04/10/2011 Today at Conference


Andrew Neil presents highlights of the Conservative Party's annual conference in Manchester.

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Evening all. Welcome to another roundup from the Tory Party


conference here in Manchester, where it's been pretty low-key


affair. Perhaps because party managers have been reluctant to


feed the party faithful any red meat. There's been nothing to


assuage their eurosceptic appetites, no tax cuts to gobble down and all


the time there have been -- they're being force-fed an increase in the


foreign aid budget while police numbers and defence are being cut.


It's not a very popular Tory diet. But Home Secretary, Theresa May,


thought she had something to fill the Tory stomach. Next year, across


England and Wales the public will vote for police and crime


Commissioners. One economister -- Commissioner for each police force


in the country. Responsible for setting police budgets, deciding


police priorities, holding the police to account and hiring and


firing Chief Constables. They will be powerful public figures and they


will, for the first time, make the police truly accountable to the


people. Some people question why we are reforming the police. For me,


the reason is simple. We need them to be the tough, no-nonsense crime


fighters they signed up to become. But right now, despite what police


officers want, too many of them are not. Stuck too often in the station,


instead of on the streets. Filling in forms, instead of catching


criminals. Thanks to Labour, the police became a bureaucratic


service, not an operational force. And that's why the first thing I


did as Home Secretary was abolish all police targets, and set Chief


Constables one clear objective: Cut crime. APPLAUSE. I haven't askeded


police to be social workers, I haven't set them any performance


indicaters and I haven't given them a 30 point plan, I have told them


to cut crime. APPLAUSE and as Conservatives, we understand


too the need to reduce and control immigration. Of course limited


immigration can bring benefits to Britain and we will always welcome


those who genuinely seek refuge from persecution but we know what


damage uncontrolled immigration can do. To our society as communities


struggle to cope with rapid change, to our infrastructure as our


housing stock and transport system become overloaded and to our public


services as schools and hospitals have to cope with a sudden increase


in demand. So we are taking action to reduce immigration across every


route into Britain. But these tough new rules need to be enforced and


we need to make sure that we are not constrained from removing


foreign nationals who in all sanity should have no right to be here.


APPLAUSE. We all know the stories about the Human Rights Act. The


violent drug dealer who cannot be sent home because his daughter, for


whom he pays no maintenance, lives here. The robber who cannot be


removed because he has a girlfriend. The illegal immigrant who cannot be


deported because, and I am not making this up, because he had a


pet cat. That is why I remain of the view that the Human Rights Act


needs to go. APPLAUSE. The Government's Commission is


looking at a British Bill of Rights and I can today announce that we


will change the immigration rules to ensure that the


misinterpretation of Article 8 of the ECHR, the right to a family


life, no longer prevents the deportation of people who should


not be here. APPLAUSE. The right to a family life is not an absolute


right, and it must not be used to drive a coach and horses through


our immigration system. APPLAUSE. The meaning of Article 8 should no


longer be misconstrued. So I will write it into our immigration rules


that when foreign nationals are convicted of a criminal offence or


breach our immigration laws, when they should be removed, they will


be removed. Our opponents will say it can't be


done, that they will fight us every step of the way. But they said that


about the cap on economic migration and we did it. They said that about


our student visa reforms and we're doing them. As Home Secretary, I


will do everything I can to restore sanity to our immigration system,


and get the numbers down. I will never be ashamed to say that we


should doering we can -- do everything we can to reward those


who do the right thing and I will never hesitate to say we should


punish those who do the wrong thing. APPLAUSE.


That's why we must trust the people, by giving them their say about


policing their communities, and it's why we must respect the people


by doing what they want and getting to grips with immigration. And that


is what I am determined to do. Thank you.


Theresa May. In fact, cat flap turned out to be largely a load of


fur balls. Neither Theresa May nor I knew that when I began my


interview with her just before lunch. I started by asking her what


would happen if judges simply ignored her new guidelines about


deporting foreign criminals? I have every expectation, Andrew, that


when we make the changes to the immigration rules, which will be


done through stat story instrument, second legislation, that the judges


won't ignore what we are saying, that they will actually listen to


what we have put into the immigration rules in terms of


making sure that there is that interpretation of Article 8. Are we


legally obliged to do that? parliament will set its will down


in the statutory instrument, it will set what is necessary, what we


expect judges to do. As I say, I have every expectation that when


they see parliament - well because... You have seen how they


ruled before, why would you have every expectation? For the good


reason I expect hen parliament gives a clear message by saying


here are the immigration rules, we are emphasising this point, it is,


of course, in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights,


that it is possible to make this balance between relative rights.


Indeed, I was looking at that, Home Secretary, because what you want


and what the caveats are in Article 8 aren't the same thing. You want


judges to take into account criminal offences, breaches of the


immigration rules to get into our country, living on welfare while


they've been here, not working. The caveats in clause 2 of Article 8


are about the interests of national security, public safety, or the


economic well-being of the country. They're not the same thing.


it's rather broader than that as you see, as you look at the end of


that it talks about the rights of others. So it isn't just very


specific categories in Article 8.2. It's general in terms of the


ability of a public authority to say we need to balance the


individual rights of this person to a family life, against the rights


of others in a whole variety of ways. One of the problems is it's


always been a relative right in Article 8, rather than an absolute


right but it's come to be interpreted in that more absolute


sense. As things stand at the moment, though, once you put these


statutory instruments down if the judges still continue to rule in


the way they have there's not much you can do about it? If they do, as


I say, if they do, I have every expectation they won't, if they do


we will look at further measures. Is it true you said one judge ruled


somebody couldn't be deported because they had a cat? Yes, that


was a case reported. We just had a statement from the judiciary saying


that's not true. Well, that was a case that was identified and that


was reported. Have your researchers done homework on this because we


have been told it didn't happen. Well, Andrew, I have not seen the


statement that's come to you from the judiciary. Obviously, I would


look at any statement about this. We will see if we can get it on air.


Let me move on to police numbers, which is a big thing. Boris Johnson


- first of all, he boasted of adding 1,000 extra police to the


London constabulary, and then said I can tell you that as long as I am


mayor I will not allow police numbers to fall below a level I


believe is safe or reasonable. How can that be true for London, and


not true for the rest of our country? Well, I don't think it is


the case that it's only true for London and not for the rest of the


country. He's adding 1,000, you are cutting 16,000. No, what is


happening - I am sure you know this full well, Government sets central


Government funding for the police. The police have a pre-set power.


They can raise extra money locally and Chief Constables will decide


within that budget how many police officers they wish to have. Now,


obviously the mayor is, if you like, almost a police and crime


commissioner, we have to make changes to bring them into line


with the elected authorities that we will be introducing next


November. But as mayor he is able to make decisions about how the


budget he receives is spent. thinks to keep those of us safe in


London who live there, he needed 1,000 extra police and he is going


to keep it that way. You are going to - there will be a reduction in


the number of police in the rest of the country. You both can't be


right. Well, I am not quite sure I completely follow the point you are


making. The point is quite simple. Let me make my point and you can


come back. Every Chief Constable will be making a decision about how


their budget is going to be spent and we have discussion with a


Police Authority. In London there is a mayor, as well as the


Metropolitan Police Authority. And Boris will be making decisions


about how the budget will be spent and how he wishes what he dishes to


do in terms of police -- wishes to do in terms of police numbers.


There are Chief Constables in spite of cuts are making sure they have


more police by changes to the way they police. There is a Chief


Constable looking at recruiting more police officers outside London.


So, people are looking within their budget at how they deploy their


resources in terms of the number of police officers. Is it your


contention that these cuts can be made without a reduction in the


number of police we will see on our streets? It's my contention that


the cuts can be made without affecting frontline services. We


have heard Chief Constables up and down the country showing that's


where they are putting a focus in terms of... Will there be more or


fewer police on the streets after these cuts, because people want to


see more. What I am doing is actually getting rid of some of the


bureaucracy that will enable police to get out there on the streets.


Will there be more police on the streets or fewer once the cuts have


gone through? What I want to do is get rid of some of the things tying


up the police and preventing them from getting out on the streets so


they can get out on those streets. Police numbers, we saw the impact


that had on the later nights of the riots. Since the riots, there's


some anecdotal evidence that crimes in places like Croydon have


drastically fallen. Do you have information on that? I haven't seen


the latest crime figures for those areas. But, of course, what


happened during the riots a number of people have been arrested


following the riots and some of those were taken into custody, a


significant number of people in custody and some sentenced. Does


that suggest that contrary to the Justice Secretary, short sentences


do work? Well, what Ken has been saying is that we need a suite of


sentences, a variety of sentences that can be applicable at different


times and different crimes. crime has fallen because the bad


guys have been put away, if I can use the veracular that would


suggest prison does work. We all think in Government that prison


must work better. As he was talking today, there is a big issue about


re-offending. If you look at the figures of those arrested in the


riots, about three quarters of them had a previous criminal record. A


quarter of them had more than ten previous offences. That tells us we


are getting something wrong in terms of dealing with re-offending,


that's what Ken has been talking. You don't know what's happened to


crime since the riots in the areas where they happened because if you


were in New York you would have daily figures on the spikes and


Wouldn't you want to know, given where the riots took place, what


has happened to crime since? What you're doing is giving an argument


for our directly elected police and Crown Commissioners because the


point in New York is that there is one person they're responsible for


policing and the equivalent is Boris Johnson in London. But this


is not about the election, it is about the system. If you do not


know what has happened in Croydon, you have not got the system. Police


forces will have different systems. I can assure you, talking to chief


constables, they will be regularly looking at figures that are


involved in crime in their area. Can I ask you, finally, on


immigration, the party's policy on the election was to get a net


immigration down to the tens of thousands. Into this and are made,


it was 103,000, 196,002 1009, 239,000 in 2010. Will we see a


reverse in that trend in 2011? expect we will see the figures


coming down soon. As he will know, it takes time for any changes you


put into the Immigration Rules to actually work their way through.


This is the first year from April that we have had the full economic


cap on migrants from outside the EU. The student fees are changes are


only now being put into place. We are putting into place the measures


that are necessary to bring down net migration. We have had the


statement, the spokesman from the judiciary says "The basis of the


decision was to uphold the original decision. The cat had nothing to do


with the decision." You can follow through. The cat is free.


Theresa May. If the Tories have a conference darling these days, it


is undoubtedly Boris Johnson, something that infuriates the


Cameron aficionados. Not long ago, gaffs used to follow him like night


follows day but not now. He is seeking re-election next year and


he may have his eye on and even higher prize. His message to


conference today was clear and serious. I have spent a fair bit of


the last two months tramping the streets of London, talking to


hundreds of people caught up in the riots. Their businesses were


attacked, what they were just appalled by what they have seen. I


have a pretty good idea of what Londoners want. They want to make


sure that nothing like this happens again.


APPLAUSE I can tell you, as long as I am Mayer, I will not allow police


numbers to fall below A-level that I believe is say for reasonable for


a great city like London. -- below a level. Police numbers are up from


one I was elected and the numbers of special constables has doubled.


I pledge you that I'm going to keep it that way. And, yes, I think what


Londoners once, talking to people, is for everyone together,


politicians, police, teachers, parents, to sort out the underlying


issues that cause these people to riots. At one of the best things to


have come from those events is the fierce desire to help to bring


communities together. And to show that those looters, those rioters


do not stand for London. I tell you who did stand up for London. It was


that man who sat on a looter's head, it was the woman who made a


fantastic speech in Hackney and scared them away. Is she here? I do


not know where she is. It was the restaurant workers who fought them


off with a rolling pins and salt pans. It was the room brigade of


Clapham that stood up for London. - - broom brigade. That's right,


Clapham. In my view, those people represented the true spirit of


London. Everything we do in City Hall is about putting the village


back into the city. And we are on target to build a record 50,000


affordable homes and we will do even more over the next four years,


but we are also insisting on homes that are big enough for families


with children, and rooms that are big enough for human beings, rather


than hot bits. None of us are getting any smaller, as you may


have noticed. But this time next year, this mayoralty, City Hall


will have, partly by getting rid of Creasey communist systems, planted


50,000 trees in London, and that is what I mean. We are putting the


village back into the city. There is nothing more like a village than


the sight of someone sailing elegantly past, bolt upright, on


one of those big blue bicycles. The bikes are going west and east, and


like some great tank movement, they are gathering themselves for


research north and south. From next year, you will be able to go from


Canary Wharf to Hammersmith, from Camden Town to Clapham, and guess


how many were rooted in the disturbances? Guess how many?


Anybody? How many? The answer is not three, not 10, but none. I do


not know whether we should be flattered or insulted by that. The


reality is that there was virtually only one thing safer than a bike


hire stand in London and that was a bookshop. Boris Johnson. Health and


education are being subjected to radical Tory Reform. Something that


has not been without its controversies. Andrew Lansley


responded to claims and today's papers that his plans for the NHS


would cause irreversible harm. But first up, the Education Secretary,


Michael Gove, trumpeting his school reforms. It was thanks to the


election of a Tory Prime Minister that we now have 1000 academies


opened. We inherited just 200 from Labour and we have increased the


number massively. At the same time, we now have 1.2 million children


benefiting from academy status, Academy education, and excellence


in education. It is an achievement of which you should be proud.


APPLAUSE New schools, but most importantly, a new attitude, for


the entire education system. This government is unambiguously on the


side of teachers. And we know that there are three things that are


critical if we are going to support teachers in the work they do. The


idealistic, inspiring, will change in work that they do. We need to


back them on discipline and give them a set of exams which are fit


for purpose. We need to make sure that they can take pride in their


profession. For far too long, the technical, the vocational, the


craft skills and the apprenticeship route has been undervalued. At last,


the coalition government is making sure that those who pursue a


vocational or technical course can hold their head up high with the


same degree of pride as anyone who pursues an academic course.


APPLAUSE We know that you cannot trust Labour on the NHS. In England,


we are delivering for patients. Labour have used the NHS as a


political football. We will not let them. We will always fight for our


NHS. Today, I can tell you at conference, we will offer personal


health budgets to the 50,000 people eligible for NHS continuing care,


budgets that will give them more control over how their needs are


met, allowing them to choose support and services that suits


them and their families. Truly putting patients at the heart of


care. APPLAUSE Labour, and their trade


union Popat Masters can push out all the ludicrous lies they like.


-- puppet masters. We will fight back with the lack -- with the


facts. You know my commitment to the health service. While I am


Secretary of State, the NHS will never be privatised or undermined.


Two weeks ago when Birmingham at the Lib Dem conference, the air was


thick with Tory bashing. There were times when it was hard to believe


that the two parties were in the same coalition. Would the Tories


retaliate in kind in Manchester? We smuggled lend them -- Lib Dem MP


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 40 seconds


Don Foster into the conference to You wouldn't see these in a Lib Dem


conference. I don't pretend you that these are not difficult days


and that there are not difficult days ahead, but together, we will


ride out the storm and together, we will move into the calmer, brighter


sees beyond. Thank you. APPLAUSE That was really strange.


I agree with everything George Osborne said. And yet he was not


assured in the way he delivered it. Frankly, the audience did not like


much of it. I'm just doing a bit of homework at the moment. One neuron,


what do you think about the role of the Liberal Democrats in the


coalition? They have been all right so far. They have been working well


with the Conservatives. There has not been anything that Major to


disrupt anything. Both parties are coming together, I think. I think


as long as David Cameron is liberal and Nick Clegg is Conservative, it


will last. I think they have done a good job in terms of choking off


the harder-edged right-wing conservative elements of the


government agenda. Therefore, it has had a benign effect. It is


working particularly well. By have much admiration for many of the


Liberal Democrats. The way that government ministers are talking


about their work together seems very different from the impression


that people like you and I get in It is hypocrisy of the people who


tell you to cut spending are then imposing ever bigger demands on you


to send them more money for spending which, by definition, is


less essential in many cases than the spending at home in your


domestic budgets. It is rather amazing, the Labour Party says that


the coalition government is cutting two deep and too quickly, and now


we have got the right wing of the Conservative Party saying that


we're doing it too slowly and not enough. Probably suggesting we have


got it about right. A back Boris T- shirt? I think not. But thank you.


Well, it is the end of the day and they have all gone off to enjoy


themselves in the bar. I have certainly enjoyed myself. I have


convinced myself that I'm certainly not a Tory but very many of the


Conservatives here seem to think that the coalition is continuing to


work well. So why did not need these after all. And that is it for


Manchester. Tomorrow, all eyes will be on David Cameron, who must use


his annual address to the Tory faithful to lift their spirits


because they are in need of some up left. And to convince the wider


public that he has the leadership and vision to see the country


through these tough times. And that, we're told, is exactly what he will


attempt to do. Joel will be with me here in Manchester tomorrow and we


will bring you not one but two daily conference -- Daily Politics


conference Specials, starting at conference Specials, starting at


noon with the build up to the speech. We will be back at 2:00pm


on BBC Two when we will bring you that David Cameron speech, live and


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