23/10/2011 The Politics Show London


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 23/10/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



This week on the Politics Show: Where does this man stand on the


euro crisis and Britain's relationship with the European


Union? Ed Miliband joins us like.


And back to the nineties in the Commons tomorrow with a Tory Prime


Minister pacing a major back but were brought over Europe. Malcolm


Rifkind and John Redwood were in the Cabinet then and take opposing


views now, they will be here to argue the case.


And as Libya officially declares its liberation from the Gaddafi era,


there are growing calls for an investigation into the former


dictator's debt. I will ask Andrew Mitchell if he believes the Libyan


Prime Minister's account, but don't worry, we will ask him about Europe,


due. In London, London councils are


finding room for consultants despite budget cuts. Is it better


having their own employees? We look at some of the problems of the Tory


And joining me to rout the programme, the Guardian's Nick Watt


and Sue Cameron of the Financial Times. First, the news with Max in


the Winnie. Libya's liberation will be formally


announced in the next few hours. The head of the National


Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, will address a rally in the


city of Benghazi. The NTC has defended Colonel Gaddafi's debt,


which Phillip Hammond said this morning had stained the interim


government's reputation. The day they have been waiting for


42 years. Their day they have been fighting for eight hard months.


Until a few days ago, many of these soldiers were battling Colonel


Gaddafi's forces on the frontline. Today, the uniforms are freshly


ironed as a witness what they believe is the start of a new


chapter in Libya's history. This day will be in the memory of


everyone, they will never forget this day. But questions remain


about whether the fresh Start has already been tainted. This new


amateur footage contains further evidence that the Libyan leader may


have been shot dead after he was captured. This is an ambulance and


a convoy believed to be carrying Colonel Gaddafi's body. Anti-


Gaddafi fighters are congratulating the man they say shot him. This is


the man who killed Gaddafi with his hand, using this gun, says one of


his comrades. But still the interim Prime Minister insists Colonel


Gaddafi died in crossfire, not at the hands of his captors. I saw the


body myself. I can testify there were no bruises on his face or his


body. It's some body once did -- wanted to abuse his body, that was


the perfect chance. This is where it began eight months ago when


protesters overran this huge military base. This is where it is


ending with the announcement of the liberation of the country. Libyans


are celebrating with a mixture of pride, joy, but above all, she


relief that the ordeal is over. In neighbouring Tunisia, voting has


begun in the country's first election since January's


revolutions. The polls opened this morning in the first voting since


the Arab Spring uprisings. A previously banned Islamist party is


expected to win the biggest bloc in the nationalist government.


David Cameron has arrived in Brussels to join talks on the you


resent financial crisis. Mafi prose is there. -- on the eurozone


financial crisis, Matthew Price is there.


What they want is an end to the debt crisis. What they are focusing


on his part of the jigsaw puzzle of a solution they are trying to put


together, gross, Europe's economy is essentially stagnant at the


moment and it is clear that without growth, any measures will only be


short-term fixes. It is high stakes. He did not have a lot to say, but


this is what he said when he arrived. The crisis in the eurozone


is having an effect on all of our economies, Britain included. We


need to deal with the issue so it is right to have a European Council


and for them to discuss the issue today.


Several sources tell me there has indeed been agreement between the


finance ministers this weekend over how to recapitalise, how to


strengthen Europe's banks, but on the big questions, on Greece, on


boosting the bail-out fund, there is a long way to go and those


discussions will continue into the coming days. We expect the big


summit to be happening on Wednesday. New Zealand are the Rugby Union


world champions after beating France in what was a tense tussle


in Auckland. A try by New Zealand early in the first half proved


decisive, with the All Blacks winning by just one point, 8-7. It


is 24 years since they were last world champions.


That is it, plenty more on BBC One at 6:00pm.


Thank you. On one of the newspaper websites I


visited this morning, there was the eurozone crisis story and above


that the slogan, "Contagion, nothing spreads like fear".


Actually, the Contagion bit was an advert for a new film. But the fear


of contagion in the 17 countries which have the euro is what EU


leaders are working on today. Here, the political class is more


obsessed with a boat on EU membership coming tomorrow. What is


going to happen? I think the Prime Minister will win


the vote, because you will hear from Ed Miliband in a few moments


that the Labour Party is supporting the government motion, and because


David Cameron has put a three-line whip on his MPs and will probably


find he will sneak a majority of the Conservative backbench vote.


Does it matter? It matters in terms, perhaps, of Cameron's ability to


manage his party. If it were to go through, I don't think it is going


to, I don't think you will get that many Tory MPs voting for a


referendum, but if it were to go through, all sorts of calamitous


things could happen. However, I think it will not go through. I


think that the appeal to Tory MPs will be, don't embarrass the


government and for heaven's sake don't rock the markets even more.


We will be good there because we will talk about this more later on.


Later today Libya declares the end of Colonel Gaddafi's brutal reign,


but controversy remains over how he met his death. Does it matter? What


does it say about the fledgling democracy? The international


development secretary Andrew Mitchell joins us from


Nottinghamshire. Do you believe Prime Minister's account that he


was caught in crossfire? It was obviously an extremely confusing


moment and I would have preferred he faced justice either in a Libyan


court or the International Criminal Court in the Hague. But it is


difficult for us from the comfort of Britain to put ourselves into


the position of the soldiers and those involved in the capture of


Gaddafi, and the best account of those from the Libyans themselves.


So you understand why people may have taken his life? I don't know


what the precise circumstances were, by there were people around him who


were still offering resistance, none of that is clear, but the


point stands that it would have been much better if he had faced


justice, either in the Libyan courts or the hade. And it matters,


doesn't it, because for a fledgling democracy this is hardly an


auspicious start? It does matter, but let's be clear what the NTC


have been saying. They have, throughout the whole of this battle,


been clear that there must be no retribution, they have been


extremely good at trying to ensure that safety and conflict resolution


and justice are prioritised. We have seen that in Tripoli and are


seeing it throughout Libya, so I think the NTC have been clear that


this is a new beginning and there must be no retribution against


those who were fighting for Gaddafi in recent months. But then you look


at the seams that unfolded with his demise and it looked rather


different. That is true, but it is the heat of battle. The essential


thing now is the NTC leadership saying there will not be


retribution. There are good signs the NTC will ensure that does


happen, and they have the strong support of the international


community in that. What is the role of Britain now? We gave aid at the


start of this when people were displaced, is any more aid budget


going to oil rich Libya? We where rapid in the relief we gave to the


poor migrant workers who were streaming across the border into


Egypt and Tunisia, more than one million people have gone across the


borders. Throughout this battle there has never been more than six


or 7,000 camped on the borders each night, said the humanitarian work


that Britain led was successful throughout a whole of the battles,


and we have given strong support to UNICEF, who have performed


brilliantly throughout this time. Going forward, Libya is a rich


state, and we know very well that it has the capacity now to rebuild


itself. There has been little destruction of infrastructure


throughout the battles because of the care the coalition took not to


cause collateral damage, and what they need now is some technical


assistance and support for what is a Libyan lead UN supported


stabilisation process. Can we move on now to what is happening in the


House of Commons tomorrow? This vote on whether there should be a


referendum on Britain's relationship with Europe. Has


Downing Street got this one right? Yes, absolutely. I was a government


whip during the Maastricht treaty debate in the House of Commons,


which did such terrible damage to the Conservative party's


reputations. There are two key things people in Britain want to


see, the first is the armlock legislation the Government passed


through the House of Commons which says no further powers can be


transferred to Brussels without a referendum in Britain, that was a


priority for many people, and secondly they want to see the euro


as an crisis solved, which is why the Prime Minister is in Europe


making sure Britain does its bit to help eurozone countries resolve the


crisis which, as he described, is chilling the British economy as


well as others around the world. Those are the two priorities. The


referendum is a distraction. raise the ante of having a three-


line whip? Why not let people express their opinions? It is the


policy of the government that we should do the two things I have


described, those being pursued vigorously by this government, and


to have a referendum would be a distraction. The government is


right to make it clear that is our view and invite that house of


Commons to support it. A poll today says 80% want a free vote.


truth is you ask the British public what are their priorities, Europe


appears something like No. 15 or 16, so I think the key priorities are


the two that I mentioned, have been the armlock on no more powers being


removed from a sovereign government at Westminster into Brussels on one


hand, and sold in the eurozone crisis which has the power if not


sold to do damage to our economy and others around the world.


talked about your role as a whip in the 90s, you ran David Davies'


campaign. He said, do not refuse people their right to answer the


question because you are afraid of what the answer could be. He is


right, isn't he? The government has brought in a mechanism whereby


these matters can be debated now in the House of Commons, that was one


of our coalition commitments. But in my view, the right way to vote,


what I will encourage my colleagues to do, is to vote against the


motion for the reasons I hope I have set out. Andrew Mitchell,


thank you for being with us. Where does Labour stand on the


eurozone crisis and the referendum issue? Given its centrality, not


surprising that Ed Miliband has chosen this weekend to intervene on


the euro and David Cameron's backbench woes. Let's see what he


has been saying. Ed Miliband is on the offensive


over Europe, after months where he said little on the subject he has


taken fresh Tory divisions as his due to go on the attack. He told


his party they must reject Tamara's motion, an idea that he says is


barking. He described David Cameron's handling of the issue as


cack-handed. He laid into the Prime Minister for his decision to go


ahead with a trip to Australia next week, arguing he should join


eurozone leaders as they tend to find a solution to the crisis,


banging on the door for more influence. And George Osborne is in


his sights, too. He says the Chancellor is using the euro crisis


as an excuse for the Government's mishandling of the economy and


suggests he is glorying in the emergence of a two speed Europe.


But questions remain over Miliband's prescription. He and the


Shadow Chancellor have not offered many answers to the you resent's


problems, preferring to talk about boosting growth at home. While


plans for a VAT cut and tax-break for small firms have been taken


seriously by business leaders, over proposals raised eyebrows,


including a promise to penalise companies that put short-term


advantage over the interests of the I am joined by the Labour leader.


You have accused David Cameron of behaving in a totally cack-handed


way over tomorrow's vote. His position is exactly the same as


yours. It isn't. What I have done over Europe is show clearly


leadership about where we need to be as a country, which is not


having an out referendum now and also not indulging Euro-scepticism.


That is the same as David Cameron. It isn't. What has David Cameron


done over the last six years? He has appeased Euro-sceptics in his


own party. He is facing them down. This is a person who stood on his


own leadership campaign on getting out of a mainstream European


People's Party and going with a fringe element. He is the person


who at the election was saying let's renegotiate our whole


relationship with Europe. It is no wonder his backbenchers are


disappointed because he has been pretending he is one of them. Now


he is facing a serious crisis in Europe and clearly it would be


irresponsible for him to say yes, let's have an out referendum,


because it would be bad for Britain. He has exactly the same position as


you, three-line whip against it. is right to be opposing... Why is


the leader of the -- false opposition... It is not false


opposition. Why have we got the Conservative Party tearing


themselves apart over Europe? The prime minister has not stood up to


his party and said, look, actually, being in Europe, understanding our


role in Europe, not dabbling with Euro-scepticism, that is a


mainstream, important position we have to take. That is why he has


brought the vote on himself. You have got a new Conservative Party


who are as Eurosceptic if not more so than the previous generation.


You have labelled some of these people as barking. I have said it


would be barking to get out of Europe now. Let me explain.


wonder whether you think some of your backbench colleagues are


barking? Keith Vaz, Kate Hoey? me explain. We have boarders coming


down across the world, we have interconnected countries, problems


across borders. Climate change, the economy, terrorism. It would not


only be wrong for Britain to get out of Europe. Where Mike Liggins


the referendum? Because I think we can't afford the economic


uncertainty. The economic uncertainty, when everybody in this


country knows that priority is jobs and growth, the signal we would


centre businesses and other countries in Europe and indeed


investors in Britain that we are going to spend 18 months looking


inwards, we would look inwards as a country, and start debating whether


we should get out of Europe. I understand people's frustrations


with Europe, but what I say is actually getting out or embarking


on a debate about getting at is the wrong thing for the country. That


is why I have taken my position. That is the same as David Cameron.


He is opposing a referendum. Of course that is right. But what I am


saying to the Prime Minister is you don't need to dabble with his Euro-


scepticism, I am guaranteeing you will win the vote. What I don't


want to see from him or William Hague is a nod and a wink, which is


what we have seen over the last six years, to the Euro-sceptics in the


Conservative Party. Everybody knows the Conservative Party has


modernised over Europe. It is the fault of David Cameron. Some people


will say the real conspiracy at the moment is the fact that the


Conservatives and the Lib Dems and Labour are broadly on the same page


and are almost in defiance of British public opinion. 61% want a


referendum, 64% don't want to stay in. We are on a different page. The


priority in Europe is jobs and growth. Let's have a reform agenda


for Europe, like renegotiating the Common Agricultural Policy, and


start investing Europe's money not actually in agricultural subsidies,


but in investment for the future. David Cameron says that I want to


go back to a position from 20 years ago. Let's spend our political


capital renegotiating things like employment rights, paid holiday,


maternity leave provisions. That is a totally different position on


Europe. You have a circa 1990 position from David Cameron,


dabbling with Euro-scepticism and essentially saying I agree with...


I have a different priority. wanted to ask you about the public.


34% believed we should leave the EU. 34% in this country, are they


barking? No, I think that is a judgment on some of the problems in


Europe, like in the single currency, and also a judgment on the fact


that we all need to make a better case for Europe and for the way


Europe can work to the benefit of us. I am coming from a position of


saying I am pro-European, but I am also pro-reform. Europe has to


change in the way it spends its money, on issues of waste and how


it serves people. Let me ask this single question. Yes or no answer.


Has Brussels got too much power? don't think it has too much power.


No need to repatriate powers? way power is exercised fails our


country sometimes. Let me give you an example. We have seen a high


profile case of a train company. One of the issues is over European


Union procurement rules and the way those decisions that individual


countries can make to support their industries. The way power is


exercised in Europe needs to change and the way but up it is not the


powers themselves? It is less about the power itself, but the way it is


used. And the accountability. have said if powers were


repatriated, it would be an end of maternity benefits. That is the


Government's position. The UK parliament could legislate what it


wanted. You said in an interview yesterday it would be an end to


those things. So the government wants to embark on a wholesale


renegotiation of our relationship with Europe over particular rights,


employment and social rights, and they don't want to change any of


those things? That is the wrong priority. Might it not be the


priority for the country... Might it not be in the interests of the


country to be up to change those policies as and when it is in the


economic interests of the country rather than being tied to Brussels?


No. We have a single market, a basic benchmark of social rights


across borders. It is a very small number, actually. It is the right


thing to do. It is right that it is not just the case that you want a


single market. Can you rule out prime minister Miller Band ever


joining the euro? I don't think that will happen. I don't think it


will happen. It depends how long I am Prime Minister for but I can't


see it. Would you say that because of the structural problems you have


seen recently, can't you just say I would never want Britain to be part


of the Europe -- Euro? First of all, we made the right decision not to


go into the euro in the last Labour government. The second thing I


would say it is there are structural problems, and we are not


going into the euro, I can't see that happening in the foreseeable


future. But the real priority... Her you're not closing the door?


is very, very unlikely. You said David Cameron should change his


plans next week to be in Brussels on Wednesday. Why? We are not part


of the eurozone. You are making the mistake that the government is


making. Eurozone must sort out its problems, we must have a


sustainable position for Greece. We must make sure the European banks


are properly dealt with and the problems in the European banks.


There is a missing element and that is growth. Growth doesn't just come


from the policies we decide on at home, they come from the policies


we decide on in Europe and across the world. What David Cameron


should be banging on the door to say is yes, let's sort out the


problems of debt, but let's sort out the problems of growth. Don't


you think he's doing that? There is no sign of doing it. We have


collectively austerity. Every country saying let's cut as far and


as fast as we can and keep our fingers crossed we will get growth.


Everybody is wrong apart from Ed Miliband and Ed Balls? No, but the


government took a gamble. They gambled on the fact we would have


an export-led recovery, but that requires exporting your goods,


including to Europe. We don't have the growth in Europe at the moment.


You just described a scenario where everybody is dealing with the


deficit. You're saying everyone else is wrong, Ed Balls and Ed


Miliband a right. Who agrees with you? President Obama is saying at


the moment, absolutely rightly, that the world and his country


needs to move forward by getting people back into work. Across the


world, there are different views on this. What I say very clearly is


that the government hasn't understood... I criticise them for


domestic failure, but also a failure of international leadership.


There are problems in the eurozone, sort out those problems, but get


growth going. You talk about growth and the importance for business to


start growing and developing. You pulled off an achievement at the


Labour Party Conference where you managed to unite the CBI, the


Federation of Small Business, the British Chambers of Commerce, Walid


-- all of them against your speech. I don't to greet the whole of


business was United against. The Engineering employers' Federation


came out in support. British Chambers of Commerce, talk of good


this is bad misses the point. Federation of Small Business, we


are disappointed at the Labour leader. The different reactions for,


it is true to say I said something quite important about the way the


economy needed to change and the way we needed to build long-term


wealth in this country. I will not apologise for saying that the


lessons of 2007/08, not just the immediacy of the banking crisis,


but the fact that wealth was not built on solid foundations, needs


to change all up our wanton promote businesses that will create lasting


well. It is the message I will keep talking about because British


people know we need big change in the economy, not just for the short


term, but in the way we build wealth. This week you appointed a


businessman to a key position within the Labour Party. He has a


history as a property tycoon and was seen as an asset stripper.


is not a predator. There is a specific pace -- case people have


talked about in relation to him. 3,500 people lost their pensions.


The regulator said there was not a case to answer. Minerva lost money


as a result of what happened. What I say is much more... Minerva would


be a producer rather than a predator? We need business people.


I get criticised for saying we are so reliant on the trade unions and


when business people support the Labour Party, people say, as they


try to pick holes. He is not a predator and he is somebody who


raised huge sums of money for the NSPCC. A great example of corporate


social responsibility. OK. You were saying that he wanted Cameron to be


in Brussels on Wednesday and not in Australia where the Commonwealth


summit is taking place. But the Commonwealth summit, they are


expecting to do �6 billion worth of new business. They will have a


chance to engage with India, emerging nations. 53 countries. It


is a modernising agenda, trying to turn the Commonwealth into a 21st


Century organisation and you just say, are pure. I definitely Stone


say that. I want him to get to the Commonwealth, but when there are


crucial decisions being made about jobs and growth in this country,


the idea that the prime minister can be here to have internal


squabbles on Monday, but can't be in Brussels on Wednesday to fight


for Britain's economic interests is the wrong choice. To attend the


eurozone summit, you have to pay to play. So if we join that summit, we


should contribute to the European financial stability? No. On the


vote tomorrow, surely the problem we have, the polls showed it


support for a referendum, we have a democratic deficit which was caused


by your government saying there will be a referendum on the


European constitution, then when that was junked by the people of


France and the Netherlands, it came back with a different name but it


was basically the identical treaty. Your government said no referendum.


On the first question you asked, I am very clear about the position on


this. The Prime Minister is making the wrong call. You don't have to


pay to play, as you say. Gordon Brown, at a very important summit


in 2008/09, was there as part of the key decisions and that is what


they are responsible prime minister should be doing. I will be at the


table, forcing Britain's issues onto the agenda. I don't accept


what you say about the constitution. In the future it is clear that if


there is major constitutional change that will affect Britain,


there would be a referendum and that is clear. But what I say is


that I don't agree with you that the issues we face in relation to


the unpopularity on Europe are to do what happened before the last


election. Some issues do reflect the way Europe has been doing its


On Libya, we saw Tony Blair and Gordon Brown embracing Gaddafi,


David Cameron overthrowing him. Are there congratulations for David


Cameron on his stance? Definitely, he took the right position and that


is why I supported him. I am proud the British Armed Forces supported


the Libyan people in controlling their destiny.


Ed Miliband, thank you. Later, unless you are feeling in


Scotland, two veterans of the Tory euro wars, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and


John Redwood debate tomorrow's vote. First, the Politics Show where you


are. Welcome to the London part of the


Politics Show. Coming up: Why is London the most difficult place in


the UK to adopt a child? First, facing big cuts to budget


spending, decisions by local authorities are under the


microscope, but it is not stopping many councils from forking out on


consultants. Is it money well spent and is it part of a wider agenda to


reduce the municipal workforce? In Conservative controlled Hammersmith


and Fulham, the practice has come under fire.


In town halls all across London, managers can be faced with tasks


they think their staff are not up to, but how can be at hand if they


are willing to spend a bit of money and call in... The consultants. The


government think councils need to take a little more care when it


comes to relying on the so-called Super heroes. There are some


circumstances where you need outside expertise you cannot get


within your mainstream workforce, technical issues, perhaps, but you


have to be cautious about it. The approach we adopted in government


is to cut back on the employment of consultants and other outside


contractor has unless it is really bringing in an expertise you could


not get in House. That should be the same across the board.


Politics Show has been passed this document, an audit of the way


Hammersmith and Fulham Council have used consultants. It looks at seven


of the many working at the local authority and found... No evidence


of any formal documented selection and recruitment process, no


evidence of any formal performance monitoring, no complete list of


that consulting company is being used by the council. Of seven


consultants used by the council which the report examined, an


agreement could only be found with one. We got a document from one


local authority in London where they had done an audit, they looked


at seven consultants and could only find a written agreement with one


out of those seven. Your reaction to that? That does not seem right.


Slackness is not forgivable in these circumstances. It has to be


proper documentation, that is the point of what we are doing. The


culture that the previous government allowed to flourish did


not pay much attention to this. the case of Hammersmith and Fulham


Times, responsible for housing in the council, the housing looked at


another four consultants and uncovered an agreement signed with


a dissolved company, and with another former employee who


provided services at �21,000 for 25 days' work, again with no written


agreement found. The opposition at the council but the overall cost at


million. It did not know how many consultants they were employed in,


how much they were paying them, they had no terms and conditions


all objectives, and they wasted between five and �12 million a year


in this manner. In one case, a written agreement between a


consultancy company and Hammersmith & Fulham Homes was found, but


neither party had signed it. says absolute in confidence --


incompetence, doesn't it? It is what it says to the normal members


of the public to see what is going on and understand Government should


spend their money wisely. What this says is, for the bit we have


managed to see, there is ground level -- a grand level of


incompetence happening with the managing of public money in the


borough. The council say since receiving the report they have


acted on the recommendation. From Hammersmith and Fulham,


Councillor Greggs met, cabinet member there, joins me. Welcome. --


Greg Smith. Do you admit this is embarrassing, with the chaos in the


procedures in how you employed consultants? We were the ones who


commissioned the report to look at some of the things people have been


saying in order to get the house in order in those particular areas.


What I have got to say is no one is more critical than ourselves on


ourselves and we always tried to be more efficient, to do things better.


We are the only council that has tried to reduce the burden on the


taxpayer, we reduced council tax four times in recent years, and we


share a cheap executive. Because it is you that asked people to come in


and look at the use of consultants, it can still be embarrassing? The


findings can provide you with Miller assurance on how you manage


the consultants -- male assurance. For a flagship council, bat is


embarrassing, isn't it? Let's look at the history on this. When we won


Hammersmith and Fulham council in 2006, we asked, how many


consultants are employed by the council? Have not got a clue. We


got a grip, we are the ones that implemented a programme where we


froze recruitment and any department that wanted to employ


anyone at all, from a cleaner to a senior member of staff, had to


justify why that recruitment process should star it. Did you


take your eye off the ball and failed to do the same due diligence


with consultants? We commissioned this report from Deloitte, who have


come back with recommendations, all of which we implement it. Were you


surprised that the severity of the findings, that there were not


documented records of agreements with consultants? We are turning


round a council that, for decades, went a certain way. As I have said,


there was no clue how many consultants there were in the


council. I can tell you now there are 73. You had reduced the number?


Absolutely. But still failed to... You accept procedures are not


ideal? When you have a consultant filling a temporary position, there


are no details about the contract, no sign whether it was put out to


fair competition. We have high standards of recruiting people and


I am confident every single person, or whether a consultant or coming


in on contract to teach kids music or sport, has gone through the most


rigorous of processes. What the Deloitte report showed was that


there were things we need to do differently and better, and we have


done every one of them are. What is the average daily rate of a


consultant that you pay? Consultants are from photographers


that take a couple of photos at events all the way up to... Have


you got an average? It would be unfair to say an average rate,


because the word is pretty meaningless when some people are


brought in literally as suppliers, but because the rules say they have


to be paid in a certain way, reports can look at them as if they


are consultants. One thing struck me, a former employee left and then


was paid �21,000 for 25 days' work. Were they on that rate when they


were a member of staff, or on leaving have they upped their pay


rate? There is nothing unusual in people, having full-time paid


employment some might, moving away, retiring, coming back and then


helping with something they have a key specialism in as a consultant.


In terms of money, that member of staff, and other members of staff,


when they come back are they paid more than when they were staff


members? Not necessarily, some well, some went, but we are a value for


money council and one person being focused on quite a lot as a


consultant has been -- has saved Hammersmith & Fulham Homes �6


million in running costs for the organisation. That is value for


money. Where there any other dissolved companies, we heard about


one, were their overs you paid money to for consultants? -- were


there any others? That company was trading under the same name,


changed company number and there was a clerical error that the wrong


number was put in, which was put right, but it is nothing more than


a clerical error from somebody who puts the numbers into a machine.


One thing is how much you paid to consultants with whom there was no


written agreement, in other words how did the people of Hammersmith


and Fulham know the money was well spent? How much had been paid for


which there is no paper trail, that is surely of concern? I am sure


there are paper trails out there, but that they are in a central


register, which to Lloyd said we needed, and have now implemented,


is another matter -- which Deloitte said we needed. We are currently


paying about �1.3 million to what you are calling consultants, but


many of whom are, for example one person is contracted to do Movement


therapy sessions in a special school, not a consultant that takes


you on a journey. Do you think, is the intention in the end that the


use of consultants is to reduce the direct workforce, it paid pensions


and so on? We are about value for money, we have reduced 1,500 staff


from the council since 2006, but from time to time you need to bring


in someone with a specialism. Doesn't they show what can go wrong,


and you do not have procedures in place to ensure value for money


when you take on consultants in this way? We have corrected the


procedural points, but one consultant saved �6 million in


running costs for Hammersmith and Fulham homes, got us to the second


lowest leaseholder charges in all of London. Consultants coming in


with great specialisms, great experience, help us to save money,


and that is what we are looking to did. Thank you for commit in.


We have national adoption Week coming up, but our London councils


putting up too many barriers to adoption? The capital lags behind


other parts of the country, just 7% of children were adopted last year


compared to nationally 11%. But some local authorities are finding


ways to improved the rate. For George and Mary, adopting their


son was like changing, but as they found out when they went to their


local council, not as straightforward as they had. They


were very, very busy at that time, and Mauroy less we had a five or 10


minute conversation on the found and they said, we cannot help you


at this time because we are so busy, but can you call back in six


months? When they were contacted by a children's charity, things


started to changed. In the first meeting with the charity, they were


pretty honest, relaying they thought it would be difficult to


match us, in particular at that time there was more emphasis in


terms of getting ethnicity correct, and a Greek-Cypriot background with


a finish background was a difficult makes to find an appropriate


placement. A year later, they said, times have changed, we do now think


there is a chance we could match you, and we would like you to talk


to was again. While they did adopt in London, the charity works with


parents across the country, matching parents to suitability and


not location. Since 2006, they have worked with Harrow council who have


gone on to see the best adoption rates in the country. We have a 22%


success rate for children being adopted. When children come into


care, especially young children who we think would benefit from being


adopted, the charity is there, they have adoptive parents ready, said


the child does not have to sit around. They go from birth parents


to the family without too many changes, so it is best for the


child. But across the board there are barriers which prevent children


from finding permanent homes. Everyone I have spoken to who is


involved in the adoption process say it takes far too long. In our


case, the legal system could have allowed us potentially to have


adopted our young boy at least several months earlier if it had


been streamlined. For families looking to adopt, change looks like


it might be on the horizon. With increased government support, as


David Cameron out like in his speech. How can we have let this


happen? We have people flying all over the world to adopt babies


while the care system at home agonises about placing black


children with white families. With the right values and effort, let us


be the ones who end this scandal and help the most vulnerable


children of all. Strong words, but with such -- but will it result in


any change for London's families? The former head of Barnardo's is


here, now a ministerial adviser on adoption. Where do you think the


problem lies in the capital? That was a very good film, and Harrow


are leading the way not just in the capital but in England in terms of


seizing adoption, taking it seriously, managing it with an


urgency. But they are being grown- up enough to bring in an


organisation to help them. If everyone else in England, not just


in London, gripped adoption the way Harrow has done, the numbers would


probably dog all. So they are exemplar, and if they are, a number


of London authorities may not be doing it the way you would like it


to be done? It is very mixed. My sense is all authorities in London


are waking up to the challenge, but from my point of view, someone who


wants adoptions to grow, seeing the conference speech and the Prime


Minister putting his personal authority behind adoption was


terrific, and a sense in the capital and elsewhere a real


movement. But there is a lot to be done. We have to feel adoptions,


too many children in care, not all can be adopted, but many of them,


and we have too many parents being turned away and discouraged, failed


by an assessment process I do not Do you realise -- recognise it is


more difficult in London? Why is it happening? I would not say London


is worse than under -- other parts of the country. I do hear more


often than I would like to anecdotes about parents being


turned away from London boroughs because their ethnicity doesn't


match. The government has made it very, very clear... His there an


immediate adherence to that code? Are you seeing local authorities


for not insisting on this restriction? No. We have some way


to go yet and that guidance may over time need to be reinforced and


indeed the government may have to decide whether or not to legislate.


Is it having an effect? A limited effect. We are a multicultural


society. In all other walks of life we have concluded, rightly, that


colour doesn't matter. But in London and the rest of England, a


black child is three times less likely to be a doctor than a white


child. I think that is a scandal. - - likely to be adopted. Do you


think the guidelines... Do you think we will legislate? I think


the guidelines, we were right to start with guidelines, and the


leadership we see from the children's minister, Michael Gove,


and the Prime Minister, is making a difference. But my advice to


ministers, if this time next year I have not seen a change in practice,


my advice will be they probably need to legislate. Can I ask you


something that has been raised to ask? Does the economy affect the


number of people coming forward for adoptions? It has been said to me


that that is the case, but I think there are other things we can do to


counterbalance that. I want people to be told the truth about adoption,


adoption can be very, very challenging. But adoption can be a


joy. Sometimes the information people get from local authorities


when they first applied can be unduly negative. Are too many


people being placed with family friends? If those placements end up


breaking down, it delays the age at which the adoption... There is not


a simple answer. Sometimes family and friends are the best place and


the best example his grandparents, who do a fantastic job in caring


for their grandchildren. But there is evidence that sometimes we are


compromising on what is best for the child by putting them with an


uncle or aunt when the best thing would be adoption. Do you think


that balance is not right? We don't know yet. Tim Loughton has just


commissioned research into the breakdown of what he called a


special guardianship orders where somebody goes to a relative. I am


worried that sometimes we take the easy route and not the best route.


Was that research in London? Across England. Do you think they could be


a rush to too much reliance on friends and family? I want to be


very careful because I have seen so many circumstances where it is the


very, very best thing and I don't want to suggest a grandparent that


they can't be great carers. But sometimes social workers whisper to


me that in some of those cases, a compromise is made and the best


thing for a child would be a permanent adoption. The length of


time it seems to take, whether it is decision-making or the courts,


there are lot of children at over four or five, the longer it takes


the long -- less likely they are to be adopted. There are children


under four waiting for adoption. Children grow old waiting for


adoption. A becomes less likely -- it becomes less likely that they


will become looked after. It takes two-and-a-half years to achieve an


adoption. You have a child of 12 months, much less of a challenge in


terms of a successful adoption can and that child is three years old


or more before they are adopted. The earlier they are adopted, the


more successful that adoption is likely to be. A year from now, how


will you know whether you have been successful? The number of children


cleared for adoption will have shown a significant increase. I am


now confident it will have done. You can do that in the year? I am


confident it is happening now. will hold you to it! I cue. With


Now, I don't know if you've noticed, but everything's been feeling a bit


early '90s lately. Economic hard times, The Stone Roses going back


out on the road and tomorrow, a Tory rebellion on Europe of the


sort we haven't seen since those happy days of the Maastricht treaty.


So who better to make the case for and against tomorrow's motion on a


referendum on the UK's relationship with Europe than two veterans of


the Major cabinet - Tory MPs Sir Malcolm Rikfind and John Redwood.


Easy questions first. John Redwood, make the case for. The public wish


for this is overwhelming. Remember how they started. The Prime


Minister said we will have petitions on the Number Ten website


for things people are interested in. The public said we want a debate on


this. The backbench committee said let's do just that. I would urge


colleagues to have a good, sensible debate, no recriminations, but get


to grips with the issues and then vote for a referendum because that


is what the majority of the people want. Sir Malcolm Rifkind, why is


he wrong? Whatever level of enthusiasm you have for the EU, it


is the wrong motion and the wrong time and the wrong subject. The


eurozone is in total crisis. If that goes wrong, it is Britain's


drama as well as the rest of Europe. For us to be involved in in would


navel-gazing at the moment on a matter that will not happen, there


will not be a referendum, is a massive distraction from the


serious issues the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of dealing with.


If it wants to be passed, seriously reduce his authority and the


division it shows in the governing party is not helpful to Britain or


the government. I don't see it like that. There is this huge public


yearning. The very popular part of the motion with the public and MPs


is the Third Way, the wish to negotiate a relationship for


Britain based on trade and co- operation. This is a modern notion.


We know the world has moved on. We are now facing, immediately, the


possibility of a much strengthened European government for the 17 in


the euro. That is a different problem for Britain from the old


European Union. What about the point of Malcolm Rifkind? It can't


possibly be a distraction, it is at the centre of the modern debate. We


are saying to Europe, if you wish to go ahead, we will not stand in


your way because we are decent and understand the problems. It is a


mess. But Britain need a different relationship. If they go ahead with


that, that is not a European Union in which we are a strong


negotiating member. We need a different relationship. John said


the attractive thing are three options, in, out or in any


negotiation based on trade and co- operation. That is ingenuous, as is


the motion. That third option is what Norway and Switzerland have.


That is leaving the European option -- Union. I do believe there needs


to be diversity in the EU. When the eurozone of it actually comes


forward asking the European Union as a whole for new powers for those


members who want to do it further, that is when we have negotiations.


That is when Britain says, if you want to have that, fine, but


Britain and others who don't, we have to have an equal right to


repatriate certain parts. At the end of that negotiation, that is


when you have a referendum. This is happening now. I'm sure Malcolm


must have read some of these documents. The European six-pack


for strengthening economic government. President arose so it


made a powerful speech said a lot of this had to apply to Britain as


well as the 17 euro members. There will be a call for much stronger


surveillance of the banking system, a call for a new financial services


tax to be imposed on Britain as well as the 17. This is the reality.


Of course I want our government to be engaged reactively, but we


need... John sounds sweet, but it is nonsense, forgive me. The


discussion tomorrow is not about whether they should be a debate


about Europe and whether there are options to be taken forward, it is


whether at this moment, with all the crisis going on, we should have


a referendum in the UK Sailing does Britain want to leave the you? The


idea that that would not be massively destabilising, seriously


eroded Government's authority, as well as make Britain look a


laughing stock when the real crisis facing Europe is the future of the


eurozone and how we prevent a prevent -- a repeat of the Labour


disaster. Don't you worry that you were out of tune with your party on


this? John Redwood is closer to the heartbeat of the Conservative Party


on this issue that new? No, there his head and heart. I am strongly


against the single currency. did you are sure eyebrows? I don't


remember you writing or speaking strongly about how the euro would


go wrong in the way I did. When I was Foreign Secretary I had a


public spat with Ken Clarke as Chancellor because I said as


Foreign Secretary the Cabinet is against joining the single currency.


We had a great drama that day. Delighted. But the Cabinet wouldn't


rule out joining the euro, which was why I resigned. My personal


view is not that important. The crucial point is the vast majority


of the Conservative Party have various degrees of Euro-scepticism.


The issue is not that. It is whether this is the right moment,


with Europe in high drama on the eurozone issue, to be having this


self-indulgent exercise as to whether a non-existent referendum


should be held. How has this been handled by Number Ten? I would urge


them to conduct it in a good spirit on Monday. This is something the


public is taking four. So don't have a three-line whip?


government is clearly going to defeat the motion overwhelmingly


because Labour and the Lib Dems have whipped their members and most


of them will want to vote against the motion. The issue is not in


doubt. Nick Clegg says you are tilting at windmills on this. Don


Quixote Redwood. I disagree with Mr Clegg. What I am others are trying


to do, this is not my motion, it is a result of public enthusiasm, but


I am trying to do is get the government to seriously engage with


this issue. We need to negotiate now because now is the crisis and


the opportunity. Now we would be very constructive if Britain was


less engaged because it is one less problem for the others when they


are in a burning building. The last thing we want to do is trust


ourselves in the building. A final thought. I do feel like I am


reliving the 1990s, enjoying it as I am speaking to you both! Won't


this remind people of the Conservative Party of the 1990s


where you were all falling out? That would be the Labour spin. The


real debate is one required by the public about the issues now.


People's budgets are suffering now, the economy is in trouble, partly


because of European issues. final word from you, is this


damaging? Europe is a real issue, the Conservative Party is 19 absent


Eurosceptic. The question for tomorrow is this sensible, to start


trying to force a referendum at this moment in our history? Rather


than concentrating, as John was coming round to saying, just


Download Subtitles