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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
Special relationship?
Sunday AM on Sunday 03 June 2007

Harriet Harman MP
Harriet Harman MP, Labour Deputy Leadership Contender

Andrew interviewed Justice Minister Harriet Harman, a candidate for the Labour deputy leadership.

Ms Harman indicated that she would be ready to vote for an extension to 90 days' detention without charge, so long as she was sure that the measure was required by the police and adequate safeguards were in place.

The Minister said that it was vital for Gordon Brown to provide MPs with evidence to justify any increase in security powers.

If he did that, she said she did not expect a "huge problem" in getting the measures through Parliament.

Ms Harman told Andrew: "If the Government is going to bring forward and propose the powers that we say the police need, then we have to produce the evidence of why the current law is inadequate and we have to show the safeguards that will be there for civil liberties.

"That is the way to achieve consensus."

Income division?

Ms Harman is calling for the establishment of a Royal Commission on the distribution of income and wealth to look into the growing gap between rich and poor in the UK.

She today steered clear of endorsing calls for a 50% income tax rate, but acknowledged that tax changes were likely to form part of any package to reduce inequality.

"The gap between the top and the bottom is widening and we have to ask ourselves do we want to be a divided society?

"Can we really be a society where there are opportunities for all if there is a huge gap between the top and the bottom?

"Can we be a cohesive society with peaceful communities when there is a huge gulf between rich and poor?

"I think the answer is that we don't want to be a divided society."

Iraq enquiry

Asked by Andrew about a putative inquiry into the Iraq War, Ms Harman said, "After the armed forces have returned home and after our intervention in Iraq is concluded, I am sure that there will be wide-ranging consideration, probably through an inquiry, of all the circumstances," she said.

"Part of that will be the uncertainty caused because the Attorney General's advice, as always, was confidential.

"Part will be the immediate aftermath of the invasion and whether there was proper planning".

Robert Holmes Tuttle, US Ambassador
Robert Holmes Tuttle, US Ambassador

Special relationship?

The special relationship with the United States will continue under Gordon Brown, US ambassador Robert Tuttle told Andrew.

The ambassador said President Bush had told him his first meeting with the Chancellor had gone "very well".

Mr Brown and Mr Bush had private talks in April while the Chancellor was in Washington for an International Monetary Fund meeting.

The ambassador said his own dealings with the Chancellor had been "very positive" and described Mr Brown as being "extremely well read on America".

Asked about newspaper reports that Gordon Brown might be planning to withdraw British troops from Iraq next year.

Mr Tuttle said: "I think the special relationship will continue strongly when he becomes Prime Minister."

Marina Litvinenko
Marina Litvinenko

Litvinenko affair

Andrew was also joined by the widow of former Russian agent, Alexander Litvinenko, who died last November in London after being exposed to radioactive poison.

Marina Litvinenko said she was 'absolutely sure' that Andrei Lugovoi, a former KGB man sought on a murder charge in Britain, was the person who poisoned her husband.

Mrs Litvinenko described as 'nonsense' the suggestion by Mr Lugovoi that her late husband had been working for British intelligence.

She said that she hoped next week's G8 Conference would see Britain's allies supporting its calls for the Russian government to extradite Mr Lugovoi for questioning.

London 2012

Olympic organising committee chairman, Lord Coe, joined Andrew to discuss London's preparedness for the 2012 Games.

Esther Rantzen and Clive Anderson
Newspapers reviewed by Esther Rantzen and Clive Anderson

The former lead singer of the 80s band, Soft Cell, Marc Almond, talked to Andrew about his recovery from a near fatal road accident and performed the 1950's hit song 'Dream Lover' live in the studio.

The newspapers were reviewed by Esther Rantzen and the broadcaster, Clive Anderson.

Sunday AM returns at 09.00am on BBC One on Sunday 10 June 2007.


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