Politics update: Labour antisemitism action, free trade with Europe

Jeremy Corbyn Labour
Stella Creasy Gender Pay Gap

Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy has been urging women to hold employers to account


Wednesday marked the deadline for companies with over 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap, as part of a push for a more transparent environment to tackle the issue in the UK.

Eight out of ten UK companies and public-sector bodies revealed on Wednesday that they pay male employees more than female employees, exposing the scale of the gender pay gap issue in the UK. Airline Ryanair published one of the biggest pay gaps, with a median gap of 71.8 percent between male and female employees. The company claims this is due to men occupying more senior positions than women in the company.

Companies could see legal action if the data is not published, and Wednesday saw firms rushing to meet the midnight deadline.

Corbyn and Jewish leaders agree to tackle Labour antisemitism

Two of Britain’s largest Jewish organisations have met with Jeremy Corbyn today as part of an agreement to tackle antisemitism in the Labour party.

The Labour leader issued a letter to the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD), stating that it was his responsibility “to give a strong and continuing personal lead” on issues that have plagued the party in the last few weeks.

Jeremy Corbyn and the wider Labour party faced a backlash after it was revealed that Corbyn posted a supportive message on Facebook to an artist who had created a mural that was deemed highly anti-semitic. Several prominent members of Jewish-led organisations have called for a greater focus on the issue of antisemitism within the party, and this week one of the party’s top Jewish donors, Sir David Garrard, withdrew his support, something that will trouble the party as they start their local election campaign.

Having our cake and eating it, too

The Commons Brexit committee has this week appealed to the government not to rule out free trade with Europe, after Britain exits the European Union. In its recent report, the cross-party committee has suggested that, if any no “deep and special partnership” is established in negotiations with the EU, then other options, such as joining the European Free Trade Association, should be considered.

David Davis, the secretary of state for exiting the European Union, has previously stated that continued membership of the economic area, often dubbed the ‘Norway Option’, would be the worst outcome for Britain.

The committee also set out 15 ‘key tests’ for the government as part of its recommendations on Brexit. These include issues such as the Northern Ireland border, and how data should be treated between the UK and EU.

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Daniel Cody

Daniel Cody is SEO Editor at the New Statesman, and the creator of No Majesty. He is the host of the podcast Britain on the Rocks.