Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Labour braced for showdown over Corbyn’s Brexit position

Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Dawn Butler MP speaks at Labour’s National Women’s Conference at the ACC in Liverpool PA Wire Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Dawn Butler MP speaks at Labour’s National Women’s Conference at the ACC in Liverpool PA Wire
Kenny Thornton | 24 September, 2018, 10:08

Minutes after trouncing Owen Smith and winning his second Labour leadership contest in September 2016, Jeremy Corbyn promised to reward the mass membership that had backed him by giving them more power inside the party.

And 86% would back a public vote on the outcome of Brexit negotiations. But it's far from guaranteed that a firm policy on the matter will emerge over the next few days.

The MP for Tottenham was greeted by loud cheers as he addressed protesters gathered at Liverpool's Pier Head on the first day of the Labour Autumn conference.

Labour MP Dame Louise Ellman said: "For major trade union leaders to not only smear the Jewish community and Jewish people for speaking out against anti-Semitism but then trying to blame them for it, I think we are entering into very unsafe waters".

40 Tory MPs have signalled they would vote against any Brexit deal that is based on Chequers, leaving her with 21 days to find an alternative solution.

A YouGov survey of more than 1,000 Labour members for The Observer found 86% support a referendum on the outcome of Brexit talks, against just 8% who oppose it.

But a march of MPs, MEPs, union leaders and activists today continues to put pressure on the party to throw its weight behind a "People's Vote".

Corbyn told the BBC on Sunday he would "adhere" to whatever came out of conference, although he would prefer to hold a general election instead.

"We could well be looking towards a general election and you know what?"

She said that the phrase "on the terms of Brexit" had been removed from an earlier draft of the motion, meaning that the option to campaign for an in/out referendum remained open.

As a social media influencer and journalist with thousands of followers Katherine Ormerod 34 was used to curating
I’m a former fashion editor at Grazia and this is the truth behind the ‘perfect’ life I shared on Instagram Comment

The compromise, which was swiftly dismissed by some critics as a "disappointing fudge", falls short of calls for the party conference in Liverpool to explicitly back a second referendum.

With the United Kingdom and the European Union at an impasse in divorce talks, many Labour members think the left-of-center opposition party has the power - and a duty - to force a new referendum that could reverse Britain's decision to leave the 28-nation bloc.

Mr Corbyn also told the programme the United Kingdom "could be" close to a general election.

"I was elected to empower the members of the party".

"By failing to give conference delegates the choice to firmly back a People's Vote, Labour will be betraying hundreds of thousands of its own members, and millions of voters across the UK".

Labour MP David Lammy told a rally of about 4000 anti-Brexit Labour members at Liverpool's docks that an option to reverse Brexit entirely should be an option in a new referendum.

So far the party's deputy Tom Watson has stuck to the official line that a new referendum shouldn't be "off the table" - but that a general election is preferable. Amid speculation that Labour could force a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May if Parliament rejects any Brexit deal, he said: "We will be putting our case to Parliament and we will see what happens after that".

Mr Corbyn added that Labour set six tests for any final deal including a strong relationship with Europe, the same rights, protections and benefits we have now and fair migration to boost Britain's economy.

These centrist MPs now find themselves on the sidelines and battling for their political lives in the face of aggressive attempts by Corbyn's supporters to de-select them, another issue that could raise tensions during conference.

NSW boy arrested for strawberry needle contamination
Police have confirmed needles have been found in more than 20 punnets of strawberries in NSW, as well as in an apple and a banana. Senior ministers said the new laws would also cover those who make false statements about contamination of food on social media.

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