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General Press Cycle
So when the Leader of the Opposition said that Tory MPs were going to be given a free vote in the EU referendum and the chance to go with their convictions what he really meant was that they would be free to choose so long as they choose correctly. What we have seen from the Shadow Cabinet and from Harold Saxon in particular is a stunning lack of any kind of democratic or moral accountability. I applaud Mr Myerscough for standing by his convictions and opposing the Conservative Party's grossly undemocratic policy of requiring 65% of the country to vote for the Euro for it to be adopted.
The Rt Hon Sir Dylan Macmillan MP
MP for Bedfordshire Mid (1983-Present)

Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1992-Present)
Secretary of State for Energy 1987-1990

@Dylan_Macmillan
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Days after the Chancellor stood up at the despatch box to tell us that he wanted to see Britain shun the pound and take up the Euro, the Cabinet have been notably silent. This was after the Chancellor's rather telling announcement that he cannot speak on behalf of the Government when it comes to the Euro. There is a complete vacuum at the heart of this Government when it comes to Europe, and that is because of one simple reason: the only policy they desire is closer political union, whatever the cost. It is time the Prime Minister showed some leadership and set out his Government's position on the Euro - if his Government does not have the confidence to back the Euro, why should the British people?
Member of the Conservative and Unionist Party
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party (2001 - Present)
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001 - Present)
Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness (1997 - Present)
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The Shadow Chancellor is right: I was being obstructionist. But then it’s hard to be anything other than obstructionist against Shadow Cabinet members who are willing to do everything in their power to subvert the will of the British public. That’s why I resigned; I could not willingly support attempts to stack the deck against the British public in favour of their side.

The Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Chancellor made three proposals: 1) imposing a minimum percentage vote in favour of the change at 65%; 2) imposing a minimum turnout threshold; and 3) allowing the Civil Service to veto a vote in favour of membership of the Euro.

All three proposals were profoundly undemocratic with the first two being blatant attempts to secure their policy preference against a public majority. It would severely divide our country, setting MPs against our constituents, and undermine the very purpose of the referendum. Millions more people could vote in favour of membership of the Euro and still see their voice denied because an arbitrary, politically-motivated line had not been crossed. The British public should decide whether or not we adopt the Euro, not some desperate policy makers attempting to secure their preference by hook or by crook. It is up to MPs to set out their arguments for the British public to decide, not to rig the result before a single door has been knocked.

The third suggestion isn’t just blatantly undemocratic, like the other two. Allowing an unelected civil service to override public opinion without accountability or transparency is profoundly anti-British. It sidelines and demeans Parliament, while undermining our constitution that conservatives swear to protect. It is also hypocritical: the Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Chancellor will stand on platforms across the country saying that the civil servants who judged Britain to be fit for entry are wrong and that we shouldn’t listen to them when determine our vote. But they are perfectly happy for the same set of people - who they don’t believe nor trust now - to override a democratic vote, providing it supports their viewpoint and their aims.

If the Government forced Britain to join the Euro, without a referendum, on the basis on civil service expertise, the Shadow Cabinet would - rightly - be up in arms. But they seem perfectly happy to allow the same civil service expertise to be used to override the people’s decision if it happens. That I could not abide, which is why I resigned.

The Leader of the Opposition said there was a free vote for a referendum on the Euro, but I was sacked for advocating a free and fair vote. That’s what I’ll continue to campaign for; that’s what the British public deserves.
Conservative MP for Henley (1997 - )

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Once again the Conservative Party's euro hatred has gotten the best of them, they have tried to institute an unfair and undemocratic process. 65% of the nation supporting the euro is a ridiculous and foolish piece of policy ever presented and now we find out the Harold Saxon would rather a civil servant to veto a vote in favour of euro membership. The country deserves a free and independent vote on euro membership, now a concluded agreement in a backroom.
Nelson Mabuza
MP for Blackburn

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I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to Barbara Bond on her victory. She ran an excellent campaign and I'm absolutely confident she'll serve the party well. I will not take away from Barbara's victory by giving any credence to the suggestion that the color of my skin had any impact whatsoever on the result. I'm confident our party will have a deputy leader and indeed leader from a minority group, but that individual will not be me.

It is clear that while rank and file members of the Labour Party overwhelmingly support a modern direction, my parliamentary colleagues and trades union representatives do not share the same opinion. That is why it is more important than ever that we have strong voices advocating for change in our party. I'll proudly be one of those voices. It is also clear that championing change within the party must be done from the freedom of the backbenches. That is why I've tendered my resignation as Secretary of State for Public Services and will be carrying on with the pledge to push, pull and drag our party into the future. Tonight I'll have a proper drink and a rest, tomorrow our campaign continues.
Omari Omondi MP
Member of Parliament for Tooting (1997-)
Labour Party




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I’d like to thank every single one of my supporters, especially those in the trade unions, that elected me Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. I’d like to extend my thanks and commiserations to my opponent for a respectful and well-run race, and I’d like to join him in his comments regarding his ethnicity. Whilst it may not be my place to say, and though I do agree with him that this result was not due to his ethnicity, there are issues with too few people of colour in high level positions both within the Labour Party and within society itself and that undoubtedly needs to change.

My election shows that the Labour Party, in every area, continues to be committed to working people and their representatives in trade unions. We are a party united behind working people, ensuring that their priorities are our priorities, and the priorities of our progressive, socialist government. Tonight I will be celebrating with my partner and a few close friends, and tomorrow I will begin delivering on my pledges from the campaign. Thank you to everyone that put their confidence in me. I will not let you down.
Barbara Bond, Labour Party
Member of Parliament, Edinburgh South, 2015 - present
General Secretary, UNISON, 2005 - 2014

“Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement.” - Lenin
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I wish to pay tribute to both of my colleagues Barbara Bond, now installed as our new Deputy Leader, and Omari Omondi, a worthy candidate who fought an excellent campaign and so clearly connected with the grassroots.

There is clearly a disconnect between the rank and file of the party and the leadership and we cannot allow these divisions to consume us. I call for unity and a sensible debate on how we heal the divisions between the party to ensure we continue to be the progressive government that was elected to deliver the types of change we have so far enacted.
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In keeping with my pledge to advocate for a modern direction, I'll be introducing a private members bill in the coming days that will address responsible spending.
Omari Omondi MP
Member of Parliament for Tooting (1997-)
Labour Party




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The public will rightly wonder after Labour's Deputy Leadership contest, are the cracks in Labour beginning to show? The honourable member for Tooting has indicated that he thinks the colour of his skin played a role in the outcome of the election. He event went as far to say that the Trade Unions - who Labour is in hoc with - do not support a modern direction for our country. The honourable member for North West Durham has said there is disunity and a clear disconnect between Labour members and the leadership of the party. What is the price of these internal Labour divisions? The price is that ordinary working families suffer as the Labour party prioritises its own internal divisions and does not provide the modern vision for a modern Britain that the people of our country deserve.
Member of the Conservative and Unionist Party
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party (2001 - Present)
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001 - Present)
Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness (1997 - Present)
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Elizabeth Atwood should apologize at once for falsely stating I indicated the colour of my skin contributed to the outcome of the Deputy Leadership election. I stated quite the opposite. She's trying to use race to score political points and it's disgusting.
Omari Omondi MP
Member of Parliament for Tooting (1997-)
Labour Party




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Elizabeth Atwood should immediately retract her statement regarding the role race played in the Labour Deputy Leadership contest. Omari Omondi stated that he would "not give any credence to the suggestion that the color of [his] skin had any impact whatsoever on the result," quite the opposite of what Elizabeth Atwood and her friends in The Sun are suggesting. Our party is united on making the British government work for working people, and I will work with Omari Omondi and all other members of the party in achieving this goal. The Tories are continuing to play politics with the result of our internal election, and I have one big question: after being silent on striking teachers, silent on Railtrack, and silent on the very real issues affecting our country, how have they suddenly found the time to obsess over Labour's internal affairs?
Barbara Bond, Labour Party
Member of Parliament, Edinburgh South, 2015 - present
General Secretary, UNISON, 2005 - 2014

“Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement.” - Lenin
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As a Black-British citizen of this country, I am outraged by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition's remarks, race played no role in the election nor should it. The Tories ignored teachers, they ignored railtrack but they find time to bring up false lies? It doesn't surprise me, like everything else the Conservatives look for a headline whatever the cost, but when it comes to substance, its the Labour Party that delivers. 
Nelson Mabuza
MP for Blackburn

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Today I have organised a meeting with the leaders of the five biggest trade unions in the country to give working people a voice at the highest levels of government. Further to this I have re-opened talks with the NUT and NASWUT to ensure the current industrial action in education is brought to a swift conclusion with nobody feeling let down. I stood on a platform of ensuring working people would take priority with me as Deputy Prime Minister, and these meetings are the first of many, many more over the coming months that will keep working interests at the heart of this government's agenda.
Barbara Bond, Labour Party
Member of Parliament, Edinburgh South, 2015 - present
General Secretary, UNISON, 2005 - 2014

“Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement.” - Lenin
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For all the talk of Labour’s apparent internal divisions very little has been made of the fact that it’s the Tories that sacked a member of the Cabinet for daring to disagree with the leadership, the Tories that can’t formulate a single argument on some of the day’s most important issues, and the Tories that have less policy than a back of a cigarette packet. Obsessing over Labour’s apparent divisions in an attempt to distract from the day’s pressing issues is an admirable sleight of hand, but it won’t work. The British people can see that the Labour Party has never been more united behind a vision of a fairer, more equal Britain that works for working people.
Barbara Bond, Labour Party
Member of Parliament, Edinburgh South, 2015 - present
General Secretary, UNISON, 2005 - 2014

“Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement.” - Lenin
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On the proposed anti-trafficking bill in Parliament, let me be clear: this government is ready to collaboratively compromise on the anti-trafficking bill to blend hearty passion and mindful reasoning into a good law. The current draft is not that. We will not yield centuries-old principles like proportionality in criminal justice for one issue because it feels morally repugnant and yet more commonplace, because of globalization. We will act, and we will act with reason and logic towards a just solution on this issue. I invite the Conservative Party to think a bit more in tune with their passions to let reason come into their thinking on how we build a better custodial system for a better society, rather than quick satisfaction of easy revenge. I am ready to go the long haul with them on this and to continue to defend the basic principles of proportional justice, here and on other matters of criminal justice.
Dame Beatrice Oona Millar DBE MP FRSE RSA | Labour
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1992- )
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead (1987- )
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh Leith (1957-1959)

Formerly: Parminder Chawla, Joshua Bertram, Lillian Nichols, Gareth Edwards, Andrew Pearson, L Chris Havilland, Mack Aldritt
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I am disappointed that the Government has chosen to take political points on the Anti-Human Trafficking Act 2001 put before Parliament by the Conservative Party. The Home Secretary is insulting victims by seeking to weaken the sentencing powers under the bill, particularly in relation to human trafficking of children, and to reduce the court's powers to grant confiscation orders to compensate victims. The bill before Parliament sends a clear message to victims and to criminals who engage in human trafficking: we will use the full force of law to bring wrongdoers to justice and we will empower the court to make appropriate confiscation orders to help those victims who have had their lives destroyed. The Government is on the wrong side of this argument and its attempts to weaken sentencing powers and compensation for victims sends a weak message to criminals and the wrong message to victims.
Member of the Conservative and Unionist Party
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party (2001 - Present)
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001 - Present)
Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness (1997 - Present)
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I think its really disappointing that this Prime Minister cannot even get his ministers to answer questions in the house of commons in a reasonable time. This Opposition are asking the questions and the Government cannot be bothered to answer them. If the Prime Minister's cabinet ministers think it's not a priority to answer questions in the house then he should get them in line and show some strong leadership.
James Allen

MP for Leeds Central

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General Press Cycle Week Seven: Labour divisions to the left of me, Tory divisions to the right of me, here I am also stuck in the middle of a human trafficking debate. 
 
Labour: 30
 
Some really solid contributions. You were particularly good at mauling the Conservatives this round. If you want my constructive criticism, I’d say since you’re in government you need to be a little more self focused and tell people what you’re going to do as opposed to what the Conservatives can’t or won’t do – that’s how you make people like you, as opposed to seeing you as the best or two evils.
 
Conservatives: 20
 
I’d say you more lost this round than Labour won it – criticisms of your (now, thankfully, gone, so you can move on from it but it still hurts for now) silence on a variety of issues as well as that euro row really hurt. This could’ve been a lot worse for you, but contributions on the Human Trafficking bill and you pointing out Labour’s divisions (however real or fictitious they may appear, you spun, and spun pretty well) kept you afloat.
 
Influence Points awarded to:
 
Aubyn Myerscough: “It is up to MPs to set out their arguments for the British people to decide, not to rig the result before a single door has been knocked.” Owch. Owch. Owch. This is probably the best attack so far in this round – too bad it was against your own side. I’d usually chastise a statement this long, and the tagline might not even be the highlight of the statement, but every word was worth it.
 
Elizabeth Atwood: “The Home Secretary is insulting victims by seeking to weaken the sentencing powers under this bill, particularly in relation to human trafficking of children, and to reduce the court’s powers to grand confiscation orders to compensate victims.”  So, here’s the thing: the Home Secretary’s concerns may be logistically very valid. But the British people (people in general, really, I hope?) care about victims. The Tory Deputy Leader seems to understand that instinct and play with it well – and it hurts, so Labour need to play the Tories at their own game if they want to appear this amendment battle.
 
Nelson Mabuza: “Like everything else the Conservatives look for a headline whatever the cost, but when it comes to substance, it’s the Labour Party that delivers.” Really good attack that summarises some people’s concerns with the Tory Party at present. For rhetoric to stick, it has to be repeated (but not too tediously) and linked well with the issues of the present day – the Labour Party have done this well with the headline chasers and ‘Headline Harry’ rhetoric.
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The Conservative Party is leading the way in trying to implement tough new sentences to combat human trafficking and exploitation - particularly against children - but the Labour Party has signalled its intent to block the bill. We have proposed mandatory life sentences for those who strip children of their freedom and exploit them in the most hideous of ways, including by forcing them into a life of crime and prostitution. The Government is only interested in weakening those sentences and limiting the people who would be charged for trafficking of a child. That is completely the wrong approach. In addition, we recognise that victims of human trafficking have their lives destroyed and have to rebuild from scratch, often with no assets or education to assist. We want the court to have sweeping now confiscation powers to take assets and monies from the criminal to compensate the victim: the Labour Government want to weaken those provisions. 

The Conservative Party has acted in the spirit of compromise to get this legislation passed and allow law enforcement to act now, but this Labour Government has shown its true face in the debate on this bill: its concern to weaken sentences against criminals and powers to confiscate victims of human trafficking show it is the real nasty party of British politics. Labour appears to be concerned only with weakening sentences for the criminal and protecting their assets over the interests of the victim - I urge Labour MPs to back the bill and reject the heartless approach the government has signalled it will take.
Member of the Conservative and Unionist Party
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party (2001 - Present)
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2001 - Present)
Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness (1997 - Present)
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This government remains, categorically, committed to the elimination of human trafficking and to the preservation of our fair criminal justice system that is the pride of the world. We do not need to sacrifice one to take action on the other: the suggestion that we must do so from the Conservatives is a forced error from their obstinance. We will continue to govern fairly and address the deep complexities that these issues require, even when the Opposition seems happy for mob justice from Westminster. While the Tories will use this issue for favourable headlines, we will bear the responsibility of good governance which they so willingly abandon here. And so, this issue bears the crucial difference between the Labour Party and the Opposition: we're focused on passing good laws; they're focused on making easy headlines. That is the difference here, and that is the difference the British people will see in the next election.
Dame Beatrice Oona Millar DBE MP FRSE RSA | Labour
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1992- )
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Hillhead (1987- )
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh Leith (1957-1959)

Formerly: Parminder Chawla, Joshua Bertram, Lillian Nichols, Gareth Edwards, Andrew Pearson, L Chris Havilland, Mack Aldritt
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