Sunday shows: Harman, McDonald, Khan on parliament, an election and Brexit

Ridge on Sunday

Harriet Harman, who is running to be the next Speaker, talked about her proposals for reforming parliament.

  • On her pitch: “I think the Speaker has always had a very important role inside parliament, making sure each MP is able to have their voice heard, each and every one and also that there’s a good relationship between parliament and government but I think now it’s very important for the Speaker to have a role in the country as a whole, to speak up for parliament and explain what parliament is actually doing.”
  • On John Bercow as Speaker: “I think he’s come down on parliament’s side.  It has been a very conflicted time but of course he doesn’t have a vote but what he does do and what it’s right for him to do, is to enable parliament to have its say even if that’s not what the government wants to hear and I think that’s why there’s been criticism of him.”
  • On bullying allegations against Bercow: “I think Dame Laura Cox’s report was very important indeed and in fact the whole House of Commons agreed that we should move forward and have an independent complaints procedure so if somebody makes a complaint against an MP,  that it’s not judged by MPs, that it’s judged independently. That was last year, it has still not been implemented so really it is a very necessary reform we have to take forward.”
  • On the next Speaker being a woman: “We now have more than 200 women MPs… If we put a man in the Chair it will render all those women invisible and I think we do need to show women and men in the country that parliament has changed.”
  • On whether things have got better or worse for women: “Whenever there’s progress there’s always a backlash and there are some misogynists who believe that women should be just shutting up.”

Andy McDonald, Shadow Transport Secretary, said Labour will vote for an election as soon as Boris Johnson requests an Article 50 extension, and confirmed that he would back Remain in a fresh referendum.

  • On the possibility of Labour supporting a deal proposed by the government: “Well we’d have to see what the deal is but at the moment Boris Johnson is telling us that he is not going to ask for an extension and it seems that all of his energy is about delivering a no deal crash out.”
  • On when Labour would back an election: “It would be, beyond doubt, the moment that Boris Johnson writes that letter and makes that request as he is bound to do according to law.”
  • On Labour’s position in another referendum: “My first view is I would do again what I did last time, I would campaign to Remain, I would vote to Remain.”
  • Why would the EU do anything to try and negotiate a deal if you are saying you will just campaign against it? “If we’ve got a credible deal it means we’re trying to mitigate and minimise the impact of leaving the EU. The European Union would want that, so should the UK… When we have our conversations with the EU, this isn’t about a football match and who wins and who loses, this is about working with our partners to find the best possible relationship going forward.”

Sam Gyimah, who defected to the Lib Dems yesterday, said a referendum would be preferable to an election, which would “muddy Brexit with lots of other domestic issues”.

The Andrew Marr Show

Sadiq Khan said Labour should back Remain in another referendum, and supported revoking Article 50 to “give us time” for negotiations with the EU.

  • On police cuts and working with the government: “I’ve got to say this Home Secretary and this Prime Minister have finally woken up to what we’ve been saying… Priti Patel’s my fourth Home Secretary. I’ve already met with her. She understands the importance of investing in police. I’m trying to persuade her and the government to also invest in youth services, preventative services, young people.”
  • On John McDonnell saying ‘capitalism is on borrowed time’: “That’s not words I would use to describe it. What I do think, though, is the market’s not working. We need to interfere with the market so it works better.”
  • On Brexit: “Since December I’ve said what we should do is take away the panic, remove Article 50 to give us time to resolve our negotiations with the European Union, to understand what we want.”
  • On a referendum: “I support the position of the party, which is, on a ballot paper to have a credible leave option and a – in my view, the best option – which is to remain in the EU… And once we’ve got that public vote we should campaign to remain in the EU.”

Jo Swinson reiterated her view that Jeremy Corbyn would not be able to command the confidence of a majority in this Commons, and that the Labour leader is not “fit to be Prime Minister”. Of Corbyn, she said: “He is not going to be put into No10 with Liberal Democrat votes.”

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