17/02/2017 The Papers


17/02/2017

No need to wait to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines.


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Hello and welcome to our look ahead to what the papers will be

:00:14.:00:16.

With me are Lindsay Razaq, Westminster correspondent

:00:17.:00:23.

at the Scottish newspaper The Press and Journal, and Kevin Schofield,

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It's reporting that Britain's third largest company, Unilever,

:00:29.:00:43.

has rejected a ?115 billion takeover offer by the American

:00:44.:00:46.

The Independent leads with an exclusive report,

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saying more than 600,000 patients could be denied access

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to life-saving clinical trials after Brexit.

:00:59.:01:00.

on Tony Blair's Brexit warning, saying he faced a backlash

:01:01.:01:03.

from Labour MPs for fuelling the party's divisions before

:01:04.:01:06.

The Times predicts the number of home transactions completed

:01:07.:01:11.

in Britain will fall by 11% this year, the lowest levels

:01:12.:01:13.

The Daily Mail focuses on planned sharp rises in business rates,

:01:14.:01:22.

saying the increase will turn Britain into a "retail wasteland".

:01:23.:01:30.

And the NHS features, reporting on a looming staff crisis as recruitment

:01:31.:01:38.

struggles to keep pace with retirement. You were surprised Tony

:01:39.:01:44.

Blair was not on that many front pages. I thought he would be on all

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of them. He is on the front page of the Guardian, he looks like he is

:01:51.:01:54.

praying. He knew he would spark fury. It was not just about Brexit,

:01:55.:02:00.

it was about Labour. He admitted that, he said he knew there would be

:02:01.:02:05.

a volume of abuse in response to his speech. But it has not just come

:02:06.:02:10.

from the people who want to leave, Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith,

:02:11.:02:14.

they have all come out saying that the will of the people should be

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respected, but also there is criticism from Labour saying that

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the timing of this is really bad with two by elections coming up and

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it is unhelpful for Jeremy Corbyn. A couple of weeks ago we had Article

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50 coming through the Commons and he backed that I'd ordered his MPs to

:02:33.:02:37.

back it and not block it and this flies in the face of that. Not very

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helpful for Jeremy Corbyn. The Guardian is focusing on the reaction

:02:43.:02:49.

to the speech and he expected that reaction, he was almost saying,

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bring it on. He picks and chooses his moments these days, not being in

:02:55.:03:00.

the of British politics any more. So when Tony Blair enters the political

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debate it is a big event and everybody wants to be there. He is

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still a political superstar. He knew what he was doing and the best line

:03:10.:03:15.

in the speech was probably when he is essentially blamed Jeremy Corbyn

:03:16.:03:19.

and labour for Brexit, saying Labour was in such a parlous state. He says

:03:20.:03:27.

he does not and people close to him have said to me that he does not

:03:28.:03:31.

want to set up his own centralist party. Do you buy that? I do. I do

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not sense there is much appetite. He is talking about movement. As a

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political campaign, as a cross-party campaign to fight against Brexit as

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opposed to setting up a whole new party. It is fraught with

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difficulty, especially in our first past the post system. It is set up

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as a 2-party system, so to break into is difficult. You can get 4

:03:59.:04:05.

million votes and only get one seat, so it is very difficult to do that,

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so the best he can do is influence the political debate from the

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sidelines with like-minded politicians. Nick Clegg was one of

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the first people to come out on Twitter to say he agreed with every

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word that he said. He said similar things in the past. People like Nick

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Clegg and Tony Blair have the EU in their DNA. They have met a lot at

:04:31.:04:37.

meetings. Tim Farron as well. They have been discussing this for quite

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some time. He also strayed into the Scottish independence debate as

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well. I do not think he had to go there. He said the possible break-up

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of the UK is on the table. I think he said the case for Scottish

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independence is much more credible in the context of post-referendum

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voting. Nicola Sturgeon commended him. He got some support. The Daily

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Express put it quite bluntly, arrogant Tony Blair tries to block

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Brexit. A new poll reveals an increasing number of voters are

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demanding get us out of the EU. This is incredible. Yes, it is ICM,

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respected pollsters. 68% responded to get us out of the EU now. That is

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the big problem that somebody like Tony Blair has got. All the polls

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that we have seen since the Brexit vote, none of them have indicated

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there has been any change of heart by people. Now most people accept

:05:49.:05:53.

it, regardless of whether they voted remain or leave. They accept that is

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the result and they have to get on with leaving. There is no indication

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out there that there is a massive clamour. He acknowledged that to be

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fair. He said there was no widespread appetite for this, but he

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said people should have the right to have an informed to say. It is by no

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means scientific and not as scientific as an ICM poll, but I

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discussed this with Ian Watson earlier tonight, when you go on

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radio phone in shows, a couple of which I present, you do get people

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who voted for Brexit who are very angry. They do not feel they are

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getting what they voted for. They do not feel the white paper that was

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produced was about the core issue of immigration. They still feel they

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are being short-changed. They also feel it is taking too much time. I

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speak to MPs who tell you that their constituents do not understand why

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we have not left the European Union now. They think in a general

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election you change government and it happens that day. Does it not

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suggest, and this is not my opinion before you start tweeting, does it

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not suggest the possibility that there are people who are confused

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and they did not know what they were voting for? It looks like it needs

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looking into. But you did not know what you were voting for at that

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point. The Lib Dems have repeatedly said that the EU referendum was a

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vote to leave and there should be another referendum on the

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destination. He is saying the first vote was when people were not

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informed and there are those who want to see it delivered

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straightaway and as quickly as possible. Shall we move on to the

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Daily Mail. It is our headline. It is talking about business rates and

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business rate rises. My understanding is it is like council

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tax for people who own shops and businesses. Essentially, yes. There

:08:02.:08:07.

is a formula to the way it is calculated and there has been a

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revaluation, the first one in seven years and it looks like that's small

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to medium-sized shops and businesses will be clobbered in April when they

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have to pay their bill. This has been a bit of a slow burn as far as

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the government is concerned and it has almost blindsided them and there

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is a real head of steam building up against these rises. For some shops

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it is thousands of pounds, a massive increase in their rates, which they

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will have to find from somewhere and they will have to make people

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redundant or increase prices. There is a lot of pain coming and there is

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a head of steam behind this campaign to get the government to try and

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perhaps in the budget if the Chancellor can bring in some kind of

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relief for the businesses which are going to be worst affected. They

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cannot overturn the idea. The shopkeeper, a guy called Tom Innis,

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a wine merchant in Monmouth in Wales has written to the secretary in the

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Treasury and it is a strong letter. He is accusing the government of

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being completely out of touch, stuck in Westminster, they do not realise

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what the reality is like out there and the high street is on its knees

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and shops are empty. Another interesting point to raise is that

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from today the growth is much slower than predicted as well, there is a

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downturn on what consumers are willing to spend. Exactly, I do not

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know how the formula works, but it is slightly perverse and that the

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larger businesses like supermarkets will see their rates coming down,

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while smaller, less profitable businesses will end up paying more.

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The whole thing seems a terrible mess and the government will have to

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sort it out quickly. The government is arguing it will be better for

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most and worse for a few. They are arguing some people will do better

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and they are also arguing that this system needs to be brought up to

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date with property prices. That is the point they were making. We were

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quite surprised when we saw the headline in the Daily Mail. Why are

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they splashing the views of one shopkeeper, but when you read the

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letter, it begins, what a pity you have not got out into the real

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world. It is quite a compelling letter. The Daily Telegraph, new

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rebellion over the rates. It looks like it is not just going to be the

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public business owners that will be fighting, there will be some

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political comeback. You see a bit of cross-party agreement in this

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article between three influential people from three different parties,

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taking a similar line on it. It is mentioned in this story, which we do

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not see in the Daily Mail I don't think, that this will not just

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affect businesses, not the private sector, but the NHS will be affected

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as well because it owns premises and it has to pay these rates as well.

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It is not just businesses. The knock-on effect is what we end up

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paying for goods and services. It will be and inflation is already

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starting to creep up. A lady was on the telly earlier on and the

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estimates were that her business rates would go up from 20,000 up to

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40 7000. The only way is to pass that on to your customers. An

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interesting story on the front page of the Telegraph. A warning over

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street names. I know there was a Jimmy Savile Street in Scarborough,

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but there seem to be a few of them and it has raised concerns over

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other street names. There are hundreds of pathways, street names

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and plaques named after Jimmy Savile. There is some advice from a

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Local Government Association, which is incredible. You have to look at

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the top of the page to see whether it is not April the 1st. Councils do

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not name a street after people just in case in the future at some point

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it turns out they are paedophiles or involved in some other unseemly

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behaviour, or criminal activity. Where do you draw the line? You draw

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the line by saying we will never do it again. And you end up with a town

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with street eight, street B, street C. Marcus Jones is the Minister for

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local government and he says it is a nice way of honouring heroes. It is

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a good way of recognising that people have done something special.

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The idea that you would bring in a blanket ban because of just in case

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seems ludicrous. A sledgehammer effect. Darren Dodwell, the leader

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of Dagenham and Barking Council, he said they would have probably

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thought twice about Trafalgar Square! Or Nelson Mandela straight.

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What does it take to change the name of the street? Scarborough Council

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were very quick to get rid of Jimmy Savile Road. We are looking at the

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FT. There are a lot of fantastic business stories around at the

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moment. Unilever's snub to craft Hinds. You have found an interesting

:13:53.:14:00.

story on the front page about the pound cawing, the future of the

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pound chorion. This is David Cork again, the Chief Secretary to the

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Treasury. We cannot keep him out of the papers. He is not focusing on

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business rates, he is saying that people will have to spend their ?1

:14:16.:14:20.

chorion is, the current style... They are great to save. They have

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worked it out that there are ?433 million worth of ?1 coins that are

:14:27.:14:32.

not in circulation, they are down the back of the city, in the piggy

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bank. We do not have any in our house. I am a bit rubbish at change.

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I just tend to leave it everywhere, so I have got one of those barrels

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you have in the bottom of your wardrobe and if I found ?1, it is in

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there. We have now got to read our piggy banks to keep the economy

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going. It is about half ?1 billion. Children like saving ?1 coins. They

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could start saving the new style 12 sided ?1 coins. The current style is

:15:08.:15:15.

very easy to forge, so they could do that. The saddest thing is you have

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to go into the piggy bank to get a few quid because you cannot find it

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anywhere else. I cannot believe I am reading it. It is good that kids

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need to save their hard earned pocket money. If you have got anyone

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pound coins, start spending them I suppose. That is one of the stories

:15:40.:15:45.

in the FT tomorrow. Much more about Unilever in the FT. Let's move the

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times. It dedicates front page, or nearly all of it, to the Olympic

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champion hockey players who are receiving the OBE and the MBE at

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Buckingham Palace. It is a very different and almost uplifting

:16:06.:16:10.

story. Maybe we needed it. The honours system gets a lot of

:16:11.:16:14.

criticism, quite rightly, because it is used by Prime Minister is to

:16:15.:16:20.

reward cronies and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth and taint the

:16:21.:16:24.

whole process, but this is thoroughly deserved. The Olympics

:16:25.:16:28.

was incredibly successful for Team GB and Kate and Helen were also part

:16:29.:16:34.

of the surprise gold medal winning women's hockey team which beat

:16:35.:16:39.

Holland in the final. It was a dramatic game. It is nice to see

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people being rewarded. It is very uplifting, which is something we

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need right now, there is a lot of doom and gloom will stop Kate has

:16:50.:16:56.

retired, what a lot of hives to go out on. I remember watching the game

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and we went to penalties, so it was very exciting. They are also

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married, so it is a great day for them. Kate said she wanted to be a

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PE teacher when she was at school, but she said this was like being in

:17:12.:17:17.

a movie it was so exciting. I think they are dubbed hockey's golden

:17:18.:17:22.

couple. A great day for both of them. It is uplifting in terms of GB

:17:23.:17:29.

women's hockey. It was our first Olympic gold medal and they have

:17:30.:17:33.

done a lot for the sport. A lot of people around the country will be

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getting involved. We have got to leave it there. Thank you for coming

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in. You can see the front pages online on the website.

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It's all there for you, seven days a week, at bbc.co.uk/papers.

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If you miss the programme any evening, you can watch it

:17:54.:17:56.

Thank you, Lindsay Razaq and Kevin Schofield.

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