Sarah Smith and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith, George Galloway and Peter Hitchens.
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Good morning, everyone,
and welcome to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith.
And this is your guide to everything
that's happening in the world
of politics this Sunday morning.
On today's show:
Theresa May's right-hand man
Damian Green has denied claims that
police found pornography
on a computer in his office in 2008.
He says the allegations by a former
police chief are "political smears."
With claims of sexual harassment
at Westminster growing by the day,
can either Theresa May
or Jeremy Corbyn do anything to get
to grips with a scandal
threatening to engulf
the entire political class?
We'll ask a minister and senior
member of the Shadow Cabinet.
And some on the left of politics
have been gathering to mark 100
In the West:
Life on the streets,
a new law offers more help
to people sleeping rough,
but will be government put in enough
cash to make a difference?
So there's plenty of
explosive political news
to get you in the mood
for bonfire night -
and with me as usual,
three journalists who know quite
a bit about parliamentary plots -
if rather less about
gunpowder and treason.
It's Tom Newton Dunn,
Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.
So what are the big political
stories making the news this Sunday?
Well, the papers are brimming
with further allegations against MPs
in the sexual harassment scandal,
which according to one newspaper has
left Westminster frozen in fear.
First Secretary of State Damian
Green, already under
investigation over allegations -
which he strongly denies -
of propositioning a female activist,
is the subject of new claims that
police discovered pornography
on a computer in his Westminster
office in 2008.
Mr Green denies the allegation,
made by former senior
police officer Bob Quick,
saying it is "completely untrue,"
and adding that he is the victim
of disreputable "political smears."
Michael Fallon, who resigned
as Defence Secretary this week
over his past behaviour,
is also subject to fresh claims
he lunged at a female journalist
in 2003 after a lunch.
Labour is facing questions
over its handling of sexual
This morning Shadow Cabinet minister
Dawn Butler refused to be drawn
on whether Jeremy Corbyn knew
about alleged misconduct by MP
Kelvin Hopkins when he was promoted
to the Shadow Cabinet.
And there is a reminder that normal
political life goes on,
with reports that the Cabinet has
agreed to put housing at the heart
of Philip Hammond's upcoming Budget.
Well, let's hear from
Home Secretary Amber Rudd now -
she was on the Andrew Marr Show
earlier talking about the claims
against her Cabinet colleague Damian
Absolutely not. I think it is
something that will take place in
terms of clearing out Westminster of
that sort of behaviour, and I think
that Westminster afterwards,
including the Government, will be
better for it. When we are confident
that men and women can work any
respectful environment and people on
the receiving end of abuse of power
can come forward. That will be a
Let's see what our panel make of
this fairly explosive week. Good
morning to all of you. Starting with
you, Steve. Not a party political
issue but the Tories are in
Government. How much harder for them
is it an Labour?
Always harder when
you are in Government because it
makes governing almost impossible.
And the wider context is a Prime
Minister who lost her overall
majority a few months ago and
actually that is the context of
everything. When you are having to
deal with the scandal of such
unpredictability, where the
terms are so imprecise, it is a
"lunge", a resignation issue, to use
that term, and nightmare. I don't
think it is fatal. Scandals rarely
bring down governments, but it makes
governing for Theresa May a form of
Damian Green has denied all
allegations made against him, but
there are more this morning. He is
being investigated by the Cabinet
Office at the moment. If Theresa May
were to effectively lose her Deputy
Prime Minister, has serious without
I think very serious indeed. I
think it is very significant and
strange he was not defended in the
Home Secretary Amber Rudd in that
clip we saw today, she didn't say I
am certain he will survive, and I am
beginning to feel that Damian may
not survive this. We don't know
whether it is the last of the
allegations that may come out in
relation to him. It seems to me that
the allegations were previously of a
rather minor order, but this seems
to have escalated. And I think one
of the big problems for Theresa May,
and there are the many at the
moment, for months we have been
saying that this Government has no
bandwidth to do anything except
Brexit and right now she can't even
do Brexit. What is the point of it
It is important to make clear
not only that Damian Green denies
all of these allegations, but the
computer mentioned was in a shared
office so there is no reason it
would definitely be his
# No guarantee it would definitely
be his. But we have had two MPs on
television this morning, Anna
Soubry, saying he should stand down.
There is an awful lot going on here.
It is not just a pretty awful sexual
harassment scandal. There are also
without a doubt MPs, police
officers, going about settling
scores. For me I have to say for our
pretty discredited police officer
Bob Quick, to make accusations
against serving Cabinet minister, to
suggest he should go for extreme
pornography on computers he may or
may not have known, it may be
extremely distasteful but it is
alarming for democracy to have
ex-police officers like this coming
in and trying to play with
democracy. Some politicians are also
meeting claims, some for the right
reasons to get the allegations out
there and so on but others for their
own agendas and all of this puts the
Prime Minister in an unbelievably
hard situation. I agree with Steve
and Isabel, she desperately needs
two show leadership in all this, but
every way she could turn there are
incredible downfalls, people blaming
her for trying to get to the bottom
of all this. It is very people who
she is relying on for her
leadership, the very Tory MPs the
support she can't lose.
It is not
just the Tory party and of course
Jeremy Corbyn will be making a
speech later today where this will
inevitably and there are accusations
about how the senior leadership in
the Labour Party have handled this.
What about that situation?
the Government is much harder
because you are meant to be doing
10,000 other things at the same
time. This is about a deregulated
work environment. For all those who
say, I hate the way Britain is too
regulated, this is what happens in a
deregulated work environment. The
House of Commons has no HR or
whatever, MPs, advisors, so, MPs
actually don't have much power but
they do have power over who the
point and how to treat them. I think
this is the way forward in terms of
the practical outcome, but it is
across the political spectrum.
it is unclear what it will be. Can
the party sort this out?
sure I entirely agree, Steve, you
cannot regulate all human
interaction and a lot of these
stories have been about interactions
between politicians and journalists
alike, who have gone out for lunch,
chosen to drink, presumably to
create an informal atmosphere, and
at what point is a step towards
somebody to say goodbye, a peck on
the cheek or whatever, a lunge? You
can't regulate that sort of thing.
Throughout the programme will come
back to some of these things and how
they might be regulated.
Now, the Home Secretary has
also today been talking
about what she calls the "moral
duty" of social media companies
to stop child sexual exploitation,
ahead of a meeting with her US
counterparts this week.
We're joined now by the Home Office
minister Sarah Newton -
she's in our Truro studio.
Thanks very much for coming in to
speak the first night. I want to
talk to you about the Government's
efforts to tackle child pornography,
but let's pick up on some of the
sexual harassment issues at
Westminster first. Two of your
parliamentary colleagues this
morning saying they think the first
Secretary of State Damian Green
should step down whilst being
investigated. Do you agree?
has vigorously denied these
accusations, and the Cabinet Office
is investigating these accusations,
so we do have processes for when
ministers have these accusations
made against them so they are
properly investigated. And that is
what is going on at the moment.
that process people can be confident
in? He is effectively being
investigated by Jeremy Heywood, one
of his colleagues.
This is a tried
and tested process that has stood
the test of time, and it is
Has it? Surely what we
are learning is it has not stood the
test of time and that in fact
allegations like this have been
swept under the carpet and ignored
for years and years in Westminster,
exactly what we are learning right
I think you are conflating two
things they are, and what we really
do need to do is look at the whole
range of allegations people have
been making, and make sure
Parliament is a safe place for
people to work, a respectful
environment for people who have been
subjected to harassment or bullying
or inappropriate behaviour, so that
they feel confident to come forward
knowing they will be listened to,
that there will be an open and
transparent and fair to everyone
concerned process for getting to the
bottom of it, and that is exactly
what the Prime Minister and the
Leader of the Cows have set out,
Prime Minister's meeting with all
the leaders of the parties tomorrow
to set out a proper process so we
can modernise the work environment
at Westminster -- leader of the
House have set out.
You think Damian
Green should remain in the Cabinet
well being investigated?
be down to Sir Jeremy Heywood. If he
thinks the misdemeanours have a
basis, that he should stand aside,
that will be the recommendation. I
will not second the inquiry on what
Sir Jeremy Heywood finds.
in the Whips' Office yourself for a
year. And much has been said this
week of the whips being in receipt
of a lot of information about bad
behaviour, and instead of reporting
it to authorities they were using it
as ammunition. Was that your
Absolutely not. I was at
the Whips' Office up to 2015 and,
yes, I heard about the rumours of a
black spreadsheet, and I can
certainly say I never saw such a
thing. How I went about my business
as a whip is really twofold. It is
quite a technical job in many ways,
about of the Government through the
House, working with the House
authorities, the opposition. Also...
Did you ever hear rumours of these
people's bad behaviour?
you ever hear rumours of MPs
misbehaving, sexual harassment,
allegations are that?
If anybody had
brought a complaint to me about the
behaviour of one of the MPs who were
in my flock, I would take that
really seriously, but bull-mac, that
You said nobody
brought you a complaint. Did you
hear rumours? -- but no, that didn't
About the members of my
flock? Absolutely not.
Is that the
MPs you were specifically in charge
I did not have that experience
Let's move on and talk about
the Home Secretary's trip to
Washington this week, where she will
urge tech companies to go further
and faster on online child abuse. We
have heard a lot from this
Government urging these companies to
do something. One specific ideas of
what they could do, do you have a
clear idea of what you are asking
from tech companies?
right. As you know, this horrendous
crime of child sexual exploitation
and grooming is constantly evolving
as the opportunities for the
perpetrators arise. They are now
using live streaming, different
sorts of platforms, which are
largely controlled by the big
companies in America. What we really
want them to do is to step up and
use their huge expertise, used the
huge money they have got, to help
find technological solutions to read
their sites and rid the opportunity
of these paedophiles to be able to
groom young people. We need the
politicians in America to exert
pressure, as well as other
companies, because these are global
problems. We are not going to solve
this problem in the UK alone. We
have made a lot of progress, working
with Facebook and other companies as
well, but we really need to keep one
step ahead of the technology, one
step ahead of the perpetrators, who
are using these opportunities to
commit horrendous crimes.
It was back in 2014 Theresa May for
the Internet companies to do more in
terms of child abuse online and we
have not seen significant action,
and it does not appear these kind of
calls from the Government actually
Well, at the moment we are seeing
the police being able to make about
400 arrests per month, about 500
children being safeguarded. The
Government itself is investing a lot
of money in new technology like the
project Arachnid, and making sure
the police have the specialist
resources they need to go
undercover, and absolutely find
these perpetrators and bring them to
justice, but we do need to
constantly have the engagement and
support of the companies themselves
to invest in further technologies to
prevent this from happening. As you
say, we have made progress but we
need to see yet more.
thank you very much for speaking to
Michael Fallon's decision
to resign this week,
saying his past conduct with women
fell short of the standard expected
of the Armed Forces, led
to something of a minor reshuffle.
And the Prime Minister took
Westminster by surprise
when she announced his replacement,
former Chief Whip and relative
newcomer to the ministerial
ranks, Gavin Williamson.
Here he is speaking on the day
of his appointment.
It's an immense privilege to have
been appointed Secretary
of State for Defence,
and what we need to be doing
is continuing to focus
on countering Daesh,
making sure that our national
security is at the forefront
of everything that we do,
and we have some of the world's
greatest armed services,
and it's such a privilege to be able
to work with them.
Gavin Williamson, who you saw there,
arrives at the Ministry of Defence
at a challenging time
for UK defence.
The Government has promised
an above-inflation increase
in spending every year
but the Ministry of Defence
is already committed to finding
£20 billion of savings
over the next ten years.
The Cabinet Office is currently
conducting a security review
which will look at military
capabilities and funding up to 2022,
while there are continuing
reports of shortages
of manpower and equipment.
And if Labour were to win power,
questions persist over
what a Jeremy Corbyn premiership
would mean for defence budget
and the traditional cornerstones
of UK defence policy
like Trident and Nato.
Well we're joined now
by the Shadow Defence
secretary, Nia Griffith.
Well we're joined now
by the Shadow Defence
secretary, Nia Griffith.
Let's talk about defence spending
first. Would Labour commit to the
same thing this Government has which
is an above inflation increase in
spending every year?
absolutely clear about that. First
and foremost we'd meet our
commitment of spending at least 2%
of GDP on defence as is our Nato
commitment and we would match the
Government's year-on-year 0.5%
increase above inflation. This is
really important. Labour's always
had a good strong track record of
spending on defence.
seems to have a different view.
Speaking at a protest in 2010 he
said Labour wanted to fight all the
cuts except those in the Armed
Forces where we want to see a few
more cuts taking place. He doesn't
seem committed to defence spending?
In the manifesto for this year's
election, 2017, he and John
McDonnell have been absolutely clear
we support the exact words I've been
using now, at least 2% of the spend
of GDP spent on defence.
Corbyn's changed his mind on that?
He's been very clear about that and
it was in our manifesto this year.
You criticised the Government on
whether they meet their 2%
commitment on defence. You saying
they were fiddling the figures
because they were including
pensions. You would strip that out
and snake sure there's 2% spending
on defence which doesn't include
Government would argue you are
allowed to include pensions by the
Nato rules. But we've been very
clear, really, when you're talking
about defence spending it should
mean defence. When you look at the
last year of the Labour Government
we spent 2.5% GDP on defence. We are
very much committed to looking at
what we need in our defence budget
and looking to the problems they
have now where they can't meet the
commitments they've made.
sprip pensions out of those figures.
In order to live up to these
commitments you have to find an
extra billion for the defence
budgets because we're not
calculating pensions anymore?
McDonnell is well aware of what they
are doing. Putting in the conflict
resolution money which Gordon Brown
kept separate. He is well aware of
the figures and the difficulties. We
are certainly very committed to a
defence budget that really does make
I'm not clear whether
you're telling me it will be 2% 69
spending, excluding pensions?
want it to be 2% of GDP as in the
way Labour always calculate it had
up until 2010, not including
A significant increase in
We are talking
about making sure the spending we
need is there because, at the
current situation, we have with the
current Government, they are
overstretched. Even the very caution
National Audit Office says they are
at immense risk of not being able to
meet the expenditure commitment the
they have made. Others talk about a
black hole. You mentioned it that
£20 billion. There is a real issue
we have to address.
To you know what
it will cost, how muchedingsal funds
will have to be found?
We have to
rook at what are the needs at the
time as well as the facts we want to
make that 2% commitment not
including things which have just
been brushed in now by the
on to a different aspect of defence.
There is a treaty banning nuclear
weapons opened at the UN for
signatories. 122 countries have
already signed it. Would an incoming
Labour Government sign that treaty?
The important point here is there
was an Is inned opportunity for
there to be observers from the UK.
There should have been at that
That doesn't change
the calculation whether or not an
incoming Labour Government would
sign that treaty?
We are committed
to a strong multi-lateral disarming
programme. That's what we've seen
This is a multilateral
approach to try to get rid of
nuclear weapons. What you say you
want. Would a Labour Government sign
You we have to look at
how you go about things. We need toe
somebody clear we want to
de-escalate tensions across the
world. Work with other nuclear
partners to help stop the
proliferation of nuclear weapons. We
want to work with those countries
who feel very strongly about the
treaty so we can work together. We
have to do that in a multilateral
This is a multi-lateral
disarmament framework. Under the
auspice Is of the UN disto see how
else it could be organised. This is
a great opportunity for you, who
have been a lifelong campaigner for
disarmament.ment Labour Government
will be the first nuclear power to
do so, sign it and lead the way.
need to use our position to be
responsible and call for responsible
multi-lateral disarmamentment there
was progress made on this in the
eighties and nineties with
considerable amount of are heads put
to one side and destroyed. We need
to get back on the front foot there.
I don't see any presence by the UK
Government at the moment on that
aagain da. It is not helpful for the
nukes leer nations to be separated
from the non-nuclear nation in the
That's why I don't
understand why you're not taking the
opportunity to say a Labour
Government would Take The Stand.
should wok together and we should
use our position as a nuclear power
to work for a multilateral
You were very
clear in your manifesto that the
Labour Party would keep Trident for
Abs will yously.
know throughout his life, Jeremy
Corbyn's long wanted to get rid of
it. He signed up to the manifesto
saying Trident would stay. Has he
changed his minds?
thing is that was a manifesto
Jeremy, John McDonnell's agreed to.
We stood on it in 2017 because that
is the Labour Party position.
Absolutely. I'm asking if the Labour
Leader really believes in that
He believes in democracy
in the party. That is the Labour
Party position. I don't see that
position changing at all. He has
said very clearly that he accepts
that is our Labour Party position.
And that is the manifesto we've
stood on and will continue to stand
I'll need to ask questions about
sexual harassment in Westminster. It
is as much as inissue for the Labour
Party as the Conservative. It was
not clear listening to Dawn Butler,
your colleague on The Andrew Marr
Show this morning, she was asked
whether or not the leadership knew
about allegations by Kelvin Hopkins.
Do you know?
I absolutely do not
know at this moment in time. That's
why there has to be an
investigation. It is extremely
important to find out what the
allegations were, exactly what
happened, who was told and who told
what to whom. Then we will be in a
position to see what the situation
is. In the meantime, Kelvin Hopkins
has been suspended which is the
cricket thing to do.
has been outspoken about what she
let the leadership know. If it is
the case the leadership did know
about these allegations should he
have been put into the Shadow
The real question is who
did know what when.
But what I'm
asking you is...
I am anot going to
speculate whether there was an if or
whatever. We need to know how that
information was transmitted. Was it
put in writing. What it made clear,
who was told what, when. Until we
have a full investigation it would
be inappropriate to comment. What is
absolute lie clear, we need to get
this right for the future. We must
have proper procedures so we deal
with incidents as and when they
occur. And we deal with them
prepperly in a way which gets to the
bottom of the issue and deals with
Why should anyone have
confidence the Labour Party will
treat issues that seriously when,
firstly there's a question whether
they knew about Kelvin hop kips and
others have been dissuaded from
making complaints. Knots just Bex
Bailey. Monica Lennon said when she
was harassed at a party senior
figures in the Labour Party told her
it was her own fault. It seems as if
there hasn't been a culture within
Labour to make a complaint.
why we're having a thorough review
of procedures. We brought in new
procedures in July. We need to
ensure there's a proper helpline
available. We are appointing an
independent organisation which will
deal with allegations first-hand so
nobody has to go to somebody they
think might know other people, be
friends with other people. They can
go somewhere completely confidential
and private. These are often things
you can't want to tell your cross
friends about. We will appoint that
organisation and make sure people
can go there and access to it is
made widely known. It is very, very
important when people come into a
job, they know if anything does
happen, they will be able to
complain. Whether they are ordinary
party members or working in
Thank you for talking
For Thank you for talking to us some
on the left of politics,
this weekend wasn't just a chance
to mark the anniversary
of the failed gunpowder
plot here in Britain,
but also events in Russia 100 years
ago, when Bolshevik revolutionaries
led by Lenin seized power
and ushered in seven
decades of Communist rule.
For critics, that's something
to regret, not celebrate.
Elizabeth Glinka went to one event
in London to find out more.
The 7th November 1917.
Red Guards under the leadership
of Vladimir Lenin begin to occupy
Government buildings in Petrograd.
This uprising, known
popularly as Red October
because of the difference
in the Gregorian calendar,
was, in fact, a coup.
The winds of socialist change had
been blowing for some time.
The Tsars had resisted reform
and millions toiled in a state
of almost medieval surfdom.
Nearly two million
Russians would die.
The revolution had really begun nine
months earlier in February 1917.
The world's first socialist
republic was declared.
October, well that
was the Bolsheviks
asserting their authority.
A hundred years on, as this
event at the TUC shows,
there's still plenty of people
who want to remember and even
celebrate those momentous events.
Mainly as an event in history,
this is an example of historical
development in action,
the ability of people to club
together and be able to affect
the discourse of history.
It was people's first attempt at
trying to build socialism.
Although there were many terrible
things that happened,
I think we have to try
and draw from experience.
Jeremy Corbyn's close friend
and adviser, Andrew Murray,
was chairing the opening session.
He didn't want to talk to us
but we did manage to speak
to the daughter of one of the most
famous Communists of all time.
It's an historic moment
which opened up possibilities
for further changes
and allowed other people
to strive for a different world.
A world, which it seems,
some are still keen to push for.
We're growing, so there is obviously
a positive reflection.
There is a lot of negative
propaganda that comes
from the Cold War period.
It is harder to talk
to older people maybe.
But younger people
are quite receptive.
The events and discussions taking
place here today cover a whole range
of topics from women's
rights to the Third World
and the impact on British socialism.
But there's much less discussion
of the Russian Civil War,
the purges and the political
repression that would come later.
We wanted to have this conference
because we wanted to show it
in a positive light.
Whatever one's view of what happened
to the Soviet Union subsequently
the fact is it is important
to understand the process
of revolutionary change
for its own sake.
Red October would usher
in 70 years of communism.
The proletarite would rise,
find respect and security.
But the suppression of the peoples
of Eastern Europe, the forced labour
camps and the murder of hundreds
of thousands, if not millions
of people, make it difficult
for many to see that revolution
as something to celebrate.
That was Elizabeth Glinka reporting.
So is the centenary
of the Russian Revolution a cause
for celebration, or regret?
Well, to discuss this I'm
joined by former Labour
and Respect MP George Galloway,
and the journalist Peter Hitchens.
Good morning. Let me start with you
George Galloway. Is the October
revolution a cause for celebration?
With the, if not for the October
revolution, we'd been conducting
this interview in German. Though the
truth is this interview wouldn't be
taking place and we probably
wouldn't be alive for a variety of
reasons. The Soviet Union broke the
back of Hitler, as Mr Churchill
often owe pined in Parliament and
elsewhere. If not for the Soviet
Union, Hitler would have ruled. And
his successorsness, perhaps until
now, from Vladivostok all the way to
You say we wouldn't be
able to have this discussion. In the
former Soviet Union we couldn't have
this office either?
true. But even the...
George will be
able to say, that of course.
the sun has spots on its face as
they used to say in the Soviet
Union. There is no doubt tremendous
abrasions, big crimes, a lot of
suffering but, if not for the
transformation, then the Soviet
Union, Russia's GDP increased from
1930 to 190 and the Nazi occupation.
And the strength that defeated
Hitlerism would not have been there.
Peter Hitchens, does it offend you
there are people celebrating 100
years since the Russian Revolution?
Offend? No, but in the Soviet Union,
in which I lived, you would not have
been able to say it was set up by a
cynical bitch, almost bloodless, but
engineered by the German Imperial
Government using -- a cynical
putsch, almost bloodless. That this
was the inauguration of an immensely
long period of repression,
brutality, secret police,
concentration camps and lies, which
I am likely to have seen come to an
end in my lifetime, and I cannot see
why anybody looking at that
disastrous country where so much
misery was needlessly imposed on so
many people for so long could
possibly celebrate the beginning of
it, which was completely avoidable,
and as I say was truly the result of
the cynical foreign policy and
intelligence operations of the
Imperial German Government is trying
to save it skin...
including George Galloway
acknowledges the tyranny and terror
He doesn't. He gives
statistics about GDP but fails to
mention the people murdered in
camp... He was of course formerly a
Trotskyite and sung the praises of
Lenin, which I have not done and
neither have I done today. I have
never been a Communist, unlike Peter
Hitchens, but I do acknowledge and
celebrate that an entirely different
world opened up as a result of the
events in October 19 17. China, you
have just seen their party congress,
decorated with the iconography of
the Bolshevik Revolution, and China
is the most powerful, or soon will
be the most powerful country on the
With one of the most
I don't think
that is true. There is repression in
Enormous repression in
China! How can you possibly argue
there is an?
China has taken more
people out of poverty in the last 30
years than any country, resume,
system, ever has -- how can you
possibly argue there is not?
despots always argue, trying to
distract your attention from the
mountains of skulls behind them,
their supposed economic success,
which generally does not turn out to
be as great as claimed. The Soviet
Union was an enormous pile of rust
by the time I lived there and was a
Yes, that is
why it fell down. But we are talking
about the Revolution 100 years ago.
Is it possible to separate the two
events? A popular overthrowing of a
government is perhaps different from
the tyranny and terror that
It was not a popular
overthrow. You sure this Eisenstein
propaganda as if it were fact. What
we see was a film made afterwards.
What actually happened was a putsch
in the middle of the night in which
hardly anybody... Nobody has even
That German connection,
a rather more important...
has even mentioned during this year
until now that there was a Russian
Revolution. There were two. The
first one was a genuine uprising,
overthrowing the old regime, and I
think we can all be glad of it. The
second one was a cynical for --
foreign financed putsch and it does
not deserve to be spoken out.
that true, and Menshevik revolution
would have done better than a
It is not my business
and entirely counterfactual fiction,
if I may...
Unlike how you open this
That is the most
important thing. If not for the
Soviet Union, we wouldn't be here.
Hetmyer might still, and most of the
world, with its allies -- Adolph
Hitler might have won and they make,
and most of the world...
of Bolshevism and coming is on
Europe was colossal.
Let's bring it
all a little bit more up-to-date.
You were saying earlier you have
never been a Leninist, although
Peter Hitchens confesses he was at
Absolutely was a
Trotskyist, and now nor the complete
folly of that particular political
John McDonnell in the
Labour Party openly says he is a
Trotskyist, a Leninist, is that a
problem for the Labour Party?
would have thought, arts would be
more respected now than he has been
for quite some time as capitalism is
collapsing around our ears. From
2008 the Economist itself, the bible
of capitalism, began to resurrect
Marxist economics and analysis, so I
really don't think it is. Jeremy
Corbyn is not a Marxist. It only
took them four years, 54...
I think we are moving into
an era where Governments like the
Chinese Government are making plans,
and are succeeding in implementing
them, and thus transforming their
position. China in 1949, and I don't
need to tell you, was just about the
most backward place you could
possibly imagine. And from 1949 to
now it has sold transforms that it
is the world's biggest economy...
are in danger of getting sidetracked
by China here.
I have to put this
point in. If China was backward in
1949 it was far more backward by the
time Mao Zedong finished his great
leap forward and starved millions of
people to death in the period of
economic lunacy. You just don't
What George was saying
they are, and a sense certainly
amongst younger voters in this
country and others, where they are
turning against capitalism, they
don't think it has worked or
delivered for them, that this kind
of Marxist Leninist philosophy is
becoming more popular?
not. The fact the current system is
failing does not seem to recommend
the Soviet system, which is
demonstrably a failure, and even its
own leaders admitted it failed and
that is why they tried to reform it
in the period I was there and why it
collapsed. Whatever you might want
to conclude from examining our
position, the Soviet alternative is
not the thing you want the dues.
This was a long period of disaster,
and I remember at the end of it
watching in Moscow said a film which
has never been shown here, and the
title means approximately we can't
go on living like this, and for the
first time, the politburo told the
truth about what life was like in
the dreadful place and everyone in
that cinema was weeping because
finally they saw the truth being
told about the dreadful
anti-civilisation in which they had
been taught to live for so long. The
idea we should celebrate it revive
it seems to me to be verging on the
George, one interesting
question about this of course,
whilst there are events going on in
London and across the UK to mark
this centenary, it is not being
celebrated in Russia.
I was in
Russia a couple of weeks ago. There
is a big debate about whether it
ought to be, and many people are
Vladimir Putin is
not. He would want to ignore it.
the Communist Party is the second
biggest party in Russia. And it is
the ruling party in China, which,
with respect, is not a separate
thing, because China is continuing
the Russian Revolution and doing
rather better at it than the
Russians did, but there are many
people, particularly older, that is
true, who think that the era of the
Soviet Union was better than the
very cold period of capitalism that
succeeded it. So half the world
followed for a time the red flag,
the red banner of Leninism. No one
will do so again. Leninism of the
kind that Peter used to proselytise
is certainly not coming back, but
Marxism is going to live on.
Thank you both, gentlemen,
for coming on to speak about that.
It's coming up to 11.40am.
You're watching the Sunday Politics.
Coming up on the programme:
We've taken the moodbox to where
else but bonfire night celebrations.
We've taken the moodbox to where
else but bonfire night celebrations?
It wasn't just Westminster
that had the fireworks this week.
We're asking people in Guildford
does Theresa May have control
of her Government and her party?
Hello, hello, and welcome to Sunday
politics here in the glorious west
Coming up, last of the summer wine.
Many farmers and growers
have had had trouble
recruiting foreign workers
for this year's harvest.
Is this a taste of
what it has in store?
Well, it's bonfire
night of course so I'm
expecting some fireworks
between my guests today.
They are the Conservative MP
for North Wiltshire,
James Gray, and the green Euro
MP Molly Scott Cato.
Nice to see you both.
Well, in the week's
political news it has
been dominated rather
the harassment scandal
James, are you
surprised at how many MPs have
been caught up in this?
Well, it's been a horrible
atmosphere in Parliament
all week with everyone wondering
what on earth's going on.
And the thing that
worries me about it is
that it's very, very
serious matters and that
have to be investigated
dealt with being muddled up
with a lot of trivia.
And that is very bad
for all the victims.
If there are victims
of serious matters, and one
or two horrible allegations around,
they shouldn't be mixed up with some
ancient business about some fellow
putting his hand on
a journalist's knee.
Shouldn't do that, probably,
but all the less it is trivial by
comparison to some of the other
things that have been caring.
We've to take sexual
we've got to do with it,
we've got to prevent it,
but we mustn't allow it
to be come a witchhunt.
Is it going to actually
escalate to the
extent where perhaps it might even
bring down the government?
Not necessarily the
I think there is no risk of that,
I think all parties
are involved in one way or another.
I don't think there is any
likelihood of the government falling
over, I think that would be
extremely surprising, but there will
be some changes to come at the top
I think and if there
are people guilty of things,
Michael Fallon apparently
believed he was, then it's right
that there should be the changes.
OK, let's move on to you, Molly.
We're just wondering what your
experience is in the European
It's hard to believe that
if there are these issues at
Westminster it doesn't affect people
in Brussels and Strasbourg, too.
I have to say, actually,
I haven't experienced
sexual harassment at all
in the European Parliament.
I think there is a very
There are many more women
relatively, in the parliament
compared to Westminster,
and I think that in
the corridors of power,
old boys' club, the sort
of culture of Westminster
is quite backward
lots of ways and I think this may be
one example of that.
Personally I think Ruth
Davidson hit the nail on
the head when she said usually this
isn't about sex, it's about power,
and it about that nature power
relationships between men and women
where there is not a quality that
I think leads to this kind of
harassment and sexual exploitation.
Well, it has of course happened many
times in the European
Union, too, there's no question
about that whatsoever.
It happens everywhere
that human beings get
happens at the BBC,
I dare say, not casting
Any asparagus at you.
Aspersions, aspersions, aspersions!
No problem to me,
It happens in all
Any evidence of it
happening in the European
Yes of course, a number of MEPs have
had to leave because of
it but it does, of course,
it happens in every
company, in every organisation
where men and women are getting
together it can happen
and that is
why you have team have very clear
rules, very clear rules and
procedures to make sure
that it isn't allowed to
No, I just wanted to
say indeed there has
been some allegations in
the previous mandate which are being
investigated, and one of the things
I think is important that people
don't just respond in a knee jerk
sort of way but we try and
look at the fundamentals
of what's going on.
Yes, that is right yes.
We have a load of
e-mails from people
saying "I absolutely agree,
as if that was going
to solve the problem.
We don't need virtue signalling
here, we need people to actually
address the fundamentals.
We talked about Michael Fallon
as Defence Secretary but we now have
this guy, Mr Williamson,
with his tarantula, what do
you think that appointment?
Well, Gavin's a very,
very able chap highly intelligent,
highly competent, knows everybody.
He doesn't yet know
anything about defence,
he has an awful lot
learn there and I hope
to play a little part
in helping educate him.
He does need to learn
a great deal about it.
Isn't it an odd system
where someone with no idea about
defence is suddenly in charge
of hundreds of thousands of people?
I was just about to say the great
British system is that the Secretary
of State very rarely does.
One thing you do not
want to have as Secretary
of State for Health
doctor and wanted you don't want
to have as secretary of State for
education is a teacher.
Civil servants do all
of that, the job of
the secretary of state is to make
the political decisions on the
question of the sort of civil
service put up to you.
Would you ever fancy
I think it's highly
unlikely the Tories
would ever appoint me
Defence Secretary but I think
I could really shake things up.
You would do away with
it, you would do away with it.
With both my poppies,
I'd be spending a lot more on
peacemaking than on war-making.
Well, as well you know, it's been
cold this week so the thought
of being without a roof
over your head doesn't bear
thinking about a new law coming
into force next year would mean
local councils up to do more
to help him
or at risk of homelessness.
But there are fears
they would have enough
money to do it, always
issue, of course.
Dan O'Brien reports.
This homeless charity is serving up
hope as well as a meal
and it is much needed.
In the mornings,
I think what's the point
getting up for?
Now the weather's
getting colder, I just
don't know what I'm going to do.
Demand is growing in towns like
Devizes, not just in big cities.
Lost my house, the kids
went into care.
Then I ended up in the back
of a van, where there is no
heating, water, no access to...
Cooking food, nothing.
The arrival of bacon
butties, one of the way the
open doors charity provides welcome
relief from life on the streets.
I've had a rough time in life.
I have obviously have
I've had to face my demons as well,
I'm still going through them, but
it's been a long process.
And it has led to a life
hard to imagine in the
west's pretty market towns.
So right now I'm staying
in a wooden shed and
It's absolutely freezing,
It's diabolical really.
What, just like a garden shed?
Just like a garden shed, yeah.
With my partner and...
Two of you, then?
Homelessness takes many
forms, but rough sleeping
is the most extreme.
Across the west, the number
of rough sleepers
candid in 2010 was 107 people.
By the time of the last
count in 2016,
it had more than doubled to 241.
The next count takes
place in the coming
Before people even end up needing
the help of homeless
charities like this one, next year
the law will change forcing councils
like Wiltshire to provide more help
people more quickly than they do
The change are really putting
pressure on council bosses.
The homeless reductions
act will give us
the requirement to actually look
after people earlier.
Up to now it's been 28 days,
now it's 56 now just
by the sheer numbers
involved that is going
to double the case load
have every year.
The government is promising extra
cash, but will it be
We have to balance our priorities
because of course we've
got looked after kids, we got
elderly care, we got even roads,
potholes, people have concerns
about all sorts of areas.
Meanwhile west MPs Richard
Graham, David Warburton
and Michelle Donelan
are backing a charity
call for the Chancellor
put more cash into helping homeless
people rent a place to live.
For Jen in Devizes,
help can't come soon enough.
Where would you be without
the facilities like this and
charities like this?
Oh to be fair, I'd probably
end up being dead, to
be fair, I would have just gone over
the top but these places, they've
opened the doors to everybody
and they don't judge anybody, and
they're just fantastic.
Charities like this one
to rely on donations
as winter draws in they also need
coats, socks and sleeping bags.
Help from the community
as well as the
Well, to discuss that I'm joined
by Hannah Gowsey from the
housing charity crisis thanks
for coming on the programme.
When you helped draft
this new law that is
coming in next year,
how much of a difference
will it make, do you think?
The new legislation marks
a transformation of the homelessness
legislation in England.
When the new legislation
comes in, thousands more
people will be eligible for
assistance at a much, much earlier
point so in principle the
legislation will go a long way to
help resolving homelessness
but of course we do need to make
sure that authorities are properly
to meet the new duties
and that is why ahead of the budget
we are calling on the government
a further £31 million
in help to rent schemes.
And have you had any indication
that that might actually happen?
So we don't have any indication
ahead of the budget as to
whether or not will be included.
But what I would say is that
government has made firm commitments
to tackle homelessness.
They have put a lot
of support behind the
homeless reduction act,
they've also pledged
to halve rough sleeping
2022, and end it all together
by 2027, so by supporting
the help to rent projects and
including them in the budget they
would be helping to meet their own
commitments on this.
What I would say though
is that we obviously have
no guarantee that this
is going to be in the
budget and that is why
are asking members
of the public to price
to the Chancellor ahead
budget on the 22nd of November
and ask them to include
this and you can do that
by going to our website, we
have a very easy letter that
you can just fill in.
OK, thank you for that!
And I will come back to you if I can
a little bit later on.
James, the number of homeless has
doubled whilst the Tories
have been on duty.
Well, I very much welcome this
new bill brought in by my
friend Bob Blackman,
the Conservative MP for Harrow West.
It was a member's bill
in the government that
then adopted it and
they have now put behind
it £75 million already
and have promised
lot more money to come to help local
authorities with these extra
burdens, so it is a good bill.
But of course one
single person sleeping
outdoors is a scandal.
I'm very worried locally
particularly by the
ex-military, an awful lot of
veterans who can't find a home and
they are sleeping rough,
particularly around this area and
also in London and elsewhere,
and we have defined
way of helping them
The big worry often is
that the government says it will do
something and then
doesn't fully fund it
so it puts the pressure
the local authorities
and they have to cut
something else in order
make it happen.
Of course, we already have
a statutory obligation to look after
the homeless, that is part of
the government's job and always has
This is piling on extra duties
to intervene 56 days
before someone is made homeless?
They are trying to avoid
you becoming homeless and
they're all kinds
different homeless people.
Varying from the people who may
be suffering from drug
But it's the money, James,
we know the problems.
It's the money.
So everyone wants more
money all the time.
But the problem is burying
from all sorts of people
who've got real sickness, alcohol
problems, ex-military, these kind
They aren't all the same and each
one has to be treated
separately, and local authorities
of the people that can do that.
That is why the government
has put up £75
million to help them do it.
Molly, this is a problem
I guess across Europe.
You have spent a lot of time
in Brussels and Strasbourg.
Do you see people
sleeping rough there?
There are definitely people sleeping
rough and people begging in most
and in many cases it's
often refugees, that's
certainly the case in Belgium.
But just to
come back to what James was saying.
He neatly sidestepped your question
about why this has doubled,
why this problem has greatly
increased under the Tories but it is
indeed a result of all be spending
cuts and also the welfare cap.
Yes, I mean, the welfare cap is
absolutely crucial here because if
you are an housing benefit and it
did is cut you cannot afford to pay
your rent you are made homeless.
That is the beginning of that.
There are lots of complex
issues you would
As mental health, there's
relationship breakdown, the whole
The housing charities
agree that the most
significant cause of
when the government,
the Tory government,
as part of its cuts,
introduced the cap on welfare
It's a shame to make
it party political.
It's not a party political matter.
It is a party political
matter, because YOU have
been cutting welfare.
matter, because YOU have
There are of course
more beds available in
hostels today than there are people.
210 is very insignificant
to the number of beds in hostels.
These people are not
unable to go to hostels,
they don't wish to do so.
That's what we have to look into,
that's to do with mental health,
it's to do with drugs...
It's not Labour or
Conservative, I think
that's just wrong to...
Let's just think about
what we're talking about
We are talking about children,
families, who cannot afford to
cannot afford to...
No, we're talking
about rough sleepers.
It's rough sleepers.
Hang on a second.
This brings me
onto my next question.
Where are these homes
going to be found?
Well, of course we're
talking here about rough
sleepers, we're not talking
about homeless people.
We're talking about people sleeping
outdoors in the West
Country, and they are the worst
people we really have
to do something about.
As I say there are more hostel
places available than...
So when the government
put a cap on welfare
payments, and particularly
on housing benefit, there was a
catastrophic fall off in the number
of social housing homes being built.
What is the cap?
I think it is £20,000.
That's a lot of money.
That's not just housing
benefit, that's the
whole welfare cap.
Housing benefit is
just a part of that.
So then there was no
incentive to carry on
building, it was simply stopped
building social housing because they
didn't think people
would be able to pay
enough to afford it
and that is
Is it still the green policy
to build 500,000 new social
It didn't get us in amess at all.
All if you recall, Evan Davis said
the policy was quite right.
Your leader had no
idea how much it would
She had a cold that day, she
couldn't remember the numbers but
Evan Davis actually confirmed
that it is actually fine.
Do you remember the numbers now?
We're not making that proposal
now because we're not
in a general election period.
No, it hasn't gone.
The point is that funding
will come as a result of
councils being able to borrow to
build and that is worth their while
because at the moment
they are having to pay an awful lot
of money to keep people in bed
who wouldn't be much more
efficiently invested into into safe,
warm homes for people to live in.
In this weather, we all need that.
Thank you very much, and Hannah,
in London, thank you very
We are 16 months on from the Brexit
referendum and still very
little is clear about what it
will mean for any of us.
But there has been one
The fall in the value of the pound.
It has meant opportunities.
For some Businesses in the west
but some problems for
others as Martin Jones reports.
The last of the summer wine.
The grape harvest coming
to an end in this
Pickers are in high demand.
These are from Bulgaria
working so hard they don't
stop too long to chat.
Is it good money working in Britain?
It's good for us, compared
to here it is low standard.
Is this your first time in England?
Yeah, it's my first time.
What do you think?
It's very beautiful here.
But in Bulgaria is more beautiful.
But the winery needs
Mohammed to overcome the
beauty of his homeland because they
want him back next year.
And more like him.
We wanted to have 12,
perhaps 14 people to come and help
to our regular labour.
We have found that we rarely
were able to achieve those numbers,
they have been leaving in droves
to go to Germany, to work for euros,
and they aren't making the money
here that they did with the exchange
rate of the pound.
From the vineyard the grapes
are processed on site
making a quarter of
a million bottles a year.
But in the wine world
that is just a dribble.
And it's all drunk here in the UK.
And since the referendum
costs have soared leaving
a sour taste.
For us at the moment the fall
in the pound has meant the
difference in that what we import
has become more expensive.
Bottles, the label,
paper we print the labels
on is imported, the capsules,
foils for our sparkling wines, so
any equipment that we want to buy.
The value of the pound slumped
straight after the Brexit vote and
has never recovered.
It means British
pounds by less abroad.
Holidays, computers, food and drink
have all become more expensive.
But if you have foreign cash buying
British has become cheaper.
But down the road in
Somerset one farm has
seen a Brexit boost.
At Sharp Park near Street,
Roger Saul grows spelt,
a type of ancient grain,
regaining popularity thanks
to its supposedly health benefits.
The fall in the pound has
recently helped Roger land
a big contract with
a British supermarket.
We work with Waitrose, Sainsbury's,
Marks & Spencer, all of
those teams are looking very hard
I would suggest at the moment to see
what they can do in Britain.
And it is not just
because of national
The lower exchange rate means his
Somerset grains are finally
competitive with those from abroad.
It has opened up some big doors for
us and that is largely because of
that same competition
that was 20% cheaper now
being the same price
me so I would love to say I have now
a level playing field.
Spelt is a far cry
from Roger's business
He founded fashion brand Mulberry,
selling British handbags
all round the world.
And Brexit could finally
mean he is able to sew
up more international
deals for spelt.
So, from the export side
the opportunity is there.
However it is probably
early days because most
people are looking and seeing will
the currency stay where it is as a
country to imports to,
but they are definitely
out there looking.
But even the one
change we have already
seen since the referendum
may not last.
The pound could go
back up of course.
Predicting our Brexit
future will sort the
wheat from the chaff.
Maybe, but we'll have a bash.
Molly, it seems sort of swings
and roundabouts, really, doesn't it,
some winners, some losers.
That will be the story
of Brexit, isn't it?
At the moment we are
able to have our cake
and eat it because the pound has
fallen, Brexit hasn't happened so we
aren't facing the tariffs we will be
facing, so if we take the vineyard,
we saw from the NFU that there
is a 30% failure in terms
of the number of people needed
to pick the crops
that that is one effect
of Brexit we are already
seeing but as you saw,
Roger Saul, the person who is
benefiting at the moment,
exporting his brains,
he will be facing a 50% tariff
on those grains after we have
left the European Union
so that is much more,
they will be much more expensive
and that will outweigh the
fall in the pound.
It's unlikely, isn't it,
because then Britain would
impose these tariffs
on stuff coming in, to.
Well, it depends what kind of deal
we get but if we have the
hard Brexit deal that people like
James are calling for it will be 50%
That is WTO rules.
Let's hear you then.
We will have a deal.
I didn't say that.
You said something
along those lines.
You are still throwing me asparagus!
I agree with you entirely,
Who picks the asparagus,
that's my question.
Look, you are right in saying that
of the Europeans export
more to us than we export them.
Therefore if there would be a 50%
tariff on grains we would have a 50%
tariff on BMW cars and there would
be widespread unemployment across
Of course there will be a trade deal
up the intelligent people
would not do it.
The important thing
about the currency is that at the
moment people working
in tourism and all sorts
of other industries
west are doing extraordinarily well,
because they can export of the pound
has been weaker, and we are
discouraging imports which is very
good for the balance of trade.
I quite like the pound at $1.32,
but if Molly doesn't I wonder
what rate you think the pound
should be at.
Oh gosh, as an economist I wouldn't
dream of predicting that.
But what is the correct level?
What is the correct level?
This is a completely
Whatever happens when
we get in to the deal,
there will certainly be conditions
attached to that and what we hear
from the Conservatives I am
afraid there's just
arm waving, oh, well,
know the Germans will do this.
We actually need
to have a clear sense
of what is really
coming and in the area
of food and farming...
Well, we will do!
We've been waiting a year now
for the report for the plan, the
2020 vision for food and farming.
And it's been pulled again and now
we're not going to have one.
Food and farming...
We import a quarter of our food
directly from the EU.
We need to know what
we will be eating
James, I just want to return
to these government studies,
the 58 government studies
on the impact of Brexit.
And the initial refusal
until they have been forced
to by the House of Commons to
publish those, Brexit is good news
for us then why wouldn't that
information be out for all of us to
read and enjoy?
Well, the Labour Party
used a Parliamentary
technicality on Thursday to insist
that we should release the impact
assessments, and we have
now agreed to do so,
we didn't vote against it,
the Labour Party voted in favour of
it, we agreed to do
so although we were slightly
embarrassed by the way it has
involved Buckingham Palace
and the Queen in what should be
a political matter and that is quite
However, we are going to produce
these documents, a bit
redacted for the very
simple reason that we
are right in the middle
negotiation and if I'm negotiating
to buy your house and are suddenly
produce a document that
says I have a lot more
money than I thought
had or a lot less money than
I thought I had, that affects that
OK, Molly, just come
back on that one.
Well, I've been trying
to get hold of these
documents since April.
I don't understand
why the government's
concealing from us what the impacts
of Brexit will be, I don't think it
satisfactory to just send them down
one coda to a small number of people
on a committee.
I think we all need to know
what the government thinks
Brexit's going to do
for our livelihoods.
Even if it damages...
Even if it did damage
Well, I don't except that it's
kind of a poker game.
We're not playing a poker game
here, we should be...
White, well we are, really.
No, we're not!
It's not that kind
of arrangement at all.
As if the Europeans
don't know what the
impact of leaving the
single market will be.
Of course they do!
This is much more about saving
the government's blushes than it is
anything to do with
OK, thank you.
Well, let's have a look
at the rest of
this week's political
news in just 60 Seconds.
Council leaders in the west
promised £35 million for new
including virtual reality and a lab
developing more efficient engines.
They say the cash will
bring thousands of new
The west's new Metro Mayor came
under pressure over housing.
Tim Bowles pledged to protect land
in south Gloucestershire from
house-building but plans released
this week included controversial
The governments from before
councils means that I'm not
involved on that process.
Also under pressure
Bristol businessmen Aaron
He is being investigated over
the way he has spent money in the EU
He says claims he channelled
money from Russia are
nonsense, and used some
ruder words as well.
And in Stroud, the local council
was left red faced after
revealing it wanted green power firm
Eco-tricity to run the town's
The problem is that no one
was supposed to know, so keep it
under your hat.
Yes, we won't tell anyone!
And that is all from us this week.
My thanks to my guests,
James Gray and Molly Scott Cato.
Don't forget you can
follow us on Twitter
for the latest updates
and you can watch
the show back again
iPlayer if you should wish to!
But now, let's get
back to London and
Sarah, who is waiting for us.
All right, and at that point
we have to end it there.
My thanks to Rosena and Andrew,
and with that it's back to Sarah.
It's been a tricky
week for Theresa May -
again, you might think.
She's lost a Cabinet minister
and been forced into a reshuffle
which did little for party unity,
to say nothing of losing a Commons
vote on Brexit and yet more reports
of fireworks in Cabinet meetings -
this time apparently over housing.
So, is the Prime Minister's time
in office going with a bang
or more of a whimper?
Well, we sent Ellie Price
and the entirely unscientific
Sunday Politics moodbox
to Conservative-held Surrey,
to find out.
Three, two, one.
# Ignite the light
and let it shine...#
It's a tale of lit fuses, plots,
but enough of the recent goings
on in the Conservative Party,
it's firework night here
in Guildford and we're asking,
does Theresa May have control
of her Government and her party?
Yes or no?
# Baby you're a firework...#
With all the scandals in Government
at the moment
and Brexit seems to be dragging on
a little bit longer than we thought.
So, at the moment, I don't think
she is in control.
She's too many people sniping
at her back, really.
Do you think Theresa
May's in control?
I think she's in control.
She's in a good job
having a tough time.
No, I don't.
I think she's a mess.
Even when you read her body language
when she's being interviewed
by people, she doesn't
seem like she's in control.
I think she has poor advisers.
I'm going to put it in the "yes".
I do think she's struggling but,
I still hope, still think she has
a bit of a grip on them.
The Queen is England's role.
It's her birth right.
She is England's role
of this country.
I'm going to vote for Theresa May.
I don't think there's anyone
who could do a better job.
I think she's had a bit of
a poisoned chalice with Brexit but
I think she could have done better.
The money's not going
to where it needs to go.
I think she should resign, really.
I feel a bit sorry
for her, actually.
I think she's been witch-hunted
a little bit.
She's doing her best.
With everything that's
going on with the Cabinet at the
moment, I think the Conservative
Party is in a real mess, actually.
Well, you get bickering in all parts
not just the Conservative Party.
And that's just sort
of par for the course.
But I'm sure she'll
hold everybody together
despite the current difficulties.
The Tories weren't in control
when they had the referendum
in the first place for the euro.
We've had two years
of complete chaos.
I don't see an end to it.
Well, I seem to have
acquired a few new friends.
The oohs and ahs are
over and so the moodbox
and the result is...
The majority of people
here in Guildford
don't think Theresa May
is in control.
That was Ellie with the entirely
unscientific moodbox, and thanks
to Bushy Hill Junior School
in Guildford for having her along.
Let's put the Sorbol question to our
panel. Equally unscientific but all
seasoned Westminster watchers. Is
Theresa May in control of her
Government at the moment or is all
of this sex harassment allegations
swimming around loosening her grip?
Depends what you mean by in control.
All Prime Ministers have a degree of
control. They retain the power much
tat wrongage as we saw with her
reshuffle. Didn't go down well with
her MPs but she did it. You can't be
fully in control of these situations
in effectively what is a hung
Parliament. If she won a land sheep
in the election she would have the
authority to do what she wanted. She
could float over something like
this. Stories like this, you could
say she's perfectly suited for it,
the vicar's daughter, the church
goer, to sort it out. It is much
more complicated than that. I don't
think she will be able to get a full
grip of it. There are some practical
things that need to happen that will
happen. I remember with back to
basics and John Major, that equally
vague scandal, what was back to
basics about? It was still running
months afterwards, stories about a
minister having an affair. This is
different. I can see it will be
impossible for her to fully get to
grips with it.
Does it provide an
opportunity for Theresa May to be
seen to be taking really serious
action, trying to root out a bad
culture in Westminster and therefore
get some political credit for it?
That opportunity was available to
her all of last week and she hasn't
taken it. What's remarkable for me
is the near complete breakdown in
discipline in the higher ranks the
Tory Party. It is extraordinary you
have Cabinet level ministers who are
not supporting their colleagues.
Ministers and former ministers
giving interviews in which they slag
off their former colleagues. It is
an absolute unholy mess. There is no
sense that she is gripping this. Or
has any particular solution. I think
we can have a lot of sympathy for
her in terms of finding a solution.
How on earth do you grip a problem
like this where you're talking about
apparently an indefinite period of
retrospective examination of
potential faults. 15 years is no
longer too historic for somebody to
dredge up some small thing that may
or may not have happened to them. It
is very difficult for her. But she's
being battered around by events.
Where does this story go next?
think the whip's office on every
party, Tories, Labour, Liberal
Democrats, SNP all have their own
whipping operations. That seems to
be the place of it really. This is
because, where do we draw the line?
Going forward what mechanisms are
put in place to top this helping
again. To take allegations
seriously, report them and
investigate them independently. Or
is there a bigger job to go back
into the past retrospective, who
knew what when as Nia said about
Kelvin Hopkins. This is a Shadow
Defence Secretary saying what did
the Labour Party leader know about
Kelvin Hopkins' allegations when he
promoted him? Theresa May is unable
to do the retrospective bit. She's
simply too weak. I asked this of
Number Ten last week. Why are you
not more front-foot the on this.
They said they would be if they
possibly could be. She's running a
minority Government. She cannot be
seen to be going after a witch-hunt
on her own people. So, I think this
goes on. Enof thebly what the whips
new -- inevitably what the whips
knew will be parment. Amber Rudd did
the same thing on Andrew Marr.
are being precise about the fact
they didn't know anything. Sarah
Newton said she heard no allegations
about her flock, the the MPs she was
in charge of rather than rumours
about any other Tories.
say, I do not recognise the more
lurid allegations. What about the
less lurid once? So, this smells
very, very bad indeed.
Corbyn's going to have to answer
some of these questions as well?
Yeah, but the whip's thing is a red
herring. Their remit is to get the
vote out for the Government
fundamentally. Everybody knows that.
They are not there, it is one of the
problems. They are not there to be
moral guides to these MPs. They are
there to win votes for the
Government or the opposition if that
becomes possible. And deal brutally
with MPs to make sure they get out
and vote. Of course they knew
virtually everything. But whether
they were obliged to act as moral
guard yawns in these situations, I
don't think they were. It was not
part of their job. Maybe you need
moral guardians in there but not the
Normally, less than
three-weeks out from a budget that's
what we'd been talking about.
Dominating our conversation. Given
that's set for November 22nd, is
that an opportunity for the
Government to seize back control of
Philip Hammond may be
glad we're not spending too much
time talking about the budget. It
should be an opportunity for the
Government to seize the agenda, draw
a line under all of this. I think
one of the very difficult as pects
of this so-called scandal for the
Government to manage is knowing
quite how long it will run. In the
normal scheme of things they lose
steam after a couple of weeks. But
there are so many potential gayses
that could come out, it might run
longer than that. Rather like the
expenses scandal. But there is an
opportunity at the budget to reset
the' again da. I just don't think
Philip Hammond will take it. I think
he's a very caution Chancellor. At
the moment, there is a feeling
Theresa May's leadership is so weak
it will be too dangerous for them to
do anything particularly dram attic
why. I expect a steady as you go
budget where they will be hoping not
to make any mistakes.
You say there
is disagreement in the Cabinet about
what should be in the budget?
Disagreement between the Chancellor
and the Prime Minister. The
witch-hunt is hiding a huge story
which is the incredible dysfunction
between Number Ten and number 11.
Philip Hammond and Theresa May can't
bear to be in the same room with
each other let alone agreeing what's
in the budget. It is coming down to
housing. Everybody agrees it has to
be the centrepiece of the budget.
They have to get more houses built.
Philip Hammond wands that bee
deregulation. Theresa May wants to
are borrow up to 50 billion
merchandise more for the Government
to build for themselves.
That's all for today.
There's no Sunday Politics
while Parliament is in recess,
but I'll be back here at 11am
on BBC One in two weeks' time.
Until then, bye bye.
Sarah Smith and David Garmston with the latest political news, interviews and debate. The programme includes an interview with shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith. Plus former MP George Galloway and journalist and author Peter Hitchens discuss the Russian revolution. Steve Richards, Isabel Oakeshott, Tom Newton Dunn are on the political panel.