Sunday Shows: Amber Rudd And Ukip Wars Dominate

It was a busy morning for politics

The Andrew Marr Show

Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim to attend Cabinet back in 2010, appeared on Marr to discuss the Westminster terror attacks and Islam in Britain. Warsi, who has a book on Muslims in Britain coming out at the end of the month, made the point that it is “incredibly difficult” for any community to root out lone attackers such as Khalid Masood.

“He was a violent Christian long before he was a violent Muslim,” said Warsi, who also called for the Government’s anti-extremist Prevent programme to be “paused” as it’s brand had become “toxic”.

Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer was up next, and with Article 50 set to be triggered this week he set out six tests by which Labour will hold the Government to in its negotiations with the EU.

One of the key tests is the promise from Brexit Secretary David Davis that the UK’s new relationship with the EU would have the same benefits in terms of Single Market access as it has now.

Sir Keir also confirmed Labour no longer supported the free movement of people as part of a new post-Brexit immigration policy.

On Labour Party issues, Sir Keir backed Deputy Leader Tom Watson’s attack on Momentum and hard-left infiltrators.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd used her appearance to launch an attack on messaging service WhatsApp for not allowing security services access to encrypted messages.

But she shied away from new laws, instead vowing to work with tech companies to tackle how the internet is facilitating terrorism and jihadist propaganda.

Sophy Ridge On Sunday

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage was a late call-up to Ridge, and his view on Douglas Carswell quitting Ukip can be summed up neatly: “Thank God.”

On whether Carswell should now trigger a by-election in his Clacton seat, Farage said Ukip was planning to write to every house in the constituency to get the views of voters before applying more pressure.

Sophy Ridge was tenacious in her grilling of Farage over his linking of the UK’s immigration policy to the Westminster attack just hours after the incident. The MEP refused to apologise for making the link – despite the attacker being a Brit.

Nick Clegg appeared on the show, and praised Theresa May for her response to the terror attack. He also said it was impossible to make society “100% safe”.

Labour’s Yvette Cooper said Farage was “playing into the hands of extremists” with his response to the attack, and suggested the Ukip MEP might like to see vetting and border controls around Kent – where Masood was born.

Fresh from Marr, Home Secretary Amber Rudd popped into the glass box. She told Ridge there is an “onslaught” of jihadist propaganda online, and the Government has taken down 250,000 pieces of such material in the last seven years.

Rudd confirmed she was meeting with tech bosses on Thursday to set up an industry board aimed at stemming the flow of propaganda. Again, there is a full write-up here.

Peston on Sunday

Just three weeks ago Douglas Carswell insisted on Peston he would stand as a Ukip candidate in the next election. Today, he was back in Croissant Corner, and said he felt “guilty” for making that claim.

On why he’s not calling a by-election, Carswell repeated his assertion that as he’s not joining another party it isn’t necessary.

The main guest on the show was Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He called for the Government’s Prevent strategy to be extended to all communities (full report here). In the light of the Westminster attack, Corbyn sought to clarify previous reports that he didn’t support “shoot to kill” when police confront a terrorist. He said he backed the policy in a “wholly defensive situation”

“You’ve got to be careful you don’t end up with what we had in Ireland in the 1980s,” he said.

Corbyn confirmed Labour would vote in favour of an early election if the opportunity arose, and said his party would be ready for an vote before 2020.

“We are developing our policies but clearly if an election is called we can bring all that forward and we are ready, yes.”

Corbyn was at his most passionate when talking about the Great Repeal Bill – which transfers all EU law onto British statute books. He vowed to fight any measure that give the Government more power.

On the issue of Momentum affiliating to Unite, Corbyn said the move was “fiction”.

Security Minister Ben Wallace defended the Government’s Prevent strategy, insisting it “is working”.

Pienaar’s Politics

On Radio 5live, Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had until May 2018 to turn the polls around.

He had previously indicated Corbyn would need to look at his own leadership in 2019 if Labour was significantly behind in the polls, but today brought that deadline closer.

“The reality is that I’m hoping he’s given the opportunity to put the alternative that Labour are building to the British electorate and hopefully we’ll see if he can break through, the opinion polls begin to change. I would suggest that the next 15 months or so will give us the answer to that.”

On Deputy Leader Tom Watson’s claim that the hard-left were infiltrating Labour through Momentum, McCluskey said:

“I don’t hear him attacking Labour First, the right-wing grouping, or Progress, and neither should he – they’ve got every right to be in the Labour party and to put forward their viewpoint, and that’s all that Momentum seems to me to be, a left-wing grouping that are trying to argue for their influence in the party.”

Sunday Politics

In a political version of the Jeremy Kyle show, Andrew Neill played host to the recently divorced Paul Nuttall and Douglas Carswell on the Sunday Politics.

Carswell – who has always been a supporter of constituents being able to recall their MPs – said he wouldn’t trigger a by-election even if 20% of constituents called for one.

Nuttall said he was “disappointed” Carswell has quit.

However, the Ukip leader believes the party will now be more unified with Carswell gone.

Crucially, when asked by Neil if he would stand as a Conservative at the next election, Carswell said: “Let’s wait and see.”

Commons Leader David Lidington appeared in order reassure the public – and those in Parliament – that armed officers would have intercepted Masood if Michael Fallon’s bodyguard had not been there to shoot him.


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