Starmer to Promise No Coalition Deal with SNP

Sir Keir is reportedly promising he will never strike a coalition deal with the SNP to enter Downing Street, and plans to make it clear he’d rather be in a minority government than work with Sturgeon. According to the Guardian, Starmer is keen to get on the front foot over the Tories’ “coalition of chaos” attacks by ruling out any concessions to the SNP, and will pledge to offer a procedural guarantee against a deal – including rejecting a referendum – in a motion at the party’s conference. Because as everyone knows, a pledge from Sir Keir is worth its weight in gold.

This comes as Boris himself laid bare the Tories’ strategy for the next election. In an interview with the FT’s Seb Payne earlier this spring, the PM said:

“Do you want a sensible ‘One Nation’ Conservative party? This is a One Nation government that has done some fantastic things already and we’ll do a lot more. Or do you want Labour propped up by the SNP? We’re going back to that choice.”

Earlier this week, Matt Hancock said essentially the same thing in a Mail op-ed. Given there’s still a vacancy for the party chairmanship, he was probably hoping Boris was paying attention.

Well, it worked so well for Ed Miliband…

mdi-timer 1 July 2022 @ 13:11 1 Jul 2022 @ 13:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Starmer Bottles Sacking Picketing Shadow Ministers

Starmer has bottled sacking any shadow ministers who broke his edict not to join rail picket lines last week, The Guardian reveals. The five shadow ministers and PPSs who joined striking workers will merely be “warned about future conduct”, which even represents a climbdown from briefings last week that the rebels would be “encouraged to issue public apologies” to avoid risking disciplinary action. According to the Grauniad, the five rule breakers were sent letters instead of losing their jobs. Thankfully the slaps on the wrist were posted before the potential post office strikes, which presumably they’ll also participate in…

 

mdi-timer 28 June 2022 @ 15:56 28 Jun 2022 @ 15:56 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Durham Police Have Issued Over Hundred Retrospective Fines

What originally seemed like a safe bet for Sir Keir is now looking like an increasingly high stakes gamble. Yesterday the Mail on Sunday revealed Durham Constabulary, the police force currently investigating Starmer over Beergate, have handed out over 100 Covid fines retrospectively, with 90 handed out at least a week after the breaches were discovered, and another dozen or so meted out over a month later. One of the reasons Sir Keir felt safe in pledging to resign was his belief that Durham Constabulary don’t hand out retrospective penalties – it turns out they did…

The FoI requests published in the MoS also reveal the Constabulary issued fines for gatherings far smaller than Sir Keir’s – and in the same month Beergate took place. Six fines were handed out for gatherings of just three people, with another for a meeting of just five. There’s no definitive attendee figure for Sir Keir’s bash, because the story keeps changing, although it’s now assumed to be between 15 and 30 people…

One woman even received a £10,000 retrospective fine for organising a memorial for her father-in-law who died of Covid. She only had it reduced to £500 on appeal in April 2021, a week before the Beergate gathering. Not long to go now before the investigation concludes. No wonder contingency planning for the ‘worst case scenario’ is ramping up

mdi-timer 27 June 2022 @ 10:30 27 Jun 2022 @ 10:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
All the Labour Frontbenchers Ignoring Starmer’s Picket Line Ban

Since Guido’s morning story on Shadow Northern Ireland PPS Kate Osborne, more and more Labour frontbenchers are breaking rank by joining their comrades on the picket lines. Probably encouraged by the news that the Chief Whip might not bother disciplining them anyway…

Guido will keep a rolling list updated throughout the day. Here are the frontbenchers who’ve railed against Sir Keir so far…

This is an outright test of Starmer’s authority. Plenty of socialist backbenchers like Zarah Sultana are also out on the picket lines – that’s not really a surprise. The fact that even Rayner and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar are sticking their necks out – though Rayner hasn’t actually joined the picket line… yet – is a serious problem for LOTO. Stay tuned…

mdi-timer 21 June 2022 @ 14:46 21 Jun 2022 @ 14:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Labour PPSs Ignore Starmer’s Picket Line Ban

Last night PoliticsHome reported that Starmer has made the minimum effort to nudge himself off the fence over the rail strikes, with a leaked memo from LOTO revealing all Labour frontbenchers, including PPSs, are banned from picket lines this week:

“…However, we also must show leadership and to that end, please be reminded that frontbenchers including [parliamentary private secretaries] should not be on picket lines. Please speak to all the members of your team to remind them of this and confirm with me that you have done so.”

Yet just this morning, Shadow Northern Ireland PPS Kate Osborne tweeted this… on the picket line at Bromley South:

Only a few hours into the strikes and Labour’s party discipline has already gone off the rails…

UPDATE: Now another PPS, the MoD-shadowing Paula Barker, is also on the picket line

While Guido doesn’t know the whereabouts of Louise Haigh, the Shadow Transport Secretary’s constituency Labour Party is also out picketing

Now that’s a bad look…

mdi-timer 21 June 2022 @ 08:58 21 Jun 2022 @ 08:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Starmer Blocks Yet Another Local Parliamentary Candidate

Sir Keir’s efforts to purify the Labour Party with his preferred stock of hardline centrists has caused yet another local meltdown. Having already seen the Wakefield CLP executive resign en masse for ramming through Simon Lightwood as the by-election candidate, Southside has now turned its attention westwards. Over in Stroud, a two-person shortlist – imposed by a national panel – has outraged members after it mysteriously excluded a local councillor, Doina Cornell, who had the backing of seven trade unions and had led the District Council for four years. No public evidence given – just a claim she didn’t meet the “high bar” expected of candidates. She does happen to be a member of Unite though…

130 local members were so upset they’ve signed a scathing letter to Starmer and Labour General Secretary David Evans, claiming the snub is “bad for local party democracy” and “will fatally damage our chances of regaining Stroud for Labour”. Among the signees were members of all branches, dozens of councillors from nearby wards, and members of the CLP executive committee. It was even signed by one of candidates who actually made the shortlist…

Any TrotsAppers hoping CLP protests will change much will be disappointed. David Evans responded by saying “I understand this decision will be incredibly disappointing for Cllr Cornell and her supporters. However, we would urge her to carefully consider the concerns raised by the panel and look to address them ahead of the next round of parliamentary selections.A Labour source added they expect Starmer to block out the noise and plough ahead with the same strategy elsewhere… 

 

mdi-timer 16 June 2022 @ 16:35 16 Jun 2022 @ 16:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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