tv Victoria Derbyshire BBC News November 16, 2018 10:00am-11:01am GMT
hello, it's friday, it's ten o'clock, i'm victoria derbyshire. good morning. michael gove is not going to resign from the cabinet — according to our political editor. we'll find out how that changes the dynamcis around the embattled prime minister and her much criticised draft withdrawal plan. what is going on? i'm going on, says theresa may. but will the men in grey suits tell the prime minister it is time to ditch your deal? the prime minister has faced calls to stand down on a radio phone—in this morning. please, prime minister, tell me — why do you think you should stay on as pm when you have failed, despite your no doubt honourable intentions towards this referendum result? and if you cannot do that, i respectfully ask you to do the right thing in the national interest and stand down, to let someone from the brexit camp take the lead. we'll be talking to conservative mps about whether the prime minister will survive the weekend. and women's rights campaigner jasvinder sanghera — who says she was groped by a member of the house of lords and promised
a peerage in return for sex — says she feels "revictimised" after hearing that lord lester will not now be suspended from parliament. he denies the allegations. she's be here live at 10:30. hello, welcome to the programme. we're live until 11 this morning. do you think the prime minister should stay or go? let us know today. contact details and screens. here's chris rogers with a summary of the days news. thank you. the environment secretary michael gove is not resigning from
the government over the eu draft withdrawal agreement. a source close to michael gove ‘s told the bbc he staying in his currentjob. the bbc understands he declined an offer from theresa may to become the next brexit secretary, saying he would only accept thejob brexit secretary, saying he would only accept the job if he could negotiate an improved deal with the eu. this morning, the prime minister continues to defend her draft brexit deal. this is not the deal of a future relationship with the european union. the deal of the future relationship with the european union means we take back control of our laws, and free movement, take back control of our borders, take back control of our borders, take back control of our money so we can spend on things like the nhs. we are out of the customs union and the single union, the common fisheries policy and agricultural policy. the number of people reported missing in california after the deadliest wildfire in this paper, history has passed 600, more than double than the list published an
hour earlier. at least 63 people are known to have known to have died in a blaze in the town known as paradise. 0fcom has fined ee and virgin media more than £30 million. for overcharging customers who wa nted for overcharging customers who wanted to leave their phone and broadband contracts earlier. ee as there accepts mistakes. virgin media says it will appeal against the fine. ee will pay six points £3 million on virgin media have been told to pay £7 million. a painting by the british artist david hockney has sold overnight forjust over £70 million. that is quite a lot of money. it sets a new record. the highest amount paid for a piece of work by a living artist. it was painted in 1972. that is the latest from the bbc newsroom. back to victoria. thank you. thank you for all your messages. mr on
twitter says hats off to theresa may. whether you love or hate her, she's a determined woman who will see thejob she's a determined woman who will see the job through, no matter what is thrown at her, unlike the majority of her colleagues in the conservative party. matthew king says stupid bloody mindedness from her. she refuses to admit the government has made a com plete admit the government has made a complete mess of this, including david cameron, who got us in this place in the first—class first place. how embarrassing for our country. another on twitter says, i think she will be gone by the weekend. let us know your views this morning, send us an e—mail. later on the programme... lord lester, accused of offering a woman a peerage 12 years ago in return for sleeping with him — allegations he says are ‘completely untrue‘ — won't be suspecnded from the lords, despite a recommendation from the committee that carried out an inquiry into the claims. we'll speak to jasvinder sanghera, the woman who made the allegation,
that's at 10:30. the prime minister is clinging to a job after a tumultuous 2a hours at westminster but will be boosted by the news that in the last quarter of an hour the environment secretary michael gove isn't going to resign from the cabinet over her withdrawal agreement. by this time yesterday — the brexit secretary and work and pensions secretary had both gone. and the pm herself — well this morning she's out there trying to sell the deal to the country by appearing on an lbc phone—in this morning. let's speak now to norman. michael gove not resigning, why? i think because his hope is that he can convince mrs may, along with other senior cabinet ministers to change course. even at this very late hour they can convince her she is not going to get this deal
through parliament and therefore she needs to think about going back to brussels and putting a different package before mps. brussels and putting a different package before mp5. i think that is the plan b, if you like, of mrs may's cabinet critics. in the short—term, huge sigh of relief in downing street because it michael gove had gone, inevitably it would have opened up the question of who will go next? we could have been on the cusp of the cabinet beginning to break up, which would have accelerated everything. it seems there is a more softly softly approach from the men in grey suits. they will say to theresa may, listen to what your mps yourmps are your mps are saying. look what happened in parliament yesterday. this isn't going to work. you have to come up with another strategy. albeit, michael gove gave us plenty of fun albeit, michael gove gave us plenty offun and albeit, michael gove gave us plenty of fun and games this morning by the will he or won't he go? have a look as he left his house this morning. do you still support the prime minister, mr gove?
good morning. are you going to support the prime minister, sir? will you be resigning today, mr gove? morning. just give us an idea. this is only a draft agreement, isn't it? everybody‘s making... resigning over it, but surely... why are there so many resignations at the moment, sir? you were offered the job of brexit secretary, why did you say no to that, mrgove? hello. mr gove, are you off to see the prime minister now? do you still... does she still have yourfull support? why did you turn down the job of brexit secretary, mr gove? mr gove, we've spoken to labour people this morning, will we shortly be heading for a general election? morning. i wonder what his neighbours may give it all, the media circus outside in the morning? anyway, michael gove stays. that is a plus for theresa may. she meanwhile has been trying to carry on business as usual. she is continuing with their effo rts usual. she is continuing with their efforts to sell her controversial brexit deal. this morning on lbc radio, making it absolutely clear she is going nowhere. when this deal is finalised and comes back to parliament, i hope every single member of parliament is going to look at the need to ensure that we deliver
on the referendum, deliver on the result of the referendum for the british people and think about the impact on our overall national interest, our economy and also on the jobs of their constituents. and i'm doing myjob, i'm bringing back what i believe to be the best deal for britain and mps will then do their job and thinking about the impact of that on their constituents. so, where are we now? i think there are two stories we're looking at. 0ne are two stories we're looking at. one is the men in grey suits, that i talked about. the other is what happens with tory backbenchers and will they get these 48 letters? for what it is worth, there are well—placed senior mps telling me yes, we have the 48 letters. however, i have had a text exchange with a man who is meant to collect all the letters, so graham brady, head of the tory backbenchers. i asked him how the postal service was around his neck of the woods. he
gave me his usual reply which is he will not comment to speculate on how many will not comment to speculate on how ma ny letters will not comment to speculate on how many letters he has got. i take that that it might mean yaz and got 48 letters but the truth is nobody knows. the only person who really knows. the only person who really knows is so graham brady and at the moment he is giving precious little away. —— sirgraham moment he is giving precious little away. —— sir graham brady. could michael gove yet take the va ca nt could michael gove yet take the vacant position of brexit secretary? and if you had to put money on it, would you say a tory leadership contest is leading? the second question, yes, ithink contest is leading? the second question, yes, i think it almost certainly is looming because if we are to believe the brexiteers, they routinely say they have 80 or so mps thanit routinely say they have 80 or so mps than it should be easy pc for them to amass the 48 letters. i think that probably is on the cards, if not this morning this afternoon, then perhaps by the weekend. but we will wait and see. i think that is a
likelihood. in terms of michael gove, man of mystery. i would think it was unlikely, having let it be known he will not take the brexit secretary post that he would do a 360 degree turn and take it. who would want the job? you will suspect ministers are sitting by their phones and as soon as they see the call from downing street thing, i don't want to take that call, i don't want to take that call, i don't want to be brexit secretary! would want that job? don't want to be brexit secretary! would want thatjob? particularly since it seems pretty clear it is mrs may and downing street who are driving the brexit negotiations. that is why in part we saw dominic raabe and david davis before him resign. interesting to see who she finds. —— dominic raab and david davis. interesting to see who takes up davis. interesting to see who takes upa davis. interesting to see who takes up a poisoned chalice of brexit secretary. thank you, norman. you will be back with us when we talk to some conservative mps and supporters to get reaction to the facts michael
gove is not resigning and what impact that will have on other conservative backbenchers. a crazy day yesterday. numerous resignations just while our programme was on air, and more rolling in later. in a moment, well talk to conservative mps about whether theresa may can survive the weekend. after it sounds potentially that the 48 letters have been received. but let's look at what's happened in the last 24 hours. and this report contains flashing images. we can speak now to two conservative mps to get their thoughts on what they think is going to happen next. although obviously no one can know. gillian keegan backs the prime minister and her draft withdrawal agreement, and dominic grieve, who doesn't support it and wants to offer the country a referendum on it. thank you forjoining us. i would like to get your reaction to the fa ct like to get your reaction to the fact michael gove is not resigning
as environment secretary? i'm glad he's not resigning. i think he's doing a greatjob as environment secretary. i think he's doing a really good job as environment secretary and we need him pulling for the team. dominic grieve, a huge boost for theresa may? i'm delighted. i have no intention of putting in a letter to challenge the prime minister's leadership. that, for my point of view, is not the issue. the prime minister has gone away and done her best to produce a deal that takes us out of the eu, on terms that don't damage our economy. the difficulty is it was inherent in this negotiation that we would end up this negotiation that we would end up witha this negotiation that we would end up with a deal that is significantly less good on any national analysis than staying in the eu. leaving the eu with no deal isjust not an option. it would be chaos. i want to encourage the prime minister to consider holding a second referendum, to go to the public and
say, is this really what you want? in truth, we are now talking about something that is entirely different from the fantasy ideas that were being peddled about two years ago. what message does it send out to conservative backbench mps that michael gove are prominent leaver, is sticking by the prime minister?” guess the chequers or white paper proposal, he supported that. if you look at this withdrawal agreement, 0k, by and large it is largely similarto 0k, by and large it is largely similar to that negotiating position. of course, there is a little more details still to come but by and large, it is basically designed to keep frictionless trade, designed to keep frictionless trade, designed to keep frictionless trade, designed to support businesses and jobs and to, unlike what dominic says, i think businesses are backing this deal. and they are because it works for them. but they also do understand that there was a referendum. so this is quite a good
compromise. that's why think business leader after business leader has been largely supporting it. a second referendum would be a lot of more uncertainty and take even longer. i think businesses by and large are supporting this. that is the sort of economic boost and i think it is great michael gove will be there to implement it. dominic grieve, do you think you staying on in order to try and persuade the prime minister to amend it, tweak it, to maybe go back to brussels to change things? i have no idea. let me make it quite clear, if it thought it is possible to get this deal to wheat, i have no objection to michael gove for the prime minister going back to brussels to try and do it. i fully understand the difficulty we have. we are in a very big crisis. the root of the crisis is that at the end of nearly two and a half years of negotiation, the reality is beginning to intrude that the sort of brexit people imagined they would get is simply never going to be on the cards. if
either chaos or a deal, and i come back to my point, could somebody please explain to me what in this deal that we are getting from the eu is better than remaining engaged with the eu? it seems to me that is the issue. gillian is absolutely right. i've no doubt there are many businesses looking at the difference team chaos on this deal might say this deal is the best we can get in the circumstances. but i have to say, i haven't come across any business that thinks this entire project is rational, sensible or will do the united kingdom any good at all. it's time, when this happens, to reconsider the basis on which you are operating. what about the notion that the deal is voted down, shares fall, the value of the pound falls, people panic and then the deal goes back to the house of commons and mps vote in favour?” mean, there are many things that can
happen now. if you look at what the discussion it was yesterday when the prime minister set out the deal, which is largely supported by business. to answer dominic, ending free movement is in this deal. after the transition. after the transition, and i think that is important. i didn't vote to leave but everyone around me did, including my parents, and that was an important driver. this deal does deliver on a lot of the referendum. everyone is telling us there is not a parliamentary majority. yesterday, what did you hear? two things. people saying they could negotiate a better deal. frankly, i don't believe them, they are arrogant to make that assumption
having not been in the room ‘s edwin maka years. the second thing you heard was, i don't like the answer to the referendum and i want to ask it again. that is not the question being put to them. the question put to them is do you want this deal or not? they will have to go back to their constituents, back to businesses and their constituencies and at some point they will have to make a grown—up decision. they're not answering the question may have been asked. yesterday they were not answering the question they were being asked. the question on the table is this deal. in terms of twea ks, table is this deal. in terms of tweaks, it says on the agreement there will be further work that has to be done in some areas. there is further opportunity to shape and i hope michael gove and others are involved in that. but by and large, to think that thousands of negotiators, actually, the two years have not been trying to do this, is arrogant, i believe. do you agree, dominic grieve? is there any evidence anyone else could get a better or different deal if they went to brussels mark brooks absolutely not, i agree 100% with gillian. we won't get a better deal. but it calls into question what on earth we are doing in our country.” don't want you to make the same point again. the sun is reporting this morning that moderate tory mps, potentially yourself dominic does my dominic grieve and you, gillian
keegan are setting up talks for if theresa may is toppled, any truth in that? i'm a moderate conservative mp andi that? i'm a moderate conservative mp and i have had no discussions of that nature. what about you, dominic grieve? no discussions about setting up grieve? no discussions about setting upa grieve? no discussions about setting up a platform for national unity. i think if we get it through successfully, we have to consider a people's vote. let me ask you about the 48 letters, do you have any intelligence of 48 letters have been received by the chairman? only what the people who have put their own letters a nd the people who have put their own letters and have said. i would make the assumption, and a business person for a long time before i was a politician. ifi person for a long time before i was a politician. if i was in this position, i would a politician. if i was in this position, iwould make a politician. if i was in this position, i would make the assumption they had and that that could happen. a tory leadership contest? i would make that assumption because once that is done, it's done, get out the way. get this threat, this hopping from
the sidelines out of the way. i personally would be tempted to do that, because i honestly think mrs may would win any vote of confidence. we saw in the press conference last night, even if it was a majority of one, she would stay on. imagine if you need 158 votes to unseat her, if 100 or 120 conservative mps voted against or abstained, that would fatally wound her, surely? this discussion about fatal wounding has been used several times in relation to the prime minister. she is very dutiful. these are expiry times. there are a lot of men who have walked off the pitch, she is not walking off the pitch. what you think, dominic grieve? are likely to have a tory leadership contest? i have no idea, i don't know. on the basis of what was being said yesterday, i would rather assume we are but i don't believe the prime minister is going to lose the prime minister is going to lose the parliamentary majority of the party. there is nobody to replace
her. this isjust another bit of the fa nta sy her. this isjust another bit of the fantasy element that creeps into our politics. until we get the reality check, we will not find the way out of this. if she did win by a majority of one, it was a question put by the sun newspaper, she could realistically go on? i think she couldn't i suspect she would, too. 0k. your message to voters, remainers and levers matter of all over the country, so many messages in the last 24 hours saying this is a mess. this is embarrassing. in the last 24 hours saying this is a mess. this is embarrassingm must be awful to watch, i agree. from a contrary viewpoint, we need to be united. we are not negotiating with ourselves. we are negotiating with ourselves. we are negotiating with the european union. it seems to bea with the european union. it seems to be a fact that is lost in parliament. inside that bubble, it's quite extraordinary. virtually no discussion of the eu's position but seven types of brexit positions as
dominic said, largely fantasy based on an arrogant assumption you could doa on an arrogant assumption you could do a betterjob. i don't even think they think that, they just want the job. thank you both of you. and e—mails as if theresa may had any concerns at all about the national interest, she should go and go now. jackie on twitter says i don't think people like me or some mps understand what this deal is or why it is different actual future negotiations. theresa may needs to explain it in layman ‘s terms. christine says mrs may should stay, isa christine says mrs may should stay, is a complex situation never run to pull together and support her in delivering the outcome of the british people voted for. another says i'm afraid the prime minister is delusional when she keeps repeating we will leave the customs union, take back our laws and outre deals with the rest of the world. under her trade deal none of this is true and the country can see through it. she's an embarrassment and should go sooner rather than later. another says no leader of any political party can manage brexit because the country is totally
divided. there is no way we will leave with terms as good as we currently have. thank you for those on for coming on the programme bostock thank you, dominic grieve. keep those coming in. send us an e—mail or message as an twitter. you can e—mail or message as an twitter. you ca n text e—mail or message as an twitter. you can text or whatsapp as well. the draft withdrawal plan will be put to parliament after it's discussed at a special summit in brussels on 25th november. that is the planned timetable but things could change. so if theresa may survives the next few days, how likely is it that she can get her deal through the commons? 0ur reporterjohn 0wen has been taking a look at the numbers. there are a total of 650 seats in the house of commons, so you might think theresa may would need the backing of 326 mps to win a majority for her deal. but when you take away the 11 nonvoting mps like the speaker and the seven sinn fein mps who don't take their seats, the magic number that theresa may needs to get her deal through is just 320.
that's 320 mps she'll need to convince to vote it through. so how can she reach the mark? well, theresa may's conservatives have 316 mp5, so that sounds like a good place to start. but can they all be relied on when it comes to the crunch? most people think that she'll face opposition from at least some of her brexit—supporting backbenchers, including former cabinet ministers david davis and borisjohnson, as well as the european research group of eurosceptic backbenchers, chaired by jacob rees—mogg. so, how many can we expect to rebel? well, that's uncertain, but around 50 conservative mps have publicly backed the standup4brexit campaign that opposes the deal, and some have said that may herself should step aside. 0n the other side of the coin, those conservatives like anna soubry and jojohnson who would like to see a second referendum will probably vote against the deal in the hope of triggering a so—called people's vote. by one estimate, that leave something like 249 mps who will probably back the deal.
but that won't be enough to get it over the line. so what hope does she have for gaining support from outside the conservative party? well, the northern irish democratic unionists, with ten mps, have been supporting theresa may's government since the last election, but they haven't been impressed with the deal so far. whether they can be relied on is very far from certain. and what about looking to the official opposition? well, labour has 257 mps and all signs are that the vast majority will vote against the deal, with just a few who might be tempted to break ranks and support the government. labour have already said that the deal fails to meet their sixth test for a good brexit and so the prime minister won't be holding out much hope for a last—minute change of plan. elsewhere, it will be safely assumed that the snp, with 35 mp5, along with 12 lib dems, four plaid cymru and one green will vote against her plan. so can theresa may reach the magic number of 320? she'll be hoping that when it comes to the crunch,
and with the possibility of a no—deal disorderly brexit looming, mps will fall into line and give her their backing. but as things stand, it's very hard to see how she gets there. so, what about conservative voters? do they back mrs may? do they back her withdrawal agreement? and what do they want to happen next? rosina st. james — she's not a fan of theresa may as prime minister, but can't see an alternative. she wants another referendum on the brexit deal, including the option to "remain". jake gregory — he wants a brexiter, like david davis, to become prime minister. he's a conservative supporter,
and patrick evershed — lifelong conservativwe a big supporter of theresa may who believes she should be left alone to get on with brexit. michael gove staying in the cabinet, what do you think? are delighted, it would have been damaging if he had gone. why? because i think we want to see as many people as possible supporting theresa may. it's bad news if too many cabinet ministers resign. if you are gone and that is all right but is more went, not good news. he was a significant leave campaign. the fact he is staying, what message does it send out not just to the party but supporters as well? it shows that they are trying to rally around theresa may. i do think that is a good decision. booing what do you want to happen? the but the idea you would go on to become brexit secretary, i like that he hasn't done that because i feel that post, it doesn't mean anything any more. because theresa may has been the one doing the negotiations,
obviously because the last two have resigned because they haven't been listened to. i'm glad he canjust concentrate on what he has been doing and he doesn't need to involve himself. what do you say, how you about it all? i think for me at the moment, just in terms of michael gove leaving and not actually taking the position as brexit secretary. not leaving, staying. yes, sorry. i think that currently there is no need for another brexit secretary. we have a deal on the table, it is there. if we try and go back into europe to try and renegotiate a new deal... ijust don't think europe to try and renegotiate a new deal... i just don't think we will get anything better than this.” don't disagree with him becoming brexit secretary because i don't think it's not necessary that we try and renegotiate a deal, i think it's because with the current setup of the government, it's a fake post. because with the current setup of the government, it's a fake postm
there any evidence that any other personality, whoever it may be, could get anything different from brussels? it's always possible, the people in brussels to change their mind often. in negotiations, at one minute to midnight. it is possible in the end they may decide to moderate themselves a bit. we are getting m essa 9 es themselves a bit. we are getting messages from brussels that there is absolutely no type... they always say they will not move or negotiate but at one minute to midnight they often change their minds. but it is unrealistic. 0ur timeframe, we often change their minds. but it is unrealistic. 0urtimeframe, we are so time—limited now, i feel if we try and go back to brussels, there is no appetite to go back and say, let's re—negotiate. the deal is a deal and we need to go ahead. but they have said that they would extend the transition period. for what reason? the mpu spoke to earlier said that it is naive to
think someone else can go in and do a better deal whereas before in the conversation she was talking about how she was a negotiator. if they say this is the best you do no matter what, it's this on nothing, i would not be happy. is whether anyone else appears to put a marker gotan anyone else appears to put a marker got an alternative board. they've not been given the chance... dominic raab has tried but something else forward , raab has tried but something else forward, he has been disregarded, david davis was ignored. the only reason no one else has tried is because theresa may had a tighter grip around it. what is the alternative deal that would command alternative deal that would command a majority in parliament? there is no alternative, that's the problem. we are seeing hypotheticals and giving this fantasy that is not there. there is nobody who is going to step up in terms of becoming a new leader and pre—negotiating a good deal. we have a deal. it may sound unfair that theresa may has said, this is the deal, there is no
other deal. but she has worked really ha rd other deal. but she has worked really hard at this deal. she has gone to 27 people in the european union. she has really worked hard at this. there is no way we have five months, even if we try and extend it, and go back and say umm, let's re—negotiate. it, and go back and say umm, let's re-negotiate. david cameron did his best to get the people in brussels to come up with something more sensible and he failed too. this is a 600 page document, we don't have to go to brussels to re—negotiate from the beginning. there are parts of this like cyber security and anti—terrorism that a lot of people would agree with, if they know specific things like never—ending backstop situations, unilaterally not being able to leave. if we ever get to a backstop situation? the uk with being in —— would be in a customs union until a free—trade deal is agreed and that is not agreed and if the transition period
is not extended, then we get to a backstop scenario. patrick, you are old enough, with respect, to have seen the conservative party, the party you love and have supported all your life, get rid of a female prime minister before over europe. are you about to see the same thing? no. maggie thatcher, she had been in office for 11 years and after that, being prime minister, you get tired. that is quite different. theresa may certainly isn't tired. she is remarkable. i saw her two weeks ago and she looks fit and healthy. but you will have heard reports that these letters from conservative backbench mps are going in to trigger a no—confidence vote. what do you think of those?” trigger a no—confidence vote. what do you think of those? i think people are very cross with them, i had lost my conservative meetings yesterday and only two exceptions. everyone was solid behind theresa may, and furious at these people. it isa may, and furious at these people. it is a pity. i knowjacob very
may, and furious at these people. it is a pity. i know jacob very well. may, and furious at these people. it is a pity. i knowjacob very well.” have enormous respect... jacob rees—mogg? yes, ithink have enormous respect... jacob rees—mogg? yes, i think he's making a fool of himself. i think he's probably struggling to get the 48 but there is no way the conservative backbenchers will support him in any large numbers. if he does get his 48, he will be defeated and theresa may will be considerably strengthened. which would be good for her. i do not think we should ditch theresa may at the moment. i think the deal seems a little —— the deal is in need of a tweak. a lot more people were reacting like jacob rees—mogg before the details were out. he specified when he stood up in parliament specific areas he was unhappy with. i don't know them in detail but that is a more progressive conversation than saying just throw it out, it is a bad deal. it isn't. theresa may said she is not totally happy with it. she
simply says having struggled, that's the best she can get. i don't think anyone is satisfied but it is the best we can get. the daily mail calls those who are writing the mps who try and get the no—confidence vote, they are calling them preening tory sabotage. have they lost the plot? in terms of mrs may finishing herjob, she needs to finish the job. you would agree? all of the brexiteers throwing their toys out the pram, they did not step forward and were trying to help in this negotiation, i feel that they need to allow mrs major get on with the job and finish it. she is the only candidate who finish it. the prime minister is trying to do theirjob, this text. they say it is not a simplejob, isa this text. they say it is not a simplejob, is a big one. cut her some slack and get the job done. liam says that theresa may has lost
the confidence in the conservative party, the cabinet and the country. do the right thing and go. that is totally untrue, 38 out of 40 people i met lois mike mccoy last night are behind her. another says that theresa may should stay. the last thing the country needs now is a leadership challenge! theresa may has done as good a job as anyone could be expected to do against the eu. lee says he has been impressed with the prime minister, hard and soft, go girl! unsympathetic towards the view of the brexiteers, i don't think they are being nasty, i think they've read the deal and there are specific things in there that have been crossed, especially jacob rees—mogg. he does not think the british prime minister should even consider signing a blank check for a
transition deal. patrick, thank you. thank you for coming on the programme. and hopefully we will talk again. women's rights campaigner jasvinder sanghera says she feels "revictimised" after learning that a member of the house of lords she says groped her and offered her a peerage in return for sex, will not now be suspended from parliament. the house of lords voted against immediately suspending lord lester — going against a committee that conducted an inquiry and recommended a three and and a half year suspension. he denies the allegations. jasvinder sanghera is here. thank you for coming on the programme. first, how do you react to the news that lord lester will not be banned from the chamber? victoria, i had to say, i watched the debate in the house of lords yesterday and my worst fears were unfolding in front
of me. the sheer imbalance of power, it paralysed me at the beginning in terms of complaining. i felt bullied from afar, to be frank. i was not in the room in that debate, neither was the room in that debate, neither was theissue the room in that debate, neither was the issue of sexual harassment and bullying. the people in the room we re bullying. the people in the room were clearly lord lester's peers, his mates, who voted on the sanction. ifind his mates, who voted on the sanction. i find it his mates, who voted on the sanction. ifind it completely unfair. secondly, his reputation, not mine, but his. what we have to remember here is that i went through a process. he went through the same process as me. it was fair and a process as me. it was fair and a process that he endorsed and supported in the house of lords over nine years. that is what the commissioner said. at no point did he object to that process. that process was in that it treated him —— was fair in that it treated him the same as me but yesterday it was not fair. 101-78, that's how they
voted to block the recommendation of that suspension. you have explained how you felt when you realised what was going on but there was some support for you there. there is. and few stood up and supported me in there that i have to say, even they we re there that i have to say, even they were almost sidelined because as they introduced themselves, they said they were not a lawyer or his friend but these things are happening and we need to take a stand. he denies these allegations but the house of lords privileges and conduct committee found he offered you to become his mistress. i don't know if you would want to tell our audience more on that, it's entirely up to you. you have to remember that lord lester, at the time in 2007, was championing a bill for forced marriage victims, time in 2007, was championing a bill forforced marriage victims, i am time in 2007, was championing a bill for forced marriage victims, i am a campaign, he approached me to work on the bill. of course i will say
yes. in the space of a couple of weeks, this man tells me how first and for most, i was at this meeting at the house of lords i should say, i stayed at his house because i missed my train, his wife was there. 0n the way in the car he kept missing the gear stick and gripping my thighs. here i am on the way to his house late at night, i get in... when that was happening, what were you thinking? i moved his hand com pletely you thinking? i moved his hand completely off my thigh and i asked him to stop and he did it again. this was at ten o'clock at night on the way to his house. and he says thatis the way to his house. and he says that is untrue. what do you say happened after you state that night. the next morning, i was in the kitchen and he came up behind me and he gripped me, he grabbed me in the kitchen. his hands went up my body, i pushed him away and i told him that this is not wanted. stop it.
and i reminded him that he was married, his wife had left the house andi married, his wife had left the house and i asked to leave the house. he insisted on going to the station with me. for me, it was how he explained the house of lords to me, in the lords, he described the carpets, he said the privileged walk on that side, the commoners go that site. he was telling me where i stood in the pecking order. he could say to me, you see that building over there, jasvinder if you sleep with me you will be baroness in a year. what i keep reminding myself on what happened yesterday, again, it made me feel like i'm not to be believed. these were three tiers within the house of lords that it went through. scrutiny and investigation over a year. they upheld my complaint and believed me. the committee wanted to expel him from the house of lords and i'm holding onto that, because as a
victim of sexual harassment and bullying, i've got to remind myself that rather than questioning myself, this happened to me and i will not allow them to feel less than my truth. you would understand why i'm reading a statement from lord lester. yeah, sure. these allegations are untrue, i produced evidence that what i was said to have done 12 years ago did not happen. council have previously advised the committee on procedures and provided advice which concluded the investigation was flawed. i regret the committee's conclusions in the light of these materials. there has to be a fair process for investigating sexual harassment complaints in parliament, they have ignored procedure properly for 20 yea rs. ignored procedure properly for 20 years. i hope to bejudged on my work over the decades for gender equality, race relations and free speech. the report said that the commissionerfor speech. the report said that the commissioner for standards failed in
that she, she should have allowed lord lester to cross examine you.” have to say that the commission worked with the process laid before her. she could only work with what was in front of her and that was ratified by the house of lords, including lord lester. at no point did he object to that process. i can see why it suits him now to object. you do not criticise herfor that? absolutely not, she was following procedures, they appealed and they heard the appeal independently. the evidence he is talking about is already in there. all of the evidence was tested thoroughly, his evidence was tested thoroughly, his evidence and my evidence, everything was tested thoroughly. you know that lord pannick, a friend of lord lester, has said a week after the alleged incident, you signed a book for lord lester which you had written "thank you so much for your love and support, love and
admiration, jasvinder what do you say to that? lord lester raised that as part of the investigation as evidence, that has been tested and dealt with but i will respond to that. a week after this happened, i cannot describe how i felt personally. i am a strong campaigner for women's rights and ifelt paralysed and disempowered by this man. when i wrote that inscription, i was carrying on as normal, and it was difficult for me to identify with being a victim. secondly, he dictated to me what i should write. and ijust dictated to me what i should write. and i just wanted dictated to me what i should write. and ijust wanted him out the way. it happened in the space of two weeks. after that two weeks, i made the decision never to be in his presence on my own. and i wasn't. you say he told you to write those words? indeed. how difficult has it been for you to come forward and wave your right to anonymity?
incredibly difficult. for me, i have to say, and i did say to the commissioner, as a champion for women's rights, i felt commissioner, as a champion for women's rights, ifelt in the commissioner, as a champion for women's rights, i felt in the last 11 years, knowing i had this secret andi 11 years, knowing i had this secret and i wasn't speaking about it. around me i was watching survivors, including some who have been on your show, sure. iwas including some who have been on your show, sure. i was thinking, these people are talking, they gave me the courage to speak, not the process at the house of lords. but i wanted to say this is me, i did not have to do that. lord lester breached my confidentiality and my identity was the investigation was happening. that is in the report. i was in the house of lords and he pointed at me to appearand he house of lords and he pointed at me to appear and he said "because of her i've been suspended from the pa rty". her i've been suspended from the party". immediately, her i've been suspended from the pa rty". immediately, at least her i've been suspended from the party". immediately, at least four of the people heard this. he is
telling people and taking that right off me. so i'm going to tell people who i am. people often ask why it can take someone a long time to come forward , can take someone a long time to come forward, in your case 12 years. what do you say to them? you know, this has never happened to me before. it is very personal to a victim. some never come forward. it can take yea rs, never come forward. it can take yea rs , eve n never come forward. it can take yea rs, even if never come forward. it can take years, even if they do, as i say. i encourage them to come forward but i have to say, i cannot advise any person at the moment out there who isa person at the moment out there who is a victim of sexual harassment at the hands of a peer to give them confidence to come forward, because i would not want them to go through what i've been through. i'm not confident. that is an indictment of the process? it's an indictment of what happened yesterday. the process was fair. it went through three tiers in the house of lords. but what happened yesterday, in that debate, one after the other, his
friends stood up and did not speak about sexual harassment or the impact ona about sexual harassment or the impact on a victim. that was wrong. it sent up the wrong message to victims. you are saying don't speak out, don't come forward? i'm saying the process has to change now for victims of sexual harassment and bullying. thank you for speaking to us, we appreciate it. lord lester has released an additional statement. "i would like to thank david pannick and those members of the lords who supported him today recognising the importance of process and now look forward to restoring my reputation." thank you for your many messages about the current political situation in this country. you've been sending in your e—mails, and m essa 9 es been sending in your e—mails, and messages on twitter using the hashtag victoria life. —— victoria live. someone says that theresa
may's continued presence ensures my lifelong conservatism ends. tricia says, i voted labour lifelong conservatism ends. tricia says, ivoted labour since 1984. but i support the prime minister fully in all of the work she does for people like me. she is surrounded by police and they are always insecure. go for it may! erika says she never believed that theresa may would get the conditions we want as she has a lwa ys the conditions we want as she has always been a remainer. she did not wa nt always been a remainer. she did not want it so had no incentive to negotiate a deal for those who wa nted negotiate a deal for those who wanted to leave. if boris had been prime minister we would be out by now and the eu would have had to like it or lump it. thank you. we will try and read more before the end of the programme. one of america's most successful children's authors, the man behind diary of a wimpy kid, admits his own teenagers spend two to three hours a day on screens. jeff kinney says for parents, working out how much screen time to allow your children is ‘a problem of our age'. 200 million wimpy kid books have been sold in 56 languages — the latest one in the series the meltdown has just
been released in the uk. his books are now read in over two—thirds of the world. i think the reason my books are popular, notjust in the us but across the world, is because kids see themselves in the characters. i'm really writing about ordinary circumstances, ordinary situations, and so i think the books are a mirror to most kids, and so they can find themselves in the characters, their situations are familiar, and hopefully they're funny. so what specifically might kids be able to see themselves in terms of greg and... roh—ley or row—ley? how do you say it? rowley. rowley, yeah. named after a town in massachusetts. i think they can see themselves. greg gets into all sorts of trouble. he's an average kid, he's got lots of imperfections but all of his bad qualities are amplified.
they're really my own bad qualities as a kid. and so i think that kids can see that this kid is having a worse time than they are, so that's what makes it funny to them. mmm. the 13th title is just out, diary of a wimpy kid: the meltdown, published in the uk last month. 13 books. now, that's a big series. you've talked about, in the past, but the optimum length for a series, for this series, being somewhere between seven and ten. a bit like harry potter. you're past that now. so how long can you go on for? that's a really good question. i think the best cartoons go on for decades. there was something i realised around book five, is that greg's not really a literary character, he's a cartoon character. and the best cartoon characters don't change. we depend on them not to change. so there's some suspension of disbelief with cartoon characters. and when they go away, we feel really sad. they leave a hole in our lives. so i'd like to keep going for a while at least, maybe another ten years. did you originally think that they would be more popular with adults than kids? i wrote my books for grown—ups to begin with. i thought that the book would sit in the humour section is one giant tome,
the year in a life of an american kid, basically. and i thought that adults would pick it up and read through and remember what it was like to be a kid. and instead became a kids' series. after this interview you are heading up to the north—east of england to meet over 500 children at a special event in partnership with the national literacy trust. do you feel a particular responsibility to get kids reading? i didn't feel that before, but now i do. i see it as an honour, really. a privilege, but i can turn kids onto reading. i think it's so important for a kid to open a book, to see that it is pleasurable, and to finish a book. i think that when a kid closes the last page and they close the cover and they say, you know, can i have another book? i think that sets them on a path to becoming a lifelong reader, and that, i feel very privileged to be in that position to help kids along. how much do you worry about the amount of screen time children now are...
you know, let's be honest, some would rather be on a screen or a device than reading a book. absolutely, it's really hard to compete with screens. of course, screens are everywhere in our lives as grown—ups, too. i think it's a problem of our age, trying to figure out how much screen time is enough. i think you kind of had to go or nothing. my wife and i are in the all phase, you know? our kids spend a lot of time on screens... how old are your children? they're 15... 16, actually, and 13 now. right. so you're pretty liberal? fairly. we try to keep it under two or three hours a day, but that seems like a lot, just saying it. mmm. do you... are they in the habit of reading? do you force them to read? do they do it voluntarily when they put their screen down? yeah, that's a good question. they... i don't like to force reading up on them, because that sense i don't like to force reading up on them, because that sends that kind of message. i think it's really important to put things in front of your kids that they...
that are in their interest zone. even if it's something that you might not be interested in, even if it's pokemon or something like that, i think the very act of reading something that gives them pleasure is a good start. one in eight disadvantaged children in britain say they don't have a book of their own. how do you react to that? well, we've been trying to remedy that in the united states. we just got off tour where we went round to about seven different schools, we call them title one schools in the us, and we actually put on book fairs where the kids could pick up three books of their own. and you do realise... i took it for granted as a kid that i had a house full of books. but a lot of kids don't have a single book. and i think a book is a treasured object. when a kid walks home and they say, this is mine to keep, not to borrow, that's a very powerful message. mmm. just before we go — back by popular demand — next week sees the return of our political blind dates series — and this time, you guessed it, it's brexit. two people who've never met and with opposing views go on a lunch date, but how will they get on? here's a preview of what's to come. and just to say there is a bit
of crude language, but not much. is this going to have like a bit of tongue in cheek kind of vibe to it? hello, hello, how are you? i'm stanleyjohnson. i'm the father of the johnson children. hello, i'm zara. i was on love island. i'm dustin lance black and i'm a film—maker. aisleyne horgan—wallace — big brother, when it was good. magid magid, lord mayor of sheffield. ulrika jonsson. i even hosted the eurovision song contest. my name's june sarpong. i was on the board of the remain campaign. anil whelan. a bit of a loudmouth. robert winston professor of science and society. i'm perry mccarthy. i'm the original stig. i voted to leave. brexit has given me many grey hairs. i mean, what's brexit? i voted to leave. i voted remain. i think people that still remain are a bit obnoxious. brexit was not based on rational decisions. i think it's going very badly. i don't like confrontation. so, i've got some flowers. yes, i am single. 0k...
look what's happened to the value of the pound, which is crippling small businesses when it comes to imports and exports... no, that's not correct. it is. no, it doesn't cripple small businesses on export, because it makes us cheaper. if it's costing you more to import stuff, obviously you're going to have to increase to export. not on services, you don't. 0n products, you do. no, you're saying that because it suits your argument. no, it doesn't suit my argument. i will focus it down for you. for me? thank you! for you. so i can understand it... in terms of the value of our pounds, that matters. there's no way you can say leaving the eu hasn't impacted that. a lot of people voted leave and immigration. so, i was born in somalia,
and i couldn't speak a word of english when i first came to the country and neither could my mum, but i integrated, became lord mayor, and i'm so happy with that. it's a real shame that it's like that. it's less about immigration and more about the fact that because our country's so open, there has to be a limit to that, because people can't keep taking advantage of things like the nhs. the nhs is struggling. the schools are struggling, but that is all down to failed government policy. government's just rubbish. leaving the eu, for lgbt people here, is very concerning. the laws that have been bolstering lgbt equality here are eu laws. one thing i insist upon is strong law here in the uk, that at least matches what the eu gave us. yeah, yeah, yeah. i would like to think that this country is advanced enough that we would definitely stick
to what we've known and everything. but, i don't think we can take it for granted. that whole series is next week. thank you for your messages about what is going on in this country at the moment. someone says that theresa may's deal is said to be the best we can get and if that's the case so be it, but no deal is better than a bad deal. sarah says, we had a people's vote. the country voted to leave, not be silent servants of the eu. if democracy falls apart, neither me or my husband will vote in any election or referendum because it will be pointless. another says 100% support for theresa may, it's all for her for the rees—mogg mob. thank you for your company today. back at ten o'clock. have a great weekend. it has been a rather misty and murky
start to the day, we have had patches of fog which are lingering on in places across parts of yorkshire, through the east midlands, we saw that from our weather watchers. staying grey in many parts of england and wales through the afternoon. there is some sunshine in south—west england, west wales, and certainly across northern and western scotland. lovely sunshine so far today. in northern ireland, brightness too. maximum temperature is not as high as yesterday. looking at 13 or 14, even 15 degrees. tonight, it's cloudy. mist and fog patches developing on saturday morning. some clear spells, temperatures not falling far away, about 7—11d. some mild weather. through the weekend, it turns chilly. an increasing amount of sunshine. temperatures getting down
to about 11 or 12 degrees. it will get even colder into next week. more later. goodbye. you're watching bbc news with me, annita mcveigh. the headlines: relief for theresa may, as michael gove indicates he will remain in the cabinet, amid continuing speculation that the prime minister could face a leadership challenge. as speculation mounts about her future, theresa may has been on radio this morning arguing for parliamentary support to pass her brexit deal. we're out of the customs union, we're out of the single market. we're out of the common agricultural policy, we're out of the common fisheries policy. that's what i think
people voted for. i'll have all the latest reaction to this story here at westminster. and i'm chris rogers. our other stories this morning: the number of people unaccounted for, after california's deadliest ever wildfire, has soared to over 600. the author and women's rights campaigner who's accused a senior peer of sexual harassment has condemned the house of lords'