14/05/2017 Sunday Politics


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14/05/2017

Andrew Neil presents the latest political news, interviews and debate (see regional variations for details).


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

:00:39.:00:42.

Theresa May unveils plans to build many more affordable homes

:00:43.:00:45.

in England, but with no price tag, timetable or building targets -

:00:46.:00:48.

Labour takes aim at the City with what it calls a Robin Hood Tax

:00:49.:00:55.

to fund public services, but will traders just

:00:56.:00:57.

Don't look at the polls - Jeremy Corbyn, at least,

:00:58.:01:01.

insists he can win this election - so which way will

:01:02.:01:03.

We'll hear from a focus group in Leeds.

:01:04.:01:14.

We look at the Green electoral offer and here, what the parties are

:01:15.:01:19.

saying about tackling the air pollution problem in London.

:01:20.:01:27.

And with me, our own scientifically selected focus group

:01:28.:01:30.

of political pundits - they're not so much

:01:31.:01:33.

undecided as clueless - Tom Newton Dunn, Isabel Oakeshott

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They'll be tweeting throughout the programme.

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So, we've got two new policies this morning.

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Labour say they will introduce a financial transaction tax

:01:45.:01:46.

if they win the general election and what they're calling

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"the biggest crackdown on tax avoidance in the country's history".

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The Conservatives say they'll work with local authorities in England

:01:52.:01:53.

to build council houses with the right to buy.

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Theresa May says the policy "will help thousands of people

:01:56.:01:58.

get on the first rung of the housing ladder".

:01:59.:02:05.

Steve, what do you make of them? I have been conditioned after doing

:02:06.:02:13.

tax and spend debates in pre-election periods for many

:02:14.:02:17.

decades to treat policy is not as literal but as arguments. In other

:02:18.:02:22.

words if you look back to 2015 the Tory plan to wipe out the deficit

:02:23.:02:27.

was never going to happen and yet it framed and large event. In that

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sense the Robin Hood tax is a sensible move for Labour to make at

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this point because it is part of a narrative of reconfiguring taxation

:02:35.:02:39.

to be fair. Treating it as an argument rather than something that

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would happen in day one of Labour government is sensible. In terms of

:02:46.:02:48.

building houses Theresa May said right from the beginning when she

:02:49.:02:52.

was in Number Ten that there is a housing deficit in this country

:02:53.:02:55.

rather than the economic deficit George Osborne was focusing on, and

:02:56.:03:00.

this is an example of trying to get house-building going. It seems

:03:01.:03:03.

entirely sensible, not sure how it works with right to buy but again as

:03:04.:03:07.

framing of a 90 minute it makes sense. I disagree with Steve on one

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front which is how sensible Theresa May's policy is on the housing

:03:18.:03:22.

announcement. I think more broadly these two announcements have

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something in common which is that over the next 24 hours both will

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probably unravel in different ways. Ye of little faith! The Mayor of

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London has already said he doesn't agree with this, and when people see

:03:35.:03:39.

the actual impact of what looks like a populist tax will very potentially

:03:40.:03:45.

affect people's pensions, it might become a lot less popular. On the

:03:46.:03:50.

Tory housing plans, I think it is difficult to imagine how they are

:03:51.:03:55.

going to implement this huge, what looks like a huge land and property

:03:56.:04:00.

grab. Through compulsory purchase orders, which are not a simple

:04:01.:04:04.

instrument. They say they will change the law but really the idea

:04:05.:04:08.

of paying people below the market value for their assets is not

:04:09.:04:12.

something I can see sitting easily with Tory backbenchers or the Tories

:04:13.:04:19.

in the House of Lords. Tom. Both would appear superficially to be

:04:20.:04:24.

appealing to traditional left and traditional right bases. What is

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more Tory than right to buy, then councils sell on these houses, and

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Labour slapping a massive tax on the city. The Tories' plan, I would say

:04:38.:04:42.

look a bit deeper and all of the Tory narrative from the last six

:04:43.:04:46.

years which hasn't worked well is talking about the private sector

:04:47.:04:50.

increasing supply in the market. Now Mrs May is talking about the role

:04:51.:04:56.

for the state after all so this is the shift creeping in. On the Labour

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transaction tax, one of the most interesting things I heard in days

:05:02.:05:08.

was from Paul Mason, former BBC correspondent, now a cog in Easter

:05:09.:05:12.

extreme. On Newsnight he said don't worry about whether the Labour

:05:13.:05:17.

manifesto will add up, I'm promising it will, the bigger Tory attack line

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should be what on earth will be the macroeconomic effect of taking so

:05:22.:05:30.

much tax out of the system. Very well, we shall see. At least we have

:05:31.:05:31.

some policies to talk about. Now, on Tuesday Labour

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will launch its manifesto. But we've already got a pretty good

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idea of what's in it - that's because most of its contents

:05:37.:05:39.

were leaked to the media Labour has a variety of spending

:05:40.:05:41.

pledges including an extra ?6 billion a year for the NHS,

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an additional ?8 billion for social care over the lifetime

:05:51.:05:53.

of the next parliament, as well as a ?250 billion

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in infrastructure over The party will support the renewal

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of the Trident submarine system, although any Prime Minister should

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be extremely cautious about its use, and the party

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will hold a strategic defence and security review immediately

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after the election. In terms of immigration,

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Labour will seek "reasonable management of migration",

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but it will not make "false Elsewhere, university tuition

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fees will be abolished, and the public sector pay cap,

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which limits pay rises for public sector workers

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to 1%, will be scrapped. The party also aims to renationalise

:06:26.:06:29.

the railways, the Royal Mail and the National Grid,

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as well as creating at least one A senior Labour backbencher

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described it to the Sunday Politics as a manifesto for a leadership

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who don't "give a toss about the wider public",

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and several other Labour candidates told us they thought it

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had been deliberately leaked by the leadership,

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with one suggesting the leak was intended to "bounce

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the National Executive" And we're joined now from Salford

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by the Shadow Business Secretary, Welcome to the programme. The draft

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manifesto proposed to renationalise the number of industry. You will

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wait for the franchises to run out rather than buy them out at the

:07:13.:07:15.

moment so can you confirm the railways will not be wholly

:07:16.:07:21.

nationalised until 2030, after three Labour governments, and Jeremy

:07:22.:07:26.

Corbyn will be 80? I'm not going to comment on leaks, you will just have

:07:27.:07:30.

to be patient and wait to see what is in our manifesto. But you have

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already announced you will nationalise the railways, so tell me

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about it. We have discussed taking the franchises into public ownership

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as they expire, however the detail will be set out in the manifesto so

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I'm not prepared to go into detail until that policy is formally laid

:07:51.:07:55.

out on Tuesday. That doesn't sound very hopeful but let's carry on. You

:07:56.:08:01.

will also nationalise the National Grid, it has a market capitalisation

:08:02.:08:06.

of ?40 billion, why do you want to nationalise that? Again, I'm not

:08:07.:08:11.

going to speculate on leaks, you will just have to be patient. But

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you said you will nationalise the National Grid so tell's Y. The leaks

:08:16.:08:21.

have suggested but you will just have to wait and see what the final

:08:22.:08:26.

manifesto states on that one. So is it a waste of time me asking you how

:08:27.:08:31.

you will pay for something that costs 40 billion? Be patient, just

:08:32.:08:36.

couple of days to go, but what I would say is there is growing

:08:37.:08:41.

pressure from the public to reform the utilities sector. The

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Competition and Markets Authority stated in 2015 that bill payers were

:08:46.:08:50.

paying over till debt -- ?2 billion in excess of what they should be

:08:51.:08:53.

paying so there is a clear need for reform. The bills we get are from

:08:54.:09:00.

the energy companies, you are not going to nationalise them, you are

:09:01.:09:03.

going to nationalise the distribution company and I wondered

:09:04.:09:08.

what is the case for nationalising the distribution company? As I said,

:09:09.:09:13.

our full plans will be set out on Tuesday. In relation to the big six

:09:14.:09:17.

energy companies, we know in recent years they have been overcharging

:09:18.:09:24.

customers... There's no point in answering questions I am not asking.

:09:25.:09:29.

I am asking what is the case for nationalising the National Grid?

:09:30.:09:33.

There is a case for reforming the energy sector as a whole and that

:09:34.:09:37.

looks at the activities of the big six companies and it will look at

:09:38.:09:41.

other aspects too. You will have to be patient and wait until Tuesday.

:09:42.:09:47.

What about the Royal Mail? Again, you will have to wait until Tuesday.

:09:48.:09:54.

Why can't you just be honest with the British voter? We know you are

:09:55.:09:58.

going to do this and you have a duty to explain. I'm not even arguing

:09:59.:10:06.

whether it is right or wrong. The Royal Mail was sold off and we know

:10:07.:10:11.

it was sold under value and British taxpayers have a reason to feel

:10:12.:10:15.

aggrieved about that. There is a long-term strategy that would ensure

:10:16.:10:19.

the Royal Mail was classified as a key piece of infrastructure but the

:10:20.:10:22.

details of that will be set out in our manifesto because we want to

:10:23.:10:27.

ensure businesses and households ensure the best quality of service

:10:28.:10:30.

when it comes to their postal providers. You plan to borrow an

:10:31.:10:37.

extra 25 billion per year, John McDonnell has already announced

:10:38.:10:41.

this, on public investment, on top of the around 50 billion already

:10:42.:10:45.

being planned for investment. You will borrow it all so that means, if

:10:46.:10:50.

you can confirm, that many years after the crash by 2021, Labour

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government would still be borrowing 75 billion a year. Is that correct?

:11:00.:11:06.

We have set out ?250 billion of capital investment, and ?250 billion

:11:07.:11:12.

for a national investment bank. Our financial and fiscal rules dictate

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we will leave the Government in a state of less debt than we found it

:11:16.:11:19.

at the start of the parliament so we won't increase the national debt at

:11:20.:11:25.

the end of our Parliamentary term. How can you do that if by 2021 you

:11:26.:11:30.

will still be borrowing around 75 billion a year, which is more than

:11:31.:11:35.

we borrow at the moment? The 500 billion figure is set out over a

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period of ten years, it's a figure that has been suggested by Peter

:11:40.:11:43.

Helm from Oxford University as a figure that is necessary to bring us

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in line with other industrial competitors. Similar figures have

:11:49.:11:53.

been suggested by groups such as the CBI. By the way I have not included

:11:54.:12:00.

all 500 billion, just the 250 billion on public spending, not the

:12:01.:12:04.

extra money. You talk about the fiscal rules. The draft manifesto

:12:05.:12:09.

said you will leave debt as a proportion of trend GDP law at the

:12:10.:12:13.

end of each parliament, you have just said a version of that. What is

:12:14.:12:19.

trend GDP? In clear terms we will ensure the debt we acquire will be

:12:20.:12:24.

reduced by the end of the parliament. We won't leave the

:12:25.:12:27.

Government finances in a worse state than we found them. OK, but what is

:12:28.:12:36.

trend GDP? Our rule is we will ensure public sector net debt is

:12:37.:12:40.

less than we found it when we came to power in Government on June the

:12:41.:12:45.

8th. But that is not what your draft manifesto says. I'm not going to

:12:46.:12:51.

comment on leaks, you are just going to have to wait until Tuesday to

:12:52.:12:55.

look at the fine detail and perhaps we will have another chat then. You

:12:56.:13:01.

have published your plans for corporation tax and you will

:13:02.:13:04.

increase it by a third and your predictions assumed that will get an

:13:05.:13:08.

extra 20 billion a year by the end of the parliament. But that assumes

:13:09.:13:14.

the companies don't change their behaviour, that they move money

:13:15.:13:18.

around, they leave the country or they generate smaller profits. Is

:13:19.:13:24.

that realistic? You are right to make that point and you will see

:13:25.:13:27.

when we set out our policies and costings in the manifesto that we

:13:28.:13:31.

haven't spent all of the tax take. We have allowed for different

:13:32.:13:36.

differentials and potential changes in market activity because that

:13:37.:13:40.

would be approved and direction to take. But corporation tax is allowed

:13:41.:13:47.

to be cut in France and the United States, it's only 12.5% in Dublin.

:13:48.:13:52.

Many companies based in Britain are already wondering whether they

:13:53.:13:56.

should relocate because of Brexit, if you increase this tax by a third

:13:57.:14:00.

couldn't that clinch it for a number of them? No, we will still be one of

:14:01.:14:06.

the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7. Let's look at what's

:14:07.:14:10.

important for business. Cutting corporation tax in itself doesn't

:14:11.:14:14.

improve productivity, or business investment and there's no suggestion

:14:15.:14:19.

cutting corporation tax in recent years has achieved that. Businesses

:14:20.:14:24.

need an investment in tools in things they need to thrive and

:14:25.:14:28.

prosper, they also need to reduce the burden at the lower end of the

:14:29.:14:33.

tax scale, before we get to the Prophet stage. One key example is

:14:34.:14:37.

business rates. We have made the proposal to government to in --

:14:38.:14:45.

exclude machinery so businesses can invest and grow operations in the

:14:46.:14:46.

future but the Government refused. Corporation tax has been cut since

:14:47.:15:01.

2010. When it was 28% it brought in ?43 billion a year. Now it is down

:15:02.:15:07.

to 20%, it brought in ?55 billion a year. By cutting it in the last

:15:08.:15:13.

year, it brought in 21% more, so what is the problem? It might have

:15:14.:15:19.

brought in more money, but has it increased business investment in the

:15:20.:15:23.

long term. It is not just about cutting corporation tax, but it is

:15:24.:15:29.

on the ability of businesses to thrive and prosper. Business

:15:30.:15:34.

investment in the UK is below are industrial competitors. Wages are

:15:35.:15:39.

stagnating which doesn't indicate businesses are not doing well. Let

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me get it right, you are arguing if we increase business tax by a third,

:15:46.:15:51.

that will increase investment? I am not saying that. You just did. Know

:15:52.:15:59.

I didn't, I said reducing business tax isn't enough, you have to invest

:16:00.:16:04.

in the things businesses need to thrive and prosper. You have also

:16:05.:16:08.

got to lessen the burden on business. You have announced a

:16:09.:16:18.

financial transaction tax. Your own labour Mayor of London said he has

:16:19.:16:24.

vowed to fight it. He said I do not want a unilateral tax on business in

:16:25.:16:28.

our city, so why are you proceeding with it? This isn't a new

:16:29.:16:34.

initiative, there is a growing global pressure to make sure we have

:16:35.:16:38.

fairness in the financial sector. Ordinary British people are paying

:16:39.:16:41.

for our banking crisis they didn't cause. Another important point,

:16:42.:16:48.

stamp duty reserve tax was brought in in the 1600 and there have been

:16:49.:16:53.

little reforms. The sector has changed and we have do provide

:16:54.:16:56.

changes to the system for that change. High-frequency trading where

:16:57.:17:02.

we have a state of affairs where a lot of shares are traded on

:17:03.:17:07.

computers within milliseconds. We need a tax system that keeps up with

:17:08.:17:12.

that. What happens if they move the computers to another country? Emily

:17:13.:17:18.

Thornaby said this morning, other countries had already introduced a

:17:19.:17:22.

financial transaction tax, what other countries have done that?

:17:23.:17:29.

There are ten countries looking at introducing a transaction tax. Which

:17:30.:17:37.

ones have done it so far? They will be later announcing a final package,

:17:38.:17:42.

going through the finer detail at the moment. But the European

:17:43.:17:46.

Commission tried to get this done in 2011 and it still hasn't happened in

:17:47.:17:51.

any of these countries. But you are going to go ahead unilaterally and

:17:52.:17:54.

risk these businesses, which generate a lot of money, moving to

:17:55.:18:00.

other jurisdictions. There is not a significant risk of that happening.

:18:01.:18:06.

The stamp duty reserve tax is levied at either where the person or

:18:07.:18:16.

company is domiciled or where the instrument is issued rather than

:18:17.:18:20.

worth the transaction takes place. This tax in itself is not enough to

:18:21.:18:24.

make people leave this country in terms of financial services because

:18:25.:18:28.

there is more to keep these businesses here in terms of the

:18:29.:18:32.

investment we are making, the economy that Labour will build, in

:18:33.:18:36.

terms of productivity improvement we will see. Thank you very much,

:18:37.:18:39.

Rebecca Long-Bailey. And listening to that was the Home

:18:40.:18:43.

Office Minister, Brandon Lewis. Over the years, you have got

:18:44.:18:54.

corporation tax by 20%, it is lower than international standards, so why

:18:55.:18:58.

are so many global companies who make money out of Great Britain,

:18:59.:19:04.

still not paying 20%? It is one of the problems with the point Labour

:19:05.:19:09.

were making and Rebecca could not answer, these companies can move

:19:10.:19:13.

around the world. One of the important things is having a low tax

:19:14.:19:17.

economy but these businesses, it encourages them to come at a rate

:19:18.:19:22.

they are prepared to pay. People may say they are right, if they were

:19:23.:19:29.

paying 19, 20% incorporation tax. But they are not. Google runs a

:19:30.:19:35.

multi-million pound corporation and did not pay anywhere near 20%. There

:19:36.:19:42.

are companies that are trading internationally and that is why we

:19:43.:19:45.

have to get this work done with our partners around the world. Has there

:19:46.:19:54.

been an improvement? It is more than they were paying before. Whether it

:19:55.:19:58.

is Google or any other company, alongside them being here, apart

:19:59.:20:03.

from the tax they pay, it is the people they employ. The deal was, if

:20:04.:20:08.

you cut the business tax, the corporation tax on profits, we would

:20:09.:20:12.

get more companies coming here and more companies paying their tax. It

:20:13.:20:18.

seems it doesn't matter how low, a number of companies just pay a

:20:19.:20:21.

derisory amount and you haven't been able to change that. As you

:20:22.:20:27.

outlined, the income taken from the changing corporation tax has gone

:20:28.:20:34.

up. That is from established British companies, not from these

:20:35.:20:37.

international companies. It is because more companies are coming

:20:38.:20:41.

here and paying tax. That is a good thing. There is always more to do

:20:42.:20:45.

and that is why we want to crack down. In the last few weeks in the

:20:46.:20:50.

Finnish Parliament, Labour refused to put to another ?8.7 billion of

:20:51.:20:55.

tax take we could have got by cracking down further. You claim to

:20:56.:21:01.

have made great progress on cracking down on people and companies to pay

:21:02.:21:07.

the tax they should. But the tax gap is the difference between what HMRC

:21:08.:21:12.

takes in and what it should take in. It has barely moved in five years,

:21:13.:21:19.

so where is the progress? He have brought in 150 billion more where we

:21:20.:21:23.

have cracked down on those tax schemes. The gap is still the same

:21:24.:21:31.

as it was five years ago. It's gone from 6.8, 26.5. It has gone down.

:21:32.:21:36.

The Prime Minister and the Chancellor said they want to

:21:37.:21:40.

continue work on to get more money on these companies while still

:21:41.:21:43.

having a competitive rate to encourage these companies. While big

:21:44.:21:52.

business and the wealthy continue to prosper, the Office for Budget

:21:53.:21:54.

Responsibility tell us those on average earnings in this country

:21:55.:21:59.

will be earning less in real terms by 2021 than they did in 2008. How

:22:00.:22:05.

can that be fair? I don't see it that way. I haven't seen the figures

:22:06.:22:11.

you have got. What I can say to you, Andrew, we have made sure the

:22:12.:22:15.

minimum wage has gone up, the actual income tax people pay has gone down.

:22:16.:22:19.

So in their pocket, real terms, people have more money. You are the

:22:20.:22:28.

self-styled party of work. We keep emphasising work. Under your

:22:29.:22:31.

government you can work for 13 years and still not earn any more at the

:22:32.:22:37.

end of it, and you did at the start. Where is the reward for effort in

:22:38.:22:43.

that? I have not seen those figures. There are 2.8 million more people,

:22:44.:22:48.

more jobs in economy than there was. 1000 jobs every day and people are

:22:49.:22:53.

working and developing through their careers. This is what I thought was

:22:54.:22:57.

odd in what Rebecca was saying, investing in people is what the

:22:58.:23:01.

apprenticeship levy is about, companies are investing their works

:23:02.:23:06.

force to take more opportunities that there. We are talking about

:23:07.:23:10.

fairness, politicians talk about hard-working people and we know the

:23:11.:23:13.

average earnings are no higher than they were in 2008. We know the pay

:23:14.:23:19.

and bonuses of senior executives have continued to grow and the

:23:20.:23:23.

Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown 3 million of the poorest

:23:24.:23:27.

households will lose an average of ?2500 a year in the next Parliament,

:23:28.:23:32.

benefits frozen, further sanctions kick in. 3 million of the poorest

:23:33.:23:39.

losing 2500. Under the Tories, one law for the rich and another for the

:23:40.:23:45.

poor. It is quite wrong. First of all, we have got to be fair to the

:23:46.:23:49.

taxpayer who is funding the welfare and benefit system. Which is why the

:23:50.:23:53.

welfare was right. Get more people in work and then it is important to

:23:54.:24:03.

get more people upscaling. As that allowance rises, people have more of

:24:04.:24:07.

the money they earn in their pocket to be able to use in the economy.

:24:08.:24:13.

People will be worse off. 2500, among the poorest already. They will

:24:14.:24:18.

have more money in their pocket as we increase the allowance before

:24:19.:24:25.

people pay tax. We have seen millions of people coming out of tax

:24:26.:24:30.

altogether. The reason I ask these questions, you and the Prime

:24:31.:24:34.

Minister go on and on about the just about managing classes. I am talking

:24:35.:24:38.

about the just about managing and below that. It is all talk, you

:24:39.:24:43.

haven't done anything for them. We have made sure they have an

:24:44.:24:46.

increasing minimum wage, it has gone up more under us than any other

:24:47.:24:53.

previous government. Their wages will be still lower in real terms.

:24:54.:24:59.

Let me come on to this plan for housing. We have announced a new

:25:00.:25:03.

plan to increase affordable housing, social housing, some council housing

:25:04.:25:08.

and social housing built by the associations. How much money is

:25:09.:25:13.

behind this? It is part of the 1.4 billion announced in the Autumn

:25:14.:25:18.

Statement. How many homes will you get for 1.4 billion? That depends on

:25:19.:25:23.

the negotiations with local authorities. It is local

:25:24.:25:27.

authorities, who know the area best. I will not put a number on that. 1.4

:25:28.:25:34.

billion, if you price the house at 100,000, which is very low,

:25:35.:25:39.

particularly for the South, back at you 14,000 new homes. That is it.

:25:40.:25:45.

What we have seen before, how the local government can leveraged to

:25:46.:25:49.

build thousands more homes. That is what we want to see across the

:25:50.:25:53.

country. It is not just about the money, for a lot of local

:25:54.:25:56.

authorities it is about the expertise and knowledge on how to do

:25:57.:26:02.

this. That is why support from the housing communities minister will

:26:03.:26:06.

help. What is the timescale, how many more affordable homes will be

:26:07.:26:13.

built? I will not put a number on it. You announced it today, so you

:26:14.:26:18.

cannot tell me how many more or what the target is? It is a matter of

:26:19.:26:22.

working with the local authorities who know what their local needs are,

:26:23.:26:25.

what land they have got available. What we saw through the local

:26:26.:26:29.

elections with the Metro mayors, they want to deliver in their areas,

:26:30.:26:34.

whether it is the West of England, the north-east, Liverpool,

:26:35.:26:37.

Manchester and we want to work with them. You have said variations of

:26:38.:26:43.

this for the past seven years and I want some credibility. When you

:26:44.:26:46.

cannot tell us how much money, what the target and timescale is, and

:26:47.:26:52.

this government, under which affordable house building has fallen

:26:53.:26:57.

to a 24 year low. 1.2 million families are on waiting lists for

:26:58.:27:01.

social housing to rent. That is your record. Why should we believe a word

:27:02.:27:07.

you say? This is different to what we have been doing over the last two

:27:08.:27:12.

years. We want to develop and have a strong and stable economy that can

:27:13.:27:16.

sustain that 1.4 billion homes. This is important. In 2010, we inherited

:27:17.:27:25.

the lowest level of house building, 75,000 new homes. That is about

:27:26.:27:30.

189,000 over the last four years. That is a big step forward after the

:27:31.:27:34.

crash, getting people back into the industry. More first-time buyers

:27:35.:27:45.

onto the market. Final question, in 2010, 2011, your first year in

:27:46.:27:49.

government, there were 60,000 affordable homes built. May not be

:27:50.:27:56.

enough, but last day it was 30 2000. So why should we trust anything you

:27:57.:28:02.

say about this? On housing, we have delivered. We have delivered more

:28:03.:28:09.

social housing. Double what Labour did in 13 years, in just five years.

:28:10.:28:15.

This is what this policy is about, working with local authorities to

:28:16.:28:18.

deliver more homes to people in their local areas. Thank you.

:28:19.:28:22.

Now, they have a deficit of between 15 and 20% in the polls,

:28:23.:28:25.

but Jeremy Corbyn and those around him insist Labour can win.

:28:26.:28:28.

If the polls are right they've got three and half weeks to change

:28:29.:28:31.

voters' minds and persuade those fabled undecided voters

:28:32.:28:33.

We enlisted the polling organisation YouGov to help us find out how

:28:34.:28:38.

the performance of party leaders will affect behaviour

:28:39.:28:40.

Leeds, a city of three quarters of a million people,

:28:41.:28:49.

eight Parliamentary seats and home to our very own focus group.

:28:50.:28:54.

Our panel was recruited from a variety of backgrounds

:28:55.:28:57.

and the majority say they haven't decided who to vote for yet.

:28:58.:29:01.

Watching behind the glass, two experts on different sides

:29:02.:29:03.

Giles Cunningham, who headed up political press at Downing Street

:29:04.:29:10.

under David Cameron and Aaron Bastani, Corbin supporter,

:29:11.:29:17.

under David Cameron and Aaron Bastani, Corbyn supporter,

:29:18.:29:19.

I think Theresa May sees herself as a pound shop Thatcher.

:29:20.:29:23.

Milliband's policies but when it came

:29:24.:29:43.

about who you want, if you wake up on maybe a 2015,

:29:44.:29:47.

We found in a couple of focus groups, people saying

:29:48.:29:50.

we'd be quite relieved, even though some of those same

:29:51.:29:53.

people have been saying we quite like the Labour policies.

:29:54.:29:55.

I think the fact that Corbyn's going so hard on his values,

:29:56.:30:00.

this is a really progressive manifesto, they live

:30:01.:30:01.

But I think that's a new challenge, that wasn't there in 2015.

:30:02.:30:06.

Is there anyone here that you don't recognise?

:30:07.:30:08.

After a little warm up, the first exercise, recognising

:30:09.:30:10.

I think it's nice to have a strong woman in politics, I do.

:30:11.:30:17.

But I've got to say, when she comes on the news,

:30:18.:30:19.

I kind of do think, here we go again.

:30:20.:30:22.

Tell me about Tim Farron, what are your impressions of Tim Farron?

:30:23.:30:24.

It isn't going to do anything, it isn't going to change anything.

:30:25.:30:29.

You'll be surprised to hear it's actually the Greens.

:30:30.:30:37.

Strong and stable leadership in the national interest.

:30:38.:30:50.

Yes, Team May, it's the British equivalent of make

:30:51.:30:55.

What do we think about this one for the many and not the few?

:30:56.:31:04.

It's not quite as bad as strong and stable,

:31:05.:31:07.

but it will probably get on our nerves after a while.

:31:08.:31:09.

We must seize that chance today and every day until June the 8th.

:31:10.:31:20.

But that's not quite my question, my question is,

:31:21.:31:27.

if you are Prime Minister, we will leave, come hell or high

:31:28.:31:30.

water, whatever is on the table at the end of the negotiations?

:31:31.:31:33.

If we win the election, we'll get a good deal with Europe.

:31:34.:31:36.

Assertive and in control and he felt comfortable

:31:37.:31:38.

But the second one, I thought he was very hesitant.

:31:39.:31:43.

I thought he was kind of, hovering around, skirting around

:31:44.:31:52.

and that's the second time I've seen a similar

:31:53.:31:55.

interview with the question being asked regarding Brexit.

:31:56.:31:56.

I don't think I'd have any confidence with him

:31:57.:31:59.

You think you are going up against some quite strong people,

:32:00.:32:02.

how are you going to stand up for us?

:32:03.:32:04.

When you are in negotiations, you need to be tough.

:32:05.:32:09.

And actually is right to be tough sometimes,

:32:10.:32:11.

particularly when you are doing something for the country.

:32:12.:32:13.

There's a reason for talking about strong and stable leadership.

:32:14.:32:16.

It's about the future of the country, it's

:32:17.:32:18.

It's just that people kind of listen to that kind of thing and think

:32:19.:32:22.

Both on The One Show and in the news.

:32:23.:32:28.

She attracts the public better than what Corbyn does.

:32:29.:32:34.

She didn't answer the question in a more articular way than Corbyn

:32:35.:32:37.

Imagine that Theresa May is an animal.

:32:38.:32:43.

So, in your minds, what animal is coming to mind

:32:44.:32:46.

I've done a Pekinese because I think she's all bark and no bite.

:32:47.:33:00.

Alpaca because she's superior looking and woolly

:33:01.:33:06.

I don't think his policies are for the modern, real world.

:33:07.:33:22.

A mouse because they are weak and they can be easily bullied,

:33:23.:33:25.

but also they can catch you by surprise if you're

:33:26.:33:28.

What do you take away from what you saw then,

:33:29.:33:36.

and what message would you send back to the Tories now?

:33:37.:33:39.

I think what came over is people see Theresa May as a strong politician,

:33:40.:33:42.

not everyone likes her, but you don't need to be

:33:43.:33:44.

liked to be elected, because ultimately it's about who do

:33:45.:33:47.

you trust with your future and your security.

:33:48.:33:49.

I think what I also take out of that focus group,

:33:50.:33:51.

was it was a group of floating voters, there was no huge appetite

:33:52.:33:54.

for the Lib Dems and there was no huge appetite for Ukip.

:33:55.:33:57.

So my messaged back to CCHQ would be stick to the plan.

:33:58.:34:00.

I thought the response to the manifesto was excellent.

:34:01.:34:04.

It's clear that people aren't particularly keen on Theresa May,

:34:05.:34:06.

There are some associations with her about strength and stability,

:34:07.:34:11.

which is exactly what the Tory party want of course, but they are not

:34:12.:34:14.

positive and nobody thinks that she has a vision

:34:15.:34:16.

So, what I'd say the Jeremy Corbyn, what I'd say to the Labour Party is,

:34:17.:34:23.

they need to really emphasise the manifesto in

:34:24.:34:25.

Jeremy Corbyn himself has to perform out of his skin and I think

:34:26.:34:31.

he has to reemphasise those characteristics which may be have

:34:32.:34:34.

come to the fore may be over the last 12 months,

:34:35.:34:36.

resilience, strength and the fact that he's come this far,

:34:37.:34:39.

why not take that final step and go into ten Downing Street?

:34:40.:34:41.

We're joined now by the American political consultant

:34:42.:34:43.

For the sake of this discussion, assume the polls at the moment are

:34:44.:34:53.

broadly right, is there any hope for Mr Corbyn in the undecided voters?

:34:54.:34:59.

Know, and this is a very serious collection with serious consequences

:35:00.:35:03.

to who wins. Nobody cares whether you can draw and what animal they

:35:04.:35:07.

represent, they want to know where they stand, and I felt that was

:35:08.:35:11.

frivolous. I come to Britain to watch elections because I learned

:35:12.:35:17.

from here. Your elections are more substantial, more serious, more

:35:18.:35:20.

policy and less about personality and that peace was only about

:35:21.:35:25.

personality. That's partly because Mrs May has decided to make this a

:35:26.:35:29.

presidential election. You can see on the posters it is all Team May. I

:35:30.:35:44.

agree with that, and in her language she says not everyone benefits from

:35:45.:35:48.

a Conservative government, I don't see how using anything Republicans

:35:49.:35:52.

have used in the past. In fact her campaign is more of a centrist

:35:53.:35:56.

Democrats but it is a smart strategy because it pushes Corbyn further to

:35:57.:36:02.

the left. Of course you said Hillary Clinton have won. On election night

:36:03.:36:06.

the polling was so bad in America, the exit polls that were done, the

:36:07.:36:12.

BBC told America she had won. No, I was anchoring the programme that

:36:13.:36:18.

night, I ignored your tweet. The BBC had the same numbers. Yes, but we

:36:19.:36:26.

did not say she had won, I can assure you of that. Because of

:36:27.:36:30.

people like you we thought she had but we didn't broadcast it. That was

:36:31.:36:37.

a smart approach. My point is other than teasing you, maybe there is

:36:38.:36:42.

hope for Jeremy Corbyn. I think you will have one of the lowest turnout

:36:43.:36:47.

in modern history and I think Labour will fall to one of the lowest

:36:48.:36:51.

percentages, not percentage of number of seats they have had, and

:36:52.:36:57.

this will be a matter of soul-searching for both political

:36:58.:37:01.

parties. What you do with a sizeable majority, and she has a

:37:02.:37:04.

responsibility to tell the British people exactly what happens as she

:37:05.:37:10.

moves forward. He and Labour will have to take a look at whether they

:37:11.:37:15.

still represent a significant slice of the British population. Do you

:37:16.:37:20.

see a realignment in British politics taking place? I see a

:37:21.:37:24.

crumbling of the left and yet there is still a significant percentage of

:37:25.:37:28.

the British population that once someone who is centre-left. And they

:37:29.:37:38.

like a lot of Mr Corbyn's policies. I'm listening to Michael foot. I

:37:39.:37:40.

went to school here in the 1980s and I feel like I'm watching the Labour

:37:41.:37:43.

Party of 35 years ago, in a population that wants to focus on

:37:44.:37:45.

the future, not the past. Thank you. It's just gone 11.35,

:37:46.:37:51.

you're watching the Sunday Politics. We say goodbye to viewers

:37:52.:37:53.

in Scotland, who leave us now Coming up here in 20

:37:54.:37:56.

minutes, the Week Ahead. Coming up here in 20

:37:57.:00:58.

Tories are saying. It is a very emotive subject and we have run out

:00:59.:00:59.

of time. On Thursday nominations closed

:01:00.:01:07.

in the 650 parliamentary seats across the country,

:01:08.:01:11.

so now we know exactly who's We've been analysing the parties'

:01:12.:01:14.

candidates to find out what they might tell us

:01:15.:01:21.

about the make-up of the House Well, we know Theresa May is

:01:22.:01:23.

committed to delivering Brexit and analysis of Conservative

:01:24.:01:28.

candidates has shown that in their top 100 target seats,

:01:29.:01:33.

37 candidates supported leave during last year's referendum

:01:34.:01:35.

campaign and 20 supported remain; 43

:01:36.:01:43.

have not made public In the last parliament,

:01:44.:01:45.

the vast majority of Labour MPs were hostile to Jeremy Corbyn so how

:01:46.:01:52.

supportive are Labour Well, of 50 of Labour's

:01:53.:01:54.

top 100 target seats 17 candidates have expressed

:01:55.:02:00.

support for Mr Corbyn. 20 candidates supported Owen Smith

:02:01.:02:03.

in last year's leadership contest or have expressed

:02:04.:02:08.

anti-Corbyn sentiment, and If they won those,

:02:09.:02:12.

the Labour benches would be marginally more sympathetic

:02:13.:02:18.

to Mr Corbyn than they are now. What do the figures tell us

:02:19.:02:20.

about where the other Well, the Lib Dems have decided not

:02:21.:02:22.

to stand against the Greens in Brighton Pavilion,

:02:23.:02:26.

and are fielding 629 candidates this year -

:02:27.:02:28.

that's two fewer than 2015. The number of Ukip candidates has

:02:29.:02:31.

fallen dramatically. They are standing in 247 fewer

:02:32.:02:34.

constituencies than 2015, throwing their support behind

:02:35.:02:41.

solidly pro-Brexit Tories in some areas such as Lewes

:02:42.:02:43.

and Norfolk North. The Greens are fielding

:02:44.:02:47.

103 fewer candidates than at the last election,

:02:48.:02:51.

standing down to help other progressive candidates

:02:52.:03:02.

in some places. The most liking statistic is the

:03:03.:03:15.

demise in Ukip candidates, is this their swansong? And I think so. It

:03:16.:03:21.

is remarkable how few Ukip candidates are standing. It is hard

:03:22.:03:29.

to see they will suddenly revive in the next couple of years. I think

:03:30.:03:39.

this is probably the end. Frank Luntz mentioned the fragmentation of

:03:40.:03:43.

the left was a feature of this election, but also there is the

:03:44.:03:46.

consolidation of the right, and if you take the things together that

:03:47.:03:50.

could explain why the polls are where they are. Absolutely, that's

:03:51.:03:54.

precisely what happened at the start of the 1980s, the right was

:03:55.:04:00.

incredibly united and that's when we started talking about majorities of

:04:01.:04:06.

over 100 or so. No matter what the size of Theresa May's majority, it

:04:07.:04:12.

will be the total collapse of Ukip, but not just because we are now

:04:13.:04:18.

leaving the EU and that was their only reason for being, but a whole

:04:19.:04:22.

lot of people voted for Ukip because they felt the Tories were no longer

:04:23.:04:30.

listening. Theresa May has given the impression that she is listening,

:04:31.:04:33.

and that is the biggest possible thing that could happen to the Tory

:04:34.:04:42.

vote. Fragmentation of the left, consolidation of the right? It's one

:04:43.:04:47.

of the lessons that is never learnt, it happened in the 1980s, it doesn't

:04:48.:04:51.

take much for the whole thing to fracture so now you have on the

:04:52.:04:55.

centre-left the SNP, the Labour Party, the Greens, the Liberal

:04:56.:05:02.

Democrats all competing for the same votes and when you have, fleetingly

:05:03.:05:06.

perhaps, large numbers coalescing on the right in one party, there is

:05:07.:05:12.

only going to be one outcome. It happens regularly. It doesn't mean

:05:13.:05:17.

the Tories haven't got their own fragility. Two years ago, David

:05:18.:05:22.

Cameron and George Osborne the dominant figures, neither are in

:05:23.:05:25.

Parliament now which is a symptom of the fragility this election is

:05:26.:05:31.

disguising. Mrs May's position in a way reminds me of Mrs Thatcher in

:05:32.:05:36.

the 1980s, I won't be outflanked on the right, Nicolas Sarkozy in

:05:37.:05:41.

France, I won't be outflanked on the right, so the National Front didn't

:05:42.:05:44.

get through either timed he ran to the second round on like this time,

:05:45.:05:49.

and now Mrs May on Brexit won't be outflanked Iver and as a result has

:05:50.:05:55.

seen off right flank. And also she is looking to the left as well with

:05:56.:05:59.

some of the state interventions. What was interesting about the

:06:00.:06:02.

analysis you showed a few minutes ago was the number of Tory

:06:03.:06:06.

candidates who have apparently not declared which way they voted in the

:06:07.:06:10.

referendum, and you would have thought if this election was all

:06:11.:06:15.

about Brexit, as some would claim, that would become an unsustainable

:06:16.:06:18.

position, and actually more it's about leadership. But the point that

:06:19.:06:23.

I'm now hearing from a number of Labour candidates that they are

:06:24.:06:30.

seeing Tory leaflets that don't even have the Tory candidate's name on

:06:31.:06:35.

them, it is just about Theresa May. I am glad they are keeping to the

:06:36.:06:40.

law because by law they have to put it on. It has been harder for some

:06:41.:06:44.

of the smaller parties too because of the speed of the election being

:06:45.:06:51.

called. We have the manifesto is coming out this week. I think Labour

:06:52.:06:56.

Forshaw on Tuesday, we are not yet sure when the Tories will bring

:06:57.:07:01.

bears out. I suggest one thing, it will at least for people like me

:07:02.:07:06.

bring an end to the question you will have to wait for the manifesto.

:07:07.:07:13.

And Rebecca Long baby will never have that excuse again, isn't it

:07:14.:07:23.

wonderful! She is not the only one. When you are trying to take the

:07:24.:07:27.

north and Midlands from Labour, I would go to one or the other. For

:07:28.:07:32.

me, I can barely hold back my excitement over the Tory manifesto.

:07:33.:07:37.

This will be, I think, the most important day for the British

:07:38.:07:40.

government for the next five years. That wasn't irony there? You

:07:41.:07:49.

actually meant that? I'm not even being cynical at all on Sunday

:07:50.:07:53.

Politics! This is a huge day and it's because I think we will see...

:07:54.:08:02.

I don't think Mrs May will play it safe and I don't think we will get

:08:03.:08:06.

the broadbrush stuff that she might be advised to do. I think she will

:08:07.:08:10.

lay out precisely what you want to do over the next five years and take

:08:11.:08:16.

some big risks. Then finally after a year of this guessing and

:08:17.:08:19.

theorising, we will finally work out what Mrs May is all about. She will

:08:20.:08:23.

say she doesn't want the next parliament to be all about Brexit,

:08:24.:08:27.

though she knows that's the next important thing she has to deliver

:08:28.:08:31.

in some way, so she gets a mandate for that if the polls are right but

:08:32.:08:33.

she does have very different ideas from

:08:34.:08:47.

Mr Cameron about how to run a country. She will I assume one to

:08:48.:08:49.

mandate for what these different ideas are. Otherwise there is no

:08:50.:08:52.

point in holding an early election. You will get a majority, but if you

:08:53.:08:55.

get a mandate to carry on implementing the Cameron and Osborne

:08:56.:08:58.

manifesto it would be utterly pointless. I agree, it is the

:08:59.:09:01.

pivotal event of the election and it will be interesting to see the

:09:02.:09:05.

degree to which she expands on the line which interests me about its

:09:06.:09:10.

time to look at the good that government can do. Because in a way

:09:11.:09:16.

this moves the debate on in UK politics from, from 97 the Blair

:09:17.:09:20.

Brown governments were insecure about arguing about the role of

:09:21.:09:25.

government. Cameron Osborne government similarly so, so here you

:09:26.:09:28.

have a Labour Party talking about the role of government and the

:09:29.:09:32.

state, and Tory leader apparently doing so was well. I think that will

:09:33.:09:36.

be really interesting to see whether it is fleshed out in any significant

:09:37.:09:43.

way. And it is not a natural Tory message. Harold Macmillan talked

:09:44.:09:46.

about the role of the state, Ted Heath Mark two was pretty big on the

:09:47.:09:54.

state, the industrial policy and so on, and even if it is not thought to

:09:55.:09:59.

be that Tory, does she get away with it because she deliver such a big

:10:00.:10:04.

victory if that's what she does deliver? Just inject a little note

:10:05.:10:10.

of scepticism, I wonder how much of this is authentically Theresa May. I

:10:11.:10:16.

was interested to and talk to someone who used to sit in cabinet

:10:17.:10:21.

meetings during which Theresa May never expressed an opinion on

:10:22.:10:25.

anything outside the Home Office briefs. Other ministers were roving

:10:26.:10:31.

all over their colleagues' briefs. So where are the ideas coming from?

:10:32.:10:38.

I think we can point to Nick Timothy. One of her closest advisers

:10:39.:10:44.

in Downing Street. It will be interesting to see how that evolves.

:10:45.:10:50.

On Thursday I think we will all be talking about something called

:10:51.:11:01.

Urdington Toryism. Urdington is the suburb of Birmingham where Nick

:11:02.:11:05.

Timothy comes from, who is very much Theresa May's policy brain and

:11:06.:11:12.

leading inspiration. Urdington Toryism is about connecting the

:11:13.:11:15.

party with traditional working class voters, and their belief to do that

:11:16.:11:20.

is not just taking away government out of their lives but showing them

:11:21.:11:24.

that government can actually help their lives. It can be a force for

:11:25.:11:33.

good to rebuild the trust. A lot of what Mrs May talks about is all...

:11:34.:11:40.

It is talk and then a lot of it suddenly goes by the wayside. What

:11:41.:11:48.

happened to worker directors on the boards. It is designed to appeal to

:11:49.:11:53.

that constituency and then nothing happens. She had an excuse before in

:11:54.:11:58.

the sense that it wasn't in the 2015 manifesto and she had a small

:11:59.:12:02.

majority so therefore she arguably had to water down some of the stuff

:12:03.:12:06.

for example in her Tory conference speech, which had a lot of this

:12:07.:12:10.

active government material in it. If she puts it in the manifesto, it is

:12:11.:12:15.

a sign she plans to do it and will have no excuse if she then gets

:12:16.:12:19.

nervous afterwards because it will be in there. If it wasn't for

:12:20.:12:24.

Brexit, this great overwhelming issue, I think this election will be

:12:25.:12:28.

seen as quite a significant development in terms of an argument

:12:29.:12:33.

around the role of government, much-needed. But Brexit

:12:34.:12:37.

unfortunately overshadows it all. As much as we like our arguments over

:12:38.:12:42.

the role of government we will hear strong and stable, stable and strong

:12:43.:12:49.

ad nauseam, aren't we? Absolutely, and we heard the same old lines from

:12:50.:12:53.

the Labour Party as well so they are all at it. It will be a fascinating

:12:54.:13:01.

week, stop talking it down! Thanks to our panel.

:13:02.:13:03.

The Daily Politics will be back on BBC Two at noon

:13:04.:13:06.

I'll be back here at the same time on BBC One next Sunday.

:13:07.:13:10.

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

:13:11.:13:45.

When it came to my TV habits, I'd watch anything...

:13:46.:13:48.

But now I can sign in online and get more of what I love.

:13:49.:13:52.

I'm kept up to date with the shows I love

:13:53.:13:55.

and I get suggestions on subjects I'll like.

:13:56.:13:59.