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Labour leadership: Rebecca Long-Bailey gives speech on party's path to power - live news Labour leadership: Rebecca Long-Bailey gives speech on party's path to power - live news
(32 minutes later)
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Boris Johnson chairing a meeting of the new cabinet and further government reshuffle developmentsRolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Boris Johnson chairing a meeting of the new cabinet and further government reshuffle developments
Jackson Carlaw has been elected the new leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
Carlaw, who had been filling the role on an interim basis since Ruth Davidson stepped down last August, comfortably defeated his rival Michelle Ballantyne, the party’s social security spokesperson at Holyrood by 4,917 votes to 1,581.
Carlaw promised to offer voters a “clear, focused, ambitious alternative to the SNP”, which will include refreshed approach to the union that would be “positive and forward-looking, not lazy and historical”.
Insisting that he would be “an ambassador for Scotland to the UK government”, Carlaw said that he would have no problem speaking up against Boris Johnson where necessary.
During his leadership campaign Carlaw, who has served as an MSP since 2007, signalled that he wants to put forward a more populist policy agenda, to dovetail with Boris Johnson’s plans for the UK party, and win over blue-collar voters disillusioned with the SNP and Labour.
Q: If the UK goes into recession, how would that affect your plans?
Long-Bailey says the economy is vulnerable because the economic model is broken.
She refers to the film, the Big Short. That shows how people have not learnt lessons from the financial crash, she says.
She says government should invest more in the UK. It is too unequal, she says. She says the green industrial revolution would spread power.
She says people think of collective ownership as an obsession. But it is not, she says. It is about spreading power.
Q: What would you replace the House of Lords with?
Long-Bailey says she does not support the Lords, because it is the only unelected chamber in Europe.
There are some great Labour peers, she says. But a second chamber should be democratically accountable, she says. It should be replaced with an elected senate outside of London.
That would be one stop towards restoring faith in politics, she says.
And that’s it.
I will post a summary shortly.
Q: How much would your policy on freedom of movement affect the wages of workers?
Long-Bailey says the UK will be out of the single market. She says she wants an immigration system based on values, not on targets.
She says she is worried EU nationals could be facing deportations.
And she says Labour has a moral duty to oppose the far right, and to make the positive case for immigration. She says she is a child of immigrants. She is proud of that, she says.
She says the impact of immigration on wages is “negligible”. But she says communities are right to be angry about how services are not working for them.
That’s not an immigration problem, she says. She says that is because the Conservative government has starved public services of resources.
Q: Do you think it was a mistake backing the election to take place? And what would you do to stop a no-deal Brexit at the end of this year?
Long-Bailey says she would rather not have had the election. But the party was not in a good place. Many people in Labour communities saw the party as one trying to overturn the referendum. And remain supporters did not like the party’s stance either, she says.
She says it did not help that people in the party were saying different things.
And she says it was “really bad” that Labour could not even say it would campaign for its own Brexit deal.
She says Labour needs to scrutinise the government, and make sure it does not water down standards.
And she says businesses will need support. They have been preparing for the worst, she says. But smaller businesses do not have the resources to prepare, especially firms in the supply chain. Labour should be demanding the government support these firms, she says.
Rebecca Long-Bailey is now taking questions.
Q: This room isn’t full. Are you worried that your campaign is not going as well as you hoped?
Long-Bailey does not accept this. She says she has got some of her finest supporters in the room this morning.
It is a long campaign, she says. And she did not have a campaign ready to go. She was concentrating on trying to win the election.
She says she thought members would go through a grieving process. But she is standing to tell people that their ambitions are not wrong.
Q: Do you only see a path to power outside parliament?
She says Labour will only get into power if it has a strong membership. She wants to have 1m members. And she thinks the party needs a more robust media strategy.
The government wants Labour to be seen as the establishment, she says. It would like Labour to go down the route of “shiny suit wearing”, so they can tell Labour voters the party is unrepresentative.
Long-Bailey says Tories want to portray Labour as an establishment, “shiny suit wearing” party.
She says parliament has to have a role in giving power away. She wants the nations and regions to be given far more power.
She says they also need to define what the role of the government is. She supports a written constitution, so that every decision a government makes should be based on how much it improve’s people’s lives.
Long-Bailey is now winding up.
Long-Bailey says she can do details and big vision.
Long-Bailey cites Falmouth as an example of a place where Labour should have promoted its green industrial revolution more effectively.Long-Bailey cites Falmouth as an example of a place where Labour should have promoted its green industrial revolution more effectively.
Long-Bailey turns to the need for a green industrial revolution. She says she is “sad” that this did not feature more in the party’s campaign during the general election.Long-Bailey turns to the need for a green industrial revolution. She says she is “sad” that this did not feature more in the party’s campaign during the general election.
Long-Bailey says Labour has to tell a “concrete story” about how this plan would help communities.Long-Bailey says Labour has to tell a “concrete story” about how this plan would help communities.
Long-Bailey says Labour has to tell a credible story about how it will help people improve their lives.Long-Bailey says Labour has to tell a credible story about how it will help people improve their lives.
Long-Bailey says Britain needs a democratic revolution.Long-Bailey says Britain needs a democratic revolution.
Long-Bailey says she would be more “robust” with the media.Long-Bailey says she would be more “robust” with the media.
Long-Bailey says she wants to empower members. The least they can do is give them open selections, she says.Long-Bailey says she wants to empower members. The least they can do is give them open selections, she says.
She says she has heard the criticism about how the party should be focusing on getting rid of Tory MPs, not Labour ones. But having empowered members will allow the party to get rid of Tory MPs, she says.She says she has heard the criticism about how the party should be focusing on getting rid of Tory MPs, not Labour ones. But having empowered members will allow the party to get rid of Tory MPs, she says.
Long-Bailey says she thinks she is the only candidate to have worked out a path to power. It has four elements.Long-Bailey says she thinks she is the only candidate to have worked out a path to power. It has four elements.
To win again, Labour has to look like the party of the workers, she says. She says under her leadership it will back workers in every strike and every dispute against unfair employers.To win again, Labour has to look like the party of the workers, she says. She says under her leadership it will back workers in every strike and every dispute against unfair employers.
She says it will fight any further Tory attempt to restrict the unions.She says it will fight any further Tory attempt to restrict the unions.
She says she has been wearing a “love unions” badge this week, because it is the love unions week. She says she was the only candidate on Newsnight wearing the badge.She says she has been wearing a “love unions” badge this week, because it is the love unions week. She says she was the only candidate on Newsnight wearing the badge.
In her speech Long-Bailey has just quoted Tony Blair. In his introduction to the 1997 he said that the Labour party was the political arm of the British people, she says. She says he was right.In her speech Long-Bailey has just quoted Tony Blair. In his introduction to the 1997 he said that the Labour party was the political arm of the British people, she says. She says he was right.
Long-Bailey has tweeted a link to extracts from her speech.Long-Bailey has tweeted a link to extracts from her speech.
Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Labour leadership candidate, is delivering a speech in Salford. There is a live feed at the top of the blog.
According to the advance briefing from her team, she is going to set out a path to power for Labour. Her team says it has four elements.
And if you want to know what Sajid Javid is up to this morning, the former chancellor is at a pensioners’ fair in his Bromsgrove constituency.
Sky News has just broadcast some footage of Boris Johnson addressing his new cabinet.
At that point Johnson launched into his familiar primary school teacher routine. “How many hospitals are we going to build?” he asked.
“Forty,” his ministers chanted back at him. No one was brave enough to say a more accurate figure would be six.
Johnson then asked the same question about how many more police officers the government was recruiting (20,000, they told him) and how many more nurses (50,000, they told him - although arguably 30,000 is a more accurate figure). He also asked how many extra buses the government was providing, but only some of his ministers seemed to know the answer (announced in his statement to MPs on Tuesday) - 4,000.
Johnson went on:
In an interview on the Today programme this morning Salma Shah, a former adviser to Sajid Javid, said it would have been “incredibly detrimental” to him if he had allowed No 10 to appoint his advisers. She explained:
She also played down suggestions that, as a backbencher, Javid would seek to cause problems for Boris Johnson. She said:
In an interview this morning Robert Jenrick, who kept his job as housing secretary, denied that Rishi Sunak, the new chancellor, would be a “puppet” because No 10 is not letting him appoint his own advisers. When this suggestion was put to him, Jenrick said:
Ministers have been arriving at No 10 for the first meeting of the new cabinet. Here are some of them walking up Downing Street.
Here is my colleague Graham Russell’s round-up of how the papers have covered Sajid Javid’s resignation.
Arlene Foster, the first minister of Northern Ireland and DUP leader, told the Today programme this morning that Brandon Lewis, the new Northern Ireland secretary, should “revisit” the scope of the historical investigation unit that was proposed in the power-sharing deal negotiated by his sacked predecessor.
Under the “New Decade, New Approach” deal (pdf) between the parties and the UK government that led to the restoration of the power-sharing executive, the UK promised to “within 100 days, publish and introduce legislation in the UK parliament to implement the Stormont House agreement to address Northern Ireland legacy issues”.
The Stormont House agreement (pdf), which was agreed in 2014 but never implemented in full, promised:
Unionists fear this will lead to former soldiers and police officers facing fresh investigation over matters for which they thought they had been cleared.
Foster told Today:
Asked if she would be asking Lewis to review the terms of the “New Decade, New Approach” deal, Foster said:
Walking into Downing Street, Mark Spencer, the chief whip, was asked by reporters if Sajid Javid had been forced out of the cabinet. As the Press Association reports, Spencer replied “No”, before adding: “It’s new a government.”
Good morning. Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of his new cabinet this morning and, while it is expected to discuss the government’s plans for a new post-Brexit immigration system, many of the attendees - like the rest of Westminster - will probably spend just as much time mulling over the implications of the events that led up to yesterday’s shock resignation of Sajid Javid as chancellor. The papers this morning are full of analysis - here is a take from my colleague Heather Stewart; I will post links to some others later - but, roughly speaking, the move raises four big questions about the future of British politics.
1) Does this mean Boris Johnson will now abandon the fiscal rules announced during the election, allowing him to borrow even more than planned for spending on infrastructure and public services? Dominic Cummings, his chief adviser, is thought to be angling for this, and yesterday No 10 was vague about whether the government was still committed to those fiscal rules (which were already seen as a loosening from the Philip Hammond era). The rules were drafted when the Tories were expecting to win a small majority, and the scale of Johnson’s victory in December means the pressure to deliver for new Tory voters in the north is much stronger than it was.
2) Does this mean Johnson is emasculating the Treasury? That certainly seems to be the intention, and yesterday one commentator said the plan to effectively merge No 10 and the Treasury into a more cohesive unit amounted to the “most significant development since the creation of the devolved parliaments in 1999”. But most prime ministers try at one point to curtail the powers of No 11, and most of them fail. The Treasury may prove to be more institutionally resilient than Cummings imagines, and even if the new chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is more firmly under No 10’s line management, he stills heads a department stuffed with hundreds of clever officials who are professionally trained to tell politicians truths they don’t want to hear.
3) Does this mean Johnson is getting more like Donald Trump? In some respects, because the reshuffle had all the hallmarks of a powergrab, and the appointment of Suella Braverman as attorney general has gone down badly with defenders of the judiciary. But even though Johnson’s preferred model for leadership is probably Emperor Augustus, cabinet government still very much applies.
4) Ultimately will this reshuffle leave Johnson politically stronger or politically weaker? At this point it is impossible to tell. Some Tory MPs must be unhappy about the way Javid has been treated, but if they are, they have not yet been saying so in public. Johnson is so powerful at the moment that he can more or less do whatever he wants, but that won’t last forever and in the end the reshuffle will be judged by whether or not it delivers for the Conservative party.
Here is our overnight story about the reshuffle.
And here is a graphic from last night about the reshuffle. It features the 10 ministers who were allowed to attend cabinet before the reshuffle. No 10 has now drastically slimmed down those numbers and, in addition to the full cabinet, there will be only four extra attendees: Stephen Barclay, chief secretary to the Treasury; Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the Commons; Mark Spencer, the chief whip; and Suella Braverman, the attorney general.
Here is the agenda for the day.
10am: Boris Johnson chairs a meeting of the new cabinet.
10am: Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Labour leadership candidate, give a speech in Salford.
1pm: Downing Street lobby briefing.
Also, today is the final day for candidates for the Labour leadership and deputy leadership to get the CLP or affiliate nominations that they need to make it onto the final ballot. Emily Thornberry is the only candidate who still has not hit this threshold, but three more CLP nominations today would get her over the line.
As usual, I will be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web. I plan to post a summary when I wrap up.
You can read all the latest Guardian politics articles here. Here is the Politico Europe roundup of this morning’s political news. And here is the PoliticsHome list of today’s top 10 must-reads.
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