Just seconds after claiming Labour’s “enormous discipline” means its spending commitments “have all been costed“, Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry forgot what her party’s tax policies actually are. Appearing on Politics Live this afternoon alongside Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake, Thornberry insisted Labour “don’t make an announcement without being able to show where the money comes from” – only to then admit she “can’t remember” where they’ll find £22 billion for small businesses…
Thornberry: “The idea is that we redistribute taxation from the larger businesses to the smaller businesses, so what we’re going to do, we’re going to stick with the taxes for the larger companies…”
Hollinrake: “Which taxes?”
Thornberry: “… I can’t remember exactly which ones it is now. I think it’s the highest… higher business taxes, and so businesses of a certain size will continue to be able to pay that higher amount, and that money will be transferred to smaller businesses…”
She then claimed Hollinrake “really needed to pay more attention“. Apparently Labour are committing to higher businesses taxes now. Does Rachel Reeves know about this, or does she need to pay more attention as well?
Ever since Labour decided to pretend Rishi Sunak doesn’t think child rapists should be prosecuted, Sir Keir’s own record heading the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is back under the microscope. By his own words, this should be fair game: when his team “made mistakes“, Keir “carried the can“. There is at least one member of his own Shadow Cabinet who’s been particularly outspoken on those “mistakes”…
In 2010, Emily Thornberry stood up in the Commons to tear chunks out of the Starmer-led CPS for failing to come to a conclusion on prosecuting the officer who killed Ian Tomlinson at the G20:
“We have all seen the film. The man was clearly assaulted […] How can the CPS have taken 15 months to come to no conclusion? It is not going to take any action. I suggest that that would not have happened if the tables had been turned and this shows that there is no equality before the law.”
Then, in recently unearthed footage from Question Time in 2012, Thornberry again goes after the CPS for “letting down” the victims of Jimmy Savile after failing to act on the evidence. When the Savile drama hit the headlines again last year, Starmer called it “an untrue slur” – yet here’s Thornberry:
“I’m really disappointed in the Crown Prosecution Services for letting down these victims. When evidence comes forward, I’m really shocked that they did not go ahead with prosecuting. It’s for that reason that I wrote in my capacity as Shadow Attorney General to [the] Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service […] and asked for an independent inspection.”
She also slammed the CPS for investigating itself over the the issue, claiming it was “a bit like the BBC doing an investigation of itself, or the health service doing an investigation of itself, or Broadmoor doing an investigation of itself.” Co-conspirators will recall Thornberry even wrote to Starmer personally, attacking the Service for “backsliding” on “weakened” rape prosecution guidelines.
If Labour are going to continue presenting Starmer as an infallible man of great integrity, they need a better strategy than simply sending out Wes Streeting to defend his boss’s “proud record” as though it is beyond reproach. A record so strong that you can still read Emily Thornberry’s speeches laying into it on her own website. Thornberry now sits a few chairs along from Starmer at the Shadow Cabinet table…
Emily Thornberry found herself squirming on Question Time last night when asked about Labour’s stance on the government’s plans to house asylum seekers in barracks. Even after multiple questions from Fiona Bruce, the Shadow Attorney General couldn’t clarify Labour’s position:
FB: Do Labour support or object to the idea of using barracks to house asylum seekers?
ET: *huffs* I mean, I think that, as I say, I think that it’s not actually – what I- what I object to with the use of barracks is that it’s going to be used as an add on to the hotels. So it’s not a solution to the hotels
FB: So in principle, you don’t have a problem with asylum seekers being housed in barracks?
ET: I don’t have a problem with people being treated humanely…
Guido does have sympathy for Thornberry and the rest of the Labour Party. Pretending to be tough on immigration is difficult for a party full of leftie London lawyers.
As Gary Lineker’s BBC career hangs in the balance, even Labour are beginning to shift their line on the footballing star. Appearing on Sky News with Sophy Ridge last night, Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry pushed back on the millionaire pundit’s comments, claiming he “went too far” in comparing the government’s small boats policy to Nazi Germany, and she “wouldn’t have said that” herself:
“I know that Gary Lineker feels very strongly about this issue, and he has brought refugees into his home and he campaigns on this issue. I think some of the language that Gary Lineker has used in the last 24 hours has been really very unfortunate, and I wouldn’t have used some of the [comments]… I just think that there is a special place in hell for the Nazis… I don’t think you should be making those comparisons. So I wouldn’t have said that, I think that he went too far…”
Starmer’s spokesperson already gave Lineker a yellow card earlier in the day, saying “comparisons with Germany in the 1930s aren’t always the best way to make your argument. But Gary Lineker has been a passionate advocate on behalf of refugees…”. Directly saying he went “too far” and shouldn’t have made the comments at all is enough to send him off the pitch. Which would make things awkward for James O’Brien, who is now suggesting Tory criticism of Lineker’s comments is somehow out of the fascist playbook. What does he think of Thornberry, then?
As Shamima Begum has today lost her appeal for British citizenship, it’s worth taking a look at what the leading lights of His Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition, have had to say on the matter:
Leftie lawyers backing Begum is no surprise:
They were not alone:
All eyes now on how captain hindsight will find a way to revise his line…
To be fair, not all members of the shadow cabinet were so full-throated in their terrorist sympathies. Yvette Cooper dodged questions on Begum – admitting it was a “matter for the courts”. Presumably, now the courts have upheld the decision, she agrees the government took the right approach…