11/12/2016 Sunday Politics West


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, and debate. Former London mayor Ken Livingstone and former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie discuss Labour's fortunes.

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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.


A row has broken out between Number Ten and former


Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan over Brexit and, believe it or not,


the price of Theresa May's leather trousers.


I feel as though I'm one of the people that


If you do that, you are likely to attract attention,


It's not just Nicky Morgan making life difficult


for the Prime Minister - we'll be taking a look at the rest


Fully paid-up rebel Ken Clarke joins us live.


Protestors disrupted a speech by Jeremy Corbyn yesterday,


but is his biggest problem Labour's miserable performance


Corbynite Ken Livingstone and Corbyn critic Chris Leslie


And in the West, the library is on borrowed time.


Ten Swindon branches have had their funding removed as


the council struggles to balance its books.


think of it as an early Christmas present from us.


We guarantee you won't be disappointed.


And speaking of guaranteed disappointments - I'm joined


by three of the busiest little elves in political journalism.


It's Iain Martin, Polly Toynbee and Tom Newton Dunn.


So, we knew relations between Theresa May and some


of her backbenchers over Europe weren't exactly a bed of roses.


But signs of how fractious things are getting come courtesy of this


morning's Mail on Sunday which has the details of a series of texts


from one of Mrs May's senior advisers to and concerning


the former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan.


Mrs Morgan is one of those arguing for a so-called soft Brexit,


and has been pressing the PM to reveal more of her negotiation


She's also apparently irked Downing Street by questioning


Mrs May's decision to purchase and be photographed in a ?995 pair


She said she had "never spent that much money on anything apart


Mrs Morgan was due to attend a meeting at Number 10 this week


But that invitation seems to be off, after a fairly extraordinary


argument by text message with Mrs May's joint chief


She texted the MP Alistair Burt, another of those arguing


for a so-called soft Brexit, cancelling Nicky Morgan's invitation


and telling him to not "bring that woman to Number Ten again".


The following day Nicky Morgan texted Fiona Hill, saying


"If you don't like something I have said or done, please


If you don't want my views in future meetings you need to tell them."


Shortly afterwards she received the reply "Well, he just did.


And according to the Mail, Mrs Morgan, who you'll see


in our film shortly, has now been formally banned


So, Tom, much ado about nothing or telling you about the underlying


tensions over Brexit? Both, if I am allowed to choose both. It says


something about British politics today, that this is the most


important thing we can find to talk about, because the Government are


not giving us anything to talk about cs especially on Brexit because they


don't have a plan as we know. There is is a lot of truth that are being


spoken from this row, one is that Mrs May comes into Downing Street


with a lot of baggage including spectacular fall outs with Cabinet


Ministers in the past. Nicky Morgan being one. We heard about the row


over banning children from school. She fell out with Boris Johnson, so,


she then enters Number Ten with history. When you are in Number Ten


you start, you cannot be controversial and my way but the


high way, which is why Fiona Hill kept Theresa May in the Home Office.


You need to behave differently in the top job. It is surprising Nicky


Morgan hats taken such a robust line. She seemed such a gentle soul


as a minister. She did, Brexit has done funny things to people.


Everything has been shaken up. It reveals really how paranoid they


are, I mean you cannot have a situation really in which the, in


which you know, Number Ten has got realise if the Prime Minister's


entire stick is her authenticity and incredible connection, which is


genuine, with voters outside the Metropolitan bubble, when she


chooses to wear ?995 leather trousers you have to anticipate that


journalists and MPs are going to take the mickey, that is how life


works, but I think they are trying to run Number Ten as they ran the


Home Office, and you see that in the rows they have had with Mark Carney


and Boris Johnson this week, now you might be able to run one Government


department in that control freakish way but not Government will hold


together for too long, if it is run in that fashion. By try doing the


whole Government like one department. This is just the start,


Polly, we are still several months away from triggering Article 50. We,


The Tory party is split down the middle, the thing that mattered most


to the nation since the last war, it is not frivolous. It may look as if


it is about trousers, it is about the most serious thing. What was


split down the middle? Aren't the Euro-files and the Eurosceptics used


to be the outliers, it is now the Europhiles, it is not a split down


the middle. They won't vote against Brexit but they will, I think exert


the maximum influence they can, to make sure that it is not a Brexit, a


self-harming Brexit, to make sure that the country understand, when it


comes to that point, that there may be really hard decision to make, do


you want a real economic damage to be done to the country, to your own


wallet, in, in exchange for being able to stop free movement or is


that trade off in the end going to be just too expensive? We have seen


polls suggesting people are beginning to move, and not willing,


a poll out now saying people wouldn't be willing to sacrifice any


money at all, for the sake of stopping immigration. So if itself


comes to that trade off, the people are going to need to be confronted


with that choice. The Irony is, I think the Tories are in the most


exceptionally strong position, I mean what is happening here is that


British politics is being realigned and remade along leave and remain


lines, if the Prime Minister's luck hold, the Tories are looking at


being somewhere 45, 46, 47% of the vote with an opposition split


between a far left Labour Party and depleted Liberal Democrats, that


sound like a recipe for something similar to what happened in the


1980s. You are seeing extraordinary alliances between left and right.


The Scottish referendum rebuilt Scottish politics along the lines of


pro independence, anti-independence and now Brexit maybe doing the same.


So, rows within the Conservative Party over the price


of trousers might be new, but over Europe, not so much.


And this week's Commons vote on when the Government will fire


the starting gun on Brexit, and what it will say


about its plans before it does so, confirmed that instead


of the eurosceptics being the outsiders,


it's now the Remainers who are leading the resistance.


While the Prime Minister was schmoozing in the gold-plated


Gulf this week, back home the Commons was voting


on a Labour motion forcing her to publish a plan for Brexit.


Through some parliamentary jiggery-pokery, the Government


basically got its way, but it did provide a platform


for some mischiefmaking by Tory MPs who voted to remain,


We are getting somewhat tired, are we not, of this constant level


of abuse, this constant criticism that we are somehow Remoaners


that want to thwart the will of the people,


go back on it and that we don't accept the result.


I don't like the result, and yes, I do believe the people


It's not good enough that these things are dragged


out of the Government by opposition day motions.


I'm pleased that it's happened but I wish the Government was taking


Is Nicky Morgan really listening to her constituents


I think I'm one of the people who stuck their head


above the parapet so if you do that you're likely to attract attention,


you're likely to attract abuse, but also actually levels of support.


I'm having e-mails from around the country with people saying thank


you for what you are doing, party members around


the country saying thank you for what you are doing


and saying, and I and others will continue to do that.


I just think, as a backbench Member of Parliament,


you've got to be there, particularly when we have a weak


opposition, to ask the question that government needs to be scrutinised


on before we embark on such a huge issue.


Nobody comes into politics to become a thorn in their party leader's


side, but at the end of the day it's such a massive issue that


if you don't stand up for what you believe in,


I'm not sure what the point is of going into politics.


That puts her on a collision course with activists in her local


party like Adam Stairs, a committed leader who accuses


Nicky has promised me and the rest of our Conservative association


she will be voting for Article 50 and she will support


the Prime Minister's timetable, and we have just got to trust that


and hope that goes ahead, but there's a lot of people


who think she's taking sideswipes at the Government


The Conservatives are very popular, she wants to be a Conservative MP


and we want to see a Conservative government being


I have no idea what she's playing at, I think she just needs to get


on with her job as an MP, which she does very well,


Now let's head to Anna Soubry's constituency nearby to see


how her stance is going down with the voters.


If Anna Soubry doesn't fully back Brexit, what does


Well, she's going to have a little bit of a problem because the voters,


especially in this area, they voted to come out of the EU


so she will definitely have a little bit of a problem.


She should stick for what she believes in,


but I guess from a democratic perspective she does...


She has admitted the fact over and over again that she wanted


to remain, but her views at the moment, even in her e-mails,


depicted the fact she's anti-Brexit still.


Theresa May will host her most pro-European MPs at Downing Street


this week to discuss the countdown to Brexit.


Although now we know not everyone is invited.


And the MP leading the resistance in the Commons on Wednesday


was Ken Clarke, he was the only Conservative MP who voted


against the Government's plan to trigger Article 50 by the end


of March and he joins us now from Nottingham.


Welcome back to the programme Ken Clarke. Now, tell me this when David


Cameron resigned after losing the referendum, you had to pick a new


leader, which candidate did the Tory Europhiles like you put up to


deliver a so-called soft Brexit, or no Brexit at all? Well, I can't


speak for the others but I voted for Theresa May, I gave a notorious


interview, it wasn't meant to be, I was chatting to Malcolm Rifkind but


somebody turned a camera on, I called her a bloody difficult woman


which the Tory party probably needs, compared with Margaret Thatcher and


said I was going to vote for her, I gave a vote for one of the younger


ones first, but I told Teresa I would vote for her, she was the only


serious candidate in my view. You voted for somebody you thought was a


difficult woman, she is being difficult in ways you don't like,


your side of the Tory party, you had your chance to put up somebody more


in line with you, instead you shut up, so, why the complaints about it


not going in your direction? I am not making complaint, it is not


Teresa's fall we are in the dreadful mess, she was on the Remain side,


she made a good speech during the campaign on the referendum, setting


out the economic case for being in, setting out the security case for


being in, which was Home Secretary, she was particularly expert in, it


wasn't her fault that not a word it was reported anywhere, in the


national media. Now, my views have been the same, I am afraid


throughout my adult life, for the 50 years I have been in politics, and


my views have been the mainstream policy of the Conservative Party


throughout all that time, I don't expect to have a sudden conversion


on the 24th June, and I think what I owe to my constituency, and to


Parliament, is that I exercise my judgment, I make speeches giving my


reasons, I make the best judgment that I can, of what is the national


interest. I understand that. I would be a terrible hypocrite if I... Of


course that is not what I am asking. How many Conservative MPs do you


think you can count on to oppose this so-called hard Brexit? Is it


40, 20, 10, 5, 1? I have no idea, because Anna, and Nicky, who you


have just seen on the video who are also sticking to their principle,


they are only saying what they are been saying ever since they have


been in politics, probably may have more idea than me.


That is three, how many more? I don't know, we will find out. We are


living in a bubble in which the tone of politics is getting nastier and


the reporting is getting sillier, so it is all about Theresa May's


trousers and whether Boris has made some inappropriate jokes. What we


need if we are going to abandon the basis upon which we made ourselves a


leading political power in the world for the last 40 years and the basis


upon which our economy has prospered because Margaret Thatcher got the


others to adopt the single market and we benefited from that more than


any other member state, so now we need a serious plan, a strategy.


What is our relationship going to be in the modern world? How will our


children and grandchildren make the best union they can? We need


Parliament's approval of a White Paper and then start years of


negotiation. This will run and run. This interview hasn't got time to


run and run so let me get another question in. You seem to be quoted


in the mail on Sunday this morning as saying if the Prime Minister


sides too much with the heart Brexit group, she won't survive, is that


your view? Yes because only a minority of the House of Commons


think it is frightfully simple and you can just leave. The referendum


campaign, the only national media reporting of the issues were


completely silly and often quite dishonest arguments on both sides.


Let me just check this, explain to me the basis... Know, excuse me, I


have to interrupt because you said the Prime Minister won't survive so


just explain to our viewers why she won't survive. She will be in a


minority she starts adopting the views of John Redwood or Iain Duncan


Smith. It's clear majority of the House of Commons doesn't agree with


that and it would be pretty catastrophic if that is what we were


going to do when we turn up and faced 27 of the nation state, and


tell them we are pulling out of the biggest market in the world. How


long do you give the Prime Minister then? If you don't think she will


survive by going for a heart Brexit? I don't think she will go for a


heart Brexit. Really, surrounded by David Davis and Liam Fox? Do you


think Liam Fox will determine the policy of the Cabinet? Liam has


always been ferociously against the European Union although he served in


a government that was pro-European for about two and a half years. Does


he not survive either? You're trying to reduce it to my trying to


forecast Cabinet reshuffle is which I haven't got a clue whether there


will be a Cabinet reshuffle, they may be ministers for the next ten


years, I have no idea. Liam and me, but also Liam and the majority of


his Cabinet colleagues don't start from the same place. The way forward


is for them to produce a White Paper setting out the strategy on which


all the Cabinet are agreed. People should stop leaking the Cabinet


papers they are getting, they should stop leaking against each other, get


down and do the work when they have got the agreed strategy. I'm sorry


to interrupt again but we haven't got much time. We saw in our film


that a number of constituency members in those areas which are


strongly Remain MPs like yourself, in our case in this film it was


Nicky Morgan, the constituency party members are unhappy about this.


What's your message to them? Don't they deserve an MP that reflects


their way of thinking? Leavers are unhappy and Remainers are very


grateful. Mine don't go in for abuse... That's probably because


you're not on e-mail, Mr Clarke. I get more from Remainers. I'm a great


fan of Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, I don't agree with them on


everything, but the views they are putting forward are the ones they've


always held and I think we are doing the Government to favour by saying


what it now depends on is your success in agreeing a policy and


then explaining to the public what you want to do. I shall be surprised


if they manage that by the end of March, I think it is best to get the


policy right first but we shall see. Have you been invited then, you say


you are being helpful, have you been invited to this meeting in Downing


Street on Wednesday for the soft Brexiteers? No, because I haven't


been joining any of these groups. It's fair to say most of my


colleagues know exactly what my views are. No doubt those that


haven't had this kind of discussion with their colleagues before have


been invited. I didn't expect to be invited. I get on perfectly well


with Theresa May but I haven't been invited, but I don't think there's


much significance in that. What do you think of the way Downing Street


has handled Nicky Morgan? I feel sorry for women in politics. I'm


glad to say men in politics don't have great lead stories about what


they are wearing. Apart from my suede shoes, I'm lucky because I'm


not a very snappy dresser. It is tedious in these days that we still


have a absurd pop newspaper stories about what they are wearing.


That commenting on the Prime Minister's trousers, is it really


grounds for banishment? No, of course not. Nikki and Teresa will


have serious political discussions and if they want to have an argument


about what they are wearing, their closest friends will advise them to


keep it private. It is absurd. Given that the party appears to be


deciding it has been all -- ordered to changes policies about Britain's


relationship with the world, it needs to be taken seriously and this


Lola. Is filling a vacuum before the serious discussion starts. Thank you


for filling our vacuum this morning and of course no one would ever


criticise how you dress. Of course. Now, seasoned observers will warn


against reading too much into parliamentary by-elections,


but they can provide a vital boost for a party leader under pressure,


or provide damaging ammunition Following a disappointing result


for Labour last week in Richmond, Jeremy Corbyn may have been hoping


for an early Christmas present at this week's


contest in Lincolnshire. In Sleaford and North Hykeham,


a constituency that supported Leave in the EU referendum,


there was little Christmas cheer for Labour as it fell from second


in 2015 to fourth place. That was at least a better


performance than in Remain-supporting Richmond Park,


where the party's candiate lost his deposit after attracting


fewer voters than the reported number of local


Labour Party members. Speaking for the Labour Party this


week, MP Vernon Coaker said their policies on other major


issues were "lost to an extent Some MPs feel that a lack of clarity


is holding the party back. This week three frontbenchers


were among the 23 Labour MPs to defy the party line and vote


against a motion to begin the process of leaving the EU


by the end of March. And a number of Labour MPs we've


spoken to since Thursday's vote have said they fear the party now runs


the risk of being squeezed by the Lib Dems and UKIP,


or in the words of one, "being cannabilised,


eaten from both ends". To compound their troubles,


a national poll released on Friday put Labour


at a seven-year low, trailing 17 It's still a season of joy


for many of Mr Corbyn's supporters - they point to a series of victories


under his leadership, including a by-election win


in Tooting and the London mayoral Though neither candidate was a


Corbynite. But there's a distinct lack


of goodwill on the party of his critics - although having


failed comprehensively to challenge him this summer,


what they intend to do This morning Diane Abbott played


down the significance of the results. The reports of the Labour


Party's demise are exaggerated, we are the largest social Democratic


party in Europe and the surging membership is down to the current


leadership. We have the right policies on the NHS, investing in


the economy, and as you know the Tories are fatally split on Europe.


And we're joined now by the former mayor


of London Ken Livingstone, and the former Shadow


Ken Livingstone, in the most recent by-election Labour collapsed from


second to fourth place, the one before that your party lost its


deposit. What is the positive gloss on that? There's nothing new in


this, where you have got seats which are solidly Tory, often voters


switched to Lib Dem to kick other voters out. We have had good swings


that indicate a Labour government so don't pay too much attention. It is


like Orpington 50 years ago. Labour voters switched just to kick the


Tories out. Don't read too much into these results, Labour did win


tooting so it is OK. First of all I don't think it was a problem with


the candidates in the by-elections, they did a really good job locally,


but there is an issue with those residents and their attitudes to the


national party, and I just think that when you have warning bells


going off like that, we have to listen to what people are saying. I


think what they are saying is they want an opposition party to have a


plan. So yes we have got to attack the Conservatives where they are


going wrong on the NHS, running headlong over the cliff for a hard


Brexit, but we also need a plan for what Labour's alternative will be.


When do we get that plant? Effectively you have got it already.


John McDonnell has gone on relentlessly for the need for a


massive public investment. For decades now under Labour and Tory


governments we haven't invested in infrastructure, our roads are a


disgrace, a broadband is antique. We need to be honest about this, if


Theresa May can come back and say I've done a deal, we are leaving the


EU, we will control our borders, we won't have to pay 350 million a year


and stay in the single market, well... But that won't happen. If we


are going to stumble along for two years heading for an economic


disaster, that's why only eight MPs voted to leave, because they knew


the harm it would do to their voters. If you have got a plan, why


are things getting worse for you in the national polls, 17 points


behind? If you look back, when I was leader of Chelsea my poll rating


went down... But you have not been as bad since 1983 when you lost an


election by a landslide. Over the next two years our economy will not


grow strongly, it will limp along at best, as we get closer to Brexit it


will get worse. All Labour MPs should be focusing on the economic


alternative because nobody ever wins an election without a credible


economic strategy. So as long as the country goes to hell in a hand


basket, Labour will be fine. That's not good enough. You're not a


commentator any more, you are part of the leadership of the party. It


is to you. I will continue to argue the case for credibility,


particularly in our policies, but the leadership cannot just sit back


and watch this drift. On the Brexit situation, the Conservative


manifesto at the last general election promised it would be yes to


the single market, why aren't we holding them to account for the


broken promise potentially they are about to do? If I had still been an


MP, I would have been voting with you, rebelling, because we are not


going to get any good deal to leave. Theresa May will stumble on for a


couple of years trying to balance... The party policies were heard from


Diane Abbott this morning is to get the best possible deal to leave. And


I will believe it when it happens. So you don't believe a central part


of Jeremy Corbyn's policy? Jeremy has accepted the fact people voted


to leave. He now said we now need to get the best possible deal and you


don't think it's achievable. I don't, because why would the other


27 members give us a better deal staying outside? You've confused me,


why are you such a big supporter of Corbyn with his policy you don't


think it's achievable? Everybody knows we are not going to


get a soft exit, so we either have the hard Brexit and we lose perhaps


millions, certainly hundreds of thousands of jobs, or we have to say


we got it wrong. I mean, you, a lot of people have been saying that all


Labour's unclear on Brexit, that is why it is going wrong, I would


suggest to you, that actually what the concentration on is the Tories


are unclear about Brexit, they are in power, that is what matters, a


bigger problem for Labour is whether Mr Corbyn's leadership will cut


through or not. I think the YouGov poll this weekend not only gave us


that double punch of a 17 point lead for the Conservatives but it had a


33 point lead, 33 point, for Theresa May over Jeremy Corbyn, so part of


the plan, think, has to be to address this leadership issue, to


make sure it is also a party that is listening to the wider public and


not just the small number of members or the trotsites in Momentum or


whoever is the latest Marxist on the... You The thing that is ox


fibbing Labour. One MP said Labour has quoted bunkum. We have has 18


months of Labour MPs stabbing Jeremy in the back and some in the front.


The vast majority of Labour MPs have stopped undermining Jeremy. You


weren't doing that well before. Can you imagine a situation in which you


have elected a new leader and the first year it is all about getting


rid of imand undermining him. I disagree with Tony Blair on lots of


policy issue, I didn't run wound saying this man is not fit to


govern. That is because you had no support for that at the time. The


idea people will take lectures from Ken on divisiveness, that is like


takes lectures from Boris Johnson on diplomacy, you have to make sure,


yes, that we find some accommodation after the leadership election this


summer, but the plan is not there right now, and you and the rest of


the leadership has to be held accountable for delivering that, I


want to hear what the plan is. It is FDR he told us earlier. If you have


got now because as we saw in the Autumn Statement, debt to GDP ratio


at 90%, you can't convince the public by saying we will throw more


money at the problem, the public want a credible plan, where the sums


add up, that you are not making promises that won't be delivered.


They want that plan. We need to point out our history, when Labour


Waugh the election in 45 Government debt was two times that it was now..


Now.. They generated exports and within 50 years we virtually paid


off that debt. Austerity is not the way to go. Our economy is a disgrace


compared with Germany. I agree. What we have to start saying, there is


decent jobs, where are they going to be coming from, can we have a


society based on fair play and prosperity for everybody not just


the wealthy, that means saying, some time, that people have to


contribute, they have to put in, so we have to listen to what the public


are saying on issues for instance like immigration, as they said in


the Brexit referendum, but make sure we have our approach set out


clearly, so people know there is a ability to manage, and control these


things, not just ignore them. Those tax dodgers who launder their money


through Panamanian banks. If we crackdown on what might be 150


billion a year of tax evasion and avoidance. That is a real outlier


estimate as you know, way the highest, you cannot build the FDR


programme on tax evasion revenues, alone, but let me ask you. You can


say to Starbucks, if you are not going to pay tax on your profits we


will tax every cup of coffee. Why don't you nationalise it? I was just


checking that would be the policy. Let me ask you this. By what time do


you get, start to get worrieded if the polls haven't given to turn


round? I mean, I think they will turn round. When do you start to get


worried? If they haven't? If in a year's time it was as bad as this we


would be worried. I don't think it will be. Jeremy and his team will


knows can on the economy, and that is wins every election. Bill


Clinton, remember it's the economy stupid. People know if you are going


to spend money they want to see where it is coming from, otherwise


they will think it is their taxes that will go up and the


Conservative, Theresa May, will scare the British public over plans


that are not properly... What do you do if things haven't got better in


12 months? We lost the leadership election in the summer but we will


hold our leadership to account. What does that mean? It means asking for


the plan, testing what the proposals are, are they properly credible, do


they make sure that they meet the test the public... You just have to


bite the bottom lip now, you privately, a lot of you think your


party is heading for catastrophe. I don't think it is acceptable that we


have this level of performance, currently, I am sure Ken agrees the


opinion polls, and those by by-election were just not good


enough. We have to show leadership, certainly on Brexit, hold the


Government to account. Attack them for the crisis in the NHS, yes and


on the economy, to deliver credible policy force, example on defending


national security and making sure we stand up for humanitarian


intervention. Final point, your party has lost Scotland. You are now


in third place behind the stories -- Tories. I never thought I would be


able to say that in a broadcast, if you lose the north too, you are


heading for the smallest Parliamentary Labour Party since the


war, aren't you. But that is our weakness, we in the 13 years of the


last Labour Government neglected rebuilding our manufacturing in the


way the Germans have done. Millions of people used to have good job, we


used to have 8 million jobs in manufacturing it is down two. It is


in the north, that Jeremy's strategy has the most relevance, of actually


getting the investment and rebuilding. All right. We will see.


Come back in 12 months if not before and we will check it out.


It's just gone 11.35, you're watching the Sunday Politics.


We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland, who leave us now


Coming up here in 20 minutes, we'll be talking


about Boris Johnson's tour of the Middle East after straying


off message, again, and the protestors attempting


First though, the Sunday Politics where you are.


Hello and welcome to the Sunday Politics here in the West.


Think of us as an oasis of calm away from the stresses


Coming up, we'll be looking at the raft of libraries


This week, Swindon removed all the funding for two


Critics say it's the biggest cut not just in our country,


Libraries are fast becoming Theresa May's equivalent


You know, this is a short-term economic policy that's


giving long-term damage to our children's futures.


Now, in the studio this week, we have a legal eagle and eight


-- Now, in the studio this week we have a legal eagle


They are the barrister turned Swindon MP, that's Robert Buckland.


And the regional secretary for the public services union


You're the Solicitor General, Robert, as you probably know.


So, the big story this week has been what has been


going on in the Supreme Court and how Brexit should be triggered.


Well, we have had the argument and now the Supreme Court justices


are going to go away and considered judgment which we'll


I think it's best that we wait to see the outcome of the case,


and then the government will make its decision


accordingly in terms of what the court determines.


But I think we'll get to the triggering of Article


50 by the end of March as the Prime Minister's promised.


Well, I think the big issues here about the role of government,


I think it's important that these issues are at


And I'm confident that the independent judiciary


And I think that should help not just in this case,


but help more generally an understanding


They've been taking a lot of stick for this suggestion even that MPs


should be able to have a say over triggering of the article.


How will you vote if MPs do have a say over


How will you vote if MPs do have a say?


Yeah, I was a Remainer, I campaigned actively for it.


I understand that things have changed.


You would vote against your conscience?


I would abide by the clear view of the British people.


I'm a democrat at the end of it and I have to abide


Well, whatever my personal view is, we asked the British


They did, now we've got to get on with it.


Well, I'm really interested in what the clear view


Because I think on the 23rd of June, the people voted in effect to move


house, out of the house that was the EU.


And now what I think we want to know is, what kind


Will there be any free movement of people?


We we still have some of the regulations, some


And the response that we're getting is, frankly,


if it wasn't so serious, it would be funny.


To be told that Brexit means Brexit, when Brexit wasn't even


Or that Brexit will be red, white and blue.


But if you were in the Commons, would you say the people got that


wrong in my opinion, so I'm going to vote


I think I would say the people have voted to open negotiations.


I think the government should be really clear in those negotiations,


To suggest that somehow keeping it secret will help,


it's not a boxing match where if you land a punch


It's actually a set of negotiations where you should


Don't forget, the government have said they are going to publish


their position ahead of any negotiations.


The debate that we can have, the detail, will come


Now, the way police in Wiltshire and elsewhere investigate


historical child abuse has been condemned by a former MP


Tessa Munt, who represented Wells until last year,


says it is vital work but has been badly handled.


It comes after Wiltshire's Chief Constable made an outspoken defence


of his force's enquiry into allegations about the former


Could a British Prime Minister have been a sexual predator?


The late Edward Heath is among many public figures investigated.


It's four years since Jimmy Savile's crimes were revealed.


That precipitated an avalanche of allegations and action


With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement


For one MP at Parliament that day, it was deeply personal.


Tessa Munt was abused for five years from the age of 12.


It was decades before she reported it.


I had a horrendous six months of reliving the nightmare.


But actually, I got used to saying what had happened.


You know, the thing that was a nightmare for me


was thinking that that person might be doing that to somebody else,


and that if I had been brave enough to speak up,


all that time ago, somebody else might not have suffered what I did.


Today, she follows with sadness but no surprise the revelations


of abuse in football, as hundreds of potential


People are shocked by those statistics, but the whole world


is changing, and I think there will be an understanding


of the fact that it is a huge problem in our society.


Ted Heath lived the last 20 years of his life in Salisbury.


Last year, Wiltshire Police gathered of the media in front of his house


I'm really appealing for anybody that has been a victim of crime,


or witnessed anything that may have taken place involving Sir Ted Heath.


Tessa Munt believes the way this, and other investigations,


To choose your location as being outside his house in Salisbury,


the house that he occupied in Salisbury, is just outrageous.


They've behaved pretty atrociously over the whole Cliff Richard thing,


You know, the police's job is to investigate,


not to create some sort of media whiz around themselves and show


themselves to be simply brilliant on this particular occasion


because they've done the investigation.


Wiltshire Police have also faced criticism for spending 16


months and ?750,000, while reaching no clear conclusion.


Requests for interviews were turned down.


Instead, a stern Chief Constable recorded his own rebuttal.


Over the last few weeks particularly, there has been much


I really am very concerned and profoundly disappointed


about the impact of this speculation on the public's


The potential prejudicial impact on life criminal investigations,


not to mention the confidence of persons who come


This is not a fishing trip or witchhunt.


Both of these terms have been unfairly levelled at us.


The legal role of the police service is two, on the half of the public,


impartially investigate allegations without fear or favour.


Wiltshire's and other investigations will press on.


For the sake of the victims, get it right, pleads Tessa Munt.


My heart goes out to everybody who has suffered.


I'm not in the slightest bit surprised at the scale of this.


It's nowhere near an covering all of this.


Joanne, is there any limit to how much public funds and effort should


be put into investigating these sorts of cases?


Well, that's a bit like asking what is the price of justice.


If you look back, we saw that the Jimmy Savile case,


I'm sure it cost hundreds of thousands, possibly


To expose Jimmy Savile and the crimes that he committed.


Are we saying that is money not well spent?


I think it's important that we do investigate these crimes.


But also put the resource into making sure that


And making sure that we are protecting children when clearly


Robert, you are quoted in one newspapers having


Robert, you are quoted in one newspaper as having had a private


And accusing him of going on a fishing expedition.


I don't think it's right of me to make comments


What I will say is that the police and the investigating authorities


should follow the evidence wherever it leads.


They shouldn't come to any preconceived


I think it's important that that sense of impartial investigation


is strongly felt from the beginning of an enquiry.


Now, it's right to say as has already been said,


that results should never be an obstacle to the


And that's why the CPS is working extremely hard to prosecute hundreds


Bringing victims some form of closure and Justice.


In this case, there's 21 officers, ?750,000 spent.


Wiltshire is a small force, its funding is being cut.


I think the police have to follow the evidence wherever it leads.


And, you know, the Chief Constable has operational decisions to make.


He is close to, I hope, the evidence in this


case and understand that if there is a body of evidence, it


But I think it's important that we remember, you know,


at the head of all these investigations, we mustn't have


preconceptions about the credibility or otherwise...


Do you think they have a preconception that when he stood


outside Edward Heath's house and talked about victims,


did that appear to be an open mind to you?


I very much hope that they didn't have a preconception.


I very much hope that the investigation is being conducted


If you had seen that tape and you were in court,


Well, it's very difficult to know what a judge would do unless you see


But it's very difficult to know what the outcome of these


There might be allegations that need to be followed up.


What I do know is that Sir Edward Heath is long dead,


and that we have a major enquiry chaired by Professor Alexis Jay


And I very much hope that there is a linkup


between investigations like this and the Jay enquiry to make


sure that historic child abuse can be dealt with.


The police have said time and time again that


when you are investigating those who may have been responsible


for multiple sexual offences, you do need the cooperation


of a wide number of people because often, and the prosecutions


that were successful depended on them finding a large


number of people who had experienced the same thing


I know this is speculation, but do you think it's credible that


Sir Edward Heath crept out of Downing Street at night


What I know about Sir Edward Heath is that he had police protection


Now, if there is credible evidence out there about alleged behaviour,


But what I do know, and I think we agree on this,


is that where you do have a say multiple abuses,


If you get, you know, publicity about one victim,


The Stuart Hall case was a good example where it did actually bring


Those in child protection have taught that you must always


entertain the possibility that whoever the person is,


You cannot use your own prejudices to say this person conducted at.


-- this person couldn't have done it.


Your colleague in Wiltshire, James Gray, is saying that if this


comes to nothing then the Chief Constable will have to go.


Look, again, I don't think it's right for me to start


prejudging the career of operational police officers.


All right, we'll have to leave it there.


When was the last time you actually used your local library?


More in the West could soon end up featuring in the local history


aisle, after council decisions this week.


In a moment, we'll be discussing whether libraries


And then the rather more polite ones.


They might be quiet, but don't underestimate their passion.


This is a read in, at a Swindon library that is about to fall


And these are cut even the professionals say is a new level.


What we're seeing in Swindon is not only some of the worst cuts closures


to library services in the UK, but across most of Western Europe.


What they are proposing here, you know, the European average


is around one library for 15,000 people.


Proposing here one library for 40,000 people.


There's no way that we can deliver a comprehensive


But councils are under huge financial pressure from Westminster,


having to make tough choices, libraries are at risk.


In Swindon, the council decided on Wednesday to withdraw funding


On Tuesday in North Somerset, ?250,000 was cut from


Some will be moved into children's centres to keep them open.


While South Gloucestershire Council has said it wants to be the first


in the country to offer an entirely self-service operation.


For a glimpse of the future, I head to this place in Wiltshire,


where they're already trying this idea out.


You swipe yourself in, pick your book.


The machines take care of the loans and returns.


Where a librarian might once have shushed, now even on the days


when it's not staffed, this is still functioning library.


Often a on Wednesday when the library's closed


and I forget that, I think, "Great, I can still do my


You'll have to put yourself on the waiting list to borrow


At her home near Stroud, the bestselling writer behind many


a racy romance romp tells me libraries had a profound


I just remember when I was young, when we went up to Yorkshire


after the war and suddenly going into a public library.


I mean, there were these books all round me.


And what was amazing was that every kind of book I wanted to read,


But also, I mean, I could take them home.


She's worried future generations might not get the same chances.


I mean, Swindon has a big heart, they can't be doing it, you know,


They're obviously doing it because they've got


But I think they could possibly keep some more open.


Because it just seems to me that people need to read,


If you are poor, this is a whole free world for you,


The notion that libraries are some kind of welfare service,


some deficit model for poorer people or isolate people, is to place


libraries in the wrong place in public life.


John isn't just a former Labour political strategist.


He is also a former councillor and a qualified librarian.


He's got a message many would want to hear.


There's a lot of sentimental claptrap spoken about libraries.


Fewer than four in ten adults used a library once in the last year.


The decline has been setting in for more than a decade,


Do you accept that politically it's very for local councillors to come


out and say that a lot of libraries aren't necessary any more?


If the public want libraries, they have to use them.


The decline of the last decade is sending a signal to councillors


that councillors would be wrong to ignore.


And when the choice is between social care


that is desperately needed and libraries which people aren't


going to, how can you come them come the council that decides


to prioritise care for older people that takes pressure


off the health service, gives dignity and independence


to older people in their own homes, against keeping open a service that


And as pressure continues to grow, the West's councils face a choice.


Do libraries need to be renewed, or are they living on borrowed time?


You look after the union side of things.


What do you make of this idea of having libraries


I think they are very good for the people who just want to know


what books they want to borrow, and they want to just go in,


But people who are perhaps going to the library for the first time,


My mother uses a library, and the librarian's one


of her best friends and always makes recommendations, helps her,


kind of calls her when something new has come in.


That's going to have that same service.


So it's very transactional, but it's not going to help people


who perhaps are using libraries for the first time.


And I think getting people to use libraries more is very important.


Robert, are you proud of what Swindon council is doing?


Well, they're having to deal with a very tough situation.


But, you know, I'm confident that actually the majority


And I'm working closely with councillors and indeed


with other people with a passion for libraries in Swindon to make


sure that we can develop not only our core library,


but via a mutual trust option that the staff have


There is a serious, concerted effort to make sure that branches that


aren't within the core will stay open.


So for all this talk about ten closures, I'm


And I think that we can keep the network going


and have a sustainable model for Swindon.


Actually, I'd like us to be more ambitious for libraries.


I think it's interesting that they're merging with children's


But there's no reason why libraries should just be about books.


They could be ways in which people can learn about the digital age.


We know there's a real gap in people's digital skills.


And libraries are places people learn more.


If you look at libraries in schools...


So a council faced with cutting social services or cutting books,


Actually having the library, which is also a learning hub,


but also the council one stop shop where you can come and find out


What's happening in Swindon, young people who don't


have the Internet at home are doing their homework


Job-seekers who don't have the Internet are using


I accept that the settlement is a tight one.


Which is why I'm working as hard as I can to make sure the network


stays open and that we have a more sustainable model for the future.


Which is why the staff, councillors, all of us are working together


The remaining libraries, the branch libraries,


the opening hours are being cut to about 15 hours a week.


Which is why I think with innovation, I think


there is government funding to support innovation which I think


I'd like to see longer opening hours, and more, you know,


different approach to have libraries are in communities.


I think that that can come from a variety of income sources,


I think we need to look at shared use more.


There's a lot of really interesting thinking going on in Swindon to make


sure that we have a service that's fit for the future.


Well, I don't doubt your good intentions.


But what you really need to do is be talking to colleagues in government


and saying that this year on year on cuts to local government


services, it's just proving unsustainable.


And I have sympathy for people saying, "We have to close


the library because otherwise cuts to old people's services."


And it's time to try and turn things round.


That is a whole new subject, but thank you.


Here is our round-up of the West's political week.


A Yeovil man was jailed for two years after harassing


24-year-old Joshua Bonehill Payne targeted the Jewish Liberal MP


Luciana Berger with a string of anti-Semitic rants.


Families who took their children out of school said they couldn't go


on holiday win their case against Swindon council.


They had all received fines for unauthorised absence.


The nine councils that serve Dorset could be merged to form only two.


It would save over ?100 million over the next six years.


At PMQs, the Gloucester MP urged cross-country trains to provide more


Do not allow cross-country to go on treating Gloucester like a leper


to be avoided at all costs, and apply to them to deliver


In Bristol, the days of free on street parking


It's one of a number of controversial measures


by the mayor as he tries to balance his books.


This dreadful Internet trolling which is going on,


Is there much more that the government can


Politicians will get criticised, of course.


What I've noticed is a lot of my female colleagues have had


disproportionately offensive remarks, and threats made to them.


Which make them fear for their personal safety.


That's not acceptable in a civilised society.


We need to police the boundaries of free speech very


vigorously when people cross the line into criminality.


Anonymity, can I say, is no hiding place,


because the police can track people down as we saw in the feature.


I've experienced that kind of online abuse.


Children are really distressed by it.


But I think people need to challenge it.


And the social media platforms need to put more resources into making


sure there are real people who can see these tweets and can


see the blogs and shut them down immediately.


And not be confused that that is free speech,


because it's not what free speech should be.


My thanks to my guests, Robert Buckland and Joanne K.


still the biggest factor. We are running out of time.


Now, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was rebuked


by Downing Street this week - yes, again - after the Guardian


revealed he had accused Saudi Arabia of being among countries engaged


in fighting "proxy wars" in the Middle East, breaking


the Foreign Office's convention of not criticising a key UK ally


in the region and annoying the prime minister who'd just returned


The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was asked about it


And let's be very clear about this, the way some of his remarks


were reported seemed to imply we didn't support the right


of Saudi Arabia to defend itself, and it is being attacked by Houthi


terrorists from over the border with Yemen,


didn't support what Saudi is doing in leading the campaign to restore


Some of the reporting led people to think that, and that is all...


This was simply the way it was reported and interpreted.


The way it was interpreted left people with the impression


that we didn't support Saudi Arabia and we do.


Well, Mr Johnson has been in the Saudi capital


Riyadh this morning, so how's he been received?


Our security correspondent Frank Gardner is in neighbouring


Bahrain, where Mr Johnson was earlier in the weekend.


It has probably been a long time since there has been such interest


in a British Foreign Secretary visiting the gulf region. What are


the political elites there making of it all? Well, they think to be


honest it is a bit of a storm in a tea cup this is a bit of a Whitehall


story, I think a lot of people I have spoken to tend to believe that


Number Ten have made such a fuss about this, that it has created a


story in itself. That said, though, I think that behind the scenes there


was a certain amount of damage limitation taking place between


London and Riyadh, a bit of smoothing of feathers and reassuring


and the Stade Saudis tell me they are reassured the message they are


taking is. Coming from Number Ten and they are not taking Boris


Johnson's comments to heart. He is in the dam, he has met the king, I


tweet add picture of that just a few minutes ago. He has been meeting


Crown Prince, and he is now meeting the Foreign Minister, so the Saudis


got an opportunity to brief him according to their vision of the


Middle East. They will share their security concern, which is not just


what is going on in Yemen, but they are very concerned about what they


see as Iranian expansionism, that has been a theme here at this


conference in Bahrain that Boris Johnson addressed only a day or two


ago. If we put aside Mr Johnson's supposed gaffes or even the Downing


Street slapping down of him, we have had the Prime Minister in the region


earlier this week, we have got Mr Johnson there now, can we yet divine


what the May Government strategy is in the Golf? -- Guff. In three


words, in Boris Johnson's words Britain is back. He was very quick


to say not in a jingoistic running up flags, new imperial list way,


although that is Howley be seen by some. He gave a very forceful speech


which seemed to go down well the gulf hosts here on Friday night


which said Britain made a strategic mistake in, after 1968 in


withdrawing east of Suez and it will reverse that decision, and invest ?3


billion over the next ten years in building up its military not bases


exactly but facilities -- facilities that are here in this part of the


world. There are currently 15 hundred hundred British servicemen


and women in this region, seven warships and so on. It isn't


entirely true to say Britain withdrew east of Suez because we


have had a military presence on and off here, the RAF had a base here in


Bahrain during the Gulf War of 91. In 2003, of course, British planes


and troops deployed from this area, but he and Theresa May are both


saying post-Brexit, Britain's big emphasis or one of the big pushes is


going to be to redouble its ties with gulf Arab nations, that isn't


going to come as an easy bit of new, I think, to human rights campaigners


and anti-arms campaigners because a large part of the ?7 billion of


bilateral trade Britain did with Saudi Arabia comes from arms deals


and those arms are being used in the conflict in Yemen, in some cases


with tragic consequences. Thank you very much for talking to us.


Instead of concentrating on Mr Johnson's gaffes, or Downing Street


reaction to it. Frank Gardner there has just given us a really important


development, or explained what the British are up to there now. They


want to be back in the gulf big time. Isn't that something we should


be debating and discussing? It is fascinating. It is yet another


example post-Brexit I would say this is someone who voted to Brexit, that


the world is changing, and Britain's role is going to be transformed


post-Brexit. I mean just on the Boris point, I completely agree, I


think a lot of it is ridiculous, in a Whitehall belt way stuff, but I


think what is really important about it, is that Number Ten feel


threatened by him, and the reason that these ridiculous gaffes and


many of them are not even gaffes are pounced upon is he is the main rival


for the Crown, so it is high level power play politics, and it is May


trying to keep him in his place. What do you make though, of Britain


is back in the gulf? That is the big story, is it not. Utterly bizarre,


post imperial fantasy, the idea we are back east of Suez? We are


breaking off from our closest ally, most like us, the rest of Europe,


democratic, decent human rights country, and instead we are allying


ourself to perilous, dangerous, unpleasant countries... Why should


we be back in the gulf? If that is the trade off, these are, you know,


these renasty kingdoms, petty unpleasant and unstable countries.


Don't we have to keep the straits open otherwise the oil supply


collapses and the world economy will go into the worst recession


depression ever? Don't we have to be involved in that We do, and I think


what happens is if we leave Europe and we need trade everywhere else,


we have to travel the world on our knees begging for friends from the


most unsavoury people, where ever they are, whether it is... You keep


saying we are leaving Europe, that is a geographic impossibility.


Britain is part of Europe, we are the... Not what Liam Fox is saying.


The key power in Nato, we are leaving the European Union, that is


a different Tring from Europe. I am trying to move away from Mr Johnson,


or even Downing Street to... You got yourself into a Brexit row.


Everything is through the prism of Brexit, even what you have for


breakfast, when you mix up the word like I did last week. What do you


make of what Frank Gardner told us? I am somewhere between the two. It


is a nighs the line say we are back in the Middle East and we will take


this part of the world seriously, the truth is our military is almost


tiny, it is smaller than it was in the Napoleonic wars, that is not a


huge amount more. Of course there S one of the two new aircraft


carriers, that will be deployed in the gulf, to help the Americans keep


the straits of her muz open, because it is in Europe's interest, not just


Britains, Europe's interest that these straits stay open, which is


more so than America. That is what FRANK was talking about. That is no


change, British foreign policy has been keeping the straits open... Now


we have the ability do it. We don't have an aircraft aier at the moment.


Nor do we have the fleet of ships it needs. It is a great thing to be


trade morgue with the Nice, to be turning -- Middle East, to be


turning round more tax revenues and the like. Even selling weapons. I


don't know what more can be done. You look at what has happened. BBC


has had horrific reports from the Yemen and if you look at what the


weapons are being used for, is that the trade we want? Right. Let us


move on. Mr Corbyn was giving a speech yesterday but he was


inter#ru79ded by Peter Tatchell. -- interrupted.


Peter, could we leave this to the questions please?


Peter, we are trying to make a speech here and then


Was Peter Tatchell right do that yesterday? It is a bit of a


distraction really. Jeremy Corbyn 17% in the polled is not going to be


able to change... You mean his personal rating. If you want to do


something about Syria you ought to be addressing the Government rather


than a failing Labour leader. Peter Tatchell's line was Labour in


general, Mr Corbyn in particular had not been vocal enough in condemning


what the Russians and their Assad allies are doing in Aleppo. It was


interesting Mr Corbyn had to ask Emily Thornberry if and when had


they condemned what the Russians were doing? It was unclear. Other


than Mrs Thornbury herself. There is a fascinating fault line in politics


which is the Trump administration, the way in which parts of the


British left have made themselves useful idiots once again for the


Kremlin and it its policies. I think more broadly, you consider all the


things we have been discussing, it is a national tragedy what is


happening to the Labour Party. You don't know whether to laugh or cry


watching that event. Corbyn was at a stop the war rally event only last


week, and they of course are very close to the Kremlin, they blame the


west, well they blame the west much more... They always blame the west.


And not the Russians. I agree Jeremy Corbyn having to check with Emily


Thornberry what the Labour Party's policy was on bombing Aleppo... If


and when they condemned it. He needs to no better. The fact that we are


talking about what was a pretty small scale protest, rather than


anything Corbyn said, shows he wasn't saying anything relevant. We


will get a huge amount of tweet saying the BBC are anti-Corbyn. I


understand that, that shouldn't intimidate us from saying, from


analysing what is happening, and here is one yard stick, of course it


is fundamentally the Government's choice, but it could be an indicator


of whether the Labour Party is relevant or not in only issues, in


reason pert Murdoch is making a take over bid for all of Sky and so far


you would have to bet, policy, that it is going to get through pretty


much unscathed. It is extraordinary. It is connected with Leveson, and


the fact that that has disappeared. That the idea of restraining the


press in any way at all, and virtual will I the whole of the press is


behind that, and it seems to go with allowing what wasn't allowed before.


He was judged as unfit before. He is as unfit now, to control that much


of the media, and as he was when he made the last bid for Sky. It is


time people stood up and said so. You look at the press he runs, the


cultural effect he has has on this country which has been appalling,


you know about this. Tom, I better let you have a word. I don't agree


at all Polly but the lesson for the Labour Party, is if they don't want


to have any influence at all, they have to be credible, and stand a


reasonable chance of becoming Prime Minister or becoming Government,


that is the only way they will get leverage. We need to leave it there.


I was going to say we will come back to it. We will see. The Daily


Politics will be back at noon tomorrow.


and we'll be back here next Sunday for the last show of 2016.


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


# We're going to have a party tonight


# I'm going to find that boy underneath the mistletoe


Andrew Neil and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Former London mayor Ken Livingstone and former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie discuss Labour's electoral fortunes, and former chancellor Ken Clarke talks about rebelling over this week's Brexit vote. Plus Robert Buckland MP. The Political Panel consists of Iain Martin of Reaction, Tom Newton Dunn of The Sun and Polly Toynbee of The Guardian.

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