24/06/2017 The Papers


24/06/2017

No need to wait until tomorrow morning 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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On Meet the Author, my guest is bestselling crime writer Martina

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Cole. We will talk about her latest novel the Betrayal 25 years after

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her first, Dangerous Lady. who's deputy head of sport

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at The Sun, and the journalist

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and broadcaster Rachel Shabi. We start with tomorrow's

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front pages. The Observer leads with fire safety

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in schools, saying proposals to relax standards

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are to be dropped by ministers. Prince Harry dominates the front

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page of the Mail of Sunday, saying he considered

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quitting his royal role, Blackmail fears after MPs hit

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by cyber attack. The cyber attack is also the main

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story on the Sunday Times, who report there was fury

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at the time it took for the incident And the Express leads

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with an image of Jeremy Corbyn, saying he ignored Armed Forces Day

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invitations to appear Lots of concerns over the safety of

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high rise buildings to the fore. The Observer leads with that - ministers

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in panic over fire safety at schools. Assist guests and they

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would relax standards to save money but now they have thought better of

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it -- a suggestion. It appears to be a plan that was due to be in

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fermented post-election with the Department of education. --

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implemented. However, the events of ten days ago seemed to have focused

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minds. According to the draft guidelines, school buildings do not

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need to be completely protected to achieve a reasonable standard of

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life safety, so it would no longer include an expectation that most new

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school buildings would be fitted with them. Unsurprisingly, things

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have changed somewhat. Yes, no one can afford to take that risk, can

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they, and that's where the tension rises between the cost it's going to

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take and the amount it's going to cost and the requirement to keep

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everybody safe? Yeah, and this is what the story on the front page of

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the Observer is pointing out, that this U-turn over the fire safety

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proposals is signalling a shift in the government, so moving away from

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prioritising cost-cutting to prioritising health and safety,

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which is of course what you'd hope they'd have done to begin with. But

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it does... This whole issue of regulations around fire safety,

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around building materials, it does shine a light on what has been

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conservative practice for some years. This is the government that

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under Cameron was gloating about cutting red tape because there were

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ridiculous health and safety measures that were getting in the

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way of companies making money. This is what they were talking about a

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few years ago. That was very much a line they were pursuing, and, you

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know, things like that do have consequences, and tragically in this

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case. If we look back, there will be potentially many, many years where

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successive governments of all colours will not have necessarily

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spent the money on these buildings that they might have. We've all seen

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for many years these tower blocks all over the country. We are

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talking, at the moment, 34 blocks in 17 areas. That's 600 blocks that

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still have to be tested and there are concerns about those. This is a

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systemic failure, this is not one government, one council. This is

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over a period of time. I accept what you're saying because their result

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that talk about red tape and all that nonsense... That was under

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Cameron. Nevertheless this is a wider issue because in Camden I saw

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they put out a press release a couple of days ago where they

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thought a certain type of cladding could be put on the buildings, and

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they've now tested it and found out it was an inferior, cheaper version

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of the cladding that they didn't know had been put on the buildings.

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So is this contractual, the local government or councils themselves

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not doing sufficient testing? What we do know is that this is going to

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be a hugely expensive, frighteningly expensive issue now for government,

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because local government simply can't afford to find the money for

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this. It hasn't got the money to pay for these revamps and retests. Where

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does the money come from and what other budgets will be found? This

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was never even considered as a concept until ten days ago. That's

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how huge the impact is, because this will have an impact for years and

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years to come. The Sunday Telegraph is talking about another problem,

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not just cladding, but this time installation, which is the real

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threat, safety experts are warning, and they are quoting fire safety

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experts in this, a man in charge of the Tall Buildings Fire Safety

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Network, saying this material should be removed from all of those, and

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that material inside properties. This is material behind the

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panelling, so still cladding, but behind the panels. It's not the

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visible stuff. Yes, and that's the stuff that is highly flammable. What

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they are saying is, why would you test the coating, the panel, and not

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the material that is behind it, that is the insulating material? So we

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are all, every piece of this points to just more and more potential

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problems and risks in buildings that are being used, and buildings that

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people are living in, and, yeah, it does point to something that does

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need to be co-ordinated on a national scale, because the

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consequences are huge. Some aspects of safety and regulations are not

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just national, are they? They are European Union regulations as well.

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So we are supposed to have got safer and safer with increasing

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regulations. We have been told that some of the materials used in the UK

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are legal in the UK but not in Europe, not in the United States.

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Are our lives worth less than those elsewhere? It's astonishing. It's

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also surprising given we are signed up, still, the regulations that have

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been, that we've agreed to, with the rest of Europe, that we don't seem

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to observe the same regulations. It is surprising, but then it isn't

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when you look at this culture of seeing red tape is annoying and

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getting in the way and something we have to find a way to navigate

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around, which has been the political culture here for quite some time.

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Shall we move on to politics? In its purest form! The Telegraph again.

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Tory plot to skip toxic generation and install younger face is next

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leader. Another headline Theresa May won't want to hear, I'm sure.

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Wondering how long she has got. So the Conservatives, both MPs and

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Conservative donors, have decided that their toxicity might skip a

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gene, skip a generation, rather, so they've decided that the Boris

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Johnsons and the Davis Daviss had had their day, and they need the

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younger faces of the party to restore them to their former glory,

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so they are looking at what they described as a golden generation,

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which I didn't know was that thing in the Conservative and - apparently

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it is - and it's the 2010 intake with people like Boris Johnson's

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brother, Joe. Their arm or Johnson is in the fold! This -- there are

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more Johnsons. The cross that has been hung on the neck of England

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football teams for 20 years - I think if you'd said a month ago that

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Jeremy Corbyn would be unquestionably the dominant force in

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the Labour Party without any threat to his position, that Vince Cable,

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who wasn't even in the House of Commons, would be the next Liberal

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Democrat leader, and that the Tories would be fighting like ferrets in a

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sack with the Prime Minister clearly on her last legs - nobody would have

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believed it. And yet you've got this ludicrous concept of the Young Turks

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now trying to fight for prominence within the Conservative. You've got

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all these people - a year ago, Stephen Crabb was standing for Prime

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Minister. Goodness me, how could we forget? He is only in his 40s. He is

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passe already! That's why we love politics and working on stories like

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this, isn't it? It's that it happens so quickly. It is the speed, that's

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it. I always love the next Prime Minister label. Speaking of

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politicians who risen from, well, difficult times, ministers want

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Spreadsheet Phil as next Prime Minister! The Chancellor, in case

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you didn't know. Clearly there is a rift inside the Conservative to.

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They are all united in not wanting to reason and that she is toxic, and

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her brand is irredeemably damaged -- do not want Theresa May to stay. Of

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course there's a section the party that is a bit more remain-y and

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backs Philip Hammond. There is a quote that the former Chancellor

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believes he is equipped for the job because, if Theresa May could be

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Prime Minister, so could he! Which is one way to look at things, but it

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does in one way shine a light on this incredible crisis going on. Do

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you really believe that Philip Hammond, who clearly has got an

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animosity, we can say, towards Theresa May, given what's gone on in

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the last month, would think about coming in for two years, go through

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the hard yards of Brexit negotiations alongside David Davis

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and say, right, I've now steered this country through these choppy

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waters, and I'm going to give it all away? I've gone past the idea of

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those two working together on anything frankly. I can't imagine

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that in any scenario. Imagine them job sharing as Prime Minister? I'm

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going to look, just for balance, of course, back at the Observer, and

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Jeremy Corbyn - I don't know if I can find my copy of it. Jeremy

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Corbyn with microphone. He tells Glastonbury, build bridges, not

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walls. There he was, Martin, on the main Pyramid Stage. It is truly

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remarkable that this fellow, who, for much of his political existence

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was a voice in the wilderness - he was a prophet without honour in any

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land, let alone his own. And now he is a mess I nick figure with banners

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for him at Glastonbury? -- messianic figure. He has become the political

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zeitgeist, the spirit of the aged in a way that no one could really have

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foreseen, and his voice has a degree of resonance, quite clearly, with an

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awful lot of young people. But how tricky time is he going to have when

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it comes to the nature of Brexit? Given that many who are Labour

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voters opted to leave that many young people who are now turning

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towards Labour would like to stay, and we've now got beneath this the

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unions saying, we need a soft Brexit. He's going to disappoint

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somebody, isn't he? It's interesting to me that the minute we talk about

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Jeremy Corbyn being incredibly popular, a political and cultural

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phenomenon of the likes of which we have not seen - whatever your

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opinion, you cannot look at this and say it's not something extraordinary

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that's happening, his capacity to connect with people in this way will

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stop and the minute we talk about that, we immediately talk about

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things that might derail it, as opposed to trying to understand why

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it is happening in the first place, and that's because whatever he is

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saying, the vision of this country that he is offering, which is

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collectivism in the face of rampant individualism, a vision of is a

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different kind of politics to the one we've had for so many decades,

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that's been quite ravaging, that's created these huge divides in

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society, that has brought upon a crisis in the welfare state - you

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know, the minute you have somebody like Jeremy Corbyn saying that in a

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political capacity, people respond to it, because it resonates. But he

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still has to deal with the issue of Brexit because labour is split as

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much as the Tories are. Yes, but the overarching theme in context of

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framework within which that will happen is a very changed framework.

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He has managed to shift politics and the framework of our discussion to

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the left in a really significant way. It was mentioned, 50 senior

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Labour MPs, and we saw the list of them, you know - they are still to a

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degree and oppositionist wing within the PLP, and they will represent the

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majority view within that Parliamentary party as well. There

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has been criticism that he didn't go to Armed Forces Day as well. Just

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put that in very quickly because some papers are taking exception to

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that. The Mail on Sunday. Quick comment from both of you. I wanted

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out, says Harry, the reluctant Prince, saying he considered giving

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up his royal role. It's a very interesting and brave thing for him

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to say. I think, given the knowledge of the crisis that was caused to his

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grandmother, she wouldn't take kindly to this. His

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great-grandmother his grandmother's background... The reason she became

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Queen was because her dad had to become king. It's about duty, isn't

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it? It's about duty, but I think Prince Harry and his honesty over a

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range of things is refreshing, and has kind of created a much different

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image of the Royal family. I was just about to say, Martin has done

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his conveyor belt of papers. Never let us down.

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Coming up next it's Meet the Author.

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