tv Asian Network Big Election Debate BBC News June 3, 2017 8:30pm-9:01pm BST
to lower taxes. jeremy corbyn has accused the conservatives' tax plans of being "in chaos", and has urged the party to publish them in full. ariana grande has visited fans in hospital, who were injured in the bombing at her concert. she spent time talking to them and posing for photographs. there are reports of dozens of civilians being killed while fleeing so—called islamic state in mosul. now on bbc news, the asian network big election debate. welcome to the asian network's big election debate. we are on the asian network, and the bbc news channel. i'm nomia iqbal, here in the splendid elgar concert hall at the university of birmingham, and we are on the stage here in the concert hall. with me is our audience, people from all different backgrounds, different political allegiances, and, with just one week to go before the big vote,
they have a lot of questions about a wide range of issues. they will be putting those questions to our panel of guests from different political parties. with us today is shailesh vara from the conservatives, khalid mahmood from labour, baroness sheehan from the liberal democrats, bob dhillon from ukip, and leanne wood from plaid cymru. following the horrific terror attack in manchester last week, campaigning for the election had been suspended. of course it has now resumed. but the events of manchester are still very much on people's minds. i was in the city reporting and i am from manchester. there were a lot of questions being asked in the aftermath. let's begin the debate today with talking about what happened in manchester, and looking at some of the issues that came from it. let's go to our first question.
in light of the recent atrocities committed in manchester, should muslims do more to condemn terrorism within their communities? shailesh vara from the conservatives? let me express my deepest sympathies and condolences for the family and friends of those who tragically lost their lives in what was basically a very wicked and evil act, which has been condemned by the whole world. as far as community engagement is concerned, of course, there ought to be engagement by every citizen in the uk. but given that many of the people who are engaging in this activity come from a particular community, it is right everyone is vigilant. it may mean if you are suspicious of a particular individual, reporting them to the police. of course there will be reluctance on the part of people to report individuals that they know,
love and care about to police, but what i would say to those individuals is just look at the pain and anguish that has been caused to all of the families and friends because of those innocent lives that were ta ken away. it mightjust be the case that if someone is reported, we mightjust be stopping future tragedies such as that. so, you think the responsibility is for everybody, but specifically the muslim community? i think that, given the background of many of the people who engage in terrorist activities is from the muslim community, certainly i would ask that the muslim community is vigilant. but that is not to say that it is the exclusive responsibility of the muslim community, because many individuals go to colleges and work, they mix in everyday society, they mix with mainstream society. all of us have a responsibility. i will come back to the rest of the panel but i want to ask you,
do you think that it is muslims' responsibility to condemn terrorism? i think it is everyone‘s responsibility to condemn terrorism but there is clearly a problem within some aspects, a very small minority of the muslim community, that i do not think the solution is to ignore it and say that itjust is not there, because a significant portion, if not a majority of terror attacks we see, are committed by those supporting these ideologies, essentially. bob dhillon, ukip? my sympathies again go out to the people of manchester. we have to go back to the 19705, when we look at british policy which has gone wrong. basically, what we have done is funded these terrorist groups in the 19705 and 19805 to overthrow russian regimes in afghanistan and various other middle east countries.
that is where the policy started. then, what we did, secondly, was the secret services, where qualified people were replaced by cronies, by tony blair, who put cronies in to get the result that he wanted for the iraq war, with no plan b. when you destroy a country, which iraq was quite a nice country from when i visited it to what it is now, and have no plan b, and when people see that, they have this hate in them. you are linking terrorism to past behaviours? yes. whatever the issues are, we cannot blame any single policy for taking young people's lives, people who wanted to go out to enjoy their evening, and barbarically kill those very young people in the way that they have done that. back to the original question, the issue is that a vast majority of the muslim community condemns it
out right, and i did an article at the weekend in a newspaper saying what the question said, that a small minority of people need to come forward and be part of the whole solution, and not continue to be part of the problem. the muslim community has a responsibility because that is what the perception is. these people are from the muslim community, so we have to deal with that. of course it is the responsibility for all of us to deal with that because this affects all of us in our daily lives but it is important that we also cooperate with authorities and explain that when we hear something, as trivial as you may think it is, it is best to pass it to authorities. your party leader, jeremy corbyn, linked foreign policy with what happened ? he hasn't. he has. what he has said clearly, he has not linked it, and the media keep getting this wrong, he said if we are called upon on the international
arena in such a way, we should think about it, as we did in syria. there was a vote on syria, the labour party stood against and did not vote for it. it is a key step change in relation to how we move it forward. we need to look at those issues, and there can be no correlation with people acting deliberately, barbarically, to take people's lives in this country. it cannot be linked in that way. leanne? i am interested in trying to understand what it is that motivates people to carry out such barbaric and callous acts, especially against young children. i think the target audience here was particularly... it makes it a particularly barbaric act. i used to work as a probation officer, and what they do is try to understand the root causes of people's behaviour. i think, while it is the responsibility of every single citizen to be vigilant and to take action, there are things that the muslim community can help with here. you mentioned ideology, and i think that there is a real
issue here about challenging ideology and really understanding the ideology driving this, and being able to argue and counter it. i am interested to know if some of you think, actually, muslims should not bear the responsibility. they are always being asked to condemn these attacks and it isn't fair. can we bring the microphone to this gentleman? the idea that... nobody is saying that these attacks are ok, no such attacks are ok but the idea that the muslim community should be guilty by association is fundamentally problematic. ideologies are dangerous. nobody is saying that. you say nobody is saying that but it is how people feel, right? ideologies are dangerous across the board and they need to be challenged by all of those communities. the muslim community is doing that challenging. we need to have serious questions about cuts when the muslim community was the one reporting salman abedi a multiple number of times. we need a real discussion about what is happening
here and what is happening with intelligence, and the idea that when something like this is perpetrated by someone specifically in a community that the entire community is to blame but when jo cox was murdered, there was no blame on the community, it was "just some guy". but we know that there are dangers, and to what happened in preston the other day, we know there are dangers with white supremacist ideology. that is murderous. we need to talk about what we all can do rather than saying some of us are guilty by association, which we are not. baroness sheehan? let me express my deepest sympathy for the families and loved ones of the 22 people who were brutally murdered. can i pay tribute to the emergency services who came forward so fantastically for us, and the nhs which was exemplary and illustrates, if it needed illustrating, how important that is to us? mancunians themselves stood shoulder
to shoulder and refused to be divided by this act of atrocity. that is really to be welcomed. as a muslim, i do not identify with that version of islam, which is perverted. for a long time, muslims like myself had been saying to the government, please do something to tackle the infiltration of this pernicious brand of islam that is coming to us in our country, and other countries around the world, which is being exported by saudi arabia. the wahhabism strain, which is allowed to preach in our mosques here, really needs to be tackled and i am ashamed our country still presists in calling the saudi regime friends and sells arms to them.
those arms are used by the saudis to kill civilians in yemen, and we allow that to happen. i think this is part and parcel of the same issue and the same problem. it must be tackled at the roots. i'd like you to pick up on that point. i heard a lot in manchester about the double standard of the government when it came to saudi arabia. clearly there are conversations that go on between governments... but it is about stopping the sale of arms. can ijust say...? it isn't as simple as that. there is a huge amount of engagement with countries, and a huge amount of trade, a huge amount of dialogue. a huge amount of travel between people, back and forth. in a civilised world, we often try to talk to people, rather than take brutal action. on the whole, that civilised
action of dialogue does... we see the world very differently. trade trumps human rights? i have a couple of people with questions... can i go to the lady at the back first? what we are saying is trade is more important to us than our morals and ethics? i'm not trying to say... let me finish, i need to say this. saudi arabia are committing human rights atrocities, it is agreed by the un, some of the things that they are guilty of, it is awful, some of the things that they do, but we trade with these people and have a complex relationship with them. why can we not bring that into the conversation, seeing as they are an enormous trade partner? the baroness mentioned it is mainly based on arms, is that our business? what our country wants to be known as? the arms country?
let me come back to that. i am not saying that trade trumps human rights, whatever. if you look at international figures of the number of countries where they have questionable human rights, you would be surprised at the number of countries. it is notjust saudi arabia that may be on any list, there are a lot of countries that people ordinarily deal with and go on holidays to. we need to take uniform action and be consistent in the action we take, rather than picking on one country which, for various reasons, may be higher in the media profile than others. before we go further, we were due to have the snp here but they released a statement. it is from humza yousaf. due to circumstances beyond his control, he was unable to attend despite looking forward to taking part in the debate. just that statement, to let you know, if you are wondering why the snp are not here.
let's pick up on that. khalid mahmood, keep it brief? the first question about the far right and islamic terrorists. that does not blame any community. there are individuals that we need to resolve, it does not blame the whole of the muslim community or indigenous community in terms of supremacists. we must take it into proportion and deal with it. it is not tit—for—tat, and the sooner we get away from that kind of thing, the supremacists are doing this, so it is ok to do that... none of it is ok, that needs to be clear. in terms of arms and human rights, and what we do, we need to seriously look at this. we will look at whether we want to continue with the industry we have. america just signed a $135 billion deal with saudi arabia. that is exactly what i am saying. there are a number of countries that in terms of what they are doing
have a worse record. look at china. let's just... let'sjust wind up here. i'm also pointing out india... we have a lot of people to get through. in punjab... i want to get back... i think it works both ways across the kashmir border. come on... i want to bring up police cuts. many have mentioned this. this was something that the conservative government were accused of, following the aftermath of the manchester bombings. your party cut the number of police, 20,000 in england and wales. if there were more police on the streets, this wouldn't have happened ? first of all, let me say there are two issues. as far as general policing is concerned, crime is down by one third.
crime is down by one third, notwithstanding... but violent crime is up... notwithstanding that we have had police cuts. this tells you that it is more than just numbers and bodies on the streets. for example... you can have a situation, i have been to these centres, where you have a couple of police officers sat in a room, watching 20 or 30 video screens because they have cctv cameras. they can look to see where there are difficulties and direct police cars to those areas of difficulty, rather than having 30 times two police officers sat there when there isn't much activity. we need to look at how policing is done. i don't know where you have been living or sleeping with crime being cut and going down, i can show you and you can talk to me after, it hasn't. that is in la la land. independent analysis on these figures... carjackings and everything...
it is all thrown in, madam. you are sleeping somewhere. this is real, street talk. what's going on in the street is something different than you lot are saying. i have one of the largest electorates in the country. people i have represented in the last 12 years, it is one of the largest electorates in mainland britain, i have my ear to the ground and i can tell you, i speak to police on a regular basis... it is not to the ground where i am living. we will have to agree to disagree. but the individuation is there whenever you want to come around. and to you too. back to your question? with hate crime on the increase, what are they doing to tackle the issue? bob dhillon. i think the government could do more. what will you do? what would ukip do, with hate crime on the rise? we have seen some instances following what happened in manchester.
mosques being bombed. ukip are fuelling it. they are fuelling it. applause. i don't believe so... paul nuttall came out the next day saying that he was right about the cancer of radical islam. his main point is to ban the burqa. how is that going to help? everyone has their views. i have mine. to stop radicalisation, we need more police force working with the community to overcome hate crime. i want to make sure that police crackdown on any hate in any community. did you agree with your party's policy of banning the burqa? in today's modern society, any form of covering the face is not required. i disagree. do you really have the right to tell people what to wear? to tell women to wear? i know there is an issue
of security issue but we live in a democracy, or we try to. i feel that politicians are constantly coming to young people and the younger generation at election time. where the hell are you for the rest of the year? you come to us at election time when you want your votes. people like us, the undecided voters, you say... "this is what we will do for young people. we throw millions of pounds into mental health services, we throw billions of pounds into the nhs." why do we not see that money in practice, where is it on the ground? on that point you make about the burqa. leanne wood's point about it fuelling hate. do you agree? completely. i have known young women to be walking down the road with headscarves, and they've had their headscarves ripped off them. 16—year—olds. that is assault. yes, and a lot of the time people get away with it. you don't understand, these young women are scared to leave their houses and do
everyday normal things, and it is unacceptable how people get away with this. i am from kent. i've been walking down the road and people have accused me... "have you got a bomb in your bag?" no. i am having to justify myself to you, as a young muslim. i had to show my bag and say, "actually, i have curry in my bag." do i need to show you that i have food in my bag? what kind of world do we live in where we have tojustify ourselves? the stories are not rare, whose fault is it? i think some of the language that we have been hearing since the referendum campaign is really fuelling this. some of the images that the leave campaign, i know there are different versions of the leave campaign, but the one led by my ukip person here on the left, i'm not quite able to call him a colleague, but the one led by his leader, nigel farage, when he stood in front of that revolting poster of desperate syrian
refugees, saying, what was it? "breaking point". those images leave a lasting impact and they fuel some of the hate crime that we see. one week after the referendum... those posters were used in germany in the 19305. if you look at the two posters side—by—side, they are carbon copies. the evidence, the week after the campaign, recorded hate crime went up 43%. it says it all. can i bring in shailesh vara? when we talk about these issues, it needs to be done so sensibly. all of us in public life need to bear in mind —— done so sensitively. all of us in public life need to bear in mind what we say has consequences. i voted to remain in the referendum campaign but some of the language used could have been worded
differently and spoken in a more sensitive matter. there was a rise in hate crime and as a society, we need to deal with it. the police forces dealt with them the best they could and it was wonderful to see the british community rally round as well. i also remember at the time that while there was an increase in hate crime, there were millions of people throughout the country who took the view and said, "actually, i do not like this." in small communities all over the place they were giving comfort to those receiving hate mail through their letterboxes and so on. it was a very sad and regrettable incident in terms of hate crime and it continues, but i am pleased to say the strength of this country is that the majority of people are fair—minded and decent. but that does not help if you are a muslim attacked in the street? i'm not saying that hate crime does not exist, it does. it is growing. maybe you are asking how to deal with it. khalid mahmood, ifjeremy corbyn
becomes prime minister, what is he planning to do to tackle this kind of hate crime? he is planning to introduce 10,000 more police onto the streets of our communities. in terms of having police officers... as an example. as an example, i would prefer pcsos on the ground. i have a fantastic pcso in my community, rob, he is fantastic. he goes to people's houses and sees them, understands what is going on. let's not be reactive but be proactive in relation to police. those cuts have been made, jeremy corbyn is going to increase the police forces to do that. a lot of comments on crime, it is going up. if you look at proper crime figures, in terms of burglary, personal safety, knife crime... it has gone up tremendously because we do not have those people. i live in my constituency, in my street.
we see what is going on. i have people from my constituency with issues in relation to this and i speak to the local people every day. that is what is going on. they cannot put up with it. you have an incident and you wait a few hours before police turn up as they don't have resources. we need police back on the streets, not looking at some monitors, or doing an it job. that is someone else'sjob. the police need to gain intelligence on the ground to be proactive. one more question, i believe? when will the british electorate be ready to vote for an asian prime minister? we thought we would end with a light question! i think the question is simple here. when will the political parties be in a position to elect a leader who can then be prime minister?
we don't operate an american system. until we get the political parties to elect someone as a leader, then they become prime minister which is the way forward. liberal democrats, when will we be ready for an asian prime minister? the liberal democrats, as you know, have nine mps. sadly, we lost quite a lot in the previous parliament. none asian. or black. no, we do not have seats like labour and the conservatives where you can parachute in asian candidates, i'm afraid. if we did have an asian mp, and who is of the right calibre, because it is not about tokenism, if they were of the right calibre, then they would surely become prime minister. but it would need you to elect liberal democrat mps. ukip? hopefully sooner than later. did you comment?
the conservatives had the first jewish prime minister with benjamin disraeli, and two women prime ministers. i am confident the first asian prime minister would be conservative because of our track record. leanne wood ? i would like to say as soon as possible. that is all from us here in birmingham from the elgar concert hall with the asian network big election debate. one week from today the polls open. you are voting for the mps who represent us in parliament and the prime minister. apologies to our audience, we could not cover all of your questions. but our politicians will be around for a short while so you can ask any questions you did not get the chance to. from me, the audience, and our guests, goodbye. it has a cooler, fresher feel to the
weather this weekend following on from the sunshine most of us enjoy today. clear skies overnight. from the sunshine most of us enjoy today. clearskies overnight. robert lee a bit cooler than last night. some showers around across northern ireland and scotland where we have had lightning flashes dancing in the skies and moving north across the country. the heaviest showers should be clearing away in the next few hours. overnight foremost, dry with a few showers lingering in the western coasts the northern isles. light winds. temperatures around 11 celsius by the end of the night. in the countryside, 2—3 in the north, 4-5 the countryside, 2—3 in the north, 11—5 in the south. a sunny start for many, showers gathering to the west and pushing east across england and
wales. a few heavy showers in that lot. showers developing in northern ireland and scotland. quite a lot by the afternoon across scotland. there could be hail and thunder. maybe not so could be hail and thunder. maybe not so many showers could be hail and thunder. maybe not so many showers across could be hail and thunder. maybe not so many showers across the south of the country. scattering of showers across northern ireland. the afternoon improves in wales and north—west england. more sunshine. possibly heavy showers through the midlands and towards the wash. east anglia and the southeast drive for most of the day. the showers decay as they moved to the southeast in the evening. the early part of next week looks very unsettled. some very wet weather and some very strong winds for the time of year. there could be some disruption. but a lot of uncertainty. notjust one, two but three areas of low pressure sitting close to the uk, ringing
rain and strengthening winds. it may be that we missed most of the rain for northern ireland, turning showery on monday first gold. east midlands, east anglia the southeast may stay dry. but wales, west england, the northwest, maybe not. some blustery showers further west. this is bbc world news today. i'm alpa patel. our top stories: fleeing islamic state — reports that dozens have been killed in the iraqi city of mosul. in the last two days, isis have been shooting people escaping from this area in the street. i saw over 50 dead bodies yesterday. cutting carbon — india commits to