A lively, informed and in-depth conversation about the Sunday papers.
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Now on BBC News, The Papers.
Hello, and welcome to our look
at what the papers say this morning.
With me are City AM's Rachel
Cuncliffe and the Financial Times'
political correspondent Henry Mance.
Let's take a look
at those front pages.
The Observer investigates
Britain's prison system,
claiming two-thirds of prisons
are providing inadequate
conditions or unacceptable
treatment for inmates.
The Sunday Express says Theresa May
has declared there will be "no
going back" on Brexit.
The Telegraph leads
on claims prominent members
of the Labour Party met Eastern Bloc
agents during the Cold War.
The Mail on Sunday has
an interview with Brendan Cox -
the widower of murdered MP Jo Cox -
who has stepped down from his role
in two charities after admitting
with a colleague.
The Sunday Times says
the Education Secretary is looking
at a number of university reforms,
including cheaper tuition
fees for some courses.
And the Sun on Sunday reports
on alleged marriage difficulties
between pop stars Cheryl and Liam
So a variety of stories
on the front pages.
Lets kick-off and start with The
Mail on Sunday. The Brendan Cox
story is dominant, The Mail on
Sunday have made the running on this
Yes, he has given an
extraordinary person an in-depth
interviews with them. Obviously this
is the husband of Jo Cox. She was
murdered very shockingly, and has
been a hero for the charity sector
and also talking about free speech
on migration and making MPs feel
safe. It is a real fall from grace,
these allegations from various
charities that he made women feel
uncomfortable and behaved in an
inappropriate way. It's quite
interesting because obviously you've
got that incredible headline which
is a bit misleading and then a
couple of pages detailing the
allegations in quite a lot of
The front-page headline
which says yes, I was a sex pest
confesses Jo Cox's Husband.
doesn't use those exact words. In
the interview lots of apologies,
lots of soul-searching, and he's one
of the few that have actually been
accused and come forward and said
I'm really, really sorry, I've let
myself down. It's an interesting
What did you make of
It primarily seems to relate
to two complaints made in relation
to Brendan Cox, one when he was a
senior figure at Save the Children
and another when he was on a
university course at Harvard
University. He says he doesn't
accept the precise details of the
complaint at Harvard but he
understands that his behaviour might
have made people feel uncomfortable,
might have been inappropriate, that
he could be seen as overstepping the
mark. This comes down to power. He
was a very senior figure in the
charity. The Mail on Sunday links to
the former chief executive Justin
Forsyth. It's trying to save where
these figures untouchable, that you
couldn't make a complaint knowing it
wouldn't affect your career. A lot
of people will find this very sad,
given how much Brendan Cox has
suffered and how much dignity he's
had in the aftermath of his wife's
The paper says it is a
remarkable fall from grace, that's
Yes, and I think you're
right about the power dynamic. Later
in the interview he links it to the
wider More in Common movement. We've
allegations like this in Hollywood,
Westminster, the city, now the
charity sector. -- the Me Too
movement. He makes a point which is
sometimes intentions don't matter,
if there is such a gaping power
imbalance and such a lack of
oversight, you can make women feel
very uncomfortable and unsafe
perhaps without realising. That is a
culture change that needs to happen
Oxfam, who has
been so much in the spotlight over
the last few days, on the front page
again of The Sunday Telegraph. This
is saying Oxfam new ten years ago of
a "Urgent sex abuse problem".
is a report in 2008 by Save the
Children, a report about Haiti
saying that people were being forced
to sell sex in exchange for aid.
That was circulated to various
charities. Oxfam say one of their
representatives went to Haiti and
put some processes in place.
However, Oxfam admit the measures
they put in place will probably
insufficient and also that the
people in charge of those policies,
the country director in Haiti for
example, they couldn't be trusted to
do that and may have compromised the
measures. You have a real question
about what happens when complaints
are raised and why it takes so long
to go from evidence of wrongdoing to
proper procedures in place, and who
is ultimately responsible. If there
are going to be bad eggs in the
system, who is in charge of routing
them out and in searing desperately
poor people in places like Haiti are
protected? -- ensuring desperately
poor people in places like Haiti are
This started with Harvey
Weinstein, Hollywood, now the
spotlight very much on the charity
sector and aid agencies.
ultimately that's a good thing, that
we are talking about this and
allegations are coming to like and
we are having a conversation. I
think what you get particularly with
the charity sector stories is people
like to think that harassment and
sexual abuse is done by bad people.
What you're getting with the Brendan
Cox story and also with aid workers
in the charity sector is these can
be good people doing good work who
have families, who have friends who
are not what you would consider a
sexual predator, but who can also do
terrible things and use prostitutes.
This story claims some children as
young as six were forced to sell
sex. The reason it's perhaps taken
longer to get the charity sector is
we have this idea of everyone
working in the charity sector is
doing good work, that doesn't mean
you don't need oversight and
structure and a process for
accusations, evidence, policies. I
think perhaps the charity sector is
a bit complacent because we think
about it in a positive, rosy light.
There are repercussions financially
for people like Oxfam losing money
as a result of the publicity.
has told government, but you think
ministers might have said the same
thing anyway, that it won't bid for
new contracts. Last year they won 60
million in contracts to do work in
Yemen and South Sudan. Over the
medium-term, the threat is greater.
We know how much Oxfam depends on
goodwill, how much the government
spend on aid. People have the sense
that that is good work being done by
good people and is making Britain's
name more popular and seen in a good
light around the world. Haiti has
strong words to say about charities
so it's not the soft power we
Let's move onto happier
news which is Queen Lizzy as The
Sunday Telegraph calls her. Lizzy
Yarnold with gold again, waving the
union flag, a great moment.
weren't doing so well in the Winter
Olympics up until this point. We got
four medals in 48 hours. I watch
what they do and it's absolutely
terrifying. How quickly can you
throw yourself down a chute of ice?
It's a real success story, she is
the first Brit to have defended her
title in two Olympics in a row.
you a fan of the Winter Olympics?
It's exciting, it's just terrifying.
You watch with your heart in your
Are you watching it?
You need a moment like this to get
people interested. You don't want to
see Brits losing. There was another
sad except for Elise Christie. It
wasn't all good news. Once you see
it's not just the Germans and the
Dutch who are going to win
everything, you get involved. We are
just behind Belarus in the medals
The Winter Olympics are not
our strongest sporting event, we are
good at cycling, running, those sort
The thing everyone says
about the summer Olympics is we are
good at the sitting down sports.
Rowing, horse riding, cycling and
now this as well.
And running with
She's using the technology
that these British spy -- that the
British cyclists use for their
Prisons in The Observer
British cyclists use for their
Prisons in The Observer.
Another depressing report.
We have a
new prisons minister, Rory Stewart.
He's come out and said that the
state of some jails is deeply
disturbing. This is fairly amazing.
You see various people in charge of
prisons in the government come out
and almost trash the government's
record and admit things haven't been
at all good.
It's not just this
government, this is a problem that's
been going on for decades.
the case. The type of language being
used is really strong. In terms of
figures we are talking about self
harm going up over 10% in the past
year, assaults going up 10%, a lot
of those on staff. Fewer than 10% of
prisons are seen as good. If you're
thinking about rehabilitation, in
the earlier years of the Cameron
government there was this idea that
people should be spending less time
in prison, get them out,
rehabilitate them. Michael Gove have
the same idea. The facilities
themselves are not living up to
There are people who will say
actually prisons aren't meant to be
nice, who cares if they are awful
because they're awful people
They are meant to be safe
for both the prisoners and the staff
who work there. The government has a
duty of care, which is clearly
failing. One of the statistics is
44% of prisons are unsafe. The
second one is an economic argument
which is it costs a lot of money to
keep people in prison and you should
want people leaving and trying to
rebuild their lives afterwards.
There's an interesting quote from
the Conservative chair of the
Justice select committee Bob Neill
who says we need to have a
discussion about what is the point
of prisons. If they are just for
punishment, then your argument is OK
but if we actually want people
engaged with society when they leave
and we want to stop them going back
and save money, we need to be
focusing on education and
rehabilitation. So many people, like
you say, don't want to spend money
on prisons, because it seems like a
waste. It's an easy way to cut the
budget and looks like there are no
consequences but clearly they are.
The Sunday Times with a focus today
on the cost of going to university.
University fees which has been a big
political headache for Labour, the
lbw Democrats and conservatives. A
lot of older people who know their
children might incur these costs are
concerned about it as well. The new
Education Secretary Damian Hinds is
launching a consultation which could
see the Fifa certain subjects
dropped. If you've got subjects
which are less expensive to teach
compared to medicine or physics, the
arts degrees and social science
degrees would be cheaper. Also the
interest rate at which students paid
back would be cut.
It is currently
6.1%, which seems...
You can accrue
£5,000 worth of interest before you
finish your course. Is linked to
RPI. Basically no one is going to
pay back their student loan. I did
classics, another useless degree.
They say the ones that are cheaper
to teach should be cheaper to
students. I've heard the alternate
which is the one is more useful to
society, I mean I think Classics is
useful but medicine and engineering,
we talk a lot about the skills gap.
If you're doing something to fill
the skills gap you should be
subsidised more. There are different
arguments. I think that politically
the Conservatives are never going to
win over a majority of students.
They will never beat Labour which is
the policy of scrapping tuition
fees. The Conservatives have a youth
problem, its defining youth. Really
it's anyone under 40. If they want
to increase their voucher rather
than going after students they
should go after people in their late
20s and 30s and talking about
housing and policies to do with
building on the green belt or
liberalising planning laws. That
would be better for them politically
than trying to win over students
which they are never going to do.
We're going to end up with The
Sunday Times again and an
interesting new rule about how to
film sex in the movies. I suppose
it. As with the Harvey Weinstein and
the idea that you wouldn't have any
nudity in auditions, very strict
rules on how they filmed. What did
you make of this?
This is something
coming out of Equity. We've been
told by actors that sex scenes are
very unsexy, but it's not a nice
thing to film. There are some issues
such as do you kiss with tongues
when filming these themes. -- these
scenes. The problem again is power.
Male writers, male directors, male
actors being paid more and female
actors may be feeling cajoled. Maybe
these restrictions would balance
things a bit.
Is this a reform we
These are professionals. One
of the examples in the story is an
actress at 19 filming a sex scene
where there was quite explicit
content but the director
deliberately didn't tell her about
it because he wanted her to "React
as a girl not have an actress". That
is very sinister and not treating
her as a professional. I think it is
about giving them respect. Clearly
they can film realistic sex scenes
in a professional and safe way and
they should be doing that.
for coming in to review the papers
That's it for The Papers
Don't forget you can see the front
pages of the papers online
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later on BBC iPlayer.
Thank you Rachel and Henry.