To Win The Next Election We Need To Show Communitarians That We Genuinely Share Their Values And Priorities

House Magazine It’s fair to say that my party came out of the 2017 general election on a high. We went into the campaign with low expectations, but Jeremy Corbyn’s energy, an inspiring manifesto and a clear, socialist anti-austerity message took us to 40% in the polls. Yet we still came second. And despite the shambles of the Conservative’s Brexit negotiations, the polls have barely moved an inch since. We should now be 20 points ahead, so why aren’t we? And why is our politics in this worrying state of paralysis and deadlock? Continue reading

Austerity Has left councils At Breaking Point, Westminster Must Give Them The Money They Desperately Need

Theresa May claims to not have a magic money tree, but whenever she raids the back of the sofa she always comes up with the money she needs: there was the £1bn she found for Northern Ireland and then the £20.5bn for the NHS. Well now she needs to go back to that sofa and find the money for local government because without the resources they need councils are teetering on the cliff edge. Continue reading

How To Oust The Tories And Reunite Our Deeply Divided Country

LabourList Britain is currently both polarised and paralysed. Our entire political system has fought itself to a standstill. This weak and divided Tory government is in disarray over Brexit, and parliament is in stalemate. Rees-Mogg and Johnson are doing all they can to pull us further towards a ‘no deal’ cliff edge – the type of Brexit that would run our economy into the ground, hit our public services even harder and ignite the bonfire of workers’ rights that Dominic Raab and his cronies could, until recently, only dream of. The sooner we get a Labour government, the better. Continue reading

This is the biggest threat to democracy we've ever faced in Britain

Independent This month, draft findings of the Electoral Commission’s investigation into Vote Leave, the official pro-Brexit referendum campaign, were leaked, revealing Vote Leave of being guilty of breaking electoral law, on multiple accounts. They are expected to face the most hefty fines in the watchdog’s history. Then there was Cambridge Analytica, the disgraced big data company that was using misappropriated Facebook data to sell elections to the highest bidder and saw Facebook receive the maximum fine of £500,000. Then who could forget Nigel Farage's Leave.EU – the unofficial Brexit campaign bankrolled by the infamous insurance tycoon Arron Banks – which was recently found guilty of "multiple breaches of electoral law", fined £70,000 and referred to the Metropolitan Police for suspected criminal offences. Continue reading

Why I Am Defying My Party Whip And Voting For The Lords Brexit Amendment

This week the House of Commons will be asked to determine the type of Brexit our country seeks. Will MPs back a sensible lords amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that instructs Theresa May to negotiate a deal keeping Britain inside the European Economic Area, or will we risk a bad deal such as a Canada-style Free Trade Agreement which would do nothing for our services industries and lead inevitably to a hard border in Ireland? Or, worse still, will we allow the government’s profound incompetence to take us over the cliff edge into a "no deal" scenario, where tariffs and non-tariff barriers destroy the jobs and livelihoods of the very people we were elected to represent? Continue reading

With The EEA Vote, The Lords Can Set Theresa May On The Right Brexit Path

The House of Lords has so far responded in a robust, rational and highly effective manner to the government’s EU withdrawal bill. But the most important test of the peers’ resolve is yet to come. On Tuesday an amendment to the withdrawal bill will be tabled in the Lords that, if passed by the Commons, would commit the government to keeping the United Kingdom in the European Economic Area (EEA). Continue reading

Russia Is Using The British Council As A Political Tool

(Credit The Times News Syndication) I remember my first flight to St. Petersburg in May 2005 as clearly as if it were yesterday. I was on my way to take up my post as Director of the British Council’s operations in St. Petersburg, and felt a palpable sense of hope, combined with a healthy dose of trepidation. I was looking forward to improving my Russian and getting settled into my new life in St. Pete, as we fondly referred to it. But I was also wondering what the coming years had in store for me, given the parlous state of the bilateral relationship. Equally memorable, but for very different reasons, was my flight out of Russia in January 2008. Continue reading

We Cannot Let Football Act As A Smokescreen - We Must Postpone The World Cup

Politics Home Since I first spoke out and called for FIFA to postpone and relocate the World Cup I’ve been met with a torrent of disgruntled tweets, many from Russian bots, saying “sport and politics don’t mix, leave the World Cup alone”. While I can understand that sentiment, I’m afraid it is total nonsense. It is a cliché that allows us as fans and spectators, sports federations, owners, sponsors and administrators to relieve ourselves of any social or moral responsibility. Continue reading

Steelworkers Will Judge Theresa May On Her Approach To Donald Trump's New Tariffs

PoliticsHome We’ve all been there, right? A tricky week at work, so you decide to start a trade war with the whole world. Having lost his longest serving aide, again chastising his “Mr Magoo” Attorney General, and it then becoming public knowledge that his son in law and senior White House adviser took half a billion dollars from senior bankers to help refinance his personal and business debts, Donald Trump decided to throw a dead cat on the table and announce blanket 25% tariffs on all US steel imports. Continue reading

Why I’m Fasting Today To Help End First-Past-The-Post

LabourList As we mark the centenary of women’s suffrage, I, along with politicians from across the political spectrum, campaigners and people from all walks of life, are today taking part in Make Votes Matter’s hungry for democracy initiative, a 24-hour hunger strike to call for a new voting system, one that well and truly represents the diverse nature of Britain today. That is because we know, inspired by the suffragettes and their struggle for real democracy, that that fight isn’t yet over! Continue reading