Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen 8.51am GMT Good morning. Labour’s national executive committee is meeting today to decide the detailed arrangements for the party’s leadership contest. And this morning we have witnessed what amounts to something close to the first U-turn by one of the candidates.
Yesterday, in an interview (pdf) with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Jess Phillips did not rule out Labour campaigning to rejoin the European Union at the next election. As my colleague Heather Stewart points out in her story, this contrasted with the approach taken by Sir Keir Starmer, who stressed that it was time to move one. Asked if the party would be a “return party” at the next election, Phillips said:I have a leave seat but I campaigned for remain because I thought it was the best thing for the people that I represent and I thought it was the best thing for the country and I’m not going to just change my mind on that. But what we have to do is wait and see.You would have to look at what was going on at the time. If Boris Johnson – what our job is for the next three years is to hold Boris Johnson to account on all the promises. So if we are living in an absolute paradise of trade and we’re totally safe in the world and we’re not worrying about having to constantly look to America for our safety and security, then maybe I’ll be proven wrong. But the reality is if our country is safer, if it is more economically viable to be in the European Union, then I will fight for that regardless of how difficult that argument is to make.People are asking me if I’ll lead the campaign to rejoin the EU. We haven’t even left yet! The honest answer is that I don’t know what the future will hold, but we must accept the result, move our country forward and hold Boris Johnson to account. I can’t see a campaign to rejoin winning support in the next Labour manifesto.Labour should always be an outward-facing and a pro-European party, but we know in our heads as well as our hearts that our failure to win the election means the terms of the debate have changed. Continue reading…
Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2020/jan/06/labour-leadership-jess-phillips-clarifies-brexit-stance-saying-she-cant-see-party-backing-remain-at-next-election-live-news
Author : Andrew Sparrow
Publish date : 2020-01-06 08:59:01
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