Sunday shows: “There is a hunger for change” in Labour, McFadden says

Katie Neame

Sophy Ridge on Sunday

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Pat McFadden told viewers that it was wrong to think that “one more heave was going to do it” after the 2019 election defeat and that there is a “hunger for change” within the Labour Party, adding: “We’ve got a new leader, but we also need a new direction too.”

  • On inflation: “This is the biggest issue facing people right now… It’s really really tough for families out there right now, and people are having to make some very, very difficult choices.”
  • On how Labour would tackle inflation: “You need a short-term plan and a long-term plan. And in the short term, we’ve got to get help to people, particularly with energy bills, so we’ve advocated this policy of a windfall levy on the excess profits of the oil and gas companies.”
  • On Labour’s long-term plan: “We’ve got to improve the country’s economic growth record. We’re in this spiral of difficult choices around tax and spend because we’ve had poor economic growth for ten or 12 years now.”
  • On Labour’s policy platform beyond the windfall tax: “If you take costs of business, which are a real part of this right now, we’ve advocated more help for business rate relief, paid for by increasing the digital services tax for this year.”
  • On how Labour would pay for its policy platform: “It’s borrowing for investment and the government’s already doing [it]… That is our policy, to borrow on the markets to invest in the transition – and if we don’t do that, if we abandon green gilts for example and say we’re not going to do any of that, what we’d be doing is leaving greater costs for the next generation, because the longer you leave this transition, the more expensive it will be.”
  • On the impact of rising interest rates on Labour’s plans: “We always have an eye on everything. But green gilts are already part of the policy mix. We want to use them to make sure we get this transition done in a fair way.”
  • On Labour’s current policy platform compared to 2019: “I’ve always been clear that leadership wasn’t just about a change of personnel, it had to be a change of direction too… You can’t just go back with the same policy platform and a person in a different suit and expect the electorate to take a different attitude. So I’m very much in favour of root-and-branch examination of things.”
  • He added: “There is a hunger for change in the Labour Party now… We’ve always got further to go because when you’ve had such an emphatic defeat – as the one that we had in 2019 – the worst thing that you could do is to think one more heave was going to do it for you. One more heave won’t do it for us. We’ve got a new leader, but we also need a new direction too.”
  • Asked whether Labour has taken a new direction yet: “We’re part of the way through, and we’ve got some time to go before the next election, but I’m confident that we’ll have an exciting and a responsible programme.”
  • On Sue Gray’s meeting with Boris Johnson: “I’ve got every faith in Sue Gray’s integrity, she is a civil servant of the highest integrity. We don’t know the details of that meeting. It’s not clear who called it, there’s different accounts of that. So it’s hard for me to say what was said there. But I do have faith in her integrity and let’s see what she says when the report comes out.”
  • On Keir Starmer’s promise to resign if he is fined: “The statement he made the other week showed real integrity and leadership. He’s a former director of public prosecutions – he takes adherence to the law extremely seriously.”
  • Asked who could succeed Starmer as leader: “It’s also really encouraging for me to see so many other talented people in the Labour Party. Their time is not yet, but maybe it will be one day in the future.”

Nadhim Zahawi told viewers that Boris Johnson “never intervened” in Sue Gray’s investigation and Gray had been allowed to go “wherever the evidence takes her”.

On who called the meeting between the Prime Minister and Gray, he said: “I can’t tell you who called the meeting.” He said the “two facts” viewers needed to know was that Johnson did not intervene and that Gray’s integrity is “beyond question”.

Asked who called the meeting, the Education Secretary added: “I don’t know who called the meeting.” He also told viewers that he did not know what was discussed in the meeting but said he could “guarantee” the Prime Minister was not looking to influence the report and there was “no way” Gray would allow herself to be influenced by anyone.

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