“Disappointed” Corbyn Responds to Labour MPs Quitting the Party

Jeremy Corbyn has put out his response to seven Labour MPs quitting the party to form ‘The Independent Group’:

I am disappointed that these MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945. Labour won people over on a programme for the many not the few – redistributing wealth and power, taking vital resources into public ownership, investing in every region and nation, and tackling climate change. The Tories are bungling Brexit while Labour has set out a unifying and credible alternative plan. When millions face the misery of Universal Credit, rising crime, homelessness and poverty, now more than ever is the time to bring people together to build a better future for us all.

A more measured response than most of his supporters

Bercow Selects Soubry Amendment for Debate

Bercow has called just three amendments to be debated and voted on today. Which will come as a small relief to everyone with Valentine’s plans tonight…

The specific wording of the Government’s motion itself has drawn the ire of the ERG and Remainers alike, as it means MPs would in effect be endorsing the Spelman amendment against no deal as well as the Brady amendment calling for an alternative to the backstop, although it would be purely symbolic. The ERG are likely to abstain although Guido understands that various reports that they have already come to a firm decision are slightly “premature”…

Guido gives you a quick rundown of what today’s amendments are:

  • A (Jeremy Corbyn): Fairly pointless Labour frontbench amendment calling for the Government to move another motion by 27 February. Which they have already committed to…
  • I (Ian Blackford): SNP amendment with Lib Dem support calling for the Government to immediately begin negotiations with the EU to extend Article 50. Looks like they already have been
  • E (Anna Soubry): Cross-party amendment from the usual Remainer suspects – calls on the Government to publish the most recent official Cabinet briefing document on the implications of a no-deal Brexit. Will be the closest vote but it won’t be legally binding…

Bercow sparing the People’s Vote campaign’s blushes for today by not selecting any of the no-hoper second referendum amendments…

Corbyn Accused of Misleading Parliament Over Ferries Claim

Much to everyone’s surprise, Jeremy Corbyn actually asked a vaguely coherent set of questions on a big issue of the day at PMQs today, going on the attack over Seaborne Freight. However, in his excitement it appears that Corbyn may have actually got his facts seriously wrong, with Craig Mackinlay writing to Corbyn to challenge him over whether he misled the House with his claim that the Government’s decision had increased Thanet Council’s budget deficit by “nearly two million pounds”.

Bizarrely, the Mirror decided to make an underwhelming ‘Thug Life’ meme purely on the basis of Corbyn’s facial reaction when Mackinlay challenged him at PMQs. Funnily enough they didn’t make one when Corbyn had a similar reaction to Ben Bradshaw’s second referendum suggestion yesterday. Corbyn may well be ending up with egg on his face rather than a pair of photoshopped sunglasses…

Corbyn Selling on the Cheap

Corbynista car enthusiasts will no doubt have their eyes on the DVLA today as it holds one of its regular auctions of personalised numberplates – up for sale today is a collector’s item, the numberplate COR87N. So far it’s only garnered the interest of the few, with a modest asking price of only £300 and just a couple of early bids of £500 and £650…

By contrast, Theresa has proved a much more popular choice over the years, with TER355A selling for £2,500 in 2005, THE235A going for £3,800 in 2014, and TRE35A fetching a whopping £5,500 in 2001. At least it’s one transport-related area where Corbyn doesn’t have her on the back foot today…

Corbyn Sneers at Second Referendum

Few people looked less impressed by Ben Bradshaw’s suggestion of a second referendum than his own party leader. Labour not even bothering to hide their disdain for a second referendum now…

Corbyn Called for the EU to be Defeated in 2010

TalkRADIO have unearthed footage from the Durham Miners Gala in 2010, where Jeremy Corbyn called for the European Union, among a raft of other international organisations to be ‘defeated’.

“They, the world’s bankers, International Monetary Fund, European Union, they are utterly united in what they want. Utterly united in deflation, suppressing the economy, and creating unemployment. Utterly united in that.”

“We will not be silenced by these people. We will win through. We will defeat them”

Less than six years later and he got got his wish…

H/t Ross Kempsell 

May Keen on Corbyn’s Cop-Out

May’s official response to Corbyn’s soft Brexit offer has not done anything to calm the nerves of jittery Tory MPs, with May adopting a surprisingly conciliatory tone and offering only a lukewarm defence of the benefits of leaving the customs union. May opens the door to offering further commitments on following future EU laws and even says she is happy to “explore” Corbyn’s call to adopt “shared institutions and obligations” of the single market. May again signalling that she would sooner do a deal with the devil than allow ‘no deal’ to happen…

Steve Baker has sarcastically responded “It’s a good thing Corbyn does not realise the PM is already heading into what amounts to the EU Customs Union, or he would have to ask for more unachievable goals”. For a long time May and Corbyn’s positions have been differentiated more by rhetoric than substance, now they really are heading for ever closer union…

 

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Leslie Tells Corbyn to Pick Up the Phone to Maduro

Former Shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie launched an eviscerating attack on Corbyn in the Chamber this afternoon. Sounding more and more like a member of that much rumoured breakaway party, Leslie effectively accused his party leader of being of the same ilk as the Russian, Chinese, and Cuban regimes.

“Can we get the Russian Administration to do more? Can we get the Chinese, the Cubans? Or are there other individuals who have a close relationship with Maduro, perhaps even the leader of the Labour Party who at this late stage could pick up the telephone and implore him, beg him, to stop this appalling approach and to leave government immediately.”

Is the Labour breakaway finally about to happen..?

Corbyn Offers May Faustian Soft Brexit Pact

As Theresa May heads back to Brussels to find out if there’s a special place in hell for her too, it turns out that she has a deal with the devil to consider. Jeremy Corbyn has dramatically come off the fence overnight and given May five new Brexit demands as the price for backing her deal. Unlike the deliberately nebulous and unfulfillable (and unrememberable) six Brexit tests, these are serious suggestions which the Government could conceivably meet. But at what cost…

The five demands would create a Brexit essentially along the lines of ‘Norway Plus’ – staying in the single market and customs union. The first is predictably the demand for a “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union” including the Common External Tariff and an “agreement on commercial policy that includes a UK say on future EU trade deals”. This is pure fantasy – the UK will end up like Turkey whose market access is bartered away by the EU in trade deals without Turkey getting reciprocal access in return. The worst possible outcome from Brexit…

Corbyn also calls for “close alignment with the Single Market” which is “underpinned by shared institutions and obligations” as well as “dynamic alignment on rights and protections”. So the UK remains part of the Single Market institutions and has to continue adopting new EU laws. Corbyn laughably claims this will “allow the UK to lead the way” – the reality will be the complete opposite. Brussels will continue to fax over new laws and the UK will have to adopt them all with no say…

The damage May would do to her own position by doing a deal with Corbyn which sells out on all her key Brexit pledges would be irreparable, but given her private opposition to no deal, she may feel that she has no choice as March 29th approaches. There is an argument that since these commitments would be in the non-binding political declaration on the future relationship, a future leader could come in and reverse them provided there is not the looming threat of a permanent backstop, this would undoubtedly be a highly fraught exercise.

This truly is a Faustian pact – May would finally get a deal through but condemn herself to eternal damnation in the eyes of her supporters…

Read the full text of Corbyn’s offer below:

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Bridgen Commends Corbyn’s Brexiteer Credentials

“He clearly campaigned vigorously against repeated EU referendums in Ireland, and declared forcefully that he did not wish to live under a European empire of the 21st century”

Will Corbyn fans try to claim that this direct quoting of their leader’s opinions of the EU is just a smear..?

Corbyn on the EU Empire and Second Referendums

Red Roar have got a scoop confirming what we all know – Jezza is an opponent of the “EU Empire”.  He’s also an opponent of NATO which is a hangover from his fellow travelling days during the Cold War. The video makes clear his opposition to second referendums – confirming what “People’s Vote” fans already know. Labour Remainers will be seething.

Something that will make right-of-centre Brexiteers uncomfortable is that it is clear from this that Corbyn thinks exiting the EU will weaken NATO. Critics of Brexit on the right emphasise this point, that economic and military alliances are intertwined, that’s why so many feel uncomfortable about Germany’s reliance on Russian energy supplies. Russia’s implicit support for Brexit shows they think the same, that it will strategically divide and weaken the West. Guido believes that world trade promotes world peace and that economic interlinks with Russia and China improve global security. A stronger economy also bolsters the ability to finance stronger military defences… which we should do in any event…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Corbyn’s Israel False Flag Conspiracy

New footage has been unearthed of Jeremy Corbyn in 2012 saying that “yes of course” Israel may engage in “creating a false flag event” to start a war with Iran. What makes Corbyn’s answer worse is that this theory was presented to him as something that is going around “conspiracy channels on the internet”. But Corbyn says they’re quite right…

Prior to interviewing Corbyn, the interviewer had produced a number of videos on YouTube with titles ranging from “On The Need to Dissolve the Jewish Identity”, “Will the Jews get the reputation of the Nazis?”, “9/11 – No Thermite, 7/7 – No Rucksack Bombs”, and “Judaism, Just Another Cult?”. Did Corbyn not take the incredibly basic step of checking who was interviewing him, or did he just not care?

It comes ahead of a debate of Parliamentary Labour Party on Monday on a motion entitled ‘Action on Antisemitism’, which would compel the party leadership to “provide a report in one weeks’ time” answering a list of questions regarding what the leadership has done to combat anti-Semitism in their party. Yet another incident for Corbyn to explain…

Read the motion in full here:

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Corbyn Backs Brexit-Blocking Cooper Amendment

The BBC’s Laura K has confirmed that Labour will be officially backing the Yvette Cooper amendment which would tear up the rules of Parliament and allow backbench MPs to bring in a Bill to block Brexit from happening in March. Hardline Remainers trying to reverse Brexit will be delighted. How will Labour’s Brexit-supporting voters feel about it?

Ten Times Leading People’s Vote Supporters Attacked Corbyn

The embattled People’s Vote campaign are dismayed that Jeremy Corbyn won’t get off the fence and back their second referendum campaign. It’s funny how they’re now begging for his help when they’ve been some of his harshest critics for years. Here’s what some leading People’s Voters really think about Corbyn:

  • Tony Blair in 2016 said Jeremy Corbyn in power would be a “very dangerous experiment”.
  • Peter Mandelson in 2017 said “I work every single day in some small way to bring forward the end of his tenure in office. Something, however small it may be – an email, a phone call or a meeting I convene – every day I try to do something to save the Labour party from his leadership.”
  • Alastair Campbell in 2015 called on Labour members to vote for “anyone but Corbyn” and said that his election as leader would show that Labour had “given up on being a serious party of government”.
  • Chuka Umunna in 2015 said that Corbyn and his “nasty trolls” should be disqualified from office because of their pacifist views.
  • Sadiq Khan in 2016 wrote that Labour “cannot win with Corbyn” and said that Corbyn had “proved that he is unable to organise an effective team, and has failed to win the trust and respect of the British people”.
  • Tom Baldwin, the People’s Vote’s Director of Communications, wrote in 2016 that “people at every level of our party recognised a responsibility to bring Jeremy Corbyn’s experimental retro-70s leadership to a swift end” and tweeted that “getting rid of Corbyn would be a step in the right direction”.
  • Anna Soubry just last week called Corbyn the “most hopeless opposition leader we’ve ever had” .
  • Mike Gapes also directly attacked Corbyn just last week, saying “Apparently Corbyn is prepared to hold talks with Hamas, Hezbollah, Assad and Iran without preconditions. But not with the UK Prime Minister. Why?”
  • Chris Leslie in 2015 accused Corbyn of “plucking figures out of the air” and said that his policies would hit the poor the hardest as well as keeping Labour out of power for a decade.
  • Sarah Wollaston in 2016 said “Whatever your political views, we all benefit from a competent official opposition; that cannot happen under Corbyn”.

Never mind his lifelong euroscepticism, if they wanted Corbyn to join them maybe they shouldn’t have spent most of the last four years slagging him off in public…

How MPs are Plotting to Stop Brexit

Despite the second ‘meaningful vote’ not being for another week, scheming MPs have been getting their anti-Brexit amendments in early. The following amendments are all already tabled, although they may change between now and next week:

  • Corbyn: “all options on the table” amendment. Corbyn continues his vague policy towards Brexit with an amendment calling for the Government to give time for Parliament to vote on options aimed at preventing no deal, including a Labour-style “strong single market” deal or “legislating to hold a public vote on a deal or a proposition that has commanded the support of the majority of the House of Commons”. Heavily-qualified support for a second referendum that likely wouldn’t be binding on the Government in any case…
  • Cooper, Boles, Morgan, Grieve: “coup” amendment. Seeks to give an entirely arbitrary grouping of backbench MPs the power to take over the Parliamentary timetable and bring in a Bill that would force the Government to extend Article 50 if a deal is not agreed by the end of February. Literally a coup…
  • Benn: “indicative votes” amendment. Commits the Government to holding a series of so-called “indicative votes” – MPs would hold non-binding votes on a range of different Brexit scenarios. Likely generating more heat than light…
  • Grieve: “endless debates” amendment. Somewhat similar but more tedious, this attempts to create a slot for weekly six-and-a-half hour debates for MPs to debate a meaningless motion while adding their own amendments to it. The most pernicious aspects allowing a minority of 300 MPs to take over Parliamentary business have been removed. Grieve claims the debates won’t be used to try to force primary legislation through…
  • Reeves, Benn, Grieve: “two-year extension” amendment. Attempts to force the Government to seek a two-year extension to Article 50 if no deal is agreed by 26th February. Not going to happen, not least because the EU won’t agree…
  • Creasy, Nandy: “citizens’ assembly” amendment. Extends Article 50 and creates a “citizens’ assembly” of 250 people along with an “expert committee” appointed by Sarah Wollaston’s Liaison Committee to advise the Government how to proceed. Very Green Party…

The one amendment which hasn’t yet been tabled but could also be highly significant is some variation of Andrew Murrison’s from last week which Bercow refused to call. This is looking like the most likely route for the Government to try to get its own MPs and the DUP back onside by voting through the Withdrawal Agreement but only on the condition that the backstop is time limited. Would give the EU some tough choices to make…

George Freeman on Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit Position

George Freeman on Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit Position:

“The Leader of the Opposition’s Position is crystal clear – he’s for Leave up north and Remain down south.”

May Twice as Popular as Corbyn, Even Ahead With Remainers

The latest YouGov leadership polling isn’t great for Theresa May – she’s tied with ‘Don’t Know’ on 38% for who would make the best Prime Minister – but it’s absolutely dire for Jeremy Corbyn. Despite May’s anarchic premiership, Corbyn barely musters half as much support with only 20% backing him as the best Prime Minister. Corbyn doesn’t even have the support of a majority of 2017 *Labour* voters, only 46% of whom back him now…

May is ahead in every single region of the country, including London and Scotland. Incredibly, she’s even 1% ahead among Remain voters, while she has a comfortable lead among the C2DE voters that Corbyn claims to be speaking for. May shouldn’t get too excited, without the over-65s ‘Don’t Know’ would be comfortably ahead…

When Dawn Pulled Jez

Corbyn’s no confidence motion didn’t go to plan for him in more ways than one yesterday, while taking beatings from Tory Remainers and even one of his own former MPs, Dawn Butler felt the need to tug him off the dispatch box, and back to his seat when he forgot to sit down.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Ken Livingstone deployed a corker on TalkRadio this afternoon…
“I joined the Labour Party 50 years ago this month and in all that time I have never heard a single anti-semitic comment.”

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