Sunday shows: Abbott vows to step down from shadow cabinet, as Nandy discusses BBC’s future

Ridge on Sunday

Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy talked about “Britney and buses”, the future of the BBC and disagreeing with parts of the trans rights pledge that she signed.

  • On her piece for LabourList about supporting a free media: “We’ve got to get a media that is far more open, far more pluralistic, and invests, so that we’ve got investigative journalists coming through who are able to properly hold politicians to account.”
  • On whether her leadership rivals are part of a “pile on” against the media: “I think the language is the problem, not the recognition that there has been a series of individual attacks against Labour politicians, particularly all of the Labour leaders… they have been treated incredibly badly by sections of the media.”
  • On the trans rights pledge and whether her signing it means members such as Ruth Serwotka should be excluded from Labour: “No, I have to say that was the part of the pledge that gave me pause for thought about whether I’d sign it. But I decided to sign it in the end because I think the sentiment of the pledge about protecting trans rights and accepting that trans men are men and trans women are women is really important… I don’t think that proscribing organisations is actually the right way to deal with disciplinary issues in the Labour Party.”
  • On pledge cards: “I think that pledge cards themselves have become a real problem in British politics. I think with hindsight if we could have all signed a pledge card at the beginning to say that we wouldn’t sign pledge cards, we’d probably be in a much better place.”

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott discussed immigration policy, abuse on social media and the Labour leadership race.

  • On the government’s new points-based immigration system: “I think they’re completely misconceived, and it’s all about looking as if they’re tough on immigration but they are not actually considering the underlying needs of the economy.” She warned against “playing dog-whistle politics”.
  • On what Labour should advocate on immigration: “I don’t know about embracing free movement of people, but I support free movement…” She added: “The problem with the debate is too many people use freedom of movement as a euphemism for immigration in general and that’s not helpful.”
  • On whether she thinks Britain is a racist country: “No… A lot of politicians talk and behave as if British people are anti-immigrant, but what the Windrush scandal showed us is actually the majority of British people value what generations of migrants have done and what they want is a fair system, not an anti-migrant system.”
  • On whether the Home Office is institutionally racist: “‘Institutional racism’ is a difficult phrase – I’m not talking about any individuals… There’s no question, having worked there and having dealt with thousands of immigration cases down the years, that the Home Office runs a system which is detrimental to black and brown people.”
  • On why she is supporting Rebecca Long-Bailey for the leadership: “When Keir and Lisa stood down from the shadow cabinet in an attempt to force Jeremy Corbyn out, Becky stood by the members’ choice.”
  • On whether she would serve in the next shadow cabinet: “I will be stepping down because I think that the new leader, whether it’s Becky, whether it’s Lisa, whether it’s Keir – they have to be able to construct their own shadow cabinet.”
  • On online and social media platforms: “When we try and follow up some of the really abusive things and threats of violence online, we cannot trace the people because no-one has their name and address. So I think there needs to be an end to anonymity online.”

The Andrew Marr Show

There were no Labour representatives on the programme this week.

Current Tory MP and former minister David Davis raised concerns about the government’s plans to give Huawei a role in UK 5G networks, saying he hoped to change the mind of the Prime Minister. He also described the idea of tax rises in the next budget as “political madness”, and said Dominic Cummings was “here today, gone tomorrow” as a special adviser.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said she had “not ruled out” the courts settling whether Scotland could hold a fresh independence referendum, though it would be “not my preferred route”. She argued that support for independence “continues to rise”. Asked whether she was planning to stay as First Minister, she replied: “Yes, I hope so.”

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