Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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Crazedwraith
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Crazedwraith »

I guess the question is either wing of the party things they can survive on their own. At the moment they're one party with a slim chance of winning an election. Split up, would they be two partiers will a much lower chance? Split up can the field enough candidates and get enough votes individually.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by bilateralrope »

Yes. That's the dilemma with party splits under a FPP system.

But if someone is in a wing of the party that can't get any of what they want from the leadership, even if they remain loyal to that leadership, what do they have to lose ?
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Zaune »

Crazedwraith wrote: 2021-09-15 11:01amI guess the question is either wing of the party things they can survive on their own. At the moment they're one party with a slim chance of winning an election. Split up, would they be two partiers will a much lower chance? Split up can the field enough candidates and get enough votes individually.
The party right has more to lose from a split in the long term. The "hard" left includes most of the youth wing, almost all the really committed activists and a majority of the trade unions: If they all get fed up and leave then Labour is in serious trouble, because that's their main source of campaign volunteers, most of their potential candidates for leadership positions when the current generation start retiring and a big chunk of their funding walking out the door.

Unfortunately, either they don't realise the scale of the problem or they don't care.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Solauren »

Zaune wrote: 2021-09-15 02:18pm Unfortunately, either they don't realise the scale of the problem or they don't care.
Or, it's a mix of 'don't care', 'don't realize', and 'want it to happen to reinvent the party'
I've been asked why I still follow a few of the people I know on Facebook with 'interesting political habits and view points'.

It's so when they comment on or approve of something, I know what pages to block/what not to vote for.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Zaune »

That's a possibility, although I have no idea what the hell they plan on reinventing the party as. Being so generic and middle-of-the-road that nobody really dislikes them enough to vote against them doesn't strike me as a winning election strategy unless we go with compulsory voting and find some way to prevent spoiling ballot papers, and the "centrist leaning slightly to the right but still in possession of a moral compass" niche is already covered by the Liberal Democrats.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by EnterpriseSovereign »

Meanwhile Boris has been reshuffling the cabinet:
Boris Johnson's "brutal" Cabinet reshuffle has continued for a second day, with MPs Penny Mordaunt and Michael Ellis the latest to be brought into government.

The prime minister spent Wednesday hiring and firing senior ministers, with former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and ex-Education Secretary Gavin Williamson the most high-profile casualties.

Mr Raab retains a place at the Cabinet table with a demotion to justice secretary - he was also bestowed the title of deputy prime minister as a fig leaf to lighten the blow.

Michael Gove may have thought he could replace Mr Raab, but that role was given to a favourite among the Tory membership, Liz Truss, who was promoted from international trade secretary.

Mr Gove became housing secretary, but will retain ministerial responsibility for the Union and elections after losing his role as chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

The highly regarded Nadhim Zahawi, hailed for his work as vaccines minister, was given a promotion to education secretary.

A cloud had been hanging over Priti Patel as home secretary but despite a number of controversies she was able to remain head of the Home Office.

Mr Johnson said the Cabinet he's appointed will "work tirelessly to unite and level up the whole country".

The prime minister tweeted following a long day of meetings on Wednesday, adding: "We will build back better from the pandemic and deliver on your priorities. Now let’s get on with the job."

Former lord chancellor Robert Buckland was also sacked, along with ex-housing secretary Robert Jenrick.

Perhaps one of the biggest shocks of Wednesday was Nadine Dorries' appointment to culture secretary.

The former I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! contestant was rewarded for fulfilling her brief as mental health minister but questions were raised over what her priorities will be in the role.

She's been accused in the past of stoking 'culture wars, with a notable example being her opposition to gay marriage back in 2013.

Many have speculated that Mr Johnson appointed her to culture secretary in a bid to fight against "woke" attitudes in the UK.

In 2017 she tweeted: "Left wing snowflakes are killing comedy, tearing down historic statues, removing books from universities, dumbing down panto, removing Christ from Christmas and suppressing free speech. Sadly, it must be true, history does repeat itself. It will be music next."

Ben Wallace acknowledged he was "incredibly privileged to be remaining as defence secretary" but said Cabinet reshuffles are part of politics.

He said: "The nature of the British political system is eventually its up and out. That's what happens.

"I know that I'm incredibly privileged to be remaining as defence secretary but I also know there is a political bus out there one day that will flatten me. It has always been the case.

"Don't take it personally is my advice to all colleagues."

Amanda Milling was ousted as Tory Party co-chairwoman – although was later handed a Foreign Office position in compensation – to be replaced by Oliver Dowden, who, according to reports, has told staffers at Conservative Campaign Headquarters to prepare for a general election in less than two years’ time.

Steve Barclay succeeded Mr Gove as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, while the likes of Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey, Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg and Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis kept their jobs.

Longstanding former schools minister Nick Gibb was the most high profile member of the junior ministerial set up to lose his job.

The shake-up continued on Thursday morning as former defence secretary Ms Mordaunt was made international trade minister and Mr Ellis was given the role of paymaster general at the Cabinet Office.

In a late promotion, Simon Clarke was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury and will attend Cabinet.

The Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP previously served as minister for regional growth and local government but resigned for personal reasons last year.
Somehow Priti Patel held on to her job- like AOC, she's gorgeous. Unlike AOC, she's hated by everyone! :lol:
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Juubi Karakuchi »

I've suspected for a long time that Priti Patel has serious support from someone or something that Bojo has no choice but to appease. Michael Gove is Rupert Murdoch's man (infamously so), but I'm not sure about Patel.

Otherwise, this is very relevant. There is widespread speculation in the UK news that an early election is coming up; and that this reshuffle is the government buffing its image for that. There has been talk on-and-off of the Fixed-term Parliament Act being repealed; otherwise a 2/3 vote of Parliament would be needed. The government does not have enough seats to force it, though I'm not sure whether the other parties would oppose it.

In the meantime, this article may interest.
Mood in Raab’s Surrey seat buoys Lib Dems on eve of party conference

Party believes lack of support for Esher and Walton’s Tory MP shows ‘blue wall’ seats are ripe for the taking

Peter Walker Political correspondent

Thu 16 Sep 2021 14.18 BST

Dominic Raab might feel his week has already been challenging, but if the former foreign secretary had followed Monica Harding around his constituency on the morning before his demotion, he could be forgiven for being more downcast still.

Harding, who as Liberal Democrat candidate lost out in Raab’s Esher and Walton seat by just 2,700 votes in the 2019 election, was door-knocking in an area that could barely look more Conservative, but was nonetheless proving fruitful.

A man in one of the substantial semi-detached houses, many with new-looking 4x4 cars outside, said he worked in finance and had voted Conservative in 2019, but was now reconsidering. Others said similar. A few pleaded imminent Zoom calls as a reason to escape, but not a single one professed loyalty to Raab.

“A lot of these people feel very uncomfortable with the government, with Boris Johnson, and with Dominic Raab,” said Harding. “They don’t like the empty slogans, and they don’t feel they have delivered.”

Sentiments like these are propelling the Lib Dems towards a notably upbeat party conference, which begins on Friday, and will be held online bar a handful of events, notably leader Ed Davey’s speech, which he will deliver to a live audience in east London on Sunday.

It is less than two years since an earlier outbreak of Lib Dem optimism, ahead of the Brexit-dominated 2019 election, was crushed by a return of just 11 MPs. So what has changed? One thing: Chesham and Amersham, and the concept of the “blue wall”.

The party’s stunning byelection victory in the Buckinghamshire constituency in June, turning a 16,000 Conservative majority into a victory by 8,000 votes, thrilled activists and deeply unsettled dozens of Tory MPs.

Lib Dem canvassers in Chesham and Amersham recounted countless vignettes of one nation Tory voters who felt both taken for granted as Johnson courted his new heartlands in the north of England and the Midlands, but also put off by a government they saw as brash, populist and defined by poor personal conduct and broken promises.

With another general election unlikely before mid-2023 at the earliest, the theory of the blue wall – that large numbers of other Tory-held commuter belt seats are similarly vulnerable – remains untested. But Esher and Walton would at least seem to back it up.

Joining Harding on her tour around the houses, cafes and maternity-wear shops of Cobham, a prosperous village whose gated communities are popular with footballers, is Robin Stephens, who, after a byelection in July, is now its first Lib Dem councillor.

Harding, a local management consultant, says the idea of somewhere like Cobham being winnable for the Lib Dems has been shaped by a series of interconnected factors.

One is the disaffection of local Conservatives with their party under Johnson and his ministers, including Raab’s decision to remain on holiday while the Taliban overran Kabul. “The thing people keep on saying is: ‘That wouldn’t happen in my business. They’d lose their job’,” Harding says.

Another is the so-called Surrey shuffle: the gradual shift of Londoners, with their predominantly more liberal values, into the suburban constituency just south-west of the capital, a process exaggerated by Covid.

Finally, Harding says, numerous Tory voters who stuck with the party in 2019 because of Jeremy Corbyn are now less worried: “They see Keir Starmer as one of them – he’s a professional, they think he’s got integrity. It doesn’t mean they’ll vote Labour, but they’re not scared of having him in a position of power.”

Does all this mean Raab is doomed? Not necessarily. But he is worried enough to have advertised for a campaigns officer, and is a more regular presence in the constituency – or, according to Harding, he is, at least, “photographed here more often”.

All this means that the Lib Dem conference, which runs from Friday to Monday, will also have a heavy focus on getting the party thinking about the next election.

“A lot of armchair members might not have noticed the fixed-term parliaments act is going and there could be an election sooner than they think,” said one senior party figure.

“We need to mobilise the troops. In a way it helps us that Johnson’s reshuffle was seen as getting his team in place for an election – with a bit of luck that will focus some minds.”
I think the Lib Dems are right to be confident, at least in those commuter belt seats. These are fairly moderate Centre-Right and mild-Right voters, who find Tory culture wars and incompetence an extreme turn-off. They're the kind of people who would be fine with taxing the rich to help the poor, just so long as they themselves aren't counted as rich :mrgreen:.

I suspect there's also an element of cathartic anger. They were so terrified of Corbyn, and that the Lib Dems might help him into power, that they convinced themselves that Bojo was a harmless clown. After nearly two years they know the truth, and they are all the more inclined to punish him for it. It helps that Corbyn is gone, and that Starmer just doesn't frighten them in the same way. If he were to inadvertently take power, they could deal with it.

For myself, I also suspect that this cabinet reshuffle will do little to appease them. It's a cabinet of utter dunces with the odd crazed ideologue thrown in for flavour; shifting them around a bit is unlikely to impress. What might impress them better is serious changes in government policy and general behaviour; such as an end to the culture wars, a sane approach to Brexit negotiations, more competent handling of Covid, and generally to stop screwing around.

I don't think I need say more.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by EnterpriseSovereign »

The Tories calling another new election is the last thing they should be doing, exactly because of their catastrophic mishandling of Brexit and now COVID. With a majority and another 3 years left on the clock by which time at least the latter will be a memory if not the former. Boris made gains in the last election and he would be stupid to risk that. But then this is Boris we're talking about. It's not first time such a thing has backfired as Theresa May found out to her cost, although it did similarly weaken Nicola Sturgeon. If this happened again it would undermine efforts for Scottish Independence, though this alone wouldn't be a good enough reason to call an election given what the Tories have to lose when they don't need to.

As for the opposition, at least it won't be led by Corbyn- losing two consecutive elections has confirmed that he is indeed unelectable. It would be good to see the Lib Dems make a comeback, after the high of 2010 then getting wiped out the following election. They only recently regained double figures, currently having 12 MPs.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Juubi Karakuchi »

You're right, this is Bojo we're talking about.

Bojo is not the political genius some make him out to be. His election strategy was basically the same as Blair's; reach out to voters beyond the core vote, and hope the core vote aren't alienated in the process. It brought him victory three times, but the Labour Party is still paying the price. Indeed, one wonders how much of his supposed genius was in fact down to Dominic Cummings, who is now out to get him.

The Tory party's popularity is indeed tanking, thanks to all their screwups. Ironically, this may be the reason why they're making a move now. Best to secure five more years while they have a fighting chance, lest things get even worse later. Barring some kind of miracle, the longer the Tories leave it, the worse-off they're going to be.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by His Divine Shadow »

Image

Hilarious with those projected relaunch trajectories. They are so fucking gormless, they really think some PR firm, the right campaign and the right slogan is all that's needed to get the plebs onboard.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Vendetta »

Of course they do. They're listening to Mandelson again.

Blame the left, ape the right, pretend you're the centre. When you lose blame the left harder for not shutting up and falling in line.

Also I think there's something that Labour just won't let themselves think. That there is no path to a non-Tory government of the UK without the co-operation of the SNP. Labour has lost Scotland and they're not getting it back, because even aside from independence movements Scotland is a more left-leaning country which has a leftwing party to vote for.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

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There's a starmer waiting in the sky
He'd like to present some policies
But he thinks he'd blow our minds
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by ray245 »

Vendetta wrote: 2021-09-23 07:13am Of course they do. They're listening to Mandelson again.

Blame the left, ape the right, pretend you're the centre. When you lose blame the left harder for not shutting up and falling in line.

Also I think there's something that Labour just won't let themselves think. That there is no path to a non-Tory government of the UK without the co-operation of the SNP. Labour has lost Scotland and they're not getting it back, because even aside from independence movements Scotland is a more left-leaning country which has a leftwing party to vote for.
Let's be honest here. Even a left-Wing Labour party is going to be incompetent.

The labour brand is so badly damaged that no wing of the party have a realisitc prospect of winning elections in the near future.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by EnterpriseSovereign »

Tories are even worse- thanks to Brexit there's a shortage of HGV drivers resulting in bare shelves in the supermarkets, it took depletion of petrol station forecourts for the government to get off its ass and offer 5,000 3-month visas to EU drivers and increase the testing capacity for domestic drivers. In a case of too little too late, not only do they need ten times that number but EU drivers aren't interested unless the visa is at least 12 months. That, and because petrol is a hazardous substance it requires a separate qualification to an HGV license.
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Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Juubi Karakuchi »

A disappointment, but an interesting one.
Proportional representation
Unions vote down local Labour parties’ call to axe first past the post
Motion to back switch to proportional representation in elections fails at Labour conference

Peter Walker Political correspondent

A much-anticipated motion at the Labour conference motion proposing to embrace proportional representation (PR) for future elections has been defeated as overwhelming support from local parties met opposition from mass union votes.

The motion, calling for the next Labour government to replace first past the post with a form of PR, was submitted by more than 150 constituency Labour parties (CLPs), and was the second most popular issue for the conference.

After an inconclusive show of hands in the conference hall in Brighton, a card vote showed just under 80% of CLP votes backing the motion. But the votes from affiliates – almost entirely comprising unions – were 95% opposed. The eventual result was nearly 58% against.

During a debate on the main conference stage, a series of local delegates backed the motion, with one saying first past the post was creating a generation of “apathetic” young people.

“I see so few of my friends, of my generation, engaged in political activity, even if they’re passionate about the issues. So many never show up to vote,” one said. “We need to ensure that every voter, not just those in swing seats, feels heard.”

The only speaker against the idea was Margaret Clarke, of the GMB union, who called the motion an “attempt to commit the Labour party to an unnecessary distraction in backing proportional representation”.

She said of PR: “It’s unpopular. Voters rejected it overwhelmingly in a referendum in 2011. It’s less accountable, breaking the vital constituency links between hundreds of Labour MPs and their voters across the UK. It also risks handing power to the far right in our parliament.”

However, other speakers pointed out that the 2011 referendum on a change to the voting system, run as part of the Liberal Democrats’ requirements to join a coalition with the Conservatives, was about the alternative vote system, which is not proportional.

The motion argued that first past the post creates “electoral deserts” and “widespread disenfranchisement, disillusion and disengagement in politics”.

It said: “A voting system in which every vote counts equally is needed to address the worrying levels of alienation, division and mistrust in British politics. Labour in government played a leading role in introducing forms of PR to the UK’s devolved government.

“There are systems of PR that retain a strong constituency link between MPs and their electorates, while ensuring that all votes count equally and seats match votes.”
Disappointing, because I firmly feel that without voting reform, the UK's political system will remain stuck in its current rut. I can only conclude that union resistance is either based on ignorance and small-mindedness, or political self-interest.

Interesting, because the party grassroots seem to firmly support voting reform, while the unions reject it.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Zaune »

Someone on Labour's own subreddit theorised that it's because the unions are afraid that if Labour ceases to be the only viable option for left-wing voters it will limit their ability to directly influence policy, presumably because there's less risk attached to walking away en masse like some outfit calling themselves the Breakthrough Party are in the process of doing.

Which is starting to look like a good idea, because Wes Streeting pretty much told everyone who signed up because they liked Corbyn's policies to sit down, shut up and let the grown-ups decide everything. (Source.) The fact that we constitute roughly 60% of the party's entire membership seems not to concern him very much.

If that lot cared about splitting the left-wing vote they'd stop taking left-wing voters for granted.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Juubi Karakuchi »

What you say makes a painful amount of sense.

What surprised me was that the unions would be the ones to do it. I had expected the PLP to resist, since their interest is obvious. If the voting system changes, and Labour loses the tactical vote, that's their seats - and their careers - on the line. Also, since the PLP is dominated by the Labour right, the tactical vote they were desperately trying to hold on to is represented at least partly by the Labour left. But of course, since it's a tactical vote, one cannot be quite sure.

For the moment, the only solution I can think of to Labour's current situation is the Labour left walking away, or at least threatening to walk away. The only apparent problems with this - assuming it happened - were the risk of vote-splitting, or that the rise of a socialist party might scare centre-right voters back into the Tory fold despite their growing frustration with Bojo and his cabinet. The former is inescapable but not necessarily fatal, while the latter is by no means inevitable.

The problem now is that if Labour splits and a new left-wing party emerges with trade union support, it will continue to oppose voting reform at the unions' insistence. Then again, they might not; especially if it looks like the only way they can get any influence.

All in all, I'm thinking that a Labour split is more likely; if only because so many members and voters are bound to be angry about this. I'm just not quite sure what it will involve.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Zaune »

Juubi Karakuchi wrote: 2021-09-27 08:19pmThe problem now is that if Labour splits and a new left-wing party emerges with trade union support, it will continue to oppose voting reform at the unions' insistence. Then again, they might not; especially if it looks like the only way they can get any influence.
What it's going to come down to is whether a majority of union leaders have the wit to realise that having a coalition of left-wing parties who are sympathetic but not entirely biddable in government is going to get them more of what they want than being able to dictate policy to a Labour Party that spends years at a time in Opposition... And that's before we get into the fact that Starmer has just abandoned his promise to bring the minimum wage up to £15 an hour, which doesn't speak very well of him having much interest in strengthening other worker protections.
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Crazedwraith »

Pretty relevant one of the few people in the shadow cabinet held over from Corbyn's time just resigned over lack of minimum wage increases. Starmer's team is said to be 'not unhappy' to see them go.

Sir Keir Starmer in row with Labour's left over minimum wage increase
Sir Keir Starmer is at the centre of a row over left-wing demands for Labour to back increasing the minimum wage to £15 an hour.

Labour's conference is expected to pass a motion later calling for this to be party policy.

Frontbencher Andy McDonald resigned on Monday, saying the leadership had ordered him to argue against the rise, making his position "untenable".

The leadership is keen to avoid an open row on the issue.

It says it will not encourage members to back or reject the motion, which, if it passes, will not automatically become Labour policy.

Arguments between the left, including supporters of former leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Labour members loyal to Sir Keir have dominated the conference in Brighton.

Sir Keir pushed through reforms to the party election rules, seen as unfavourable to left-wing members of Labour, in a vote on Sunday.

The Unite union is putting the motion, calling for the minimum wage to increase to £15, to a vote on Tuesday.

The current minimum wage is £8.91 for those 23 and over, £8.36 for those aged 21 and 22, and £6.56 for 18 to 20-year olds.

The wide-ranging Unite motion also says that, for Labour to win the next election, it "must be an anti-austerity party, defending jobs and improving living standards".

It includes demands for stronger union rights, higher taxes "on the very wealthiest", an end to zero-hour contracts and a "better work-life balance".

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Labour's current policy was to raise the minimum wage at "at least" £10 per hour.

He insisted that the party leadership was "perfectly happy" for conference delegates to back the £15 motion.

However, he said Labour would only reassess its current policy closer to the next general election, adding this was the "responsible thing to do".

Raising the minimum wage was not one of the 10 pledges Sir Keir made when running for the Labour leadership last year.

But he supported a campaign in 2019 for fast food chain McDonald's to improve pay and conditions.

At the time, he said: "They're not asking for the Earth. They're asking for the basics - £15 an hour, the right to know their hours in advance and to have trade union recognition. That ought to be the norm in 21st Century Britain."

But, in a scathing resignation letter, Mr McDonald claimed the leader's office had instructed him go to a meeting at the party conference and "argue against a national minimum wage of £15 an hour and against statutory sick pay at the living wage".

"After many months of a pandemic when we made commitments to stand by key workers, I cannot now look those same workers in the eye and tell them they are not worth a wage that is enough to live on, or that they don't deserve security when they are ill," he added.

current leadership of wanting to "prop up, not challenge" wealth and power.

Writing for the i news website, he added: "If our leadership won't champion that path, our movement must and will."

Mr Thomas-Symonds told the Today programme he rejected Mr Corbyn's analysis, adding Sir Keir had a "passionate sense of social justice".

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, a senior figure on Labour's left, said: "Questions have got to be asked about Keir Starmer… the conference is falling apart."

And former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, also on the left of the party, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was "nonsense" to suggest there was a campaign to undermine Sir Keir.

She added: "Andy's not the sort of person to say anything the leadership wants to keep his job."

Mr McDonald was one of only a few members of previous Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's frontbench team who continued to serve after Sir Keir took over.

Responding to his resignation, Sir Keir said: "I want to thank Andy for his service in the shadow cabinet.

"Labour's comprehensive New Deal for Working People shows the scale of our ambition and where our priorities lie."
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Vendetta
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Re: Brexit and not very united kingdom politics II

Post by Vendetta »

Yeah, one of the smaller unions has also ended its affiliation.

This is, overall, a Labour party conference the Tories will be quite happy with.
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