Politics update: May makes a bid for Labour voters, Brexit woes for British businesses


May asks for Labour voter support in the Observer


Theresa May has made an extraordinary push into this Sunday’s Observer magazine, where she gave an invitation to centre-left Labour voters “appalled by what has happened to a once-great party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.”

In the article titled ‘Labour voters should look afresh at the Conservatives’, May claims the principles of her party can “unite our people and help build a better future for our country”, saying that centre-left voters should consider voting for Tories instead of what she calls a “once great party” now under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

The PM writes that under Corbyn: “anti semitism has grown, the party’s response to threats to our country’s security has become equivocal, and moderate Labour MPs have become targets for deselection and harassment.” This appeal comes before a series of pitches to centre-left voters as to the strength of her party’s future policies, and the importance of “getting the best Brexit deal for Britain”.

May beats Johnson and Javid as preferred prime minister in new poll

Theresa May has beaten Tory colleagues Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a new poll conducted by BMG Research asking who would be participants ‘preferred prime minister’.

The poll of 1,500, conducted on behalf of The Independent, asked participants who they would like to see win in a series of election contests: May versus Corbyn, Johnson versus Corbyn and Javid versus Corbyn. The results show only May as the preferred candidate to the Labour leader.

In the first contest, 34% back May compared to 28% for Corbyn. In the second, 27% back Johnson, with 31% backing Corbyn, and in the third, 22% back Javid, with 27% for Corbyn. In each contest at least 30% of participants said they would not be satisfied with the choice presented.

Whilst candidate support is varied, both parties appear deadlocked, according to the survey results. When participants were pushed for an answer and “don’t knows” discounted, the poll showed Labour on 39%, the Conservatives on 38%, the Lib Dems on 10% and Ukip and the Greens on 4%”

McDonnell calls for end to Universal Credit

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has called for an end to the government’s Universal Credit scheme, claiming that families could lose up to £200 a month when the new benefits scheme is rolled out nationally.

Speaking to Sky News, McDonnell said: “We’ve looked and looked, we can’t see that either government’s or other proposals could reform it. It’s in a shambles, and it’s actually iniquitous as well.”

The shadow chancellor also hit back at Theresa May’s conference speech, where she borrowed a key Labour policy in claiming an ‘end to austerity’. Speaking in the interview, McDonnell said: “there’s no end of austerity – quite the reverse”, claiming that the PM’s Universal Credit policies were damaging.

Boris Johnson attacks May’s “undemocratic” Chequers proposal in conference speech

Brexit Britain causes anxiety for businesses

A new study by accountancy group Deloitte has found the UK businesses are the most anxious about Brexit they have been since the initial referendum, with less hiring of staff and investment being carried out by bosses.

The latest survey showed that out of 95 CFOs, including 18 at FTSE 100 companies and 36 at smaller firms listed on the FTSE 250, only 13% of chief financial officers were more optimistic about their businesses than they were three months ago, compared to July, when 24% were more optimistic. In addition, half of the group claimed that hiring would slow over the next three years as a result of Brexit, up from 40%.

Like what you’re reading? Leave us your email and get the Politics Update delivered to your inbox, every weekday.


Share this


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.