Corbyn looks to sack pro-EU Labour frontbenchers: sources
Leftist UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn and his loyalists are reportedly considering a reshuffle of the shadow cabinet to punish those backing another referendum on Brexit.
Foreign affairs spokeswoman, Emily Thornberry, and deputy leader Tom Watson face being replaced following their persistent calls for a people’s vote on the Brexit deal.
An unnamed Labour source said: “There is talk of petitions going round local parties, particularly to rally support for a deputy leadership contest. This would require more than 50 MPs to back it to get off the ground. They may want to do it, but it almost certainly won’t work.”
Thornberry blamed the party’s poor showing in May’s European election on its ambiguous position over a people’s vote and called on the party to give unequivocal backing to a second vote in which the party would campaign for remaining in the EU.
Keir Starmer is also under threat as Labour’s Brexit spokesman because he has led calls for the party to back another referendum.
While the Corbyn team talks about the electoral risks of losing support in northern English areas that largely voted leave in the decisive 2016 referendum, they also need to be aware of the dangers of losing seats in Scotland and London, which voted decisively to remain.
It might also be argued that the Labour Party should adopt policies that benefit the nation rather than only considering temporary electoral gain.
The Scottish wing of the Labour Party’s has committed to backing a confirmatory referendum on the government’s deal with Brussels, with leader Richard Leonard saying he was pleased members had supported the policy.
Scottish Labour wants a clear option to remain in the EU which it would campaign for.
Conservative leadership hopeful Michael Gove has pledged to axe VAT with a “lower, simpler” alternative and cut business rates if he became prime minister.
The environment minister pledged to take advantage of Brexit to scrap the 20-per-cent tax currently levied on goods and services because of EU rules, in a move that he said could cut the cost of living, while hammering public finances.
Sources said he would scrap the construction of the £56-billion High Speed Two rail link between London and Birmingham to review whether it represented “proper value for money”, amid fears of spiralling costs.
Pro-leave protesters outside parliament. A people’s vote to remain is one of the few ways to end the Brexit crisis. Picture credit: Eurasia Times