Thursday 10 January 2019 / 11:07 AM
Via Labour Press
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, delivering a speech on Brexit in Wakefield, said:
It’s a pleasure to be here in Wakefield and thank you to OE Electrics for kindly hosting us.
We are now two and a half years on from the EU referendum and we are finally reaching the moment when the House of Commons will have its say on Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
In those two and a half years many of the most pressing problems facing people in their daily lives, here in Yorkshire and across the country, have been ignored or relegated to the back of the queue by a Conservative Party consumed by its own internal battles over Brexit.
Years of Tory failure have left our society more divided than ever:
Poverty is growing, homelessness is up, personal debt is rising and crime is up too.
The truth is, the real divide in our country is not between those who voted to Remain in the EU and those who voted to Leave. It is between the many – who do the work, who create the wealth and pay their taxes, and the few – who set the rules, who reap the rewards and so often dodge taxes.
The Conservative Party’s main concern, as ever is to protect the interests of the few and is prepared to set everybody else against each other divide and rule style to stay in power.
That’s why at every turn during the Brexit negotiations the Prime Minister has acted in ways that have exacerbated division.
In fact her only success in bringing people together has been to unite both people who voted leave and those who voted remain against her botched and damaging deal.
Now she is facing the inevitable consequence of that failure, defeat in the House of Commons.
Let there be no doubt. Theresa May’s deal is a bad deal for our country and Labour will vote against it next week in Parliament.
And remember, the only reason Parliament is having what has become known as the meaningful vote is because Labour secured that concession from the government.
I would like to pay tribute to Keir Starmer and his team for all their hard work throughout this process.
If the government cannot pass its most important legislation then there must be a general election at the earliest opportunity.
A government that cannot get its business through the House of Commons is no government at all.
It has lost its mandate so must go to the country to seek another.
And the government defeat on Tuesday, after the amendment put down by Yvette Cooper was passed, is the first time a government has been defeated on a Finance Bill since 1978.
So I say to Theresa May: if you are so confident in your deal then call that election and let the people decide.
If not, Labour will table a motion of no confidence in the government at the moment we judge it to have the best chance of success.
Clearly, Labour does not have enough MPs in parliament to win a confidence vote on its own.
So members across the House should vote with us to break the deadlock.
This paralysis cannot continue. Uncertainty is putting people’s jobs and livelihoods at risk.
And if a general election cannot be secured then we will keep all options on the table, including the option of campaigning for a public vote.
But an election must be the priority. It is not only the most practical option, it is also the most democratic option.
It could give the winning party a renewed mandate to negotiate a better deal for Britain and secure support for it in Parliament and across the country.
Defeat for the government’s central policy on Tuesday would be historic.
It would not only signal the failure of Theresa May’s premiership but the failure of the Conservative Party as a party of government.
This is after all a party that for decades claimed to be the natural party of government. A safe bet for the country.
Now we see the reality.
They don’t know what they’re doing. They have led us from chaos to crisis. And they have no answers or legislation to fix the many crises of their own making whether it’s the cost of living, housing, personal debt, escalating inequality, rising crime or collapsing public services.
But there are solutions to these crises and Theresa May’s botched Brexit deal is not “the only deal possible.”
It is a deal that reflects the kind of country that the Tories want to create.
It should be no surprise that this Tory deal allows workers’ rights and environmental protections to fall behind minimum European basic standards.
The government boasts that this will give the UK “flexibility.”
But flexibility for whom?
Labour has very different priorities because we represent the interests of the many, not the few.
We have given voice to policies that command majority public support but which the political class has long refused to endorse such as fair taxation and new forms of public ownership.
When Labour goes into government we will support new high tech industries that will provide high wage secure jobs. And we will bring real investment and prosperity to areas such as Yorkshire and the Midlands, to Scotland and Wales which for too long have been held back by successive governments.
And so the alternative plan that Labour has set out for a sensible Brexit deal that could win broad support is designed to enable us to fulfil those ambitions while respecting the democratic result of the referendum.
Any political leader who wants to bring the country together cannot wish away the votes of 17 million people who wanted to leave, any more than they can ignore the concerns of the 16 million who voted to remain.
I know people are genuinely scared by the prospect of no deal. I meet people who are frightened and going through real stress.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the EU nationals who have enriched our society and made such a fantastic contribution to our industries and services. With Labour your future here is secure.
And I know many people were appalled at the bigotry and racism that some politicians stoked during the referendum campaign and are still trying to exploit out of the small number of desperate refugees risking their lives to cross the English Channel.
Let’s never forget that whatever circumstances people are living in whether in tents camps or trying to survive on dangerous dinghies, everyone is a human being and we must reach out the hand of humanity in all circumstances.
And that is exactly what Labour’s Home team does, led so well by Diane Abbott.
People want to live in a country that’s tolerant, that’s diverse, that’s open. We won’t let that openness, that generosity be crushed. Let’s not lower our horizons, let’s raise them up.
I also know that in many places like Wakefield, people feel they’ve been ignored. They lost industries and no one seemed to care. They’ve been robbed of their future by a lack of investment.
These are proud, generous communities that pull together and support each other. Communities that have real pride in their towns, in their cities, in their regions, but they know they could be so much more. I understand that many of them wanted to send the politicians a message in the referendum and I hear them. Labour is the party of the working class and we’ll stand up for you.
That’s why our alternative plan prioritises jobs growth and rights.
That is why we have called for a new customs union with a British say in future trade deals; a strong single market relationship; and a guarantee to keep pace with EU rights and standards.
Combined with the election of a radical Labour government our alternative plan will allow us to make the fundamental changes that are so badly needed in our country, while respecting those who voted both leave and remain.
Why is a customs union necessary?
It’s because a new customs union and a radical Labour government with an active industrial strategy will allow a renaissance in our manufacturing sector, which will create good, secure jobs and help restore pride and prosperity to parts of our country that have been ignored for too long.
Why do we need a strong relationship with the single market?
It’s because frictionless trade and a radical Labour government with a plan to invest in every region and nation of our country, will give us the chance to kick-start real growth in our economy, allowing the wealth created by this country’s workforce to be shared more fairly.
Finally, why are we absolutely insistent on at least keeping pace with EU rights at work environmental standards and consumer protections?
It’s because with those guarantees and a radical Labour government that stands up for people against powerful vested interests, we can give workers and consumers more control over their lives.
The alternative deal Labour has proposed is practical and achievable, and clearly has the potential to command majority support in parliament.
But it is not an end in itself. The task of the Labour party and the Labour movement is the long-overdue transformation of our country.
We will bring people together by addressing the deep-seated and common problems across our country and fulfilling the aspirations that led people to vote both leave or remain.
I would put it like this: if you’re living in Tottenham you may well have voted to Remain.
You’ve got high bills rising debts. You’re in insecure work. You struggle to make your wages stretch and you may be on universal credit, and forced to access food banks.
You’re up against it.
If you’re living in Mansfield, you are more likely to have voted to Leave.
You’ve got high bills, rising debts, you’re in insecure work, you struggle to make your wages stretch and you may be on universal credit and forced to access food banks.
You’re up against it.
But you’re not against each other.
People across the country, whether they voted Leave or Remain know that the system isn’t working for them.
Some see the EU as a defence against insecurity and hostility. Others see the EU as part of an establishment that plunged them into insecurity and hostility in the first place.
But it’s the failed system rigged against the many to protect the interests of the few that is the real cause of inequality and insecurity whether it’s in Tottenham or Mansfield.
And, the real solution is to transform Britain to work in the interests of the vast majority by challenging the entrenched power of a privileged elite.
That is how we can help to overcome our country’s divisions.
Because for both sides the EU referendum was about much more than our relationship with our biggest trading partner and its rules.
It was about what has happened to our people over decades and how to build a better future.
The Conservatives are never going to tackle the burning injustices in our country or act to overcome the deep and growing inequalities.
They are incapable of leading us out of a crisis they created.
Britain deserves a government that can govern.
The need for a government with a clear purpose and direction for the country could not be more urgent.
A general election is the right answer and the best way to break the deadlock.
Labour is ready to bring Leave and Remain voters together to rebuild Britain for the many not the few.
Jeremy Corbyn Saturday April 14, 2018-
“I have written to Theresa May in response to last night’s legally questionable air strikes on Syria.
Parliament should have been consulted and voted on the matter. The UK Prime Minister is accountable to Parliament, not to the whims of a US President.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have already been killed and millions displaced. The Government must take a diplomatic lead to negotiate a ceasefire in the conflict.”
Hours ago a military coalition led by the USA with, France and the UK taking part, launched airstrikes in Syria. Jeremy Corbyn has reponded:-
“Bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace.
This legally questionable action risks escalating further, as US defence secretary James Mattis has admitted, an already devastating conflict and therefore makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more likely.
Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm’s way.
Theresa May should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump. The Government should do whatever possible to push Russia and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend’s horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account.”
Sky News Saturday morning reports
Friday April 13, 2018
Statement by Jeremy Corbyn re possibility of further military intervention in Syria:-
“Further UK military intervention in Syria's appalling multi-sided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict.
The government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed. But the US administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals.
Even US defence secretary James Mattis has said we "don't have evidence" and warned further military action could "escalate out of control".
Ministers should take their proposals, such as they are, to parliament. And Britain should press for an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend’s horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account.
Rather than further military action, what is urgently needed is a coordinated international drive to achieve a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement under UN auspices. The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides.
The need to restart genuine negotiations for peace and an inclusive political settlement of the Syrian conflict, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces, could not be more urgent. We must do everything we can, no matter how challenging, to bring that about.”
Jeremy Corbyn: May waiting for Trump instructions on Syria
Tuesday Jennie Formby has officially taken over the role of General Secretary of the Labour Party. We all wish her well.
Jennie has emailed party memebers the following
"The actions of others do not reduce our responsibility to challenge antisemitism whenever and wherever it occurs."
A statement from Momentum's National Coordinating Group which is shown below:-
Tuesday April 2 elections for the NCG of Momentum kicked off. Members have until April 16 to cast their four allotted votes.
As this election relates to a left wing body ALL the candidates on offer share the same political aims and support Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader.
The people shown below however are the official left slate in this election
We received the following from an online friend and it was too good not to share
“In 1984 Jeremy Corbyn supported me. Now I'm supporting him” says Bruce Wilson former miner
Jeremy Corbyn full speech at Labour’s Local Elections launch in Trafford
We’re here today in Trafford to launch Labour’s local election campaign. But before I do so, I want to talk about the terrorist attack in Westminster a year ago today when PC Keith Palmer was killed along with four others and more than 50 people were injured.
Later today I will attend a service in Westminster to remember the bravery of the police and to pay our respects to all those who died Aysha Frade, Kurt Cochran, Leslie Rhodes, Andreea Cristea and PC Keith Palmer.
On 3rd May there are elections in many towns and cities in England.
This year more than ever it is vital people vote Labour for a Labour council to protect and support your community.
On May 3rd people have the chance to send an unmistakable message to this government that enough is enough.
Enough of cuts to vital services that hurt local communities; enough of cuts to schools, hospitals and local policing; enough of library and youth centres closures; enough of leaving elderly and disabled people without essential care; and enough of failed privatisations that suck funds out of public services so a few can make a profit.
Over the last eight years, this Conservative government has cuts councils’ budgets in half one Conservative council has already gone bust.
In that same time, this government has slashed corporation tax, cut the bank levy, abolished the top tax rate on high earners and cut capital gains tax for the very richest.
Austerity is a political choice.
So when your children’s school is losing teachers and sending begging letters to parents or their youth centre is closed, that’s because the Conservative priority is tax breaks for big business.
And when your elderly relatives are neglected for lack of social care, that’s because the Conservatives want another tax giveaway for a few people at the top.
Decent people who have contributed all their lives have been turned into an item on a spreadsheet, sliced and diced into 15-minute units of care because of Conservative cuts and privatisation dogma.
It doesn’t have to be like this Labour in government would do things very differently.
And Labour councils across the country are doing things very differently right now.
Look at the number of Labour councils that are accredited as paying the living wage to all council staff and contractors. My own borough of Islington was one of the first in the country to do so.
And look across London, Conservative Wandsworth is not a living wage borough, but next door Labour Lambeth is. Tory Westminster is not but neighbouring Labour Camden pays the living wage.
And here in Greater Manchester just down the road, Salford Labour council is a living wage council but Conservative-led Trafford is not.
And with pay lower today than it was in 2010, we need local councils to be doing what they can to boost their local economies.
More and more people are finding it hard to make ends meet, bills are going up, and many young people can’t afford to move out of home or put enough by each month to save for a deposit.
Philip Hammond may have proclaimed “the light at the end of the tunnel”, but the stark reality was revealed by the government’s own official forecasts predicting “weak growth in real earnings and even weaker growth in real disposable incomes”.
Meanwhile the country’s housing crisis is deepening, it’s a crisis that has left 120,000 children in temporary accommodation without a home to call their own. That’s up two-thirds since 2010.
Homelessness has more than doubled and fewer people are able to afford to buy their own home.
It’s in response to this crisis that Birmingham Labour council has set up Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust to build more council houses. They have built around 2,500 new homes in the last three years, more than 20% of all new homes built in Birmingham since 2011.
But under this government, the number of new social rented homes being started has fallen from 40,000 with Labour to fewer than 1,000 last year.
Labour will build the homes people need and ensure developers build genuinely affordable housing.
Too often under the Conservatives, the essential things in life have been left to the market.
The collapse of private outsourcing companies like Carillion should have been a wake-up call for the government, but it’s Labour councils that are dealing with a crisis made in Downing Street.
Take Croydon, the Conservative council privatised the libraries and outsourced the workforce to Carillion. When Carillion collapsed it was the Labour council that saved the libraries and people’s jobs by bringing them back in-house.
Labour councils are clearing up the Tories’ mess time and time again, and acting as a human shield against damaging Conservative cuts.
It’s a different story when it comes to Conservative councils.
Northamptonshire bragged that it was pioneering an “easy-council” model. The Conservative council outsourced over 95% of its 4,000 staff. They were transferred to four new service providers, run like private companies with the payment of dividends.
Last month we learned the council had run out of money and its leader had resigned blaming the Conservative government. That’s not efficient management, it’s reckless gambling with people’s lives and the public services they rely on.
But this same slash-and-burn model is still being used by Barnet council also run by the Conservatives where Capita holds contracts with an estimated value of £500m.
Privatisation has failed to deliver on the railways, in the water companies and with energy too; people are paying more for less.
That’s what you get with the Tories you pay more for less so that their super-rich backers can take a cut for themselves.
It’s common sense that natural monopolies like water, energy and rail and public services should be there to serve us all not the profit margins of a few.
That is why Robin Hood Energy, an energy company set up by Nottingham Labour council is so important.
If we are serious about meeting our climate change goals, we need to allow councils to invest to tackle poor air quality and defend green spaces.
The energy companies have failed to invest in renewables and they’ve failed to keep energy bills affordable.
And again, it is Labour councils with their spirit of public enterprise and practical municipal socialism that are finding solutions even in the toughest of times.
And times are certainly tough for the councils trying to provide local services with half of their budget cut since 2010, and the ten most deprived council areas in England subjected to cuts higher than the national average.
What that means on the ground in local communities is that over 400 libraries have closed; more than 600 youth centres shut down; it means 1.2 million elderly people not getting the care they need and deserve; and many disabled people suffering the same indignity.
Last year 400 women were turned away from refuges because they simply didn’t have space many of those women fleeing with their children from violent homes.
In England alone, two women are killed every single week by a partner or an ex-partner. Finding safety in a women’s refuge can quite literally be a matter of life and death. Yet a fifth of all women’s refuges have been forced to close since 2010.
So when Theresa May talks about “burning injustices”, remember the reality her government is presiding over: more children growing up in poverty; life expectancy falling for the first time in living memory; our NHS in crisis with the number of GPs and nurses falling; crime up and 20,000 fewer police on our streets; more people forced to rely on food banks; and more than twice as many people sleeping rough on our streets.
Yet all the while the government has found billions of pounds in tax giveaways for the very richest and big business.
That’s Conservative Britain. And who is footing the bill?
Christine knows just one of the thousands of people who write to me every week. The police precept in Hampshire is going up by 7.3%, despite police cuts in her area. It’s the same message again pay more for less.
Police funding has fallen by one fifth since 2010; the thin blue line is getting thinner.
And the police inspectorate is today warning that 999 calls are sometimes not responded to for days and that some forces are so stretched that the lives of vulnerable people are being put at risk.
Empty shops suck the life out of high streets and local communities, and yet local businesses and shops that are the lifeblood of our communities and high streets will see their rates increase by over £3,000 even as basic services are cut.
The message from Theresa May’s government could not be clearer: pay more to get less under the Conservatives.
And ‘pay more for less’ is precisely the message from Conservative-run Leicestershire County Council where residents face £50 million of cuts this year and council tax increases of nearly 6%.
Their Conservative deputy leader of the council blamed “chronically low Government funding”.
Every day people see what the dilemmas facing local councils mean in practice.
As Edna, who wrote to me this week put it, “councils having to sell off artwork, close museums, sell off parks, close libraries to survive. The poor and middle classes are losing out on their quality of life.”
And it’s not just in Leicestershire, the Conservative leader of Surrey County Council said recently, “We are facing the most difficult financial crisis in our history. The government cannot stand idly by while Rome burns.”
But it is standing by and passing the buck to local councils.
On May 3rd there’s no need to stand by, no need to accept you have to pay more and get less, use your vote to send the message that ‘enough is enough’.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
After eight years of Conservative cuts, failed privatisations and falling living standards, it’s time for real change.
Labour will give dignity and support to those in need, rebuild our communities and transform our country for the many, not the few.
Here's the official press release re appointment of Jennie Formby
Labour appoints new General Secretary
The Labour Party has today appointed Jennie Formby as the incoming General Secretary. Interviews took place this afternoon and the decision was made by the party’s NEC. Jennie will succeed Iain McNicol.
Jennie Formby said:
“I am honoured to be appointed Labour’s new General Secretary. I would like to thank my predecessor, Iain McNicol, for his tireless dedication to the party over the past seven years.
“Last year’s General Election showed the strength of our movement when we are united, challenging this Government’s failed and damaging policies and campaigning for real change, in the interests of communities across the UK.
“Labour is preparing for government and I look forward to working with Jeremy Corbyn, our party’s staff, Members of Parliament, members and affiliates to oppose the Conservatives’ destructive austerity programme inside and outside Parliament, and to win elections to build a society that works for the many, not the few.”
Iain McNicol said:
“I would like to congratulate Jennie Formby on her appointment as the 17th General Secretary of the Labour Party.
“After seven years serving as General Secretary and with the Party now financially sound I am pleased to be handing over the reins to someone with such strong trade union experience. I’m confident Jennie will build on our electoral gains last year, working with our talented and experienced staff to win the next General Election, whenever it comes.
“As someone who has dedicated her life to fighting for workers’ rights, equality and social justice, I know Jennie will put all the commitment, drive and organising talent into getting Labour into government and Jeremy into Number 10.”
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“I would like to congratulate Jennie Formby on her new role as General Secretary of our party. Her talent, experience and commitment to the Labour and Trade Union movement makes me confident she will play a crucial role in building on last year’s inspiring General Election advance and taking our party forward to victory.
“The Labour Party is on the cusp of power and we are ready for a General Election whenever it comes. We have the team, the passion and the policies to win the support of the British people, form a government and transform our society for the many, not the few.”
Notes to editors:
Jennie Formby is currently the South East Regional Secretary of Unite trade union, serving previously as political secretary to the union. Jennie has sat on Labour’s NEC for seven years and served as an NEC Officer and presently as the Vice Chair of the committee.
March 12 - Jeremy Corbyn responds to the Prime Minister’s update on the Sergei Skripal case
Responding to the Prime Minister’s update on the Sergei Skripal case, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said:
“We all condemn the suspected poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. This was a deeply alarming attack that appalled the country and raises very serious questions. Nobody on the streets of Britain should ever face such an attack.
“There must be a thorough investigation into these shocking events. We need to see both the evidence and a full account from the Russian authorities in light of the emerging facts.
“Huge fortunes, often acquired in the most dubious circumstances in Russia, sometimes connected with criminal elements, have ended up sheltering in London and trying to buy political influence in British party politics.
“The Government could be taking action to introduce new financial sanctions powers. But instead they’re currently resisting Labour’s amendments to the sanctions and money laundering bill which could introduce the Magnitsky powers.
“The local community and public services involved need reassurance and resources. And the action the Government takes, once the facts are clear, needs to be both decisive and proportionate, and focused on reducing conflicts and tensions rather than increasing them.”
Salisbury police officer poisoned by nerve agent in Sergei Skipal case named as detective sergeant Nick Bailey
Jennie Formby: Labour's new general secretary