Episode 7 Sunday Morning Live


Episode 7

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On today's programme: High street chemist Boots is under

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pressure to cut the price of morning after pills.

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But should we make them easier to buy?

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The UK spends more than ?12 billion on foreign aid.

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In tough times here, is it time to slash that bill?

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And we talk to Stephen McGann, Dr Turner from Call The Midwife.

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This place has been at the forefront of so many developments in

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artificial limbs. It has been the best in its field since the First

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World War. This has been a very different job to any other job I

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have done. I love it. And Emma Barnett is here,

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ready to let you have your say. The story about the morning

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after pill has certainly got people going this week, so do send

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us your thoughts on that. Should it be easier to buy? That is

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the question. You can contact us by

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Facebook and Twitter. Don't forget to use

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the hashtag #bbcsml. Or text SML followed

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by your message to 60011. Texts are charged at your

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standard message rate. Or email us at

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[email protected] However you choose to get in touch,

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please don't forget to include your name so I can get

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you involved in our discussions. And you may want to comment on the

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story of the Muslim man abused and threatened after announcing his

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same-sex wedding. I don't regret going public at all. Since our story

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came out, we have had plenty of people contacting me and Sean,

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people who are hidden, people who are scared and alone. They've said,

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we have seen your story, we have read your story, it is

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heart-warming. First, Boots the chemist has found

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itself in the middle Morning after pills, used to prevent

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unwanted pregnancies, are sold at the high street giant

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for around twice what some rival When challenged about the pricing

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policy by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service,

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Boots originally said it was avoiding incentivising

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inappropriate use. The company has since apologised

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for its "poor choice of words" and says it is looking

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for cheaper options. The pills are free from the NHS

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but the Pregnancy Advisory Service says some women need emergency

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contraception and cost is an issue. Joining us now to discuss this

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are Clare Murphy from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service,

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Ruth Rawlins from the Centre For Bioethical Reform

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UK, Anthony McCarthy from the Society For The Protection

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Of Unborn Children, and Afua Hirsch, As a result of this row, some High

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Street stores are selling cheaper versions of the pill. Surely that is

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available, women should have it for a cheaper price? We know that

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widespread use of the morning after pill does not reduce abortions and

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people are interested in reducing abortions. People don't know that

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the morning after pill may cause an early abortion. Women are not told

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about this and they were not really told about the increased risks of

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ectopic pregnancy until the Chief Medical Officer intervened. I think

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this is a very worrying development. I think women are not being cared

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for and they are being kept in the dark. I would really like to respond

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to that. Clinically that is nonsense. It is fine for you to have

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a moral objection to women accessing the morning after pill, although I

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think you are absolutely wrong, but it is really problematic when you

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start mixing up clinical facts with moral misinformation. What do you

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mean? The morning after pill is not an early abortion. That is nonsense.

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It works by delaying ovulation so that women don't get pregnant. In

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the first place. And on the ectopic pregnancy, the morning after pill

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reduces the risk of ectopic pregnancy by reducing the risk of

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pregnancy altogether. I think this is a moral issue insofar as we

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actually have a moral obligation to ensure that women have a second

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chance of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy. Let's talk about the

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broader point. Is it for the retailer to decide what the price

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should be? I think the retailer can absolutely decide what the price can

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be but I think people also have the right to understand the reasons for

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that retailer keeping the price high. Boots is obviously a company

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which has put women at the forefront of its marketing exercises. It very

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much seems to stand for female empowerment. People really responded

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quite furiously when they saw... Women don't need to go there. They

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don't. And I think women will be voting with their feet until this

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issue is resolved. So why not just let the women vote with their feet?

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We want women to be able to access an affordable product and Boots is a

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key player in this market. Most people live near one of their stores

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and it is important that they do the right thing on this. They initially

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said they didn't want to incentivise inappropriate use by reducing the

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price and they have since said sorry for their poor choice of words.

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Should a retailer be making moral judgments? In a letter it is also

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interesting to note that they also talked about the fact that some of

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their customers do not support this service of the morning after pill.

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It is not true to say that all women are wanting it on demand. Some of

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their customers are clearly not supporting the use of the morning

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after pill. They have got to balance the different opinions of their

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customers. I think it is important to point out, as Anthony said, it is

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not just the contraception side of it. It can also end the life of an

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already formed human being. The science of embryology tells us that

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life begins at conception. When that egg is fertilised, you have got a

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new human being and that is one of the secondary ways that this bill

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can also work. So if it can end the life of an already formed human

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being, at this early stage, I think this is very important information

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that women need to know. I don't know why some of the abortion lobby

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and Claire and BPAS want to hide this information. This is not a

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debate about abortion. The way the morning after pill usually works is

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by delaying ovulation. But it can work in other ways. The hormone it

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affects plays a role in ovulation and apparently it was for accepting

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a fertilised egg. What do you make of this? I am like to think that I

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am coming from this as the perspective of a normal woman. I

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considered whether I would say that I have taken the morning after pill

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and then I wondered why I was questioning it. At some point in

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their lives, many women need to take emergency contraception and there is

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no need to be ashamed about that. As women we want to have control over

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our lives and reproductive health. It is interesting that the debate

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has been so much about information. Women want information. The idea

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that retailers should restrict access to this is muddled thinking.

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Women are already worried about taking the morning after pill. They

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don't take it necessarily and they take it very seriously, and it would

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be as widely available as possible so women can make up their own

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minds. You are in good company because 300,000 people are provided

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with emergency contraception every year. Many people are doing it. Did

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the price put you off and did you regret it? If you need emergency

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contraception you will probably go to whatever lengths. I remember

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paying ?25 some years ago. It made it more difficult to take it and my

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worry is that the price at the moment in retailers like Boots, up

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who are charging more than they need to, is disproportionately affecting

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low income women. This is muddled thinking. If something is available

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and it is safe to be available on the shelf, then it should be as

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affordable and accessible as possible. If there is a need to

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restrict it for medical reasons and we should hear that and it should be

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the same across the board. This is a confusing situation that alienates

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women from having choice over their bodies. We have a medical expert

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with us. Benedict Lam is a pharmacist trained

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to prescribe emergency hormonal contraception to adult women

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and teenagers below the age of 16. Let me ask you this first, which has

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come up in the debate in the studio. Morning after pill, it may cause an

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abortion, as claimed by one of our panellists. What is the clinical

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view of that? In our view, the emergency hormonal contraception

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pill is not equivalent to an abortion pill. It does not actually

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cause an abortion. The main way that it works is by delaying ovulation

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and preventing fertilisation. That is the clinical view. It is around

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?6 to buy this pill in France and British women are paying up to ?28

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in this country. Do you think it is unethical that pharmacists have

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charged more for it as a deterrent? I think it is unfortunate that this

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has erupted in the public arena and Boots has got involved in a

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difficult conversation. I think that initially back in the 2000s when the

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tablet was first reclassified to be made available in pharmacies, there

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was a statement from the original manufacturer of the morning after

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pill, which did indicate the high price that was set was to ensure...

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To try to discourage women from using it regularly. So the high

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price was used originally as a deterrent. Have you seen it as a

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deterrent? Is there any evidence at a price point. The woman coming

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forward to get the morning after pill in your many consultations with

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women? -- is there any evidence that the price point stops women coming

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forward? I have worked with women for many years. Sometimes when I

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tell people the price they ask if there is a cheaper version. More

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vulnerable people ask me if we provided for free. In England, some

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community pharmacies provide this tablet for free under what we call a

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local patient group directions scheme. That is usually funded by

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local boroughs and councils. Thank you for that insight and the

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clinical definition of what this bill does. Anthony was shaking his

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head through that. You might not agree morally, but surely unwanted

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pregnancies, it is a good way of avoiding them? In fact what we find

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is that the morning after pill, which can have the abortion effect

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according to the manufacturers, that is a clinical opinion, the morning

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after pill does nothing to reduce abortion. Where they have been

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freely available, in a number of studies we have seen rises of

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sexually transmitted diseases, and no good effect on teen pregnancy.

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Even if you are focusing particularly on the pill, it is not

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doing what one would hope it would do, even if you thought it was an OK

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thing to do. It is giving women choice. You are talking about giving

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it to underage girls, for goodness' sake. That helps abusive

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environments and it encourages risk-taking. And there is a great

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lack of information. It prevents a 13-year-old from having a baby when

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she is effectively a baby herself. If you look at the Bristol case

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review in 2016... It doesn't encourage abuse. As a matter of fact

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there is evidence of people using morning after pills to cover up

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abuse. I think we should look for 13-year-olds not to be having sex,

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we should look for something much more positive, rather than shoving

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dangerous hormonal contraceptives like that at them, and putting them

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on the abortion track. All of this blights people's lives. I am not

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connected to the lobby on either side of this but it strikes me,

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listening to Anthony, that his group is against more sex and education

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for children in schools to teach them about healthy relationships so

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that they don't need to take emergency contraception. For me, you

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inform people but then if they need the medication, it should be

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available. Then we should inform them of the risks. It has got the

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panel going! And everybody at home as well. Barbara on Facebook says

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the pill should be more readily available. Accidents happen and it

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is not the role of the chemist to act as a guardian to people's

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morals. David on Facebook saying that rich women can

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be trusted to act responsibly but not the poor. Women don't take

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morning after pills for the fun of it. And a nice incentive to have

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unprotected sex? It should be ?10,000 per pill rising by ?10,000

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every time you need one. Helen saying that women need to take

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responsibility and not concede any babies they don't want to look

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after. The morning after pill is a chemical abortion. Stephanie on

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Twitter says when she was a student she was caught in this position. It

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is mortifying and expensive and we should not be hit with a double

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whammy for a minor indiscretion. The final word goes to Sarah. If men had

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to take emergency contraception, the price would plummet. I know you all

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want to say something but we are out of time. Thank you.

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The McGann brothers from Liverpool have become an acting

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The youngest of the fab four is Stephen McGann.

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He plays the over-worked and over-stressed Dr Turner in the BBC's

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But he found himself in a real-life medical drama

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when his wife Heidi nearly died after a serious infection.

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He's just written a book about his life and career and

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# Just how wonderful you are # And I am so in love with you.

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I would like him in now. We always talk about what an actor brings to

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roll. We really talk about what the role leaves in terms of traces in

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the actor. In Doctor Turner in Call The Midwife, what do you come away

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with playing him? Does it change in anyway? It does. This has been a

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very different job to any I have done. I love it. This place has been

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at the forefront of so many developments in artificial limbs. It

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has been the best in its field since the First World War. The passions

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that fired the early years of the NHS service and here we are in the

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NHS in crisis, thinking, what should we do? It is all about bean

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counting. I sure like Call The Midwife, with characters like his,

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it is very important. It is not so long ago and it takes you back into

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the not so distant past. We will not tell you what to do, but here are

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some of the psychological ideas that informed while we made this large

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form of cradle to grave social care. That stays with me and that has been

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a great gift. She wanted to make sure you were all

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right. All right? How could anyone not be all right after seeing that?

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It is quite hard to look at, I give you that. They say that the changes

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the people around you but not you as an individual. When it is four

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Brothers experiencing fame at different levels at different times,

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how did that affect the dynamic in the family? Initially it was very

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difficult. It is like the $64,000 question. Was there a rivalry? Had

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to do not be? What is the experience like, being with all your brothers,

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working together? It was brilliant, we were also co-producers. God

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forgive us. He is coming. But it was a really interesting watershed

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moment. At that point, the penny dropped for all of us. Although we

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would work together and do lots of other things at various times over

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the years, we were not really a family business. Our destiny was not

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together. We did not feel it. By the end of that programme, we had

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scratched that itch, we felt we had finished a certain thing. We were

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different people who wanted to do different things. Some people would

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look at you and your brothers and see the success you have made of

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your lives and not know of the anxiety that you went through, just

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to step onto a stage. When I began acting at 19, I had a dark secret

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inside. I was suffering inside from an anxiety problem. I had a mental

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problem. I had agoraphobia, feed of public praises. Then I get a break

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in acting, they give me a chance to be in a musical, and it looked

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fantastic, but I had this inner problem. Described to me what the

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first few minutes felt like when you walked on stage for the first time?

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I was still trying to recover from agoraphobia. This was the opening

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night of this musical. It was at the Astoria theatre in London's West

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End. I knew I could peep through the stage and see the critic from the

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Guardian, members of Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran. I could see people who

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had come to be entertained and I was the entertainment. When I stepped

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out, everything in my mind was seeing, run home, go away. The idea

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of going onto a West End stage with that condition, it horrible. It is a

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feed of public places. The idea of walking in front of strange eyes, it

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gives you nightmares. I walked out and I can see my foot steps on the

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wood, as I put one foot after another. There is this other thing

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behind the screaming, the real me, I gentler voice going, you will be all

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right. If I did not open my mouth then and start, all of this would

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not be here. It was that moment and the minute I could open my mouth, I

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knew I would be OK. Did that give you better coping mechanisms when

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you were faced with the greatest trial of your life, facing the fact

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that you may lose your wife? Heidi was very ill. I was going to be a

:19:24.:19:30.

widower with a one-year-old child. I cried like a baby. Did I face it

:19:31.:19:36.

strongly, did I face it with a stiff upper lip? No, I cried and sobbed

:19:37.:19:43.

until I stopped. I stopped and she recovered. After that, things have

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never been quite the same for either of us. To confront that together, I

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find a privilege to have survived that. We make a lot more of our life

:19:52.:19:58.

now. We really do. It is not just sentiment. Being raised a Catholic

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but describing yourself as an agnostic, in those moments with

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Heidi, did your Catholicism, slamming -- come flooding back?

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Flooding back. In the darkness, the whole shebang. If you do this for

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me, Lord, I promise you, I will do this. It was me talking to fate and

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the divine and everything. All the other things were stripped away.

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Whatever that is, does it mean I am deeply... ? I do not know. I am

:20:36.:20:43.

still agnostic. When we are stripped away, life becomes really

:20:44.:20:46.

metaphysical. The really important things are left on the table and

:20:47.:20:51.

everything else is thrown away. I am grateful to have experienced that.

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Thank you so much. My pleasure. Still to come on Sunday Morning

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Live: Is singing good for the soul? I think that moving and singing at

:20:56.:21:16.

the same time fires all these brilliant brain neurons.

:21:17.:21:27.

The UK spends more than ?12 billion on foreign aid,

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which goes towards tackling extreme poverty, and other areas.

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But the National Audit Office has expressed concerns about the system

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for monitoring aid spending and says there is a danger some

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So are we spending too much on foreign aid

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and could the money be used better here?

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Joining us now are Nick Ferrari, a journalist, Amy Dodd from UK Aid,

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a journalist and researcher, and Katherine Dixon, a former

:21:57.:22:00.

Britain is committed to spending over ?12 million from its national

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income on foreign aid. It puts us in the top five. We should be proud of

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that, chewed and we? No, it is nonsense. There are many reasons why

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this should not be done, not least the people who are recipients of the

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cash. There is no audit trail. David Cameron once said that Afghanistan

:22:27.:22:30.

was famously corrupt and we happily give them millions of pounds. NHS

:22:31.:22:35.

demand is going up. Some of the viewers will not be able to get

:22:36.:22:39.

drugs that could prolong the life or is the suffering because we have not

:22:40.:22:44.

got enough cash. This winter, 30,000 elderly people died because they

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cannot turn up the gas and we are sending

:22:47.:23:02.

billions of pounds. Would you honestly look after next's children

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if you could not look after your own? That is what we stupidly do.

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Some of what you're saying is not true. We have a good sense of where

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the aid budget goes. We could make it more effective and we should be

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focused on that. The British people care about people overseas and we

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should contribute to others. We work in some of the most challenging

:23:16.:23:18.

environments. Some of these countries are really corrupt. That

:23:19.:23:21.

is true of some but not others. THEY ALL SPEAK AT ONCE

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Let her speak. We do not just hand over money to governments and let's

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see what happens. We have lots of procedures in place. In places where

:23:35.:23:38.

there are concerns about corruption, or the regime, we work in different

:23:39.:23:42.

ways, generally not directly with the government. Still no answers. We

:23:43.:23:47.

will come back to that debate in a moment. You grow up in Nepal and you

:23:48.:23:52.

have seen the needs of developing countries, Abishek Parajuli. What is

:23:53.:23:58.

your view? When I grew up, I see a need for the aid. The current system

:23:59.:24:04.

is not working. My take on it is it actually short-circuits a critical

:24:05.:24:08.

accountability mechanism. Humans are designed to care more about things

:24:09.:24:12.

we pay for than things we get for free. When the UK Government is the

:24:13.:24:16.

one spending on essential services in these countries, the citizens do

:24:17.:24:21.

not demand as much from it. The politicians care more about what the

:24:22.:24:24.

British politicians are telling them, rather than their own

:24:25.:24:29.

citizens. The accountability mechanism has been short-circuited.

:24:30.:24:33.

The answer is not to cut all aid. You need to better design the system

:24:34.:24:38.

so it works with human incentives. Rather than against it. Are you

:24:39.:24:43.

saying that per people need to pay for themselves? No. There is a

:24:44.:24:50.

startling statistic in India. Only about 2% of Indians paying them tax.

:24:51.:24:55.

That is staggering. If the British government wants a sustainable aid

:24:56.:25:01.

project, it needs to expand the tax net. More people in these countries

:25:02.:25:07.

need to pay taxes. The poorest people cannot pay. Direct trashed --

:25:08.:25:12.

direct cash transfers will help. Instead of giving the money to the

:25:13.:25:15.

politicians who will take it elsewhere, you want to give it to

:25:16.:25:21.

the people, who will pay taxes. Is it about us feeling better for --

:25:22.:25:26.

about ourselves because we are giving money or is it about helping

:25:27.:25:32.

real people? It is a bit of both. Aid and defence are two sides of the

:25:33.:25:37.

same coin. Lots of countries in the world suffer from violent conflict,

:25:38.:25:42.

poverty, corruption and inequality. Corruption is important, it is the

:25:43.:25:47.

driver of public frustration that results in violent extremism. When

:25:48.:25:51.

we look at the budget for aid, we need to look at the defence budget.

:25:52.:25:57.

Prevention and cure. We spend lots of time debating the 0.7%, but what

:25:58.:26:04.

about the 2% that goes on the consequences of instability? You cut

:26:05.:26:08.

the aid budget, you make people per year, they are ripe for the taking

:26:09.:26:13.

by terrorist groups, increased migration, more pressure on the NHS?

:26:14.:26:17.

It has been such a stunning success. The argument is it would be worse.

:26:18.:26:29.

Hundreds of thousands of people are on the move. If there is an

:26:30.:26:32.

Ethiopian crisis, if we can save the lives of children by buying malaria

:26:33.:26:35.

nets, I am for that. It is about other projects, frivolous projects.

:26:36.:26:40.

When you're dealing with humanitarian situations, you cannot

:26:41.:26:42.

deal with them unless the infrastructure is already in the

:26:43.:26:46.

country. If the health service does not work because you have not

:26:47.:26:50.

invested in making sure it is not corrupt and can function, how do you

:26:51.:26:56.

deal with the Ebola crisis? Tell that to viewers who have put in

:26:57.:27:01.

taxes and they cannot pay for the elderly care. It is simply wrong.

:27:02.:27:04.

Jamil Danish is a journalist from Afghanistan who worked

:27:05.:27:06.

as an advisor to the government until 2015, when he was forced

:27:07.:27:09.

You grew up in Afghanistan. What difference did you see aid making on

:27:10.:27:21.

the ground? Thank you for having me. To start, I am a recipient of the

:27:22.:27:27.

aid money myself. A result of what has changed my life from the very

:27:28.:27:35.

beginning. When I was seven years old, my mother would send me to

:27:36.:27:42.

stand at the Q of the bakeries at three o'clock in the morning to get

:27:43.:27:46.

bread. I was able to get that at nine o'clock. Five or six hours, I

:27:47.:27:56.

had to wait. I was seven years old. That continued for ten years. In

:27:57.:28:01.

2001, Afghanistan is a good example of how the foreign aid is spent.

:28:02.:28:08.

Although it was mentioned that it was fantastically corrupt, we should

:28:09.:28:13.

expect that. Afghanistan has been in continuous conflict for 40 years.

:28:14.:28:21.

After 2001, prior to 2001, you could imagine that Afghanistan was a

:28:22.:28:26.

failed state ruled by terrorists and insurgents. We had no economic

:28:27.:28:32.

infrastructure, no female participation, no schools for women.

:28:33.:28:39.

90% of the population were living below the poverty line. In 2001,

:28:40.:28:48.

when the new period started, the aid money brought changes to the

:28:49.:28:53.

country. Those were some of the changes that aid made. You're

:28:54.:28:58.

talking from a personal perspective. Part of your job involved looking

:28:59.:29:01.

after the contracts that awarded aid money. I know it was challenging to

:29:02.:29:05.

stop it getting into the wrong hands. People would be competing for

:29:06.:29:10.

that money. What needs to be improved to stop war lords or people

:29:11.:29:15.

who should not be getting those contracts getting them? As I

:29:16.:29:20.

mentioned in the discussion earlier, there are alternative mechanisms to

:29:21.:29:22.

avoid that and reduce the corruption. Obviously you have got

:29:23.:29:28.

three or four macro political generations coming together. You

:29:29.:29:34.

have people from the Communist regime working for the government,

:29:35.:29:39.

from the Mujahideen time, the Taliban, and now the new political

:29:40.:29:43.

generation. You would have challenges in all affairs of how the

:29:44.:29:49.

money is spent. The ministry where I live, we had a very good programme.

:29:50.:29:55.

It is still running. It is a UK charity -- it is a UK aid programme.

:29:56.:30:01.

It is a cultural rural development facility. You can go online and you

:30:02.:30:07.

can see that it changes. The main purpose of the programme is how to

:30:08.:30:11.

reduce and eliminate the division around the country.

:30:12.:30:17.

It started in three provinces in 2015 and now it is in 30 provinces.

:30:18.:30:24.

An example of something that has worked and eight has been deployed

:30:25.:30:29.

properly? It is so successful. Thank you. An example of receiving aid and

:30:30.:30:35.

also the challenges. And you were shaking your head throughout that.

:30:36.:30:39.

When Britain is involved in a military conflict, a country like

:30:40.:30:43.

Afghanistan, don't we have a moral duty to help them until they are

:30:44.:30:48.

back on their feet? Unfortunately we would still be paying for the

:30:49.:30:50.

Germans and Japanese and goodness knows what else. There comes a point

:30:51.:30:55.

when of course you have got to provide for those people. But

:30:56.:30:58.

programmes like that are not what I am getting at. It is cattle with

:30:59.:31:05.

flatulence in Colombia, anti-corruption programmes in Kenya,

:31:06.:31:09.

contraception in Malawi. Why? When our own citizens need the cash?

:31:10.:31:14.

Providing young girls with access to information and contraception and

:31:15.:31:19.

smart family planning. It makes a difference. You are saying that we

:31:20.:31:23.

should not be trying to address gender inequalities in countries

:31:24.:31:29.

where women are... Shall we get it right here first? It is a valid

:31:30.:31:34.

point. You are happy to spend on starving children in Ethiopia in the

:31:35.:31:40.

80s? I have always said that. The problem with corruption is actually

:31:41.:31:43.

a little more complicated. Some people argue that even if there are

:31:44.:31:47.

leaks in the pipeline of aid, at least the people in the bottom are

:31:48.:31:51.

getting something. But that is not actually the model that is

:31:52.:31:54.

operating. What happens is when you put to much money in the leaking

:31:55.:31:58.

pipeline, the league gets bigger. This is not me speaking. The

:31:59.:32:04.

committee puts forward to look at the Afghanistan programme, the

:32:05.:32:06.

corruption is an existential threat and it has got worse since 2001.

:32:07.:32:11.

Unless we have the correct incentives in place, if you just

:32:12.:32:14.

funnel more money into the pipeline, the leaking gets worse. The point

:32:15.:32:19.

here is that corruption is not a reason not to give aid. But we

:32:20.:32:24.

shouldn't ignore it either. The poorest countries in the world

:32:25.:32:29.

suffer the most from corruption. The point is that the poorest people in

:32:30.:32:32.

corrupt countries are really poor because the wealthy elite have all

:32:33.:32:38.

the money. The task of delivering aid is much more complex, as we have

:32:39.:32:42.

alluded to, but it doesn't mean we should stop it. We need to be much

:32:43.:32:47.

smarter about the way we do it. And the viewers? Lots of you getting in

:32:48.:32:51.

touch. Jennifer says very surprised you need to ask considering there

:32:52.:32:54.

are nurses in this country using food banks. Alan says we should

:32:55.:32:58.

double the eight we give. We are stinking rich country that does

:32:59.:33:01.

little to help others. Doreen says I am not sure that foreign aid goes to

:33:02.:33:07.

those that the most. The whole thing is badly managed. Mavis adds that

:33:08.:33:11.

any country who can afford to spend money on armaments and nuclear

:33:12.:33:14.

warheads and space rocket should not be getting aid from the UK. John

:33:15.:33:19.

says stop all foreign aid now. We come first, not corrupt overseas

:33:20.:33:23.

governments. And Joe says keep the budget but spend it more wisely.

:33:24.:33:27.

Transparent expenditure, playing stipulations and conditions that the

:33:28.:33:31.

money can only be spent on certain things. But that work if we spent it

:33:32.:33:36.

more rise late? Mavis has got it right! We are spending money to

:33:37.:33:47.

countries with their own space programmes. It is insane. India will

:33:48.:33:49.

have a better economy than ours in half an hour. We're not spending it

:33:50.:33:52.

on the space programmes but the problem is that countries that put

:33:53.:33:54.

so much money into defence are starving their health sector and

:33:55.:33:57.

these are the poorest people in the world. I am not in charge of it.

:33:58.:34:01.

Nobody is saying it is your fault and I get that we are struggling in

:34:02.:34:06.

the UK. People are difficult situation. At that does not preclude

:34:07.:34:09.

us from helping other people. The aid budget is a small proportion of

:34:10.:34:13.

what we do. But growing up in a country like the UK I got free

:34:14.:34:17.

health care and education and I have much more opportunity than I would

:34:18.:34:20.

have as a young girl in other countries. We need to remember that.

:34:21.:34:24.

We are not handing money over to corrupt politicians. We are doing

:34:25.:34:27.

what Catherine is talking about, helping people. That is all we have

:34:28.:34:29.

got time for. Thank you. Jahed Choudhury was

:34:30.:34:35.

delighted to tell his local paper about his marriage

:34:36.:34:38.

to his partner Sean. But Jahed is a Muslim

:34:39.:34:40.

and his announcement led Despite that Jahed and Sean are both

:34:41.:34:42.

determined to share their story, When Jahed married his partner

:34:43.:34:57.

Shaun, it really was a day to remember. It is a bit of a cliche

:34:58.:35:00.

but it was the best day of my life and I would not change it for the

:35:01.:35:04.

world. But among the joy there was sadness as well. I was sad that some

:35:05.:35:09.

of my family didn't come. For them, what we were doing was shameful.

:35:10.:35:14.

From an early age, Jahed has always struggled to reconcile his sexuality

:35:15.:35:18.

with his religious identity as a Muslim. What kind of upbringing did

:35:19.:35:22.

you have at home? It was really strict. We kept every Ramadan. My

:35:23.:35:27.

mother pray five times a day. We went to the mask. What was expected

:35:28.:35:33.

of you growing up? To marry a nice Muslim women. But that was never to

:35:34.:35:38.

be. Even when he started school, Jahed was singled out as different.

:35:39.:35:41.

Some people suspected I was gay because of the way I walked and

:35:42.:35:49.

dressed. That was when I first got bullied. I was called fag and

:35:50.:35:54.

somebody spat on my face. Have you resulted in your head, being Muslim

:35:55.:36:00.

and gay? Having that battle in my head, it seriously ruined my

:36:01.:36:06.

childhood. How did the community around here deal with you being gay?

:36:07.:36:14.

The mosque, the general community? I still get bullied. Even being right

:36:15.:36:19.

here, right now, I am anxious and wary because I know at any time

:36:20.:36:25.

someone could attack me. So tortured was Jahed that he ended up in

:36:26.:36:27.

hospital after trying to take his own life. This is the very park I

:36:28.:36:34.

came to when I took an overdose. I discharged myself at five o'clock. I

:36:35.:36:39.

came here and cried on this very bench. What state of mind were you

:36:40.:36:47.

in? I just felt so alone in the world and I didn't want to be here

:36:48.:36:51.

any more. It was the lowest point in my life. I wanted the fear, the

:36:52.:36:56.

loneliness, the battle to end. I just wanted it to end really. Is it

:36:57.:37:02.

too much for you? Sorry. But then came an unexpected turning point. I

:37:03.:37:06.

was screaming for someone to come and help me and I looked up and I

:37:07.:37:11.

started praying to my God. I said, please, just show me a sign, and

:37:12.:37:17.

that was the moment when Sean came. He was crossing the bridge and he

:37:18.:37:20.

came and sat down next to me, where you are sitting. He held my hand and

:37:21.:37:24.

he said it is OK. You can talk to me. I am not here to judge. That

:37:25.:37:30.

chance encounter on a park bench eventually led to Jahed and Sean

:37:31.:37:36.

making the ultimate commitment to one another. It is my privilege and

:37:37.:37:41.

my pleasure to be able to declare you husband and husband.

:37:42.:37:46.

Congratulations. One month later, the couple still treasure the

:37:47.:37:50.

memories of that day. Beautiful! Was it important for you to have Islamic

:37:51.:37:54.

clothing? It was really important. You know how girls dream of their

:37:55.:37:58.

wedding dress? I always dreamt of wearing something like this since I

:37:59.:38:03.

was little. I just love the colour, the red and gold. What are your main

:38:04.:38:08.

memories of the day? The registry office. Don't get me started! I

:38:09.:38:14.

mixed my words up. You are meant to say lawful wedded husband but he

:38:15.:38:17.

said awful! I am not that awful! Everybody started laughing. I was

:38:18.:38:24.

just so nervous. It came out the wrong way. As well as keeping up

:38:25.:38:28.

cultural traditions, Jahed still practices his faith. I still pray. I

:38:29.:38:34.

still keep Ramadan. I still read the Koran, to this day. I will never

:38:35.:38:39.

change my religion. It will come first. Jahed and Sean decided to

:38:40.:38:42.

tell their story to a local newspaper to encourage others who

:38:43.:38:46.

might be struggling with their faith and sexuality. But they were not

:38:47.:38:50.

prepared for some of the shopping online reactions. We have had loads

:38:51.:38:55.

of things. Death threats, people threatening us. It is shocking. Do

:38:56.:39:01.

you regret growing public? No, I don't regret going public at all.

:39:02.:39:05.

Since our story came out, we have had plenty of people contacting me

:39:06.:39:10.

and Sean. Gay Muslims, maybe other religious people out there, people

:39:11.:39:16.

who are hidden. People who are scared, alone. Going through the

:39:17.:39:19.

same experience. They have said, we have seen your story, we read the

:39:20.:39:23.

story, it was heart-warming and heartfelt and what you guys have

:39:24.:39:26.

done is very brave and I want to be brave like you guys. I was really

:39:27.:39:34.

lucky that my mum and my sister came to our wedding but it was a shame

:39:35.:39:41.

that the Muslim community were not supportive of some of my family

:39:42.:39:45.

members didn't show up. I just hope for the future that people like us,

:39:46.:39:50.

gay people, especially if they are religious, get more support from the

:39:51.:39:53.

Muslim community and more support from their family, and encourage

:39:54.:40:04.

weddings like this to happen. Jahed and Sean, happy together.

:40:05.:40:09.

For details of organisations that can provide help and support

:40:10.:40:12.

if you've faced similar problems, visit bbc.co.uk/actionline.

:40:13.:40:15.

Now onto our final discussion this week.

:40:16.:40:19.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector, has expressed concern

:40:20.:40:25.

about potential plans to allow new faith schools to base 100%

:40:26.:40:27.

She believes it could lead to segregation and has called

:40:28.:40:32.

The government says that it's consulting on the issue.

:40:33.:40:36.

So should faith schools be more open to people

:40:37.:40:39.

Or is the very point of a faith school to be able to teach as many

:40:40.:40:46.

children of their religion as possible?

:40:47.:40:48.

Joining me now are Dan Hitchens, a Catholic journalist,

:40:49.:40:52.

Chris Sloggett, a former teacher from the National Secular Society,

:40:53.:40:56.

Imam Asad Zaman, a private tutor, and rejoining us is Afua Hirsch.

:40:57.:41:05.

Dan, at a time when bringing communities together appears to be a

:41:06.:41:11.

really important thing, surely encouraging schools to be more

:41:12.:41:14.

diverse is the thing that we should be doing. If we want to support

:41:15.:41:18.

integration, the big thing we have got to do is look at which

:41:19.:41:21.

institutions are doing it well. Catholic schools, to take the

:41:22.:41:26.

example I know best, do a lot for integration. If you look at the

:41:27.:41:28.

number of ethnic minority pupils, it is well above the national average.

:41:29.:41:35.

19% are from the poorest areas of the country, where is the national

:41:36.:41:38.

average is something like 14%. These are already schools that are making

:41:39.:41:42.

diversity and integration work. There is a bigger point here, which

:41:43.:41:47.

is that we can assume that religious communities in themselves are

:41:48.:41:50.

divisive. But it is often faith communities who do most to build

:41:51.:41:54.

bonds between people. After the Grenfell Tower fire, it was the

:41:55.:42:00.

local churches and mosques who provided material help for people,

:42:01.:42:03.

who host meetings between people involved, provide counselling. If we

:42:04.:42:11.

want this great question, how can we live together harmoniously and in a

:42:12.:42:14.

great society, the first place we should be looking is religious

:42:15.:42:17.

institutions like faith schools and think they are doing it well, so

:42:18.:42:21.

let's encourage them and not put up more barriers. Are they doing it

:42:22.:42:26.

well? I would like to contradict that with others. I don't want to

:42:27.:42:29.

throw in loads of statistics that there is evidence that Catholic

:42:30.:42:33.

schools and other faith schools are more segregated by class and race as

:42:34.:42:38.

well as faith than other schools in the same areas. They take a lower

:42:39.:42:42.

proportion of children on free school meals than comparable schools

:42:43.:42:46.

in the area. On the one hand, if we want to promote integration as a

:42:47.:42:50.

society, and our politicians frequently tell us we do, you can't

:42:51.:42:55.

logically have that and segregate children by faith. More worrying for

:42:56.:42:59.

me, there is a lot of evidence that schools which are saying they

:43:00.:43:03.

segregate children by faith actually segregate children by social

:43:04.:43:06.

background and by race. Some parents are using faith schools as a

:43:07.:43:10.

proximity pulls aggregating children by ethnicity as well. -- a proximity

:43:11.:43:17.

for segregating children by ethnicity. That is not what we want

:43:18.:43:22.

to have. If children at the school are of one faith doesn't that make

:43:23.:43:26.

it difficult for them to integrate and learn about other faiths? Unless

:43:27.:43:31.

you're talking about boarding school, which is very rare, children

:43:32.:43:36.

are just in school for six hours but after that they are mixing with

:43:37.:43:41.

wider communities. Really? You go to clubs with your school colleagues.

:43:42.:43:45.

You don't mix, that is natural. Outside of school they will have

:43:46.:43:49.

neighbours, they will go to certain clubs where they will be taking part

:43:50.:43:53.

in football or table tennis, whatever. What if you are in a

:43:54.:43:58.

segregated area anyway and to go to a segregated school? Within the

:43:59.:44:04.

ethos of the school they need to make sure that there is a lot of

:44:05.:44:11.

integrate action -- interaction with other schools and clubs. They need

:44:12.:44:15.

to make sure that all children of all faiths are interacting with each

:44:16.:44:17.

other and develop intolerance for each other where they accept those

:44:18.:44:23.

beliefs. Did you go to a Church of England school? Wasn't it a good

:44:24.:44:26.

education, diverse, meeting lots of people? I did but personally I would

:44:27.:44:31.

have preferred to go to a faith school because I wanted to know more

:44:32.:44:36.

about my faith. Within our society, parents. It is their responsibility

:44:37.:44:42.

to impart faith to children. It is the state's responsibility to

:44:43.:44:46.

facilitate parents to provide that kind of environment. This is

:44:47.:44:51.

parental choice and if we are for parental choice, then we have got to

:44:52.:44:53.

be for diversity within education. Younus clock I will contradict that.

:44:54.:45:01.

If you're talking about parental choice, you should see some of the

:45:02.:45:06.

casework we have at the secular society. We have plenty of parents

:45:07.:45:10.

who would like to send their children to non-faith schools and

:45:11.:45:14.

they cannot because they would have to send them on an unrealistic

:45:15.:45:19.

commute to do so. It is not the state's responsibility to provide

:45:20.:45:23.

the education that the parents want. Bringing up children is a

:45:24.:45:26.

partnership between parents and schools. If you send your children

:45:27.:45:33.

to a state school, you are trusting your -- the state to bring up your

:45:34.:45:39.

child during school hours. The state has a certain expectation. A secular

:45:40.:45:43.

education, where all ideas are up for grabs and on the table and we

:45:44.:45:47.

can debate religion in a fair and open way, that is the right way to

:45:48.:45:53.

go. Emma has a very interesting guests.

:45:54.:45:57.

Arshat Ali is a mother of five and a Muslim.

:45:58.:45:59.

She chose to send her children to a Catholic faith

:46:00.:46:02.

Why did you decide to go to a catholic school and not a Muslim

:46:03.:46:11.

one? Hello. I think it is why not, rather than why. When you make a

:46:12.:46:15.

choice for your children as a parent, you want the best for your

:46:16.:46:20.

children. Every parent does. I grew up in a diverse community. I grew up

:46:21.:46:25.

with lots of different cultures and religions around me. When making the

:46:26.:46:29.

decision for my child, I looked at the ethos of the Catholic school,

:46:30.:46:35.

and the fact that my child would be learning something other than his

:46:36.:46:40.

own religion, and that is why I sent him there. Are your children a

:46:41.:46:44.

minority as Muslims in a Catholic school? No. The children are 98%

:46:45.:46:55.

Muslim. Lots of the children are from Muslim backgrounds and

:46:56.:46:59.

families. I do not know the reasoning why parents send their

:47:00.:47:02.

children there. I wanted my children to mix and not be segregated, and to

:47:03.:47:07.

integrate and learn about other religions. Hang on, if they are 98%

:47:08.:47:15.

Muslim, they are not really mixing with other religions or backgrounds?

:47:16.:47:20.

There are Catholic teachers and children there. They would get more

:47:21.:47:24.

diversity in that school than in the local school. If you're concerned

:47:25.:47:27.

about diversity and you did not want to send them to a Muslim school,

:47:28.:47:33.

where there were only Muslim people, can you understand why other parents

:47:34.:47:38.

do not like faith schools? I do not understand the question. If you want

:47:39.:47:42.

your children to mix with people who are different, can you understand

:47:43.:47:49.

why other teachers, parents and inspectors are uncomfortable with

:47:50.:47:51.

faith schools? I can understand, but as a parent, it is your choice. --

:47:52.:47:57.

comfortable sending my children to a Catholic school. They learn religion

:47:58.:48:06.

at home. When they go to school, they learn about Catholicism. It

:48:07.:48:10.

brought it home for me when my son went to secondary school and he was

:48:11.:48:14.

doing religious studies and he was asked, what did Jesus say on the

:48:15.:48:18.

cross, and the knew and he came home and they were so proud of himself.

:48:19.:48:23.

That was because of the education he had. We did he have known that if he

:48:24.:48:27.

had gone to another school? I do not know. My four macro children went to

:48:28.:48:31.

a catholic school and did really well. I have another child starting

:48:32.:48:35.

in September and I have made the decision to send her to the same

:48:36.:48:40.

school. A very unique experience.

:48:41.:48:43.

Fascinating, the complete opposite to your approach and your view. It

:48:44.:48:49.

needs to be said that within Islamic schools and catholic jihadists --

:48:50.:48:59.

catholic schools as well, all children have to follow the national

:49:00.:49:03.

curriculum. They are being prepared for wider society. They are being

:49:04.:49:06.

taught about the different faiths around them. Would they know what

:49:07.:49:13.

Jesus said on the cross? Why not? I can tell you the actual words that

:49:14.:49:18.

Jesus said on the cross, my lord, my lord, why has now forsaken me? I

:49:19.:49:24.

know the words he spoke as a Muslim because I am interested in that. You

:49:25.:49:28.

went to a Church of England school. Remember. In this discussion, we are

:49:29.:49:40.

defending to faith, as if it is a good idea. It is a valid position to

:49:41.:49:46.

say that faith is not a good thing. There are some very segregated areas

:49:47.:49:52.

in this country. If you are a state school or a faith school in that

:49:53.:49:57.

area, it will be one faith. The government policy is lifting the cap

:49:58.:50:01.

and becoming faith schools to become even more segregated. It is

:50:02.:50:05.

worsening the problem. The point on lifting the cap, the whole point of

:50:06.:50:10.

Muslim parents sending their children to an Islamic school is

:50:11.:50:13.

that they are immersed within that Islamic culture and ethos. If you

:50:14.:50:18.

reduce that, you will dilate and undermined that ethos.

:50:19.:50:25.

Emma. I was brought up in a Catholic and secondary -- catholic primary

:50:26.:50:30.

school, but there were lots of other races and religions. I wish I had

:50:31.:50:33.

learned more about the religion than my own. One viewer says, there is no

:50:34.:50:40.

place for the schools in the education system. Religious teaching

:50:41.:50:45.

should be done at home. And Barbara on Facebook, as a nonreligious

:50:46.:50:49.

taxpayers who respects all faiths, I would not wish to find organisations

:50:50.:50:53.

that help increase the divisions within society.

:50:54.:50:57.

Thank you for your comments. There are two macro issues. There are some

:50:58.:51:02.

faith schools which it is claimed an encouraging segregation. On the

:51:03.:51:08.

other side, there are faith schools that are high performing and do very

:51:09.:51:11.

well. In an area where there are not good state schools, they are

:51:12.:51:14.

excluding secular kids. You alluded to the second point earlier? The

:51:15.:51:19.

second point is interesting. If you look across the whole of western

:51:20.:51:22.

Europe, religious attendance has been decreasing but they'd school

:51:23.:51:28.

attendance has been increasing or staying the same. It suggests that

:51:29.:51:31.

more parents are sending their children to faith schools and are

:51:32.:51:36.

practising a faith. That is because faith schools outperform in terms of

:51:37.:51:42.

academic achievement. Why are faith schools outperforming? They select

:51:43.:51:46.

children from less underprivileged backgrounds and other schools. It is

:51:47.:51:51.

a complicated picture. The studies do not bear that out. The free

:51:52.:51:55.

school meals study, the Department for Education themselves do not use

:51:56.:51:59.

it because there are so many other factors. Catholic schools accept

:52:00.:52:05.

more from the poorest areas of the country. As for the thing about

:52:06.:52:08.

practising, you do not have to be catholic to appreciate the Catholic

:52:09.:52:12.

education, forgiveness, kindness, being a good citizen. Those values

:52:13.:52:17.

do not just come from religion. I agree. Non-believers have that as

:52:18.:52:23.

well. Yes, but people find it easier to find those values in that whole

:52:24.:52:28.

imaginative picture. There is a massive role for faith in society,

:52:29.:52:33.

but we would never accept hospitals or trains that were segregated by

:52:34.:52:38.

faith. In now or other public servers would we accept segregation.

:52:39.:52:43.

Schools are so important in raising our future citizens. It is a good

:52:44.:52:47.

question and you have had the final word. Thank you.

:52:48.:52:56.

They say that singing is good for the soul,

:52:57.:52:58.

so we've sent Mehreen Baig on a mission to find

:52:59.:53:00.

She's been at the Voices Now festival in London.

:53:01.:53:03.

She's not just there to watch, though.

:53:04.:53:05.

choirs at the festival for the show's grand finale.

:53:06.:53:09.

I am in Camden for a music festival that considers singing good for your

:53:10.:53:14.

physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The Voices Now festival

:53:15.:53:21.

began eight years ago, through workshops and performances it

:53:22.:53:25.

encourages and celebrate squires, of which there are over 40,000 in the

:53:26.:53:37.

UK. -- choirs. Claire Edwards is one of the organisers. The Rock and pop

:53:38.:53:42.

groups, classical groups, gospel groups. There are so many things

:53:43.:53:47.

that make them similar, coming together and singing is an amazingly

:53:48.:53:51.

powerful and spiritual experience for many people. To test out the

:53:52.:53:55.

benefits of singing, I go in search of my first workshop. This woman

:53:56.:54:01.

runs our workshop that combines singing and movement. I think that

:54:02.:54:06.

moving and singing at the same time just fires all these brilliant brain

:54:07.:54:11.

neurons. You relax, you breeze and when we come closer together it is

:54:12.:54:15.

not the competitive experience. It is about supporting each other. We

:54:16.:54:21.

generally feel love. We feel love through music. That was so good, so

:54:22.:54:27.

enjoyable, so uplifting. No one really cared what everyone else was

:54:28.:54:33.

doing. It was so free. I loved it. The physical and mental well-being

:54:34.:54:38.

of singing is all too clear. What about the spiritual dimension? I am

:54:39.:54:44.

joining Genevieve for her gospel workshop. My gospel workshop is

:54:45.:54:49.

about the love of God, and gospel means good news, so it is about how

:54:50.:54:53.

we express that through singing and through living.

:54:54.:55:02.

# I can dance. You would say that gospel music is good for the sole?

:55:03.:55:05.

It gives you hope, joy and peace. Singing allows you to smile. I

:55:06.:55:11.

really believe that everyone can sing and has a voice. At 5:30pm, we

:55:12.:55:16.

are performing life. Would you be willing to join in? I would love to.

:55:17.:55:23.

I will give it my best shot. Before my singing debut, then it's time to

:55:24.:55:26.

explore what else the festival has to offer. There are so many

:55:27.:55:30.

different workshops. I literally do not know where to go next. There is

:55:31.:55:37.

even our workshop for beatbox. This MC teaches how to use the voice to

:55:38.:55:40.

reproduce the sounds and rhythms of percussion.

:55:41.:55:49.

Keep the tempo. Yes, nice. I have been really inspired. It is great to

:55:50.:55:58.

connect with other people. I have lovely jams where we have created

:55:59.:56:02.

amazing sounds together. I love singing and it is a great way to

:56:03.:56:05.

connect to that other side of yourself. For me, a view have been

:56:06.:56:12.

through things and have no way to express it, like, I used to do art,

:56:13.:56:16.

and music is one of the things I enjoy. Does it make you feel good?

:56:17.:56:21.

It is like a relief. You have all that pain inside of you, and you

:56:22.:56:30.

just let it out. It is time for me to join Genevieve and the workshop

:56:31.:56:34.

gospel group, performing a song we learned from scratch in just two

:56:35.:56:39.

hours. The first time I decided to sing was on the BBC. Enjoy.

:56:40.:56:58.

# I can dance... # I am going to praise him.

:56:59.:57:13.

That was absolutely brilliant. The audience loved it, the group loved

:57:14.:57:20.

it. I am sweating a bit, but so uplifting, so much fun. Beyonce,

:57:21.:57:28.

watch out. Mehreen Baig in fine voice. Lots of comments coming in

:57:29.:57:32.

about earlier items in the programme. We were talking about the

:57:33.:57:36.

morning after pill. Ben has said, I went with an ex-girlfriend to get

:57:37.:57:43.

the morning after pill. I was a maids -- I was amazed by the judging

:57:44.:57:48.

looks and comments for -- from the pharmacist. My girlfriend said it

:57:49.:57:54.

was much worse for a woman on her own. Great to see the young gay

:57:55.:57:59.

Muslim man be open about his relationship. It will help others.

:58:00.:58:04.

One viewer says, my heart goes out to sweep Muslim Jahed.

:58:05.:58:09.

Amazing that he found Sean. That is all from us. Thanks to our guests

:58:10.:58:14.

and you at home for your contributions. Emma will be carrying

:58:15.:58:15.

on the conversation online. Yes, I'll be continuing

:58:16.:58:20.

the discussion with Afua Hirsch and talking to her about her

:58:21.:58:22.

upcoming book, called Brit ISH, Log on to

:58:23.:58:25.

facebook.com/bbcsundaymorninglive In the meantime, from everyone

:58:26.:58:27.

here in the studio and the whole

:58:28.:58:33.

Sean Fletcher and Emma Barnett lead a debate on whether we are spending too much on foreign aid.

Liverpool-born actor Stephen McGann, also known as Call the Midwife's Dr Turner, reveals what life is like as part of the city's 'other fab four'.


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