Published: Sat, 01 Oct 2016 04:03:19 GMT2016-10-01T04:03:19ZCopyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2016
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 14:14:07 GMT2016-09-30T14:14:07Z
European leaders want PM to use speech on Sunday to signal timetable for Brexit, but she appears reluctant for issue to dominate
Theresa May is facing pressure from European leaders to use her party conference speech this weekend to name the month she will trigger article 50, beginning the two-year countdown to the UK’s exit from the EU.
Senior EU figures have been told in private the prime minister wants to trigger the formal start of the talks early in the new year, but so far she has refused to say so in public.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 20:42:04 GMT2016-09-30T20:42:04Z
Momentum’s vice-chair also faces being removed from campaign group following leaked footage from party’s antisemitism training event
Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker has been suspended from Labour over controversial comments she made at a party training event.
Leaked footage showed the campaigner saying she had not found a definition of antisemitism she could work with.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:41:28 GMT2016-09-30T17:41:28Z
Former business minister says it is ‘worrying’ that Fox, Boris Johnson and David Davis have the country’s future in their hands
A senior Conservative has voiced concerns about the responsibility for Brexit given to Liam Fox, Boris Johnson and David Davis, saying it was “really worrying these are the senior people who have the future of our country in their hands”.
In the run-up to the Conservative party conference in Birmingham this weekend, Anna Soubry reserved particular criticism for Fox, branding his speech on free trade in Manchester on Thursday “delusional”.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:03:43 GMT2016-09-30T15:03:43Z
Former Coronation Street actor talks of ‘horrid irony’ of being likely to replace close friend as MP in Batley and Spen byelection
It was Jo Cox herself who first told Tracy Brabin she should consider standing for parliament. In the run-up to the 2015 general election, the former Coronation Street actor campaigned with Cox to help her get elected as MP for the constituency of Batley and Spen. “While we were going door knocking, she said, ‘Tracy you should think about being an MP’,” says Brabin. “The irony is horrid, isn’t it?”
On 16 June, 41-year-old Cox was shot and stabbed to death outside Birstall library, where she had been scheduled to hold a constituency surgery. Four months later, last Friday, Brabin was selected as Labour’s candidate in the resulting byelection, to be held on 20 October.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:42:39 GMT2016-09-30T17:42:39Z
Proposals to tackle the country’s housing crisis expected at party conference next week
The government is considering a shift in its housing policy away from a primary focus on home ownership in an acceptance that many people on lower incomes cannot afford to buy a property and instead need help with renting, the Guardian has been told.
An announcement on housing is expected at the Conservative party conference, sources connected to housing policy have said. While it remains unclear what this will involve, ministers are understood to be interested in the idea of rent-to-buy schemes.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:07:36 GMT2016-09-30T16:07:36Z
Edinburgh shrinks spending after ONS guidance shifts four major privately financed capital developments on to the public accounts
Scottish ministers have cut £400m from their spending plans after four privately financed building projects, including two new hospitals, ran foul of European Union spending rules.
Ministers were forced to reclassify the funding of a new children’s hospital in Edinburgh, an acute hospital in Dumfries and a new blood transfusion service headquarters as public projects after the Office of National Statistics said the Scottish government’s private financing model breached EU rules.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:21:31 GMT2016-09-30T17:21:31Z
Manchester airport chief says government ‘paranoia’ over Heathrow expansion harms efforts to close north-south economic divide
The northern powerhouse risks being derailed by the government’s “absolute paranoia” over Heathrow expansion and an “over-emphasis on the south-east at the expense of everywhere else”, the managing director of Manchester airport has said.
In a stark message to Theresa May, who is due to decide this month on the contentious third runway at Heathrow airport, Ken O’Toole said ministers needed to draw up a national aviation policy to address the north-south economic divide.
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 05:42:14 GMT2016-09-30T05:42:14Z
Exclusive Sadiq Khan tells the Guardian he will carry out ‘the most thorough research on this matter ever undertaken’ amid widespread concern over rising housing costs and gentrification
London mayor Sadiq Khan is to launch the UK’s most comprehensive inquiry into the impact of foreign investment flooding London’s housing market, amid growing fears about the scale of gentrification and rising housing costs in the capital.
Khan said there are “real concerns” about the surge in the number of homes being bought by overseas investors, adding that the inquiry would map the scale of the problem for the first time.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 11:55:11 GMT2016-09-30T11:55:11Z
As chief negotiator starts work, dominant view on continent is that Britain will leave EU single market and customs union
European diplomats are increasingly convinced the UK will sever economic ties with the continent when it leaves the European Union, as hopes of a special partnership languish.
As the European commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, prepares to start work on Saturday, the dominant mood among senior diplomats is that the UK is on the path to “hard Brexit”, namely giving up membership of the EU single market, as well as the customs union that allows free circulation of goods.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:17:25 GMT2016-09-29T12:17:25Z
Trade secretary says UK has ‘golden’ chance for trade with other markets, emphasising World Trade Organisation membership
Liam Fox has hailed the opportunity for Britain to become a fully independent member of the World Trade Organisation after leaving the EU, indicating that he appears to favour a “hard Brexit”.
In a major speech, the trade secretary said Brexit was a “golden opportunity” for the UK to trade with the rest of the world, particularly developing markets.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:06:44 GMT2016-09-29T18:06:44Z
Ex-PM considered leaving No 10 in 2004 over tension with Brown and sounded out EU politicians about European commission job, former spin doctor reveals
Tony Blair was sounding out the possibility of becoming president of the European commission three years before he stood down as prime minister, his former spin doctor Alastair Campbell has claimed.
In the latest instalment of his diaries, Campbell also says that Blair decided to walk away from No 10 in 2004 because of the tension with Gordon Brown. Blair eventually stood down in 2007.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:05:48 GMT2016-09-29T19:05:48Z
Steering committee wants to remove Walker as vice-chair after remarks made at Labour antisemitism training session
The steering committee of Momentum is seeking to remove its vice-chair, Jackie Walker, after widespread criticism of comments she made about Holocaust Memorial Day.
The Guardian understands her removal from the post is likely to be confirmed when the committee meets on Monday. A spokesperson for the leftwing grassroots movement, which was set up to support Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party, confirmed members wanted her to go.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:58:49 GMT2016-09-29T22:58:49Z
Andy Street will step down from role he has held at retailer for nine years to compete for newly created position in May’s vote
The boss of John Lewis had been confirmed as the Conservative mayoral candidate for the West Midlands.
Andy Street will step down as managing director of the department store chain after being chosen by the Tories to compete for the region’s newly created role of metropolitan mayor.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:08:26 GMT2016-09-29T13:08:26Z
Philip Davies claimed comedian defamed him by describing him as a ‘windbag’ and ‘hypocrite’ in Commons debates
A rightwing Tory MP’s complaint about a Russell Howard comedy show in which he was described as a “windbag” and “toad-faced hypocrite” in Commons debates has been rejected by the BBC Trust.
Philip Davies came under fire in two editions of Russell Howard’s Good News, a topical comedy show that provides the comedian’s “unique perspective on the big stories”.
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:00:38 GMT2016-09-29T18:00:38Z
Rising costs to housing and childcare have hit ‘just managing’ families, as identified by Theresa May in her maiden Downing Street speech
Six million working families on low incomes are poorer than they were a decade ago due to an unprecedented squeeze on pay and rising costs of housing and childcare, a study has found.
Ahead of this weekend’s Conservative party conference, the Resolution Foundation (RF) study aimed to identify those Theresa May spoke described in her first pledge as prime minister as “just about managing” to provide for themselves.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:44:03 GMT2016-09-29T16:44:03Z
Representatives of British, Chinese and French governments attend ceremony giving final authorisation for power station
The UK has signed its £18bn contract with France and China to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, giving the final go-ahead for construction at the site in Somerset.
The deal was finalised at a low-key ceremony in London, just two months after Theresa May alarmed her French and Chinese counterparts by putting the entire project under review. EDF, the French nuclear contractor, and its Chinese partners had to cancel their previous plans for a signing ceremony at the last minute when the review was announced in July.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:53:02 GMT2016-09-29T13:53:02Z
Pro-independence Dundee West MP is third recently elected SNP MP linked to police investigations
Police have detained and questioned Chris Law, the MP for Dundee West, over alleged financial irregularities with his pro-Scottish independence tour in a repainted green goddess fire engine.
Law, who was held for questioning by Police Scotland in Dundee on Wednesday and released pending further inquiries, is the third recently elected Scottish National party MP to be linked to police investigations over their financial dealings and finances.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:59:48 GMT2016-09-29T14:59:48Z
Markus Kerber dismisses claims German firms will not tolerate trade tariffs and says relations with rest of EU more important
The head of Germany’s largest business group has said German firms will not push for a free trade deal between the EU and Britain after Brexit, despite the number of cars and quantities of other goods they sell in the UK.
In remarks likely to be seen as increasing the chance of a “hard Brexit” excluding Britain from the EU single market, Markus Kerber, head of the BDI, dismissed claims that German companies would not tolerate trade tariffs after Britain leaves, and said Germany’s relations with the rest of the bloc were more important.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:50:28 GMT2016-09-29T10:50:28Z
Former NEC member Johanna Baxter says committee has responsibility to hold party leader to account
The architect of the Labour rule change that saw Jeremy Corbyn lose his majority support on the party’s national executive committee has said it would be “deeply unhealthy” if critics of the leader were silenced.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:34:46 GMT2016-09-29T17:34:46Z
Labour leader says he has not decided whether to hold free vote, with many of his MPs likely to back plans for third runway
Jeremy Corbyn has suggested it would not be easy to whip Labour MPs to vote against a third runway at Heathrow, despite his personal opposition to the infrastructure project.
The Labour leader said he has not yet decided whether to hold a free vote, but it could be difficult to get his MPs to fall into line with his view that the proposed project would cause harmful pollution and noise.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:48:36 GMT2016-09-30T09:48:36Z
During a visit to meet soldiers at Picton Barracks, in Bulford, Wiltshire, on Thursday, the prime minister, Theresa May, says the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse must continue to avoid more children becoming victimsContinue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:30:25 GMT2016-09-30T09:30:25Z
London museum receives donation from family of former prime minister, who ‘used her wardrobe as a strategic tool’
A royal blue Aquascutum suit with shoulder pads and matching blouse which Margaret Thatcher wore as she cast her vote in the 1987 election is to be donated to the V&A, one of six ensembles and a hat joining the national collection.
The museum announced on Friday that Thatcher’s son and daughter, Mark and Carol, had donated clothes worn by the late former prime minister.
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 07:27:38 GMT2016-09-30T07:27:38Z
Share breaking news, leave links to interesting articles online and chat about the week’s political events in our open thread
I’m not writing my usual Politics Live blog today so, as an alternative, here’s Politics Live: readers’ edition. It is intended to be a place where you can catch up with the latest news and find links to good politics blogs and articles on the web.
Please feel free to use this as somewhere you can comment on any of the day’s political stories - just as you do during the daily blog. It would be particularly useful for readers to flag up new material in the comments - breaking news or blogposts or tweets that are worth passing on because someone is going to find them interesting.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:35:55 GMT2016-09-30T23:35:55Z
Dan Brown threatens the public with another potboiler while quick thinking secured the shamed Labour MP’s unused restaurant table at the conference
The prevailing mood at the Labour party conference in Liverpool was of gloomy resignation, with right and left aware they need to unite yet not entirely certain how best to make it happen. For anything approaching fun, you had to take a 20-minute walk to a community centre where Momentum was having its event, The World Transformed. There, you could find people engaging with ideas in the daytime and having a laugh and dancing in the evening. Trade was brisk – this wasn’t a capitalism-free zone – and the bookshop sold out of copies of Poems for Jeremy Corbyn. My favourite was Song of the Knives-in-the-Backbenchers (sung to the tune of Gee, Officer Krupke in West Side Story). It began “Dear saintly Jezza Corbyn / you gotta understand / that parliaments of fawning / have left us very bland. / Our voters all drive Volvos / our agents do the same / Golly Moses, naturally we’re tame!”
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 18:21:09 GMT2016-09-30T18:21:09Z
Dr Fox is an expert in the self-inflicted wound. His Brexit speeches this week were yet another reminder of his failings
With one obvious exception three thousand miles to the west of London, I refuse to believe there is anyone more ragingly insecure in global public life than Dr Liam Fox, the secretary of state for international trade, who persists in using his GP’s title nearly 25 years after being elected. What on earth is he thinking?
Whatever it is, he has been thinking it since 1992, when he left general practice to serve as an MP. Westminster’s loss was certainly Beaconsfield’s gain. His titular affectation takes you back to the unlamented era of rather beaten British villages where the local GP was so oddly powerful that you still deferred to him in the post office queue and had to give him a bottle of whisky every Christmas, even though he’d missed six opportunities to diagnose your wife’s cancer before it was too late.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:45:59 GMT2016-09-30T17:45:59ZToo much should not be read into David Shrigley’s huge thumb on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square
At the same time on Thursday as Liam Fox was giving his “Brexit means free trade” speech in Manchester town hall, being unveiled in Trafalgar Square was artist David Shrigley’s huge thumb – the symbol, according to the capital’s mayor, that London was open for business. What a happy coincidence. A giant thumbs-up neatly encapsulates the position of the Brexiteers. Don’t worry, they tell us, it’s all going to be fine.
We don’t know exactly where we’re going and won’t be offering a “running commentary” on the direction of travel, but the destination, wherever it is, is going to be marvellous. Nick Clegg called Dr Fox’s speech “delusional”, but of course he is now seen as an embittered remoaner. The giant thumb, which is seven metres high, cast in black bronze and entitled Really Good, would appear to back up Dr Fox’s Panglossian worldview. “Shrigley’s ambition is that this simple gesture will become a self-fulfilling prophecy; that things considered ‘bad’, such as the economy, the weather and society, will benefit from a change of consensus towards positivity,” says the pamphlet being handed out in Trafalgar Square. But don’t be fooled. Mr Shrigley is a satirist; the uncompromisingly phallic thumb is a manifest absurdity that rejoices in its own ugliness.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 16:03:34 GMT2016-09-30T16:03:34Z
As a former Labour cabinet minister the appointment of Purnell will reignite worries among many Tories over his influence on content
Notwithstanding his many strengths as a strategist and ideas person, James Purnell’s appointment as director of radio in addition to his existing portfolio is almost certain to cause trouble for the BBC and its director general Tony Hall. For a start Purnell is a former Labour cabinet minister which, in the words of one well-placed insider, “ had Tory eyebrows hitting the ceiling …”
And that was over Purnell’s first appointment back in 2013 as head of strategy. At the time, Lord Hall defended Purnell in terms of his commitment to the BBC, to impartiality, to the corporation’s independence and as the best man for the job as best he could. But when pressed by John Whittingdale – then chair of the culture, media and sport select committee – Hall said, “I think the key thing is James’ job of course is not editorial …” This was taken as reassurance by MP’s that fears over what influence a former Labour cabinet minister might have over the BBC’s content were misplaced.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:30:16 GMT2016-09-30T15:30:16ZFor many, home ownership will always be out of reach. To ignore them would go against my belief in ‘one nation’ Conservatism
I am proud to be part of a Conservative government that describes itself as one nation. To me, this label is not about trying to please everybody, or even the somewhat patrician “wet” Toryism of the past. Rather, it is a sincere attempt to govern with a profound sense of the national interest, with particular regard to those who may not naturally vote for us – whether the policies necessary to secure that support are popular, or the tough but necessary decisions generally required.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:00:52 GMT2016-09-30T12:00:52ZAusterity has worsened the problems faced by BAME people. Strengthening links between the black grassroots movements and the wider labour movement are the answer
Responding to systemic, as well as everyday, racism is exhausting and soul destroying. According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) there has been a 49% rise in unemployment for young Britain’s black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people, 82% of hate crimes are because of race and BAME people are twice as likely to live in poverty. These statistics, from last month’s EHRC report on the extent of race discrimination in the UK, puts forward the case for a race equality strategy. It confirmed what my organisation, Barac, had been saying for years: that in all aspects of life, BAME people face discrimination and disadvantage. The urgent need for a strategic approach to eradicate racism is nothing new to the black community, but what support and help can we expect from the rejuvenated labour movement?
Over the past six years of austerity, we have seen amplified racism and deepening poverty for BAME communities. The EHRC is itself facing further cuts, meaning that there could be only three case workers nationally to support those who experience racism. Its budget has already been cut by 69% since 2010. Given the rise in hate crime post-Brexit, this is deeply worrying.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 11:13:47 GMT2016-09-30T11:13:47Z
GDP figures means post-Brexit vote recession and further interest rate cut look more unlikely giving chancellor wriggle-room to pause planned cuts
It is still early days, but the UK economy should avoid the immediate post-Brexit vote recession many forecasters had predicted.
That was the main message of the economic data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which included the first piece of hard evidence of how the UK performed after the 23 June vote to leave the EU.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:36:21 GMT2016-09-30T06:36:21Z
Too many Labour local authorities are alienating residents over regeneration and compulsory purchase
At the Labour party conference this week, there was plenty of good sense to be found in terms of housing policy. Teresa Pearce, the shadow housing and planning minister, made clear her priorities were increasing social housing numbers, detoxifying the debate around council housing, targeting rogue landlords and closing the tax gap when it comes to private rent. In the leader’s speech, Jeremy Corbyn announced that “Labour will remove the artificial local borrowing cap and allow councils to borrow against their housing stock”, a measure councils have been seeking for years.
As Pearce told the Guardian, the London mayoral election was very clearly a referendum on housing. But concerns about housing go far beyond the capital, and will figure highly in the concerns of any voter around the country. Without good housing policy, Labour will get nowhere electorally. Explaining the roots of the crisis and the solutions that work for all in need will be key to winning over voters in the 2020 election.Continue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 05:59:12 GMT2016-09-30T05:59:12Z
Theresa May has a superior grasp of centrism, culturally and politically. That’s why she is winning
It is less than 18 months since Ed Balls was one of the big beasts of British politics. Yet how long ago that era seems when one reads his agonised account of the May 2015 election in his memoir, Speaking Out. As a Financial Times reviewer pungently put it, the Balls generation already “reeks of yesterday.”
Labour lost last year, Balls writes, because it was not sufficiently trusted on the economy, and because Ed Miliband was not credible enough as a potential prime minister. This is what most politicians, as well as most political scientists, election analysts and commentators, myself included, believed at the time and believe now.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 20:28:57 GMT2016-09-29T20:28:57ZContinue reading...
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:31:54 GMT2016-09-30T17:31:54ZContinue reading...
Sat, 24 Sep 2016 23:05:18 GMT2016-09-24T23:05:18Z
Chris Riddell on Britain’s future outside EuropeContinue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 20:30:01 GMT2016-09-29T20:30:01Z
We are all painting our fences red, white and blue and hanging flags in the windows and walking around with big grins on our faces because none of us can believe it
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 06:10:35 GMT2016-09-29T06:10:35ZContinue reading...
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:41:37 GMT2016-09-27T13:41:37Z
The London mayor’s conference speech showed there’s a winning way forward for his party in cities up and down the country
Sadiq Khan’s speech to the Labour conference was carefully crafted to win audience applause but also, and most of all, to make point after point about the need to win elections and wield power. He congratulated Jeremy Corbyn on winning the most recent election he has run in, the pushover that has further strengthened his stranglehold on the Labour Party. After that, Khan didn’t mention Corbyn at all. He didn’t need to. The London mayor had already made clear what he thinks of Corbyn’s chances of emulating on a national scale his recent triumph in the fight for City Hall: “If Jeremy remains as leader, Labour is extremely unlikely to win the next general election.”
Full marks for concision. So much is being written about Corbyn. So little is required. He is an ineffective Labour leader, both in parliament and in the country. Labour MPs from across the left-right spectrum have known this from day one. The Great British electorate too is unimpressed, including working-class voters Corbyn’s admirers insist he can inspire and floating voters he must attract.
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:01:12 GMT2016-09-28T16:01:12Z
Heather Stewart hears from MPs and delegates at Labour’s annual conference as the party renewed its leader Jeremy Corbyn’s mandate. In a week of heated debate on the future of the party, we hear from Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign secretary, who has responsibility for Labour’s stance on Brexit
After a bitter leadership contest, Labour renewed Jeremy Corbyn’s mandate at the beginning of a fractious party conference week. There were rows over immigration, nuclear disarmament and the party’s internal rules.Continue reading...
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:50:44 GMT2016-09-28T17:50:44Z
This might have been the Labour party leader’s best conference speech but the bar was set quite low
Twenty minutes later than planned, the lights dimmed and a short film was screened showing Labour triumphs since the second world war. Backstage, Jeremy Corbyn crossed himself as the film reached the Tony Blair era. Needs must. Now was a time for unity, not division. Let the Blairites have their little moment. Anything to keep them quiet for a bit. They would be forgotten soon enough.
As the film flickered to a close, Corbyn appeared, hands aloft, to greet his people. His people rose to cheer. And cheer. And cheer. Last year’s Corbyn would have looked a little bemused by the love-bombing, but Corbyn 2.0 has more of a swagger. The leadership election may have been a chastening experience for the Labour party, but not for Corbyn. He’s thrived on it and now can’t get enough of the attention. On and on they cheered and Corbyn did nothing to stop it. This was his moment. His time.Continue reading...
Fri, 08 May 2015 11:05:00 GMT2015-05-08T11:05:00ZColumnists Jonathan Freedland and Matthew d'Ancona discuss the general election result: a bloody night for Labour and the Lib Dems and a stunning victory for David Cameron. How were the media and political class beguiled into believing that Labour could get away with being behind on the economy? And are the Conservatives as surprised at the result as everyone else? Continue reading...140x84 trailpic for Three minute video - What just happened? And what's next for the Tories?140x84 trailpic for Three minute video - What just happened? And what's next for the Tories?
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:25:16 GMT2016-09-28T18:25:16Z
Some Corbyn allies break with him over issue, suggesting party needs to listen to people who voted to leave the EU
A split within the shadow cabinet has emerged over the issue of immigration after Jeremy Corbyn used his keynote speech to the Labour party conference to suggest there was no need for further controls on the movement of people.
The party leader used his speech in Liverpool to mount a forceful defence of the contribution made by immigrants.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 04:41:02 GMT2016-09-29T04:41:02Z
Labour leader sets out leftwing agenda in speech that hits back at critics who say he is uninterested in winning elections
Jeremy Corbyn called on Labour MPs to “end the trench warfare” and get behind a socialist vision for Britain under which he would allow councils to borrow more, raise taxes on business to fund education and suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia.Continue reading...
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 10:10:34 GMT2016-09-25T10:10:34Z
Shadow chancellor says Labour party is more united than it seems. But can warm words gloss over a year of acrimony?
We interrupt John McDonnell in the middle of preparing his speech for the Labour conference. When he performs in Liverpool on Monday, is he planning to entertain his home city with some of his jokes? “I’m trying to avoid funny bits,” he grimaces. “They get me into trouble.”
One of his controversial cracks has been proved true. Back in the early summer, he told a rally of supporters that Labour MPs attempting the removal of Jeremy Corbyn were “fucking useless” as plotters. With McDonnell reprising his role as campaign manager, Corbyn has been re-crowned with an even bigger vote than he received the first time around a year ago.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:00:00 GMT2016-09-29T13:00:00Z
Catch up on our discussion looking at whether Labour can win under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership
We’re going to close comments shortly - thanks for taking part in the debate today. We’ll have another one next Thursday lunchtime.
The Labour Party will not win the next general election, but that isn’t the right way of looking at the problem. Labour is in the midst of the same crisis as its sister social-democratic parties across Europe, with one twist: as evidenced by all those new members, it is also home to the kind of new, insurgent politics we’ve seen with Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece, the Bernie Sanders campaign in the US etc. Time spent this week at Momentum’s A World Transformed event in Liverpool reminded me that a great deal of Labour and the left’s future lies with some of the people involved (I’ve written a column about this, out later today), but a watershed moment is probably going to be a long time coming.
As things stand, most of what we know takes the form of negatives: that the politics of New Labour are dead, that Labour is dangerously estranged from its old working class base, that the party is pretty much finished in Scotland. What happens next is unclear: my own belief is that it will have involve Labour embracing changing the voting system, creating a politics beyond work and the worker, and understanding that amassing a critical mass of support will involve other forces and parties. All this will take time.Continue reading...
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:54:46 GMT2016-09-28T16:54:46ZRolling coverage of all the day’s developments at the Labour conference in Liverpool, including Jeremy Corbyn’s keynote speechCorbyn’s Today interview - Summary10 things we’ve learnt from the Labour conferenceCorbyn’s speech - Snap verdictCorbyn delivers his socialist vision 5.54pm BST That’s all from me for today. 5.53pm BST Here is the Guardian’s Comment is free panel verdict on Corbyn’s speech, with contributions from Hugh Muir, Jonathan Freedland, Ellie Mae O’Hagan, Aditya Chakrabortty, and Polly Toynbee. Related: Did Jeremy Corbyn’s conference speech win over the party? Our writers’ verdict | The panel At the heart of today’s speech Corbyn was making a big new argument, one I haven’t heard from a Labour leader’s speech in my entire working life. In just over a year, the Labour party has gone from a being desiccated husk of worn-down old leftists and elbows-out young Blairites to being a mass movement. At half a million members, it is the biggest party in Europe – at a time when other political parties are dying. To use business terminology, we have witnessed something akin to a reverse takeover of the Labour party. It is incomplete and it is certainly contested, but it is real.And what the head of this new movement – confirmed as its leader twice in 12 months – was sketching out today was the potential for a social movement in electoral politics. By invoking the victories of Sadiq Khan in London and Marvin Rees in Bristol, he was showing that a social movement can yield victory at the ballot box. Continue reading...[...]
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 08:08:17 GMT2016-09-25T08:08:17Z
Leader boosts his mandate in party poll and says he will ‘wipe the slate clean’ to offer rebel MPs a way back
A triumphant Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to reward Labour’s mass membership with more power over the running of the party, after he inflicted a thumping defeat on leadership challenger Owen Smith.Continue reading...
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:15:23 GMT2016-09-27T17:15:23ZRolling coverage of all the developments from the Labour conference in Liverpool, including speeches from Sadiq Khan and Tom WatsonSadiq Khan’s speech - Summary and analysisTom Watson’s speech - Summary 6.07pm BST Tom Watson’s speech was the most substantial anyone has delivered to the Labour conference so far. I’m sorry it has taken a while to post a summary, but Labour were slow sending out the transcript. Anyway, it’s worth it. Here are the key points.I don’t know why we’ve been focusing on what was wrong with the Blair and Brown governments for the last six years, but trashing our own record is not the way to enhance our brand. In the past, big businesses were too easily cast as predators. We meant to say that we would stand up to the abuse of corporate power as the Tories never will. But we ended up sounding like we were anti-business; anti-prosperity; anti-success. We’re not and we never have been. Capitalism, comrades, is not the enemy. Money’s not the problem. Business isn’t bad. The real world is more complicated than that, as any practical trade unionist will tell you. Businesses are where people work. The private sector’s what generates the money to pay for our schools and hospitals.We can afford the best health service in the world because we are one of the most prosperous countries in the world. That’s a fact and we forget it at our peril. And I don’t say this because it’s what wins elections, I say it because it is true. And people know that it’s true. And that’s why it wins elections. I’m sure there’ll be a general election soon. The more often Theresa May says it won’t happen, the more certain I am that it will. And, comrades, we need to be ready.We owe the British people - our people - an alternative to a government that doesn’t care and a Prime Minster they didn’t vote for. You keep hearing that Labour can’t win, well we can, and we will. And I’ll tell you how we’re going to win: we’re going to win through local government because that’s how we always win.Our councillors are the engine of Labour’s electoral machine. It’s Labour councilors all over the country who are our leaders and ambassadors in local communities. Our councillors and our trade unions: these are the rocks our movement’s built on.What a champion [Sadiq Khan] is. What an outstanding representative of our great national capital and our historic socialist party - still relevant, resonant, and winning elections in one of the most dynamic cities on earth.And in Bristol we have got marvellous Marvin, who you have just heard from.In the next Labour government we must judge ourself on our ability to redraw that pie-chart. The problems of inequality aren’t new, but the solutions will need to be. So I’ve put together an indepe[...]
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 05:00:34 GMT2016-09-29T05:00:34ZBritain’s vote to leave the EU was the grand finale of a 25-year campaign by a lonely sect of true believers. Daniel Hannan wrote the script
Until about nine months ago, leaving the European Union was not something that sensible British politicians talked about. They hadn’t, really, since the country entered the bloc in 1973, the year that Theresa May sat her O-levels. In the intervening 43 years, as the EEC became the EU; and Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair came and went; and the Channel Tunnel was dug; and the borders spread to the east; and the euro was launched, and then foundered; our relationship with Brussels seemed, more or less, to embody a settled ambivalence towards the European continent that most British people instinctively recognised as their own. Close, but separate. In, but not integrated. Related, but not the same. We did not learn French.
And then 17 million people voted to leave. Everyone has their own explanation for why. Not all of them make sense. I found out the other day that my wife’s uncle voted for Brexit because his son is training to be a doctor, and doesn’t like Jeremy Hunt, who campaigned for remain. Victory, as they say, has many fathers. Since 23 June, a great many things have been blamed – or thanked, depending on your view – for convincing the population that staying within the European Union was hurting us. Their names are more than familiar now. Nigel Farage. Globalisation. The rightwing press. The left behind. Professional politicians. Absent politicians. The financial crisis. Boris. Migrants. Project Fear. Sunderland. In their own way, and over time, these things helped create the feeling that we were trapped in something so defective, so inimical to our interests, that our best hope was to climb through a high window, and out.Continue reading...
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:13:00 GMT2016-09-28T16:13:00Z
Endless meetings about antisemitism, Jeremy Corbyn fan poetry and a plot arc straight out of Hollywood – this year’s party conference was in a world of its own. Roll up for the progressive future!
“A queer experience, always, that conference,” wrote Virginia Woolf of a visit to the Labour party annual gathering at Hastings in 1933. “The door opened into a buzzing bursting humming perfectly self-dependent other world.”
Were Virginia to be reanimated and transported to this year’s Labour conference in Liverpool, you sense the hermetically sealed new politics might not have looked quite so new to her. Then again, there do seem to have been certain … developments since 1933. As an on-off antisemite, for instance, she may have welcomed this year’s bogglingly increased number of opportunities to discuss “the Jewish question”.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 08:14:20 GMT2016-09-29T08:14:20Z
Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell draws Jeremy Corbyn during his closing speech at Labour’s party conference in Liverpool on Wednesday. Inspired by the cover of the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album, Bell draws Corbyn as the ex-Beatle ... and turns Tom Watson into Yoko Ono
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:21:07 GMT2016-09-28T18:21:07Z
Jackie Walker lambasted by Jewish Labour Movement for alleging Holocaust Memorial Day commemorates only Jewish victims
Momentum’s vice-chair, Jackie Walker, is facing calls to resign after she incorrectly criticised Holocaust Memorial Day at a party antisemitism training session for commemorating only Jewish victims.Continue reading...
Tue, 01 Dec 2015 10:22:06 GMT2015-12-01T10:22:06Z
On Wednesday MPs will vote on whether to extend the UK’s air campaign against Isis to Syria. Here are the issues that should inform their decision
As Jeremy Corbyn offers his party a free vote over military action in Syria what are the arguments for and against the UK extending its air campaign against Islamic State militants?Continue reading...
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 06:00:18 GMT2016-09-27T06:00:18Z
After Fox and Davis, it was Boris Johnson’s turn to be rebuked by Downing St. Plus, a proxy war of blame over the referendum, and what of Labour?
Welcome to the Guardian’s weekly Brexit briefing, a summary of developments as Britain edges towards the EU exit. If you’d like to receive it as a weekly email, do please sign up here.
Producing the Guardian’s thoughtful, in-depth journalism is expensive – but supporting us isn’t. If you value our Brexit coverage, please become a Guardian supporter and help make our future more secure. Thank you.Continue reading...
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:23:50 GMT2016-09-29T13:23:50Z
Speaking in Manchester on Thursday, trade secretary Liam Fox says Brexit represents a ‘golden opportunity’ for the UK to become a fully independent member of the World Trade Organisation and to trade with the rest of the worldContinue reading...
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 08:12:44 GMT2016-09-28T08:12:44Z
As Corbyn prepares to address party conference, Labour voters from all wings of the party debate where the party needs to go from here
Thu, 29 Sep 2016 06:31:09 GMT2016-09-29T06:31:09Z
Turf wars between ministers, extra civil servants and a ‘void in negotiating strategy’ are wasting time and money, says Institute for Government report
Turf wars by ministers seeking to control the Brexit negotiations are wasting valuable time and may cost the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds in additional civil servants, a report by the respected Institute for Government claims.
In the first detailed examination of how Whitehall is being restructured to cope with the Brexit talks, the report says the cost is approaching £65m, largely due to the need to hire 500 extra civil servants.Continue reading...
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 12:00:38 GMT2016-09-28T12:00:38Z
Judge’s decision is preliminary victory for group challenging PM’s power to trigger Brexit without consulting parliament
The government has been forced by a senior judge to reveal secret legal arguments for refusing to let parliament decide when and how the UK should withdraw from the European Union.
In a preliminary victory for those challenging Theresa May’s power to trigger Brexit, a high court judge, Mr Justice Cranston, has swept aside restrictions on publishing official documents before the hearing on 13 October.Continue reading...
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 17:53:51 GMT2016-08-29T17:53:51Z
Firmer link between contributions and receipts is on table as PM calls first cabinet meeting since summer break
Theresa May is being urged to consider reviving the principle of social insurance to help struggling low-paid workers, as she prepares to flesh out her vision of “a country that works for everyone”.Continue reading...