Mark Harper launches bid for Tory leadership – watch live



when you just do the same as I'm done with this one we've got is going down three that have you got it back yeah thank you superstar no thanks very much everyone got two mics I know it's fine no no no no help yourself nope literally I was I was I was having I was having no it's fine I was I wasn't there I was literally just having Mike's plate oh no no no it's fine honestly no no I wasn't I was only I was only part I was any par [Applause] Steve thank you and very much indeed and thank you very much ladies and gentlemen right this is going to be my way of doing this I thought I would prefer rather than a reading you a speech that somebody else is written I thought I would just set out briefly why I'm running in this contest and what I will do if I'm elected leader of the Conservative Party and the Britain's next prime minister when I'm very happy to ask have you ants aren't asking me anything you want I will try and give you an answer I've had a look at some of the things that my ask me anything pictures led to on Twitter and there's some questions that I'll be on my realm of competence I think Jay Rayner wants me to give my opinion about egg base sources which I'm afraid anyone who's seen in the kitchen knows what works so let me hit straight into it we're in very challenging times and this is going to be a very very difficult next few months for whoever is elected as prime minister we've got to get brexit delivered we've got to get the country governs properly for the next three years and then we've got to fight and win the next general election I think I have a plan to do all three of those and also to set out what the Conservative Party is about which is about freedom and it's about opportunity and opportunity matters to somebody like me I come from the working-class family my parents my dad was a laborer for the electricity company my mum was a correspondent to Clarke and I'm the first person in my family to go to university I want that opportunity for doing as much as you can do to be open to everyone and I have to say for my parents the fact that I'm standing here nominated as a candidate to be the leader of my party and of shout at being Prime Minister it's something I think it's fair to say when they brought me home from the hospital 49 years ago probably wasn't on the list of things that they thought I was going to do that's not what people from from my family kind of had on the to-do list so let me kick off with my brick seat plan because actually we have to start there because if we don't get bricks it delivered however much we want to talk about other things we're not going to get the opportunity so my plan is really stick and it is credible and I think having listened to the other candidates it's the only one that is I am prepared to leave if I'm given the choice between not leaving at all and leaving without a deal I am prepared and comfortable with leaving without a deal because the British people gave us an instruction and that has to be delivered and it is not acceptable to not deliver it but my preference is to leave with a deal because I think that's better for the country I think it's better for the integrity of the United Kingdom and I think it's better for our politics and the reason why I think I am the right person to do that is because frankly everyone else in this race has at some point over the last three years been sat around the cabinet table and has participated in the decisions that have led to not leaving the European Union three years after that referendum every single one of them has participated in fundamental missed judgments that have got us to where we are and I think we need a fresh approach and I think it's going to mean these three things it's going to mean the Prime Minister sitting down with the cabinet and the Conservative parliamentary party and doing effectively what my colleague Kip Malthouse dudes getting us to a position that we can agree on so that when you go into that European council chamber you know exactly where you can afford to give where you have to hold the line and what you can get through Parliament when you get back it's a very narrow landing zone it's going to have to be delivered on our benches with our DUP allies and probably no more than a handful maybe two handfuls of Labour MPs that's as good as it gets we're not going to carry this with a majority of fifty or a hundred it's going to be 10 or 15 it's going to be in that order of magnitude to get permission to sit around the table with our European Union partners it's going to mean getting some credibility with the Irish government so a priority is sitting down with the tea shop and the leader of Fiona Foyle the opposition party in Ireland and getting them to understand that we mean what we said when we signed up to the Belfast agreement we mean to deliver a border in Northern Ireland that is infrastructure free so that the people of the north of the north and the Republic can cross that border freely as they do today and as I saw for myself last year it's only if they buy that and they believe we're straight and credible on that that they're going to be prepared to sit around a table with our EU partners and discuss these issues I think we've got to put a real effort into getting storm on back up and running because I think that will provide a structure to build confidence with both communities in Northern Ireland and all of the political parties and that will be an essential component of getting that credibility that gets us around the table to get a deal or I think it's going to mean showing our European Union Union partners a bit of stick and a bit of carrot but in a diplomatic way about what we bring to the table as the largest military power in Europe the preeminent contributor to security and intelligence relationships in Europe that helps keep everyone safe and also what a Britain with a good relationship with our European Union partners will look like when we leave we're leaving the European Union we're not leaving Europe and I think we have to show them that it's worth sitting around the table and let's face it going back on what they are going to say for the next two months that they're not prepared to change anything about the withdrawal agreement and message I would have for them is it must be very clear to you by now that the withdrawal agreement unchanged isn't going to get through Parliament if they really hold to not being prepared to talk about at all they are saying that they want us to leave without a withdrawal agreement and I don't think that would be a reasonable position the reason why I think a No Deal threat is credible is because I think if we approach our European Union partners in a spirit of openness and we Buster ger we do everything we can to get a deal and they're simply not prepared to budge that in those circumstances only those circumstances well I think there will will there be a majority in the House of Commons to leave without a deal and that's why I think a No Deal is credible but it's only credible if you have strained every sinew to get a deal which is why I'm afraid the bit where I perhaps will make myself not popular with my colleagues is when I say that it is not going to be possible to leave on the 31st of October I would love to I voted in Parliament to leave on the 29th of March I voted to leave on the 12th of April I voted against extending article 50 twice but not enough people in Parliament did so and I'm afraid it is not credible to say you can renegotiate the withdrawal agreement and get it through both houses of parliament by the 31st of October it's not credible to say that you can somehow make Parliament vote for the existing unchanged withdrawal agreement by the 31st of October and it's not credible to say if you haven't properly tried to get a deal that Parliament won't be able to stop you we lost a votes in Parliament by one on the cupola twin bowls bill the attempt to stop us my judgement is if that happened again and we hadn't tried to get a deal we wouldn't have the nine Labour MPs that were with the government we wouldn't have the DUP and there would be at least the 14 conservative colleagues that voted against the government and some more mr. speaker would have a majority behind him of at least 40 to do whatever rewriting of the rules he wanted to stop us leaving however determined the Prime Minister was which is why I don't think the 31st of October is credible but I don't believe in kicking the can down the road and for me we're not going back to the country in any set of elections till we've left the European Union and I'm very conscious we've got a set of elections next year and we're going to have left the European Union before we face the people again we're not getting 9% national opinion national set of elections again I don't think the Conservative Party couldn't survive forcing our voters to vote for other people time after time after time so that is my brexit plan I think it is the only credible plan on the table and it's informed by my experience as a minister who's taken difficult pieces of legislation through Parliament and as a former government chief Whig final things before I do questions Jonas I can see you're keen final thing we get breaks it down we've got a government for the next three years that's going to mean taking some difficult decisions it doesn't mean spending 60 70 80 90 billion pounds of taxpayers money it's difficult to keep up with my colleagues in this leadership race about how quickly we're spending money it's fair to set up direction of travel I want to spend more money on education further apprentice further education and apprenticeships for the half of the children that don't get to go to university but I'm not going to be plucking figures out of the air and making massive commitments we've just spent nine years becoming fiscally credible getting the public finances in order and I'm not throwing it away and finally we need to restore proper collective responsibility we need a government to disappoint all the journalists in the room but a cabinet that doesn't leak like a sieve well you can't read verbatim transcripts of every cabinet meeting 30 minutes after it's taken place or sometimes even live on Twitter as it's going we need proper discipline a functioning whips office and a parliamentary party that remembers that we're a team and I think the country expects us to function like a team all pulling together in the national interest that's what I bring to this party and you're all invited now ask me some questions John you got your hand up first well on your first point one of the reasons why I think it's worth being very cautious and why I spent some time setting up my plan is I think there's a very narrow landing zone and I think people that are not careful do run the risk of plunging us into an early election and I think for the Conservative Party that would be because it would let in the most dangerous left-wing government that we've had for many years that would both be a threat to economic and national security so my judgement is we have to be very careful I think there is a landing zone to get a deal through but I also think there is a majority to leave without a deal because I think my colleagues who are very very nervous about no deal would be persuaded to leave on that basis if they felt that there was no other alternative they're not going to be persuaded of that unless we've seriously tried to get a deal which is why I think rushing headlong towards the 31st of October isn't a credible plan on your own second point I think it's worth I'm not going to use the language of views but I am going to try and be very careful here I believe in keeping my promises which means I'm careful about the promises I make and it's very obvious to me that some of the choices that have been set out by some of the other candidates I don't think are the right choices for me I want to cut taxes the tax burdens at the 50-year high but I want to focus our tax cuts on people at the lower end of the spectrum we just delivered our manifesto commitments in the budget last year we've just increased the threshold just just a few months ago that kicked in this April for both basic rate and higher rate tax payers we've delivered our promise I don't think we should be promising more money to higher rate tax because I want to focus my efforts at the lower end of the spectrum both on the national living wage on work allowances for people on universal credits get help to families and on the basic rate of income tax that's what that's that covers most people in the country not a small percentage at the top the brutal truth is most of the pledges though that are being made and nots going to happen in this Parliament for the next three years there isn't a majority for them and I don't think we should be making promises that we can't keep the toxic thing about not leaving the European Union on the 29th of March apart from not leaving was the fact that the Prime Minister had promised over and over again that that's what we were going to do the warning I would issue is this for all my colleagues promising that we're going to leave on the 31st of October nothing will put rocket boosters up Nigel Faraj that's not a thing that we want to imagine nothing's going to put rocket boosters under him and his brexit party like making a promise that we're going to leave on the 31st of October and then failing to keep it that's why I'm not making that promise because it's not credible and it's not deliverable and I want to and I want to destroy the brexit party by delivering brexit well I'm going to set up my plan I want to bring the Conservative Party together at the end of this process because we need to govern so I'm going to set out my plan it's for my colleagues and ultimately my members of my party to make a judgment about how credible being and I'm content to leave that judgment to them and for you to write up in your stories Paul okay so look I'm absolutely happy to except I'm the underdog in this race I think I'm a serious underdog I've got six years of Minister experian experience including sitting around the cabinet table and delivering a conservative programme through Parliament when we had a small majority and part of the reason people probably haven't heard of me is because I held that dicks in the when you're a successful chief whip people haven't heard of you and people tend to hear about chief whips when it's not going well and for the avoidance of doubt I think that's less to do with the current chief whip or more to do with the cabinet as a whole it's not all his responsibility most interesting thing about me is that my background I come from a working-class background I am about making the country having maximum opportunities for people that come from backgrounds like mine I'm the only candidate in this race who went to a comprehensive school but then got to Oxford University I'm very proud of having gone to Oxford Nonis my family's ever done that before I want to make sure every single child in this country gets an opportunity to maximize their potential that's what I want to do that's what I care about and for me it's personal what would I want to ask Boris Johnson fact what I want to ask all candidates is if you want to be Prime Minister and you want to lead this country I think you have to be prepared to set out your stall I think you have to open yourself up to questioning and you have to be prepared to level with people about the challenges and I think you've got to be prepared to be questioned about it we had a general election campaign in two years ago when I think the Prime Minister demonstrated that she wasn't as good as campaigning as we all hoped she would be and I think part of the next couple of months for the Conservative Party this is a massive opportunity for us to show that we end up with someone with two people both of whom could be Prime Minister both of whom a campaign and both of whom can answer questions and deal with challenges from the public and I would say to everyone running in this race you need to be prepared to do so if you want to lead our country yes no I get that's their position but I don't think it is a reasonable position to say that we have to sign a treaty which has no end I mean our relationship of the European Union how they article 50 in the treaty which meant we could give two years notice and leave I don't think asking us to sign a withdrawal agreement that literally has no end and if the backstop is triggered it potentially could go on forever and I think part of what we need to do is to establish a relationship of trust so that the Irish government and the EU who both have legitimate concerns about both the border both from a Belfast agreement perspective and protecting the single market are confident that we can set up a process to get to a solution and that has some end points because it must be obvious to them that the withdrawal agreement with an open-ended backstop isn't going to get through Parliament the best school the Prime Minister got was 58 against her and originally the defeat was the worst defeat of any government in history so it's just not going to happen and I think we have to have a grown-up conversation with them about that but part of it's about trust and credibility and that's what we haven't had so far ha and I'm not pretending this is easy it's not sound biteable if it was that easy we'd have done it by now it's going to be hard graft it's going to require diplomacy it's going to require tact and it's going to require trust both with our EU partners and with colleagues in Parliament and I think my track record shows I can bring all of those skills to the party some of the other contenders in this race but well you're quite right I did take the fix in Parliament through Parliament it's part of the reason why I'm actually think this Parliament should go it's full term because I don't actually think having elections every five minutes is a very good idea actually and I think last general election demonstrated the wisdom of that well the answer is what happens in that two-week period depends on politics we did think about making it very prescriptive at the time and we took the view and I think this was the right view but it depends on the political dynamic so the honest answer to the question is it would depend on what was going on and the question I would or the challenge I have to my colleagues who were contemplate well I think would be a very reckless there is they wouldn't know what was going to happen it would be perfectly possible that if people voted against a confidence motion they could end up with Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister without a general election and we would then go into a general election with him already being Prime Minister and the Labour Party being in government and so that's why I would say to my colleagues I think if conservative colleagues those that haven't currently been comfortable with leaving without a deal if they're faced with a government that has busted a guard done everything humanly possible to get a deal but just hasn't been able to get one that can get through Parliament in those circumstances seeing what happens to the Conservative Party when we don't deliver brexit we get 9% in a national election and being faced with a Jeremy Corbyn government I think in those circumstances there would be a majority in parliament to leave without a deal but it is a very narrow landing zone and you were not going to get to there without a great deal of caution but I think it has to be on the table because otherwise you're not going to persuade all European Union partners to come back around the table but this is going to have to be done carefully and cautiously with colleagues and I don't think you're going to be able to do it by blundering around like a bull in a china shop gosh yes fishing at the back no to be clear look I don't think it's sensible to start threatening people and saying you know if you don't participate we're going to know withdraw cooperation that keeps us all safe but I just think it's worth setting out what it is we bring to this party and the fact that we're not leaving Europe we're leaving the European Union we're still going to want to cooperate with countries with whom we share values and where we share the same part of the world we're going to want to keep ourselves collectively safe we're engaged with most of them in NATO we're the largest European member of NATO we're going to want to continue working with them on shared foreign policy goals for example we know we're with them on keeping Iran contained we want to continue showing that I just think we've done a very good job of showing them what we bring to the party and what a future relationship would look like with a cooperative Britain as contrasted with if they were to force us to leave without a deal and that was to be a very uncomfortable experience I don't think that relationship would be one that would be in Britain's interest or our European partners and I think we just have to set out some of these things so that they look at both the upside and the downside of a future relationship with us outside the European Union and I don't think we've done that consistently enough you're right the Prime Minister did set that out in Florence but I think she's done that consistently enough over the last few years yes Henry well two things Henry first of all just to be clear I can think of easier ways of trying to get a job in government than running to be leader of my party okay so you put yourself up to do this I'm doing this for one reason and one reason only which I set out I think I've got the skills to be able to get this job done I've been a member of this party for 30 years and unlike some of my contenders I'm the only candidate in this race who represents a seat in parliament that I had to win back from an opposition party when I was selected to fight it had a Labour majority of six and a half thousand I won it in 2005 held it in 2010 2015 and 2017 it now has a Tory majority of close to 10,000 it didn't get there by accident I know how to beat the Labour Party and keep them beat and I want to make sure we don't throw any seats away like we did two years ago so I'm in this because I want to win it and I think I'm the right person to do it and if I get down to the final two if I'm not successful I want to make sure the winner is properly tested and I will see this contest the distance so whatever job if there's a leading contender whatever job they offer me I'm not going away it's in the national interest that this contest goes the distance and whoever wins is properly tested both campaigning and in terms of their plan because we saw what happened two years ago when that didn't happen and it didn't end well that's why I'm in this race and that's why I'm in it to win yes five which is the number that voted for the Prime Minister's withdrawal agreement my view last October I said we were going to get had to get this done on our benches with our DUP allies and I said we wouldn't get more than a handful of Labour MPs so I was bang on I think there's maybe a few more Labour MPs we might get two handfuls of Labour MPs the fantasy that we're going to get 10 20 30 40 50 of them we're just not gonna get loads of labour in peace deal with the Labour Party never going to happen one of my opponents in this race I thought set out very powerfully why Jeremy Corbyn was not fit to be Prime Minister when he wound up the speech in the vote of confidence I agreed with every single word he said but my view is if you believe all of those things about Jeremy Corbyn it was a mistake to think that you were gay ever going to be able to do deal with him in the national interest because that's not what Jeremy call wins about made the wrong call about every big issue over the last 30 years and I saw in the House of Commons over Salisbury when we were attacked by a foreign power with chemical weapons the Prime Minister to her credit made exactly the right call Jeremy Corbyn when faced with the choice defaulted to believing what a state that just attacked us thought rather than our own intelligence agencies not a man you can do business with lots of very decent Labour MPs Mike spirits on this first of eight the Prime Minister had when she became prime minister was on Trident Hill remember lots of Labour MPs voted with the government all the whipping for that and the relationships that got that to happen were all done when I was Chief Whip I know how to work with the Labour Party but it's a very small number of people were going on our benches predominantly it's gonna have to be Tory MPs and I'll DUP allies with some Labour MPs adding adding on they're not gonna get it over the line for us well I think you've got to explain to them what remember a lot of Labour MPs come from areas of the country that voted to leave and some of them want to do a deal but they didn't have the confidence that it was going to get over the line they're not going to help us be defeated by a smaller margin they're only going to vote with us if they think we can get the deal the line that's why it needs to be credible yes yes I think it's essential the anybody in this race takes part in TV debates so if I'm in the race after Thursday which I'm very confident I will be I think there are TV debates at the weekend and I think there is another raft of them next week and if I'm in the final – I'll take plate take part in all of the debates that the broadcaster's are laying on I think it's important that we have that level of scrutiny well I think look this this race is about who can campaign you know some of the some of the candidates are set saying that they're fantastic campaigners and they can reach the parts of the country that other people can't reach you know and you can let them out on the doorstep and they can persuade people well let's show us I think this race we're gonna have loads of Hosting's meetings around the country for the final two I think you've got to be prepared to go out there make the case to our members and make the case to the public because we have to be very conscious we're running to be leader of the conservative and unionist party but the winner of that contest is going to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and I think the public are entitled to see us in action see us answering questions and and frankly it's also an opportunity you effectively this is the start of the 20 I'm afraid start of the 2022 general election campaign because at the end of this process the public's going to have taken a view about the person that becomes prime minister then if we're going to win that election in 2022 we better make sure that the view they reach is a very positive one okay Sam pitch today is that well it's a perfectly fair question Sandler I've done in the roles that I've done in Parliament I've done roles which mean I had to take my conservative colleagues with me and both when I was constitutional reform minister and chief wit which which means that I have the confidence I think to get a deal through Parliament which is essential that's something that hasn't taken place and when I was immigration Minister I did have to deal with admittedly not a head of government level but I did have to deal with other countries in tough negotiations on difficult subjects so I look I accept I don't have as much experience as the other people around the cabinet table but the the challenge I would put back to you by way of answering that is the people currently sitting around the cabinet table yes have more experience at around the cabinet table but they've also taken part in all of the failed decisions that haven't got us out of the European Union over the last three years so if you want to carry on with people who haven't got us out over the last three years you know pick one of the other people because you can guarantee you know if if they had a magic plan a way of getting us out of the European Union my question to them is why didn't they think of speaking up over the last three years no George Osborne I think got it right if you're in the cabinet you're not a bystander you need to shape where you've got to the primary responsibility is with the Prime Minister but I think the responsibility for the fact we haven't left the European Union and the fact we haven't kept our promises is shared by the people who've been around the cabinet table over the last three years and I don't think they can escape that responsibility and I think you have to weigh that against the experience they to be fair they've had over the last three years yes well I think all candidates in this race oh the public clear answers I've been asked about any drug use I've had and I've been very clear I haven't taken any illegal drugs in my entire life I'm made you know and I come from a background frankly where I was brought up where people didn't do that sort of thing and I never didn't get invited to those sort of parties and I don't hang out in those sorts of circles and frankly I agree with what the Home Secretary said I think there are consequences for that sort of behavior and it tends to fall on those perhaps from less privileged areas of society but I think we should all answer questions like this I think if you want to be Prime Minister I think the question colleagues in Parliament need to ask themselves is if you're not prepared to answer these questions now you're going to get asked all these questions in a general election campaign and if I'm a Conservative MP in a marginal constituency I want the person that's going to be leading my party to answer these questions now I don't want to be up I don't want them to be answering these questions in three years time when it's going to be my marginal constituency that's up for grabs so I think everyone has to answer those questions and then my colleagues will make a judgement about how Frank and open we've been and you know and if you've got nothing to hide you won't mind answering the questions yes gentlemen there well first of all we were in charge of tightening up the immigration system so that only people who were legally in the United Kingdom were able to be here and use our public services now it is absolutely the case that there have been a number of examples where the administration of that has been at fault and I think one of the things that we should also we should focus on in government is not just passing laws but we should also make sure that we govern the country properly and where there have been mistakes they need to be corrected and we need to make sure that people entitled to be in Britain so British citizens and those who are here lawfully are able to live here safely and securely and access public services they're entitled to and we should make sure that people who are not here lawfully are removed and leave the country that's what people expect us to do mistakes will be made and they need to be put right but I don't resolve from having a firm but fair immigration system where we control who comes to the United Kingdom and we set the rules but I absolutely agree with you but it needs to be administered in a competent and sensible manner that's what I always tried to do when I was immigration Minister and that's what I think we need to do going forward yeah okay so on the first one the people backing me some of my supporters have come out publicly some have not yet because there are some people that are constrained about being able to announce who they think but the fact that I'm normally 18 means you know there are the number of people backing me and and some people were skeptical about that last week and I was very clear I was going to be nominated and I have been only you issue I'll be very clear I obviously has a back bencher I haven't had sit downs with angular Merkel and president mackerel I've listened to what they've said publicly I followed this very carefully and I just go back to what I said before the other contenders who are doing lots of name-dropping have been sat around the cabinet table and my challenge to them would be if you've got a plan to get this done why hasn't it been done and why did you vote to not take us out of the European Union on the 29th of March and the 12th of April why did you vote to extend article 50 and why does did you lead us into a set of European elections where we schooled the lowest vote in a national set of elections that the Conservative Party's ever scored in its history I don't think that's a record that I would be proud of and I'm very happy to say that I am a fresh face doing this but frankly if we carry on with the same approach that we've had for the last three years we're going to get the same answer so we need a fresh approach and I think that will be ultimately more successful Robert well I think first of all I I do agree it is difficult to get things done in a hung parliament I don't agree it's not possible to get anything done so we do have a majority with our confidence and supply partners I accept it's not a very large majority but I don't accept there are two things I think you can do first of all I think you can if you communicate outside Westminster and you can set out credible popular policies then I think you can actually create an environment in Parliament where actually you can take your MPs and our confidence and supply partners with you and actually where your opponent's in Parliament not just the Labour Party but the other parties actually won't be desperately trying to stop you because you'll actually be doing things that are popular I mean be quite a novelty to come up with policies that were popular and we were championing so I don't agree you can't do anything but I also think in terms of laying the groundwork for the next election we could actually set out some proper conservative policies that would be popular in the country and I accept it might not be possible to deliver all of them in Parliament but I think actually and you wouldn't want to be doing this every day of the week but actually if we set somehow we had an argument about then we set out a case some some of them we wouldn't get through Parliament but then we moving up say to the public here's this policy which solves this difficult social issue we think this is the right policy we can't get it through Parliament's at the moment this is why at the general election when it comes we're going to be asking you to give us a majority and I think we could do that and we could lay the groundwork for that campaign in 2022 I don't accept the premise of the question but is it impossible to govern with a small majority difficult yes but not impossible but you do have to want to solve some of these problems let me give you an example adult social care we've been talking about it since the general election and there's a green paper we're going to consult on it again there was a solution put forward for the half of the budget that's about older people we asked Andrew dill not to do a commission on this and set out a solution he did so the conclusion you reached was that the public didn't think we should the taxpayer should pay for everything but it also thought it was unfair that people should use all of their resources by the last 23,000 to pay for it themselves he suggested that we capped it has already been legislated for it requires a statutory instrument with two numbers in it my judgment is we should get on and do that now we could do that literally in a matter of weeks and I think we could deliver that through this Parliament and if I were Prime Minister I would commit to doing it I'm not going to set out the exact numbers because that requires a bit of thought about how much it's going to cost but I think that's something we could get on and do it we could show the British people we were taking difficult decisions and we can get on and do them and that's an example where I think action rather than talking about it will be a really good step forward I think that's my starting point coming back to the question of in that Nick asked me you know I was the author of the fittest in parliament I think actually having fixed terms for Parliament that's my starting position I think it's a good thing one of the things that's bedeviled British politics is that everyone says we're too short term I've never heard anyone criticize our political system for being too long term so I think my starting position is the election should be in 2022 I mean you can't you can't rule out a change forever but I'm also very conscious the Prime Minister doesn't actually have the ability nowadays to call an election and I'm very conscious particularly after what happened two years ago the enviro to propose as Prime Minister an early election I would have to be absolutely certain that I could take all of my colleagues with me all the election wouldn't happen and as I said if you represent a marginal seat you don't all with people sutures yes I'm very keen on defending the grammar schools that exist we have grammar schools we still have some grammar schools in Gloucestershire not across the whole county so I'm a defender of the grammar sores it exists I don't think that's the right solution for our country I think we should focus on making sure that every state school is a good or outstanding school I want every child to go to a good or outstanding school and when you when you get into the argument grammar schools the big question is what happens to have kids that don't go to grammar school and I want to make sure every child gets the good and outstanding education that they deserve so they can either go to university or have a fantastic vocational education and reach their full potential that's what I'm interested in every child not just a few yes well it very clearly the the message on the the vans was about people who were in Britain illegally and I don't resolve from that message people in the country illegally shouldn't be here what we did was we pilot well we piloted a number of measures that summer to see which ones would be most effective in persuading people that were in the country illegally to leave at the lowest cost of a taxpayer and we said we began in by the evidence and I set out later that year that that particular tactic wasn't at all successful which is why we didn't repeat it I think it was sensible to try it look at the evidence it wasn't successful and we didn't do it again but I don't resolve from the message which is the people who come here legally you know apply for a visa fill in the forms pay the money and follow the rules do not expect other people to abused the system so I don't make an apology for the message but it wasn't successful and we didn't do it again and we settle out in Parliament in its in on the public record I gave evidence to a select committee and we set out all the evidence and the detail in a report that the home office did well raishin Minister yes Quinton do I do I am do I trust Philip Hammond to do what well I think Philip Hammonds actually been a good chancellor he's delivered on the promises that we made at the last general election to cut taxes to increase the tax thresholds and I think he set out some very sensible points in this leadership election about maintaining our fiscal credibility because I think we've just spent nine years building it up and I think he just reminded all of us that we need to be very careful not to squander all that hard work was there something else about well I don't think they would if they didn't think that Prime Minister had busted a got to get a deal but I'm also very clear when I listen to you conservative colleagues like Philip Hammond that they also have spent their entire life in politics trying to keep people like Jeremy Corbyn out of power and they wouldn't look they would be faced with the difficult issue those conservative colleagues that voted for the coop electrum bowls build the voted against us leaving without her withdrawal agreement without a deal we're motivated based on my conversations with them because they feared the economic damage and the political damage to the Conservative Party but what they're all going to have to weigh up is we've seen a very clear example in the European elections about the political damage that will be done to the Conservative Party if we don't leave the European Union so they're going to be two very difficult things that they're going to have to balance up now my judgment is if they think that the conservative Prime Minister has done everything humanly possible to get a deal and it simply hasn't been possible then I think in those circumstances and those circumstances only will the conditions exist for there to be a majority in parliament for us to leave without a deal and that is why I've approached this the way I have and why I've said that I don't think it's credible to say we're leaving on the 31st of October because by the 31st of October I don't think you can credibly say you have done everything humanly possible to get a deal I just don't think it is credible to say that and if you haven't done that we're not going to be leaving because there isn't gonna be a majority in parliament to do it and for the avoidance of doubt I don't think it's sensible to say that you're going to do things like Parag in Parliament I think that would test our Constitution to destruction it would drag the monarch into the most difficult political issue which I think as a conservative I would deprecated and I think it would also put an enormous pressure on our relationship with Northern Ireland and I think it would empower the Scottish First Minister to start us on the path to another Scottish referendum I've been very clear I want the whole United Kingdom to leave the European Union I don't want to leave bits of our country falling off along the way I want to keep our country together someone who hasn't had a question before and then if we've run out of first time questions you get a second one right you get your second one well I don't want to I do want to be personal about things but look I I think I'll look forward to listening to Boris Johnson's plan I think they're for me all of my colleagues have got to answer this question about all the leadership candidates they've got to listen to the plan that they set out and then they've got to ask themselves the question about whether they think each of the candidates has got the skills to deal with our European Union partners in an appropriate way that they think it's going to get them round the table to negotiate a deal have they got the skills to take every single conservative member of parliament and our DUP allies and the two handfuls of Labour MPs that I think are up for grabs through the division Lobby to get that deal through Parliament and do they think they can campaign in a general election and set out an attractive stall not just to people who've traditionally voted conservative but do what Margaret Thatcher did and get new people looking at the Conservative Party in a new way I mean I'll come back to the point that the perfectly fair question that Sam asked me one of the reasons why I think actually having somebody like me as leader would be helpful is because actually I'm less well known than the other candidates and I think actually it would mean that people would look at the Conservative Party and say they've just elected this guy we don't know very much about him actually is there something about him because of his background because of what he's offering we should take a second look at the Conservative Party and I think that's what I bring to the party because I'm less well known than some of the other candidates but my colleagues are gonna have to answer that question about all the leadership candidates not for me to make judgments about Boris Johnson all my competitors that's for my colleagues and and our party members to make those judgments and for you to make those judgments when you're writing about us and I'm content to let that verdict fall where it does in the balance right we all questioned out we've done every single question everyone wanted to answer asked right one more go on you have the last one sorry go on I did say you could ask me anything right very good so for those of you didn't support this when I was going to Swindon my hometown last Friday I did they ask me anything thing on Twitter and Twitter being what it is we got some fantastic questions and the one I odd said slightly tongue-in-cheek was which would win a battle pound for pound and I said it would be the honey badger against the stag beetle so I'm gonna I'm going to answer that one so what was your question in a fight it would be a lion or a bear okay on the basis that the lion is the symbol of Britain I'm going to save a lion and that's your final answer right you want to do something yes of course okay absolutely great okay thank you thanks guys thank you you