simple. This chairman beats the think tank

:52:27.:52:32.

founded by Margaret Thatcher. Bashed the Eurosceptic think tank. The

:52:33.:52:37.

French president said it cannot work. There has to be some changes

:52:38.:52:44.

to some directives, but for significant changes, the West

:52:45.:52:48.

Country MPs have talked about immigration, restricting courts

:52:49.:52:52.

interfering in our affairs, it cannot happen. Reform may not be as

:52:53.:53:04.

easy as some make out, and while the argument over what can and can't be

:53:05.:53:13.

achieved goes on, one man is happy to debate it, Nigel Farage.

:53:14.:53:25.

Renegotiation is a pipe dream, isn't it? It is not, it is extremely

:53:26.:53:32.

important. In all my years in politics, everyone wanted a free

:53:33.:53:36.

trade area. We need to bring back a lot of power to the European Union

:53:37.:53:40.

and reorganise the architecture of the European Union. We have got to

:53:41.:53:45.

battle for those things and at the end of this, if we do not get it,

:53:46.:53:51.

people have the opportunity to say yes or no. So when can we say that

:53:52.:54:05.

that we have got it and we need the public to make a decision? We will

:54:06.:54:19.

either... We are the only party who will offer the referendum. No one

:54:20.:54:24.

else can do it. We need to vote Conservative to get that referendum.

:54:25.:54:33.

And you are man very keen on Europe? Bristol has done very well out of

:54:34.:54:40.

Europe. Before I became the Mayor of Bristol,

:54:41.:55:36.

it is ahead of office, very grandly titled. There is no deputy. If

:55:37.:55:44.

Bristol is not well represented, we will miss out. There is a trillion

:55:45.:55:58.

European funds available. How much are you paying for the desk and the

:55:59.:56:04.

person? The desk is 4000, but I do not know how much the person will

:56:05.:56:17.

be, it depends on the person. Let us bring back to broader issue. You can

:56:18.:56:21.

be as Eurosceptic as you like, so why are you bothering to try to

:56:22.:56:35.

defend this? Mr Farage cannot deliver the referendum. Only a

:56:36.:56:40.

Conservative government can offer a referendum. Either we will be

:56:41.:56:45.

negotiate the terms of trade or we will vote and campaign to leave. But

:56:46.:56:52.

they could skewer you at the next elections? I do not think so.

:56:53.:57:03.

There will only be eight choices on your ballot paper for the European

:57:04.:57:06.

elections ` down from 17 last time around. And to help you make your

:57:07.:57:10.

make your mind up, we've asked all eight parties to pitch for your

:57:11.:57:13.

votes. Here are four, in no particular order.

:57:14.:57:25.

The European elections are on the 22nd of May, not a referendum on the

:57:26.:57:28.

membership of the union, they are about who will stand up for the

:57:29.:57:35.

people of this region. If I elected, my priorities will be to

:57:36.:57:38.

bring good quality jobs to this region. It will be to make sure that

:57:39.:57:47.

we become world leaders on new green technologies that our region is rich

:57:48.:57:52.

in opportunity for. And it is to have secure jobs for this region.

:57:53.:57:59.

Good employment rights. What we stand for is an end to the burden of

:58:00.:58:05.

EU regulation on the British economy. It is the laws that we here

:58:06.:58:15.

in blood and others do not. When we leave the EU, we will be able to

:58:16.:58:18.

make our own trade agreements with the outside world. For example, New

:58:19.:58:23.

Zealand has a trade agreement with China. 75% of our laws are made in

:58:24.:58:31.

Brussels. Artist to many. We want an end to open borders. The Green party

:58:32.:58:40.

are positive about Europe. We value the way that Europe protect the

:58:41.:58:44.

quality, water quality, conditions at work and animal welfare. However

:58:45.:58:51.

we know that things need reform, particularly the power of

:58:52.:58:54.

corporations, and we need to make Europe and politicians work better

:58:55.:59:08.

the common good. We have had enough of interference in trade and

:59:09.:59:14.

industry by the EU. Farming as a way of life no longer exists, and even

:59:15.:59:18.

where farmers are successful, they have do operate in a way that often

:59:19.:59:23.

involves too much red tape. We need to re`engaging the Commonwealth, the

:59:24.:59:26.

Commonwealth that stretches across the world. 53 countries that are

:59:27.:59:31.

willing to do trade with us and offered us much more opportunity

:59:32.:59:42.

than the EU has ever done. And we'll feature the remaining four

:59:43.:59:45.

parties in our programme next week. Now, let's take a look back at the

:59:46.:59:49.

political week in our 60 Second round`up.

:59:50.:59:54.

Politicians and union leaders and ordinary people gathered in Bristol

:59:55.:59:57.

to remember the life of the city's former MP Tony Benn. His son Hilary

:59:58.:00:01.

was among those at the service which opened with a union anthem.

:00:02.:00:08.

It was a good week for motorists in Bath. Over a quarter of a million

:00:09.:00:12.

pounds will be refunded to those who have fallen foul of the Dorchester

:00:13.:00:16.

Street bus gate. The council admitted its own warning signs were

:00:17.:00:21.

not clear enough. The Church of England showed that it

:00:22.:00:25.

too can move in mysterious ways. It reversed a decision over the living

:00:26.:00:28.

arrangements for the new Bishop of Bath and Wells. The Right Reverend

:00:29.:00:32.

Peter Hancock will now live in the Bishop's Palace and not a rectory

:00:33.:00:37.

nearby. And the Mayor of Bristol's drive to Make Sundays Special

:00:38.:00:40.

returns today. Roads have been closed off to make way for street

:00:41.:00:43.

performers. Around 100,000 people applied for tickets for the main

:00:44.:00:46.

attraction ` a giant water`slide down Park Street.

:00:47.:00:57.

By the time you watch this, you might be sliding down Park Street.

:00:58.:01:05.

Will you have a goal? I gave the job to the youth candidates, because

:01:06.:01:11.

that is more appropriate. I think my biggest fear is the size of the

:01:12.:01:19.

cloud. Go to all these other things, there are food festivals, millennium

:01:20.:01:25.

Square, folk Festival, Bristol is alive with activity today. Do you

:01:26.:01:31.

get the feeling that Bristol is leading the region in terms of

:01:32.:01:33.

leisure activities and cultural stuff? It has always been a great

:01:34.:01:39.

city. My son was at university he. It is a very young and happening

:01:40.:01:44.

place. I do not get to come here very often. I think North Wiltshire

:01:45.:01:55.

lead the region, though! And that is all we have time for this week.

:01:56.:01:58.

Thank you to our guests James Gray and George Ferguson for making our

:01:59.:02:02.

Sunday special. We'll be back with more build`up to the European and

:02:03.:02:05.

local elections next week. If you can't

:02:06.:02:07.

got time for this week. Next week, London's local elections.

:02:08.:02:13.

Welcome back. Now, the Government is not very good at predicting the

:02:14.:02:18.

future. That's according to a report from a committee of MPs this morning

:02:19.:02:21.

who say that its Horizon Scanning programme that's supposed to

:02:22.:02:24.

identify potential threats, risks, emerging issues and opportunities

:02:25.:02:26.

isn't much good at reading the tea leaves. But can it really be any

:02:27.:02:33.

worse than our panel? Here they are predicting the future of then

:02:34.:02:35.

culture secretary Maria Miller before Easter.

:02:36.:02:46.

Can she survive? I'm getting out of the prediction game after I said

:02:47.:02:51.

Nick Clegg would win the debates. But I almost think she might. If

:02:52.:02:57.

there is a big event that moves this off the front pages. David Cameron

:02:58.:03:03.

will want to keep Maria Miller until at least his summary shuffle. I

:03:04.:03:10.

think they will get rid of her. I think they will do the decent thing

:03:11.:03:16.

after exhausting all other options. Maria Miller resigned a few days

:03:17.:03:22.

later of course! The best and the brightest, when did that slip in?

:03:23.:03:29.

This week it will be exactly a year until the General Election, so what

:03:30.:03:32.

better time to get our panel to gaze into their crystal balls again.

:03:33.:03:41.

What's the outcome of the election in 2015? I'm going to go with the

:03:42.:03:47.

polls and say Ed Miliband as the Prime Minister. But the polls are

:03:48.:03:53.

only a snapshot of opinion now, you think they will be the same in a

:03:54.:04:01.

year? No, I think they will narrow. I think UKIP's vote share will fall.

:04:02.:04:06.

I think they are currently coasting on a high and that will tailor way

:04:07.:04:12.

so they won't take as many votes off the Tories. Labour with a majority

:04:13.:04:22.

or is the largest party. Another liberal Conservative coalition, and

:04:23.:04:28.

I say that because he is already in touching distance of Labour. I don't

:04:29.:04:33.

think UKIP will get 15, maybe half of that, and most of the votes they

:04:34.:04:38.

lose will either not vote at all go to the Tories and that should be

:04:39.:04:42.

enough to be the biggest party in a hung parliament I don't envisage a

:04:43.:04:48.

Tory majority. I am also going to go with the polls. For Ed Miliband to

:04:49.:04:52.

be hoping to win at this stage, he has got to be way ahead in the

:04:53.:04:59.

polls. Labour needs to be much further ahead if he is going to win

:05:00.:05:04.

so David Cameron, probably the leader of the largest party. Last

:05:05.:05:08.

time after the election David Cameron went to the 1922 committee

:05:09.:05:12.

and announced he was Prime Minister as head of the Coalition. He has

:05:13.:05:16.

agreed this time he will consult them and it will be much more

:05:17.:05:20.

difficult for him to get a coalition. People at home have now

:05:21.:05:27.

concluded there will be a Liberal Democrat landslide! Are we going to

:05:28.:05:33.

have debates? Yes, probably further away from polling day then last

:05:34.:05:38.

time. That is the Liberal Democrat point, isn't it? Yes, it sucks all

:05:39.:05:45.

the life out of the campaign, so the last six weeks will be left to

:05:46.:05:49.

traditional campaigning. What did you make of this in the Sunday Times

:05:50.:05:55.

this morning, this two, three, five formula. There should be a Cameron,

:05:56.:06:02.

Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg debate, then there should be another one with

:06:03.:06:15.

them and UKIP and the Greens. It might be testing the patience of the

:06:16.:06:22.

nation to tune into all of those. If you're going to say Nigel Farage

:06:23.:06:25.

should be there, the Green party should be too. They know that as

:06:26.:06:30.

soon as you put them on a podium next to them, he looks like he has

:06:31.:06:38.

equal stature and that is a problem. David Cameron does not want the

:06:39.:06:42.

debates to happen on the way they happened last time. It is generally

:06:43.:06:47.

regarded, Lynton Crosby believes they were a disaster for David

:06:48.:06:51.

Cameron because they allowed Nick Clegg to be the fresh person. He

:06:52.:06:57.

knows he cannot say no to them so the moment you see David Cameron

:06:58.:07:01.

suggesting that Caroline Lucas should be in the debate, you know he

:07:02.:07:06.

is not serious. What he will try to do is have more debates, have them

:07:07.:07:11.

outside the main part of the general election so that it doesn't

:07:12.:07:13.

dominate. The problem the David Cameron is that the campaign will be

:07:14.:07:21.

much longer. It is a five-week campaign so it is quite difficult

:07:22.:07:25.

for him to say we will only have one debate in that campaign. I think

:07:26.:07:29.

smother it with love, hopefully it will go to the courts for him and

:07:30.:07:34.

hopefully they will never happen and he will be delighted. The European

:07:35.:07:39.

election and the local elections are coming up. The three mainstream

:07:40.:07:44.

parties are saying it is a flash in the pan, they don't really matter

:07:45.:07:50.

and so on, but if UKIP comes a strong first, if Labour comes a poor

:07:51.:07:54.

second and the Tories come a poor third, it will have consequences for

:07:55.:08:00.

all three, and the Lib Dems come forth or even fish. It will have

:08:01.:08:06.

consequences and not just in the media but on the ground. One of the

:08:07.:08:09.

big stories is what will happen to the Lib Dems, they face losing all

:08:10.:08:15.

of their MEPs. A good result for them is lit -- in the local

:08:16.:08:22.

elections is losing 250 councillors. These are the most interesting

:08:23.:08:26.

elections we have had for some time. Are we heading for a Nick

:08:27.:08:33.

Clegg summer leadership crisis? I think we are heading towards

:08:34.:08:36.

reversing the clock back to where we were before the Eastleigh

:08:37.:08:40.

by-election. That quiet and things down for Nick Clegg. If they lose

:08:41.:08:46.

all their MEPs, and there is a real chance they will, Vince Cable will

:08:47.:08:50.

be out on manoeuvres because age is not on his side. If he can say Nick

:08:51.:08:57.

Clegg is a loser and a failure, he will be back. Will the Tories go

:08:58.:09:03.

into headless chicken mode if they come third? Yes, if UKIP come first

:09:04.:09:19.

there will not be as much panic as if Labour come first. Is Labour

:09:20.:09:25.

comes a poor second, will there be some pressure on Ed Miliband to

:09:26.:09:28.

reopen his attitude to the referendum? I don't think so and my

:09:29.:09:34.

colleague was talking to Labour sources who said he is absolutely

:09:35.:09:38.

not going to. That is something you can say definitely about him, he

:09:39.:09:42.

decides on a course and he sticks to it. There is one potential upside

:09:43.:09:48.

for David Cameron in a really bad Conservative results, it could

:09:49.:09:51.

strengthen his hand in the renegotiations of Britain's EU

:09:52.:09:56.

membership because he doesn't even need to say to Angela Merkel and

:09:57.:10:05.

Francois Hollande it is there. David Cameron hasn't just been fighting

:10:06.:10:08.

for his party into the local elections. He also got his knuckles

:10:09.:10:12.

wrapped by the Speaker, John Bercow, at Prime Minister's Question Time,

:10:13.:10:16.

for talking for too long. Take a look at this. There is a better

:10:17.:10:23.

future ahead of us but we must not go backward to the policies that put

:10:24.:10:28.

us in this mess in the first place. I don't know what they are paying

:10:29.:10:37.

him, Mr Speaker. Order, order. I haven't finished! In response to

:10:38.:10:51.

that question, the Prime Minister has finished and he can take it from

:10:52.:10:58.

me that he has finished. I can't remember a speaker ever speaking to

:10:59.:11:03.

a Prime Minister like that. Clearly in that case, John Bercow crossed a

:11:04.:11:08.

line. It is Prime Minister 's questions, he is entitled to answer

:11:09.:11:13.

the questions. There is really bad blood between those two, going back

:11:14.:11:18.

a long way. They hate each other and the worrying thing about that was

:11:19.:11:24.

the look of triumphalism on the speaker's face afterwards. He is a

:11:25.:11:30.

remarkable, revolutionary speaker who has made the House of Commons

:11:31.:11:34.

more relevant, he is holding the executive to account, but that look

:11:35.:11:39.

on his face showed he had crossed the line. Does he survive after the

:11:40.:11:44.

next election? He has improved the importance of the Commons, is that

:11:45.:11:48.

enough to keep him in the Speaker 's chair? The most public bit of the

:11:49.:11:54.

Commons is still the Prime Minister 's questions, and we can conclude

:11:55.:12:00.

that John Bercow's interventions take more time than any delays he

:12:01.:12:07.

complains about so I wouldn't be surprised if, in a few years' time,

:12:08.:12:16.

someone else replaces him. He is quite popular with Labour, is he

:12:17.:12:22.

not? Yes, he is married to a Labour activist and is notably sympathetic

:12:23.:12:27.

to Labour but I think this is a difficult situation. David Cameron

:12:28.:12:32.

also overstepped the line. As soon as the speaker says order, the idea

:12:33.:12:38.

is that the House was to order and David Cameron pushed him. They are

:12:39.:12:43.

both trying to score points off each other. We cover Prime Minister 's

:12:44.:12:47.

questions every week on the daily politics, and there is a danger that

:12:48.:12:56.

he sees it as an opportunity to do some grandstanding. You slightly

:12:57.:12:59.

sends his vanity gets the better of him. It is supposed to be Prime

:13:00.:13:04.

Minister 's questions. At the end of that session, the Speaker read out a

:13:05.:13:09.

statement from the Chief clerk, and immensely respected figure, saying

:13:10.:13:14.

he is taking early retirement. It is pretty clear that the reason he has

:13:15.:13:19.

decided to go early is because he is finding it tricky to maintain a

:13:20.:13:22.

cordial relationship with the speaker, and the speaker might want

:13:23.:13:27.

to think about his man management skills. That's all for today. The

:13:28.:13:31.

Daily Politics will be back on BBC Two at lunchtime from Tuesday

:13:32.:13:34.

onwards. Remember, it is a bank holiday tomorrow. I'll be back here

:13:35.:13:37.

at 11am next week. Remember - if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday

:13:38.:13:38.

Politics.

:13:39.:13:44.

With David Garmston. Andrew Neil interviews the Conservative chairman Grant Shapps and Sir Malcolm Bruce, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, on the forthcoming European elections.


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