Anneliese Dodds has Keir Starmer’s “full confidence” and is doing a “fantastic job”, the Labour leader has said. In an attempt to quash rumours that Dodds could soon lose her job soon in a reshuffle, Starmer backed the Shadow Chancellor while on the local election campaign trail in Milton Keynes on Monday. His comments follow reports at the weekend that Dodds might go, with Rachel Reeves as the favourite to replace her. Jess Phillips, Hilary Benn and Yvette Cooper were also cited as possible replacements – all to the right of ‘soft left’ Dodds. But Starmer rejected the recent speculation, saying that “we are one team, and we have got really important local elections in May”.
Labour is today demanding “swift and decisive action” to tackle sexual harassment across the education system following more than 8,000 reports of abuse on the Everyone’s Invited website. Kate Green and Jess Phillips have written to the Education Secretary calling for a national strategy with guidance, policies and training for staff to ensure they identify and respond to sexism and sexual harassment and create a zero-tolerance culture. Highlighting a report into the issue in 2016, Phillips told Times Radio this morning that it has been a “problem for a very long time” and added that ministers have “dropped the ball”.
Joanne Anderson has been announced as the Labour candidate for the Liverpool mayoral election in May. The Princes Park ward representative – who is not related to incumbent Joe Anderson – has only been a councillor since 2019 and, if elected, would be Liverpool’s first female and first Black leader. She thanked members and promised to make “restoring trust” a priority after the findings of the Caller report. The government confirmed last week that commissioners will oversee parts of the Labour-held local authority after the report found “multiple apparent failures”. The party has appointed former government minister David Hanson, a Labour MP until the 2019 general election, to lead the party’s own review of alleged wrongdoing at Liverpool City Council.
Starmer continues on the campaign trail today as he joins candidate Dr Paul Williams in Hartlepool. In his first visit to the constituency as part of the by-election campaign, the Labour leader will emphasise Williams’ record as a healthcare professional, working throughout the Covid crisis. “Paul has been on the frontline during this pandemic,” he said ahead of the event. “He knows first-hand how the Conservatives are letting down the NHS.” Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.