04/10/2011 Today at Conference


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04/10/2011

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

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

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affair. Perhaps because party managers have been reluctant to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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England and Wales the public will vote for police and crime

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Commissioners. One economister -- Commissioner for each police force

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in the country. Responsible for setting police budgets, deciding

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police priorities, holding the police to account and hiring and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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criminals. Thanks to Labour, the police became a bureaucratic

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

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

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

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

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

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to cut crime. APPLAUSE and as Conservatives, we understand

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

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immigration can bring benefits to Britain and we will always welcome

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those who genuinely seek refuge from persecution but we know what

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damage uncontrolled immigration can do. To our society as communities

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

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housing stock and transport system become overloaded and to our public

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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will change the immigration rules to ensure that the

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

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life, no longer prevents the deportation of people who should

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

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

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

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

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that when foreign nationals are convicted of a criminal offence or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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punish those who do the wrong thing. APPLAUSE.

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

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

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

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is what I am determined to do. Thank you.

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

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

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

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would happen if judges simply ignored her new guidelines about

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

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

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

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

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what we have put into the immigration rules in terms of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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reason I expect hen parliament gives a clear message by saying

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

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

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

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

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

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judges to take into account criminal offences, breaches of the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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statutory instruments down if the judges still continue to rule in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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They can raise extra money locally and Chief Constables will decide

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

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

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

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with the elected authorities that we will be introducing next

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Metropolitan Police Authority. And Boris will be making decisions

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

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

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

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

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Constable looking at recruiting more police officers outside London.

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

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

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

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

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the cuts can be made without affecting frontline services. We

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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some anecdotal evidence that crimes in places like Croydon have

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

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

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happened during the riots a number of people have been arrested

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

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significant number of people in custody and some sentenced. Does

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that suggest that contrary to the Justice Secretary, short sentences

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

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

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times and different crimes. crime has fallen because the bad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:14:53.:14:54.

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

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

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for our directly elected police and Crown Commissioners because the

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

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

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

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

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

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constables, they will be regularly looking at figures that are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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is undoubtedly Boris Johnson, something that infuriates the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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sure that nothing like this happens again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:20:11.:20:21.
:20:21.:20:24.

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

:20:24.:20:28.

like some great tank movement, they are gathering themselves for

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

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

:20:36.:20:39.

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

:20:39.:20:49.
:20:49.:20:50.

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

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

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

:21:01.:21:09.

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

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education are being subjected to radical Tory Reform. Something that

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has not been without its controversies. Andrew Lansley

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

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

:21:28.:21:35.

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

:21:35.:21:41.

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

:21:41.:21:45.

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

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

:21:53.:21:57.

benefiting from academy status, Academy education, and excellence

:21:57.:22:00.

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

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

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the entire education system. This government is unambiguously on the

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

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

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

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

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

:22:35.:22:38.

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

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

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the coalition government is making sure that those who pursue a

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:23:23.:23:27.

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

:23:27.:23:31.

met, allowing them to choose support and services that suits

:23:31.:23:35.

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

:23:35.:23:45.
:23:45.:23:45.

care. APPLAUSE Labour, and their trade

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

:23:50.:23:55.

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

:23:55.:24:00.

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

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

:24:05.:24:08.

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

:24:08.:24:12.

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

:24:12.:24:17.

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

:24:17.:24:24.

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

:24:24.:24:34.
:24:34.:24:34.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 40 seconds

:24:34.:25:14.

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

:25:14.:25:23.

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

:25:23.:25:28.

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

:25:28.:25:32.

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

:25:32.:25:40.

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

:25:40.:25:45.

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

:25:45.:25:49.

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

:25:49.:25:58.

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

:25:58.:26:01.

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

:26:01.:26:04.

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

:26:04.:26:08.

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

:26:08.:26:14.

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

:26:14.:26:18.

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

:26:18.:26:24.

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

:26:24.:26:26.

the harder-edged right-wing conservative elements of the

:26:26.:26:30.

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

:26:30.:26:34.

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

:26:34.:26:37.

Liberal Democrats. The way that government ministers are talking

:26:37.:26:40.

about their work together seems very different from the impression

:26:40.:26:50.
:26:50.:27:01.

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

:27:01.:27:06.

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

:27:06.:27:11.

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

:27:11.:27:15.

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

:27:15.:27:25.
:27:25.:27:25.

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

:27:25.:27:29.

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

:27:29.:27:33.

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

:27:33.:27:37.

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

:27:37.:27:47.
:27:47.:27:53.

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

:27:53.:27:57.

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

:27:57.:28:01.

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

:28:01.:28:05.

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

:28:05.:28:09.

Conservatives here seem to think that the coalition is continuing to

:28:09.:28:15.

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

:28:15.:28:19.

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

:28:19.:28:23.

his annual address to the Tory faithful to lift their spirits

:28:23.:28:27.

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

:28:27.:28:32.

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

:28:32.:28:37.

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

:28:37.:28:43.

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

:28:43.:28:47.

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

:28:47.:28:49.

conference Specials, starting at conference Specials, starting at

:28:49.:28:53.

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

:28:53.:28:57.

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

:28:57.:29:01.