tv Question Time Leaders Special BBC News November 22, 2019 7:00pm-9:01pm GMT
$mﬁf€ﬁﬁ of labour at first, nicola sturgeon of labour at first, nicola sturgeon of the snp, then liberal democratjo swinson, and then the prime minister, borisjohnson. swinson, and then the prime minister, boris johnson. he swinson, and then the prime minister, borisjohnson. he will be the last to speak tonight. let's tune into the question time debate, live... for the first time, all full leaders of the uk's main political parties will answer questions one after another from the question time audience. everyone gets the same amount of time, just under half an hour, to respond to what our audience wants to ask about their politics. we will begin with the labour leaderjeremy corbyn, then the first minister of scotland and leader of the snp nicola sturgeon, followed by the leader of the liberal democrats jo followed by the leader of the liberal democratsjo swinson, and finally the conservative leader and
prime minister boris johnson. finally the conservative leader and prime minister borisjohnson. and remember as always you can join in on twitter, facebook, instagram and the usual way. so let's get started. will you please join the usual way. so let's get started. will you pleasejoin me in welcoming the leader of the labour party, jeremy corbyn? good evening, mr corbyn, and thank you for being with us. before we start, and i promise you i am saying this to everybody, the aim tonight is for our audience here is to ask if as many questions as possible so if as many questions as possible so if you could keep your answers brief and to the point, that would be great. so, let's have ourfirst question from ian parkin. good evening. should businesses be
frightened of an incoming labour government? no, they should not be frightened. because our country's economy relies on many small and medium—sized enterprises that are the motor of our economy that have difficulty in accessing capital and support for what they are trying to do. the biggest businesses will be asked to pay a little bit more in corporation tax but it will be lower thanit corporation tax but it will be lower than it was in 2010 and indeed lower than it was in 2010 and indeed lower than the average for most industrial countries. what i want to do is ensure that there is an economy thriving in every part of the country and so that means resources, and infrastructure system, roads and ra i lwa ys and infrastructure system, roads and railways across the country, broadband and every part of our country that is free to everyone to use, and that will mean that businesses can be set up anywhere. it is also clear in our manifesto here that what we are keen to do is ensure there is a better trained workforce in our societies so we will be promoting apprenticeships
and skilled training at every level and skilled training at every level and give them the same value as academic education and universities. i enjoyed working with all business organisations setting out clearly oui’ organisations setting out clearly our views in public ownership and taxation and investment for the future. there are two people with their hands up, let's hear from you both. to be honest, i do not think it is business you should be scared of, it is everyone. your reckless socialist ideas are terrifying to me, my family and my friends and i think freedom will completely erode if you have the keys to number 10. what about the businesses you are going to nationalise that will then not exist? when you say free internet, they do not have a product to sell. the issue of your views on rights and freedoms in our society, i absolutely defend the right of
free speech. i supported the interaction of the human rights act and the convention on human rights, freedoms and rights in a democracy are very important. i spent my light getting into hot waterfor defending people because i believe the human rights should not be violated, and that's the kind of government i intend to lead, that guarantees democracy. why is this man frightened of you being in power?|j cannot frightened of you being in power?” cannot understand everything going on in your mind that makes you say that. maybe we can talk about it later! i want to live in a society where we do deal with the worst aspects of prophecy with the exist in our society, we invest in our schools and give all our children a real chance and we have a health service that is there for all of us. that's the kind of a chanter i have spent my life dealing with. the gentleman that asked the question about businesses, on the question is
about businesses, on the question is a public ownership which you are right to raise, our proposals are that we would take our railways which were invested and built by the rest of us back into public ownership, we will take royal mail back into public ownership, and our water industry which has been asset stripped to within an inch of its life by water companies and wastes a great deal of water will come back into public ownership which will be run with consumer and worker involvement. the new announcement made last week was in broadband because i believe that the government's proposals are insufficient, only 10% of households in the uk get access to fibre optic broadband, we will make that 100%, starting in the remote areas of the country that have the least access at the moment hence we can get the business development in place.” heard you talk about free speech and
standing up for human rights, and i have two young daughters. what terrifies me as i look at some of the labour mps terrifies me as i look at some of the labourmps and terrifies me as i look at some of the labour mps and misogyny in the labour party, they have been driven out of the party, i looked at a video on youtube with ruth smith, because i am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, i look at that video when she was in a press co nfe re nce video when she was in a press conference with you, and ruth smith a jewish mp was heckled out of that press conference , a jewish mp was heckled out of that press conference, and there you are at the end of the press conference chatting happily to that same heckler, i don't buy this whole nice old grandpa. that video tells me all i need to know, and i am terrified for my daughters. i do not understand how you can say you stand up understand how you can say you stand up for human rights and free speech when that is when you support a labourmp ata when that is when you support a labour mp at a press conference, i think it is disgraceful. nobody should suffer any abuse in public life and privately. watch the video.
nobody should suffer abuse, and many women labour mps, ruth smith included and others, have suffered unbelievable levels of abuse, and it was a labour unbelievable levels of abuse, and it wasa labourmp,jo unbelievable levels of abuse, and it was a labour mp, jo cox, who was murdered because she stood up for pub... stood up in public life. bad behaviour, misogyny, racism is absolutely not acceptable in any form whatsoever in my party or in oui’ form whatsoever in my party or in our society. then why were you talking happily with a smile on your face to that same heckler? why would labour mps need body guards are a labour mps need body guards are a labour conference ? i labour mps need body guards are a labour conference? i do not understand it. i have had many conversations with ruth smith since then. the gentleman concerned i have known for many years, i said hello to him, as you would somebody you have known. and also you do not know
what was said between us. go and look at the video, mr corbyn. under your leadership laid the has become the second political party —— labour to be investigated by the equality and human rights commission after the bnp, how do you feel to be in that company? it is our process that is being looked at. we have laid ourselves open to it. we set up the equality and human rights commission and in government we will fund it properly, and i think it is right oui’ processes properly, and i think it is right our processes should be examined. we are the only party that actually has are the only party that actually has a full process to deal with abuse. are you happy to be investigated? racism is not acceptable. we have suspended and expelled members guilty of any racist activity. you talk about standing by human rights and so on, but recently you took a
stand alongside even mirallas who left mexico. protests in bolivia have turned viole nt, left mexico. protests in bolivia have turned violent, including food blockades that are starving cities. how are you supporting human rights in that regard when you are standing with somebody who uses violent means? i met her in mexico last year, i had a very long conversation with him about his country and the economic development that has happened in the numbers of people taken out of poverty. i follow what is going on in that country as i do in many other countries in the world. he resigned from the presidency and has now moved out of bolivia. i ask and support the other latin american countries that have asked for a process of peace in bolivia so that the constitution can be restored so that democratic government can come back. that surely is the right thing to do. but that's not what you said on twitter,
you said you stand by him, you took a position. there is civil unrest that any opinion one way or another is turning violent so when you taken a position on something like that... there is civil unrest in bolivia, there are strong feelings on both sides about people that feel they have been let down because he is no longer president, others that probably do not support him at all. surely the function now is to bring people together. i met him last year, and! people together. i met him last year, and i recognise that bolivia before he became president was the poorest country in latin america and it is not now. let's hear a question from daniel holt. will you campaign to campaign to remain or leave to the eu? thanks for your question.
the issue of brexit can be one that divides people enormously, and it has and it does. 0ur divides people enormously, and it has and it does. our whole strategy has and it does. our whole strategy has been to try to bring people together however they voted in the referendum in 2016. when you campaign to remain or leave the eu if elected? can i answer? one, we will negotiate a credible leave deal with the eu... let me finish, please! secondly, we will put that alongside remain in a referendum. my role and the role of our government will be to ensure that that referendum is held in a fair atmosphere, and we will abide by the result of it, and i will adopt as prime minister a neutral stance so that i can credibly carry out the results of that to bring our communities and country together rather than continuing an endless
debate about the eu and brexit. this will be a trade deal with europe or remaining in the eu, that will be the choice that we put before the british people within six months. any other option will require years of negotiations either with the eu or the usa and put our public services at risk. does that answer your question, daniel? we have already had three and a half years of upheaval. why do we need to vote ain? of upheaval. why do we need to vote again? i think the demands of people to try to... some parties want to revoke article 50, i voted to implement it, some people wanted a second referendum, some people wa nted second referendum, some people wanted leaving without any deal whatsoever which i think would be catastrophic to our economy. people reverted remain or leave but they did not vote to lose theirjobs or deregulation or damage to our economy and i think it is only sensible and reasonable to put the option back there to the people within six months in order to bring
our country and society together to face the future together to bring about a fairer britain. the man at the back there. this thing about saying, lots of people are groaning because he will not take a clear position, there is precedent for this. when there was a referendum on europe in the 19705 howard wilson remained neutral so for people to 5ay remained neutral so for people to say this is ridiculous. . —— i5 remained neutral so for people to say this is ridiculous. . —— is a fal5e position. the lib dems are 5aying reverse brexit, bori5 fal5e position. the lib dems are 5aying reverse brexit, borisjohnson are saying, get brexit done, the only person who actually has a clear 5trategy only person who actually has a clear strategy is this man right here, jeremy corbyn. howard wilson did actually say he was in favour but allowed a free vote on it. mr
corbyn, i appreciate your efforts at bringing people together in this country. i understand your strategy. but what i am really interested in i5 but what i am really interested in is the labour party 5eem5 but what i am really interested in is the labour party seems to be the only party which is developing a credible 5et only party which is developing a credible set of policies to deal with climate emergency. could you enlighten u5 with climate emergency. could you enlighten us about what you think your labour party policie5 enlighten us about what you think your labour party policies were due forjob5 and for a good future for young people in sheffield. thank you for your question. we face a climate emergency across the whole world. it is very obvious, unusual and extreme weather patterns have got worse, the poorest and most vulnerable people suffer first, others suffer later. we signed up to the paris climate
change according 2015, i was there, i thought it was great but it did not go far enough and it has got to go further. so on the 1st of may i proposed a parliament that we declare a climate emergency in our country and that has been replicated in many parliaments around the world. iam in many parliaments around the world. i am pleased about that but it does mean we have got to play our pa rt by it does mean we have got to play our part by reducing emissions to get to net zero emissions. it also means the possibilities of a huge number ofjobs and development in our country in dealing with this emergency, jobs in retrofitting houses to make them environmentally sustainable and better insulated to use less energy, it means green energyjobs, wind, wave solar, big projects like swansea bay lagoon, it also means a lot has to be done in protecting our diverse biodiversity, seas and rivers, so our whole strategy is to develop a green industrial revolution which will create hundreds of thousands ofjobs
in the future starting very quickly, and we will be there for playing our pa rt and we will be there for playing our part in getting to a more sustainable world and a labour government on the international stage will be working with others to get to net zero and make sure that power our trading policies we do not end up exporting pollution by having strong controls here but not insisting on equally strong control somewhere else. i am very excited by everything that is in our green strategy just as everything that is in our green strategyjust as much as i admire those in the usa with the green new deal they are putting forward.” noticed in your opening speech that you mentioned broadband. at a time when the nhs is desperately in need of funding and their is not an everlasting pot of money why do you think that's a good use of taxpayer money? you said about negotiating another deal after the election. how do we know the deal you will get
will be any better or even worse than what is already on offer and therefore are we being offered something not worth having brexit the first place, so it not credible? mr corbyn, are you seriously saying that should you be in government you would come back with a new deal that may be better than the conservatives, and then not campaign either way conservatives, and then not campaign eitherway up conservatives, and then not campaign either way up until the referendum? we know some members of the labour party and your cabinet would absolutely campaign for remain. can i deal with the broadband absolutely campaign for remain. can ideal with the broadband question first? the issue is 95% of people in south korea have access to broadband free. we have in this country 10% access and across people £30 a month roughly and it is selective. it is not free in south korea, is it? for some people it is but it is
available for the whole country. by investing in it actually promotes economic growth and brings about the degree of social justice. economic growth and brings about the degree of socialjustice. everyone in this room probably has a computer and uses access to broadband if they have got it or some form of internet all the time, it is the normal form of communication, yet there is a big digital divide between those that can digital divide between those that ca n afford digital divide between those that can afford the best and those that do not get any whatsoever. i want to make sure it is equally available for all and over ten years we would make sure it is and i think that is a sensible up—to—date modern way of looking at communications within our society. but can we afford it? yes, because if we do not afford it, what is the effect on areas that do not have access to broadband on the economic development and the investments that might come and the businesses that will not go there? talk to business about investing in cumbria or parts of northumbria. would you open a factory or a shop or small business are? they would
say, no, there is no broadband or good train access or good bad bus access. we have to invest in social infrastructure and transport infrastructure and transport infrastructure for the whole country otherwise the north—south divide, the inequalities between regions in england and scotland and wales. to get worse as a result of it, this is a serious proposal in order to help bring economic development to all parts of our country. what do you make about the comments made by the institute of fiscal start is today that in order to pay for the broadband nor the other things you are suggesting you cannot do that by pretending that you were just tax the very rich, you will have to tax an awful lot more of our audience?” have read the comments carefully and we have here the book which funds the manifesto and i was insistent that we as a party put that forward. it is only right that people should
understand it. 95% of the population will pay no more whatsoever in tax. the top 5% for pay a bit more, corporation tax will go up to a maximum of 26% which is lower than it was in 2010 and lower than many countries in other parts of the world including major industrial economies. and we will then move into a situation where we become more or less mid—ranking in terms of provisions of funding, of public services, but we will still be way below all the scandinavian countries, france and germany. what has happened in this country for too long as we have rolled back the public realm, we have rolled back on public realm, we have rolled back on public services and loaded that problem on to individuals, families and they are often paying for it to personal debt. i think we need to rebalance and invest in people and communities as a whole, and that's what our manifesto does. woman at the back there. i work for a charity
that delivers digital inclusion and it is notjust about broadband. giving broadband households is great but what will we do to make sure we close the gap? people can use facebook and website but there are other things they cannot do, they cannot navigate public service websites, nhs advice on how you ensure that people get that as well as broadband access? if they have got good quality that is a start, and clearly there has to be full accessibility to public services online because you are quite correct there is a digital divide where public services are done online, and there are a significant number of people in the country that do not necessarily have smartphones, probably don't have computers and cannot access those things, and that becomes a form of social exclusion, soi becomes a form of social exclusion, so i would make it a requirement that public services must be available also in a more traditional
way as well so that nobody is left out because there's nothing worse than people who are told to go online to sort out their universal credit, cannot get online because they don't have a computer or smartphone, how on earth are they going to access universal credit in that sense? that is why we will end universal credit. the man of the here in the t—shirt. universal credit. the man of the here in the t-shirt. i know your comment regarding broadband is new tonight but one thing i want to ask, you have talked about delaying the scottish referendum. a5 you have talked about delaying the scottish referendum. as the uk like the hotel california, you can check out any time you like but you can never leave? and out any time you like but you can never leave ? and what out any time you like but you can never leave? and what gives westminster... the last debate, there were two westminster mp5 telling scotland what they are not getting, surely you should listen to
the scottish people first? you might practise that line before! let's hear from max as well. scotland voted overwhelmingly for leaving europe and pro—independence, why will neighbour not support us in deciding our own future? —— labour. thank you for your questions and for the way you have put them. an incoming labour government will invest a great deal across the uk including £100 billion into scotland in ten years. that will be a massive game changer in scotland where you have the worst level of poverty in glasgow, serious levels of child poverty. the question is why will you not support a referendum or will you? i do not see a priority in scotla nd you? i do not see a priority in scotland of having an independence referendum, i see a priority in investing in the social capital needs of scotland. so in the early yea rs of needs of scotland. so in the early years of a labour government we will
not support an independence referendum but instead we will invest in scotland and working with whoever the government in scotland is to deliver that programme and the improvement in business infrastructure and transport infrastructure and transport infrastructure and transport infrastructure and in the social needs of the people of scotland. so what do the early years mean, year two, year three, yearfour? what do the early years mean, year two, year three, year four? the first two years at least. so not in the first two years? i want to deliver an investment programme... the first two years? i want to deliver an investment programme. . ” had that very clearly. that will be our focus so we will not be in the early pa rt our focus so we will not be in the early part of the new parliament. so not in the first two years, so not 2020 as nicola sturgeon once? the man then the black shirt. what gives it your right to be your priority if it your right to be your priority if it isa it your right to be your priority if it is a priority of the scottish
people? there are elections in scotla nd people? there are elections in scotland in 2021 and obviously the expression will come from that. it isi expression will come from that. it is i think our write as will a party to put forward a programme for the whole of the uk and that's what we are doing, and investment strategy for the whole of the uk. i point out that scotland will get 100 billion of investment under a labour government which would make a very significant difference to the lives of people all across scotland. that iam sure of people all across scotland. that i am sure it is something you would welcome. there is already a mandate from the scottish people to have another referendum. there is, actually. there is a mandate from the last elections. the scottish people voted for that mandate. we are putting forward a proposal which i think will be very beneficial to all parts of the uk including scotland. you have to look at the
situation of the incoming expenditure levels as they affect scotland. surely scotland needs to be able to address the problems it has and the industrial and green infrastructure investment that it needs. i'm sorry, i know what you wa nt to needs. i'm sorry, i know what you want to make your point but there are so many hands. what you are saying is promising things for scotland to try and avoid another independence referendum. very similarto independence referendum. very similar to what happened in 2014 with other promises made by senior labour members with the fictitious bow. how on earth can we trust that this would not be another case of broken promises? since 2014, there has been a tory government in the uk, and that's one of the problems! the woman here in the front. in
2014, there was a triple mandate, saying that we would be allowed to have a second vote if it went against the will of the people and getting taken out of europe is against the will of the people in scotland. i seem to have unknowingly found hands in the audience all at once! not you, matey! at the back, yes, it a question about scotland? slightly. maybe, then. if you had a choice of gaining power in signing a deal with the snp, that will not change, you will not say, we will give you what you want? this is not about scotland. have you finally got an opportunity, jeremy, after nine years of the tories to get rid of the legacy of thatcher and blair and the legacy of thatcher and blair and the market and the things that are
in your manifesto to improve people's lives. the first question was about being frightened but i'm not frightened, i am only frightened when i see people on the streets you cannot get health care. when you have a chance to put it right if you win? the woman in the green top right at the back for the glasses on. you say you will not increase taxation but i read today that in your manifesto it states that you will abolish the married person's tax for couples on a lower combined income. how can that be fair? in the la st income. how can that be fair? in the last year at £480 million. that is a drop in the ocean to what else you are planning on spending.” drop in the ocean to what else you are planning on spending. i will try and deal with some of those questions. you only have a minute left, mr corbyn. first of all, we are not doing any deals with any other parties, i'm not trying to form a coalition government, i am fighting this election to win it for
labour and to enter universal credit and deal with the issues of inequality and injustice and deliver an economy that works for all and i we re an economy that works for all and i were taxation proposals will affect the richest 5% of the people in this country. we will end the marriage tax allowance because i think it is discriminatory against non—married couples and they ought to be treated equally in society and individual taxation is a a way of doing things. 0ur manifesto fully manifesto fully prepared, fully costed, this is an opportunity for our country to come together, deal with the inequality and injustice and poverty and go forwards in the future with some degree of hope. mr corbyn, thank you! and just to be clear, and a yes or no answer, you are telling us tonight you will remain neutral on theissue tonight you will remain neutral on the issue of whether or not we should remain within the eu? you first heard it here on question time! mr corbyn, thank you very much
indeed. thank you, thanks for that. there we are. in half an hour, we will hear from there we are. in half an hour, we will hearfrom jo there we are. in half an hour, we will hear from jo swinson and after that borisjohnson, but now can we please welcome the first minister of scotla nd please welcome the first minister of scotland and leader of the scottish national party, nicola sturgeon? we are delighted to have you here. yet has many points to you as possible, we would like —— we hope to get as many points too as possible. forgive me if i enter you if you don't answer to the point.
question to nicola sturgeon from shirley duncan. when are you?m there is a hung government what are your lines for that? if the snp holds the balance of power we will use that influence if we have it responsibly and in the interests of course are standing up for scotland but also in the interests of progressive values for people right across the uk. let me be very honest. i could not in good conscience ever put borisjohnson into number ten downing st. applause because i've seen the misery that tory policies have heaped upon people. jeremy corbyn may not be my choice of labour leader but i don't get to choose the labour leader so
in terms of what i would seek to win from a minority labour government, obviously i would ask for and expect jeremy corbyn to respect the right of the scottish people to choose their own future because it is not for westminster to decide, it's for the people of scotland, but i would also want an end to austerity, i would want to see an end to the misery of universal credit, i would wa nt to misery of universal credit, i would want to see an nhs protection bill so our nhs cannot be put at the mercy of donald trump in a trade deal, i would want fair pensions for our older people. the uk has one of the lowest pensions in the 0acd so these are the progressive policies snp would champion, yet for people in scotland, but also across the uk. let's come back to the independence referendum. we have just let's come back to the independence referendum. we havejust heard let's come back to the independence referendum. we have just heard the labour leader saying he would not offer you a second independence referendum for at least two years of a labour government. you said, or you have said many times, you want to do it next year. i was not going to do it next year. i was not going to work? firstly let me explain my
position then i will speculate on jeremy corbyn's on if i may. you don't need to speculate because he told us. stick it on what it might be after the election as opposed to what he said today —— i mean speculate on what it might be. ic. there will be differences of opinion in this room on scottish independence. of course there is a difference of opinion in scotland on scottish independence. i would not be asking jeremy corbyn to support independence but simply support the principle that that is a question that should be decided by the people of scotland, not by westminster. i guess, if i can turn to the position i thinkjeremy corbyn might take after an election, i've heard some of whatjeremy corbyn has been saying to you this evening. he spoke with a lot of passion. i don't agree with a lot of passion. i don't agree with him on everything but i do agree with a great deal of what he was talking about, public spending, health, austerity. the key thing is health, austerity. the key thing is he said not for the first two years. that is the point i am coming on to. having heard jeremy corbyn, i'm asking you do you think he is going
to walk away from the chance to end austerity, to protect the nhs, to stop universal credit, simply because he wants for a couple of yea rs because he wants for a couple of years to prevent scotland to have the right to self—determination? jeremy corbyn supports the right of self—determination for almost every other country in the world. i'm not sure he's going to compromise the chance to have a labour government for that issue. you think he will say one thing to our audience and eve ryo ne say one thing to our audience and everyone at home and he will be saying another thing to you privately? i would be more diplomatic, you're putting it very blu ntly. diplomatic, you're putting it very bluntly. the point is i lead a minority government in scotland so i know the compromises you have to make to govern in that situation. of course he is putting a manifesto forward , course he is putting a manifesto forward, but if he is in the position of needing the support of the snp then i think he will choose to do some of the things in his ma nifesto to do some of the things in his manifesto and i don't think he will turn his back on that in order to block the right of the people of scotla nd block the right of the people of scotland to choose their own future andi scotland to choose their own future and i would ask you to make your own minds up on that. in the front. are you saying that you would prioritise
the scottish independence referendum overending the scottish independence referendum over ending austerity? look, i want the scottish people to have the right to choose our own future because fundamentally for scotland we have put up with... scottish mac scotla nd we have put up with... scottish mac scotland hasn't voted for a conservative westminster government for 60 years but for 36 of those we have had to put up with a tory government and we are facing being taken out of the european union against their will —— well, scotland has voted. i want scotland to determine our own future but in a nswer to determine our own future but in answer to your question, i will never put a tory prime minister into power. i grew up in the west of scotland, i saw the damage, i grew up scotland, i saw the damage, i grew up in the thatcher years and i saw the damage tory governments did to scotla nd the damage tory governments did to scotland and to communities across the uk. i will never support a tory government. ifjeremy corbyn wants the support of the snp i don't think it should surprise people to hear me say that i would ask him to respect the right of the people of scotland to choose their own future. and i don't think he will turn his back on ending austerity in order to block that right. well, you heard it here, folks. i will take a few questions,
if you don't mind, and perhaps you could answer in a row. the women here. good evening. at the moment the talk is that is that the uk government are focusing too much on breaks and negating other issues but don't you think that is happening in scotland? don't you think that is happening in scotland ? jeremy corbyn just don't you think that is happening in scotland? jeremy corbyn just brought up scotland? jeremy corbyn just brought up that social inequality is huge, andl up that social inequality is huge, and i know that knife crime in glasgow particularly is a big problem. do you not think by leading scottish independence you are negating other issues like the uk government are doing with brexit? let's ta ke government are doing with brexit? let's take a couple more before you answer. and man here. similar, i suppose. butjust answer. and man here. similar, i suppose. but just around... answer. and man here. similar, i suppose. butjust around... if there isa labour suppose. butjust around... if there is a labour government that you are supporting in coalition, and that labour government takes us through a second referendum and we don't leave europe, given that the labour mandate is corresponding to years... would you still be pushing for an independence referendum for scotland? the man at the back. in
the past few years we have all bore witness to the farce of that. if scotland were to get independence and if it were to when promise would you make to the rest of the union we wouldn't see the horrible result of the brexit negotiations with the toing and froing of the hard borders and customs unions and things like that? 0k, and customs unions and things like that? ok, lots of different questions for you to try to address. i will try to do it as briefly as possible. very good question about are we prioritising independence over other issues? i would say the evidence says no. don't get me wrong. scotland has challenges. all countries have challenges. as first minister i face challenges in our public services every single day and myjob is to confront those. but if you look at some of the policies, well, if you look at some of the policies and labour's manifesto published this week. if you take things like free prescriptions, free university restoring the nursing bursary, opposition to fracking, for example, these are all things that my government in scotland has
already done. we are getting on with delivering those progressive policies, but we want to be in charge of our own future, not to turn our backs on the rest of the uk. we will always be the closest friends and neighbours, but so that we don't get dragged down pass by tory governments we don't want to go down. the second question on if there is a second eu referendum and there is a second eu referendum and the uk votes to remain, i hope that happens. i have campaigned and worked as hard as possible, as the snp, to try to find a way for the whole uk to stay in the eu because i think that is the best pitcher. then you won't need to call for a second independence referendum because there won't be the material changes spoke about last time? —— i think thatis spoke about last time? —— i think that is the best. it doesn't rest solely on brexit, scottish independence. brexit is a very extreme example of the way in which scotla nd extreme example of the way in which scotland is treated with contempt, often, by westminster. and we've seen often, by westminster. and we've seen that over the past three years. we tried to compromise, we try to
find ways to protect scotland's interest, and that hasn't happened. i think scotland does need to make that choice about taking our future into our own hands. thirdly, because this is a very good question, about, you know, will independence be as difficult as brexit? and i... you have probably noticed this. i think brexit is a big mistake, i opposed brexit. but what i don't think is that the mess that brexit has become was inevitable. that was down to the fa ct was inevitable. that was down to the fact that the brexiteers, if i can be undiplomatic, for a moment, they told a lot of lies. 0ne be undiplomatic, for a moment, they told a lot of lies. one of them on the side of a bus. applause it was down to the fact that there was no honesty or frankness about implications, no planning done in advance, and then theresa may came out with all these contradictory red lines that could never be reconciled. contrast that with the independence referendum in 2014 to stop whether you agreed with the proposition or not, there was a very detailed proposition. we had done
the work, the thinking. we had a whole transition programme ready to 90, whole transition programme ready to go, had the result on the other way. i don't think we should allow the brexiteers, who made such a hash of brexit, to tar all positive change with their brush. they messed it up, it doesn't mean others have to mess it doesn't mean others have to mess it up as well. you want a confirmatory referendum on brexit. would you also want a confirmatory referendum on your independence deal by the same token? element that is actually connected to the answer i've just actually connected to the answer i'vejust given. actually connected to the answer i've just given. —— actually connected to the answer i've just given. -- well, that is actually connection. if i may answer, i was drawing the contrast between the mess of brexit and the different approach taken for independence. i don't think it was inevitable that brexit was a mess therefore i don't think it was inevitable we were in the position of having another referendum. would you want another confirmatory... no. saw a second one for brexit but not for your own... the point i am making is i don't think the position we are in now with brexit had to be like this. it was down to the bad and lack of planning which i don't
think proponents of independence would like to happen. can we hear from rebecca? i would like to know, irrespective maybe of if we leave the eu or not, if you are denied by government a second independence referendum for scotland, what particular action will you take following that decision, and whether thatis following that decision, and whether that is because they said no or whether because maybe jeremy corbyn's government are dragging their heels and it is going on and you were promised but you're not quite getting it, what action will you take ? quite getting it, what action will you take? people understandably asked me that all the time and what i say, and i asked me that all the time and what isay, and i know asked me that all the time and what i say, and i know it sounds like a typical politician's way of avoiding answer, before i set... we don't wa nt answer, before i set... we don't want that, not tonight!” answer, before i set... we don't want that, not tonight! i generally don't like to answer questions that way, but it i come to that point i will set out how i cross that bridge when i come to it and, yes, i have thought about that a lot but i don't wa nt to thought about that a lot but i don't want to talk about that right now because that is me conceding that these westminster politicians
actually have a right to block scotland's ability to choose their own future. actually we are in an election campaign right now and people in scotland have an opportunity to send a very clear message that they want to be in charge of their own future and that is what i am asking them to do. like mike but the government does have a right to block it, they have the veto —— yes, but the government does have. they have the legal right. i don't think they have a moral right. it has never been legally challenged andi it has never been legally challenged and i have always accepted and continue to accept that the transfer of power is necessary and desirable, but i don't believe they have a moral or democratic right, and we are in an election campaign and there is an opportunity for scotland to make that abundantly clear. shirley f, and obviously you said you were trying not to give the politician's answer because it would be like conceding defeat —— surely, and obviously. surely for the people in scotland it would give them confidence that you would see through what they want if you actually set out your contingency plans for if it is denied to you.
surely you would want to bring scotland together and actually tell them, actually, we are our own country, we have a right to determine our own future, and this is what we would do if we are denied it? i think that is a fair point but what i am saying to scotland right now, and as i said if i come to that point i will set out exactly two people in scotland what i think we should do them, but what i am saying to scotland now on in a general election campaign, we have the ability to send that message and make that view and that voice very clear and that is what i hope people in scotland will do, for that reason, but i also hope they will vote snp so we can contribute to all of these other social and economic policies i have been talking about. a few hands up. let's hear from the man in the blue sweater. in the 2014 referendum, you turned round to scotland and said if they voted for independence they be classed as a third state, basically voting to leave the eu, and in a sense they would have to rejoin as an independent nation, well they might how would you get round that? you
say you're against brexit and so on but surely your own independence is another form of brexit. also, alongside that, scotland has the issue of its deficit. how would you get scotland's deficit down to levels that would be acceptable for the eu to admit you? and you have the eu to admit you? and you have theissue the eu to admit you? and you have the issue of spain. would spain admit you when they got their own issues with separatists in catalonia? how would get round that? scotla nd catalonia? how would get round that? scotland has the largest deficit in europe of 7%. it needs to be 3% or less. and i take the gentleman's point? there are a lot of questions in there. let me try to take them in turn. firstly, with the greatest of respect, europe did not say that in 2014. europe did not make any comment about what would happen if scotla nd comment about what would happen if scotland voted for independence. it certainly didn't say scotland would not be allowed to be a member of the eu. some may have taken from their body language that they were not that keen on it but they didn't actually say that. nor has spain ever said it would veto the membership of an independent
scotland. what spain has said is that if it is done constitutionally and legally they would respect that. and, you know, i travelled a lot around the european union, and there has been a sea change in attitudes towards scottish independence since brexit, both in the institutions and the member states. the european union since it was first established has sought to enlarge itself. i think the idea it is going to try to kick out or not allow in part of a member state that has been there for 40 yea rs member state that has been there for 40 years is kind of inconceivable. 0n the deficit, can i firstly make this point? if you exclude london, because london skews a lot of economic calculation is for the uk, scotland's deficit is not out of sync with the rest of the uk. but london is in the uk, so... but in terms of... scotland is often treated as an outlier but london is actually outlier in scotland is in line but we believe that point to one side because i can see i am not convincing you... laughter but what about you! it doesn't
matter if it is convincing me! the other point in scotland's deficit is falling. it fell by £1 billion in the most recent year, our onshore reve nu es the most recent year, our onshore revenues went up the most recent year, our onshore revenues went up by £3 billion, but my more fundamental point is this. if the argument against independence is that scotland has a big deficit, thatis is that scotland has a big deficit, that is a deficit that has been accrued under the westminster system of governance, and if we have a big deficit because of that not an argument for scotland staying the same. what responsibility do you ta ke same. what responsibility do you take for that? as first minister i don't control the macro economic policies of the uk. i wish i did come in some respects, but i don't. scotla nd come in some respects, but i don't. scotland does not take all of the decisions in our own government that govern these things, but the point i am making is if you look at independent countries are similar in size to scotland all over europe, they are richer, more prosperous. why shouldn't scotland, with all the natural and human and social resources we have, be capable of emulating that if we have the powers to do that within our own hands?
applause nick luck, who promised once in a generation referendum? —— nicola. i hear from borisjohnson, generation referendum? —— nicola. i hearfrom borisjohnson, i hear generation referendum? —— nicola. i hear from borisjohnson, i hear it from corbyn. who actually promised once ina from corbyn. who actually promised once in a generation? if brexit hadn't happened that night i support independence, 0k, hadn't happened that night i support independence, ok, i'm not going to pretend otherwise. but do i think we would be standing here talking about having another independence referendum so imminently, probably not. but circumstances have changed dramatically. did anybody see promise? in a democracy when circumstances change people have to have the right to change their mind and if they don't have that right then i don't believe what we are living in is a democracy. applause i can't force scotland to choose independence, just as i can't force the uk to stay in the eu, but i do
believe we should have that choice so that whatever path we take as a country, whatever kind of country we are going to become, it is one we have chosen ourselves, it's not one we had the likes of borisjohnson decide for us. like max but was the word promise used? by her? did anybody see promise? not to my knowledge. but borisjohnson keeps promise? not to my knowledge. but boris johnson keeps repeating promise? not to my knowledge. but borisjohnson keeps repeating it, jamie cope and repeating it. we hear you. we think you have had your a nswer you. we think you have had your answer “— you. we think you have had your answer —— jeremy corbyn keeps repeating it. in terms of the fact that scotland needs to reduce its deficit in order to be allowed into the eu, does it therefore not make sense that independence wouldn't be a priority and jeremy corbyn's policies of putting more business and more infrastructure in scotland should happen first so you then can get into the eu? do you mind if! ta ke get into the eu? do you mind if! take a couple more points? yes, the man right by me, i can't miss you. thank you. nicola, our grandparents fought and died to protect britain
and the uk. how would you explain to them your desire to break up this country? applause firstly, on the point of eu membership, i mean, scotland, whether in or out of the eu, we want to get the deficit down to sustainable levels. most countries across the western world have deficits and we have set out plans to reduce that, it is reducing already. it is not a condition of joining the eu to meet those deficit levels. i want to see more investment in scotland from whoever is in government in westminster, which is why i set out the policies that the snp would want to see pursued, but our experience of westminster governments over a long time is that that investment doesn't a lwa ys time is that that investment doesn't always come. it is always also the case that if you want in scotland to deprive borisjohnson case that if you want in scotland to deprive boris johnson of case that if you want in scotland to deprive borisjohnson of a majority, then the way to do that is to vote snp because we are the main challengers in every conservative seat. on the edge of our grandparents, my grandmother was
from the north of england. i have many family members in england. i believe in independence so that scotla nd believe in independence so that scotland can be self—governing, but the closest ties of family, of history, social ties between scotland, england, wales, northern ireland, will always be close, and i don't believe independence for scotla nd don't believe independence for scotland is turning our backs on that. it is simply making sure that scotla nd that. it is simply making sure that scotland is in those relationships on the basis of equality and i think thatis on the basis of equality and i think that is a good and positive thing for scotland and actually i think it would have benefits for the rest of the uk as well. applause first minister, on domestic matters, la st first minister, on domestic matters, last year it was over 1800 drug—related deaths in scotland, the highest in europe. three times more likely to have a drug death in scotland than elsewhere in england or wales. what are you doing about it and what needs to be done to reverse this trend? that's a very good question. firstly, some context for that, as you're probably aware,
scotland, because of our disproportionately high drug use backin disproportionately high drug use back in the 1980s there is an ageing cohort of drug users who have other health conditions and that is not the only reason but it is one of the reasons for that rising number of drugs deaths. it is a public health emergency, it is not acceptable. what we are doing about it, we are investing more money in drug treatment services, we have established a task force made up of experts but also people with lived experience of drug use to look at the different more innovative things that we need to do. power over the classification of drugs is still held at westminster. 0ne drugs is still held at westminster. one of the things that glasgow city council is wanting to do and we are seeking the power in order to do thatis seeking the power in order to do that is to establish in glasgow what is called a safe consumption rim so we can try to reduce some of the harm related to drugs, but this is one of the most important issues that we are facing in scotland and i think there is a real... i know there is a real determination but i think it a crop that it might exist
across parties to do absolutely that. —— across parties to do absolutely that. -- i across parties to do absolutely that. —— i think it exists across parties. it indicates the trends will be higher this year. there are i think 500 drug—related deaths this year. other policies working just now? there is more to do. some of these policies will be starting to have an effect, but it will take longer in some respects. i'm not going to stand here and make promises about... that i can't necessarily deliver in the year timescale you are talking about. what i can say, with absolute conviction, is that there is a real determination to tackle this, and to do what is required over whatever period is required. notjust... i don'tjust want period is required. notjust... i don't just want to be period is required. notjust... i don'tjust want to be first minister of the country, but i don't want to bea of the country, but i don't want to be a citizen of a country where we have people dying unnecessarily of drug use so we are determined not my if you take alcohol misuse, for example, which is not the same, we have implemented for example minimum unit pricing so we have a record as a country of doing really courageous things when it comes to public
health and we have to show that same determination here as well. like is here somewhere? is that you? i know from the questions you submitted you have personal expense of this? —— is ges booth here? i am a recovering addict and i had issue with benzodiazepines in the report referenced up there, you talk about older people who had been through drug—related things in the 805 and things like that but actually one of the biggest contributors to the rising debt is around benzodiazepines and the amount that they are just prescribing to people la st they are just prescribing to people last night rising debts. people suffering from anxiety, mental health, and there seems to be a real lack of education —— rising deaths. and how quickly this can ruin your life. i came to the brink of death on these drugs. and i am one of the lucky ones. and i feel like there is a situation of it not only being not
looked at properly in scotland but also throughout the whole of the uk. yes, i think that is absolutely right. applause excuse me a second, giving your experience, if you are willing, i would love to talk to a bit more and perhaps put you in touch with some of the people within the scottish government that are working on this because it is really important that we do listen to people who have experience so we can learn from that and make sure that the policies we are taking forward properly reflect that so if you are willing to leave your details i would love to that up. applause —— i would love to follow that up. if you are in the coalition government what would you do to make sure that those outside london are better represented in westminster and notjust better represented in westminster and not just scottish better represented in westminster and notjust scottish people? the element that is a very good question to suck and ijust clarify firstly, not to dodge the question,” to suck and ijust clarify firstly, not to dodge the question, i don't envisage being in a coalition government with labour. i think it would be a less formal arrangement
than that if we are in that situation —— yes, that is a very good question. many of the areas of england suffer from much the same neglect as scotland does, and much the same contempt from westminster as scotland does so the snp will a lwa ys as scotland does so the snp will always try to stand up for decentralisation from london. much of what we have been able to do because we have a scottish parliament, some of the policies that labour are now promising in their uk manifesto, i think with more power, with more devolution to some of the regions of england, would be possible there as well. well they might get be a voice for decentralisation and more powers to be spread —— so the snp will always be spread —— so the snp will always bea be spread —— so the snp will always be a voice. whether that be in labour minority government, should that come to pass, how much involvement do you see? how much influence dc having an affair is south of the buddha? do you see yourself getting stuck and in laws passed for the rest of you could —— south of the border. we are
responsible in scotland for health policy and education, for example. i don't think it is right, no more right than it would be for westminster to dictate to scotland, that we would dictate health policy or education policy in england, except where that affect scotland because often the decisions taken around westminster on the health service, for example, have implications for every budget, and one of the big issues in the next parliament, potentially, for the health service as trade deals. and we all had to come together, those of us or don't want our nhs sold off, to make sure that doesn't happen, so we will seek to exercise influence, of course, in scotland plus my interest, but where it is appropriate in the interests of people right across the uk. -- scotland's interests, but when it is appropriate. to talk about economics and the deficit and i know that scotland relies a lot, because in order to have your freedom you will need money to do this, and you mentioned resources and the north sea is one of these key areas that is often raised... is it not
important to let go of that now? to strand those assets, and grow the natural resources like wind and tidal that scotland is doing so much, and raise the money that way rather than the oil and gas industry? in a word, you are right andi industry? in a word, you are right and i agree with the sentiment. had i got the time? about a minute. scotland, read about 80% of their electricity comes from renewable sources already dashing around about. if we were to stop oil and gas production tomorrow we would become more dependent on imports which would actually increase the carbon footprint so we have to have a managed transition and a just transition. that transition is under way. rightly so, we have to accelerate it. we have a net zero target in scotland, in law already, net zero emissions by 2045, five yea rs net zero emissions by 2045, five years ahead of the rest of the uk. we have to power on with these things and we are absolutely focused on doing it. kuyt a few questions.
but we for the moment are out of time. first minister, nicola sturgeon, thank you very much indeed —— there where quite a few questions. applause —— there were quite a few questions. 0k, we're half way through. two down, two to go. still got lots of energy? great. we will end with the prime minister, boris johnson, energy? great. we will end with the prime minister, borisjohnson, but first let's welcome the leader of the liberal democrats, jo swinson. applause welcome to this leaders question time. i will make the simpler you're probably already heard, for brevity and relevance. if you have been watching you another audience has a lot of questions and i'm sure you will want to do as much as possible so let's get stuck in. our first question is from james. how are you
getting on? very well, thanks, james. do you regret starting off a campaign by saying you could be prime minister and do you now agree how ridiculous that sounded? applause glad to start with the easy ones. look, no, idon't glad to start with the easy ones. look, no, i don't regret it. and i will you why. i think many of you might have watched that debate on monday night between borisjohnson and jeremy corbyn, and i don't know how you felt about it but when i watch that i felt pretty dismayed with the thought that somehow that has to be the choice, that that's all that we get to choose between. and i'm in the position of leading a political party that's standing in more than 600 seats in this election, and i'm proud to say that you don't have to make a choice between boris johnson you don't have to make a choice between borisjohnson and you don't have to make a choice between boris johnson and jeremy corbyn, there is a better alternative, because i truly believe that our country deserves a better
and brighter future than what either of them is offering right now, and i'm determined in my role as liberal democrat leader to do everything i possibly can to make that happen. are you still saying that you could be prime minister, that's the heart of the question? alike there are still three weeks left in this campaign and all i would say is to anybody —— campaign and all i would say is to anybody -- well, there are still three we set. to anyone who thinks they can predict the outcome of the election in the middle of the campaign, ask if how that worked out last time around? but you would need a tsunami of seats, 340. to answer the gentleman's question, are you still saying you could be prime minister? i recognise things have got much more challenging since borisjohnson got much more challenging since boris johnson and nigel got much more challenging since borisjohnson and nigel farage cooked up a deal to stitch up seats between them. i get that it is a big ask, but i am absolutely fighting for every liberal democrat vote and for every liberal democrat vote and for every liberal democrat vote and for every liberal democrat seat, and we do live in a world... a yes or no? we live in a world where sometimes strange things have happened in politics communal. i didn't predict trump was going to
become president, i didn't predict jeremy corbyn was going to become leader of the labour party for so i think we have all made predictions that have turned out not to come true. the women in the red jacket. .. predictions which have not turned out to come true. talking about the lib dems as a viable alternative to labour or the tories, i would just like to ask you, with 14 million uk citizens now living in poverty, do you regret consistently voting with the conservatives in favour of harsh and uncaring benefit cuts and how does that put forward an alternative to the conservative party? applause i absolutely recognise the issue that you are raising, and the bottom line is that there are far too many people in our country living in poverty, and life is too hard, and we did not get everything right. shall we look at your voting records? you voted for the bedroom tax, you frequently voted against raising benefits and against paying
higher benefits to people with illnesses or disabilities. so, as i was in, we didn't get everything right. no, absolutely, and we also had plenty of fights with the conservatives, and we won some of those fights, and we lost some of those fights, and we lost some of those fights, and i am sorry that we did not win more of those fights in coalition, because of the reasons you were outlining. we did stop the conservatives cutting 12 billion more from welfare, from ringing in the two child cap, when they did on their own in 2015, but i absolutely think we have lessons to learn from that. if you look at what we are setting out, we are identifying 6 billion extra to put into universal credit to make sure that you don't have that five—week white which is hurting so many people, so that we get rid of the two child cap, get rid of the bedroom tax. so i get it, we got stuff wrong, and in the future we are determined to get it right. does doesn't satisfy you? not
in the slightest bit. you are still going to keep universal credit, which everybody knows is not working at all. the labour party has made it clear they are going to get rid of universal credit, and quite right. i can't honestly say that i could ever trust, after what happened in sheffield, and we know all about that in sheffield, when the lib dems we nt that in sheffield, when the lib dems went into coalition with the conservatives, how can we be expected to believe in anything you say on this issue? applause i absolutely accept the way that you feel, and i might not be able to convince you on this, and i recognise that. you know, i do think that whatever. .. scrapping universal credit on its own is not a magic bullet, we need a system that provides support to people. the biggest problems with universal credit is the lack of money and, not the principle that you try to have a simpler system, instead of multiple different payments creating more
complexity. the principle of making it simpler is a good one, but it needs to have the money behind it, and that is what we are setting out to do. i want to take two questions ina row, to do. i want to take two questions in a row, so can i hearfrom katherine fox and then sue lenkowski? that is you over there? is revoking article 50 confirming to 17.4million people you think we are stupid and didn't know what we're voting for? lama i am a passionate remainer, lam a passionate remainer, but i am a passionate remainer, but the liberal democrat standing on a manifesto to unilaterally cancel brexit and the electoral pact has absolutely cost you my vote. the liberal democratic title is now a misnomer. how can you defend that decision? ok. so you have got an unhappy labour and unhappy remainer. 0k, and what i would say in terms of
our policy, we are being very straightforward as a party that we wa nt to straightforward as a party that we want to stop brexit. you might agree or disagree, but i don't think you can accuse us or disagree, but i don't think you can accuse us of or disagree, but i don't think you can accuse us of not or disagree, but i don't think you can accuse us of not being upfront about it, we have been crystal clear from the beginning. not for one second do i think that that means that you or anybody like you is stupid. i think it means we disagree. i really want us to be in a situation in this country where we can disagree with each other, and you want to leave, and i don't think that makes you a bad person, and i wa nt to that makes you a bad person, and i want to remain... you can disagree with me but you lost, you don't get to change it because you lost. look, i haven't changed my view on whether i think we are better off in the european union, and watching what i have seen in the last three and a half years, watching in parliament, mps who voted to leave, who want to brexit, unable to agree amongst
themselves about what brexit looks like, so theresa may proposes a brexit that boris johnson does nothing is brexit enough, boris johnson proposes one that nigel farage cannot handle but then who knows what discussions they have and what has been offered in order to get him on board? if even those mps who have been putting forward brexit cannot agree, i tell you, i genuinely don't have confidence that there is a majority in this country for any specific type of brexit. and when the government analysis is that brexit will make our country poorer, and it will mean people lose their jobs, and there is less money for our nhs, if we really don't think there is a majority for any specific type of brexit, i think it would be irresponsible to go ahead with that without at least checking. so we have argued for a people's vote, and if you get a lib dem majority government, we will revoke article 50, and if you don't... government, we will revoke article 50, and if you don't. .. what do you say to the format lib dem about? you
are not saying we will go back to the people, you are unilaterally saying revoke that is undemocratic from somebody who wishes the last three and half years had never happened, there is no difference. applause so, you know, isuspect applause so, you know, i suspect you want a people's vote? that is the only way forward, recognising people who are strongly to leave. so we have been leading the fight for a people's vote for three and a half years. but not now. hang on, let me finish. 17 times in parliament we put down amendments to try to secure a people's vote. if jeremy corbyn and the labour party had backed a pat with sincerity, we might be having a people's vote right now instead of a general election, but we are in a general election. you know, this is the essence of democracy, i am telling
you honestly what i would do if i was elected as prime minister, i would revoke article 50, and if you vote me into that position, i will do what i have said i will do, that is the essence of democracy. two women in the front. you said you made mistakes when you were in collision with the tories, so can you confirm whether you would go into coalition with them again? certainly not with boris johnson, this conservative party is off with nigel farage, boris johnson this conservative party is off with nigel farage, borisjohnson has been endorsed by tommy robinson, my goodness, they are so far off the charts, absolutely not. the woman at the back. you have said you made mistakes, andl the back. you have said you made mistakes, and i am a student, so we have been let down by the lib dems before. are you talking about tuition fees, by any chance?! that is what i was getting out, but you have called out boris and nigel for making a deal, but the lib dems have been making pacts, and there have been making pacts, and there have been some misleading suggestions in
theircampaign, so what been some misleading suggestions in their campaign, so what is different now? what you misleading suggestions? there has been some claims made that... there was that bad chart which suggested that brexit had been forgotten about in the labour party, misrepresenting the labour party, misrepresenting the success of the lib dems.” the labour party, misrepresenting the success of the lib dems. i have not seen that particular one, and it may well be that there was a problem with it, all charges should be clearly la belled, with it, all charges should be clearly labelled, explaining what they are, but i do like a bar chart... but they do need to be right. they need to be clear what they are representing, i absolutely ta ke they are representing, i absolutely take that point, but on the wider issue of trust, look, we absolutely got it wrong on tuition fees, and i do apologise that we got that wrong and that we did that. what i think we have been doing in the last three and a half years is standing really
clearly as a pro european, pro remain party, and we have not wavered from that, we have absolutely set that out at the centre of our manifesto this time, so you can see we are sticking to our principles and what we believe in. do you think, seeing the silence that fell into, do you think the policy of revoking article 50 has backfired? well, do you know, it is what we would do if we win a majority, right? i just what we would do if we win a majority, right? ijust think we have to level and be straightforward about it. we are a pro european party, we always have been, and if we fightan party, we always have been, and if we fight an election on the basis of stopping brexit and people give us a majority, don't be surprised if we then stop brexit! but as i say, we have led that campaign for a people's vote, and with more liberal democrat mps in the next parliament, we will campaign for a people's vote if we are not able to revoke. my question is... so if, for me, i am a
remainer, i would like a people's vote, but for me, the liberal democrats see more interested in just arguing, rather than working in collaboration with the other parties and politicians. so for me, i don't see the point. why have you ruled out a coalition with jeremy see the point. why have you ruled out a coalition withjeremy corbyn, who was standing here just a few moments ago, when they have promised a second referendum? they are surely your best hope to remain. well, jeremy corbyn also stood here and said he would be neutral in/out referendum, so i don't think that way and the millions of people who wa nt to way and the millions of people who want to remain can trustjeremy corbyn on brexit. but the other exchange, which i thought was very powerful, was about what happened in the labour party underjeremy corbyn in terms of anti—semitism, that they are being investigated by the
equality and human rights commission, and he said he was happy about that. i think you should be ashamed about that, and ijust don't think that we can ignore the genuine fear that lots of people feel about jeremy corbyn being prime minister. so when it comes to working collaboratively, absolutely... what does that mean? let's look at what we have done over the last couple of yea rs, we have done over the last couple of years, it is november, we are still members of the european union, and we we re members of the european union, and we were supposed to leave on the 29th of march, and we were supposed to leave on the 31st of october, and if you wanted to leave, i appreciate you are frustrated by that, but as a party who wanted to stop brexit, we have worked collaboratively to make that happen, with people in the labour party, in the conservative party, in the snp, plaid cymru and the greens. we have worked, week in, week out, and we have stopped brexit twice. imagine if you would like more lib dems, what we will be able to achieve, we will be able to stop brexit for good. the woman in the
blacktop. you are talking a lot about working collaboratively with other parties, but in the unlikely event that you were elected prime minister with a majority, or policy of revoking article 50 is just as divisive as the policies coming out from the hard brexiteers — how would you possibly imagine that you would bring the country together if you we re bring the country together if you were elected and revoked article 50? and to dismiss the views of all the people who voted to leave. i am a remain vow it, but i come from a constituency that voted strongly to leave, how would you bring communities like that together? allow you talk about for the poor, but you supported austerity. your deputy leader recently said he wants the government to run a permanent surplus, which is essentially a more palatable way of saying permanent austerity. why should we trust you
not to further cripple our public services? applause you have apologised to students for the student debt debacle. you have not said what you are going to do for them, so i student living with 50 grand of debt, paying interest, when they can't possibly pay it back, paying over 6% in interest if they are lucky to get a job, you have created a generation of graduates in persistent debt to the state — itjust doesn't hang true. what are you going to do for those people, a whole generation in persistent debt? ok, completely different topics there. so i absolutely recognise that so many people feel that this division that we have in our country right now is really horrible, really uncomfortable, right? in his people there are people who are leave, remain, someone, and we all cried for and long for a feeling where thatis for and long for a feeling where that is not there. —— in this room.
ido that is not there. —— in this room. i do not think there is an easy a nswer to i do not think there is an easy answer to this, you know, in scotla nd answer to this, you know, in scotland we have been living with this now for ages because of the run—up to the independence referendum, and society still very divided. —— living with us now for eight years. so i do not think there isa eight years. so i do not think there is a quick fix, but many of the issues that people are unhappy about, things are too tough, the economy doesn't work well enough for people, i genuinely fear that there are going to be made worse by leaving the european union, there will be less money about. to pick up the point about austerity, you know... my my point is, it is leaving the eu that will unleash starting on our country because we are going to be pure and people will lose jobs, there will be less money for the nhs. it will be worse. whereas if we remain we will have more money to spend, we will be able to invest in our communities and resolve many of
theissues our communities and resolve many of the issues that people are unhappy about. that is why i am standing on the platform to say i want things to be better in our country because i recognise that for too many people it has been too hard. in response to the point you make, maintenance gra nts the point you make, maintenance grants are being cut, we have said that we want to put those back because we want to invest in those young people and we want to make sure that people can have access to funding for lifelong learning at different points throughout their lives. i'm not going to stand here and promise that we will abolish tuition fees, a lot of numbers are getting thrown around by different parties in the selection, and a lot of the stuff sounds good, but cannot actually be delivered ? of the stuff sounds good, but cannot actually be delivered? do you actually be delivered? do you actually believe that those sums add up actually believe that those sums add up when the iff says it is just not credible when you look at the labour ma nifesto ? credible when you look at the labour manifesto? i would rather be straightforward and honest with people. i think the balance is
totally out of sync, we need to help these people. it is not about not paying anything as the labour government are suggesting, there needs to be a rebalance and what is it? i think we need to look at how we invest and particularly people from low income is going on to university, to get more people doing that. if we really want to improve life chances, the best place to put that money is in the early years and in schools, that is how you get that social mobility and give young people opportunities. that is where the priority for our spending is going. it is to make sure that we give our school is the money they need. at the moment in schools, you have got teachers being sacked, some schools not opening all day on a friday, schools crowdfunding for pit sticks and if that does not tell you that our schools are in dire need of more funding, what does? let us take a question from aldous everard. are you? you are. i'm sure the lib dems
must feel that you are between a rock and hard place at the moment. will your conscience be clear if the tories get in and brexit goes ahead because of the divided remain vote? applause. if you vote for boris johnson, he will use that vote to put through his hard brexit deal. if you vote forjeremy corbyn, he will use that vote to negotiate a labour brexit deal. in this election, my
conscience would not be clear if i did not make sure that right across the country people have the chance to vote for a remain party and candidate that wants to stop brexit, because this might be the last chance that we have to stop it. does that answer your question?” chance that we have to stop it. does that answer your question? i am a remaineras that answer your question? i am a remainer as well, but i don't want this country not to go out... i would rather that we went out of europe than we did not have another referendum. we need another referendum. we need another referendum because we need to heal those wounds that have been caused by the initial referendum which was soberly worked out and which has been incredibly divisive for the country, for everyone. obviously, if there are more liberal democrat in there are more liberal democrat in the next parliament then that gives us more power the next parliament then that gives us more power to deliver that. we also need to make sure, to get there, that we stop borisjohnson
getting a majority and it is liberal democrats who are able to win seats from borisjohnson democrats who are able to win seats from boris johnson and democrats who are able to win seats from borisjohnson and the tories. there are lots of places in the country where that can happen. from what we are seeing, it is not the case thatjeremy corbyn on the labour party will be able to win seats from the conservatives and thatis seats from the conservatives and that is why voting liberal democrat can deprive him from having a majority. i've heard you did this evening trying to defend your record on the bus and you say you are against these horrible tory cuts and i cannot trust you. you got one difficult question and you immediately try to turn it around to anti—semitism. jeremy corbyn has been fighting racism and anti—semitism since before you were born and you have got some brass neck to stand up there and talk about that. applause. i recognise that you genuinely believe that, but let me say, from the people that i have spoken to in the labour party, when i speak to luciana berger whojoined
the liberal democrats and when i speak to louise ellman who felt that she had to leave the labour party andi she had to leave the labour party and i speak tojewish people right across the country, they do not feel, they do not feel thatjeremy corbyn is fighting racism and anti—semitism in the labour party. they know what that feels like and i am going to listen to them and trust them on this issue. let us take a question now from magdalene lake. having voted for fracking a number of times, how can we be sure of your commitment to halting climate change? well i am against fracking. why did you vote against a ban on it in 2015? when we are in the coalition government, my liberal democrat colleague ed davey was the energy secretary and he put in place very stringent regulations. yes, you're deputy now, of course. but as a party, things have moved on, that was four years ago and we are
against fracking, we want a ban on fracking because the climate emergency is such that we shouldn't be starting new fossil fuel industries. we need to be changing the way that we produce our energy ina way the way that we produce our energy in a way that we heat our homes, we need to be getting the carbon out of our everyday lives rapidly and that means no new fossilfuel our everyday lives rapidly and that means no new fossil fuel industry such as fracking. you're going to change your mind again? you voted against a change your mind again? you voted againsta ban change your mind again? you voted against a ban on it and change your mind again? you voted againsta ban on itand now change your mind again? you voted against a ban on it and now you're saying it should be banned and you will not change your mind again? i'm very clear. we would ban fracking. this is like all the other policies that you have. labour policies and you are going on the back of what labour are you are going on the back of what labourare doing. you are going on the back of what labour are doing. you say that you have progressive policies like childcare and sure start another kind of stuff, but you voted against it, you voted against it when you we re it, you voted against it when you were in tory government, you particularly, you yourself have
voted against progressive policies and every time you're asked about you attack labour and you pretend to be somebody who is akin to labour in some of those progressive policies, well i don't believe it and i don't think that you have progressive policies and i don't think that you have left—wing policies, i think that actually the liberal democrats are a right—wing party and they do not get my vote. and you are entitled to that view and if you support the labour party and if you wa nt support the labour party and if you want socialism, and that is your viewpoint, then we are not a socialist party. i am a liberal and it is not some annexed to the labour party, it is a liberal party. we wa nt party, it is a liberal party. we wantan party, it is a liberal party. we want an open and a fair and inclusive country, we are an international party and that is why we wa nt
international party and that is why we want to remain in the european union and stop brexit because we believe that you get further, you achieve more if you work with your closest neighbours. that is what we are standing forand closest neighbours. that is what we are standing for and that is what our values are and sometimes we do agree with the labour party, but we are not the labour party, we are a different party and that is why we are standing separately. we stand on our own two feet in this election. the woman right at the back there.” wa nt the woman right at the back there.” want to follow—up about climate change because recently you said you would be ok with using nuclear weapons. can you clarify why you think that would be ok and how will that protect the planet? so, we live ina that protect the planet? so, we live in a really dangerous world and it feels like it is a much more uncertain world than even if you yea rs uncertain world than even if you years ago, when you have president trump in the white house with his
volatile decisions in geopolitics. i don't think this is the time to get rid of our nuclear deterrent. i think that we need to keep our nuclear deterrent and that it keeps us nuclear deterrent and that it keeps us safe. i do think the best use for nuclear weapons is to use them to negotiate away away from nuclear weapons and the uk should be playing a leading role in all of those international diplomatic discussions about how do we create a world without nuclear weapons, because thatis without nuclear weapons, because that is what we want to say, but we are not there and while we are not there, then i do not want us to scrap there, then i do not want us to scrap our there, then i do not want us to scrap our deterrent. the man in the blue shirt. you seem to be the party of missed opportunity. when you were in coalition with the conservatives, you failed to stop them doing a numberof you failed to stop them doing a number of things you would now reverse. when the conservatives were heavily in the minority in governmentjust heavily in the minority in government just recently, you
heavily in the minority in governmentjust recently, you failed to put your pride to one side, team up to put your pride to one side, team up with corbyn and the others and bring down the government and then bring down the government and then bring forward a referendum. we could have avoided this. you have about 30 seconds. just a couple of weeks before this election was called, the liberal democrats tabled again an amendment to have a people's vote and the labour party refused to back it. we have been consistent in doing that and we did achieve more money for poorer pupils and we had shaved same—sex marriage may cut taxes for people on low play and we introduced shared parental leave and a whole host of things we did achieve, when we we re host of things we did achieve, when we were in government and i always wa nt we were in government and i always want us to do more and that is why i am ambitious for our future because our country can have a brighter future and it starts with remaining in the eu. our time is up i am afraid. thank you very much indeed. would you please thankjoe swenson.
——joe would you please thankjoe swenson. —— joe swenson. and now, the last of our four leaders, welcome to the leader of the conservative party and prime minister, borisjohnson. some booing. if you've been watching the programme so far you'll have heard me ask each leader to allow the audience time to ask as many questions as possible and therefore to keep your answers relevant and reasonably brief — and forgive me for interrupting if you don't. so, let us take our first question for so, let us take our first question foer so, let us take our first question for mrjohnson which is from may rookes. how important is it for someone in your position of power, to always tell the truth? some laughter. i think it is
absolutely vital and i think that theissue absolutely vital and i think that the issue of trust in politics is central to this election and fundamental to the corrosion of trust in politics at the moment. why do you think you are being asked this question? it is the failure of politicians to deliver brexit. some booing. hang on, is that what you meant? you know who the wasps bizarre and you have made statements andl bizarre and you have made statements and i am one of those. take that forward. are you still in that frame of mind that you are going to help us out, should sort out this pensions issue? this issue is very difficult problem caused by a change in the pension age for women who we re in the pension age for women who were tired of a certain age and i do deeply with the position of those
women and we have looked at it and i would love to be able to magic your solution. it is very expensive to come up with the solution that you wa nt come up with the solution that you want and come up with the solution that you wantand i'm come up with the solution that you want and i'm going to be honest with you tonight, i cannot promise that i can magic up that money for you tonight. all the demands that you make. i am sorry... tonight. all the demands that you make. iam sorry... it is tonight. all the demands that you make. i am sorry... it is not possible to satisfy all those demands. i have to hold my to that. a few points if i may. can i start with you? why are you refusing to release the report on russian interference in british politics? i will take a few points ata politics? i will take a few points at a time. why should you be prime minister if you constantly keep avoiding scrutiny? you cancel parliament for five weeks and ran away from the channel for debate and you band the daily mirror from the
conservative boss? the woman in the blue dress. you keep saying that leaveis blue dress. you keep saying that leave is the will of the people but i have not heard you address specific issues considering the validity of the referendum. we know that the leave campaign on privacy laws, we know that many people voted to leave based on wrong information including what was written on the side of a bus and we know that leave was not defined and still is not agreed upon today and i would love you to address these issues and also, actually, talk about why you think you have got a mandate to go through with brexit because i don't think you can say that this general election can be your man died when brexit is mixed in with health care and climate change and education. —— mandate. 0n on some of your points, why am i allegedly avoiding scrutiny, here i am, and very happy to be scrutinised, but on your point about
the reasons for having the election, let's be in no doubt, i didn't want to have an election now, and no prime minister wants to have an election on december the 12th. we had to do it because parliament is blocking brexit. .. hang had to do it because parliament is blocking brexit... hang on, that is not quite right, parliament voted to accept a reading of your bill, but they didn't want to do it in just three days. they were given every opportunity to pass it, they were given every opportunity to pass it, and they passed a law to insist that we extended beyond october the 31st, and what we have now is a situation in which the three party leaders either want to block brexit or, absurdly, want to have a second referendum on the eu, i think that is mr corbyn's position, but it seems to have mutated tonight. he is now going to be neutral on the deal that he proposes, i don't see how you can do a deal when you are going to be neutral. is this answering
your question? never mind that, i do not think whatever deal he proposes, ido not think whatever deal he proposes, i do not think it is sensible for this great country of ours to spend next year in yet more delectable disputations about the eu and and then another referendum, if i understood correctly what happened earlier, another referendum on scotland. how can that be right for our country? i want next year to be a fantastic year for our country, we are an ambitious one nation conservative government, we have great plans for investing in education and health, let's get brexit done. i wondered how long it would take to get that phrase in! mr johnson, whilst you are clearly economy is doing well, how can you justify, in my constituency, where i work as a leader in a secondary school, how can you justify that 40% of the children in my community are
living in poverty, and nationally many, many more people are homeless, and many people who are working on a 40 hour contracts are having to use foodbanks? how can you justify this? applause well, i can't. .. i can't... well, i can't. .. i can't. .. where well, i can't. .. i can't... where are you teaching? whereabouts is your school? in stannington, towards hillsborough in sheffield. so you are from nearby? i wa nt sheffield. so you are from nearby? i want you to know that i have been in office for about 100 days also as prime minister, and i do understand, andi prime minister, and i do understand, and i have been too many hospitals, many schools in the time i have been prime minister, i have talked to nurses, doctors and teachers about what is going on, and that is why we are now levelling up funding for education across this country, putting more money into both primary and secondary schools, and i want to see that going directly to your school. but, mrjohnson, this is a
question about your record. you say you have been prime ministerfor 120 you have been prime ministerfor120 days, but the conservatives have beenin days, but the conservatives have been in powerfor nine years. days, but the conservatives have been in power for nine years. yeah, absolutely, and that is a fair point fiona, but for most of the time i was actually running london, and when i was running london, we reduced the gap between rich and poon reduced the gap between rich and poor, and one of the things i did which we have now brought into government, we introduced the living wage, massively expanded the living wage, massively expanded the living wage when i was mayor of london. that became a national policy, george osborne nicked it from me, an act of theft i was perfectly happy to come down, and it has become a national policy, and i am proud to say that under us conservatives we are going to raise the living wage to its highest ever level and, yes, if you ask me, do i want to tackle poverty in your area, yes, i certainly do, and yes, i certainly wa nt to certainly do, and yes, i certainly want to give every kid in the country the opportunities to make the most of their talents, and that
is what i believe in passionately as a conservatives. i want to see equality of opportunity in this country, i believe that you have talent, genius, ability, uniformly distributed throughout the whole of the uk. we want to unleash that potential, that is what i want to do. let's hear from sundeep dale. do. let's hear from sundeep firstly, i would like to say whilst you are in south yorkshire, i hope you manage to stay dry, unlike a lot of the residents here. applause talking about the flooding. yeah. a5 talking about the flooding. yeah. as a working single mother, i rely on benefits to just about to get by, sustaining myself and my two children. under the conservative government, what guarantee do i have of staying on the side of the foodbanks? first of all, about the
flooding, iam foodbanks? first of all, about the flooding, i am very, very determined to make sure that everybody whose lives have been affected by flooding get the compensation and help that i need, and we have announced that every damaged home will get at least £5,000 to help them with repairs, in addition to what we are doing with council tax and other things, and we will also help with insurance. but on your basic question about tackling poverty, of course we want to deal with not just tackling poverty, of course we want to deal with notjust the expression of poverty but also with the causes of poverty but also with the causes of poverty, and that means dealing with educational standards, spreading ambition and hope around the country by investing in education, investing in social services, adult and child social services, adult and child social services, as we are now. and it is not just a services, as we are now. and it is notjust a question of the living wage, it is a question of helping people with the cost of living, and thatis people with the cost of living, and that is why we are cutting national insurance contributions and trying
to put more things to help people with the cost of their heating, the cost of their fuel bills, putting more money into people's pockets every year. more money into people's pockets every yea r. we more money into people's pockets every year. we want to help people with the cost of living. how much is cutting national insurance going to say people every week? sorry, fiona foster how much will it save people every week, raising the national insurance threshold. it is only £100 a year to insurance threshold. it is only £100 a yearto begin insurance threshold. it is only £100 a year to begin with, but it is £500 a year to begin with, but it is £500 a year, £500 a year once we have got to our ambition. it is under 100. once we have got to have a threshold of 12,500. let's let sundeep back in. sorry. i am yet to be moved onto universal credit, how does that work? i am going to lose money and yet you are promising more relief in other areas, it doesn't make sense.
well, i am very happy to talk afterwards about what we can do to help your specific case, but i do think... i know some people want to scrap universal credit without putting anything in its place. it has worked in the sense that it has helped many, a couple of hundred thousand people at least into work, and one of the features of the economy at the moment, whatever the problems we have, is that we have more people in employment than ever before, we have more women in the workforce than ever before, and actually, actually incomes are starting to grow faster than at any time in the last 12 years. and that is what we want to focus on. the man at the back in the grey suit. hello, mrjohnson. i at the back in the grey suit. hello, mr johnson. i am at the back in the grey suit. hello, mrjohnson. i am a student at the university of manchester, and i want to ask you, why should a young person between 18 and 25 years old vote for the conservative party without using campaign rhetoric, just a straight answer, please.
applause because i believe that we are the party that is going to do the most to help you to get a fantastic high wage, high skilled job. what about all the debt i am going to graduate with? help you get a home by building record numbers of homes, help you to get onto the housing ladder, and help... with great respect, sir, we have built a record number last year, and we have a plan to build 1 million homes... hang on, so much groaning here, i assume you are thinking of the khan pledge to build 200,000 starter homes in 2014, and none have been built. -- homes in 2014, and none have been built. —— the conservative pledge. last year we build 240,000 homes, any more in the last 31 years part one, and of those 57,000 were affordable homes. if you look at my
record as mayor of london, we out built labour bike miles. we will build homes for young people, we will make sure they have jobs to go to, and... this is the second time he has asked that. if he is allowed to shout out, i am happy to answer it. to complete this point, we will put in the transport infrastructure that, as i say, improving education that, as i say, improving education that will allow us to unite and level up this country. now, the gentleman... when would you release the russian report? this is the report into whether there was russian interference or any kind of... russian interference or any kind of. . . there russian interference or any kind of... there is absolutely no evidence that i know of... if that is the case, why not release it? to show any interference in a british electoral event, and i see no reason
to interfere with the normal timetable... the normal timetable, hold on, that is not true. dominic grieve said it should have been released in november. applause i understand it. no, please, you have to let mr johnson answer. i am sorry to say, with great respect, this is bermuda triangle stuff. as is the suggestion that the referendum, when 17.4 million people voted to leave, was somehow a false, not fair, wrong and should now be cancelled. my strong view is that the people of this country view is that the people of this cou ntry voted view is that the people of this country voted to leave, they waited three and a half years... country voted to leave, they waited three and a half years. .. nobody is saying cancel the referendum.” think at least the liberal democrat are saying scrap the referendum, and so, that is my impression of it,
aren't they saying revoke article 50? what about russian interference? we have had an answer to that. it may be to you, but i would like to ta ke may be to you, but i would like to take another question now, from oliver. forgive me, this is notjust for you, this whole session, no, i'm sorry, you will have to stop there, it is not fair on everybody else who put their hands up. it is notjust an evening for you, no. i think you have got as much of an answer as you are going to get. hang on a minute! iam in are going to get. hang on a minute! i am in charge of this thing, wait a minute. can we hear now... applause can we hear now from olive? olive, yes. hello, prime minister. racist rhetoric in this country is rife. will you admit that you have personally contributed to this and say the words, i am sorry?
applause i want to say... i want to say... i want to say... i i want to say... i have i want to say... i have never i want to say... i have never i have never intended, i want to say... i have never intended, genuinely never intended to cause hurt or pain to anybody, and that is my intention. what i will say, because i think you are referring to a particular article of a year or so ago, more than that... in fairness, there are a few, muslim women looking like letterboxes was last year, you referred to tribal warriors with watermelon smiles, pickaninnies, and to get another demographic income a tank top but boys. if you go through my articles with a fine tooth come, there is no doubt that you can find things that can be made to seem offensive, and of course... and i understand that,
i understand that... do you not think but boys is offensive? just on the point that i think the lady... i defend my right to speak out, and i defend my right to speak out, and i defend my right to speak out, and i defend my right, and if you actually read the piece, and i don't know how many people have, . .. read the piece, and i don't know how many people have,... which one?! laughter i suggest you read any of them, all of them! what i was really doing was mounting a strong liberal defence of the right of women in this country to wear what they choose, and i think most people, and not to be oppressed into wearing something they don't want to wear, and i think most people in this country would agree with that. so olive is asking if you are going to say sorry, but you don't think you should?” if you are going to say sorry, but you don't think you should? i have just got to get back to my fundamental point, i think i have a lwa ys fundamental point, i think i have always stood up for gender equality,
icampaigned... if always stood up for gender equality, i campaigned... if you look at the way i ran city hall, i can paint... i had roughly half and half male and female team, the number one campaign as foreign secretary was for education for every girl in the world, which is the single best and most beautiful thing we could do to solve the problems of this planet, and the uk is leading on it, and i am very proud, as a former foreign secretary, to have championed that. my question is about the nhs, but i would like to back—up all of '5 point. he talked about defending freedoms of women, you do not do that by taking down a religious minority, you do not do that by offending muslim women, that is not how you ensure for other women. can we come onto the nhs later? we may come to that if we stay on the subject for a moment. i will come to
it in subject for a moment. i will come to itina subject for a moment. i will come to it in a moment. a question here.” think the way that you speak about muslim women in particular and the way that you have spoken about race in the past is characteristic of the way your government has dealt with it since 2010. complete carelessness, callousness, the way you treat people, the victims of grenfell, the hostile environment, you say you visited hospitals and spoke to public service workers but i think you know you have not been welcome when you went to speak to them, the way you have conducted yourself when you're there, shows yourself when you're there, shows you are afraid of the response you will get and i think it is insulting to the people who have suffered underyour to the people who have suffered under your government even if you say you have only been in power for 100 days, you have been in government for the last nine years and it is insulting for you to stand there and talk about all the investment when the austerity policies have brought... you know...
all i can say to you is to repeat what i have said. in this conservative party, unlike other parties, we have zero tolerance of islamophobia, we do, and people are asked to stand down if they are guilty of islamophobia or any other prejudice or hate speech and that is what we do. i am delighted and we are going to have an enquiry into prejudice, i will anticipate that question. you're not having an extended enquiry into islamophobia as you promised on television. yes we are. we are having an enquiry into all islamophobia and all types of prejudice in the conservative party, but i think... it will begin by the end of this year if we are lucky enough to be returned. let me be clear, i am proud of the record of the conservative party in
promoting women, which party has produced two female prime ministers? ours. we have large numbers of women in the cabinet and i am delighted to say that. we have a very large and growing number, at least 35% of our candidates at this election are female and i am delighted by our record. of course there is more we can do, but under conservatives, the gender pay the gap has shrunk and we are doing everything we can to help women into the workforce, not least through child care policies, some of which i announced today. we have another question, there is a forest of hands. let us hear a question from richard cork first of all. in 2015 the tory government pledged to recruit and train an additional 5000 gps by 2020. in 2019 there are actually fewer gps. why on earth should i now believe
yet another pledge to recruit an additional 6000 gps over the course of the next parliament? well, richard... ithink, to the best of my knowledge we have 5000 more doctors this year than last year. we are making progress. his point is that pledges have been made before and have not been delivered, so why should he believed the pledge this time? look at what we have done already with nurses, there are 17,000 more nurses than they were in 2010. what about having fewer gps? if you want my view on this, of course i want more gps and of course i want more investment in the nhs and we are putting in now, the biggest ever cash boost into the nhs
under this one nation conservative government and we would get more gps, 54 million gp appointments, more appointments, between now and 2025 and we will do that because we are... it is notjust that we are building new hospitals, we are investing in people as well. do you wa nt investing in people as well. do you want the answer? the answer is that we are upgrading 20 and as a result... prime minister, it is six! there will be 14 new hospitals. yes, we are starting. it is six. we are starting with six. at the moment it is upgrading six existing hospitals. it is building six new ones immediately but the programme over the next ten years, with seed funding already going on, to build 40 new hospitals. that is the plan.
with respect, we do need a lot of extra cash in the nhs and it is three years of underinvestment that we are in the position we are in.” agree with that. thank you. it is as much about the conditions as it is the money. morale in the nhs is on its knees, the workload is going through the roof, we cannot keep the gps that are close to retirement from retiring because theyjust see this and think that they want out. we are trying to train new gps and they are seen all of this and they think, do i want to stay in england? we have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in their training and they wonder about committing the next 40 years of theircareer here orare committing the next 40 years of their career here or are they going to go to australia, new zealand or canada, they go there and they work a40 canada, they go there and they work a 40 hourweek canada, they go there and they work a 40 hour week for better pay and they do not have a political football, they do not get treated like a political football. we need to look at the conditions as well as the money invested. i totally agree.
i totally agree with that and i admire massively the work that all the staff do in the nhs. i have to say, i think your point is right and many doctors have made the point to me, particularly about the pension arrangements and we are trying to address that. we are taking further steps to address that this year and i know that the problem that doctors face, but we are also recruiting huge numbers and i say sincerely to people, the only way we can do this is by having a strong economy and i'm afraid to say, that is the reality, the economy has grown every yearfor reality, the economy has grown every year for the last nine years, it is now 20% bigger than it was and when labour lie now 20% bigger than it was and when labourlie —— now 20% bigger than it was and when labour lie —— micro—left office last time like every departing labour government, they left an economic shambles and if you look at what was proposed yesterday, not only is there a vast hole in the heart of it
in the sense we do not know what they read the policy is, but their economic plans for this country... people want to ask about your plans. wait a minute. there are so many hands up and we have so few minutes left. yes. the man with the glasses. lama left. yes. the man with the glasses. i am a physiotherapist and the problem is across the board in the nhs. part of the problem was getting rid of the nhs bursary which stopped a lot of mature students coming back. i would not have been able to train without that and you have shut a lot of people out and would you reverse that decision to help get people back in? the woman with the glasses. i am a junior doctor in a&e and over the past nine years since you have been in power, waiting lists are getting longer, people lying on trolleys for hours and it is notjust lying on trolleys for hours and it is not just an lying on trolleys for hours and it is notjust an inconvenience, people are dying and i think you're lying to us every year. every year you promised more money but the reality
is, people in the nhs, people who work there and use it know that the money is not getting through. why should we trust that you will get 26 million for the nhs when there are cuts of people are dying? the man in the pink shirt. a big part of the election process is all about the trust that you want us to put into you. even in this campaign over the la st you. even in this campaign over the last week we have seen twitter handles that have been changed by conservatives, we have seen urls purporting to be from labour i think and you are asking us to put our trust in big decisions but yet even simple things, you cannot seem to get that right, so why on earth should we trust you with anything else? let us get back to the central issue. look at what i said i would do when i set out to be mayor of
london ten years ago. in fairness, thatis london ten years ago. in fairness, that is not the question, the question is about the nhs. this is about whether i can deliver, we massively cut crime. we had huge investment substantially, a 50% cut in the murder rate and we massively invested in transport and put delays on the cheap by 30% and we help build the labour party when it came to housing. i over delivered on my policies. when you look at what i promised on the steps of downing street a few months ago, i promised we would put 20,000 more police on the streets of our country and they are coming. i have talked to them, they are being recruited now. i said that we would put the biggest ever cash boost into the nhs and it is happening. 20 hospital upgrades and 40 new hospitals and to get to all the points that are being raised, yes of course i understand that these —— things have been tough on these —— things have been tough on the nhs and i understand the pressures but i talked to hundreds
of doctors and nurses in the last few months. i know the massive demand that the nhs faces. we can only meet that demand if we have a dynamic economy and i am afraid we will not get this economy really moving again, we will look at the investment coming in and i know what i'm going to say, it is true, it happens to be true, until we get brexit done and that the moment that is hanging over us, paralysing parliament and to get back to your trust point, that is in my view the single biggest corrosion of trust in politics. people voted three and a half years ago for their will to be respected. every other party that you have had on tonight is basically trying to frustrate that outcome. we have a deal and it is a good deal, it will allow us, it is a great deal, it is there and ready to go, it is oven ready... we are out of
time, iam it is oven ready... we are out of time, i am so sorry. it will enable us to have 2020... time, i am so sorry. it will enable us to have 2020. .. mrjohnson, time, i am so sorry. it will enable us to have 2020... mrjohnson, i am so sorry we are out of time. 2020 will be a year of prosperity and wealth. mrjohnson, thank you very much. thank you very much to boris johnson. cheering and applause. and that concludes our evening. it has been worth it, hasn't it? you can of course carry on the debate by tuning in to live analysis and opinion from the spin room on the news channel with christian fraser and on 5 live where stephen nolan will be taking your calls. from us and all of our party leaders, thank you very much for watching.
very good evening. welcome to the spin room here at the university of sheffield. over the next hour, we will be assessing and analysing what has just taken place will be assessing and analysing what hasjust taken place in will be assessing and analysing what has just taken place in the auditorium not far from where has just taken place in the auditorium not farfrom where i'm standing and! auditorium not farfrom where i'm standing and i think we can safely conclude at the end of all that that the great british public are pretty good at asking the questions. tough crowd tonight for all four leaders. it is the first time that they've been subjected together to the bbc question time experienced one after the other in a single programme so we will hear from the politicians
who will be spinning from their respective leaders as soon as they get up here, getting the latest from the reality check team and we will hopefully hear from some of the most important people tonight, those members of the audience who are asking the questions. our political correspondent is with me. for all be leaders tonight, the one thing that really stood out for me was sometimes the open hostility from the audience. why is that? it's a lwa ys the audience. why is that? it's always been a question of a lack of trust in politics but what really struck me and i were saying this a bit earlier as well, is the conventional debate format is not a lwa ys conventional debate format is not always the most challenging for politicians. direct questions from the audience can really hit home and these are well—informed questions on previous pledges of politicians, well—informed questions of what they we re well—informed questions of what they were saying with the manifesto was published. it was intelligent hostility. not scepticism from the audience tonight. in terms of what we can take away from it, jeremy corbyn was giving a pretty assured performance but two errors for the
first of all saying there could be a scottish referendum within two yea rs. very scottish referendum within two years. very specific, more than usually is, may in the early years ofa usually is, may in the early years of a labour government but his opponent use that against them saying there was too referendums coming down the track. also more clearly tha n coming down the track. also more clearly than before, that he would be neutral any labour eu referendum soa be neutral any labour eu referendum so a bit more decisive about sitting on the fence. nicola sturgeon was actually saying she would play ha rd ball actually saying she would play hardball with actually saying she would play hard ball with labour there was actually saying she would play hardball with labour there was a hung parliament, boris johnson hardball with labour there was a hung parliament, borisjohnson was unable to drift back to talking about brexit the whole time, challenging the public services and his own rhetoric. before we talk to the various teams let's pick out some of the stand