Seven Labour MPs have quit the party mentioning the leadership’s lack of support for remaining in the European Union and for not tackling anti-semitism. The MPs will sit as independents and are Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey.
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 been criticised for quoting Chairman Mao in his response to the annual spending review. It is thought that up to 60 million Chinese died due to the economic policies of Mao Tse-tung.
Chris Leslie, Labour’s previous Shadow Chancellor said after McDonnell’s comments that it was “a misjudged stunt”.
Chuka Umunna, Labour’s former Shadow Business Secretary said:
“I haven’t quoted a Communist before and I have no intention of doing so in the future”.
During questioning by the BBC McDonnell didn’t apologise but said about the former Chinese leader:
“I condemn all that”.
Within just hours of Jeremy Corbyn being elected as the new Labour Party leader there have been numerous resignations from the party’s Ministerial spokespeople.
Those already announcing their departure include Tristram Hunt, Emma Reynolds, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall, Chris Leslie, Chuka Umunna, Rachel Reeves and Jamie Reed with others expected to stand down later today. Ed Miliband, the former party leader, has also confirmed that he wouldn’t serve in a Corbyn-led Shadow Cabinet.
John McDonnell, the campaign agent of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership bid for the Labour Party, has confirmed that assets may be seized as part of a programme of renationalisation.
Corbyn has pledged to start with nationalisation of the energy and railway industries and McDonnell confirmed that assets may be seized without compensation. Asset holders include pension funds and charities but Corbyn has yet to comment further on the potential seizure. McDonnell said:
“A future Corbyn-led Labour government will reserve the right to bring them back into public ownership with either no compensation or with any undervaluation deducted from any compensation for renationalisation”.
The comments drew criticism from Labour MPs including Yvette Cooper, who is also standing for the leadership of the party. She said:
“You can’t confiscate assets and you can’t print money to pay for things because that has a much wider impact on the economy and confidence in the British economy”.
Chris Leslie, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, also expressed concern at the comments made by the Corbyn campaign team. He said:
“We have a right to know and, so far, I have not received an explanation”.