Theresa May Election 2017

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Theresa May

Live coverage of a question session with prime minister Theresa May at a campaign visit in Staffordshire.

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Thank you for coming to join us today, our very distinguished and


honourable guest the Prime Minister the reason may. She will just say a


few words and an open the floor to the general questions. Can we give a


big welcome to the Prime Minister Theresa May. Thank you very much


indeed, a great pleasure to be with you. Just say a few words to you


about the general election on the 8th of June and give you an


opportunity to ask me some questions. As we look ahead to the


8th of June, this is a really important time, I think, for the


future of our country and there is an important choice to be made at


the election. Because the next five years really matters. Getting it


right for the next five years matters because so much hangs on it.


Our future prosperity, our place in the world, our standard of living,


the opportunities we want from our children and our children's


children. I'm going to be out and about around the country, over the


next 23 days, showing people why I believe that this is an important


election. I think we need an election now to give us the strong


and stable leadership for the future that will get the right deal from


Europe but also build a better Britain for the future. I'm going to


be out and about around the country over the next 23 days. I want to


earn every vote I can to enable me to give you that leadership and lead


the country forward. Because if we look ahead, Brexit actually offers


us opportunities for the future. It is important that we seize those


opportunities and we need the strong and stable Government and leadership


to be above to do that. The first thing of course that we need to do


is to get the best deal for Britain from Europe. Build a deep and


special partnership with Europe that will give us that good relationship


that will be good for businesses like this and across the rest of the


country. But if we get the Brexit deal right, of course that will also


enable us to get a better deal for ordinary working people here at


home. That means a Government that has a plan for the future and I will


be taking my plan for a stronger Britain out to people over the


remaining days of this election campaign. The Government of the role


to play in that. It is important that we make sure there is a good


school place for every child, so that youngsters get the best


possible start in life. We need to make sure that we locked in economic


growth so we can fund the first class National Health Service. We


need to tackle and take action in relation to people's standard of


living and the cost of living and also make sure Government is really


at the service of ordinary working people. I've already set out some


policies I think follows through on that. We have announced a new


generation of social housing with a new Right-To-Buy for tenants. We


have announced protection for workers' pensions from irresponsible


bosses, new mental health rules to tackle injustice, action to end the


injustice of rip-off energy bills by putting a cap on energy price


ranges. Yesterday, I announced the biggest ever enhancement to workers


Bourdy writes that has ever been proposed by a Conservative


Government. There are a number of elements that, we will protect the


that currently guarantee by EU law when we leave the European Union.


But we will also enhance writes in a number of ways. We have announced a


rights to time off when a parent loses a child, a right to request


time off for training, a right to have time off to care for a family


member. We will also make sure that the national living wage rises with


media and earnings over the next Parliament. We will make sure that


our discrimination laws enable us to tackle the problem of discrimination


in the workplace of people with intermittent mental health


conditions. We will make sure that workers representation on company


boards and we will look to introduce internships, so to help people who


have taken time out from the workplace, to be able to get back


into the workplace. We also look at the race of racial disparity in paid


by introducing more transparency in that area. I think these sorts of


policies are exactly what we need in order to make sure we are doing the


best for ordinary working families and people up and down the country.


It will take strong leadership and a strong Government to do that. It


will not just happen. We need that strong and stable Government with a


plan to take this country forward. I will be out and about in the


remaining days until the general election, talking and listening to


people and earning every vote I can and if I do that and I really do


believe that together, we can build a better future for this country.


Thank you. APPLAUSE


I will take some questions. Would you like a microphone? When you get


re-elected, have you got plans for NHS? And defence budget? Yes, and we


will be publishing our manifesto later this week so you will see all


the details. What I think is important for our NHS, we have been


putting extra funding into the NHS and we announced a couple of months


ago, some extra funding for accident and emergency, to help improve


things. We want to make sure that being in the NHS is an attractive


profession. We will set out our details on the manifesto, our


proposals for the future, but I want to make sure we have a strong NHS


and we can only do that by making sure we generate funds from the


economy. We will put money into our defence budget and we have committed


2% of our GDP being committed on defence. Also, the defence budget


will rise by 0.5% above inflation each year.


Think I saw a hand over here. Why do you think the Conservative Party is


the best party to take us through Brexit? I think we are the best


party to take us through Brexit because I think there are two things


you need when you are looking at Brexit. You need to be stronger and


what are going to be tough negotiations. We have seen in recent


weeks that it is going to be tough, some of the things that had been


said about our future and we are committed, the only party that is


really committed that we do this and I think whatever side of the


argument people were on at the time, I think now they just want us to get


on with it and do it well. So we have got the plan to take us through


those negotiations. I have set out our proposals for the sort of


relationship we want with Europe in the future and I want the best


possible relationship portrayed so that businesses can thrive here but


we want to do more than Brexit, it is about a plan that takes us beyond


and things like our modern industrial strategy, making sure


prosperity and growth can be spread across the whole of the UK, are an


important part of that. This gentleman here and then I will come


to the back. The cost of living has gone higher since Brexit. I am from


a family of seven. What are you going to do to bring the cost of


living down? You are right, the cost of living, when we are seeing


inflation, obviously, has gone up slightly, the impact of what has


happened to the currency is partly about that but there are things we


can do, like on energy prices. I see too many people paying over the odds


for energy which is a key fundamental for you if you have got


a family and are looking after your family, so doing something on


something like that is important but longer term, it's about actually


making sure that we've got a strong economy that can support jobs. I


would like to see higher paid jobs, more people... More investment in


this country so we can create that environment where people are able to


see a better future in terms of their cost of living but also a


better future for their children. But the price of food is going


higher and higher, at rising since the last six months. There is an


impact in relation to the price of food. What we need to do is make


sure we get back Brexit deal right. There will be some uncertainty for


business and people over the next couple of years as we are doing that


negotiation but what we need to make sure as we get that negotiation


right so we get the best possible deal, because our future and what


our cost of living years in the future, depends on us being able to


do that and having a really good economy and coming up with


proposals, like the Labour Party have today, which will end with


people paying the price for those policies doesn't help in terms of


peoples cost of living or in terms of being able to fund public


services for the future. There was a hand right at the back that I saw.


Very encouraging to see you as a member of Parliament working closely


with your constituency. Many members of Parliament to work very hard and


there is quite a low turnout at elections sometimes. What would you


encourage the electorate to do and what more could MPs do to make sure


we get a good turnout? You are right and thank you, because of course the


last screw fixed building that I went into was the new one in


Maidenhead in my constituency and I was very pleased to be able to do


that -- the last Screwfix building. We should all be giving the message


to people at this election that it is really crucially important in


terms of the choice available to people and it is about the future of


our country. I think it is the most crucial election we have faced in my


lifetime because we are at this important moment of change for the


country in terms of Brexit and going forward beyond Brexit, so I would


encourage everybody to go out and vote and it is important for all of


us involved in this, whoever we are, to go out and encourage people to go


out and vote, because it is about people's future anymore from the...?


Yes. Thank you. Obviously, Stoke-on-Trent was it quite hard


when the industry is left. What will be the plans to being back


investment into our city? I was here a few weeks ago with Jack looking at


the way the ceramics industry in Stoke has actually been reignited,


if you like and there were some real success stories. Just hearing about


this building and the work you do here and the hundreds of people


employed here, this is a great success story as well. What we want


to do as a Government, we have published not recalled our modern


industrial strategy, looking at different parts of the country in


different sectors of industry, saying how can we encourage growth


across the whole country, where there are in a fit and where there


are particular classes of expertise, which can we continue to help those


to grow further and create those hopes and incentives for industry,


so her industrial strategy will be aiming to roll out and make sure


that posterity is going across the whole of the country and as I said,


you have got some advantages here in Stoke in existing industries that


could be built on for the future. What are your plans for the tax-free


allowance come 2022? You mean for the personal allowance? Is


physically and I'm a Conservative member, what are the plans for the


tax-free allowance? I am going to disappoint Jinnat I'm not setting


out tax plans until you see the manifesto later this week but we


have raised the personal allowance. We have taken 4 million people out


of paying tax altogether and by raising the allowance, there is a


tax rate which is for the basic rate tax payer of about ?1000 a year, so


we are a low tax party, but our manifesto will come out later this


week. Sorry, I'm making the microphone move around. Obviously in


the election before on Brexit, Ukip did a lot for that because of


immigration I voted Ukip and I think seven out of ten people voted on


immigration. What are your plans for immigration? You are right, I


believe that for some people who voted at the referendum, immigration


was one of the issues they were concerned about. Of course, I was


home secretaries or six years and during that time, we brought a lot


of changes into immigration laws were people coming from outside the


EU. We think number should be brought down. We want to control our


borders, I think that is important, whipping number should be brought


death to sustainable levels and we continue to think that is in the


tens of thousands, but on immigration, there is no one thing


you do that certainly makes the numbers cut down to that level, you


have to constantly work at it. What we will now be able to do when we


leave the EU is bring in rules for people coming from the EU into the


UK as we have rules for people coming from outside the EU, so that


will help us control that element of immigration that with free movement,


we were not able to control but I think it is very clear that we as a


party were quite early to recognise that this was a concern for people


and to look to put some control into our immigration rules and we will


continue to do so. I'll take perhaps... The Gentleman Thief had


has been waiting and add one more question over their and then I will


come to the media. Don't worry, I will come to you. Yesterday, you


said you wouldn't debate Jeremy Corbyn because you don't think the


public want to see politicians shout at each other. That is pretty much


Prime Minister's Questions every Wednesday. How are we expected to


see you as a strong leader when you won't debate the opposition? As you


yourself said, I have debated the opposition virtually every Wednesday


since I became Prime Minister. What I think is important during


elections is to do things like this, get out and take questions from


people in a variety of settings, in work settings and other ways too,


rather than having that sort of TV setup debate, which normally ends up


with the politicians, as you say, having a go at each other, rather


than being able to answer people's questions. I did an event yesterday,


Facebook live, people are able to put questions into Facebook and 445


minutes, did quickfire answers, to answer questions as quickly as


possible and answering directly and I think that is what is important.


People make their choice but I want to give people the opportunity to


ask me questions direct in that way. There was a lady at the back there.


Hello, Prime Minister. Following on from the Brexit theme, in terms of


once we do leave Europe, are there any plans that you may have to


introduce a tax or a levy for foreign vehicles using our roads, in


the same way we have two when we go across to Europe? There is an


interesting question. Over time, various governments have looked at


that as a possibility and there have always been various logistical


issues that have led to us not doing that and I will be perfectly honest


with you, it is not something I have looked at at this stage. I know it


is something a lot of people do worry about, particularly people in


the haulage industry but it is not looking back at something we are


looking out. I will come the media. Let's take ITV. Emily Morgan. Labour


has said today that they won't raise National Insurance, they will


provide free childcare for every family and increased the National


Living Wage to ?10 an hour. All policies aimed at working people. If


you really are the party of working people, will you also make such


pledges and if I make a second question, your response to reports


that President Trump has disclosed classified information to the


Russians? First of all, on the second issue that you've raised, I


mean, I don't, as you know, comment on issues that are... May or may not


relate to security matters, so we won't comment on that and it is not


up to me what President Trump says to anybody he is meeting and talking


to. On the first issue, what I would say is you mention some ideas in


Labour's manifesto. If we look at the whole manifesto, it shows what


we knew all along which is basically, it doesn't add up and if


you look at that manifesto, it isn't what people promising but can you


believe that people will deliver what they are promising? You can


only fund the National Health Service, you can only have the


funding we have made available in relation to childcare if you've got


that strong economy. What we see from Labour's proposals today is


they don't add up and are nonsensical economic policies which


means ordinary working families would pay the price of Labour's


coalition of chaos. I will take the BBC. You are in a room full of


workers, Prime Minister. Were you guaranteed all the staff here, just


as George Osborne did in 2015, that the living wage will reach ?9 an by


2020? The National Living Wage will rise in line with median earnings,


that was always the commitment that was made and that will Remain the


commitment. Just a follow up and's question. You said inflation is up


slightly, it is that nearly a four-year high and is now clearly


outstripping wages. Are the party for working people and pensioners,


vote under a potential new Tory Government, pensioners will be


poorer undershoot recommit to the triple lock and workers could be


poorer unless you actually do commit to what George Osborne said in 2015,


which was he would lift the the National Living Wage to ?9 52020,


can you give both all the workers here and pensioners some


reassurances that as inflation ramps up, they won't be poorer under your


Government? I have been very clear that content Makovich pensions will


continue to rise under a Conservative Government. How we


calculate that will be set out in our manifesto. What we have seen


over the last seven years as an increase in pensioners' income


through the basic state pension. Under Labour, we had one year when


the rise was 75p. The rise in basic state pension is now equal to ?1250


a year, so a significant improvement for pensions and they will continue


to go up under a Conservative Government and as I have said, the


National Living Wage has always been committed in relation to rising in


line with median earnings and that is what we will do for the future.


Jeremy Corbyn has announced ?48 billion worth of spending


commitments but they are very popular with the public in polls.


Are you worried about Labour's manifesto's popularity? And as we


are at Screwfix today, do you think it would screw or fix the economy?


LAUGHTER You can always trust the sun to come


out with lines like that! Ordinary working families will find


themselves paying the price for the spending commitments Jeremy Corbyn


has put forward. I think the sums have probably been dreamt up by


Diane Abbott and what we see is that these policies are nonsensical


economic policies and they would damage our economy. That means


businesses go under, there are fewer jobs, less money to put into the


national health services and other public services. There is a very


clear choice at the election which is me and my tea with a plan and


division to build a stronger economy for the future and Labour with plans


that I believe would wreck the economy. Prime Minister, earlier you


told some schoolchildren you were a fan of the Harry Potter books. Can I


ask you which character you believe you are most similar to? LAUGHTER


You can't ask me that! LAUGHTER I don't think I'm similar to any of


them! They are a great read, for adults as well as for children.


Daily mirror. Yesterday, in your Facebook live interview, you said


one of the reasons you support fox hunting is because other ways of


controlling numbers is more cruel. Can you set out ways that you think


that is more cruel than a fox being ripped apart by a pack of hounds?


There are problems that can occur when other methods of killing foxes


are used. What I said yesterday was, do other things. It will be a free


vote of members of Parliament when it comes to this issue and each


member of Parliament will take their own individual decision on this


issue and I think for most people, as you will have seen today, there


are other issues that are more important to them in this election.


I think we may have some local media here. Do we have the stokes then the


law? -- stoke Sentinel. Labour announced today they will put


millions of pounds extra in the school budgets. We are all putting


record levels of funding into schools at the moment and we


introduced the pupil premium which make sure with that extra funding


available, focused particularly on disadvantaged children. For our


overall schools policy, you will have to wait to see what we say in


our manifesto when that is produced. We want to make sure we have a fair


distribution of school funding across the country. Everybody


accepts there is unfair system at the moment. We have to get this


right. We have put forward proposals and have consulted on them but we


need to look obviously at the response to those proposals. I want


to see a fair system of funding across the nation's schools and want


to see a diverse school system where we are able to see every child


having a good school place. I think BBC radio Stoke is here? I think


this may have to be the last question. The local hospital, it


routinely fails to meet a the targets with frequent long waits for


patients, can you put a figure on what investment will be seen for our


local hospital. Looking at the way hospitals are dealing with a -- A,


what we see in A is that sometimes they are put under significant


pressure. And sometimes people go to A because they cannot access


services elsewhere. So it is not just about what you can do for the


hospital but about making sure the services available for people to go


elsewhere, such as the seven day a week access to GPs we want to see.


Thank you, everybody, I think that was the last question. APPLAUSE


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