Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has made his speech to the party’s annual conference which is this year being held in Brighton. He said in the speech that the current economic model was broken and that the Labour Party now occupies the middle ground.
Referring to the 2017 General Election, Corbyn said:
“Yes, we didn’t do quite well enough and we remain in opposition for now, but we have become a Government-in-waiting. Our outstanding shadow cabinet team here today. And our message to the country could not be clearer – Labour is ready”.
On the subject of Brexit, the Labour leader said:
“One thing needs to be made clear straight away. The three million EU citizens currently living and working in Britain are welcome here. They have been left under a cloud of insecurity by this government when their future could have been settled months ago. So Theresa May, give them the full guarantees they deserve today. If you don’t, we will.
Since the referendum result our Brexit team has focused above all on our economic future. That future is now under real threat. A powerful faction in the Conservative leadership sees Brexit as their chance to create a tax haven on the shores of Europe a low-wage, low tax deregulated playground for the hedge funds and speculators”.
Talking about politics today, he added:
“Today’s centre ground is certainly not where it was twenty or thirty years ago. A new consensus is emerging from the great economic crash and the years of austerity, when people started to find political voice for their hopes for something different and better”.
The Labour Party has confirmed that conference delegates will not get the chance to discuss Brexit as one of the eight key debates chosen for discussion. The debates will instead focus on other domestic issues such as housing, social care and the economy.
John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that a debate might split the party, saying:
“On Brexit, the interesting thing is people are trying to build a consensus now, and not divide the party. And also, what I think is interesting is to build a consensus not just in our party but within our communities. I think that’s the nature of the decisions”.
Chris Leslie, the Labour MP for Nottingham East and the former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, criticised the move and said on Twitter:
“How utterly ridiculous. Many members will be shocked at manoeuvring to avoid biggest issue of our time”.
Chuka Umunna, the Labour MP for Streatham, also criticised the move writing on Twitter:
“I can’t believe no Brexit related motion is being debated at #Lab17 tomorrow. We should not be ducking this debate -we should be leading it”.
John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has said that the party would limit the amount of interest that could be charged on credit card debt. The measure will be announced in the Shadow Chancellor’s speech at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton and he is expected to say:
“The Financial Conduct Authority has argued for action to be taken on credit card debt as on payday loans. I am calling upon the government to act now apply the same rules on payday loans to credit card debt.
It means that no-one will ever pay more in interest than their original loan. If the Tories refuse to act, I can announce today that the next Labour Government will amend the law”.