18/04/2017 Points West


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Welcome to BBC Points West with David Garmston and Alex Lovell.


Our main story tonight: It's off the ballot box


we go as May says June - we assess the state


Will Labour put their differences aside and can the Lib Dems


regain their traditional west country heartland?


All of our parties are scrambling to prepare for the June the 8th but,


which could change the look of politics across the West.


We'll hear from candidates fighting for their seats and those hoping


In our other headlines tonight: Relations between the black


community and the police are at their worst for 20 years.


The technicality that could save Bristol Rugby from the drop.


MPs across the west have been stunned today


by the Prime Minister's surprise call for a snap general


Few of our politicians are prepared - many candidates have not


even been selected - and yet in seven weeks' time


the Queen will summon a party leader to form a new government.


Mrs May will look fondly on the west - the Conservatives control as far


as the eye can see - that's a lot of blue.


Mr Miliband lost seats in 2015 - with the exception of Bristol -


the question now is can Mr Corbyn do better.


Well, they lost the lot in the west country in 2015 -


they will be hoping for a big comeback.


The news of a General Election came as millions of us went back to work


Teresa May addressed the nation from Downing Street, London.


I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet where we agreed that the


Government should call a general election.


And Brenda from Redland, Bristol answered right back.


You're joking. Not another one! All, for god sake. I can't stand this.


Today's surprise announcement caught everyone on the hop -


Not another one. I am not sure I can take it. I am relieved because I am


exhausted by what is happening politically at the moment, so for me


that is a good thing. The Labour Mayor of Bristol


watched on the telly with the rest of us -


the city has three Labour MPs, at the moment but the polls


aren't encouraging. It is a Westminster composition and


agenda taking part without any regard for the very real-life impact


we have it in local level. I find it irritating, to put it mildly.


It seems like only yesterday - in fact it was 2015 -


We have one big argument about the economy and leadership...


He said he was all pumped up and held rallies including


He scored a solid victory across the west -


at the expense of his coalition partners.


He wiped them out - every one of them here.


Ben Howlett took Bath from the Lib Dems.


What I do not want to see is people thinking this is a way to overturn


Brexit. It should not happen. People should not be under any


misinterpretation that that could be the case and unfortunately I think


the Liberal Democrats have been spreading one or two myths to many.


Labour had a new woman on the block -


Thangham Debonnaire - she won Bristol West,


once more at the expense of a Liberal Democrat.


And we are going to be in every part of Britain over the next weeks.


Soon, she fell out with Jeremy Corbyn,


clashing with his Momentum followers who backed him to the hilt.


All three of the city's Labour Mps refused to serve with him,


Now they'll have to campaign for him to enter the door of Number 10.


That is if they are chosen by the party to be candidates again. I


don't know which bits of the rule book it is, and I gather they are


meeting tomorrow, sitting MPs should be reselected. I do hope that is


what happens because certainly my constituents have been telling me


they feel they have been getting a good service from me as an MP and


the like seeing me in parliament standing up for what they believe.


The Lib Dems see this is as a huge opportunity


to make a come-back, based on their opposition to Brexit.


It will be a chance to undo some of the damage done at the last general


election, which left people feeling that there was not that liberal,


open, tolerant voice in Parliament that we need in this country is all


it is an opportunity to undo the damage.


After the bruises of Brexit - the toil of the local


and Mayoral elections - the politicians will soon be


knocking on your door again, some of them will be as weary


I can't stand this. Can stand Brenda. She has been quite a start


today. Waiting to help us make some sense


of this is our political editor Paul Barltrop,


who is in Bristol, Clinton Rogers in Wells


and Will Glennon in Swindon. Let's begin with you, Paul -


what can we expect Of course, the Conservatives success


in the West Country helped deliver them an overall majority at the last


general election, so they will be looking to continue that domination.


In Bristol, they did not make a clean sweep. They came second in


Bristol South and in the east of the city they would not mind having a go


at pinching those seats flavour, but overall they have to be defending


not just from liver but also from the Liberal Democrats who are


resurgent, especially in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum,


which has been a shot in the arm for the party, particularly in places


such as Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham, where there was a strong vote for


Remain. As for Labour, is at something of a low ebb in the West


Country. The only consolation they had back in 2015 was picking one


seat in Bristol back-up of the Lib Dems. Since then, they have won the


Mayor of Bristol. They have had big divisions in the party. Also going


through some pretty tough times in the recent past have been the UK


Independence party. They have struggled to get candidates to take


part in the local elections in two weeks' time and putting on a general


election at a time when they have few members unless in the way of


money will be quite often the fact that their German in Gloucestershire


today said to me that he got putting an election out was a cynical --


chairman -- a cynical miniver. It should just be a two horse race


between the Conservatives and Labour, but the contest we will be


looking out for is that race between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems


and especially in places like Wells and Somerset. We can join Clinton


Rogers. Thank you very much indeed. Somerset was a county were the


Liberal Democrats were pretty much erased from the political landscape


at the last general election. Tessa Mont joins me now, one of those who


lost their seats. I know the party sees this as an opportunity, but can


I asked you, an electorate that fell out of love with you last time, will


they be back in love with you? Well, general elections are not about who


lost through. It is about having a good local MP who will represent


their views to Government and you have to say it is not a good thing


for the country apart democracy to have a 1-party Government. You need


an opposition as well and that is the part that we can play in making


sure that we can hold people to account when they are in Government


making decisions for our future. It is fairly obvious that you will play


the pro-Europe -- European card, but surely any candidate or to buy a


reasonable majority to come out, that is a dangerous card to play?


Government and general elections are not about just Europe. There is a


whole plethora of things that go into a manifesto, lots of decisions


that we were going to make. Not just about Brexit but there is absolutely


no question we don't the Government to account to make sure we have not


as brittle Brexit will stop there are lots of people who feel that


actually this is not entirely what they voted for and they want to make


sure they have got MPs who do not just roll over when the Government


says this is the way we will go. There should be questions asked. We


are good for food and farming, there is very little manufacturing and we


need to make sure the balance is right. Thank you very much indeed.


Well, the Liberal Democrats other party or pretty well organised and


set up by this general election. They have selected all other


candidates. Can the same be said for the Labour Party? Let's go to


Swindon now and join Will Glennon. Thank you, Clinton. From high up on


all down you can see Swindon stretch off into the distance there. There


are two parliamentary seats here and they are normally fought over by


Labour and the Conservatives. The other parties have not traditionally


made significant inroads here. We're watching Swindon North and Swindon


South because they are known as bellwether constituencies. That is


to say whoever wins here normally goes on to take Downing Street. In


the Tony Blair years, Labour won both here. For the last two


elections, it has been the Conservatives. Labour have been a


little bit surprised by this announcement. I have spoken to them


today and they have told me they haven't even selected their


candidates, but they say they will swing into action. They are very


well organised. They say there are lots of local issues to fight on,


the state of the town's schools, the library closures that been proposed


and will be enacted, and the rise in council tax. They say there are a


lot of issues to fight on, but they will have to fight. The


Conservatives are very strong in Swindon. They have the town's MPs


and run the local council and they are ahead in the opinion polls.


Thank you, Will. That was Will Glennon for us.


Well, joining us from Westminster is the Wells MP, James Heappey.


He is a conservative. Are you in shock? I was surprised, certainly.


But I think the prime Minster has made absolutely the right decision.


This country has an important tries to make. To be back by minister


Theresa May, who will be a strong leader for our country, doing the


right thing to get the best possible from the EU as we go to Brexit, or


do be brisk voting for Labour or the Lib Dems or anyone else who will


just give the keys to Downing Street to Jeremy Corbyn and I think we can


all agree that that would be a disaster. Can we have some advice


from you, please. The people who do not want a heart Brexit, you should


they vote for? I think it is clear that whatever people's view on


whether we should be in or out of the EU, last year the nation made a


decision. We voted to leave. The only person who can get a good deal


for the United Kingdom that is nearly there are hard or soft but


does the right deal for us right now is Theresa May and that is the


decision people have to make. That is not necessarily the case because


both the Prime Minister, if she is re-elected, say you have backed me


and the right of my party wants a hard Brexit, we want out of the


single market and all the rest of it, this is my mandate. I think that


returning Theresa May as our Prime Minister with a clear mandate in


Parliament will not just give her a limited to meet you at home but will


give her a in Brussels -- give a legitimacy in Brussels. That will


mean sticking to the position that they have started out from. They


will need to compromise. They will realise that the UK is behind our


Prime Minister and they will need to come to terms that are beneficial


both to the UK and the EU. But this election is not just about Europe.


It is about who is running the country here in Westminster and to


the party MPs and constituencies are across the country. I am clear that


we are better connected and have a better deal for our public services


and have a great plan for our local area and I'm ready to stand on the


record and offer more for the five years that come in future. OK. We


have a long six or seven weeks ahead of us. Thank you for joining us this


evening. Well, we can all agree that the


Liberal Democrats had a disaster in the last election. It is appropriate


that the leader of the Lib Dems has joined us tonight. It is not often


that the launch of a regional Metro mayoral candidate of the Liberal


Democrat attracts the attention of the national media, but tonight


everyone is here in force. They all want to speak to Tim Farren, who has


come down and been ambushed today by the rather bigger news in town of


the general election. Did you see this coming when he woke up this


morning? No. We have prepared for the election. We had candidates


selected. You have candidates elected in target seats. The talk


was who would run in the non-target seats. I think we have candidates


chosen pretty much everywhere and at the moment we are in a situation


where the people have a great chance to change the direction of the


country. The Labour Party have put themselves in a position with Jeremy


Corbyn as their leader, they are split undivided and are not an


effective opposition. I suspect that is why Theresa May called the


election today and not for any other reason, but the election for the


Liberal Democrats to be that strong and credible opposition that Britain


desperately need, giving you the chance to vote against a hard Brexit


is a really clear choice for as here. We are up the election. We may


not have predicted it but we are up for it and ready for it. The West


Country voted for Brexit. The majority of constituencies back to


Brexit. What makes you think you have a times in the next general


election? Element do not forget that the Liberal Democrats have had 44


against a by-election since the summer, many of them in the West


Country. This is about a party that is clear what it is standing for on


the biggest issue of the day. Many voted for Brexit but wanted to be in


the single market. But above all else, people want there to be a


strong and decent opposition. As things stand, Jeremy Corbyn as the


leader of the Labour Party, a situation where the Tories are going


to be a 1-party state unless we step into that breach and we are prepared


to do so. I remember talking to you two years ago when you were wiped


out in the West Country and lost all your receipts. What on earth makes


you think you can come back from that catastrophic law? One of my


catchphrases as I can do nothing about the last election but I can do


something about the next one. Remember that the party has doubled


in size since the general election. It has added another 5000 since


Theresa May called the election earlier this morning. During the


last quarter, the Liberal Democrats had more donations than the Labour


Party. We are the only credible and decent alternative to the Tories not


just in the West Country but around the country and we are not buy this


election. Britain needs to do well. Otherwise, if you are a Tory, surely


it is awful for us to have a 1-party state with a kind of coronation.


Lastly, briefly, how important is this part of the world to your party


and this election? Massively important. Let's not forget that


there is no bad weighted is a this election except through the Liberal


Democrats in the West Country. That is the only way it can happen. The


Liberal party are clearly going to go down. So Theresa May is he will


go to a car in May -- Coronation now unless we brought in. You are


repeating yourself now. That is my job. Thank you very much. I am sure


this is not the last time he will be here between now and the general


election. He took that well. Good humour. Brace yourselves, I think is


the message from tonight, as we have seven weeks to go. What a day it has


been. Quite a lively one after a long unpleasant bank holiday. We


need another one now. Do stay with us we've got


plenty more to come, including a possible life


line for Bristol Rugby. But before that, our other main news


this evening is that Avon and Somerset police has been


warned its relationship with Bristol's black community


is the worst it's been for 20 years. It follows the high profile


tasering of a race relations The Chief Constable


admits more must be done. Here's our Home Affairs


Correspondent Charlotte Callen. He just grabbed him. Kayser, taster,


Glazer! Filmed on a phone by a neighbour. This video made headlines


around the world. The man is 63 and a grandfather, he's uttered by an


officer on his own back doorstep. -- tasered by an officer. He was a race


relations adviser to the police. I think what happened as taking any


sort of relationship with the police and the community and has taken it


back 20 years. Michael Jacksons worked with the police three years


ago to make this video about stopping -- stopped and searched to


help train new officers. The idea was to break down the fear and


reduce the number of stop and searches with a racial bias. In


2013, black people were nearly four times more likely to be stopped and


searched. Now in 2016, they are over six times more likely to be stopped.


And this has also caused anger. Desmond Brown runs a community


project in Bristol. He also runs a campaign group fighting for justice


for the tasered man. I call it racism. I think we have hired


institutional racism as a hook to hang or problems on and we have done


nothing about it. It is racism, whether it is an institution or not.


The police say they are listening. Their Chief Constable is unable to


comment on the incident of the man being tasered. It is being formally


investigated by the IPC seat, but he says he is pleased with the


performance of his force. There are too many black men being stopped and


searched but it is something we are taken great steps to ensure fairness


and transparency on. Her Majesty's Constabulary has reviewed stop and


searches across the whole country and found that 96% had reasonable


grounds to conduct the search. That was what was regarded. Social media


makes this kind of incident very public and very high profile and


shines a new light on how officers police communities on our streets. I


am very sorry to have to tell you there's that the Bristol paramedic


whose colleagues took part in a running man danced to raise money


for pioneering new cancer treatment has died on her 41st birthday. She


was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma five years ago. She briefly


shared her experiences of the disease in an online blog to raise


awareness and to help others. Bristol City scored one of the most


impressive and patient goals They completed 31 consecutive


passes in the build-up to Tammy Abraham's goal,


with nine members Elsewhere, Ellis Harrison


kept Bristol Rovers slim playoff hopes alive,


scoring against Oldham. Swindon are still in trouble after


losing to a late goal at Walsall. In League Two, Yeovil moved seven


points clear of relegation Cheltenham have a five-point cushion


after defeating Grimsby 2-1. Bristol Rugby club are waiting


to find out if they'll be handed Defeat to Wasps on Sunday


confirmed that they'll finish Their fate now depends on who wins


the Championship playoffs. One of the clubs involved, Ealing,


doesn't meet the criteria So if they win the playoffs,


Bristol could yet be saved. A proposed takeover of


Gloucester Rugby Club has collapsed. The France-based businessman


Mohed Altrad was aiming to buy a 45 But Premiership Rugby members have


voted that he can only As a result, the Syrian-born


billionaire has decided Time for us to walk upstairs to Ian,


who has the weather on this lovely day. I thought it was going to be


quiet. Yes, indeed. Hello, everybody. Well, at least it has


been a quiet day weather-wise. The story this week will be an


overwhelmingly dry one once again. Indeed, this part of the month there


have been a number of net offers regarding scissors -- Met Office


recording stations recording hardly any rain. We have a fair amount of


sunshine around. High-pressure establishing itself across as under


the course of tonight it will be a cold night with the risk of frost


across many parts of southern England, particularly central


southern England. Tomorrow, a good deal of sunshine with more cloud


around for the afternoon. Fast forward through a fine evening into


tonight. A lot of clear sky around. The odd patch of mist or fog around,


particularly through parts of Somerset and into Devon.


Temperatures there too 2-4 C, but we could get lower than that. Not


surprised to get down to freezing or below, so gardeners be aware of that


risk of frost. Tomorrow, after the risk of frost, the file will be out


of the way. Sunshine through the morning. Variable amounts of cloud.


Buying conditions with light winds and no rain insight. 13-14 C


tomorrow. Over the next few days, do not take the cloud amounts to


literally but the balance towards dry weather with maybe some spots of


rain on Thursday morning but not much of it. Ian, thank you so much.


Do not forget, there will be more analysis on our late bulletin as


well, although not from Brenda from Bristol. I think she has spoken for


millions today.


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