Andrew Neil and Tim Iredale with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Andrew is joined by head of NHS Providers Chris Hopson, Nick Clegg MP and Andrew Gwynne MP.
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It's Sunday morning and this is the Sunday Politics.
She faces huge political fights over Brexit, Scottish independence,
After a tumultuous political week, we'll analyse the PM's prospects.
With chatter increasing about a possible early General Election,
Jeremy Corbyn's campaign chief joins me live.
NHS bosses warn health services in England are facing "mission
impossible" and waiting times for operations will rocket,
unless hospitals are given more cash this year.
Here in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire: Providers joins me live.
3,000 people will die early because of air pollution.
Is it now a bigger threat to public health than obesity?
All that to come before 12:15pm, and I'll also be talking
to the former leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg
from his party's spring conference in York.
With me here in the studio, throughout the programme,
three of the country's top political commentators:
Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott and Steve Richards.
They'll be tweeting their thoughts using #bbcsp.
So, the political challenges facing Theresa May are stacking up.
As well as negotiating Britain's exit from the EU,
the PM must now deal with SNP demands for a second referendum
on Scottish independence, backbenchers agitating against cuts
to school budgets, and a humiliated Chancellor forced to u-turn on a key
budget measure just one week after announcing it.
Here's Adam Fleming on aturbulent political week
Monday, 11:30am, TV crews gather in the residence of the First
Minister of Scotland, who's got a surprise.
She wants a vote on whether Scotland should leave the UK
By taking the steps I have set out today I am ensuring that Scotland's
future will be decided, not just by me, the
Scottish Government, or the
SNP, it will be decided by the people of Scotland.
Westminster, 6:25pm the same day, MPs reject
amendments to the legislation authorising the Prime Minister to
The Bill ceremonially heads to the Lords where peers abandoned
attempts to change it and it becomes law.
But Downing Street doesn't trigger Article 50 as many had expected.
Some say they were spooked by Nicola Sturgeon.
We get an e-mail from the Treasury can the
We get an e-mail from the Treasury cancelling
the planned rise in National Insurance for
the self-employed announced the budget.
It's just minutes before Prime Minister's Questions at noon.
The trend towards greater self-employment does create a
We will bring forward further proposals
but we will not bring forward increases to NICs later in this
It seems to me like a government in a bit of chaos here.
By making this change today we are listening to our colleagues
fulfil both the letter and the spirit of our manifesto tax
Thursday, 7am, Conservative campaign HQ and the
Electoral Commission fines the party ?70,000 for misreporting spending
But that's not what the Prime Minister
Because at 12:19pm she gives her verdict on a
We should be working together, not pulling apart.
We should be working together to get that
right deal for Scotland, that
So, as I say, that's my job as Prime Minister and
so for that reason I say to the SNP now is not the time.
Friday and time for the faithful to gather.
SNP activists at their spring conference
Conservatives in Cardiff to hear the Prime Minister
promote her plan for a more meritocratic Brexit Britain.
At 11:10am comes some news about a newspaper that's frankly
I'm thrilled and excited to be the new editor of The
Evening Standard and, you know, with so many
big issues in our world what
good analysis, great news journalism.
It's a really important time for good journalism that The
Evening Standard is going to provide.
There was no let-up yesterday as Gordon Brown launched proposals
Under my proposals we keep the Barnett
Formula, we keep the fiscal transfers, but we also bring the
and fisheries back to the Scottish Parliament.
And just think, all this and we're still counting down to the
What a week in politics. It has been a torrid week for the government,
Isabel Oakeshott, but does Theresa May shake it off, or is this a sign
of worse to come? We may all be feeling a bit breathless after the
events of last week and we are in for a a long war of attrition with
the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon's strategy will be to foster over lengthy
periods of time as much resentment and anger as she can in Scotland and
try to create the impression that independence is somehow inevitable.
Is Scotland the biggest challenge for Theresa May in the next year or
so? I think it probably is because if you look at how relatively easily
the Brexit bill went through on an issue where people could hardly feel
more passionate in the Commons, and actually despite all the potential
drama it has gone through quite smoothly. To go back to your
original question, she just carries on. Don't underestimate the basic
quiet and will towards Theresa May amongst the majority of Tory
backbenchers. Yes, there are difficult little issues over school
funding, sorry, it's not a little issue, it is a big one but she will
get over that and treat each thing as it comes and keep pressing on.
Has she not called Nicola Sturgeon's Bluff in that the First Minister
said I want a referendum, here is roughly when I wanted, the Prime
Minister says you're not having one. What happens next? She has done
quite well and impact the progress Theresa May made this week in
frustrating Nicola Sturgeon was evident when Nicola Sturgeon said,
OK, maybe we can talk about the timing after. Nicola Sturgeon has
already been the first one to blink. I would slightly disagree with
Isabel Oakeshott, I don't agree Scotland will be the biggest hurdle
for her. What this week showed as is Theresa May... It was a reality
bites week. Theresa May is juggling four mammoth crises at the same
time, Brexit obviously which I still think will be the biggest challenge
to get a good deal, Trump left field who popped up at GCHQ on Friday and
Scotland and the fiscal challenge, this enormous great problem, and it
reinforced the point this is not an easy time in politics. The budget is
over four years. That was one small problem, the immediate problem is
how to fill the social care crisis and the ageing demographic. This is
not normal times in British politics and Theresa May does not have a
normal workload on her plate, hence why I think we will see more
mistakes made as time goes on and as she has this almost impossible
workload to juggle. How tempted do you think the Prime Minister is to
call an early election? There is more chatter about it now. Is she
tempted and if there is will she succumb? I will answer that in a
second as Harold Wilson used to say. I want to agree, disagree with the
rest of the panel about how she has out manipulated Nicola Sturgeon this
week. I think Nicola Sturgeon expected Theresa May to say no to
her expected timetable. It would be amazing if she had said yes. She
expected her to say no but Sturgeon catalyst that will fuel support for
her cause. There is no sign of that. The latest poll this morning shows
66-44 against independence and only 13% think they would be better off
with an independent Scotland and a clear majority do not want a second
referendum. But the calculation of resistance from Westminster combined
with Brexit which hasn't started yet, I think this is her
calculation, she didn't expect Theresa May to say, sure, go ahead,
I'm sure she expected Theresa May to say no, you can't have it at your
desired timetable. On the wider point, I think Theresa May is in a
fascinating position, she is both strong because she faces weak
opposition and is ahead in the opinion polls. But faces the most
daunting agenda of any Prime Minister for 40 or 50 years, I
think. So it's a weird combination. I don't think she wants to call an
election. I don't think she has thought about how you would
manipulate it, what the trigger would be, and whether she's got the
energy and space to prepare for and then mount a campaign was beginning
the Brexit negotiation. Now, you could see the cause would be the
small majorities that will make her life hellish, which it will do.
Whether a landslide would help is another question, they can be
difficult too. But I think the problems outweigh the advantages of
going early. Do you think she would go for an early election? I don't
and I think you have to look at the rhetoric coming out of No 10 which
is so firm on this question, it is a delicious prospect for us as
commentators to think there might be an election around the corner but
they are so firm on this I can't see it happening. I agree, we are in
unanimous agreement on this one. It is superficially attractive because
she would love the big majority and she would get a lot more through
Parliament especially with Brexit. The nitty-gritty of it makes an
early General Election this year almost impossible. How do you write
a manifesto on high Brexit versus soft Brexit, it opens up a Pandora's
box of uncertainties. And there is enough with the European elections.
The EU will say are we negotiating with you or the person who may
replace you? How do you keep the Tory party united going to an
election? How do you call one, with a vote of no confidence in yourself
you may end up losing. Easy on paper but difficult in practice. We shall
see. So if Theresa May did go
for an early election this spring, The party's campaigns
and elections chief Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne, the government, as we
have just been talking about, executed one of the most
embarrassing U-turns in recent history this week. It has been a
torrid time for the Theresa May government. Why are the Tories still
so chipper? The Labour Party has been on an
early election footing since before Christmas and we are preparing
ourselves for that eventuality in case that does come. That means that
we've got to get ourselves into a position whereby we can not only
challenge the government but we can also offer a valuable alternative
for the British people to choose from should that election arise. So,
would you welcome an early General Election? Well, of course, I don't
want this government to be in power so of course if there is an
opportunity to put a case to the British people as to why there is a
better way, and I believe the Labour way is the better way than of course
we would want to put that case to the country. So, would Labour vote
in the Commons for an early election? Well, of course as an
opposition, not wanting to be in opposition, wanting to be in
government should the government put forward a measure in accordance with
the Fixed-term Parliaments Act then that's something we would very
seriously have to consider. I know you would have to consider it but
would you vote for an early election or not? Well, of course we want to
be the government so if the current government puts forward measures to
bring forward a General Election we would want to put our case to the
British public and that's one of the jobs that I've been given, together
Labour Party organisation early into a position where we can fight a
General Election -- organisationally. For the avoidance
of doubt, if the Government work to issue a motion in the Commons for an
early election, the Labour Party would vote for an early election?
It would be very difficult not, Andrew. If the Government wants to
dissolve parliament, wants a General Election, we don't want the Tories
in government, we want to be in government and we want to have that
opportunity to put that case to the British people.
Are you ready for an early election? You say you have been on a war all
but since the Labour conference last autumn, but are you ready for one?
How big is the election fighting fund? We have substantial amounts of
money in our fighting fund, that is true, because not only has the
Labour Party managed to eliminate its own financial deficit that it
inherited from previous election campaigns, we have also managed to
build up a substantial fund in the off chance we have an election. We
have also expanded massively operations at Labour HQ, we are
taking on additional staff, and one of the jobs that myself and Ian
Lavery who I job share with are currently doing is to go around the
Parliamentary Labour Party to make sure that Labour colleagues have the
support and the resources that they need, should they have to face the
electorate in their constituencies. So you are on a war footing, ready
for the fight, you say you would vote for the fight, so have you got
your tax and spend policies ready to roll out? That is something the
shadow Treasury team will be discussing. One of the things is, if
there is an early General Election, the normal timetable for these
things gets fast-track because our policy decision-making body, its
annual conference, we have the national policy forum that creates
policies suggestions. You have been on a war footing since the last
Labour conference, that is what Mr Corbyn told us. So you must have a
fair idea of what policies you would fight an early election on. How much
extra per year would you spend on the NHS? Well, look, I'm not going
to set out the Labour manifesto for an election that hasn't been called.
I'm just asking you about the NHS. You must have a policy for that. We
have a policy for the NHS. So how much extra? I will not set out
Labour's tax-and-spend policies here on The Sunday Politics when there
hasn't even been election called. You said you had been on a war
footing and you are prepared to vote for one, so if you can't Tommy that,
can you tell me what the corporation rate tax on company profits be under
a Labour government -- tell me that. You will have to be patient. I have.
And wait for Mrs May to trigger an early election. If there is an
election on the 4th of May the rich would have to be issued on the 27th
of March, so that's not long to wait. If that date passes we aren't
having an election on the 4th of May and the normal timetable for policy
development will continue. All right. You lost Copeland, I think
you were in charge of a by-election for Labour, your national poll
ratings are still dire, even after week of terrible times for the
Tories. Sometimes you even lose local government by-elections in
safe seats, including in the place you are now, in Salford. How long
does Mr Corbyn have to turn this around? Well, look, the issue of the
Labour leadership was settled last year. The last thing the Labour
Party now needs is another period of introspection with the Labour Party
merely talks to the Labour Party. We are now on an election footing in
case Mrs May does trigger an early General Election. We need to be
talking to the British people are not to ourselves. So any speculation
about the Labour leadership might excite you in the media but actually
for us in the Labour Party it's about re-engaging and reconnecting
with the voters. Rather than being excited, I feel quite daunted at the
prospect of an early election. So I wouldn't get that right. Normally,
given the number of mistakes this government has made, and its
mid-term, you would expect any self-respecting opposition to be
about ten points ahead. On the latest polls this morning you are 17
behind. There is a 27-30 point gap from where you should normally be as
an opposition. Are you telling me that if that doesn't change, you
still fight the General Election with Mr Corbyn?
These are matters for the future. I believe the leadership issue was
settled last year. We have had two leadership contest in two years.
Would you seriously contemplate going into the next election, if it
is early I perfectly understand Jeremy Corbyn is your man, but if it
is not until 2020, and you are still 17 points behind in the polls, will
you go into the next election like that? There is a lot of future
looking and speculation there, I don't know what the future holds,
where the Labour Party will be in 12 months let alone by 2020 summit
cross those bridges when we come to it. My main challenge is to make
sure the Labour Party is in the best possible place organisationally to
fight an election, that's my challenge and I'm up for that to
make sure we are in the best possible place to make sure Labour
returns as many Labour MPs as possible. Thank you for joining us.
And we're joined now from the Liberal Democrats' spring
conference in York by the former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Good morning. In his conference speech today, Tim Farron lumps
Theresa May with Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump. In
what way is Mrs May similar to Marine Le Pen? Of course he is not
saying Theresa May is identical to Marine Le Pen, I think what Tim
Wilby spelling out shortly in his speech is that we need to be aware
what's going on in the world, the International settlement that was
arrived at after the First World -- Second World War, that bound
supranational organisations is under attack from characters as diverse as
Vladimir Putin, Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump, and that by side in so
ostentatiously with Donald Trump and pursuing this very hard Brexit,
Theresa May appears to be giving succour to that much more
isolationist chauvinist view of the world than the multilateral approach
that Britain has subscribed to for a long time. The exact words he plans
to use are welcome to the New World order, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump,
Marine Le Pen, Theresa May, aggressive and teenage to, anti-EU,
nationalistic. In what way is Mrs May fitting into any of that? In
what way is she similar to Vladimir Putin? I'm not aware she has
interfered with other people's elections. The clue is in the quote
you just read out, which is the world order. The world order over
the last half century or more, by the way a lesson I'm afraid we have
to learn in Europe because of the terrible bloodshed of two world was
in the space of a few decades, was based on the idea might is not
right. Strong arm leaders cannot throw their weight around. What we
have now with Putin, the populism across parts of Europe and Donald
Trump who thinks the EU will unravel is a shift to a radically different
view of the world. Mrs May doesn't think any of that. She is not
antenatal, not anti-EU, she says she wants the EU to succeed. She's not
aggressive as far as I'm aware so I'm not sure why you would lump the
British Prime Minister in with these other characters. Let me explain, by
choosing this uncompromising approach to Brexit, clearly in doing
so she, in my view, maybe not yours or others, is pursuing a self
harming approach to the United Kingdom but also pulling up the
threads that bind the rest of the European Union together, in so
ostentatiously siding with Donald Trump, somehow declaring in my view
speciously that we can make up with the trade we will lose, she's not
challenging the shift to a more chauvinist approach to world affairs
that is happening in many places. You are at your party's Spring
conference, I think we can agree any Lib Dem come back will take a long
time. Would Tory dominance be more effectively challenged by a
realignment of the centre and the centre-left? Are you working towards
that? I missed half the question but I think you are talking about a
realignment. As a cook a way to get over Tory dominance, would you want
that to happen? Are you working towards that? My view is the
recovery of the Lib Dems will be quicker than you suggest. People
often forget that even the low point of our fortunes in the last election
we still got a million more votes than the SNP, it's only because we
have got this crazy electoral system... But the SNP fight in
Scotland, you fight in the whole country! But I'm saying the way
seats are allocated overlooks the fact that 2.5 million still voted
for us. But my own view is of course there are people feeling
increasingly homeless in the liberal wing of the Conservative Party
because they are now in a party which is in effect indistinguishable
from Ukip on some of the biggest issues of the day, and homeless folk
on the rational, reasonable wing of the Labour Party. I would invite
them to join the Liberal Democrats and I would invite everyone across
parties to talk about the idea is that bind us because the Westminster
village can invest a lot of energy building new castles in the sky,
inventing new names for parties when actually what you want is for people
on the progressive centre ground of British politics to talk about the
ideas that unite them, from the dilemmas of artificial intelligence
to climate change. Do you think in your own view, can Brexit still be
thwarted or is it now a matter of getting the best terms? I think we
are in an interlude, almost a calm between two storms, the storm of the
referendum itself and the collision between the Government's stated
ambitions for Brexit and the reality of having to negotiate something
unworkable with 27 other governments. The one thing I can
guarantee you is that what the Government has promised to the
British people cannot happen. Over a slower period of time we will work
out our new relationship with the European Union. Theresa May said she
will settle divorce arrangements, and pensions, so one, negotiate new
trade agreements, new climate change policies and so on, and have all of
that ratified within two years, that will not happen so I think there
will be a lot of turbulence in the next couple of years. Will you use
this turbulence to try to thwart Brexit, to find a way of rolling
back the decision? It's not about repeating the debates of the past or
thwarting the will of the people but it is comparing what people were
promised from the ?350 million for the NHS every week through to this
glittering array of new trade agreements we will sign across the
world, with the reality that will transpire in the next couple of
years and at that point, yes it is my belief people should be able to
take a second look at if that is what they really want. A couple of
quick questions, would you welcome an early general election? I always
welcome them, we couldn't do worse than we did last time. That is
certainly true. You have a column in the Evening Standard, have you
spoken to the new editor about whether he will keep your column or
spike it? No, I wait in nervous anticipation. Can you be a newspaper
editor in the morning and an MP in the afternoon? Do I think that's
feasible? Sorry, I missed a bit. There is no prohibition, no law
against MPs being editors. They have been in the past and no doubt will
again in the future. He is taking a lot on, he is an editor, also
wanting to be an MP, a jetsetting academic in the States, working in
the city, I suspect something will give. It seems to me even by his
self-confidence standards in his own abilities I suspect he is taking on
a little bit too much. Very diplomatic, Mr Clegg, I'm sure you
will get to keep the column. Thanks for joining us.
Now, for the last six months England's NHS bosses have been
warning the health service needs more money to help it meet
But in his first Budget, the Chancellor offered
no immediate relief, and today the head of
the organisation representing England's NHS trusts says hundreds
of thousands of patients will have to wait longer for both emergency
care and planned operations, unless the Government
Warnings over funding are not exactly new.
Back in 2014 the head of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens,
published his plan for the future of the health service.
In his five-year forward view, Stevens said the NHS in England
would face a funding shortfall of up to ?30 billion by 2020.
To bridge that gap he said the NHS would need more money
from the Government, at least ?8 billion extra,
and that the health service could account for the rest by making
The Government says it's given the health service more than what it
asked for, and that NHS in England will have received
That number is disputed by NHS managers and the chair
of Parliament's health committee, who say the figure is more
like ?4.5 billion, while other parts of the health and social care budget
have been cut, putting pressure on the front line.
Last year, two thirds of NHS trusts in England finished
the year in the red, and despite emergency bailouts
from the Government, the NHS is likely to record
Meanwhile national targets on waiting times for A
departments, diagnostic tests, and operations are being
This month's Budget provided ?2 billion for social care
but there was no new cash for the NHS, leading trusts to warn
that patient care is beginning to suffer, and what is being asked
And I'm joined now by the Chief Executive of NHS
Providers in England, Chris Hopson.
Welcome to the programme. Morning, Andrew. I will come onto the extra
money you need to do your job properly in a minute but first, part
of the deal was you had to make 22 billion in efficiency savings, not a
bank that money but spend it on patient care, the front line, and so
on. How is that going? So, last parliament we realised around 18
billion of productivity and efficiency savings, we are realising
more this year so we are on course to realise 3 billion this year, that
is a quarter of a billion more than last year but all of us in the NHS
knew the 22 billion would be a very stretching target and we are
somewhat inevitably falling short. So it is 22 billion by 2,020.
Roughly. That was the time. We are now into 2017. So how much of the 22
billion have you achieved? We realised around 3 billion last year
and we will realise 3 billion this year, Court of billion more, 3.25
billion this year, so we are on course for 18-19,000,000,000. By the
2021 period? You are not that far away. The problem is the degree to
which demand is going up. We have record demand over the winter period
and that actually meant we have seen more people than we have ever seen
before but performance is still under real pressure. Let me come
onto that. When you agreed on the 22 billion efficiency savings plus some
extra money from the government, I know there is a bit of an argument
about how much that is actually worth, had you not factored in this
extra demand that you saw coming over the next three or four years?
Let's be very clear committee referred to Simon Stevens's forward
view and we signed up to it but the 22 billion was a process run at the
centre of government by the Department of Health with its arms
length bodies, NHS England and others and is not something that was
consulted on with the NHS. But you signed up to it. We always said that
the day that that Spending Review was announced, the idea that the NHS
where customer demand goes up something like four or 5% every
year, the idea that in the middle years of Parliament we would be able
to provide the same level of service when we were only getting funding
increases of 1.3%, 0.4% and 0.7%, and I can show you the press release
we issued, we always said there was going to be a gap and that we would
not be able to deliver what was required. The full 22 billion in
other words? What we said to Simon Stevens at the Public Accounts
Committee a few months ago, the NHS didn't get what it was asked for.
Today the NHS, cope with the resources it has according to you.
How much more does it need? Are reported is about 2017-18 and we
estimate that what we are being asked to do, and again, Andrew, you
clearly set it out in the package, we are a long way off the four-hour
A target and a long way off the 92%. The waiting times and
operations. How much more do you need? And we are making up a ?900
million deficit. If you take all of those into account we estimate you
would need an extra ?3.5 billion next year in order to deliver all of
those targets and eliminate the deficit. That would be 3.5 billion
on top of what is already planned next year and that would be 3.5
billion repeated in the years to come too? Yes, Andrew it is
important we should make an important distinction about the NHS
versus other public services. When the last government, the last Labour
government put extra money into the NHS it clearly said that in return
for that it would establish some standards in the NHS Constitution,
the 95% A target we have talked about and the 92% elective surgery
we have talked about. The trust we represent are very clear, they would
want to realise those standards, but you can only do it if you pay for
it. The problem is at the moment is we are in the longest and deepest
financial squeeze in NHS history. As we have said, funding is only going
up by 1% per year but every year just to stand still cost and demand
go up by more than 4%. There is clearly a demand for more money. I
think people watching this programme will think probably the NHS is going
to have to get more money to meet the goals you have been given. I
think they would also like to be sure that your Mac running the NHS
as efficiently as it could be. We read this morning that trusts have
got ?100 million of empty properties that cost 10 million to maintain, 36
office blocks are not being used, you have surplus land equivalent to
1800 football pitches. Yes, there are a number of things that we know
in the NHS we need to do better but let me remind you, Andrew, in the
last Parliament we realised ?18 billion worth of cost improvement
gains. We are going to realise another 3 billion this year, 0.25
billion more than last year so these things are being targeted. But
having that surplus land, it is almost certainly in areas where
there is a demand for housing. Absolutely. So why not release it
for housing? You get the money, the people get their houses and its
contribution and a signal that you are running NHS assets as
efficiently as you can? Tell me if I'm going to too much detail for
you. One of the reasons as to why our trusts are reluctant to realise
those land sales is because there is an assumption that the money would
go back to the Treasury and wouldn't benefit NHS trusts. You could make a
deal, couldn't you? That's part of the conversation going on at the
moment. The issue is that we would want to ensure that if we do release
land, quite rightly the benefit, particularly in foundation trusts
which are, as you will remember, deliberately autonomous
organisations, that they should keep the benefit of those land sales.
Have you raised that with the government?
Yes we have. What did they say? They are in discussions of it. We heard
somebody who moved from one job and then to another job and given a big
salary and then almost ?200,000 as a payoff. There is a national mood for
the NHS to get more money. But before you give anybody any more
money you want to be sure that the money you have got already is being
properly spent, which for us, is the patient at the end of the day. And
yet there seem to be these enormous salaries and payoffs. I've worked in
a FTSE 100 on the board of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and I
have worked in large organisations. I can look you completely straight
in the eye and tell you that the jobs that our hospital, community,
mental health and ambulance chief Executives do are amongst the most
complicated leadership roles I have ever seen. It doesn't seem to me to
be unreasonable that in order to get the right quality of people we
should pay an appropriate salary. The reality is the salaries are paid
are not excessive when talking about managing budgets of over ?1 billion
a year and talking about managing tens of thousands of staff. There
was a doctor working as a locum that earned an extra ?375,000. One of the
problems in the NHS is a mismatch between the number of staff we need
and the number of staff coming through the pipeline. What is having
to happen is if you want to keep a service going you have to use Mackem
and agency staff. Even at that cost? You would not want to pay those
amounts. But you are. The chief Executives's choice in those areas
is giving the service open or employing a locum. I'm sure you
could find a locum prepared to work for less than that. What indication,
what hopes do you have of getting the extra ?3 billion? The government
has been very clear, for the moment it wants to stick to the existing
funding settlement it has agreed. So there was nothing in the budget. Can
I finish by making one important point. Please, finish. This is the
first time the NHS has said before the year has even started that we
can't deliver on those standards. We believe, as do most people who work
in the NHS, that the NHS is on a gradual slow decline. This is a very
important inflection point to Mark, this is the first time before the
financial year starts that we say we cannot meet the targets we are being
asked to deliver and are in the NHS Constitution. We have run out of
time. Chris Hopson, thank you for being with me.
It's just gone 11:35am, you're watching the Sunday Politics.
We say goodbye to viewers in Scotland who leave us now
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Hello, you're watching the Sunday Politics
Coming up today: We ask, is air pollution now a bigger threat
We meet the father who is convinced pollution contributed
My son was a statistic and now I believe it was due to,
in part or mostly to do with pollution in this
And we meet the campaigners who are fighting to put
brain tumours at the top of the cancer funding queue.
We are joined today by Natalie Bennett, the former
leader of the Green Party, the Green candidate
in the Sheffield Central parliamentary constituency.
And by Graham Stuart, Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness.
And also by Paula Sherriff, Labour MP for Dewsbury.
3,000 people living in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are expected to die
One charity involved in campaigning for more intervention says it's
Richard Edwards has been to meet a man who took to politics
after being convinced that his baby son died because of air pollution
Muzafa Rahman was born just a few streets away from one
Each day, thousands of vehicles use these roads and Muzafa is convinced
the pollution left behind is to blame for the early
My son, who was 15 months old, when he was a baby I was working
in Meadowhall and I would often take him in his pram
and on a nice day's walk through the subways,
through the link, around this beautiful roundabout
where the greenery is, not knowing that I was exposing him
to a great disease that would eventually take his life.
I'm convinced that the virus he contracted through
the failure of his heart was related to pollution.
Cameron died in 1990, when research into casualties from air pollution
But 27 years on, there are official concerns.
Just two months ago, the government's Highways England
began looking at cutting speed limits on the M1, which in turn it
And it's not just a problem in South Yorkshire.
Today, few people would deny that pollution is an issue.
This is an air-quality management area in Leeds,
a place where the problem is so bad, the council is taking urgent
A study suggests that 700 people will lose their lives
this year alone in Leeds from breathing dirty air.
Separate research shows that in just one year,
3,000 people across our region died after breathing dirty air.
Environmental charity Global Action Plan says the risk
to our health from breathing polluted air is huge.
We understand that air pollution is a significant risk to public
And we know that the equivalent figure in terms of deaths is around
40,000 equivalent deaths per year as the overall impact of air
In this city of Wakefield, official figures show 178 people
died prematurely in just one year from breathing polluted air.
It's a concern for the city's MP, who also happens to chair
the powerful parliamentary committee that looks at the environment.
We're worried about the threat to public health from Britain's
We think the government's actions have been too little and too late.
They have had an air pollution plan which has been deemed illegal
We're waiting for April to see what their new plan is going to be.
They have failed to produce an emissions reductions strategy
to look at how we deal with this issue across society.
There are emissions coming out of construction sites
and from all sorts of other areas as well as cars and vans.
And the problem is not confined to urban areas.
This is semirural Pool in Wharfedale, where pollution
levels in the main street are so high, the council is taking
I have an inhaler because I suffer with asthma.
I've actually started using it a lot more since we've moved back to Pool.
He's still only nine and it's not a daily struggle,
but I'd like to know how pollution would affect that type of disease
Contacted by the Sunday Politics, the government's department
for environment says it's spent more than ?2 billion since 2011
to encourage people to use greener transport and is committed
to spending another ?290 million to support electric cars
If you want to know more about pollution and how to reduce
it, check out the BBC website, where there are lots of articles
and films following our recent So I Can Breathe campaign.
Natalie Bennett, short of banning cars and making us walk everywhere,
how do you reduce the health risks from pollution?
There's a whole range of measures we can take and that starts
That means we've got to really look at encouraging support in things
In the Sheffield Green Party, we had a measure in our Budget
which sadly didn't go through that would have helped encourage
and support taxi drivers, independent business people,
But we've also got to reduce the amount of transport.
That means not saying to people you can't use your car,
it means saying to people there's a wonderful walking and cycling
route over there, it means saying to people there's great public
transport that's affordable, convenient, reliable.
Make that offer to people, people will use that and that
will naturally reduce our congestion to the benefit of all of us.
Graham Stuart, many of our cities, including Sheffield, Leeds and Hull,
have dangerous levels of air pollution.
Do you think the government is taking it seriously enough?
I think the government, successive governments
There is going to be a new plan coming out on April 24 and that
The government doesn't have an emission reduction scheme.
As I say, we're going to see the next version of the plan,
the one that was struck down before, in April.
The good news is, if you look back over history, the number
of emissions has actually come down massively.
We're much better than we used to be and the government has signed
up to something called the Gothenburg Protocol, which
Actually, it means that by 2020, legally, we'll be obliged
to bring our emissions down and even further by 2030.
But a lot more needs to be done and the government
I agree entirely with the key points Natalie made.
It is worth saying the government has been forced into the position
It's taken legal action by an NGO to force the government into action
We live in a largely industrial region.
People need their cars and their vans to get to work.
We need much more than warm words from the government.
38 out of the 43 directives have actually been failed at the moment.
A High Court judge recently described the Defra plan
We'll wait to see what comes in April, but I think we need to be
looking at measures, including what Natalie alluded
to around using public transport and incentivising scrappage schemes
for older vehicles and diesel vehicles.
Also lifestyle factors including encouraging people
when they are sitting outside schools to ensure their
There is a direct correlation between air pollution
One road in Brixton in London has already surpassed its pollution
target for the year within the first five days of 2017.
No more warm words from the government, we need some action
The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, recently said,
surprising a lot of people, that people should take
a long, hard think before buying a diesel vehicle.
Do you think diesel vehicles should be banned?
I think what we need to do is move towards electric vehicles.
The problem is we have a huge problem with
One of the things we need to focus on, that we haven't seen
enough discussion of, is the fact that air
pollution within a vehicle is about twice as bad
People tend to focus on walkers and cyclists being exposed
to this air pollution, but on average it's about twice
This is a real issue of industrial safety.
We think of all those taxi drivers who spend their working life sitting
We have people exposed, van drivers, it's very much in their health
Governments have been telling us for years, in recent years,
that diesels are better for the environment.
Now the current government says don't buy diesels!
It was the last Labour government, unfortunately from the scientific
advice they had at the time, who encouraged the sale of diesels.
You can understand why consumers are feeling that on the one hand
you tell me to buy one, the next minute you tell me I'm
One positive note, as this is a Yorkshire programme.
In the East Riding of Yorkshire, when I spoke to the council today,
across the East Riding, which is a very large council area,
there are no particular blackspots at the moment.
The air is pretty clean across the East Riding.
The big problem remains in our urban areas and that's why
the government is piloting, across five cities, including Leeds,
having special areas to encourage and get the vehicles
Finally on this, a lot of big cities are bringing in clean air zones.
Would you like to see restrictions in somewhere like Dewsbury
where older polluting vehicles would be banned from the town?
There's a couple of areas in my constituency that come to mind
straightaway where this is a huge problem.
In terms of diesel vehicles, I don't think it would be problematic to say
In terms of diesel vehicles, I don't think it would be pragmatic to say
we are going to stop all diesel vehicles from tomorrow,
but if we gradually try and phase them out, plus the older vehicles
Let's get some more of the week's political news now.
Trudy has our round-up in 60 seconds.
West Yorkshire's Yvette Cooper led the charge on the government's
U-turn over national insurance and suggested another U-turn
The Prime Minister has just done a ?2 million Budget U-turn
The Prime Minister has just done a ?2 billion Budget U-turn
Is that why they want to abolish spring Budgets, because they just
Ripping up and starting again is what the Orgreave campaigners
They protested outside her office to demonstrate the fact.
They want her to change her mind and hold a public
inquiry into the so-called Battle of Orgreave.
Scarborough MP and Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill
was involved in a skirmish when the government pledge to reduce
immigration came under fire from Neil Parish,
the Conservative chair of the Environment, Food
Never in our lifetime, Robert was told.
And the 2015 battlebus tour lead to a fine for the Conservatives
Lincoln's MP, Karl McCartney, says he acted honestly and is cooperating
Let me ask Graham Stuart on that, how worried are you?
You could see your fellow Conservative MPs in the dock
and effectively elections being rerun over this so-called
Let's be clear, no Conservative MP, or Labour or Liberal Democrat
When they are, it might be a different matter.
There have been breaches by each of the major political parties.
It's obviously a serious issue and we need to ensure,
for public confidence, that compliance with the rules
is absolute and that this sort of thing doesn't happen again.
The Electoral Commission did fine the Conservative Party
There does need to be a clearer distinction about how much can be
spent on local election campaigns and how much can be
Every party has historically taken its national buses and put it
It's led to the situation where they say you should be
The rules are a little unclear and while accepting the criticism,
as I know the Conservative Party does, it's also said that greater
clarity on the rules to make sure that it's easy to follow
for everybody concerned would be the right approach.
What's been the story of the week for you, Natalie Bennett?
Probably looking at the general state of disarray of
The national insurance backdown, which was a huge step
for a Chancellor to turn around and disavow something he'd said less
We've got a government with a tiny majority that really doesn't
It won the support of 24% of eligible voters at the last
election on a manifesto that assumed we would stay part of the EU.
We really are in a state of turmoil and, desperately
for democracy in Britain, we need an election.
How would you sum up the political week?
We've obviously seen the significant U-turn of the government's flagship
Budget policy that lasted just a week.
I thought you were talking about Jeremy Corbyn's response!
I thought you were going to join everyone else
I'm talking about the fact that you do appear to be
We've seen access to the single market has gone.
I've just found out that my constituency is the second
worst in the country, on schools policy, in terms
of the budgets that have been cut for schools.
Schools are telling me they are having to let staff go,
This is going to have a huge legacy problem for our children.
On the schools funding, there is potential for
The government has consulted on the new funding formula.
At a time of constraint, it's very difficult to do redistribution.
That is going ahead and I expect the government to go
through with that and ensure that those areas which have been
historically underfunded get a fairer share of the cake.
In my area, which is one of the lowest funded
in the whole country, 40 out of 50 schools
?7 million a year extra will go to local schools
in Beverley and Holderness and across the East Riding
In my area, 50 out of 50 schools will lose out.
David Cameron explicitly said in your 2015 manifesto that real
terms funding would be protected for schools.
How do you explain how 50 out of 50 schools in my constituency
Because it's about the overall budget and I think you would agree,
as someone who campaigns for fairness, that it's
about taking a finite budget, albeit one that is protected,
and making sure it's fairly distributed across the country.
There was no way the existing formula was fair.
It was broken, it saw areas like Barnsley,
one of the worst funded in the whole country.
Some parts of London could be ?1,500 per pupil
separate when they are a few hundred yards apart.
The thing was broken, that was a legacy of the Labour
government and this government is right and courageous,
it's politically difficult, to come forward and say no,
we've got to treat every child the same, we have to give
That's the centre of all our educational policy.
What would you say to my teachers who are saying to me we cannot run
the school with the proposed funding we are due to receive?
If you have historically been overfunded compared to areas
like East Yorkshire, if that is what is behind
the changes, I would say unless we have a magic money tree,
and I know Jeremy Corbyn does but nobody else does...
We are still spending more on the interest on the debt
That is a huge debate and we'll have to come back to it another time.
This week, the Commons Speaker John Bercow hosted a reception,
the latest in his long association with the brain tumour research
charity, which is campaigning for better funding to help
the hundreds of people diagnosed every year.
It's claimed the disease kills more people under 40
than any other cancer, but gets just 1% of the funding.
Len Tingle has been to meet two women, one from Lincolnshire,
one from Yorkshire, who say it's time for change.
research into brain tumours and has research into brain tumours and has
written a book on the subject. It's a remarkable achievement. In 2008,
she herself was diagnosed with a tumour and was given a maximum of
three years to live. On good days like today I'm pretty much OK.
Sometimes people wouldn't even know. On bad days I can't even get out of
bed. I have chronic migraines. It paralyse is the right hand side of
my body. If I'm tired or stressed. I try to keep my trust levels down and
get regular rest. Now in her six years since diagnosis, she has had
extensive brain surgery, chemotherapy and is constantly in
and out of hospital. That manages the condition, but she knows there
is no cure. I'm lucky. I'm not too disabled, but some people are very
disabled. They lose speech, mobility. It takes 30 years from
their quality-of-life. There needs to be more research into treatment.
We need to speed it up. A lot of us won't be around for years down the
line. In a recent report to MPs, the charity brain tumour research said
since 2002 there's been a 13% increase in the number of tumours
diagnosed in the UK. In the same period just 1% of funding for all
counts of research is devoted to brain tumours. That's been noticed
in Leeds. This is one of the UK's leading research centres, partially
funded by Macmillan, the NHS and the Leeds teaching hospitals trust.
There are big contributions from surgeons. People are trying across
the world to study brain cancer and the underlying causes and trying to
work out why they keep coming back. The reality is we need more research
and that requires more funding. What brain tumour research hasn't
attracted in the same way that breast cancers have over the last
ten to 15 years is big injections of funding for powering research and
bettering our understanding. Lisa also has an inoperable tumour. Last
week she travelled from her home in Baildon to join other patients and
their families lobbying government for more research funding. She says
for many time is running out. I've lost lots of friends I've met
through this process with brain tumours. We are like a little gang.
We keep losing people. We need something to come fast. These
patients want a chilling -- an improvement in a chilling statistic
they all confront everyday. Brain tumours are now the biggest cause of
death in cancer sufferers under the age of 40.
Emotive issue. Let me ask you to react to that statistic that brain
tumours kill more people under 40 than any other cancer but attract
just 1% of funding of research. It's shocking that only 1% of the funding
goes to brain tumours. It is right that we have to rely on charities to
find that money. There's a five-year-old boy in my constituency
who is sadly suffering from a rare, inoperable brain tumour. The family
are fundraising to look at alternative forms of treatment. It's
very, very worrying. Brain tumours need more funding. I welcome charity
donations. Absolutely. Nearly 1.5 billion is spent on cancer research
from people giving. They put it into cancer research and it makes a
difference. The piece shows the argument why a greater level of
funding could go to brain tumours. We have to say well done to Fiona
and Lisa and people battling for their own health while also
struggling and campaigning. We need from the government and evidence
-based allocation of money. The money should go according to the
level of need. You all have massive health issues in the areas you
represent. Give as one example of the state of the NHS in the areas
you represent. In my area they are downgrading to use hospital and
there is a proposal to close Huddersfield A It would leave the
population of Kirklees without a comprehensive A People would have
to travel. The A around that area aren't coping. We are seeing 12 hour
trolley waits, people waiting just to be seen, people treated in
corridors, waiting rooms. It's in crisis. I worked in the NHS for 13
years before I was an MP and I still often speak to health professionals,
people on the front line of the NHS, and they tell me it's a crisis
point. You have a number of minor injury units closing in your
constituency. The overall picture is with the ?10 billion extra. Isn't
that. Funding is declining in real terms. The budget is going up by ?10
billion and specifically the Labour Party refused to match it. Demand is
growing even faster, putting pressure on services. The NHS has
never delivered better outcomes. Last word to Natalie Bennett. This
government is planning to spend 6.6% of GDP on health care by 2020.
France and Germany spend 11%. We spend 30% less than Germany does
now. There's not enough money in the NHS. The other problem is
privatisation of the NHS. A lot of issues. Thank you for your thoughts.
We shall now had you back you both. Say goodbye. Goodbye. Back
to you. So, can George Osborne stay
on as a member of Parliament Will Conservative backbenchers force
a Government re-think And is Theresa May about to cap gas
and electricity prices? Whose idea was that first of all?
They are all questions for the Week Ahead to.
Let's start with the story that is too much fun to miss, on Friday it
was announced the former Chancellor would be the new editor of London's
Evening Standard newspaper, a position he will take up in mid-May
on a salary of ?200,000 for four days a week.
But Mr Osborne has said he will not be stepping down as MP
for Tatton in Cheshire, a job he's held since 2001,
Alongside these duties, he's also chairman of
While being committed to one day a week at Black Rock,
an American asset management firm - a part-time role that earns him
Then he's polishing his academic credentials, as a fellow
at the McCain Institute, an American thinktank,
And finally as a member of the Washington Speaker's Bureau,
he also earns his keep as an after-dinner speaker, banking
around ?750,000 since last summer.
So there you go. Nice little earners if you can get them. The problem,
though, is he has put second jobs on the agenda and lots of his fellow
MPs are not happy because they have got second jobs but not making that
kind of money. No, and a lot of MPs on both sides actually are unhappy
about it exactly for those reasons. I find it a very interesting
appointment. We have got these people on the centre and centre
right of politics who have been used to power since 1997, they have been
on the airwaves today, Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, George Osborne, and they
are all seeking other platforms now because power has moved elsewhere.
So Tony Blair is setting up this new foundation, Nick Clegg refused to
condemn George Osborne, Tony Blair praised the appointment. They are
all searching for new platforms. They might have overestimated the
degree to which this will be a huge influential platform. The standard
was very pro-Tory at the 2015 election but London voted Labour, it
was pro-Zac Goldsmith but they elected Sadiq Khan. It might be
overestimating the degree to which this is a hugely influential paper.
But I can see why it attracts him as a platform when all these platforms
have disappeared, eg power and government. All of these people who
used to be in power are quietly getting together again, Mr Blair on
television this morning, George Osborne not only filling his bank
account but now in charge of London's most important newspaper,
Nick Clegg out today not saying Brexit was a done deal, waiting to
see what happens, even John Major was wheeled out again today in the
Mail on Sunday. They are all playing for position. I half expect David
Cameron to turn up as features editor on The Evening Standard.
Brexit and breakfast! With Mr Clegg, did he not? I do not think this is
sustainable for George Osborne, I worked at The Evening Standard and I
was there for three years, I know what the hours are like for a humble
journalist, never mind the editor. If he thinks he can get at 4am
everyday to be in the offices at 5am to oversee the splash, manage
everything in the way and edited should he is in cloud cuckoo land.
What this says to people is there is a kind of feel of soft corruption
about public life here, where you see what you can get away with. He
thinks he can brazen this out and maybe he can but what kind of
message does that send to people about how seriously people take the
role of being an MP? He must have known. He applied for the job. The
Russian owner didn't approach him, he approached Lebedev, the
proprietor, for it. He must have calculated there would be some
kickback. I wonder if he realised there would be quite the kickback
there has been. I think that's probably right. This hasn't finished
yet, by the way, this will go on and on. How on earth does George Osborne
cover the budget in the autumn? Big budget, lots of physical changes and
tax rises to deal with the messages out of this week. You can see
already, Theresa May budget crashes. It could be worse. She's useless!
Or, worse than that, me, brilliant budget, terrible newspaper, I've
never buying it again. He has hoisted his own petard. He has not
bought it properly through. It's a something interesting about his own
future calculations, if he wants to stay on as an MP in 2020 and be
Prime Minister as he has or was wanted to be he has got to find a
new seat. How do you go into an association and say I should be an
MP, I can do it for at least four hours Purdy after editing The
Evening Standard, making a big speech and telling Black Rock how to
make a big profit. The feature pages have to be approved for the next day
and feature pages are aware the editor gets to make their mark. The
news is the news. The feature is what concerns you, what he is in
your bonnet. That defines the newspaper, doesn't it? It is not
over yet. Too much 101 on newspapers. And Haatheq at.
School funding, the consultation period ends, it has been a tricky
one for the government, some areas losing. I guess we are seeing this
through the prism of the National Insurance contributions now, it is a
small majority, if Tory MPs are unhappy she may not get her way.
Talking to backbench MPs who are unhappy the feeling is it is not
going to go ahead in the proposed form that the consultation has been
on. No 10 will definitely have to move on this. It is unclear whether
they will scrap it completely, or will they bring in something
possibly like a base level, floor level pupil funding below which you
can't go? You would then still need to find some extra money. So there
are no easy solutions on this but what is clear it is not going to go
ahead in its current form. Parents have been getting letters across the
country in England about what this will mean for teachers and so on in
certain schools. It's not just a matter of the education Department,
the schools, or the teachers and Tory backbenchers. Parents are being
mobilised on this. The point of the new funding formula is to allocate
more money to the more disadvantaged. That means schools in
the more prosperous suburbs are going to lose money. Budget cuts on
schools which are already struggling. It comes down again to
be huge problem, the ever smaller fiscal pool, ever greater demands,
NHS, social care, education as well, adding to Theresa May and Phillip
Hammond's enormous problems. Here is an interesting issue, Steve. There
was a labour Leader of the Opposition that once suggested
perhaps given these huge energy companies which seemed to be good at
passing on energy rises but not so good at cutting energy prices when
it falls, that perhaps we should put a cap on them until at least we
study how the market goes. This was obviously ludicrous Marxism and
quite rightly knocked down by the Conservatives, except that Mrs May
is now talking about putting a cap on energy prices. Yes, I think if it
wasn't for Brexit we would focus much more on Theresa May's Ed
Miliband streak. Whether this translates into policies, let us
see. That bit we don't know. That bit we don't know but in terms of
argument her speech to the Conservative conference on Friday
was about the third or fourth time where she said as part of the
speech, let's focus on the good that government can do, including in
intervening in markets, exactly in the way that he used to argue. As
you say, we await the policy consequences of that. She seems more
cautious in terms of policy in fermentation. But in terms of the
industrial strategy, in terms of implying intervention in certain
markets, there is a kind of Milibandesque streak. And there
comes a time when she has to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.
They talk a lot about the just about managing, just about managing face
rising food bills because of the lower pound and face rising fuel
bills because of the rise in oil and in other commodities. One of the two
things you could do to help the just about managing is to cut their food
bills and the second would be to cut their fuel bills. At some stage she
has to do something for them. We don't know what is going to happen
to food bills under Brexit, that could become a really serious issue.
They could abolish tariffs. There has been a lot of talking the talk
and big announcements put out and not following through so I agree
with you on that but lots of Tory MPs will have a big problem on
this and the principle of continually talking about
interfering in markets, whether it's on executive pay, whether it is on
energy, at a time when Britain needs to send out this message to the
world in their view, in the view of Brexit supporting MPs, that we are
open for business and the government is not about poking around and doing
this kind of thing. Of course, you could argue there is not a problem
in the market for energy, it is a malfunctioning market that doesn't
operate like a free market should, so that provides even Adam Smith,
the inventor of market economics would have said on that basis you
should intervene. I was in Cardiff to listen to Theresa May's latest
explanation for doing this. By the way, we've been waiting nine months,
this was one of her big ideas. You are right, let's see a bit of the
meat, please. My newspaper has been calling for some pretty hefty
government action on this for quite some time. For the just about
managings? Yes and specifically to sort out an energy market dominated
by the big six, which is manifestly ripping people off left, right and
centre. Theresa May's argument in Cardiff on Friday morning which, by
the way, went down like a proverbial windbreak at the proverbial funeral
because Tories... You know what I mean Andrew, the big hand coming
into from the state telling businesses what to do. They went
very quiet indeed. They were having saving the union and Nato but there
was no clapping for that. The point being, this is what she needs to do
to prove her assault, to prove those first words on the steps of Downing
Street. We await to see the actions taken.
On that unusual agreement we will leave it there. The Daily Politics
will be back on BBC Two tomorrow at noon and everyday during the week.
And I'll be here on BBC One next Sunday at 11am.
Remember, if it's Sunday, it's the Sunday Politics.
I've not given myself that time to sit down
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