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Labour Party: After MPs attacked PM’s Manchester lockdown, WHO praises Boris’ response | UK | News


At the end of July, health secretary Matt Hancock introduced new restriction measures for the Greater Manchester area after cases of the deadly pandemic began to soar. The decision was widely criticised by Labour MPs.

Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy, the Labour MP for Wigan, tweeted the news out and urged for more information on the new measures.

Ms Nandy said: “Told tonight this applies to homes AND gardens but you can still visit public spaces where social distancing measures are in place.

“People will have a lot of questions and we are pressing for more information quickly.

“It is really hard but please follow advice and stay safe.”

Lucy Powell, Labour MP for Manchester Central, said the news had led to “many questions”.

“My understanding is that this is a precautionary measure to stop people going to other households,” she said.

“It doesn’t affect other activities like travel, childcare, going to work, hairdressers etc.”

With Jim McMahon, Labour MP for Oldham West & Royton, tweeting: “On the face of it, for Oldham borough residents this is the same restriction announced already this week, replicated in further areas.

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Speaking at a media brief, Mr Ghebreyesus said: “Over the last few days, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson put areas of northern England under stay at home notifications, as clusters of cases were identified.

“In France, President Macron introduced compulsory masking in busy outdoor spaces of Paris in response to an increase in cases.

“Strong and precise measures like these, in combination with utilising every tool at our disposal are key to preventing any resurgence in disease and allowing societies to be reopened safely.

“Even in countries where transmission is intense, it can be brought under control by applying an all of government, all of society response.

“Chains of transmission have been broken by combination of rapid case identification, comprehensive contact tracing, adequate clinical care for patients, physical distancing, mask wearing, regular cleaning of hands and coughing away from others.

“Whether countries or regions have successfully eliminated the virus, suppressed transmission to a low level, or are still in the midst of a major outbreak; now is the time to do it all, invest in the basics of public health and we can save both lives and livelihoods.”

Mr Ghebreyesus went on to say there is a glimmer of hope and said it’s “never too late to turn the outbreak around”.

He said: “But I want to be clear, there are green shoots of hope and no matter where a country, a region, a city or a town is – it’s never too late to turn the outbreak around.

“There are two essential elements to addressing the pandemic effectively: Leaders must step up to take action and citizens need to embrace new measures.”

The UK has the highest death toll across the whole of Europe and yesterday recorded more than 1,000 new cases in a day for the first time since June.





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Labour news: Starmer insider exposes crucial difference between Labour leader and Blair | UK | News


Last December, the Labour Party suffered its worst defeat since 1935.In the run-up to the election, the party’s manifesto received heavy criticism for being unrealistic, overreaching, and unpersuasive. Former Labour Party leader Tony Blair described it as “promising the earth but from a planet other than Earth”.

However, according to the recent Diagnosis of Defeat report, what really doomed the party was its leader — Jeremy Corbyn.

More than half of the defectors, three quarters of whom chose the Conservative Party, said that Labour would “need to change very significantly” before they could return to the fold.

The report, published earlier this year, was written by Lord Ashcroft and was based on a poll of more than 10,000 voters as well as focus groups in traditional Labour heartlands that turned blue.

Sir Keir — who succeeded Mr Corbyn on April 4 — certainly appears to be different from the veteran left-winger.

Mr Starmer’s scepticism of Mr Corbyn was evident early on, as he did not initially back the former leader and was later part of the effort to oust him in 2016.

When this failed, Mr Starmer served as shadow Brexit secretary and helped guide the party towards a more coherent stance on Brexit.

The son of a nurse and a tool maker, Mr Starmer attended a grammar school and then Oxford University. A human-rights lawyer, he was the director of public prosecutions between 2008 and 2013.

As many Labour supporters wonder whether he will be able to hold the Tories to account and restore the party’s electability, a senior practising barrister who has known Sir Keir for many years has shed some light on his personality.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, the senior barrister, who wishes to remain anonymous, claimed Sir Keir is modelling his policies around former Labour leader Tony Blair but noted that there is a crucial difference between the two.

He said: “As a politician, personally, I see his demeanour and to an extent his politics as very New Labour, not that he nor his allies would want him to be seen as New Labour but centrist yes.

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“He will plug his socialist credentials as he has to and there is no doubt he is sincere on his social values and commitment to public services but you can see he has modelled aspects of his delivery, his style on Tony Blair – just without the messianic demeanour.”

The source added: “When he went into the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) he brought with him that zeal to include and it kind of bit him at the start.

“He went around the country to all the CPS outlets saying ‘if your morale is low just email me.

“‘I am your DPP and will deal with it – I want to listen.’

“Problem is everyone did get back to him and he couldn’t reply to everyone.

“He may have learned from that.”

The senior barrister concluded: “Is he very Blair?

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“He does the whole blank canvas thing well which Blair managed in his early years in charge of the party – handy when you are trying to unite big factions and outward faces at the same time.”

It is not the first time Sir Keir has been compared to Mr Blair.

Last week, Former Labour MP George Galloway branded the new Labour leader “Tony Blair 2.0”.

Mr Galloway, who leads the Workers Party of Britain, made the remarks on his ‘Mother of All Talk Shows’ radio programme.

He criticised Mr Starmer for not allowing either Corbynistas Ian Lavery or Richard Burgon into the Shadow Cabinet and called it a “disastrous error”.



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Labour leaders threaten general strike as they protest outside Ontario PC convention


NIAGARA FALLS, ONT.—Ontario is careening toward a general strike unless Premier Doug Ford changes his ways, a key labour leader warned outside a convention hall where the Progressive Conservatives debated their next steps in running the province.

Carrying protest signs and waving union flags, about 1,000 people gathered in biting cold winds Saturday as Ford and an equal number of cabinet ministers, MPPs and party activists started developing the PC platform for the June 2022 election.

“If the Conservatives don’t listen to us … we will shut this province down,” declared Patty Coates, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, which organized the event to fight what she called Ford’s “regressive agenda.”

Inside the convention later in the day, Ford said the government is sticking to its “pro-business, pro-jobs, pro-people government” and repeated a promise he has not yet been able to keep – putting beer and wine in corner stores.

“My friends, the 2022 campaign starts today, starts now,” he told delegates during an 18-minute dinner speech in which he boasted of cancelling unnecessary green energy projects, planning new subway lines in Toronto and pledging “we’re here for the little guy.”

“Absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, is going to stop us,” Ford vowed. “Our economy is firing on all cylinders.”

He took aim at the Liberals who will elect a new leader in two weeks after a campaign that has seen former cabinet minister Steven Del Duca take a commanding lead.

“The people we’re up against are the same ones who ran this province into the ground.”

Ford did not take questions, but Government House Leader Paul Calandra brushed aside the prospect of a broad labour disruption.

“We’re always willing to listen to anybody who wants to bring their opinions forward,” he told reporters amid unusually tight security and restrictions for a political convention by any party.

Journalists’ identities were checked and bags searched before they were escorted to a news conference with Calandra and Ford’s speech under instructions not to roam the convention hall where delegates were emerging from policy discussions.

“There is hot debate,” Calandara added. “Grassroots members would like to have that opportunity to have those discussions in private.”

Behind closed doors, former Ford campaign head Kory Teneycke advised delegates to hold steady in the face of opposition, particularly “those who have gotten fat from the largesse of past regimes” as the government works to balance the budget in 2023.

“Being a party of responsible choices is not just thankless, it’s often met with protests, anger and vitriol,” he says in a video obtained by the Star.

Other sources inside the convention told the Star party members were voting, among other items, on resolutions from social conservatives, including one from former PC leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen to axe the old Liberal sex education curriculum which Ford initially opposed and later relented after a consultation with parents.

In education sessions, there were concerns raised that the government is not getting its message out on countering the rotating teacher strikes and there was talk of more “choice” in education, particularly for faith-based schools – a promise that former PC leader John Tory made in the 2007 election campaign only to be soundly defeated by then-premier Dalton McGuinty.

Calandra apologized “unreservedly” to CBC reporter Mike Crawley who was repeatedly interrupted by a guard from Viking Security Corp. while doing a live report on the sidewalk outside the convention centre on Friday night.

“It wasn’t something that the PC party had asked to be done,” Calandra maintained.

But a co-owner of Viking challenged Calandra’s response.

“It was laid out ahead of time and in that moment,” Tammy Rolland said in a telephone interview with the Star, referring to an advance briefing with party officials and orders given on the scene. “He told me he was told to do it,” she added, referring to the guard.

At the rally outside Saturday, leaders of several unions, from teachers to health care and grocery store workers, hopped on the back of a flatbed truck to take the government to task for its 1 per cent public sector wage cap, plan for larger class sizes, more online learning, changes to autism funding that have left parents scrambling, and stalling the rise to a $15 minimum wage.

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“Let this government know that we will hold them accountable … for what they’re doing to working families,” Coates added.

“They need to change course.”

The crowd arrived on buses from as far away as Windsor and Ottawa, with two protesters bearing elaborate effigies of Ford and many sporting buttons saying “I am the people,” a twist on the premier’s victorious 2018 campaign slogan and theme song “for the people.”

The event followed Friday’s much larger encirclement of Queen’s Park by thousands of teachers from four unions whose one-day strike shut down every school in the province.

“This isn’t just about education,” Liz Stuart, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, said during 90 minutes of speeches.

“Next comes health care. Next comes all our public services — unless we push back.”

Sarah Labelle of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents tens of thousands of civil servants, echoed the OFL’s threat of widespread labour unrest.

“If it takes a general strike down the road we’re not scared.”

New Democrat MPP Wayne Gates, who represents Niagara Falls in the legislature, said the government has proven itself incapable of managing the province with a number of high-profile policy reversals after measures have backfired.

“They can’t even make licence plates,” he added in a mocking tone, referring to a problem that dogged Ford’s administration all week.

New double-blue plates which went into distribution Feb. 1 are hard to read in the dark because they give off a glare under some lighting conditions.

After initially denying the problem first raised by a Kingston police officer in a tweet that went viral, Government and Consumer Services said Thursday a fix is the works and plates already issued will be replaced.

The plates have been dubbed “propaganda plates” because they are in Conservative blue colours.

Rob Ferguson





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Britain heralds end of ‘cheap labour from Europe’ with #Brexit immigration system


Britain will prioritize access for high-skilled workers from around the world in its post-Brexit points-based immigration system, the government said on Tuesday (18 February), setting out its plans to put an end to a reliance on “cheap labour from Europe”, writes Kylie MacLellan.

Concern over the impact of high levels of immigration from the European Union was one of the key drivers behind Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the bloc and the government has said it plans to bring overall migration numbers down.

The new system will assign points for specific skills, qualifications, salaries or professions and only give visas to those who have enough points. It will come into force from Jan. 1, 2021 and will treat EU and non-EU citizens the same.

“We have got a number of routes through the points-based immigration scheme that will enable people to come here with the right kind of skills that can support our country and our economy,” Interior Minister Priti Patel said.

But business groups said that many firms relied on overseas labour and cautioned there might not be enough domestic workers to tend crops, care for patients and serve food – a deficit that could undermine the world’s fifth largest economy.

EU citizens will not need a visa to enter Britain as a visitor for up to six months.

The Home Office said it would follow a recommendation made last month by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an independent body which advises the government, to lower the minimum general salary threshold for skilled migrants to 25,600 pounds ($33,330) a year, from 30,000 pounds.

Skilled workers will need to meet criteria including specific skills and the ability to speak English, the government said, and those applying will need to have a job offer.

There will be no specific entry route for low-skilled workers, something the government hopes will help reduce the number of migrants.

“We need to shift the focus of our economy away from reliance on cheap labour from Europe and instead concentrate on investment in technology and automation. Employers will need to adjust,” the government said in a policy document setting out its plans.

The MAC estimated the impact of the government’s planned salary and skills thresholds would mean around 70% of European Economic Area citizens who have arrived in Britain since 2004 would not have been eligible for a visa.

Students will be covered by the points-based system, the government said, while there will be separate initiatives for scientists, graduates, National Health Service workers and those in the agricultural sector.

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Brexit news: Labour Leavers pay biggest price of Corbyn’s failure on Brexit day | UK | News


With or without a bong, Britain finally leaves the Brussels bloc today and sails the seas of a new adventure outside the European Union as a truly free and independent nation. The Brexit battle fought by the Tories in the last four years against the ever-demanding team in Brussels and Remainer MPs unwilling to accept their defeat in the UK Parliament, has finally paid off for the nation. The biggest price of Britons’ decision to leave the EU will be paid by those who voted for their own fate in the 2016 referendum, a bitter Remainer would say. And Brexiteers will endlessly work to debunk the argument going forward, proving Brexit Britain has been well worth the struggling fight. One thing is already certain, though. The Labour Party’s inability to engage with its own voters and the rest of the country on the most important issue in a generation has cost them the biggest electoral defeat of a lifetime.

Labour was catastrophically defeated in the December 2019 election against Boris Johnson.

Yet, the outgoing leadership is still failing to admit it was its Brexit policy to campaign for a second referendum that cost them the result.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, now in the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn in April, is adamant the reason Labour lost the December election is in the delivery of all the “radical” policies the party had drafted for the country.

But pro-Brexit Labour MPs who lost their seats in December pinpoint the devastating loss on Sir Keir Starmer’s masterminded proposal of a second EU vote.

And even the most prominent figures of the Labour Party who have been battling to take the UK out of the EU since 1975 now admit Labour has put himself on the wrong side of the Brexit argument for decades.

Former Chair of Labour Leave John Mills admitted the Labour Party has never been “in the best position in either camp” when both fighting for Britain to leave the EU in 1975 and siding with its Remain supporters in 2019.

READ MORE: Brexit shock: Keir Starmer vows to bring back freedom of movement

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Brexit news: Jeremy Corbyn failed to stand his ground on Brexit and lost (Image: GETTY)

Both times, Labour lost and the Tories won.

During the 2016 referendum campaign, Labour Leavers would promptly bring former Labour Chairman Tony Benn’s anti-EU speeches to light to prove their true, core belief lied in a Britain freed by Brussels shackles.

And standing side-by-side the same “father of Brexit”, as some of them branded Mr Benn, was no one else but Jeremy Corbyn himself.

The Islington MP, who ran as a candidate for deputy leader to Tony Benn in 1981 before even becoming a Member of Parliament, stood on platforms across the country to fight the Brexit battle before any eurosceptics in the Conservative Party even had a say in the matter.

But given the opportunity to become Labour leader in 2015, the same man failed to stand his own ground and pretended to support the complete opposite of what he had preached for decades just to please an ever-excited new band of members who so badly wanted to remain EU citizens.

“One of the things about 1975 was that about 80 percent of the Tory Party voters voted to Remain, whereas most of the Leave support camp came from the left,” John Mills told Express.co.uk.

“Now that’s the other way around. Certainly, in Parliament and among the Labour Party membership, there’s much more of a Remain campaign now than there is a Leave campaign.

Labour party tony benn european union speech

Labour Party politician and Chairman of the Labour Party, Tony Benn (1925-2014) (Image: GETTY)

labour party jeremy corbyn tony benn 1992 blackpool

Anthony Wedgwood Benn (1925 – 2014, right) and Jeremy Corbyn (centre) at the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool, UK, 1992 (Image: GETTY)

“It’s the other way for the Conservatives, so there has been a big swing around.”

He added: “I don’t think that the issue of the EU was the only reason behind the election result in 2019.

“But I think it was a very important factor and I do think that so many people voted Conservatives did so because they disagreed with Labour’s stance on the EU and for the fact that the party was becoming too much metropolitan, too London-orientated, too Remain, too much the party of the middle class and the public sector and so on.

“When you run an election on that basis you need to have your large number of industrial and traditional Labour voters campaign behind you as well.

“And that’s what didn’t happen.”

The businessman and economist admitted his own core group of Labour Leavers could not win against the Conservatives’ clear message of “taking back control” and “get Brexit done” with their ideological fight against capitalism and ever-growing support for Remain in their core metropolitan elites.

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He said: “People always had different reasons for wanting to leave the European Union.

“Why did people vote to leave the EU and particularly working-class people, I don’t think it’s entirely because of problems of capitalism.

“I think it was much more because they wanted to have control of their own lives, they thought the EU was too much of an elitist organisation.”

He added: “We’ve had a situation where MPs have very strongly been Remain, most Labour MPs and most Labour Party members have been really strongly Remain as well – probably 80 percent of the members.

“But when it came to Labour voters the situation was very, very different.

“Of all the people that voted Labour for the last few decades, about half of them probably were on the Leave camp.

“I think what we’ve done is to keep alive a handful of Labour Leave people which was quite important for the referendum result.”

brexit news labour party lord glasman labour leave

Brexit news: Labour Leave member Lord Glasman (Image: EXPRESS)

One of those Labour Leave people is Labour peer Lord Glasman. A staunch supporter of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour eurosceptic told Express.co.uk in April 2019 that his party needed to present Britons with the “socialist opportunities of Brexit” to contrast the Conservatives’ “globalised capitalism” possibilities of trading with other nations outside of the EU.

He said: “A third or maybe half of the Labour manifesto could not be implemented if we stay in the EU.

“Workers could not be given first choice about buying a company because they would violate EU competition laws.

“We couldn’t have nationalisation, we couldn’t have an industrial strategy, we couldn’t have a pro-worker movement.

“And it’s also the case that every country where the socialist Labour parties have supported the EU, their support died and they no longer exist.

“So Labour has to work this out. What I’m saying is that Corbyn represents, and many of us in Labour represent, the democratic and socialist possibilities of Brexit.

“And you can’t have that without democratic sovereignty.”

brexit news labour party jeremy corbyn general election 2019

Brexit news: Jeremy Corbyn lost 60 seats for the Labour Party at the December 2019 election (Image: GETTY)

Adding: “The politics that is to come will be a Conservative vision of globalised capitalism, and a Labour vision of a democratic nation that could make its own decisions.

“And that should be a split between Labour and Conservative, but as it stands, this whole debate about the EU is getting in the way of what has to come.”

And what did come only a few months later was exactly that. A Labour manifesto full of “radical” socialist proposals that just did not convince the nation.

The Labour Party manifesto included plans for the re-nationalisation of rail, water and energy as well as a tax increase for the highest earners in the country.

Ahead of the election, Jeremy Corbyn also pledged to compensate WASPI women who lost money due to delayed retirement with a £58bn war chest.

The policies Mr Corbyn put forward however failed to convince voters and caused the party to lose 60 seats, including in northern heartlands where Brexit dissatisfaction pushed some Britons to back pro-Leave Tories.

Now all the Leavers in the red party are left with, is the bitter victory of leaving the dreadful EU bloc at the expensive cost of the possible final days of their own party.



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Gemma Atkinson furious at baby Mia’s first word after her ‘traumatic labour’


Gemma Atkinson has revealed what her baby daughter Mia’s first word was today – and she is fuming.

The 35-year-old shares Mia with her husband and former Strictly partner Gorka Marquez.

Mia was born in May 2019, and said her first word today – but it wasn’t what former Emmerdale actress Gemma hoped.

Taking to her Instagram stories, she said: “I carried her, I had a kidney infection with her around seven months, and was taken to A&E.

“I had an achey back, swollen feet, quite a traumatic birth.

“Followed by a hemorrhage.

The actress, 35, is focusing on being a new mum to baby Mia

“This morning the first thing she starts saying….’Dadadada.'”

She mocked Mia jokingly as she pretended to rage that Mia’s first word wasn’t “mama”, pointing the camera to a very smug looking Gorka.

“Now I know ‘dadada’ is easier than ‘mamama’ but COME ON MIA.

Gemma Atkinson and partner Gorka Marquez welcomed their daughter Mia last year

“COME ON”, she ranted.

Meanwhile Gorka raised his arms at the camera in triumph as he celebrated his daughter’s tribute to him.

Gemma recently shared a hilarious mishap regarding Mia, as she pined for her holiday in Greece.

Alongside a photo with Gorka as they cuddled up on the stunning beach, she wrote: “When you wish you were back in Greece but the reality is it’s Monday and Mia’s poo went up her back”.


Emmerdale fans have been asking for the actress to make a come back to the soap as character Carly Hope, a role she left in 2017.

However, Emmerdale viewers will be sad to learn that Gemma has said she will not be returning to the Dales any time soon.

The actress, 35, is focusing on her radio show in Manchester as well as being a new mum to baby Mia.


She told the Daily Star Sunday : “I love Emmerdale. It’s a great show. But going back would mean doing a commute to Leeds, doing 12 hours of filming and then going back again.

“So I wouldn’t see Mia.”

She added: “People keep messaging me saying I should go back to save Marlon, but I can’t go back at the moment.”

Gorka and Gemma were out of breath after a gruelling workout together

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She added: “I’m really enjoying my radio show at the moment. I get to work on my doorstep and it’s very short hours.

“That means I can be at home with my daughter. I could maybe do a couple of episodes at Emmerdale, but I can’t go back long-term.”

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Labour leadership: Clive Lewis warns party only has ‘very slim’ chance of winning next general election without alliances



Labour leadership hopeful Clive Lewis has warned his party only has a “very slim” chance of winning the next general election unless it embraces alliances with other parties at Westminster.

As he battles to secure the required number of nominations from colleagues in the parliamentary party to remain in the contest, the left-wing candidate will today also launch his “transform to win” manifesto. 

The document focuses on radical democratic reform, including proposals for abolishing the House of Lords and replacing it with an elected chamber, introducing proportional representation at national elections, and a vow not to block a second Scottish independence referendum. 


It includes a number of measures aimed at tackling the climate crisis, with a net-zero emissions by 2030 target, the opposition of any future airport expansions, and introducing duties for individuals taking multiple flights per year.

In an interview with The Independent, Mr Lewis warned, however, that Labour must put aside tribal differences and be open to forming pacts with progressive parties, or risk a fifth defeat in a row at the ballot box. 

Asked about the probability of Labour securing victory at the next general election, he replied: “On the current trajectory that we’re on with the current policies, the current strategy we’re using of not collaborating with other political parties – not embracing progressive alliance, not embracing working with others, I think it is very slim.

“And I don’t think it’s necessarily that just my opinion – I think the historical context shows that for Labour in the post-1945 period. The only time that Labour has convincingly come from opposition to win has been in 1997 in the post-war period. And to do that we had to tack quite substantially to the right.” 

Mr Lewis’s manifesto – to be released on Sunday – states that Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) should be given the option to decide if “they will stand down in favour of a better-placed candidates with the same values”. 

It adds: “We must be open to creating alliances of progressive and socialist organisations on a local level, particularly given the undemocratic electoral system face”. 

It is a significant break with Jeremy Corbyn, who repeatedly dismissed attempts throughout his leadership to form so-called “progressive alliances” with Liberal Democrat and Green candidates in order to thwart Conservative candidates’ chances of success at the ballot box. 

Pressed on what his leadership manifesto would concentrate on, Mr Lewis added: “Democracy. Democracy within the party, democracy in the country. The fact that we have a crisis of democracy, a crisis of social democracy that unless we accept this a longer term malaise, unless we understand that people need to have a sense of power, and agency in their lives.

“That this is in part what has seen the collapse… or a big part of the problem for Labour Party over the last century and in particular the last 40 years, then that is going to have be at the heart of what we do.” 

“From that you begin to see the possibilities – the whole thing about the climate crisis or about any policy we implement is making sure it’s not from the top down, what I’m saying is the reason that democracy runs through everything I’m doing is because I actually want to give people a say to feel empowered and I actually think we’ll get better policies coming from that.” ​

The left-winger urged the party to put aside ‘tribal differences’

As it stands, however, Mr Lewis, a former BBC journalist and army reservist, is struggling to convince his colleagues he has what it takes to be Labour’s next leader, with nominations so far from just three MPs. In order to reach the second stage of the contest, leadership hopefuls must secure the backing of at least 22 MPs or MEPs. 

Asked who he would back if didn’t make the second round of the contest to succeed Mr Corbyn, he said:  “What I would do is I will have to look and see who says what. I have heard so little from the other candidates. 

“I haven’t heard anything of significance yet. From my mind I want to hear who is going to have a radical programme of democratising not just our party – so we can transform to win – but also who is going to deal with the climate issue, who is going to deal with democracy crisis.” 

But while he said he would want to “hear what Jess Phillips is saying” in the contest, he added it was “highly unlikely” he would back her leadership “and the wing of the party that she comes from”.

For the deputy leadership position, Mr Lewis said he would nominate Dawn Butler, the shadow women and equalities minister, if she has not managed to secure sufficient support before the first round of the contest ends on Monday. “I want to see,” he added. “If she gets over the line then I can look around because there are other Bame candidates. There’s Rosena Allin-Khan.” 



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What do Labour voters think of the party’s leadership candidates? – Channel 4 News


Sir Keir Starmer has officially launched his bid to become Labour leader, with a promise to defend the party’s radical values and win back voters.

The Shadow Brexit Secretary also vowed to end anti-Semitism in the party.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Long-Bailey – the leadership contender seen as the favourite of the left – has been out canvassing members.

Our Home Affairs Correspondent, Darshna Soni, reports.



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Labour leadership contest: who are the runners and riders? | Politics


Rebecca Long-Bailey

Rebecca Long-Bailey

Rebecca Long-Bailey

A close ally of the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, Long-Bailey has been groomed as a potential leftwing contender for the top job, who launched a slick video about her backstory during the campaign. The Salford MP and shadow business secretary performed well as a stand-in for Corbyn in leadership debates.

During the election campaign, Long-Bailey spearheaded promotion of the party’s plan for a green jobs revolution and was forced to tackle tough questions over its decision to soften its stance on hitting net-zero carbon emissions.

Her father was a Salford docker and trade union representative, and she worked in several service industry jobs before qualifying as a solicitor. But given her close alliance with Corbyn and the left, and the rejection delivered by the electorate on Thursday, members may be nervous.

Emily Thornberry

Emily Thornberry,

Emily Thornberry,

The shadow foreign secretary had a quiet election campaign, which was viewed in some quarters as a sign she would run for leader if Labour lost the election. Others believed she was being kept quiet due to her remain position. She has been faultlessly loyal to Corbyn, despite not always having been on his leftwing side of the party. As a “girly swot” she believes she is good at taking on Boris Johnson. In her acceptance speech in Islington South and Finsbury, she said: “The real fight has to begin now.”

Thornberry will have to fight allegations of being part of the “metropolitan elite”. The image has plagued her ever since she tweeted a picture in 2014 of a house in the Rochester and Strood constituency adorned with three flags of St George and the owner’s white van parked outside, provoking accusations of snobbery. She resigned her shadow cabinet position shortly afterwards.

Thornberry’s formative years may have informed her politics. Her parents divorced when she was seven years old and she moved into a council house with her mother. She and her siblings took free school meals. But her politics remain elusive. She voted against her own government under Blair and Brown but backed Yvette Cooper in the 2015 leadership campaign. As shadow foreign secretary, she has always trodden a careful line that does not stray too far from the leadership on issues such as Russia, Israel and Trident.

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer

The ambitious former director of public prosecutions has led the charge for remain in the shadow cabinet. He has held his Holborn and St Pancras seat since 2015 and been instrumental in shifting Labour’s position towards backing a second Brexit referendum. The party’s stance on Brexit has been blamed by some for the staggering defeat suffered by Labour on Friday. This means Starmer’s ownership of the direction taken could prove problematic if he tries to convince the membership to appoint him as their leader.

Away from Brexit, his politics are less clear. Prior to taking the role of DPP, he worked as a defence lawyer specialising in human rights issues. The Human Rights Act and the broader aspects of the constitution in the UK are in the sights of the Conservative government so his expertise in this area could be a strong sell.

Starmer is the only male runner on this list. There have long been calls for the next Labour leader to be a woman, including most recently from John McDonnell, the party’s shadow chancellor. McDonnell himself, once considered to be a potential candidate, has ruled himself out, as has Richard Burgon, the shadow justice secretary. The Conservatives frequently dig Labour over the fact the party have never had a woman as leader and the Tories have had two female PMs.

Angela Rayner

Angela Rayner

Angela Rayner

The shadow education secretary, a close friend of Long-Bailey’s, said in recent days she would like to support a Labour Brexit deal. She is regarded as a powerful public speaker and was praised for her interventions during the campaign. Some senior Conservatives said they would fear her as an adversary.

On her policy brief, her most controversial moments focused on private schools, which she believes should no longer be subsidised through charitable status.

Rayner’s life is often described as inspirational. She grew up on a council estate in Stockport; had a mother who couldn’t read or write; left school without any qualifications; got pregnant at 16 and left home to bring the child up alone. She qualified as a social care worker and became Unison’s most senior official in the North West region. She describes herself as “soft left” and backed Andy Burnham in the 2015 leadership election.

Jess Phillips

Jess Phillips

Jess Phillips

The MP for Birmingham Yardley is a strong media performer who has built up a significant public profile from the backbenches. Her fiery speeches and witty barbs aimed at the Conservatives, including the prime minister, frequently go viral online. She is also considered a passionate advocate for her constituency and issues on the ground therein.

Corbyn-supporting Labour members are likely to be deeply suspicious of her, as she has frequently been critical of his leadership and the party’s approach to antisemitism.

She has not formally announced her candidacy but wrote a piece for the Observer after the election, which many have viewed as the start of her bid for leadership. The piece discusses the issues of trust with Labour on the doorstep and the challenge of bringing back working-class voters.

Lisa Nandy

Lisa Nandy

Lisa Nandy

The Wigan MP has said she is seriously thinking about running for the leadership. In a piece for the Guardian, Nandy said she believed that, taken individually, many of the policies in Labour’s manifesto were popular with the public and that the election was not won due to any real affection for Boris Johnson and what he stands for.

Nandy has built a reputation as a campaigner for her constituency and others like it, many of which have fallen to the Tories. She helped to create the Centre For Towns thinktank and called for compromise over Brexit.

A soft-left candidate, she resigned from the shadow cabinet in 2016 over Corbyn’s leadership and handling of the EU referendum. Like Phillips, she may be viewed with suspicion from Corbyn supporters.

Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper ran against Corbyn for the leadership in 2015 and is viewed as a centrist. Therefore, she would be likely to face an uphill battle to convince the party membership she is the right person for the job.

After losing the leadership election, Cooper focused on becoming a prominent figure on the backbenches, delivering scathing blows to the government in the Commons and has mastered the policy detail on Brexit and home affairs, the latter of which she scrutinises in her role as chair of the home affairs select committee.

She has been an MP since 1997 and held positions including chief secretary to the Treasury and secretary of state for work and pensions when Labour was in government.



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General election 2019: Labour facing long haul, warns McDonnell


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Media captionJohn McDonnell says it’s time for him to step aside as shadow chancellor

Labour faces a “long haul” as it attempts to gain power following its fourth election defeat in a row, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has warned.

He rejected claims that leader Jeremy Corbyn had been responsible for the result, instead blaming “the overwhelming issue” of Brexit.

But some current and ex-MPs have said Mr Corbyn’s unpopularity contributed to Labour losing dozens of seats.

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives won on Thursday with a Commons majority of 80.

The outcome, far more positive for the Tories than most opinion polls had predicted, has prompted much soul-searching within Labour, which last won a general election under Tony Blair in 2005.

Mr Corbyn has announced he will stand down in the near future and Mr McDonnell, one of his closest allies, said he had been “the right leader” for the party.

But Labour MP Phil Wilson, who lost the seat of Sedgefield which he had held for 12 years, said “so many people said to me on the doorstep, Phil, if you had a different leader, I’d vote for you, there wouldn’t be a problem”.

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Media captionFormer Labour MP: Corbyn lost me my seat

Asked whether Mr Corbyn lost him his seat, Mr Wilson replied: “Yes.”

For many of his constituents, he said: “The one thing that was holding them back from voting Labour was the current leadership of the Labour Party.”

He added: “For every one person who raised Brexit with me on the doorstep, there would be five people who raised Jeremy Corbyn.”

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Phil Wilson had been the MP for Sedgefield since 2007

Meanwhile, Labour’s Helen Goodman, who lost her Bishop Auckland seat to the Conservatives on Thursday, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “the biggest factor was obviously the unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader”.

And Dame Margaret Hodge, Labour MP for Barking, east London, said she felt “anger because this is an election we should have won”.

She added that, under Mr Corbyn’s leadership – during which Labour has faced criticism for its handling of anti-Semitism allegations among its membership – voters had come to see it “as a nasty party”.

Asked whether M Former Labour MP Phil Wilson, who lost the seat of Sedgefield which he had held for 12 years, said “so many people said to me on the doorstep, Phil, if you had a different leader, I’d vote for you, there wouldn’t be a problem”.

Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North, said the party’s “far-left” manifesto had alienated much of the electorate.

However, Labour’s ex-Welsh secretary, Lord Hain, insisted the party must not embrace a “wishy-washy centrism” in the wake of its defeat.

Lord Hain, a cabinet minister under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, said the “Corbyn project” had some “very searching self-examination” to do, but it was important to offer “a clear alternative to the Tory project”.

Mr McDonnell disagreed with personal criticism of his leader, saying: “The overwhelming issue was Brexit and the Labour Party was caught on the horns of a dilemma.

“We had a party which was largely supportive of Remain, but many of us represented Leave constituencies.”

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Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are longstanding allies

In the election, Labour’s number of Commons seats fell to 203, its lowest since 1935.

Mr Corbyn, leader since 2015, ran for prime minister on a promise to hold a second referendum on Brexit, saying that during any campaign he would remain neutral – in contrast to Mr Johnson’s promise to take the UK out of the EU by 31 January.

Mr McDonnell said: “If we went one way, to Leave, we would have alienated a lot of our Remain support. If we went for Remain, we’d alienate a lot of our Leave support.

“We tried to bring the country together. It failed. We have to accept that, take it on the chin. We have to own that and then move on.”

Mr McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington in west London, said Labour now needed to have “a constructive debate” about its future, discussing “what went right and what went wrong” during the election campaign.

He argued that Mr Corbyn, who has received criticism from some Labour figures for not standing down immediately, was right to stay on “for a couple of months”.

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Media captionJeremy Corbyn: “There is no such thing as Corbynism”

It was necessary because of the “expertise” required to deal with issues such as Brexit and the forthcoming Budget, he said.

Discussing Mr Johnson’s government, Mr McDonnell said: “My fear is that we’re in for a long haul now, possibly five years.

“The two issues that we face are still there – huge, grotesque levels of inequality and, the issue that never really emerged in the campaign, which was climate change, this existential threat that must be our priority.

“Brexit, well, we’ll see what the government brings back in terms of its negotiations. The people have decided we need to implement that, but we’ve got to get the best deal to protect jobs and the economy.”

He added: “My fear is five years of a fossil fuel-backed government under Boris Johnson means we’ll miss this five-years opportunity of saving our planet.”

At the 2017 general election, Mr Corbyn’s first as Labour leader, the party won 40% of votes and gained 30 MPs, denying Theresa May’s Conservatives a majority.

But on Thursday it received 32% of the vote and lost 59 seats, including several of its traditional strongholds in the north of England.

Mr Corbyn said that, during the election campaign, he had done “everything I could” and that he had “pride” in the party’s manifesto.

The Labour leader’s sons, Tommy, Seb and Benjamin, tweeted a tribute to their father, calling him an “honest, humble and good-natured” figure in the “poisonous world” of politics.



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