PM making policy “on the hoof”, says Labour after ‘papers for pubs’ comment

Elliot Chappell
© Twitter/@BorisJohnson
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Vaccine passports are in the headlines again. Tories have reacted angrily as the PM yesterday suggested that pub landlords would be able to require punters to need jabs. Downing Street quickly clarified that venues requiring vaccine passports would also have to allow testing for the non-vaccinated to prove that they are not infectious. Tory Steve Baker described the idea as a “ghastly trap” that would create a “two-tier Britain”. Labour has not backed the proposal. Taking a careful line, Ed Miliband told Good Morning Britain: “If the government has got evidence that this is necessary, let’s look at that evidence.” He told Sky News that it feels a bit like the PM is making up policy “on the hoof” and warned of the impact of the policy on people not able to get the vaccine yet. He added that Labour would look sympathetically at the policy “if this is what the science demands”.

Labour accepted “in full” the findings of a report into the administration of Liverpool City Council yesterday – and welcomed the appointment of commissioners by the government to oversee parts of the Labour-held local authority. Steve Reed told MPs that Labour “intends to appoint a senior figure to lead a review” and that the party “will take action against anyone in our ranks who is involved in wrongdoing”. Labour’s national executive committee agreed a review into the “long-term issues” set out in the report to be carried out over the next few months. The leadership has been criticised by some for its position. On the left, Unite general secretary candidate Howard Beckett described Labour’s stance as “just nuts”. Meanwhile, former New Labour minister Andrew Adonis has argued that accepting commissioners is an “admission of incapacity as well as a denigration of local democracy”.

Sadiq Khan and Shaun Bailey clashed over policing and crime last night. In the first mayoral debate, the pair talked lockdown, crime, transport and Covid as they appealed for support from Londoners. Khan’s message was clear, and one repeated several times: he will “stand up for London”, while Bailey will be a Tory stooge “in the pocket” of Whitehall. Bailey blamed the incumbent for rising crime in the capital. Khan replied by reminding those watching that Bailey was the youth and crime adviser to David Cameron and George Osborne, when “the cuts began to our police services and youth service”. “It’s like an arsonist who lights a flame, complaining that the Fire Brigade can’t put out the flame quick enough,” Khan told viewers.

Ed Miliband will set out Labour’s vision for a green recovery with a plan to “spark an electric vehicle revolution” in a speech this morning. The proposals include building additional gigafactories, offering interest-free loans for new and used EVs and accelerating the roll-out of charging points. Labour for a Green New Deal has welcome the policy announcement, but argued that investment in EVs must come with “expanded, publicly owned public transport to reduce private car use, and with commitments to ensure justice in global supply chains”. Also today, Boris ​Johnson is facing a rebellion over lockdown rules as MPs today vote to extend the emergency Covid legislation until September and the current restrictions into July. Reports suggest that as many as 60 Conservatives could vote against. Stay tuned for updates. Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.

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