How politicians avoid a photo-op fail: Unpacking the staged campaign event

Vassy Kapelos:Here’s a visual
you’re probably used to seeing
during an election:the daily campaign event.One veteran campaign
organizer for the Liberals summed it up like this: “Campaign events are the
lifeblood of an election.”Whether it’s a speech,a rally, a photo op,
or a barbecue,
parties are trying to create
a visual message that media
will pick up on
and that voters will remember.
So the first thing –
the thing above all else – what is the image? What is the headline? So if parties want
their message to stand out, why do we keep seeing versions
of the same thing over and over? ♪ [theme] Jason:Tour is hard.It’s hard to organize.It’s hard to —it’s hard to get everything in
place sometimes.
All the things that we see
it’s because they’re easy.
You have the control over every
factor that you need to control. Vassy:This is Jason Lietaer.He managed the war room
for the Conservative Party
during the 2011 campaign.He and other strategists will
tell you that one single moment can throw off an entire day’s
message, or worse.Remember this?Stockwell Day’s arrival at a
Canadian Alliance event
on a jet ski?Here’s a refresher.It was 2000, and the party was
trying to send a message
that the holiday was over for
Jean Chretien’s liberals.
But the story quickly became
about that jet ski instead,
and they lost control
of their message.
[engine rumbling]Today’s strategists
need to put a lot of thought
into the message,
visuals in particular.They think of it like theatre .They’re setting a scene.Some literally call
it political stagecraft.
Advanced personnel will scout
the location days in advance.
They’re figuring out things
like where to place the media
to get the best camera angles
for the leader.
They’re looking to essentially
choose pictures deliberately
that will convey
their message in an instant, and often convey their message
even when the sound is off. Vassy:Kathleen Monk
is a strategist who’s worked
on federal election
campaigns for the NDP.
Strategists are always looking
to own the photo op. They’re looking to own the
optics of the day, and they do that
in a number of ways.That means everything you see
is there to serve the message,
from the location
to the podium,
to props, and the backdrop.Do you see a kind of formula?Definitely a really significant
risk of just following the same formula all the time is that
every politician is doing the same thing, every leader
is doing the same thing. Vassy:This is Alex Marland.He’s a political scientist
who’s written and edited
a stack of books
on messaging.
Quite frankly,
it’s not really newsworthy. It’s not interesting,
it’s boring. Marlin says you should pay
attention to the backdrop. Take flags for example, they’ve
been a go to for a long time. Alex:A good way
to look prime ministerial
is to have a very large
Canadian flag
draped behind the leader.Believe it or not, they even
have wire hidden within
the flag to make
it stand out straight so that it’s
not, kind of, wilted. Vassy:And the human backdrop,
well, that’s a recent trend.
The theory there is that
showing a leader with people
creates the impression that
they’ve got supporters.
But I have to say in 2015,
I got really tired of that look.It fails to differentiate
between each party,
and every party is standing in
front of a wall of humans.
What’s different between
each of those parties?
Vassy:It can
be risky too, though,
because organizers don’t wantto put someone in the
who could derail the message.So that’s a
really big problem for you.
So that’s why people are so
risk averse during a campaign.
The stakes are so high. You can’t recover
from some mistakes. Radio Announcer:
All three parties…
Vassy:In addition to
the campaign announcement,
or the speech,there’s usually a planned eventotherwise known
as the photo op.
The goal is to have
the leader doing something that really reinforces the
policy drop, or a key message, and then on top of it, seem relatable doing it.Richard Nixon’s administration
was reportedly the first
to coin the term “photo op”.So photo ops are,
often in academia,
they’re known as pseudo events,
they’re essentially fake events.The only reason
they’re created
is to try to get media
attention, for example.
Vassy:Like other events,
they’re highly staged too.
And this is maybe
Canada’s best known example of what happens
when they’re not.Robert Stanfield’s
infamous fumble
during the 1974 election.It was an unplanned photo op.The Progressive
Conservative leader
was tossing around a footballwhile his plane
stopped to refuel.
People don’t remember he caught
the first few passes
because this is the image that
made the cover
ofThe Globe and Mail. Because his campaign was
faltering, the one where he dropped and he
just looked so weak when he dropped that football, said everything you needed to
know about that campaign. So what are the rules? There’s definitely
no photo op handbook, but strategists do have, kind
of, a set of dos and don’ts.For some, playing a sport
is off the table.
Others, they don’t wear hats,or don’t go to a place where
you might have to put one on.Some point to this
photo of Gilles Duceppe
wearing a hairnet while
touring a cheese factory.
Sometimes though,
like when it comes to safety,
it’s kind of unavoidable.As for food…You’ll very rarely see a
politician eating. Vassy:And props can seem like a
good idea until they’re not.
There are times
when they can work,
like in the case of Jack
Layton’s cane
except, of course,
that was unplanned.
Kathleen:As he started
to kind of raise the cane
and show that
he was a real fighter, that he had beaten back cancer,and that he was
running the campaign,
that cane almost
became a symbol.
Vassy:That said, strategists
say thinking critically
about a leader’s
wardrobe is also key.
How much risk parties
take is often guided
by the type of campaign
they’re trying to run. If you’re leading, and it looks
like you’re going to win, you take a lot fewer risks
than if you’re, you know, sort of swinging
from the fences. Strategists say this is why
incumbents often have really tightly
controlled leader events. What they’re trying to do is avoid opportunities
for missteps.Former Prime Minister Pierre
Trudeau did it in 1980,
same with Stephen Harper
in 2011, and it paid off.
The Conservatives
won a majority.
But it doesn’t always work.But what it does is it really
creates an opening for populists because populists,
forget all those norms, you know, a populist
will walk through a crowd and just have conversations
that are unscripted.Think challengers like
Justin Trudeau in 2015,
and Jack Layton in 2011.They had less to lose.Ultimately, strategists will
tell you the key is making sure the event represents the
leader’s personality, and that it strikes
the right tone.When it comes to the campaign,try watching
with the volume off.
What images are you seeing?Look for what’s on stage,and who the leaders
are pictured with,
and then ask yourself what
message is getting through?

Politicians do say the same things over and over: You’re not wrong

Vassy Kapelos:Tell me
if this sounds familiar?
The environment
and the economy have to go… [together]
..hand in hand. People are barely getting by, and they’re definitely
not getting ahead. I believe that better
way is possible. Vassy:Those are
called talking points
and as you can see,
a lot of politicians use them.Some are easier to spot than
others, but experts will
tell you that leaning
on them too much
can risk sounding
like a broken record.
As I’ve always
said–said–said. If that’s the case, why do
politicians use them so much? ♪ [theme]A talking point is to try to
keep the politician on message.
It’s to make sure that the
message that was identified as a potential winner for the
party is brought forward bythe candidate,
by the politician,
when he or she
answers a question.
Vassy:This is Karl Belanger.He’s a political strategist and
former national director
of the NDP.When politicians decide to
freelance and say whatever, that’s when you can create
problems for your campaign. That’s why parties
create a message guide. They’ll identify key positions
on any given topic, then they’ll script short
digestible lines- talking points – to reinforce that message. And then politicians
repeat those lines a lot.And keep in mind,
they spend money
on carefully researching
those messages.Think focus groups,
dial groups, online polls.
Political parties want to be
able to control the message. they want to make sure
there’s consistency. They’re concerned
about their brand. Vassy:Alex Marland is a
political scientist.
He’s writing a book
on message discipline.
He says the 24 hour
news cycle has made
talking points essential.There’s no question that
politicians are using talking points
more than they did, but that’s partly because
they’re being required to speak more often
than they did. Vassy:Leaders need
to be able to respond
to a range of questions,and no one wants
to be caught off guard.
For example…We have recently switched to
drinking water bottles out of– water out of– When we have water bottles out
of a plastic– Sorry. Away from plastic, towards
paper, uh, like drink box, water bottles sort of things. Vassy:Trudeau had just
announced a plan to ban
single use plastics
across the country.
He didn’t seem to expect
a question about how
his own family cuts down on
plastic waste.
One of the earliest examples
of message control in Canada is in this article from 1911.It describes something called
the Speaker’s Handbook.
It was basically an
encyclopaedia of party speeches
and answers to questions raised
in Parliament over the years.
During a campaign year,parties would send out their
handbook to candidates
across the country
to use in their own speeches.
Strategists call this imposing
message discipline.
Today it’s maybe even more
important and that Speaker’s Handbook has evolved into daily
emails with talking points on any given issue
during the campaign. Talking points help them
understand fairly quickly what their party’s
position is and allows them
to be consistent with other members
of their party. It’s why you sometimes
see party politicians and cabinet ministers repeating
exactly the same lines as the party’s leader. The clean environment and a
strong economy go hand-in-hand. People are barely getting by,
they’re not getting ahead. And in the case of local
candidates, parties really don’t
want anyone saying something that’s radically different
from the party line. You cause problems, but– and
you might be ostracized within your party–
certainly by the leadership. On the flip side, Marland says
that raises questions though about the health
of our democracy. What we don’t know as citizens
is if a politician is indeed really forcefully advocating for our behalf
on our behalf and constituent interests
behind the scenes. Or if they are just simply being– the expression
is often trained seals. Politicians also deliver lines
because they want the public to actually absorb the message.From the first rule of
communication is to repeat
repeat and repeat.
When you start to get
bored with your answer,
that’s when you know
that your messageis finally punching through.No one really agrees
on a magic number. Some say you need to repeat
a line seven times, or twelve, or 20 times. It might be why you remember
this from the 2015 campaign. The only choice to keep us
moving forward is a strong stable national majority
Conservative government. So let’s make sure
on October 19th we get a strong
stable national majority Conservative government. Vassy:And this:This is a tougher economy
than it needs to be for the middle class than the middle class and those
working hard to join it. Strategists argue the problem is
really when politicians stick too closely to the script. You don’t want a politician to
repeat word for word the same line over and over
again because then the risk of running is that
you’re not authentic. Vassy:Sometimes when
politicians stick too closely
to a script it can almost sound
like they’re deflecting. Today on power and politics…Earlier this year I asked
Jagmeet Singh if he supports
the development of
the LNG project in B.C..
Instead he talked
about climate change
in a totally
different pipeline.
British Columbia’s got one of
the most ambitious climate change plans in North America. They’ve got an aggressive plan. My concern is that what we need
to do is– we all know this– future of energy in,
not just Canada, but in the world has to be a
future where we’re not burning, we’re not fracking, and we’re
not using fossil fuels. The energy has to be renewable. That’s the future of Canada. And my focus is on right now
we’ve got a project in front of us at
the federal level which is Trans Mountain pipeline. That project cannot go ahead. Vassy: That’s a great answer
for Trans Mountain, but I asked you
about B.C. and LNG. Do you support the project? B.C.’s got a great plan. Communications trainers
will teach politicians to try and circle back
to their talking points. They call it pivoting. Ideally though, they’ll still
sound unscripted. All election candidates
affiliated with a political party will probably have been
told look we don’t want you being robots. We want you to
put things in your own words. Otherwise if you get detected, this is going to turn
into a story in itself. On the other hand, speaking
spontaneously can also get you into trouble. Freelancing for
a political leader you know, can dog in four years
if it’s an important issue. Vassy:This is Stephen Harper’s
former campaign chairman
Tom Flanagan.It was 2002 and Harper
was the newly elected leader
of the Canadian Alliance Party.He was answering questions
when he went off script
and said this
about Atlantic Canada.
There is dependency in the
region that breeds a culture of defeatism. Vassy:Flanagan says Harper was
trying to say that
liberal policies were holding
Atlantic Canada back
from realizing
its full potential,
but Maritimers saw it as a
slight against them.
Well the consequence was that in
the election of 2004 when this issue was still very
much alive in Atlantic Canada, we did very poorly
in that region. We didn’t win nearly as
many as we hoped to win. Vassy:Ultimately, experts
say most politicians
wouldn’t be able to do their
jobs without talking points.
Because we live in a world where
everyone has a camera, it’s just too risky
to come unprepared. ♪ ♪

Local 24 News Political Analyst & Commentator Otis Sanford On Tom Lee Park Redesign


Where do the leadership candidates stand on Brexit?

several Tory MPs are still in the running at having their chance at becoming the next prime minister but whoever wins will have the tough job of delivering our departure from the EU so just where does each candidate actually stand on brexit [Applause] [Applause] brexit brexit brexit it's the only thing our next p.m. will be consumed with leaving on the 31st of October and the top contender to do it is Boris Johnson the former Foreign Secretary vows to take the UK out of the European Union on October 31st by any means possible but leaving without ADEA would be the last resort if we have to go down that route which would be of course a last resort not something that anybody desires as their first option but if we have to go down that route then the best way to avoid it is of course to prepare it prepare for it he's already said he's scrapped the backstop and put pressure on the EU to change it by preparing properly for No Deal he also plans to hold the EU to ransom by refusing to pay the 39 billion pound divorce bill unless the EU agrees to what he believes are more favorable terms boris has also vowed to put Nigel frosh back in his box to keep the conservative parties safe from extinction can we find a leader now who can beat Jeremy Corbyn and deliver a sensible brexit that fights off the threat from the insurgent prexy party and i have to say that that is a the job that I believe I'm best suited to do today the charismatic contender remains a divisive figure among Tory MPs who questioned his previous controversial comments but he insist that he is the right person for the job one of foresters biggest rivals is Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt who wants to avoid crashing out which would be what he calls political suicide and instead strike a deal with Brussels despite the fact the EU have said the one already on the table is not up for renegotiation I think if we go headlong for no deal the most likely outcome will be a general election and that would be political suicide not just for me but for all of us in the Conservative Party the business enthusiastic Ange the withdrawal agreement by setting up a new UK negotiating team made up of all sides of the Conservative Party and the DUP I believe that if we show determination ingenuity and confidence there is a deal to be done another top contender is Environment Secretary Michael Gove and unlike Boris who vows to get the UK out of the EU Deal or No Deal Gove is willing to delay brexit for as long as needed be it days or weeks to avoid britain crashing out I believe that I'm ready to unite the conservative and unionist party ready to deliver brexit and ready to leave this great country however his chances can now be tainted by recent revelations that he took cocaine when he was younger a mistake and it was a mistake that I deeply regretted on the other hand someone who does bear hard brexit credentials and is prepared to accept a no deal is former brexit secretary dominic rub he wants to push what's called the Malthouse compromise which essentially means getting rid of the backstop and replacing it with alternative arrangements as well as exchanging annual financial payments to the EU for a three-year transition period that could allow for enough time to negotiate a free-trade agreement with our whitepaper with the negotiations in Brussels we're striving to get the best deal and I'm confident that with goodwill on the other side with the detail with the ambition we've shown we get that deal done meanwhile Home Secretary Sajid Javid believes his brexit plan is the most credible but has positioned himself as a firm remainer and brexit Javid plans to get a revised deal through brussels and hopes to renegotiate the irish backstop by creating a digitized border on the island this is a system that he insists could be working within just a few years if both sides were willing to work together we to understand that we won't deliver on the referendum result simply by leaving the European Union another vote remainer who has since identified himself as a brexit here is Rory Stewart the newly promoted International Development Secretary declared his bid to stand as p.m. in the hope to avoid crashing out and instead implement his plan to create a citizen's assembly to help Parliament reach a deal with the EU Stuart is focused on reaching a practical deal even if it means locking up MPs over the summer to make sure that it happens my plan is to come back immediately afterwards with a fresh mandate take the politics out of it say the country voted to get brexit done let us get a deals through Parliament in the end that's what it comes down to

Legacies Season 2 May Bring Back 'Some Of The Originals'| #MMA #UFC

here we go the CW's supernatural drama legacies may have only been on the air for one season so far but its core fandom has been around for 10 years or so since the onset of the Vampire Diaries tight grip on viewers minds and hearts that same fanbase spent a lot of time during legacies first season wondering just how directly these new storylines would interconnect with the rest of the franchise and creator Julie Plec is now teasing something or someone familiar possibly coming to season 2 to be sure Julie Plec has been fielding questions about vampire diaries and originals characters returning the television even when those two dramas final seasons we're still airing so this is par for the course however Plex most recent answer about season 2 is more positive than one might have expected in her words the main familiar face that legacies did boast during season one was matt davis a salvatore school headmaster Alaric Salzman father to Lizzy and Josie his situation wasn't too positive at the end of the finale considering he put everyone in the school at risk but it was indeed hopes sacrificial actions to stop malov or that opened up a pathway for the original score' characters to make returns and legacies spoiler warning for anyone who isn't caught up through the finale by taking a dive into that pit book was seemingly successful the eliminating malodors bred for the time being but she also eliminated herself from the memories of everyone she knows it's unclear how long she's going to be trapped in the strange dimension when season two kicks off though we know she'll have some uncomfortable company that she likely wants to rid herself of with the quickness whoever it goes the fact that hope will be absent from people's memories presents some big opportunities for those from her past to return to well it depends on who would return but we know fans would go bonkers for 99% of the possibilities Joseph Morgan's Klaus or Phoebe Tonkin Hayley make appearances to offer up some very specific parental advice for the situation or perhaps a better question would class and Hayley even Remember Who hope is or what their own histories are with each other on the flip side there are lots of originals characters who could show up to save hope from her interdimensional woes before it's too late although the same memory related questions are held for them perhaps everyone she knew before now remembers her even more thus guiding them back to her meaning legacies will feature every applicable originals and Vampire Diaries character that's still living okay so that's far more optimistic and realistic but still Julie Plec sports the TV Guide are that exciting speaking of the topic of Caroline Forbes as Candice came up since she's arguably the character that fans have clamored for the hardest when it comes to Josie and Lizzie's mom here's what Julie Plec had to say thankfully there's still more than enough time for Julie Plec and the rest of the legacies creative team to figure out ways to bring former originals and DVD stars back into the limelight for season two and beyond for instance she seems really into getting Chris Wood's memorable villain Kai back in the mix now all we have to do is get through these long summer months to see it happen legacies will return to the CW for season two this fall starting on Thursday October 10th at 9 p.m. ET it'll follow the 15th and final season of Supernatural so let's also cross our fingers for some kind of an unexpected crossover to happen let's block @y

WATCH LIVE – Boris Johnson vs Jeremy Hunt in Conservative leadership hustings in Belfast

a short video from each of the campaign teams as well before you meet the candidates so without further ado let's watch Jeremy hunts little video the most striking quality about Jeremy Hunt was his unwavering commitment to get results I think perhaps part of that is to do with his background in business no matter what the obstacles were he was prepared to push through them he wanted to get results I've seen him deliver on the things that matter most to the British people he has credibility from all sides I trust him on brexit I'm known Jeremy for 40 years about 25 of those years we've worked together setting up various businesses though 30 days were absolutely about his determination and grit would never give up well I first met Jeremy I realized there was a man who actually was committed to making a difference in 2008 I lost my baby son Joshua as a consequence of serious failures in his care during my campaign to kind of uncover the truth about what happened I was struggling to be heard Jeremy really listened and entreated me was to breathing dad rather than a troublemaker I knew when this was somebody who was gonna change things my mum died quite tragically and poor caring mid staffs Jeremy was incredibly kind he saw the bereaved daughter behind the campaigner he saw people that mattered we have known Jeremy Hunt since the early 2000s he and his business partner buck started funding the education of children living with HIV in our community-based program Jeremy's generosity is sensed by a soul that desire to make a difference really drives that's never been about him it's always been about what he can do to help others the work is done we'll save the lives of countless babies and other families will not have to go through the kind of pain that we didn't often underestimate Jeremy because he comes across being such a light and generous an IT person and he is but remember hearing of warning the EU not to mistake British politeness Britain weakness and I don't that just about sums it up I was pessimistic about Louisville a little bit and I thought you know we couldn't mess this up over talking to Jeremy in the build up I said no you know we're a great country we can do this we have the right mindset the delivery was outstanding it also had this element of fun I know that Jeremy was very involved in getting that balance right he believes in Britain as a force for good in the world he shows strong values at the FCO and consistently good judgements negotiate toughing it out when things get really difficult keeping going having a vision those are the skills that we need in the primers is a unifier is somebody who can reach out to different groups of people my daddy was talking to fans politics should be about making difference in ordinary people's lives I'm German a huge difference to our lives he gave us hope and that for me was the main thing that he gave his hope until very very context ladies and gentlemen please welcome Jeremy Hunt thank you very much Ian who has been coming round the country with me and Boris and always looking very attentive at those videos even though he's seen there were a hundred times it's a huge pleasure to be I'm gonna stand in front actually it's a huge pleasure to be here this morning and last night after a very busy day campaigning I settled down to the penultimate episode of the last series of Game of Thrones and this was of course nothing to do with wanting to relax it was preparation for today because because of course you can be very proud of Game of Thrones being filmed here and in fact I was culture secretary in 2012 when we negotiated that TV tax credit with the Chancellor which bought the game of Thrones series here 150 million pounds of investment I'm slightly less proud of all the blood and gore and guts that you see in that programme but I'm proud to be here for another reason which is that as foreign secretary I go all over the world and whether it is Yemen or Burma or Israel Palestine people look at the peace process here as a shining inspiration of what is possible and I know back home people worry about the fragility of it but I want you to know how proud I am and how proud the world is as to what was achieved here that very very significant moment in our country's history and I'm standing here because I want to change our country for the better to govern is to choose and I have four priorities that I want to change and I'm going to tell you those four priorities but we can't do any of them until we sought brexit and yesterday I met representatives from the Northern Ireland Farmers Union the food and drink Federation people from the border towns around noori and they talked to me about their concerns about a No Deal situation not least the fact that 60% of the provinces exports go through the republic of ireland and that is one of the reasons why yesterday I announced a six billion pound support package for businesses particularly farmers and the fishing community to help us weather No Deal if that is what we end up with but I want to tell you that that would not be my first choice and indeed it's not the real choice in this election because both candidates have said that we have to leave the European Union that was the Democratic decision and both candidates have said that we have to leave without a deal if if that's the only way to do it the choice we have is who is the Prime Minister we sent to Brussels who has the best chance of negotiating a deal of avoiding those difficult choices that we would face in a No Deal situation and if you choose me I'll be the first Prime Minister who's ever had a background as an entrepreneur I'm sure there are lots of people here who started their own businesses what do we do when you start a business you negotiate and negotiation is what I want to do for our country to get the best possible brexit outcome and then the excitement starts so I'm just looking at the clock here because mr. Dale here will give me a big ticking off if we go over but my four priorities the first is as someone who set up their own business I want to fire up our economy I want to turn it into the most pro-growth Pro Enterprise fastest most green most high-tech economy anywhere in the world we have some of the best universities in Europe some of the best in the world we could be the world's next Silicon Valley here in Northern Ireland you know that because you have 40,000 people employed in the creative industries a huge achievement and a huge opportunity so that's number one number two I am the foreign secretary who wants our country to walk tall in the world my dad was in the Navy we followed him all over the country and I passionately believe that Britain is one of the few countries that stands up for democratic values and the security needed to underpin them so I've said I will increase our defense spending to beyond 2% of GDP to send that signal to the world that at the point of brexit Britain is here Britain is back and our voice is going to be strong in the world my third priority is one that is actually a devolved matter but I want to tell it to you because it says something about our values as a party which will be important here in Northern Ireland I was health secretary responsible for the NHS in England for nearly six years and we as a Conservative Party have to have a social mission as well as an economic mission and I find it deeply troubling that nearly 1/4 of our primary school leavers leave unable to read or write properly and I want us to be the Conservative government that abolish –iz illiteracy and makes a promise that every single young person will leave the education system with the rigorous qualifications necessary to get a decently paid job and the forth of my four priorities is actually one for the Conservative Party itself we have got to get more young people supporting us we can't be the party of aspiration if the most aspirational people in our country don't vote for us so I make a promise that we will go for young people with a whole series of policies and of course why did Corbin do so well at the last election because he got young people to support him we need them supporting us and I will never ever ignore the biggest threat facing British politics which is a Labour Party led by the most dangerous ruthless anti Western anti British hard left cabal that we have ever seen in British politics get this wrong and there will be no Conservative government no brexit maybe even no Conservative Party get this right and we will deliver brexit unite our party unleash the potential of our great country and send Corbin packing and that's what I'm going to do thank you very much on my way here from the airport I asked my taxi driver what would he ask the both of you if he had the chance and he said how is it justified for politicians installment to be paid a salary when they're not actually doing anything how are you better placed than your opponent to get the assembly and executive up and running again well you're about to hear from Boris so you can you can ask him that question but how would I do first of all it is totally unacceptable that politicians who are paid to run the NHS to run the schools to promote inward investment are not turning up to work and doing their job and you know we have to be absolutely clear this is a big abdication of responsibility and they need to get back to delivering what was a fundamental tenant of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement which is that devolved assembly what would I do as Prime Minister well I think the lesson of that historic achievement back in 1998 is that the only way to do this is with the personal involvement of the Prime Minister and I think we need to have a prime minister who is prepared to put in the time to really make this happen I think Theresa May has been very committed to Northern Ireland and to the Union but I give you this commitment that I – as Prime Minister will put in the time personally to get that assembly back up and running I think both sides need to understand that personal commitment from number 10 why do you think it hasn't happened so far getting it back up and running the talks now I think I'm right in saying if these latest talks are being going on for 10 weeks not sure there's a huge sign of any progress well I think there the fact that the talks are happening after the tragic murder of Lera McKee is a step forward from from where we were you know there are of course the things that trigger these walkouts but in the end it's about building up trust between the sides now we have an opportunity we have two sides that are talking and I would do everything in my power to get those talks to come to fruition um back stop do you recognize that the back stop in its current form doesn't have the support or consent of most units and therefore breach is one of the fundamental tenets of the Good Friday Agreement what what would you do about that well I do recognize that we are never going to have a deal to leave the EU with the backstop and so it has to change or it has to go and the fundamental issue with the backstop is not the principle that we shouldn't have border infrastructure on the island of Ireland I think that's accepted by all sides in the Conservative Party by the DUP by everyone who's been involved in this debate the principle is the backstop which traps us into following EU customs tariffs until the EU give us permission to leave the customs union and you know for a brexit vote that was about bringing back sovereignty to Parliament that is not acceptable I was one of the people who argued against accepting that backstop in cabinet but I think it's important that a Prime Minister has a loyal foreign secretary so I kept those discussions private but that has to change and we have to find a different solution and I think it will be a technology LED solution what the Germans call an invisible border we are rapidly understanding the potential of technology now and I think the work done by Greg hands and Nicky Morgan in the alternative arrangements Commission is the basis of the solution but the EU keep telling us that the technology isn't there they do and I think one of the reasons they tell us that is because frankly it would be easier for them and better for them if we stayed inside the customs union so we have to negotiate a way to resolve any difference of opinion some arbitration mechanism that would resolve how you solve a situation where there's a disagreement about what technology can do but both sides agree that if technology can do it's the way forward I believe it is and I don't actually think it needs new technology I think we can do it with the technology we have there used to be a phrase that many conservatives uttered some years ago saying you the conservative party should not out Faraj Faraj now yesterday you made a speech where you've been accused of trying to out Boris Boris you've become very very brick city all of a sudden some people are saying that's another flip-flop not at all and the position that I outlined yesterday is the position that I've been arguing for in the cabinet as foreign secretary for the last year of I've always thought we need to go further and faster on No Deal preparations and that there is a difference between Boris and my position I don't think it's as big as people maintain but basically I've said if we get a deal and it needs a few more days to get through Parliament at the end of October I wouldn't rip that up because I think it would be much better for everyone but particularly in Northern Ireland to have a deal and he has taken an absolutist position on that date but both of us have said that if there is no prospect of a deal then we will leave without a deal and I would do that because you know when I go around the world and people tell me what it is they like about Britain it is that we are one of the oldest most robust most established democracies in the world and what does that mean we're a country where people like me do what people like you tell us to do and that's why we're not just going to do brexit but we're going to make it a terrific success but you've accused Boris Johnson of imposing a fake date of October the 31st but yesterday you impose one of your own the 30th of September saying if there was no prospect of a deal by then then we would leave under No Deal what's the difference between imposing these two deadlines well the reason I say it's a fake debate about the 31st of October is because both of us have got the challenge that Parliament is trying to take no deal off the table and doesn't matter who's Prime Minister if Parliament takes that option off the table then it's off the table but why did I talk about the end of September because I want to give the EU a reasonable amount of time to consider new proposals made by the new British prime minister when they have done that the Prime Minister needs to make a judgment as to whether there's a deal there that can get through Parliament I don't think it'll be just the Prime Minister making that judgment I think we'll all know I mean the EU seem to come back pretty quickly if they're not prepared to countenance a negotiation I believe they will but if they don't then there's got to be a moment when we say okay the talking's over heads down we're going to prepare for no deal and that's why the package I announced yesterday included I think the biggest package of business tax cuts that we've ever had in our country's history designed to help businesses like the small business that I set up weather the storms that you would get with No Deal so that we can get through to the other side do you think abortion and same-sex marriage should be legalized in Northern Ireland and if the assembly didn't vote it through should the UK Parliament do it on equality and human rights grounds well these are deeply personal issues if I was Northern Irish I would want the law changed in both those areas this is a devolved matter and I think the best way to resolve this is to get the assembly back up and running and to establish a consensus in the province so that we can go forward on these very difficult issues Sara canning Leverett Lehrer maki's partner said that the biggest tribute that could be paid to her is for the UK Parliament to intervene and introduce same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland what's your response to that well I sincerely hope the law does change but when you change the law on an issue like this you do need an element of social consent and I would like to see the Assembly have a look at that issue in detail first before any decision was taken along those lines all I will say is that opinions and we see opinions change very dramatically in England since that law changed to widespread acceptance of this as being the right way to go so I hope it happens but I think it's something where we need to take the population with us do you think it's about time the Conservative Party organized properly in Northern Ireland what I want conservatives to be standing up for our values everywhere and I want to salute the people in this room because it is tough for all of you and to be a conservative in in a part of the country where we don't have any MPs at all shows particular commitment to our cause so I will back you as Prime Minister it's a long journey but I would love to see Conservative MPs conservative Assembly representatives in Northern Ireland because we are a United Kingdom and I would like the party of the Union to be represented in every part of our United Kingdom here's the the final lighter question for me which I know you always look forward to you mentioned Game of Thrones a minute ago which Game of Thrones character do you most identify with well um I'm not gonna say something cliche like Jon Snow but what I'm going to just tell you is that the best story I heard about Jon Snow was that about Kit Harington who's the character who plays for those who don't watch Game of Thrones the kind of the hero is that he was apparently stopped for speeding in the province and the police officer said to him now there's two things that I can do either I can give you a speeding ticket or you can tell me if you come back to life in the next episode of Game of Thrones there's a great story of actually giving an answer by that anecdote oh go on then Jon Snow trying for questions from the audience who would like to ask the first one first one here second one there Jeremy you conclude your speech there by stressing your commitment to the Northern Ireland conservatives but yesterday you did mention in a speech that a quote here a new political negotiating team will be convened with members of the ERG the DUP members of the one nation group Welsh on Scottish Conservatives know there it's I think it's quite noticeable that we are conspicuous by our absence yet the dup are not negotiating group perhaps you could elaborate than that of course there's a very simple reason for that that negotiating team that I'm assembling is the negotiating team that we need to get a majority in the House of Commons in order to get a brexit deal through one of the reasons why unfortunately the negotiations stopped with Theresa May was because the EU stopped believing that the British government could deliver the British Parliament and so they said why should we make any concessions if it's not going to make any difference in Parliament so we need to persuade the EU that we have a coalition that can get a majority through Parliament and we do depend on that partnership with the DUP but also with the brexit purists in the conservative party the ERG and also I've included Scottish and Welsh conservatives in that list because I want their concerns to be properly addressed but it's simply about getting the parliamentary arithmetic we need to renew that deal with a DUP because we need a majority in parliament I would infinitely prefer us to have conservative MPs in Northern Ireland so that we didn't need to depend on another political party for that majority but but you know to govern is to accept the world as it is and then to campaign to make it better and that's what I hope we can do it cost the taxpayer a billion pounds last time there's still three years to go in this Parliament are we going to see something a similar sum we we have that agreement with the DUP we paid the money and I would like them to do their bit and help us get a brexit deal through let me leave it at that Paul Paul McGann he'll have the north dying Conservative Association will you be able to pledge Mr Hunt that there will never be a separate Northern Ireland only referendum on the issue of the backstop and that in relation to brexit that northern Iran will be treated in exactly the same way all the other parts of the United Kingdom yes and you know let me be clear I think that is the heart of the difficulties that we've had with the current deal is a fear that the backstop which the Northern Ireland business community on the whole welcomes but unionists in Northern Ireland feel concerned by because they worry that it would either risk different regulatory environment for Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK which would be a barrier for the Union or it could mean the whole of the UK had to follow EU regulations which could weaken the commitment to the Union in the rest of the UK so for that reason we have to change the backstop I think it's very important to remember that Northern Irish trade with GB is more than Northern Irish trade with the Republic of Ireland the EU and the rest of the world put together so we can never have any barriers to trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain right gentlemen at the back followed by lady in the middle no good morning can you tell us Jeremy and you did say 100% commitment to conservers in Northern Ireland and we have had consecutive PM's party chairs and Secretary of State's doing the CM can you specify what support and how you would help controllers adorn their own well I am I happen to believe that the union is something that we have taken for granted for too long and when I think about the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 I believe we were complacent in the run-up to that referendum and we had a nasty scare during that campaign when it looked like it was getting very close but I think we've been complacent after it and I think it's absolutely essential that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom puts a lot of time and thought into nourishing the bonds of our union and some of that is through symbolic things like coming here frequently and supporting the Northern Irish Conservative Party which I'm absolutely committed to do but some of it is also through the approach you take to policies and I think that brexit if we get it right can massively strengthen our union because it will allow our great country to plow its furrow in the world in a way that is distinctly uniquely British and makes all parts all the four parts of the UK proud to be British but we've got to get there and we've got to get there with a deal that makes that possible and that is my commitment that is the deal I'll negotiate would you ask your party chairman though to you actually create a better infrastructure for the Conservative Party here I suspect that was more what the gentleman was really implying in that I think certainly friends of mine in Northern Ireland say that the Northern Ireland Conservative Party feels completely cut off from the main Conservative Party and doesn't get that level of support well I'll be very open to doing that if you tell me what you think needs to happen that's something I would certainly happily consider north nod and benefits greatly from EU funding especially the voluntary sector yes there's still been no public consultation on the shared prosperity fund or Treasury guarantees for peace plus I'm just wondering what you attend intend to do if you do become party leader well I think we absolutely have to maintain our commitment to all four parts of the UK obviously when we're not making contributions to the EU we will be saving around nine billion pounds a year and we will be able to make up for some of the shortfalls from parts of the UK that have received funding and you know I'd want to do that in a way that was fair but the more important point that I want to make to you as a fellow conservative is that we need to demonstrate to the whole country that we are not just the party of London and the South East which are our heartlands because we can never win a general election and s people see a real commitment to the whole of the UK of course that includes Northern Ireland the package that I announced yesterday of no deal support would have a particular focus on Northern I because this is one of the parts of the country that we most affected by no deal but that approach has to follow all our infrastructure investments all our support for university research and it has to be part of everything we do how am i strong I very much liked what you said about getting young people more involved with our party because I think we should be the party of the young as a student from Northern Ireland he studies in Hull there's this particular I'd like to ask you about and as health secretary for previous house faculty I think interesting incident what do you think about the possibility of being able to allow students to register at more than one GP so as someone like me here's my home for three months could go to a GP if I need to well I'm at home well that is a impressively detailed and specific question and I've got the answer to but I'm not sure it's gonna be quite enough to get all young people to vote conservative but but but the answer to that question is of course we need people to be able to use GPS anywhere they go in the country and and that includes to different parts of the UK and the way to solve that is something that I championed as health secretary which is to have an electronic health record which means that it's just incredibly easy for a GP anywhere you go to log into your details and with your permission of course and then you can get the treatment you need wherever you go and so that's how I would do that but in terms of how I attract young people more generally if I could just mention I think there are some specific things in an English context that really bother young people like the interest rate on tuition fees the difficulty of getting onto the housing ladder which I'm sure is an issue here but it's a devolved matter but I think there are also what you might call values issues things where young people just need to know that we're on the same side and we get where they're coming from and probably the biggest of those is climate change we have done an enormous amount over the last nine years in fact we've done more than any other major economy if you look at our growth since 1990 our GDP is 70% higher and our carbon emissions 40% lower and there's nowhere else that comes near that in terms of big economies but the truth is it's not enough and we need to be able to answer the enough question for young people because they look at people like me and they say you know we're gonna be around in 50 years time and even with the aging population you may not be and so we want to know that planet's gonna be safe no helicopter landed after a climate change our answer which Gillian Carlile when Boris was answering a climate change emergency question a helicopter landed and it turned out to be Jeremiah right lady there and then the gentleman that Felicity Houston East Belfast and Jeremy you were talking quite a lot about particular with your experience of foreign secretary of getting Britain back on the year at the world map in the position we should be in and using our soft and hard power and but I'm particularly wondering how you see we would work with our relationship with China which for the past few years we have been dazzled by their economic power but blind to what they are doing to their own people and I'm now thinking particularly in the case of Hong Kong where the young activists there are begging the British government to come and speak on their behalf and I fear we have a certain moral duty to the people of Hong Kong and it reminds me a little bit of what happens here we are often forgotten about and it seems the same thing as being is exactly happening in Hong Kong because economically it's not a good idea to upset the Chinese so I do wonder how you would take us forward to a respectable relationship with a superpower like that and particularly there was people in Hong Kong thank you well thank you Felicity fryer yes that's Thank You felicity for asking that question and I was asked this last night on on Sky News actually and I said that I'm someone who's never had to fight for my freedom my dad was in the Navy and thanks to the service of his generation we won the Cold War so they knew what it was like to put their lives on the line for the values that we believe in China is a very very important country we can't stop its growth and we shouldn't want to because they're lifting a lot of people out of poverty and it's a it's a huge success story and of course we want to benefit from trading opportunities with China and we wish them well but we can never compromise on our values and the first time I met the Chinese Foreign Minister last August Hong Kong was one of the issues that I raised with him and I'm afraid since then things have got worse and I gave a statement to the media this morning in which I said that none of us support the violence that we saw on TV last night but we do understand the reason for people's anger and the reason for people's fears that their basic freedoms are going to be taken away and so the way to address this issue is not by repression or any heavy-handed tactics by the Hong Kong government but understand the root causes of those concerns including that extradition bill which quite understandably people feel could mean that if they speak their mind politically which of course is one of the great freedoms they have in Hong Kong they could get shipped off to China and get sent to prison so you know we do want calm there but we want the government of Hong Kong and the government of China to understand that what makes Hong Kong special the freedoms of its people what can we as a country actually do I mean we are the fifth largest economy in the world you just pay tribute to try China saying was a tremendous success story which in economic terms it may be but certainly not in human rights terms but what can we do apart from I mean you tweeted the other day saying our support for Hong Kong is unwavering you put it in in capitals which is significant on Twitter but in practical terms what can the UK government do well Hong Kong is part of China and you know we have to accept that but the freedoms in Hong Kong are enshrined in a joint declaration signed by Margaret Thatcher and Deng Xiaoping in 1984 and that is an internationally binding legal agreement between our two countries and what I said then and what I said again this morning is that we expect that legally binding agreement to be honored and if it isn't there will be serious consequences which would be well I think you know you have to allow me some latitude as Foreign Secretary to make a decision on that when the appropriate time comes but I want to be absolutely clear to answer Felicity's question that our values are not negotiable and that we expect all countries to honor their legal agreements with the United Kingdom right gentlemen they're followed by gentlemen of the background good morning urban Armstrong two questions one's very simple will the Northern Ireland Sackett restate remember a remain a full member of your cabinet and the Satan question is you have laid very heavy emphases on how good you are in negotiations and what you can do can you negotiate a deal that will allow Northern Ireland to trade with the EU and the UK and to take part in any future UK trade deals at the same time the answer to both of those is yes but to the second one whilst we are going to need to negotiate the deal that you're talking about I don't want to pretend this is going to be easy it is going to be very challenging but nor is it impossible and I think if we take the right approach to this the right deal is there for us and why do I say that because when I talk to other European leaders they want to solve this problem as well they say that this is a problem for Europe as well as a problem for the UK they don't want a No Deal brexit and so I think if we take the right approach if we send them a prime minister that they're willing to talk to they will give us a hearing and I think there's a chance of a deal I think there's a deal to be done but I don't want to pretend that it's not going to be bumpy getting back hi Jeremy just one question like you asked Nigel Faraj has shown himself to be a highly competent operator we need all the assistance we can get is there any chance of his expertise being tapped into well the question was asked in a very seductive way but I'm afraid I'm going to disappoint you and say no and the reason I'm going to say no is apart from all the many issues that people might have about some of the characters that surround Nigel Faraj he wants a different outcome he wants he wants a WTO brexit he wants a No Deal brexit and I think for Northern Ireland it would be infinitely better to get a deal and that's what I'm going to negotiate who are these shady characters surrounding our Jeffress we don't need to go into that now but well Ann Widdecombe is a great conservative politician she should be with us right thank you James roofie North dine Jeremy I was very pleased that you as foreign secretary initiated a review of the persecution of Christians throughout the world and also I saw on Sunday that Prince Charles has identified himself very much as this cause what more can we do to help these suffering brothers and sisters particularly in the in the Middle East at the moment where they are being eliminated in many areas of the other that the aunt where they grew up James thank you for asking that question I think we've had a bit of a blind spot in British foreign policy we champion freedom of religion all over the world I think of the the rahega Muslims in Burma for example who suffered the most terrible persecution but whether it's because of political correctness or a sense of awkwardness about our colonial past and the missionaries I don't know but the fact is 80% of the people around the world were persecuted for their faith are Christians and they aren't wealthy Westerners they're often very poor people and you mentioned the Middle East the population Middle East used to be 20 percent Christian now it's just 5% and when you look at some of the terrible murders that happen in countries like Afghanistan Libya Egypt what I notice is that often these things are happening in countries that we give a lot of aid money to and so the question I want to ask is are we using the influence we have to try to protect people who just want to worship their own God our God my God in freedom and that's what we should be championing so I've asked the bishop of to do a review as to what more we could do in the foreign office and I'm hoping that we'll publish that review next week that question brings an end to our time with Jeremy hunt ladies and gentlemen um I very rudely didn't actually introduce myself at the beginning for those of you who don't know me and Dale I present the LBC evening show each evening I know many of you are listeners as you've been telling me in the run-up to this event now we are now going to watch Boris Johnson's campaign video before we meet him yes of course you can if I get in will come out a lot of teachers tell me that they've got they've got it they feel that the funding safe big city was when I used to run it I can tell you we got crime down by people and I might another murder it down I also think we need to be supporting the the wealth graders in the business sector because otherwise you're not gonna have them the doctor to invest it's cut some taxes and you get money it would you normally think of yourself as a conservative voter would you say no car skewed a terrible question would you consider voting for me yes if there is one lesson from that referendum of 2060 it is the too many people feel left behind that they're not able to take part fully in the opportunities and success of our country that's why now is the time to unite our society and unite our country to build the infrastructure to invest in education to improve our environment and to support our fantastic NHS to lift everyone in our country and of course also to make sure that we support our wealth creators and the businesses that make that investment possible now's the time for us to believe in ourselves and what we can do and that's why I am standing to be leader of the Conservative Party ladies and gentlemen please welcome Boris Johnson [Applause] good afternoon everybody good afternoon thank you very much for coming fantastic to see somebody here last time I was speaking to the Conservatives in in Northern Ireland was in Bangor many years ago any veterans of that occasion here I don't know I'd anywhere there are but I can tell you it was a it was a time when our party was pretty much down in the dumps and everybody said that we were facing a resurgent and very dangerous Labour Party and of course they were they were right then they were right then but I'm afraid that there are huge differences between then and now and yes it's true that our party is facing difficulties but we can turn it round and we can turn it round by Oh me come back and we're to win by Duke we can turn around by doing three very simple things number one we've got to get brexit done and we've got to get it over the line and we've got to get it done by October the 31st and come out of the EU and that believe me will be a major relief to politics across the whole of the United Kingdom and there are there are several things we need to do we need to make sure we look after our friends of European Union citizens who are here we need to make sure that we don't give that 39 billion pounds away too cheaply and that we suspended in a state of creative ambiguity above the talks until such time as we get an agreement and of course we need to sort out the problems of the Northern Irish border where those problems should be sorted out in the context of the free trade deal then we're going to do after we have left on October the 31st and I think it's absolute vital here in Northern Ireland to stress two things and number one that we will under no circumstances have a hard border there will be no physical checks or infrastructure at the border in Northern Ireland and number two we will make sure we have a an exit from the EU a brexit that allows the whole UK to come out entire and undivided and we keep our union absolutely intact and we can do it we absolutely can do – I'm determined to do it as I say by October the 31st and one of the pledges I have made is that if I'm lucky enough to be successful in this contest I will be not only Prime Minister and first of all of the Treasury and Minister for the civil service but I will also be Minister for the Union in which I passionately believe because there everywhere I go around the world I meet people who who don't identify our amazing country as England or Ireland Northern Ireland or or Scotland or Wales they they think that we are the United Kingdom and they see our brand the UK as being far far more powerful as the some of our far more powerful than the sum of our parts and I I think they're right and we should fight for that Union and we should defend it and protect it and I think the second thing that we need to do obviously is to get our mojo backers conservatives and to believe in our calls to believe in wealth creation and to stand up for the moral force of our political ideas because they're the right ideas and I think if we support the wealth creators and the entrepreneurs and the business community then we'll have the tax that we need to pay for fantastic public services and a great education infrastructure and all the rest of it I think people understand that and they can understand the fundamental balance and and symmetry at the heart of our conservative agenda and I think if we get our mojo back and we believe in ourselves again as a Conservative Party then of course I think that we will be able to take the fight to the enemy in there and talk to our opponents and there are there are two parties at the moment that are prospering mightily from in the whole of the UK from our failure to get breaks it over the line there of course the brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats and once we've done that we'll prick those two buff balls as it were and lots of voters who are currently with them we'll come back to our party and that will put us in a much better position to do what I think we really all want to do and that is to get ready to defeat Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party and it's utterly vital that we do that because you all understand I I think the the economic disaster the Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party would present for our country I mean the guide is you know he's or he backs Hamas and Hizballah and he seemed to side with the mullahs of Tehran the other day rather than with our allies in the United States when it came to the dispute over what was happening in the in the Persian Gulf quite quite incredible I went when the screep out poisonings took place in Salisbury he seemed to be wanting to give Moscow the benefit of the Durbin and if you remember that and it's it's it's even worse than that this is a guy who would who would as I think everybody in this room understands who would favor a united Ireland and who would break up our union and worse than that who has in the past been quite shameless in his support of the agenda of the IRA and who is in John McDonnell has actually condoned the armed struggle as he calls it of the IRA and the bombs and bullets of the the terrorists and I think for that reason alone he should be kept away from from number 10 to say nothing of the economic disaster he would cause and this is a guy who would put up taxes on just about everything from income to pensions to corporation tax financial transaction tax inheritance tax even the garden tax he would impose on this country he had to pull to pay for a deranged plan of reen a tional ization costing 300 billion pounds he would be a political moral catastrophe he'll be an economic catastrophe for our country he would break up precious union and we cannot let him anywhere near number 10 and in fending him off as I believe that we can if we get brexit done if we re energized our party as I'm sure that we can I believe I'm the best guy to be unleashed on that project because I would just remind you that the last time we faced last time I faced in an emanation of the London labor left I came from behind to defeat him a considerably while eeeh and more devious customer by the way than other than Jeremy Corbyn I defeated him when our party was 17 points behind labour in the polls in London we did it then we can do it again and with your help and support we will thank you all very much [Applause] on the way here I asked my taxi driver what he would want to ask the both of you and he said how can it be justified paying members of the Northern Ireland decide when they haven't executive back up and running again well I think they need to get back round the table as fast as possibility to they need to be sorting this thing out and I and I good reason for that I speak as a former leader of a city government in in London and you you need you need when you have local business when you have local communities that require proper representation you need somebody to stick up for their economic interests and to champion them and to move that society forward and it can tweet this the current drift is isn't is not right for Northern Ireland and I would urge all sides get on with it restore Stormont and get it get it over the line what do you put that drift down to well I think that there are various difficulties that they there are some sensitive issues on or on on either side and we all know roughly what they are and we all know that they need to be addressed with common sense and andr tact and with sensitivity but there is scope for compromise to get it done but it's taken two years what can you bring to it to really galvanize it well I think that they have the I will do whatever I can personally to energize and and direct the the talks and to try to bring people together but I think that what everybody needs to do is to recognize that it's the it's the citizens and the voters of Northern Ireland who are losing out as a result of this failure to to get together and I hope they'll get on with it um moving on to brexit do you recognise and the backstop in its current form doesn't have the support and consent of most unionists and therefore breaches one of the fundamental tenets of the Good Friday Agreement what will you do about that well I think that the as I've said many times the the the backstop presents a prime minister of the UK with an absolutely unacceptable choice between abandoning our ability to govern ourselves in the sense that we would the UK would have to submit EU law on tariffs and EU law on on regulations with no say on though on those rules or alternatively to give up control of the government of Northern Ireland and that is clearly unacceptable and that's a choice that I totally reject as I've said before if I you know the the Union comes first of course but I believe that we should not be faced with that choice and the solution must be for the whole UK to come out in its entirety from the EU and to and to find the solutions that are needed for frictionless trade across the border in the context of the free trade deal and we can and you know Michel Barnier and others have said that those solutions are there and indeed they have said that they wouldn't impose a hard border themselves and they're quite right I think it'd be the lunacy to do so they it is in the withdrawal agreement they say they're not going to reopen the withdrawal agreement or make any changes to the backstop how can you persuade them to do that well I think that the withdrawal agreement as it currently stands is a dead letter and you know as I said there are bits there are useful bits in it the provisions on citizens can be taken out they can be disaggregated they could be they can be used we should be passing those through the House of Commons anyway in a super rogatory way but the the money as I say is is is quite a lot but the the question of the of the backstop and don't forget the reason why we have it is that it was basically devised with the support if not the instigation of the British side partly because there are there are many who who conceive that the relationship that they wanted with the EU was one where we stayed in the customs union and in full regulatory alignment even though that made a nonsense of brexit and so what the what the backstop really represents is I'm afraid the incoherence at the heart of the strategy that we've been pursuing over the last few years we've been wanting to come out of the of the EU supposedly whilst actually being prepared to stay in the customs union and in full regulatory alignment when that is tantamount to coming out of the EU but being run by the EU and and so what I think people in this country want is to come out there's a whole UK solve the issues of the of the backstop in the context of the FTA and use the opportunities that brexit brings us to do things differently Wow where that is necessary and where that is exciting for business and industry well that's what we should be doing what would you say about the idea that maybe a temporary solution would be to have a snap referendum in Northern Ireland on a temporary membership of a customs union in order to get the EU snap will need people's patience I guess I think I think you know I really can't we've been we had a referendum issues were very extensively debated let's get on and and deliver on the mandate of the people because if we don't believe me my fellow conservatives it's great to see so many here we will we will continue to hemorrhage support in in our country and up the Conservative Party will not recover as a fighting force until we get brexit done an over line and until we get it done properly believe me do you think that abortion and same-sex marriage should be legalized in Northern Ireland and if the assembly doesn't vote it through should the UK Parliament do so look I think that this is pre-eminently a matter for the people of Northern Ireland and that is why risk of sounding like a crack record I want the hope that the government of Northern Ireland can be resumed as soon as possible so that this issue can be decided in the forum where it properly belongs in other words that that's Stormont I mean you know this is not this is for this is for the people of Northern Ireland and for their politicians what do you say to Sara canning Lyra Mackey's partner who said the greatest tribute that could be paid to her would be for the UK Parliament to actually enact same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland well I understand her feelings and I you know and I was I was 13 years the years ago for for equal marriage and and supported completely but I I think that the the the forum in which this issue should be debated and decided is the is the government of normal and that's that's another reason to get it going get it going for economic reasons but also to sort out these difficult political questions and I don't think that the UK government should be imposing something that should be decided here by the people in Northern Ireland do you think it's about time the Conservative Party organized properly in Northern Ireland well I think this was pretty proper to me I mean we got a what do you think it's big he disrespectful of en en to suggest that this turnout today is a great man now in the fact that in conservative campaign headquarters in London they give lots of money all around the country to different different constituencies different regions to promote the conservative message I think there is a feeling in Northern Ireland that the Conservative Party here is treated as a bit of a backwater well I think I may be the only candidate slept in this race has actually been to speak to the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland before I do I don't know whether you interviewed my previous my I did I didn't he raised it but I mean I I in northern and I've done what I can to help and and to encourage I do think it's wonderful that conservatives are organizing here in Northern Ireland but it but the fact is that we have an arrangement of confidence and supply with the DUP and it's perfectly right that I think Philip Hammond and myself and a number of other I did go to their to their conference and so I tell you why I think that was a reasonable thing to do because if we didn't have the DUP supporting us in Westminster much as I admire the work of conservatives in Northern Ireland we didn't have the DUP and I'm afraid the truth is we would have Jeremy Corbyn who has an agenda to break up the Union to say nothing of his support for the IRA and all the rest of it so I justify my my visit on those grounds and I was made it absolutely clear that I was speaking as a as a visitor and not a any sense of participant of their conference should we move on to the next question final question yes do you watch Game of Thrones I I you know I have watched bits of it I haven't got into it in the in the but of course I know that Game of Thrones is is is filmed here in in Orland and not only that but of course Game of Thrones is I think the next Star Wars movie the Obi I think this George Lucas he's gonna do a film about obi-wan Kenobi as far as I know it she's gonna be made here in Northern Ireland but many many wonderful things are made will come from northern character and Game of Thrones or even Star Wars that you can identify with the trolls like I don't know Game of Thrones well enough to be able to to identify any of any of the characters Star Wars I tell you what I identified very I did I identify very much with the guy with a lightsaber the Jedi Knight sets in I tell you why I tell you why because I'm delighted to say one of the many links between between are between Northern Ireland and and myself I'm proud to say that the the lightsaber is manufactured and was invented guess where in Uxbridge and south right slit by bradster which is the constituency I write I represent and I have I have I have a lightsaber in my in my office in in Westminster there's a most beautiful thing which was presented to me by no less a figure than Christopher Lee anyway that's that's a that's a digression but it shows it shows how our United Kingdom is linked together we we invented the lightsaber in Uxbridge it is wielded in Northern Ireland and the resulting film is sold around the world and grosses more than any other movie in history or as fall or something like that which shows by the way how the UK is not is dominant in the creative culture and media sectors as well as there are so many others right time for questions he would like to ask the first one gentleman at the back there then gentleman that Johnny Andrew Stanford Association in view of the northern and office not being ready for brexit how do you propose to ensure that they're ready and can I also ask how you propose to create a more positive brexit in Northern Ireland as we've been faced with really almost a Prosoft brexit here in terms of the fixed link how do you rank the fixed link in terms of your infrastructure projects thank you I think we should be very positive about brexit and we should be we should not be terrified of a of a No Deal Rex if we should not be terrified of coming out on WTO terms we will make sure we look after the agriculture in interest we look after we have deficiency payments farm get payments export refunds whatever is necessary to protect farmers will make sure that just-in-time supply chains are protected and I think a lot of the negativity about a WTO brexit has been wildly overdone you know people say that there won't be any clean drinking water and the planes won't fly and then there won't be milk solids and glucose and way to make Mars bars it's all do you really believe that it is total nonsense I prophesied very confidently that we will have a successful brexit the planes will fly there will be clean drinking water and there will be there will be way for the Mars bars because whereas the will does away as iong as I never tire of saying and as for as for the fixed link I presume by that you mean the proposal by Alan Dunlop of a Liverpool University for a fixed link between Northern Ireland and Scotland is that what is that what you're talking about well I look I'm an enthusiast for that idea I'm gonna put it out there I only asked for that idea I think it's a good idea but again that is the kind of project that should be pursued by a dynamic Northern Ireland government championed by local people with local consent an interest backed by local business and mobilized by the politicians of Northern Ireland that's what that's what should happen we want a an IKE you know I'm one in favor of it but it's got to be it's got to come it's got to be supported by people here in Northern Ireland National Finance sure yes yes but that you would go and believe me but with with infrastructure projects finances is not the issue or not the issue is political will the issue is getting people but getting the business community to see that this could be something that works for them the issue is getting popular demand and popular consent for a great infrastructure project and that is why you need Stormont mr. Johnson my name is Adam Flanagan I've recently completed my a-levels in South Belfast it's good to hear about you defending the Union but rather than taking a defensive approach can you tell me specifically how you would promote and prosper I promote and foster Northern Ireland's place in the Union especially when there's increasing apathy and the mainland towards our place in the Union well not not in not in not anywhere near me there isn't and believe me I mean very sincerely what I said when I go around the world I see our country the UK loved respected admired because they know that we stand for certain things but it's not Northern Iowa England or Scotland whales at stairs it's the whole UK it's that branch that Union flag red white and blue that is the great global brand and by the way the biggest soft power brand across across the world with the possible exception of the United States when dry and I exempt them because they're after all a spiritual cultural and intellectual child of the of the UK of the UK of the UK of the UK be careful what I say America America the United States of America is spiritually culturally intellectually descended I think you it would be there but being a fairer way to put it from from from our our country but people people believe in us they believe in it in the UK and in the incredible in our armed services in our diplomacy in our reputation for for science for innovation a lot of which goes on here and oh I want as I said I want to champion the the Union there to answer your questions really by being not only Prime Minister at first and all of the Treasury Minister for the civil service but also Minister for the Union I would like to have a there will be a special unit in number 10 to make sure that every policy is sense and stress tested for the benefits that it will bring to the Union and I make it I want to make it absolutely clear that under no circumstances under no circumstances whatever happens will there be I will I allow the EU or anyone else to create any kind of division down the Irish Sea or to attenuate our Union and that is why I so bitterly opposed the withdrawal agreement you may recall and that's why the best way forward for our country and that's why I resigned over checkers you may you may recall because it it does it's it puts it but it's a terrible moral blackmail it puts on the UK government you can't have that you can't have that approach the way to protect the Union is to come out of the EU whole and entire in the way that I am recommending solve the border issues where they belong logically in the context of the the FTA that we're going to do it's it's and and I think once they recognize in Brussels that they have a different leader in the in the UK and a totally different approach to the negotiations I think actually they're going to be rather relieved because a lot of for last three years they've faced a lot of indecision a lot of confusion about what the UK really wants and now's the time to get it right in the cabinet for the first two years of our indecision you helped run the senior officers of state and I do almost saying well nothing to do with makeup well I if you remember I was I spend a lot of the time trying to wrench the steering wheel back in the direction of common sense and we had a speech at Lancaster House in the beginning of 2017 by the p.m. which almost got us back on the right track and then it was a very very tough fight up to two checkers in in in the middle of of 2018 when it became obvious finally that we were going in completely the wrong direction and I resigned on principle and made my argument and I think we're gonna win and it will be and we will do an exit from the EU which keeps our union but allows the whole UK to take advantage of breaks in just what the gentleman said and the papers or the Telegraph reported this morning that you want to restructure government to abolish Secretary of State for Northern Ireland actually what the Telegraph said that I was being urged to do that and I have no but no they no one took the trouble to urge me in person before urged say telling The Telegraph that they were urging me to do it so some of whatever urgings were taking place they were not they were not they were not directed personally at me so I you know be a secretary of state for North certainly will I was I was like you know I I hesitate to dissent from anything that the Telegraph ever says but but I I wasn't aware of being urged near me such direction right hey Boris Philipp black I'm just wondering if you aren't out of the ie on the 34 October and what are your plans are you going to have a general election or are you gonna stand down or you know what is the back-up plan what is this defeatism you know this is what this is what this is what they keep hearing in Brussels and they keep thinking these guys aren't serious you know the law at the moment says that the UK must come out of the EU on October the 31st unless the Prime Minister of the UK unless the governor the UK asks for another extension why would we want an extension does it end of cancer who wants an extension right okay here's what a couple of people that the bell gang all right okay fair enough a couple of people want one they said I think the overwhelming majority of our party wants to get out on October the 31st and that is what we're going to do and we're going to get out in the way that I've described I think it's the most sensible approach it will enable us to to get on do a great free trade deal and take advantage of brexit at the moment you know I think the anymore can kicking anymore can kicking simply plays into the hands of our opponents and although it is true that Jeremy Corbyn is a is a very very feeble leader and there's a big difference between now and when I first came to speak to Northern Irish concerns I think we were then we were then facing Tony Blair who was coming up blistering tooth plausible crowding all over the centre ground but that's not the case with korben korben is far left and deeply implausible in his economic policies and in the recent counts elections in May he managed to go backwards he's so incompetent he lost seats that didn't happen with Blair that didn't happen with Blair but you can't guarantee that Parliament won't be successful in amending the law to stop you from leaving in October thirty-first can you well of course what I believe is that parliamentarians will want to take their responsibilities very seriously and will understand as I say that we are staring down the barrel and our country faces a choice now our politicians face a choice they can continue to hemorrhage trust they can continue to be seen as willing to undermine democracy we can lose more votes to the brexit party into the Liberal Democrats or we can take our responsibilities responsibilities seriously and in a mature way and get it over the line and I think that's what MP's are going to do now and look at the look at the vote that happened a couple of weeks ago about whether to rule out no deal actually they didn't I think people are increasingly waking up to the fact that this is existential for the Tory party and it's probably also existential for labour as well if they if they if they you know they will also lose huge amounts of support unless they get this done so I've got Dominic grieve for an hour on my radio show tonight what should I ask him well I think you should you should you should ask him whether he would what would he really prefer what would he really prefer would he prefer to come out of the EU in the way that the British people were promised on October the 31st would he prefer to be able to get on and do all sorts of fantastic conservative things wonderful one nation progressive modern conservative policies investing in infrastructure investing in education in health care and all that all the things that we care about as well as championing the private sector or would he rather unnecessarily frustrate brexit calls deepening anger and disillusionment amongst the voters and pave the way eventually for a Corbin government what does he want the chance to build a new partnership with our European friends based on free trade and all the things we're going to do together or a Corbin government that's the choice lady down there Lynn Anderson East Belfast following on from that I was going to ask a question about party unity and if you became Prime Minister what would you actually do about some of your Conservative MP colleagues who seem to have been putting personal preference above the Democratic result of the referendum and actually doing all they can it seems to me to undermine and sabotage trying to get brexit through I would love them up i-i-i-i I don't think you're applauding my old sir you were pulling the question I I would I would I would I would I would give them as much understanding and love as I possibly could and try to bring everybody together but I really think this is existential folks we either do this or we're doomed and we got to get this thing done and that applies to Dominic it applies to you know I was like campaigning this morning with yesterday morning with with with Bob Neil who do you some of you may know it takes a very different view from me but he understands a need to get this thing over the line so I don't I think we need him a mood of determination and and unity and I've just remind you that I was before you today as the candidate with more than half the parliamentary party already behind me and many more now signing up so I'm I'm very pleased by that outcome and I have dozens of remain as dozens of levers already flocking to our standards so I'm very confident and very excited so Queen's University conservative society room wise and I'm the chair I would ask for us and he talks a lot about the moderate progressive policies of the current Conservative government which which I wholly agree why does he think that fits with him going and talking to the DEP does not send the right signals when the DEP want northern arm to be treated differently in terms of social policy to the rest the well look there's a reason I'm I'm I'm a conservative and that's because I you know I'm not I'm not I believe in in our policies we should be very proud of our of our record in delivering on equalities and I believe that we've done some great things for Society in the whole of the of the UK and we should we should we should we should sticker that I've said what I've said about the DUP which is that actually I think that they have been indispensable as by by delivering that agreement on confidence in and supply in preventing our country being governed by Jeremy Corbyn in the Labor Party and and you know that's that that's the choice we face do you get frustrated that you are painted by your opponents I don't mean Jeremy Hunt but in the media in on the left of politics as some sort of right-wing populist whereas actually if you look at your record on particular social issues you were about as liberal as you can get well I know that people think I know I don't know where it all comes from it's complete hysteria and and but there you go you know people will say all sorts of extraordinary things and you just have to keep trying to to correct them I I was you know there's there's what's about was a I tell you what it's all I remember before I became mayor in in 2008 there are a whole bunch of of lefties who promised faithfully to leave the the city with all the country if I was elected mayor in the Guardian ran a whole supplement about how how awful I was and the most bigoted xenophobic person that ever stood for high office anywhere in the UK and at the end of eight years I most of them were we're working for me actually we're also person certainly supporting me and I I think I had 60 percent support more at the end than than when I came in but I remain a you know a proud free-market low tax conservative I just happen to think that our country does better when were when we send out a signal to the world that were inclusive and tolerant and generous Inara in our approach to other people and that is and that is one of the reasons why the UK economy is so so massively successful thanks very much and having moved here from Scotland delighted it's not going to start yes we did a great trip up to the Highland remember quite a few years ago and with hearing your comments about the bridge which was very positive because I'm I loved it massively put a lot of infrastructure in around Stranraer all that yeah and what needs to be done which is political will and local will how would you view the same political will and local will if there was promotion of a financial tax free zone in Belfast well that's the sort of thing we can do but only once we leave the EU mark thank you very much for your question you know we could we could do free ports we could we could it would be a massive boost to this economy but only once we we come out and we should we won't have about six of them by the way we should definitely be doing free ports and and and tax free zones they you know they have delivered around the world well I think they're about 130 countries that have them we don't because of our membership of the EU and there are plainly areas that would benefit from them why six and where would they be I'm not going to tell you whether I try to be all over the place I tried particularly in Northern Ireland good afternoon Nestle McGarrity norstein and I wanted to ask you Boris about the national crisis that is facing us all which is social care and I'm a provider of Social Care in Northern Ireland and I have seen over the last number of years the cuts and the difficulties there are in both staffing recruiting and sustaining social care and we saw I Teresa may fell on the sword of that and the dementia tax entire labour was so easily able to beat her with it at the last election what would you propose to sustain and establish a social care in the United Kingdom you you are so right I mean it's fascinating election campaigns like this is so valuable because you really start to understand what's top of people's right this is number one and we've got a sorted out because you know it affects every family in there and makes affects my family affects everyone everybody's family people are thinking how on earth am I gonna pay for you know the cost of care over over what could be a huge period of time running into tens hundreds of thousands of pounds where's that money coming from and all I can say is we we need to approach and of course the we put another 3.9 billion I think into into Social Care as as a government but we gotta recognize in the long term we need to we need to sort it out and there are no quick fixes or or easy answers we need to bring everybody together to try to take the politics out of it because as you righties pointed out it became very difficult at the last election the the two principles should be that nobody should face eviction from their home to pay for the cost of their for their social care everybody should be entitled to stay in their home and a number two everybody should be entitled to dignity and security in their old age but we need to bring the parties together to sort this out across our country ladies and gentlemen Boris Johnson well ladies and gentlemen I hope that's aided you in your decision-making process if you haven't had enough politics today do listen to me 7:00 p.m. LBC with Dominic grieve tonight thank you [Applause] you