Sunday shows: Burgon on Iran, antisemitism and tolerance, plus Hammond resignation

Ridge on Sunday

Richard Burgon, Shadow Justice Secretary and MP for Leeds East, talked about a potential conflict with Iran, Labour candidate Ali Milani and Gloria de Piero not standing for reselection.


  • On how the UK should react to Iranians seizing UK-flagged ship: “It’s unacceptable for those vessels to be seized and they should be released but what we need to avoid… is a kind of escalation and being dragged in by Donald Trump to something which could be very dangerous indeed.”
  • On a potential conflict: “If we end up in a conflict backed by Donald Trump, I think it would not only be comparable with Iraq, in fact it could be even worse than Iraq, and that should really scare everybody.”

Uxbridge, Boris Johnson’s marginal seat…

  • On Labour candidate Ali Milani’s tweets: “Quite rightly he’s apologised for those tweets and those tweets are disgraceful. He did them when he was a teenager. He’s been on a programme of learning since then.”
  • “I don’t think he should be prevented from being a Labour candidate because of tweets that he’s apologised for that he sent when he was a teenager.”

Gloria de Piero, who said: “A lack of tolerance for different viewpoints in the Labour Party frankly worries me”…

  • “She feels that her speech and her explanation to her members has been mischievously misrepresented by the press.”
  • “The Labour Party is a broad church. It’s a coalition of socialists, social democrats, trade unionists and other progressives and long may it continue to be that.”

The Andrew Marr Show

There were no representatives of the Labour Party on the programme this week.

Philip Hammond confirmed reports that he will be resigning as Chancellor once Theresa May has resigned as Prime Minister, in the expectation that she will be succeeded by Boris Johnson. Justice Secretary David Gauke has also said he will resign.

  • On his frontbench position: “His conditions for serving in his cabinet would include accepting a no deal exit on the 31st of October. That is not something I could ever sign up to. It’s very important that a Prime Minister is able to have a Chancellor that is closely aligned with him in terms of policy, and I therefore intend to resign to Theresa May before she goes to the palace to tender her own resignation on Wednesday.”
  • “I intend to resign after PMQs, before the Prime Minister goes to the palace.”
  •  On not being “Boris Johnson’s biggest supporter”: “It’s nothing personal. I’ve always got on well with Boris and I find him a very engaging character. And actually, beyond the Brexit question, I don’t have major policy disagreements with him. He’s a middle-of-the-road Conservative, a liberal Conservative.”

Simon Coveney, deputy Prime Minister of Ireland, reiterated Ireland’s opposition to removing the backstop from the deal and dismissed the ‘GATT 24’ solution.

  • “If the approach of the new British Prime Minister is that they’re going to tear up the withdrawal agreement, then I think we’re in trouble.”
  • On the notion that the backstop would not get through the Commons: “I mean, that’s a matter for the British government and the House of Commons, with respect. That’s not a matter for the Irish government.”
  • On a time limited backstop, “we’ve always said no to that”; on a “unilateral escape hatch”, “everybody wants to move ahead on the basis of avoiding the use of the backstop, but it does need to be there as a default position if all else fails”.
  • On ‘GATT 24’ (which Johnson says would allow the UK to continue trading with the EU without tariffs in a no-deal scenario): “We just don’t think that’s a viable option at all… a non-starter.”

Pienaar’s Politics

John McDonnell discussed his proposed ‘insourcing revolution’. Asked whether councils would be forced to take on services even if they are currently well-provided by a private company, the Shadow Chancellor said the “preference will be in-house” but councils would “be able to outsource” if they “haven’t got capacity to deliver” the services or it’s a specialist area. The company, however, should pay their staff the living wage, treat employees properly and be regulated, he said.

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