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tv   The Briefing with Tom Harwood  GB News  January 30, 2023 9:30am-10:00am GMT

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well gone. a dramatic day saw
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the ousting of the chair of the conservative party after a very quick investigation by, sir laurie magnus. what is the fallout? what did the prime minister know and when and we turn to the economy. what did hunt really need on friday when he said we can use our brexit freedoms, we'll explore all of those questions after. freedoms, we'll explore all of those questions after . the good those questions after. the good morning. it's 931. i'm tamsin roberts in gb newsroom. the prime minister is still under pressure following sacking of nadhim zahawi with the labour party urging rishi sunak to come clean . labour's deputy leader, clean. labour's deputy leader, angela has written to mrs. sunak him what he knew about the investigation into mr. zahawi tax affairs and when the prime minister sacked the conservative party chairman yesterday following an ethics that found he'd committed a serious breach of the ministerial code , former
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of the ministerial code, former special adviser to mr. zahawi mark lehane told gb news that despite findings of the inquiry, the chancellor has still done a good job as a local mp . he's good job as a local mp. he's been a very popular local mp. i know you had some voices that weren't so keen he's done a pretty good job. he's got a big majority too, and i think that it would be a real shame if every time people made a mistake that they were thrown out of pubuc that they were thrown out of public life . any of us, if we'd public life. any of us, if we'd had allegations made against us in our jobs our private in our jobs or our private lives, would probably want to have chance for a process to have a chance for a process to run out. we can get our side of the but we have the story across, but we have had and did fine had that now and it did fine against nadeem. nadeem being sacked. sad. i it's sacked. that's very sad. i it's a chance for him to go and reflect upon it before any more decisions are made . the prime decisions are made. the prime minister will announce a £1 billion emergency care plan today as the nhs continues to face severe pressures. rishi sunakis face severe pressures. rishi sunak is expected to pledge 800 new ambulances , 5000 more
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new ambulances, 5000 more hospital beds as well as expanding urgent care to homes over the next two years. however are warning there should be a bigger focus on staff shortages and a lack of funding . last and a lack of funding. last minute talks between teaching unions and the government being held today in an effort to strike action this week in and wales. members of , the national wales. members of, the national education union will meet with the education secretary after previous talks failed . break the previous talks failed. break the deadlock. thousands of teachers are planning to strike on wednesday in a dispute over and conditions with up to 23,000 schools being affected . the schools being affected. the teachers strike is part of the biggest day of industrial action to hit the uk in decades . this to hit the uk in decades. this wednesday, up to half a million pubuc wednesday, up to half a million public service workers, train and bus drivers , civil servants and bus drivers, civil servants and bus drivers, civil servants and universal city lecturers will protest against plummeting living standards and a high rate
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of inflation. the government says it can't afford meet the pay says it can't afford meet the pay demands of every taking action . tv online and dab+ radio action. tv online and dab+ radio . this is gb news now it's to the briefing with tom harwood . the briefing with tom harwood. a very good morning to you. it's 930 and this is the briefing with me. tom harwood on your tv and your radio. 934 i should have said the story that consumed westminster last week has come to what the government now hopes to be a conclusion with the ceremony near sacking of former tory party nadhim zahawi yesterday morning . the zahawi yesterday morning. the prime minister continues to questions, however, about his judgement and about his commitment to those three famous promises made on the steps of downing street's integrity , downing street's integrity, professionalism and a accountability at every level of government . sunak has sacked
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government. sunak has sacked zahawi within 2 hours of receiving salaries . an receiving salaries. an independent report . unusually independent report. unusually early on a sunday morning that found zahawi had breached the ministerial code multiple times in relation to his taxes. ministerial code multiple times in relation to his taxes . seven in relation to his taxes. seven times, to be precise . now the times, to be precise. now the magnus report details zahawi pled ignorance of the hmrc probe which began in april 2021. despite the fact that he and his advisers attended a meeting with hmrc in june of that year. then in july 2022, when concerns the tax affairs arose while , he was tax affairs arose while, he was chancellor zahawi to those suggestions as smears and did correct the record until january this year. now, sir lawrie found this year. now, sir lawrie found this to be in consistent with the ministerial requirement for openness . earlier today the ministerial requirement for openness. earlier today on gb news health minister helen wheatley spoke to gb news and said that the prime minister had done the right thing . prime done the right thing. prime minister made the decision to remove nadhim zahawi from his
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position in government . he remove nadhim zahawi from his position in government. he did that once he got the report in from the independent ethics adviser , which is very clear adviser, which is very clear about what had or hadn't happened. about what had or hadn't happened . and so the prime happened. and so the prime minister rightly that decision. it was he made the admission that he paid this penalty to hmrc we knew that he had been chancellor when he was being investigated by them. it didn't need an independent panel for the prime minister to take the action, ? such is a pretty action, did it? such is a pretty serious thing for to be removed from . theirjob as a minister in from. theirjob as a minister in the government and something like that should follow a fair and proper process. that's why the prime minister asked his independent ethics adviser to look into it. so, laurie macinnes, did that and then set out very clearly his judgement which he on the basis which the prime minister made the decision to remove nadhim zahawi health minister helen wheatley speaking a little bit earlier today , as a little bit earlier today, as well as the lib dems now waded into call for zahawi to stand down, not just as a minister but
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as an mp to. we've been speaking to the people of his constitu nc of stratford upon avon to see how they feel . he broke the how they feel. he broke the rules. he deserves to get the sack. everybody has got to pay their taxes he didn't do it right. so he didn't have to say simple. so anybody else? i think he have resigned. really he should have resigned. really and it's taken a long time. and again and again, i think, you know, this big delay know, it's been this big delay and he going go? he's and is he going to go? he's going nobody actually any going to go. nobody actually any decision public decision until the public opinion becomes strong. opinion becomes so strong. i think got to do think they've got to do something it, really. i something about it, really. so i wish they a general wish they called a general election, because election, actually, because i think, we've got think, you know, we've got another two haven't we, another two years, haven't we, of really. you know, of this mess, really. you know, i'd quite like to a bit of i'd quite like to have a bit of a change. i think he had it coming to him. should have resigned. just he should have resigned. just he should have resigned the resigned just beginning of the week. it's not the first week. and it's not the first time. course, knows about time. of course, he knows about his state. well, there are some views from litchfield. i'm joined now in the studio by michael fabricant, friend of the show conservative views from stratford upon avon. i should have said, i believe, said
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lichfield, which is lichfield, which of course, is the constituency of our next michael fabricant, conservative for lichfield and friend of the show. michael, first of all, you've known nadim zahawi for well over a decade. you've been colleagues on these green benches. colleagues on these green benches . how have you reacted to benches. how have you reacted to the last week, this sort of media storm, then this really quite quick conclusion? well, very mixed reactions. i mean, firstly , i used to be in firstly, i used to be in business before i was member of parliament. i remember my own business. we had an hmrc actually turned out that they owed us money, but it took them a week on several accountants speaking our offices to work that out and you know, paying a penalty is not that unusual when in dispute with hmrc , a new guv, in dispute with hmrc, a new guv, as you know, is a very big corporation with offices in the united kingdom, america and other countries. so i was sympathetic. but, you know it was becoming a distraction . and was becoming a distraction. and
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while a distraction, a political distraction it's got nothing to do with justice. i think the prime minister and i very rarely agree actually with our front bench on most things . but on bench on most things. but on this thing i think helen wakely and the prime minister was right, he was right to wait until inquiry had gone in. and you outlined extremely well where the difficulties were. yes nadhim zahawi did civil servants that there was a dispute going on, but it should have been in writing. you have to do things properly. but i can tell you, as a former minister, the ministerial code is quite complicated. so people do make mistakes. but i, richard was absolutely right to wait and i think was absolutely right to make the decision that he did. it is interesting to read the salary magnus reports , which salary magnus reports, which doesn't criticise nadhim doesn't really criticise nadhim zahawi for the fact that he was investigated by hmrc , for the investigated by hmrc, for the fact that he paid a penalty . it fact that he paid a penalty. it criticises on multiple criticises him on multiple occasions for not disclosing it when it happened. now you say
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you have been investigated , your you have been investigated, your business was you came out smelling of roses, but to what extent should nadhim zahawi all? we have just been open and honest throughout this process might he still be the chairman of the conservative party if ? he of the conservative party if? he had yes, absolutely right had been, yes, absolutely right . you know, remember when i . you know, i remember when i first mp, those first became an mp, all those ago, someone said to be a very old grand character and he said, you know, you couldn't murder your mike, or not that i'm your wife, mike, or not that i'm married, murder married, but you could murder your michael , married, but you could murder your michael, as as your wife, michael, as long as you're with the house of you're open with the house of commons and declare it, and if necessary, apologise to the whole house and i think that was a slight exaggeration. yes, but openness is key word. and he wasn't open. it's the classic line . watergate, i believe it. line. watergate, i believe it. first came up. it's not it's not crime. it's the cover up. exactly right? yeah. so wider context . obviously, the context. obviously, the conservative party is still 20 points behind in the polls in polls closer to 30 points behind. it's the most
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extraordinary situation . and i extraordinary situation. and i don't think many of your colleagues perhaps assumed that they would your party would still this far behind after getting in rishi sunak, who's only to fix everything. mm well i think a lot of colleagues might well be now regretting the action they took against boris johnson and the situation with rishi is an interesting one. you know, the membership of the conservative party, the ones who get out there and do the campaigning, voted 2 to 1 for liz truss and not for rishi. well, we all know what happened with liz truss and rishi, now our prime minister. i mean, there's no hunger for change, but nevertheless, i mean , there but nevertheless, i mean, there will be growing concerns , will be growing concerns, particularly if we do badly in the local elections in may . but the local elections in may. but what happens then ? i don't know. what happens then? i don't know. i mean, listen , nobody likes i mean, listen, nobody likes defend abstractions. i mean, the party became because of what happened to boris , so we could
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happened to boris, so we could become even more on popular if anything were to happen to rishi. so i think the view at the moment certainly view at the moment is just let rishi get on with the job. and yet in your view, the may elections might be some sort of time to reassess where the party is. if the party does very, very badly in the may election, as can you see, a route for perhaps maybe not a leadership contest, but maybe resetting the dial to perhaps where things were before the summer? well, members of parliament want to remain members of parliament when they fill their positions, threaten because of unpopular leadership . they sometimes take action. now, we had too much action. i would argue , in 2022 whether would argue, in 2022 whether there'll be more action in 2023. we shall see. but this is where the pressure lies on. jeremy hunt . jeremy will be , appearing hunt. jeremy will be, appearing before the 1922 committee tomorrow and talking to about
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the budget, which is on the 15th before the local elections . now, before the local elections. now, if jeremy is ultra cautious and doesn't give some tax breaks , doesn't give some tax breaks, give some red meat and just continues with an attitude that, well , things have got to remain well, things have got to remain as they are , then i think we as they are, then i think we will do badly in the local elections . and i think jeremy elections. and i think jeremy hunt will have some questions to answer . hunt will have some questions to answer. that's a really stark assessment. jeremy hunt , assessment. jeremy hunt, appearing before you all tomorrow in private , behind tomorrow in private, behind closed doors . what do you assess closed doors. what do you assess your colleagues are going to be saying to him of the gaze, of the view of the. well, i think they will be asking for some personal tax now it could be jeremy is simply arguing that, you know, i'm going to anyway, he's not going give away the budget. he can't do that. but he's been sort of laying the
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groundwork that there aren't going to be changes. groundwork that there aren't going to be changes . what was it going to be changes. what was it he said over the weekend ? the he said over the weekend? the biggest tax cut will be my lowering inflation. but we know that inflation is reducing because rises are not going up further. so consequently one year after the following year , year after the following year, the way you measure inflation, it will go down by a half by the end of the year. i think colleagues say that's not enough. jeremy you've got to give us something . and just very give us something. and just very finally we're running close on time, but if jeremy hunt doesn't offer you what you're asking, if those local elections go badly , those local elections go badly, might boris johnson potentially be seen on the horizon as that man to maybe dig the party out of where it is? well, firstly bofis of where it is? well, firstly boris has got to get through his investor gation in parliament if he gets through that. well you know what boris is like . he know what boris is like. he could be back in the game anything could happen back in the game. well, michael fabncant the game. well, michael fabricant , you so much for
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fabricant, you so much for joining us this morning on the briefing a pleasure to have you here and to go through those really seismic issues . here and to go through those really seismic issues. but we were just mentioning the chancellor, jeremy hunt, there. and last week, he said and on friday last week, he said it's and on friday last week, he said wsfime and on friday last week, he said it's time to believe in britain. he said that in that usual low energy that we've come to know from chancellor in a speech to bloomberg berg's london headquarters , he defended not headquarters, he defended not cutting taxes, saying that that best tax cuts is a cuts to inflation. but he also promised use what he called brexit to boost growth in the uk. now what does he mean by that? well, i'm delighted to be joined by dr. eamonn butler, an economist, and of the adam smith institute . dr. of the adam smith institute. dr. avon, thank you so much for joining us this morning. avon, thank you so much for joining us this morning . what joining us this morning. what did you make of jeremy hunt's speech? it seemed to be more direct towards the markets than the general public. yes, well, i think the fine words but fine words don't necessarily make it so. and you know, he talked
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about housing and he talked about housing and he talked about education and talked about enterprise but i'm yet to see very much firm action, which is going to deliver all of these things. we've still got the highest taxes since the end of world war ii. the average person spends half their working life to taxes . but meanwhile, you to taxes. but meanwhile, you know, we still have huge waste in the public sector. there doesn't seem to be any appetite to tackle that . we've got an to tackle that. we've got an inefficient national health. what are we doing? well plan is throw more money at it. well that's like putting more petrol in a rusty engine. it's not going to get you. it's interesting . jeremy going to get you. it's interesting .jeremy hunt is sort interesting. jeremy hunt is sort of a fascinating political figure because when he stood to become the leader of the conservative party, as he has now . twice, he stood on now. twice, he stood on a manifesto of cutting corporation tax first to 12 and a half% and then second run to 15. now, these were two big seismic cuts that he said would boost growth , but since he became
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chancellor, he's raised corporation tax. it's the most remarkable turnaround. i wonder in your years running the adam smith institute, have you had any dealings with jeremy hunt? well, what is jerry does jeremy hunt actually believe? well, i think that i think the poor man is under orders. think that rishi sunak has a long even . you rishi sunak has a long even. you know, when he was chancellor himself, he's long made the case that we can't we can't afford tax cuts. we have to maintain taxes and on and get ourselves out of debt . well, to some out of debt. well, to some extent that is true . but we're extent that is true. but we're we're in debt not because we don't tax enough. we're debt because we spend too much . but because we spend too much. but but i think jeremy hunt is under orders and. i think he knows and i know that corporation tax taxes on companies are about the most damaging tax that we have that's and stamp duty land tax tax on housing transactions and
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inheritance. these are very, very damaging taxes. and i think corporation tax actually produces a negative return to the treasury because the amount of business which it's strangles. you don't get the tax in from the business and from the workers who work in those businesses and the vat on their products and all the rest of it. so corporation tax really have to go back is an important just talking about putting it up a bit, it down a bit, we really ought to scrap it, frankly. is this potentially a short term versus long term sort of thing now , i assume what you mean by now, i assume what you mean by under orders that this treasury orthodoxy that exists that really cares about balancing things in the short term and thinks less about the growth prospects for the long term . prospects for the long term. that short term is a mindset that seems to have gripped hold of all of our politics right now. well think everybody is
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aware that it takes a couple of years before a tax cut actually shows you much positive effect and that i think is one of the reasons why liz truss rushed into to tax cuts because she knew there's an election coming in two years time to turn. but is and if we don't start cutting tax now we're not going to have anything to show in two, two and anything to show in two, two and a half years time. so think everybody is aware of that. and i think probably the feeling in the in the government, certainly in downing street is that, well , rather than rush into this and it doesn't really work before the next election, why don't we maintain taxes at a high level and then we can show people that are actually getting the debt down. but as yet, there's no indication that they are actually getting the debt down. and my and my gosh, if a if a tax cut takes at least two years to sort of show its effect, the real economy, regulatory reform must take even than the business. is that the pro—eu enterprise effect of changing
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and liberalising our regulatory structure that may well take even longer to sort of filter through into real seismic growth . well i think there are some things that you could do pretty quickly. as i say . corporation quickly. as i say. corporation tax is a is a real barrier to people starting and growing businesses because . it increases businesses because. it increases the risk. but there are small things you could do on the regulatory side. you know, once this act of parliament gets through the house of lords and we can actually start cutting some eu legacy regulation and to do things like allow small firms have employees, workers who basically self—employed promote the gig it gig economy rather than have everybody employed the inland revenue loves to have everybody employed than self—employed because they think it's easy to get money out of them and innumerable brexit deregulation opportunities that we could do and we could promote
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more personal training , things more personal training, things like that. you know, we people loans to go to university but . loans to go to university but. we don't give them loans to get skills for work. so i think there's a lot deregulation and positive initiatives that can done that would i think, bear some fruit very soon. we really to show people that enterprise is the up and i think just talking about it is not enough. well, dr. eamonn butler, you have superbly sent me up for my very next guest. we will be talking about eu law in our next slot for now. thank you for joining us on the briefing. i was mentioning there finally this morning, the eu law bill is something we've been following closely on the briefing covering thousands those eu laws that thousands of those eu laws that are still on our statute books. yet painstaking progress in yet the painstaking progress in ensuring that that law can be repealed and can sometimes overlook the divergence that is already taking place. now, what do i mean by that? well the day that we left the eu single market, we may well have frozen
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laws in ours , but that freeze laws in ours, but that freeze was from that point. the eu has that point continued to pass bizarre new regulations , the bizarre new regulations, the kind we became used to in our pages of newspapers . meaning pages of newspapers. meaning that even by the uk doing nothing at all as the eu continues to move, our laws have already started to diverge from theirs. now, this morning we're talking about crickets and how may find our way into the pizza, chocolate or even beer. it sounds fantastical , but let's sounds fantastical, but let's make sense of it all now by with stephen barrett's a barista at radcliffe chambers. stephen what is this stuff about? eu radcliffe chambers. stephen what is this stuff about ? eu crickets is this stuff about? eu crickets , right . so a is this stuff about? eu crickets , right. so a few years ago in 2015, the eu decided to put in sex into the food chain and they did that by modifying the law. and then they allowed a body called , the european food called, the european food standards agency , to authorise standards agency, to authorise some insects into the food
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chain. as far as i can tell, first one they authorised were dned first one they authorised were dried yellow mealworms . and what dried yellow mealworms. and what attracted my attention last . attracted my attention last. week was that as you say, divergence happening because the eu is carrying on with its policy which it wants insects in the food chain and we have separated from it so we can no longer automatically doing what the eu says . so last week the eu the eu says. so last week the eu authorised partially de facto cricket powered order into the food chain and as you say, it's now they've authorised into beer and pizza . whether or not you and pizza. whether or not you want insects in the food chain is a political decision. so there will be people no doubt listening to this who say, well, look, i want insects in the food chain. this is a growing industry. you know, it's got to political argument. there's always the counter political argument . what happens inside
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argument. what happens inside the eu is that the arguments are not are not made they're not discussed in public. and they're not something that the public can participate those who do can participate in. those who do want insects in the food chain should know that. i'm not saying i'm not anti food insects in the food chain. i'm completely neutral. but also , i think, neutral. but it also, i think, find this new law quite curious because the thing the eu because the other thing the eu has andif because the other thing the eu has and if you're sort of has done and if you're sort of pro—free markets and proud new products and insects , the eu products and pro insects, the eu has given a five year monopoly to one company to put partially de facto cricket powder into the food that is inherently curious itself, and that is itself a political decision and it's not part of the tradition of our laws. i mean, if our parliament started passing laws, giving specific names, companies, monopoly because we, the press , monopoly because we, the press, i think, would rightly pick that up . but they called the cards on up. but they called the cards on the table here. i'm a bit of a free market leaning guy. i would have thought the state has no business in telling someone what
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they can and can't sell as long as it's not poisonous. i wouldn't mind a shop selling, i don't know, dried cricket powder . if they wanted to, i might not want but it's their want to buy it, but it's their prerogative. it seems the prerogative. it seems very the way in the eu is doing it way in which the eu is doing it and illustrative more than anything else of the way in which our laws may well be already diverging by not doing anything at all. i wonder , do we anything at all. i wonder, do we have idea how many have any idea how many regulations the eu is passing to this end? at the moment mean if we were to stay still for another sort of year or two, how different would our law look from the eu's regulatory playbook ? it would look very playbook? it would look very different. i mean, there are there are hundreds of changes happening and this is relevant us because the eu still runs northern ireland. so we are diverging. i great britain. i mean i mean england, wales and scotland we are diverging. northern is if you like pulling away from us. i'm recently i
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think it was last year the eu banned the use of titanium oxide as a food dye . that's another as a food dye. that's another one. that's another difference and a divergence that's just happened. and a divergence that's just happened . we still permit it. happened. we still permit it. this question of risk that you raised is very interesting because partially de facto in cricket does carry in eu recognised as a risk of something they call primary sensitisation, which think is a medical condition and risk of anaphylactic shock . now what anaphylactic shock. now what they've done is look at the science provided by the company and the eu has made the decision that those risks are too small to justify banning and too small to justify banning and too small to justify banning and too small to justify a warning label going on in. again, that's a political yes but it's taken without the sort of process that you'd expect normal elected politicians in open debates to have made . i suppose that's the have made. i suppose that's the big issue with the eu. it's all behind closed doors. it's done by this big bureaucracy. stephen, i can talk to you for hours about this. sadly, the is at end, but thank you so
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at its end, but thank you so much as always for joining at its end, but thank you so much as always forjoining us here on the briefing morning. really time. really appreciate your time. that's us this morning. that's it for us this morning. thank for joining and that's it for us this morning. thank forjoining and do thank you forjoining us. and do stick here on gb news stick with us here on gb news because up next, the prime minister will be speaking in newcastle for a prime minister connect event bev turner today. we'll be covering that live . we'll be covering that live. from
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