Cabinet Ministers have not been shy in freelancing on economic policy over the last few days, with Suella Braverman now attacking the Government’s reversal of a cut to the 45p rate of tax. Speaking to Christopher Hope this afternoon, the Home Secretary expressed her “disappointment” at the U-turn, and criticised the rebels who effectively “staged a coup” against the PM. She’s not one to mince her words…
The blue-on-blue fighting didn’t end there, with Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke taking to Twitter to support Suella:
Suella speaks a lot of good sense, as usual. https://t.co/EHEPhhZ0sX— Simon Clarke MP (@SimonClarkeMP) October 4, 2022
Jacob Rees-Mogg was also quick to voice his disappointment at the scrapped cut at a fringe event this afternoon, although he claimed to recognise the politics of the move. This all comes in the context of public cabinet battles over benefits, and Penny Mordaunt’s attacks on government comms. Meanwhile backbench agitators continue briefing out plans to rebel, with some now even claiming they’re holding “crisis” talks about Liz’s leadership. Truss has been PM for 28 days. Not quite the honeymoon period she would’ve hoped for…
Rishi Sunak has blamed the Treasury’s outdated software for not allowing him to raise benefits in an interview with Bloomberg. It’s not the first time the excuse has come to light; a Times article last Thursday revealed officials had told the Chancellor he could only raise benefits once a year at a certain point, with a government source saying “the system was simply not built to be flexible.” Sunak’s now explained the problem on the record. If it is true it is unacceptably pathetic, it also makes him sound a lot like a certain Little Britain character…
Lots of gold from the GMB Labour leadership hustings today.
Firstly, Andy Burnham was booed as he floundered around refusing to back the benefit cap.
The crowd wanted a no, but he knew the country would give a resounding yes.
And the banter did not stop there. He later got the price of litre of petrol wrong, declaring it was 160p:
Meet Alyessa. Vox-popped in Birmingham by the BBC this morning, she revealed why she’s voting Labour:
“Because Labour are the party that help people on benefits.”
Despite some vague tough talk from Rachel Reeves, Labour opposed every single one of IDS’s reforms and their client supporters are grateful. It’s the dirty little secret that the Labour Party refuse to accept: Benefit reform is hugely popular.
Polling by Ipsos Mori found that:
Being the ‘party that help people on benefits’ may soothe your base, but the public don’t like it…
Following her comments denigrating the unemployed, Labour’s grassroots have turned on Rachel Reeves:
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) March 17, 2015
— Marc McArdle (@marcmcardle1) March 17, 2015
I wonder what JK Rowling thinks of Rachel Reeves comments about Labour not being the Party of those out of work?
— Phil Lee (@philleehh) March 17, 2015
Rachel Reeves really is doing her best to mimic Iain Duncan Smith
— M4-T (@MatofKilburnia) March 17, 2015
Good lord. Rachel Reeves really is a nasty piece of work, isn't she? Where are the actual socialists in the Labour Party?
— Louis Barfe (@LFBarfe) March 17, 2015
— Iain (@Iain_33) March 17, 2015
This isn't the first time @RachelReevesMP has beaten Tories at their own game bashing sick, poor and vulnerable! Is she in the wrong party?
— Sheila Scoular (@sheilascoular) March 17, 2015
I will have to look at Rachel Reeves' comments in detail. Because on the face of it, she is desperately trying to convince me to vote Green.
— Dave Busfield-Birch (@Davebusfield) March 17, 2015
Rachel Reeves just made it impossible for me to vote labour
— Steve mid (@Stevemid110) March 17, 2015
Disgruntled Labour members can join the Green Party here…
What will Labour’s grassroots make of Rachel Reeves distancing her party from people receiving unemployment benefits? The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary is talking tough in the Guardian today, in very un-Guardian-y language:
“We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we’re not, the party to represent those who are out of work. Labour are a party of working people, formed for and by working people.”
Are Labour trying to get more of their supporters to follow in Jack Monroe’s footsteps? Slagging off their core vote is a bold move…