“We would oppose any post-Brexit austerity budget, just as we have opposed any austerity budget proposed by this government.” It ain’t gonna happen…
Dave’s decision to stand back and let Labour take charge of the Remain campaign is going well then. The party has split down the middle in the space of 48 hours.
Labour Remainers who want to keep free movement:
Jeremy Corbyn: Will fight to defend free movement.
John McDonnell: Told Peston he is against controls.
Ed Miliband: Problems shouldn’t be blamed on immigration.
Gordon Brown: Immigration is the BBC’s agenda.
Hilary Benn: Free movement is “part of the deal”.
Chuka Umunna: Happy with renegotiation on free movement.
Caroline Flint: Restrictions will hit Britons travelling to EU.
Chi Onwurah: Does not agree with Ed Balls.
Labour Remainers who want free movement reformed:
Tom Watson: Free movement rules must end.
Ed Balls: EU must impose new controls.
Yvette Cooper: Also says new controls needed.
Andy Burnham: Immigration key factor for Brexit voters.
Tristram Hunt: Wants UK to get grip on EU migrants.
Anna Turley: We have to look at freedom of movement.
Michael Dugher: Talking about immigration better late than never.
Those calling for reform want Brussels to suddenly tear up the main principle of the European project – it will never happen – as Stephen Bush says they might as well back Brexit. Yesterday morning Tom Watson tweeted: “The whole Labour family together today with a single, simple message.” Didn’t last long…
Red on red during today’s Home Affairs Select Committee anti-Semitism inquiry as a furious Chuka called Ken “pathetic”:
Ken: “What I said was true. What caused offence was a group of embittered old Blairite MPs running around lying about what I said -“
Chuka: “It’s just pathetic”
Ken: “Yes, yes, there’s no good you wriggling away Chuka Umunna, describing me as a Nazi apologist is a lie, and I could have sued him. I’m just not going to waste my time.”
Ken meanwhile pitched a half hour BBC programme where he explains the history of when exactly Hitler went mad…
Ken Livingstone is up in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee’s anti-Semitism inquiry at 3pm. Guido readers can play along at home using our bingo card of phrases Ken is likely to say during his grilling…
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Asked about immigration on the Today programme, Alan Johnson, the chair of Labour’s Remain campaign, blamed “people” for not “listening” to their arguments:
“We’ve talked about immigration all the way through this. Sometimes people haven’t been listening to us.”
The Remain campaign in one soundbite: if we don’t win, it’s the voters’ fault…
Johnson went on to argue that remaining in the EU helps us control immigration. Voters are listening, and that’s Remain’s problem…
Scouser Andy Burnham running for Manchester mayor was always an odd one. The Everton fan’s Twitter stream is full of opposition from local Mancs who would rather have Stretford boy Tony Lloyd in the job. So it’s not surprising that Burnham’s campaign has bombed – he came last in the Co-Op Party hustings last week, and came last again in the Gorton CLP hustings last night. Lloyd won both by a landslide. Maybe Andy’s just too Westminster bubble…
Momentum members are arguing about an event on “anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism” which is being promoted with a photo comparing Israel to Hitler. Good to see them handling the issue with their textbook sensitivity…
The event’s cover photo is a placard with the words “Well done Israel – Hitler would be proud”. It has an Israeli flag with a with a Swastika instead of the Star of David. Speakers include Momentum chief Jon Lansman and Marlene Ellis, a activist suspended over allegations of anti-Semitism. The picture choice is being criticised by Momentum supporters, one asks: “Can someone change the cover photo…. it’s not very edifying to have a picture on it that compares Israel to Hitler”. A second says: “I am a bit worried that the cover photo is setting a certain tone for the meeting”. Race row Labour member Jackie Walker warns it is “objectionable, provocative and distasteful”. Lansman tells Guido:
“The meeting will discuss antisemitism and the left. I did not choose the cover photo but my understanding is that it was chosen to illustrate a contemporary form of antisemitism rather than endorse it.”
Well done, comrades…
UPDATE: Lewisham Momentum say in a statement:
“Sure it is offensive, it isn’t very edifying… That’s the point of using such a photo that was taken on a protest that many of us were involved in. The discussion has to be had and we have to challenge ideas in our movement if we are to move forward and develop an understanding of different and specific kinds of oppression and racism.”
Cherie Blair, whose husband Tony created almost one new law for every day in office, railed against “big government” while supporting landlords in their judicial review of recent buy-to-let changes.
“United together, we can challenge the big government that is doing things to us which are unfair… I have a secret passion for homes under the hammer.
WikiGuido takes a look at whether John McDonnell could be the next Labour leader in the new issue of Spectator Life. McDonnell’s eighties nickname is also revealed:
McDonnell infamously praised the ‘bombs and bullets’ of the IRA, though his links to Irish republicanism go deeper than words.
Blair tells Bloomberg:
“I’m accused of being a war criminal for removing Saddam Hussein — who by the way was a war criminal — and yet Jeremy is seen as a progressive icon as we stand by and watch the people of Syria barrel-bombed, beaten and starved into submission and do nothing…
There’s a guy whose face is on the placard.
This video is the equivalent of Nick Clegg’s signed pledge to cut tuition fees. In March Sadiq Khan looked down the camera and promised voters:
“Over the last eight years fares have soared. That’s why I’m making a fully funded pledge to freeze fares over the next four years.
Labour are looking for an “experienced” new Head of Press, though they’re offering a measly £41,000 for the role – hardly enough to tempt a top hack or spinner to put up with reporting to Seumas Milne. The new spin doctor’s contract will expire in December, so there’s not much job security either.[…]
Labour Treasury Select Committee member Helen Goodman has privately blasted the Shadow Treasury team as “totally out of touch with the main economic issue of the day”. In a furious email exchange with Labour MP Julie Cooper, the PPS to Shadow Chief Secretary Seema Malhotra, Goodman condemns a Shadow Treasury team briefing document as “a disgrace” because it barely mentions the EU referendum.[…]