Johnson enjoys a ‘vaccine boost’ in the polls as Starmer has a difficult 24 hours

Elliot Chappell
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The Labour leader has had a difficult 24 hours since the leaked presentation advising more patriotic branding emerged. Clive Lewis has written this pretty scathing appraisal of the approach. He argued the leadership had opted for the flag-waving strategy to win over ‘Red Wall’ voters as a result of a “glaring lack of any kind of political project”. The Norwich South Labour MP wrote that “there’s a place for brand management in politics; but it cannot fill a policy, values and vision void” and criticised a broader refusal of the party, under successive leaders, to “unpack our country’s relationship with patriotism, identity and racism”. The piece is worth reading, not least because it is reflective of the attacks levelled at the Labour leader from the left over the past few months.

Members of North West Cambridgeshire local party have been suspended after circulating, but then withdrawing, a motion of no confidence in Keir Starmer and David Evans ahead of a meeting. While it was sent to members on December 7th, it was removed from the agenda after the party issued guidance. Local sources tell LabourList that the meeting went ahead on December 14th, but took place without discussion of the motion that had been ruled out of order. The party would not comment on the specifics of ongoing disciplinary cases, but LabourList understands the claim the motion was not debated is disputed and will be investigated. Read the full write-up here.

Boris Johnson, meanwhile, appears to be enjoying a ‘vaccine boost’ with a seven-point lead in the polls as the UK passed the milestone of more than ten million people receiving the Covid jab yesterday. Chris Whitty warned at a briefing last night that the pace of the roll-out will inevitably slow as more people get their second jab, and called suggestions that all adults could get their first dose by the end of May and the second by the end of August “very optimistic”. The chief medical officer also told viewers that, while the country is past the peak in this wave, the NHS would “get back into trouble extraordinarily fast” if infections were to start rising again.

Local government week continues with bundles more great content for you lovely people today. Social care is the theme of the day and Labour council leader Susan Hinchcliffe has this morning provided readers with the view from Bradford. Birmingham health and social care cabinet member Paulette Hamilton has explained how the pandemic has revealed existing fault lines in our social care system. And UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea has written on the struggle of ignored and undervalued social care staff and the need for a national care service. Be on the lookout for more.

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