John McDonnell Stands Down from Shadow Cabinet

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has resigned and confirmed that he doesn’t intend to rejoin it under a new leader. Labour suffered their worst loss since 1935 and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader, confirmed that he’d stand down in the new year.

McDonnell said in an interview with the BBC:

“I won’t be part of the shadow cabinet. I’ve done my bit. We need to move on at that stage, with that new leader, and I think we will be in a position to learn lessons, listening to people and constructing a broad coalition right the way across the country.”

Former Labour MP Anna Turley Criticises Corbyn’s Leadership

Anna Turley, the Labour MP who lost her Redcar seat the 2019 General Election, has launched a strong criticism of Jeremy Corbyn, the out-going Labour leader. Writing in the Independent, the former MP said that the Labour leadership had “ignored warnings”.

Turley added:

“The message on the doorstep in this election was clear: the party was out of touch, the leader was weak, and we weren’t a credible party of government. Our manifesto was not affordable, our party had become nasty.

Yet the narrative rehashed ferociously by the social media cheerleaders and dozy frontbenchers is that it was Brexit wot won it. But for every time Brexit was raised on the doorsteps, the leadership was raised four more – even by those sticking with us. There was visceral anger from lifelong Labour voters who felt they couldn’t vote for the party they had supported all their lives because of “that man at the top”. They had sent us this message loud and clear in 2017; I was told frequently by my constituents to “go back down to London and get rid of him”.”

Conservative Party Sweep to Victory as Labour Suffer Historic Defeat

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has led the Conservative Party to a comfortable victory at the General Election. Labour suffered an historic defeat, whilst the SNP made significant gains in Scotland.

The Conservatives won 364 seats, Labour 203 seats, the SNP 48 seats, the Liberal Democrats 11 seats, the DUP 8 seats, Sinn Fein 7 seats and Plaid Cymru 4 seats.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, confirmed he wouldn’t lead the party into another General Election and Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrats, also stood down after losing her seat to the SNP.

Polls Have Opened in the UK for 2019 General Election

Polling stations having opened across the United Kingdom with voters able to cast their vote at the election between 07:00 and 22:00 for who they want to represent them in the House of Commons. The first results are expected to be announced at around 23:00, with opinion polls suggesting that the General Election may be a close result.

Conservative Party Warn of Labour’s Plan for 108 New Quangos

The Conservative Party have issued a statement warning that Labour would set up 108 new quangos if they were to win power at this week’s General Election.

The party said in a statement:

“Pledges in Labour’s 2019 manifesto alone commit to the creation of at least 108 new quangos – unaccountable public bodies paid for by the taxpayer. The running costs of these new quangos will be a minimum of £1.86 billion per year – adding up to £9.32 billion over five years. This is on top of another £3.93 billion in upfront costs which will be required to set up and finance these quangos.”

Rishi Sunak, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, added:

“Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to set up over a hundred new quangos will hugely increase bureaucracy and waste in government. Corbyn’s new quangos range from the pointless and profligate to the deeply damaging and sinister. I am particularly concerned that they will hugely increase the power of their chums in the trade unions which will mean more strikes and more gridlock.”

Jonathan Ashworth Says Labour Government Would Scrap Car Parking Charges

Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, has said that the Labour Party would scrap car parking charges if they form the next Government.

Ashworth said in a statement:

“These car parking charges are a tax on the sick, their families and hard-working NHS staff. A Labour government will totally scrap parking charges, providing free hospital parking for patients, staff and visitors.”

Car parks at hospitals are mostly already free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but a spokesperson for NHS Providers said in a statement:

“All charges by trusts for parking cover the day-to-day running of car parking at the hospital, with any surplus reinvested back into wider services for patients or improving these facilities.”

Jo Swinson Says Stop Brexit Legislation is Ready to Go

Jo Swinson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has said that legislation to stop Brexit is ready to go should the party win the General Election.

Swinson, who is standing as the party’s candidate in East Dunbartonshire, said:

“We have legislation ready to go to secure a People’s Vote with the option to stay in the EU. As soon as Parliament returns, we would introduce two bills. The first would be a ‘Paving Bill’ to begin the referendum process with the Electoral Commission. The second would be on the referendum itself.”

Jonathan Ashworth Apologises Over Comments on Jeremy Corbyn

Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, has apologised to Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party, following leaked comments about him. Ashworth had been talking to a friend, Greig Baker, but was unaware that his comments were being taped.

Answering a question on whether Corbyn was a security risk, Ashworth said:

“I don’t know, on the security stuff, I worked in No 10, I think the machine will pretty quickly move to safeguard security, I mean the civil service machine. But it’s not going to happen. I cannot see it happening.”

Corbyn said that the recording was simply “bit of banter between two old friends” and said that he still had full confidence in Ashworth.

Brexit Party Won’t Stand in Conservative Seats

Nigel Farage, the Leader of the Brexit Party, has confirmed that the party will not be standing in constituencies which are held by Conservative MPs. The decision is a reversal from a previous announcement when Farage said that the party would be standing in every constituency.

Farage said in a statement:

“Now that the Prime Minister has said we we will not extend the transition beyond 2020, and he will go for a Canada-style free trade deal without political alignment. I have decided to put country before party and will not oppose Boris Johnson.

This ensures that the General Election will not result in a hung parliament and second referendum. We will target Labour and Remainer MPs and get a voice in Parliament to make the PM keep his promises”.

Ed Vaizey Stands Down from the House of Commons

Ed Vaizey, the Conservative MP for Wantage, has confirmed that he will not be standing at the 2019 General Election. Vaizey had lost the party whip in September 2019 when he voted against the Government on a Brexit vote, but the whip had been restored and it had been thought that he would stand again.

Vaizey said in his resignation letter to Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister:

“I believe now is the right time to move on because I am passionate about the arts, our creative industries and technology and I want to specialise in these sectors. They will, I believe, play an ever more important role in our national life and it is here that I want to focus my energies.”

He added:

“Let me make one thing clear. I am and will remain an enthusiastic supporter of you as our Prime Minister.”