Politics update: Labour supports public vote as it heads for party conference


Labour keeps ‘all options on the table’ on Brexit

 Kier Starmer Jeremy Corbyn

Labour’s party conference on Tuesday is expected to pass a motion which will commit to campaigning for a people’s vote, if there is no option of a general election available. 100 delegates from trade unions and local parties met with shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer on Sunday to draft a two-page document, clearly stating the party’s position on Brexit.

The key sentence of the final draft says: “If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote.” One source told The Guardian: “This is clear movement from the party. We are now talking with clarity of voting down the deal if it doesn’t meet our tests, calling for a general election, and if that is not possible – we want a public vote on the deal.”

May meets with her cabinet

Theresa May will meet with her cabinet on Monday, in the fallout of the Salzburg summit which saw her Chequer’s proposal rejected by EU leaders, sending her leadership into a fresh crisis.

It is expected that immigration policy – one of the key remaining aspects of the Brexit deal to be resolved – could cause clashes between her cabinet, as some members of May’s cabinet are believed to support rebel plans from ex-cabinet minister David Davis and lead eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg, who are expected to lay out plans contradicting May’s proposals. The options to be put forward by Eurosceptics are expected to demand a looser future relationship with Brussels, whilst challenging other key points for May’s Chequers proposal.

The rest from Labour’s annual conference…

McDonnell – shares for workers up to £500

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell will announce at the Labour party conference that a Labour government will introduce a scheme that sees firms pay workers up to £500 from ‘inclusive ownership funds’. Firms will have to pay 1% of their shares into the fund every year into a maximum of 10% – after a cap of £500 per worker is exceeded, the rest will be paid into public services and welfare.

The shadow chancellor told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “1% is not particularly radical,” adding “This is an idea whose time has come but should have come 20 years ago.”

Easier deselections

Until now, deselection votes have required support from 50% of a local party’s electorate. At the conference in Liverpool this is expected to be changed to 33%. Deselection’s have been criticised as being a means to remove critics of Jeremy Corbyn, as pro-Corbyn group Momentum is well-known for mounting deselections.

Housing – more power for tenants

Labour’s shadow housing minister John Healey is poised to announce that Labour will give more power to tenants if they are elected at the next general election. The plans include introducing three-year tenancies, banning letting agent fees and reversing cuts to legal aid for housing-related causes.

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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.