The Tory rebellion over the move to slash the foreign aid budget was thwarted by the Speaker yesterday. The amendment was not selected and the vote did not take place. But Lindsay Hoyle did choose to explain his decision to consider the proposed change to the bill ‘out of scope’, and in doing so delivered bad news for ministers. There will be an emergency debate in the House of Commons this afternoon dedicated solely to the matter, thus drawing attention to it before the G7 summit. While this will be non-binding, the Speaker made clear his view that MPs should get an “effective” vote on the planned cut to an aid target enshrined in law – a policy change that, after all, breaks a Tory manifesto promise. Hoyle is taking a different approach from predecessor John Bercow, but the same wrestling over the parliamentary agenda is playing out between the government and backbenchers, with the Speaker again sharing the frustrations of MPs.
LabourList published the speech delivered by Keir Starmer at GMB Congress on Monday. After technical difficulties at the digital conference, a video sent in by the Labour leader was played, in which he shared his thoughts on why the labour movement matters today. He paid tribute to the Uber recognition agreement and said the “David vs Goliath struggle” reminded him of his work on the McLibel case. “I may be the only former lawyer to say this: I want to lead a government that makes sure working people and trade unions don’t have to go to court, and don’t have to spend huge amounts of time and money, just to get a fair deal,” Starmer told the union.
LabourList also revealed details of a row over the date of London Labour’s regional conference, as local party chairs, secretaries and a majority of regional board members objected to the party’s plans to hold it in July. Local officers have said they were only informed of the proposal on June 1st, which means there will be no time for many parties to send motions and make nominations. Those on the other side of this argument counter that a conference is well overdue and there needs to be plenty of time between the next one and the 2022 local elections. Critics argue that this is all about the REC’s role in candidate selections. Find the full story here.
MPs will be talking today about the initial proposals for redrawn constituency boundaries, which you can explore here (though the huge file sizes and vast quantities of information make that difficult). Who is left without a seat when the music stops? The headline news so far is that former Labour chair Ian Lavery’s constituency could go, while ministers Ben Wallace and Gavin Williamson may also be in trouble. Starmer does not have cause to worry about his own patch so far, though the creation of a new Camden seat between his and Tulip Siddiq’s constituencies will be interesting. A quick first look tells me it takes some of the most Tory areas from its neighbours, but will still be a highly desirable one for aspiring Labour candidates.
The Tribune group of Labour MPs will be launching a new website with an event streamed on its social media channels featuring Anneliese Dodds, Mark Drakeford and Tracy Brabin at 7pm tonight. There will also be an online event at 7.30pm: Gordon Brown in conversation with Alison McGovern to promote the former Prime Minister’s new book Seven Ways to Change the World. And if any readers run organisations that may be interested in working with LabourList on creating events at Labour conference in September this year, do get in touch with us. Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.