The Mid Norfolk Labour Party has taken back control of party messaging, and is currently telling local residents to “VOTE GREEN PARTY THE LABOUR PARTY UNDER STARMER IS FINISHED”. The website’s edits are apparently the work of a “disgruntled former party member” who used to manage the site, however the party branch say they are “powerless to amend its website” as they do not have the necessary log-ins. The graffiti’s apparently been up for a week…
Any prospective Norfolk voters are told that Sir Keir “lied to get elected leader and backtracking on all the pledges he gave at the time. He can’t be trusted any more than Johnson can.” It seems Mid Norfolk voters are already adhering to the website’s demand – the party only got 22.2% in 2019…
And so it’s begun:
19.41: Ed Miliband shifted down to climate and net zero after major disagreements with Starmer over energy nationalisation
19.41: Jonathan Reynolds gets Shadow Business Secretary
19.29: Jon Ashworth demoted to shadow DWP
19.29: Pat McFadden gets Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
19.28: Lisa Nandy gets slight demotion to shadow Gove at levelling up, though she’ll be on more familiar ground
19.28: Lucy Powell promoted to shadow DCMS
19.28: Steve Reed shifted to shadow Justice Secretary
19.29: Thornberry demoted to shadow Attorney General
19.29: Lammy promoted to Shadow Foreign Sec
19.28: Bridget Phillipson appointed to Education
19.28: Wes Streeting gets Health
18:11: Yvette Cooper gets Shadow Home Secretary. Will take a £15,000 pay cut stepping down from chairing the home affairs select committee…
16.44: Nick Thomas-Symonds shifted to shadow trade
14.19: Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green out
13.25: Jo Stevens demoted from Shadow DCMS to Shadow Welsh Secretary
11.57: Shadow Secretary of state for Young People and Democracy, and left-winger, Cat Smith has confirmed she’s left the Shadow Cabinet, partly over Corbyn’s suspension. She specifies Starmer did ask her to continue in the job.
Angela Rayner’s IfG speech on cleaning up politics had already been blown out of the water by Omicron, although Starmer may yet completely bury any coverage. The Times this morning carries an eyebrow-raising story that he plans a reshuffle before Christmas to remove his shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds – who’s failed to land any blows on struggling Priti – shadow Education Secretary Kate Green – who’s been struggling to stand on her own two feet – and shadow DCMS Secretary Jo Stevens – who Guido’s just had to search on Wikipedia.
Excitedly, both Paul Waugh and Labour List’s Sienna Rodgers report the reshuffle has already begun – all while Rayner’s mid-speech. A Rayner ally tells Rodgers that:
“Trying to sack Angela and make her the scapegoat for Hartlepool was stupid. But doing a reshuffle when she’s literally on her feet giving a speech attacking the Tories for being corrupt is just plain offensive.”
Guido contacted Labour’s spokesperson, however they’ve gone mysteriously quiet…
During yesterday’s little reported autocued speech to the CBI, Starmer announced that Labour “will establish an Office for Value for Money, to chase down every penny we spend”. Ironically Starmer’s office has not given any indication how much this “Value for Money Office” will cost the taxpayer…
It was not a new announcement, at this year’s Labour Party conference Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves first raised the idea of a new quango:
“Labour will create a new, independent Office for Value for Money. It will be tasked with keeping a watchful eye on how public money is spent and equipped with meaningful powers so no government is allowed to mark its own homework. I do not take lightly the responsibility to see that public money is spent wisely and our public finances kept under control.”
With no official figures Guido can only assume that Labour will be as reckless with this quango as they have been with their previously proposed semi-public bodies. During the 2019 general election Labour suggested more than 100 costly waste-of-time quangos that would have cost the taxpayer a staggering £13 billion. The existing National Audit Office (NAO) – which performs a very similar role to the proposed new organisation – operates on a relatively modest budget of £100 million. What will this Value for Money Office do that the National Audit Office does not already do?
As the government’s new social care costing cap squeaked through the Commons last night by just 272 votes to 246, the question of what is Labour’s alternative inevitably came up on this morning’s media round. Unfortunately for Labour’s Sarah Owen MP, the details haven’t exactly been fleshed out yet: other than the ‘tax the rich’, Sky News’ Kay Burley struggled to get much out of her, despite asking nine times. “Tax the rich” – why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?
Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru have confirmed the details of a three-year “co-operation agreement” in the Senedd this afternoon, with First Minister Mark Drakeford and Plaid leader Adam Price claiming it will “address issues which take the greatest political and policy effort to resolve”. They also set out the preliminary details of their policy agenda, which includes extending free school meals to all primary school pupils, the expansion of the Senedd, gender quotas in law, and potentially a new voting system. Price added that the deal would “plant together the seed beneath the snow of a new society, a new Wales, a new beginning”, which is a far cry from what he had to say about his new partners just over a year ago…
In September 2020, Price insisted that Plaid
“…Wouldn’t support a Labour government under any circumstances – a Labour-led government under any circumstances…”
When ITV Wales correspondent Rob Osborne asked if that answer would be proven wrong “in a couple of months’ time”, Price gave an emphatic “no“. Which is true, strictly speaking: it took just over a year…