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  1. Today
  2. Mr. Speaker, While I thank the Honourable Member for Penrith and the Border for his interjection, I’ll quote what the Foreign Secretary said on the sum of UK intelligence: He said and I quote “The central proposition was that, given the troop withdrawal by the end of August, you would see a steady deterioration from that point, and that it was unlikely Kabul would fall this year.” When, not if. And despite having months there was no clear contingency planning, no clear preparation for a worst case scenario, nothing. The Honourable Gentleman should know this. It is the Foreign Affairs Select Committee he sits on which gave this warning to the government. I’m afraid his warnings fell on deaf ears. As for accusations which have come from Conservative Members of the House who have riled themselves up over fantasies that if I were in charge I would simply sit on my thumbs, I would just gently remind them should focus their ire to the reality that it was the Foreign Secretary who was sat on a sun lounger as Kabul fell.
  3. Mr. Speaker, I rise today grateful to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister for informing this House about his plans for the future of the NHS and social care in this country. I cannot help but agree with the Prime Minister that the global Covid pandemic has exacerbated the issues our health and social care sectors are experiencing. Thankfully, Mr. Speaker, we have seen the boons of Brexit with our swift vaccine rollout campaign - something that might be mocked by Hon. members opposite, but is truly saving lives and livelihoods. You know, a few decades ago, leaving the European Union was relegated to think tank white papers, not even in the realm of realistic, feasible possibility. Yet, here we are and we've made it happen - and our vaccine rollout is the first fruit of that endeavor. Likewise, I suggest that we are in an era where true health and social care reform is being talked about in white papers but not yet within the realm of the possible. If, as Otto von Bismarck said, "politics is the art of the possible," then we must continue to advance the window of what is possible. That means looking at the white papers and evaluating where we must go not only today, not only in the next year ahead, but in the decades to come. That is the kind of vision I propose we bring to the floor of this House. Mr. Speaker, when it comes to social care, we would do well to look at the facts and trends. We know that Britain is ageing as a society. We know that, as the economy heats up, fewer people will be able to afford family caretaking responsibilities. These dual trends, demographic and socio-economic, have existed before this pandemic and will continue beyond it. The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister is undoubtedly correct in saying that a universal social care system, where state-provided services are the norm, would be enormously expensive and cost-prohibitive. What we need to do now is take a step back, Mr. Speaker, and evaluate where we must go moving forward. But to do that, first we must stabilize the ship of state. The party opposite is claiming that we have underfunded the NHS, nevermind the fact that this levy would pour £36 billion over three years into the NHS and social care. If we are to address the crises faced by our health and social care systems in the near-term, we need to bring in the revenue to do so. Yes, we ran on a Manifesto to not raise tax, but nobody could have seen the pandemic coming as it did just months after the 2019 election. At the same time, we will make historic investments in health and social care to come out of this pandemic while maintaining fiscal prudence. But this influx of new money must come with strings, with reforms, attached. That is where I hope to expand upon a need for innovative, inventive policymaking. Establishing a "National Social Care Service" might have a nice ring to it, might have a popular flair, but it would be the wrong approach. It would subsidize those who don't need subsidy; it would rapidly eat up a large share of our budget; and it would be unfair to the younger generations who would have to pay twice the costs: once for current pensioners' benefits and once over for themselves. The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister is right to say we cannot rely solely on private insurance, but I am encouraged that option will remain available. I am encouraged that this Government will work with the financial services industry to develop policies that integrate the private sector as much as the public sector. I believe that forging ahead with public-private-individual partnerships is a necessity when it comes to social care. On the public side: we must invest in bringing social care settings up to best-in-class standards. And we must cover the less fortunate, including those who require care for their entire adult lives. On the private side, we must continue working with insurers to promote plans that work for everyday people. We must not overstep or set out to do what government cannot effectively do. Whitehall and local councils are good for establishing policies, but the civil service cannot deliver care for the entire nation. And for the individual, we should incentivize new tax-advantaged social care savings accounts. We shouldn't unduly penalize savings or those who save during their working lifetime. Mr. Speaker, the British people are trusting the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister to use this levy for good purpose. We are not authorizing a blank cheque with the taxpayer's name into perpetuity. What we are doing here today is setting forth on a new path to invest in the NHS and to rethink social care.
  4. Yesterday
  5. Recks

    Cole Harris

    Cole Harris MP - Conservative and Unionist Party - Folkestone and Hythe Name: Cole Taylor Harris Avatar: Chris Sununu (Governor of New Hampshire) Age: 48 in 2021 (born May 6, 1973) Sex: Male Ethnicity: White British Marital Status: Married, 2 children Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual Party: Conservative and Unionist Party Political Outlook: Free Marketeer (primary) and Loyalist (secondary). On the economy, Harris is interested in fiscal conservatism, specifically lowering and simplifying the administration of tax and welfare benefits. Internationally, he is pro-Brexit (though preferably on good terms with the EU) and pro-special relationship with the US. Harris doesn't tend to dabble into social issues and views immigration as a possible economic benefit, even if it is a political liability. On the environment, Cole Harris is fond of local-led conservation efforts along with global cooperation. He is also outspoken in his support for democratization of the electoral process (including recall of MPs and donor transparency), which is a lonely place on the right-wing of the Party. Finally, Harris has shown an interest in social mobility and the importance of building social capital. Constituency: Folkestone and Hythe Year Elected: 2010 Education: BA Geography, Oxford (1991-1994) Career: Upon graduation, Harris went to work for a management consultancy in London. He worked there until 1996, when he was briefly moved to New York City. In 2000, Harris returned to England and became Executive Director of a boutique consultancy firm that catered to conservancy organizations. He left that role when he was elected to Parliament. Political Career: Harris was involved in the Oxford University Conservative Association, and was the runner-up for its presidency in 1994. He would be elected to Kent County Council in 2001, where he served until being elected MP for Folkestone and Hythe in 2010. On the Kent County Council, Cole Harris briefly served as Cabinet Member for Economic Development (2009-2010). While in Parliament, Harris has served as a Vice Chair on the APPG for Social Mobility. He supported Michael Gove in the 2019 leadership election Parliamentary votes, and then Boris Johnson in the party-wide vote.
  6. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to begin by paying tribute to all service personnel who participated in Operation Pitting and to our allies who bravely assisted our troops, in particular I join the Honourable Members for Dudley North and Rugby in paying tribute to those 13 Americans who sadly paid the ultimate price to protect others. Having worked alongside US service personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan I know of the bravery they displayed there and I know they will have showed the same fortitude in Kabul during the evacuation. However, this entire situation has served to show us that we cannot rely on the US political leadership to single-handedly uphold the security of ourselves and our allies. Whilst I do condemn the decision to leave in the manner we saw: overnight disappearance acts carried out by American forces and abandoned equipment and bases just left sitting for the approaching Taliban. Make no mistake this was the complete abandonment of an allied government to a group of radical insurgents; we must also acknowledge that this humiliation has highlighted that despite our troops professionalism we as a government must do more to support and bolster our Armed Forces. This is a debate which must and will be had in this place in the weeks and months to come however, I'm sure we all agree that today should be a day of tribute – tribute to the heroism and the incredible job that our Armed Forces do. The success of Operation Pitting is a testament to the sheer brilliance and professionalism of the British Armed Forces. Evacuating roughly 15,000 Afghan nationals in the span of weeks is a truly amazing feat and one that required tremendous willpower, courage and ingenious planning. I'm sure the whole nation will join all of us here in the house today in a feeling of immense pride for our Armed Forces. I also wish to pay particular tribute to Sir Laurie Bristow, our Ambassador to Afghanistan, and the other civilian staff who stayed behind at Kabul airport during the evacuation in order to continue processing the visa applications of those fleeing the approaching Taliban forces. I don’t think anyone would have criticised him for leaving but the fact he chose to stay behind is a testament to his personal character and resilience. I hope that the Prime Minister will commit to finding some way of recognising the bravery of all British Military and Civilian personnel who have contributed to the evacuation efforts, Whilst it is absolutely right that Government’s actions during this be properly scrutinised, but this is not what the members opposite are providing. They are clutching at straws as they fail to come up with legitimate failures they can attribute to the Government in this situation. Whilst the members opposite would love to spend all day discussing coronavirus rules, the failure to have a strategy in place for a situation nobody was aware was going to happen months before it did – we stand here paying tribute to the fact of the matter – this fact being that despite limited time and resources our Armed Forces and Civil Service managed to put together a programme that has undoubtably saved the lives of thousands of innocent Afghans. Proper scrutiny involves knowing when to admit that the best possible course of action was taken and that these actions produced success. However, Mr. Speaker, it is right that over the coming weeks and months this Government must examine precisely what failures led to the need for our Armed Forces to carry out these actions, and what consequences the fall of Afghanistan will have for our nation. We must examine what steps we must take in order to prevent any such catastrophe from occurring in the future. The member for Liverpool West Derby said that government had months to prepare for this, and that the intelligence was not if Kabul would fall but how fast it would fall. This is not accurate, as mentioned by colleagues on this side of the house – the intelligence our allies talked about stated that a takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban was not an inevitability. We also were not made aware of the rapid exit of US forces. I am thankful it is this Government that led the nation through this difficult process and not people like the member for Liverpool West Derby who would have sat on their thumbs with no clue of how to manage such a situation. However, we must not shy away from examine the intelligence failures which prevented us from becoming aware of the speed and force at which the Taliban offensive progressed – we must ensure that our Intelligence Community is able to independently verify intelligence supplied by foreign allies and reinforce their ability to provide correct and accurate information to our chain of command. In addition, we must also seek to ensure that our intelligence on the actions of our allies is also accurate and correct. I commend the Prime Minister for his statement to this house, and I join him in his support of the incredible humanitarian efforts of our Armed Forces and civil servants. I am reassured by his decisive actions and I firmly feel that Britain’s national security and our international presence are in capable hands.
  7. Centre-left and green parties claim narrow win in Germany BERLIN-- German voters delivered a resounding defeat to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in this month’s election, with her Christian Democratic Union set to be the fourth largest party in the Bundestag. The combined CDU/CSU bloc, formed with the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Democratic Union, will be the second largest bloc in the Bundestag. Olaf Sholtz and the Social Democratic Party are to be the largest party in the Bundestag, with Mr Sholtz likely to become the German Chancellor following coalition negotiations. In their best performance in recent years, the SDP won 223 seats in the Bundestag. Speaking following the result, Mr Shultz said that the SDP had “a clear mandate to form a government” and that Germans had “chosen a pragmatic leader to lead a pragmatic government.” Throughout the campaign, Mr Sholtz, the current finance minister, was parodied as being a competent technocrat more than an inspiring leader. The SDP’s traditional coalition partner, the Greens, will hold 127 seats in the Bundestag, becoming the third largest party. This is their best performance at a federal election, fueled by a surge in the southern states. The Greens have made clear the cost of their support for a coalition: control of the foreign ministry and a new economics ministry that has addressing climate change as a critical function. Annalena Baerbock, the Greens candidate for chancellor, is likely to be nominated as foreign minster and vice-chancellor. Her co-leader, Robert Habeck, is likely to lead the economy and climate ministry. The Greens, under the leadership of Ms Baerbock, are likely to push for a more hawkish foreign policy than Germany has pursued in past. Ms Baerbock has warned of the challenges posed by China and the threat of Russia to Europe. The decline of the CDU was fueled by the rise of the far-right in Germany, with Alternative for Germany (AfD), soaring to become the second largest single party in the Bundestag with 128 seats. “This is a resounding result for those that want to see a Germany for Germans,” said AfD leader Alice Weidel. Additionally benefiting AfD was the defection of voters associated with left-wing Die Linke (The Left), which failed to qualify for additional seats for the first time since 2005. With only two constituency seats and less than 5% of the vote, Die Linke failed to quality for proportional representation. The exact details of an SDP-Green coalition will be negotiated in the coming month. Ms Merkel will remain Chancellor in a caretaker capacity until a new one is sworn in.
  8. Mr Speaker, This tax rise - a tax rise, Mr Speaker, not his euphemistic "levy" - is the inevitable result of over eleven years of neglect, under-investment, and austerity. The chickens are coming home to roost, Mr Speaker. And the cost is being shoved on struggling hard-working families who have just come out the other end of a pandemic. Don't get me wrong, Mr Speaker. I welcome more NHS and social care spending. But people should have no doubt that it is the result of the decisions that this Government has made that mean they will be poorer next year than this year. That it is the decisions of this Government that mean that this emergency increase in funding is necessary. That it is this Government that has squandered billions on contracts with its mates, purchased subpar PPE, and wasted billions on a top down reorganisation that - ten years on - has made care worse. Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, the Government has also chosen precisely the worst tax to increase. They have done so out of political expediency at best. They have done so to save their own wallets at worst. The average worker will suffer twice: they will pay a higher tax, and they will face lower wages when their employers have to pay the extra tax on their wages. That will cost the average worker £360. Two earner families will be worse off by £720 on average next year. But what about the buy to let landlord with a dozen properties? Not a penny more, Mr Speaker. Not a penny more. What about the rich non-dom? Not a penny more, Mr Speaker. What about the wealthy taxpayer who earns his money through capital gains on his immense assets, or through company profits? Not a penny more, Mr Speaker. The opposition will no doubt say there is no perfect tax rise. But they have chosen probably the worst of all. It will cut the incomes of those just trying to get by. And it will leave the wealth, income, and position of those who already have plenty untouched. People will not resent paying more for their NHS, Mr Speaker. But they will, and they should, resent the fact that ordinary Britons are being asked to pay a disproportionate burden of extra funding for our National Health Service. The former Chancellor used to like to claim that we're all in this together. This deliberate, penny-pinching announcement puts pay to that claim once and for all. I hope the House will reject this so-called "levy" and demand the Government bring forward a fairer, more sustainable funding package for our health and social care services.
  9. Last week
  10. Mr. Speaker, I'm going to have to respond to the statement the Member for Rugby because to me it just epitomises the learned helplessness of this government which leaves us looking inept and inactive on the world stage. He mischaracterises my statement by saying I wanted the Prime Minister to merely discuss a refugee resettlement scheme while Afghanistan plunged into chaos and to do little to nothing else. That's wrong on two fronts. Firstly, in the shorter term, the Honourable Gentleman acts as if the United Kingdom had two choices: an evacuation mission in Afghanistan or establishing a refugee programme, preferably an international one, that would provide urgent assistance to former government employees, journalists, ethnic and religious minorities, women and LGBT people. We know that is a completely false dichotomy. Government consists of more than one cog, and any Defence Secretary and Prime Minister worth their salt have been perfectly able to manage Operation Pitting and ensured government was working towards other aims. But where was the Home Secretary? Nowhere to be seen. Where was the Foreign Secretary? On a beach in Crete. And the Permanent Secretaries for the MoD, Home Office and Foreign Office were also too busy catching a tan and holidaying. All while, as the Gentleman outlines, Kabul burned and the Taliban hanged people in every city. Mr. Speaker, where was the initiative, the urgency or discipline from government in this moment of crisis? If the Foreign Secretary had time to go on holiday, and if the Home Secretary has the time to... well, we're still not quite sure what she is doing with her time other than briefing right wing media outlets, we could have had the foundations of a global plan for refugees in place by now if not an entire implementable strategy. Instead, the Prime Minister has told 20,000 Afghan employees, women, gay people, journalists, Christians, and many others who put their life on the line to help the British mission that they will be able to come to the UK "in time." All while, as the Honourable Gentleman has said, Kabul burns and people are hanged in every city. It's so pathetic that the government only this month has appointed a Minister tasked with overseeing Afghan refugees. We do not have a wider intelligence strategy, a strategy to deal with the Taliban regime, a strategy for aid or a strategy for regime. And every moment Tory backbenchers craft excuses the more that becomes clear - and the more they insult the British public. But let's take the Member for Rugby at his word, Mr. Speaker. After all, it is not out of the realm of possibility that this government is too inept to establish a comprehensive plan or do more than one thing at a time. The problem with even that proposition is the government had months to prepare for this. We're told by the government they need to be cut slack as there was flawed intelligence. But we know Mr. Speaker the flaw in the intelligence was not if Kabul would fall but how fast it would fall. The decision to withdraw was made eighteen months prior to withdrawal at Doha and four months prior the timetable for withdrawal was established, and yet no preparations had been made for a worst case scenario or, it seems, any scenario at all. The consequences of this incompetence are incomprehensible, Mr. Speaker. In July, the Shadow First Secretary of State warned the government they were not adequately preparing for that withdrawal. In May, the Shadow Minister for the Armed Forces was making those same warnings after the Foreign Select Committee warned of the grave consequences of the government's lack of preparedness for the upcoming withdrawal from Afghanistan. This was not something the government received no warning for, and so this failure and this shame is theirs and theirs alone. Our armed forces cobbled together, at the very last minute, a record breaking evacuation programme we can all be proud of. But think about what we could have had if more preparation had been made from the government. Ministers would not be on the airwaves at the very least admitting that people would be left behind and would die, and we would have a comprehensive strategy to deal with this dark new reality that faces the global community. We would be able to have the framework for a strategy on refugees, on aid, on security and a wider strategy for dealing with the Taliban, all while enacting an evacuation programme that could have saved the necessary British and Afghan lives alike. But that is not the world we live in. The government should hang their head in shame for that, and Members like the Gentleman for Rugby should join them for encouraging their delusion.
  11. The lovely North West Cambridgeshire
  12. Barclay

    Miles Stone

    Name: Miles Heathcliff Stone Avatar: Patrick Grant Age: 51 Sex: Male Ethnicity: White Marital Status: Married (Gwyneth, 49), two children (Parker, 23, and Lilly, 21) Sexual Orientation: Straight Party: Conservative and Unionist Political Outlook: Although a Free Marketeer and a Wet, Miles is characterized by his loyalty. He has never voted against the party whip in his 11 years in Parliament, and is usually willing to follow the leader's talking points, even when the leader is on his or her way out. Behind closed doors, Miles advocates a liberal worldview of social liberalism and monetarist, free market, Austrian-school economics. Constituency: North West Cambridgeshire Year Elected: 2010 Education: Educated at Harrow, read economics at Oxford (Balliol). Career: 1992-1996 | Fundraiser, Conservative Central Office 1996-1997 | Chairman, Carlton Dinner 1997-2001 | Special Assistant to Francis Maude, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Shadow Foreign Secretary 2001-2002 | Policy Advisor, Conservative Central Office 2002-2008 | Chairman, Policy Exchange 2008-2010 | Campaign Coordinator, Conservative Central Office Political Career: 2001 | Contested Manchester Gorton, lost. 2005 | Contested Bradford South, lost. 2010 | Elected, North East Cambridgeshire 2010-2012 | Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for the Cabinet Office 2012-2014 | Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for International Development 2014-2016 | Minister of State for International Trade Policy 2016-2019 | Financial Secretary to the Treasury 2019-Present | Backbencher (sacked by BoJo due to ties with prominent Remain voices) Conservative Leadership Election Support: 1997 | Kenneth Clarke 2001 | Michael Portillo 2005 | David Cameron (Campaign Committee Member) 2016 | Michael Gove 2019 | Jeremy Hunt (Campaign Committee Member)
  13. Starmer Reshuffle Makes Absolutely No One Happy One day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson carried out his most recent reshuffle, Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer followed in his footsteps, attempting to continue his balancing act between the two sides of the party. The first piece of news in the reshuffle was the resignation of Cat Smith as Shadow Secretary of State for Young People and Democracy, with Smith posting her resignation letter on Twitter, claiming that the continued independence of Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons was "utterly unsustainable," and saying that she was "disappointed" that the party had not yet adopted Proportional Representation as a policy. Smith's role will be split into two as part of a larger reorganization. Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, is Shadow Minister for Democracy and Engagement, and David Lammy moves to be Shadow Secretary of State for Civil Liberties and Equalities. Much of the team at the top remained the same, with Angela Rayner, Rachel Reeves, Alan Campbell, and Shabana Mahmood maintaining their current positions. Although many were expecting Starmer to call up former Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper to either fill Shadow Home or Shadow Foreign, she remained on the backbenches throughout the reshuffle, and maintains her post as Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Louise Haigh, previously Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, will be Shadow Home Secretary instead. A source close to Starmer's office said that "it was a very difficult decision. [Priti] Patel is a tough person to shadow, and knowing that we've got Yvette providing scrutiny on the committee level and Lou at the dispatch box made us feel better about the scrutiny we can do, rather than Yvette at Shadow Home and someone else on the committee." Nick Thomas-Symonds, previous Shadow Home Secretary, moved to cover the International Trade brief. For a man who is portrayed as "obsessed" with image and polls, Starmer sacked Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green, Shadow Communities Secretary Steve Reed, Shadow DEFRA Secretary Luke Pollard, and Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens, all weak parliamentary performers. Shadow Attorney General Lord Falconer chose to step back from the Shadow Cabinet. To replace their seats, Starmer called up Andrew Gwynne, Stephen Kinnock, Catherine McKinnell, and Karl Turner. Despite all of this, the two main moves centered around the Foreign Office. Starmer promoted Lisa Nandy out of Shadow Foreign to shadow Michael Gove as Shadow Secretary for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities. While this would typically be a demotion, Nandy is a noted advocate for towns and local policy, and will be the primary scrutinizer of Johnson's levelling up policies. To replace her at the Foreign Office, Starmer appointed former Labour Leader Ed Miliband. Miliband, who has been seen as a stellar performer in his Business and Climate Change Role, keeps the Climate Change portfolio, while former Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds gains the business portfolio. The other major promotion was Wes Streeting, previously Shadow Child Poverty Secretary, replacing Green at Education. A darling of the Labour right, Streeting is seen by some (but mostly by himself) as a potential party leader post-Starmer.
  14. Mr. Speaker, I'd like to begin by pausing to honor the lives of the 13 American soldiers who were killed by the Taliban while participating in the evacuation of Kabul. While they are not British citizens, I have no doubt that they worked alongside our soldiers in the country and treated our troops like fellow countrymen. For decades, the Anglo-American alliance has stood in defiance of tyranny, has advanced our shared democratic principles, and fought tirelessly for peace and security. In the spirit of that enduring alliance, I pray for our American brothers and sisters amidst this tragedy, and offer the heartfelt thanks of the British people for the valiant service of these 13 men and women. The Kabul airlift and surrounding evacuation campaign brings to an end the culmination of 20 years of war in Afghanistan. The war effort began in 2001, five governments ago, and has gone on so long that the children of the British soldiers who first went to Afghanistan are now old enough to be enlisted soldiers themselves. The circumstances surrounding the timeline of the withdrawal should be debated, and they certainly should be scrutinized by Parliament. That will, and must, occur in due time. Today, however, I think it is entirely appropriate to focus our attention on the unparalleled heroism of the British soldiers and volunteer personnel who have saved the lives of thousands of Afghan nationals who risked imminent death at the hands of the Taliban. Operating Pitting was a clear and objective success; a success that occurred because of the talent, bravery, and grit of the British Armed Forces. Evacuating thousands, 15,000 to be precise, of Afghan nationals in the span of weeks is an incredible feat that will go down in history as one of the greatest humanitarian efforts led by the United Kingdom. In concert with our American allies, we responding to a rapidly evolving situation that the top American military and security experts themselves did not anticipate occurring. As my friend the Member for Banff and Buchann put so well - no one anticipated Afghanistan to fall to the Taliban as quickly as it did. But when we realized the extent of the Taliban's power, we jumped to action and organized a national effort to protect innocent Afghan women, children, and minorities who faced immediate danger. Today, Mr. Speaker, is a day of pride for all British citizens. The Government should of course be scrutinized, but I can't help but find the Opposition's arguments against the Government's actions somewhat ridiculous. The Member for Liverpool West Derby, in his usual attempt to find fault where there is none, insists that the Prime Minister should have worked to, "create a global resettlement scheme." He would have preferred that the Prime Minister huddled with Joe and Angela in some air conditioned room, working out a 50 point plan on refugee resettlement, debating the intricacies of rescuing a LGBTQ Afghan versus a Christian one over a bottle of wine. That idea sounds nice on paper, but in reality, it would have cost the lives of countless Afghans who didn't have the time to wait for the West to craft a comprehensive plan. While Kabul burned and the Taliban was hanging people in the streets of every major city, the Member from Liverpool would have preferred the Government sit on their hands and ponder the appropriate response. Thank God we did not heed that advice, Mr. Speaker. Action was required and it was required immediately, without pause or hesitation. This Government provided that decisive action, it was carried out by the brave men and women of Her Majesty's Armed Forces, and thousands of Afghan refugees are alive today because of it. That is something the entire House should celebrate. Of course, Mr. Speaker, there will be a time in the near future where the Government should begin to carefully examine the actions we take in the future, and the consequences of Afghanistan's fall to the Taliban. There are two key areas where I believe the Government should take immediate action to ensure we promote our nation's national security and ensure that we learn from the events of the past. First, I believe it is of vital national importance that we have a strong understanding of who we are allowing to relocate to the United Kingdom. I admire the Prime Minister's goal of welcoming 50,000 refugees to Britain over the next few years, and welcome his commitment to prioritize refugees who either assisted the United Kingdom in our war effort against the Taliban or who come from minority communities that are now most at risk of facing Taliban persecution. With that being said, there are obvious and understandable security concerns to accepting so many refugees from a foreign, war torn country at one time. We should pay particular attention to single, adult-aged males who may have ties to radical groups in Afghanistan and who could pose a security threat to communities here in the United Kingdom. Again, I welcome the Prime Minister's work to ensure Britain does our part in responding to this humanitarian crisis. But we must engage in this effort in a manner that protects the safety, security, and well being of the British public. Second, I know I speak for many people across the country when I say I am very concerned at the rapid pace at which Afghanistan fell in light of the substantial investment the British taxpayer has provided to the Afghan government over the past two decades. Britain has contributed billions of pounds in support to the government in Kabul, and massive amounts of military equipment and technology. Despite all of that aid, and despite the even larger sums of money contributed by the Americans, the Taliban was able to quickly rout the Afghan military and regain control of the country after two decades of being out of power. President Ghani has fled the country, potentially with massive amounts of money, and the Taliban has now taken control of an incredible arsenal of Western military equipment that positions them to be the most well-armed terror group in modern history. By all accounts, the allied attempt to build a solid nation state in Afghanistan has failed, and that failure has come at the cost of billions of pounds of taxpayer money. The British people deserve a full accounting of the scale of money and military equipment we lost in this effort, how we're going to protect our interests in the Middle East and at home now that the Taliban is in possession of this equipment, and what the Government will do to prevent future losses of this scale. I once again commend the Prime Minister for his clear and firm statement, and join him in celebrating the valiant actions of our Armed Forces. We are better off because of the service and sacrifices made by the men and women who served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces, and I have no doubt that Britain's global interests will continue to be well served by their efforts.
  15. Kayla_Gray

    Kayla Gray

    Name: Kayla Gray Avatar: Caroline Konstnar Date of Birth: 4th August 1996 Sex: Female Marital Status: Single Sexual Orientation: Openly Bisexual Party: Labour Political Outlook: Momentum (also close ties to SCG obviously) Constituency: Hackney South & Shoreditch Year Elected: 2019 Education: University College London, studied History Career: Young Labour and RLB staffer Political Career: MP for Hackney South & Shoreditch (2019-), Shadow Minister for Climate Justice & Green Jobs (2020) Bio: Kayla Gray was born on August 4th 1996 in Islington, London. She is the oldest of three children, with her two brothers aged nineteen and seventeen. Kayla’s family has lived in Islington all her life, with her mother being a nurse originally from Sweden and her father a police officer who was originally from Dublin. Kayla’s family were financially comfortable enough to get by but were by no means wealthy. Aged 7, she attended the anti-Iraq invasion march in London on February 15th 2003, being carried on her father’s shoulders. Kayla attended a local comprehensive school in Islington. In school, she took a strong interest in the humanities subjects from a young age and enjoyed English. At GCSE her highest grades were in History, French, Geography and English. At A-Level she chose to study Politics, Economics and History, achieving an AAB in her final examinations with the B coming in economics. She subsequently went on to study history at university. Whilst Kayla’s first political experience was the STWC march in 2003, she first became actively politically engaged in her early teen years, joining the Labour Party in 2011. Subsequently, she became a very active member of the Islington North CLP, where her views were formed to that of a more left-wing persuasion within the party. As well as being involved in campaign events and social activities in the community, Kayla also does charity work in her local community, namely volunteering at her nearest foodbank. Kayla also worked in a local theatre whilst studying at university. Kayla supported Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership in 2015, claiming on Twitter that Labour needs a “radical, progressive, socialist path to power to revolutionise Britain in favour of the working people, not the rich elites”. She did not vote for any of the final five deputy leadership candidates. Kayla supported remaining in the EU in order to reform, but following the referendum result, believed that the decision to leave should be honoured. However, she would later go on to support a confirmatory second referendum. During the chicken coup in 2016, Kayla referred to those working against Corbyn as “traitors and snakes trying to deliberately undermine the electoral chances of a Labour Party true to its principles” on Twitter. When Corbyn won his second landslide victory, Kayla called the result a “crushing defeat for the Blairites and saboteurs” In January 2017, Kayla began to work at Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency office where she worked before being appointed as a staffer by Young Labour NEC Rep Lara McNeil in 2018, she worked in this post until February 2019 when she was appointed as a staffer to Rebecca Long-Bailey as Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary. In 2019, she was selected as the Labour candidate for the Hackney South & Shoreditch constituency, which she won in the December 2019 General Election, a night she described as “greatly disappointing and a huge missed opportunity for our country”. In the January 2020 Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, Kayla was appointed Shadow Minister for Climate Justice & Green Jobs, an area she had covered whilst working for Long-Bailey. In the 2020 Labour leadership election, Gray nominated and endorsed Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon. Following the election of Keir Starmer as Labour leader, she resigned from her ministerial post. Following Corbyn’s response to the EHRC report and subsequent expulsion from the Labour Party, Kayla said “Jeremy’s statement was poorly worded but it was absolutely not grounds for him to be removed from the party” and also called upon Corbyn to “more clearly apologise for the mismanagement of the antisemitism crisis”. Kayla has repeatedly called for Corbyn to be reinstated to the Parliamentary Labour Party, calling Starmer’s decision “blatant factionalism”. In her free time, she enjoys reading, with her favourite book being ‘Notes from Underground’ by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and watching football (in which she supports Arsenal) as well as doing art. Kayla’s mother is Jewish but Kayla is religiously atheist, referring to herself as a "pretty secular Jew".
  16. Trudeau returned with majority government OTTAWA-- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau returned to office with a new majority government after calling a snap election in August. The campaign saw a focus on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as climate change emerge as central issues. Other parties, led by Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole, condemned the election as “unnecessary” in the midst of the pandemic. However, Mr Trudeau claimed that the election was necessary to “break deadlock” and “give Canadians a say on the recovery they wish to see”. Mr O’Toole was seemingly hurt by shifts to the centre on climate change and gun rights, which seemingly allowed the People’s Party to gain support. However, some analysts note that his shift to the centre may have been instrumental in closing the gap with Mr Trudeau’s Liberals, despite losing some support to the People’s Party. In the end, Trudeau benefitted from a surge in support for the People’s Party of Canada, a right-wing group, and a collapse in support for both the Green Party and the Bloc Québécois. Despite winning, the news was not entirely good for Mr Trudeau, who saw his party’s polling lead shrink significantly from the pre-campaign period. “We have a firm mandate to build a fairer Canada,” said Mr Trudeau at a rally on election night. The Liberals won the smallest share of the vote that yielded a majority government in history, casting some doubt on that claim. Internationally, Mr Trudeau is expected to push for more action on climate change as world leaders convene in Glasgow for COP26 later this year. Likewise, Canada has newly emerging interests in the Indo-Pacific following the precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan earlier this year. Following the election, Mr O’Toole announced his intention to stand down as leader of the Conservative Party and Yves-François Blanchet announced he would stand down as leader of the Bloc. Trudeau is due to conduct a Cabinet reshuffle imminently, representing his newfound flexibility as the leader of a majority government.
  17. Mr Speaker, First of all I like to Thank not only the British troops but though of the Americans the afghans that fought and supported us and are other allies for there service in this long war and who help during this evacuation and I send my Prays and condolences to the families of though that didn't survived this war and toughs that did but suffer from the effects of injuries and Ptsd. Second of all I would like to thank to not only the government but our allies and our troops as well for doing the best they could in regards to a terrible of situation. Third I am hoping that We along with our nato allies and the world learned a lesson from this and steps can be taken to ensure something like this never happens again. Fourth the Leader of the Opposition try to play both sides by both acknowledging the success of operation Pitting and claiming the government Should have seen this coming. Of course the Leader of the Opposition seem to forget no one foresaw this the American President and his defense department claimed that the tailban takeover was not inevitable. The Afghan Army had the means to defeat the tailban the weapons armor vehicles all of it but lacked a will not event he army but the government expect for the Vice President Amrullah Saleh and his National Resistance Front of Afghanistan who effort I salute. The President fled his country at the time of need with as some reports claimed "four cars and a helicopter full of cash". This is why tailban won not because of the Her Majesty government or the united states government or any Government expect the Afghanistan government. Fifth I do hope this government do intend on making sure the the Refugee are vetted as best as possible in regards to the current situation as well ensure the refugees are integrated as best as possible as well.
  18. Mr. Speaker, Allow me to echo what I imagine will be the sentiments of the whole House in expressing my gratitude and pride in the Armed servicemen and women who were on the ground through Operation Pitting and the wider Afghan mission. Their bravery and immense sacrifice, for 457 troops that ultimate sacrifice was paid for with their lives, can feel futile. But to those watching I want to make clear that your efforts were not in vain. There are countless people who are here today because of that sacrifice, whether that is those of us at home who are safe from the terrorist threat that emerged in Afghanistan, women who were able to receive the education they needed to live a more prosperous life and Afghans alive because of UK landmine clearing and water sanitation efforts. It is easy to give into despair when so much of the progress we fought and shed blood for has evaporated right in front of us. But we should all stress today that British bravery and sacrifice was not in vain. From beginning to the end, we saw immense heroism, courage and professionalism: thank you. And that thanks should also be extended to journalists, aid workers and UK diplomats in Afghanistan who have also worked tirelessly to save lives, let alone our fantastic Ambassador in Afghanistan who stayed behind at great risk to the very last possible minute to get everyone he could past the line. This indescribable public service feels like such a contrast to a government that throughout this process has shown complacency, weakness and selfishness. And to have government Ministers and the backbenchers that prop them up come to this House and bray about showing leadership rubs salt into that wound. The government have a tendency to rewrite history Mr. Speaker. A recent example that comes to mind is the Prime Minister claiming he conveniently sacked the Member for West Suffolk a day after he defended him and made the conscious decision to keep him in Cabinet after he was caught breaking the coronavirus rules he made. Not content with painting mirages for the British public, he wants to try and do it to desperate Afghans too. So now we're hearing that the former Foreign Secretary showed leadership from his Crete resort as Afghanistan fell and thousands of British and Afghan lives were put into danger. We all know the Prime Minister has a history of making grandiose comments he can never follow through on, Mr. Speaker - and we have a garden bridge and a road to Northern Ireland to show for it. But when thousands of Afghan lives depend on those promises, the government's pattern of promising and not delivering cannot do. Promises on refugee resettlement programmes cannot be believed when we look at a Prime Minister who scrapped the Dubs scheme after promising not to, and that's before we acknowledge the United Kingdom's paltry offer to begin with. We rightly encouraged women and girls in Afghanistan to take advantage of an education and to strive for positions of power. The same women and girls we supported are the ones in the most danger as the Taliban target them: the idea they can wait until we do something "down the line" would be laughable if it was not so bewildering and cruel. The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary or Home Secretary could have worked with key allies to create a global resettlement scheme which could be acting now to provide safe and legal routes for the most vulnerable in Afghanistan - former government employees, LGBT+ people, ethnic minorities, religious minorities and women. Instead, they have been told to wait and see. We know the Taliban will not wait and see, Mr. Speaker. And it's clear there is no strategy to support Afghanistan through what will clearly become a humanitarian disaster. I note the Prime Minister didn't even bother to mention international or humanitarian aid in his speech, months after he cut Afghanistan's aid budget in half: a decision which we now know will have devastating consequences and will leave Britain looking like it would abandon the people it pledged to protect at the most critical moment, diminishing our image on the world stage when we were promised a global Britain. It is important that Britain's aid budget does not end up in the hands of the Taliban, but that brings up questions as to whether the Prime Minister or Foreign Secretary have even attempted to create the foundations of an aid strategy for what will be chilling and devastating future months. We have no idea if the Foreign Secretary or Prime Minister have liaised with the United Nations, NGOs or our allies to execute that plan or to even discern the capacity the United Kingdom and the international community have to deliver aid across Afghanistan in a way which is as swift as it is smart. We've heard talk of 'Shadow Generals' from the government benches. We did not need Generals to warn us of the worries of a potentially destabilised Afghanistan, Mr. Speaker. Both Conservative backbenchers and Labour frontbenchers, including the Labour First Secretary of State, warned the government of the increasingly fragile picture in Afghanistan. It fell on deaf ears. We have some of the best military minds, we are a leading member of NATO and yet the government is too busy creating excuses instead of creating a plan. It makes us look weak, feckless and unstable right in front of our enemies, including the Taliban regime itself. Instead of telling the British people how powerless we are, the Foreign Secretary or Prime Minister could be working to build up the intelligence framework beyond Kabul and leverage against the Taliban regime to promote the safety of Afghans and for us here at home and preventing Afghanistan becoming a breeding ground for global terror. These were plans the government should have had in place months ago. And yet they still cannot be bothered to cobble it together today. The Foreign Secretary not even bothering to pick up the phone to his desperate Afghan counterpart because he was enjoying a £1,000 a night holiday isn't a shameful exception for this government - it epitomises a shameful norm. Uncaring and unbothered as British citizens' lives are at risk and Britain's global reputation threatens being permanently damaged. That isn't leadership. It is a dereliction of the duty that British soldiers, aid workers and diplomats have shown in spades at this devastating and shameful time. It is just a shame we are left without a government that can support them.
  19. Shadow Cabinet as of September 2021 Leader of the Opposition: Keir Starmer Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow First Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work: Angela Rayner Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer: Rachel Reeves Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Shadow Climate Change Secretary: Ed Miliband Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department: Louise Haigh Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice: Emily Thornberry Shadow Secretary of State for Defence: John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy: Anneliese Dodds Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade: Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care: Jonathan Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: Jonny Reynolds Shadow Secretary of State for Child Poverty: Bridget Phillipson Shadow Secretary of State for International Development: Preet Gill Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs: Jim McMahon Shadow Secretary of State for Education: Wes Streeting Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport: Lucy Powell Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities: Lisa Nandy Shadow Secretary of State for Transport: Andrew Gwynne Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland: Stephen Kinnock Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland: Ian Murray Shadow Secretary of State for Wales: Nia Griffith Shadow Secretary of State for Civil Liberties and Equalities: David Lammy Shadow Secretary of State for Mental Health: Rosena Allin-Khan Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights and Protections: Andy McDonald Shadow Leader of the House of Commons: Thangam Debbonaire Shadow Chief Whip: Alan Campbell Shadow Leader of the House of Lords: Baroness Smith of Basildon Also Attending Shadow Cabinet Shadow Chief Secretary of the Treasury and Shadow Minister for Women: Catherine McKinnell Shadow Minister for Democracy and Engagement: Tulip Siddiq Shadow Minister without Portfolio: Shabana Mahmood Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales: Karl Turner Shadow Chief Whip in the House of Lords: Baron Kennedy of Southwark
  20. Name: James “Jim” Riley Avatar: David Harbour Age: 48. (b. 9th January 1973). Sex: Male. Ethnicity: White. Marital Status: Single. Sexual Orientation: Bisexual [not ‘out’ but it’s not a secret either. Has only had one serious relationship – with a woman]. Party: Labour. Political Outlook: Labour centre, so somewhere in the Open Labour-Brownite space with a fondness for Blue Labour economics. Constituency: Liverpool West Derby. Year Elected: 2017. Education: Thomas Gray Primary School, Bootle (1977-1984). St George of England High School, Bootle (1984-1991). BA Jurisprudence, University of Oxford (1991-1994). MJur, University of Oxford (1994-1995). LPC, University of Law Manchester (1995-1996). Career: Solicitor, Thompsons Solicitors (1996-2000). Senior Solicitor, Thompsons Solicitors (2000-2001). Head Trade Union Unit, Thompsons (2001-2005). Head of Military Claims Unit, Thompsons (2005-2009). UNISON, Senior Legal Officer (2009-2013). Head of Legal, TUC (2013-2015). Political Career: Member of Parliament for Liverpool West Derby (2017-). James “Jim” Riley was born in Bootle to 1973. His father was a docker and his mother a housewife. Jim states he had a “pleasant, straightforward” childhood. Despite his working class background, he was noted to have been an exceptional student and was encouraged by his teachers to aim high. He became the first in his family to go to University and the first in his sixth form to go to Oxbridge, where he studied law. Having been considered to be an exceptional mind in law, he obtained his MJur at Oxford and moved back up North to complete his LPC in Manchester. A Labour Party member since 16 and passionate defender of the Trade Unions with deep family links, Jim specialised in employment law and worked with Thompson’s Solicitors due to their connections to the Trade Union movement. He worked in the Liverpool and Manchester branches and quickly rose up the ranks, heading up crucial branches and divisions in the country. After 9 years of working at Thompsons, Jim moved on to work within UNISON and eventually headed the legal division within the TUC. He left but was respected as one of the country’s most respected Employment solicitors, and had provided advice to the Business, Defence and DWP Select Committees and legal guidance to various charities, organisations, councils and Trade Unions whilst doing freelance work after leaving the TUC. Working primarily in his home city of Merseyside, Jim was selected to be the Member of Parliament for Liverpool West Derby and won (to no surprise) in 2017. Jim has not been a notable MP, and was neither a noted Corbyn loyalist nor rebel. Following the disastrous 2019 General Election, he supported Lisa Nandy for leader and Angela Rayner for Deputy Leader. He is a member of the following AAPGs: Carers, Children of Alcoholics, Green New Deal, Homelessness, Immigration Law and Policy, Liverpool City Region, Northern Culture, Palestine and Youth Affairs. He is the chair of the Homelessness AAPG. He is vice chair of the Northern Culture and Green New Deal AAPGs. In his personal life, Jim lives with his sister and his mother, with his sister being his mother’s carer. He is a lapsed Catholic. He is “not strictly teetotal, but virtually teetotal” and is interested in boxing, football and Scandi noirs.
  21. Thank you Mr. Speaker, And I thank the Prime Minister for advanced sight of his statement. I am glad to speak in this debate about the announcement of the government. Because it is important that we reduce the backlog that the NHS is experiencing. But Mr. Speaker...the Prime Minister seems to believe that the backlog was solely the result of the Covid pandemic. And I of all people don't deny that a massive pandemic has made working in healthcare a lot more difficult, but the problem has started long before. For years, the party opposite has pushed the government and the secretary of state into limiting our NHS. Dentistry and GPs have suffered for years under this policy of austerity. Mr. Speaker, the Covid pandemic has only exasperated the problems in our healthcare system. Under the ten years of Conservative Party rule, a gap of 50 billion pounds has emerged in the funding of the NHS. And now, after ten years, the Prime Minister has announced to close this gap by pressing a tax burden on the hard working British people. A Health and Social Care 'Levy' is what the party opposite has dubbed it. Personally, I would call it a Health and Social Care 'Fine' on the people of Britain. The government has failed to keep up with growing healthcare costs for ten years. And now, they want to close this gap by increasing the tax burden. What a strange way to make the NHS fit for purpose again. Those are not my words, by the way. According to the NHS themselves, they have been playing 'catch-up' for years. They have made the government aware of the billions of pounds that they are missing in funding. They have said that there is a massive loss of workforce in several years. The Prime Minister has plegded that he wants to recruit thousands of GPs over the next few years: Mr. Speaker, the reality is, that the Covid pandemic has not increased, but diminished our GP workforce. Mr. Speaker, there seems to be a new tendency in the Prime Minister's failing policies to stop the Covid pandemic. They claim they want to take care of the NHS. The reality is, Mr. Speaker, that they have failed to take care of the NHS for ten years. And this problem is one that seems to be limited to England only. In Labour-led Wales, Spending per person is more than 100 pounds higher than in England. And why is that? Because contrary to NHS England, Labour has not let a funding gap of 50 billion pounds grow in NHS Wales. And I also looked in the Conservative Manifesto. Do the members opposite know what it says? I shall remind them, and I paraphrase: 'We will not increase taxes'. But Mr. Speaker, this is of course the entire strategy of the Prime Minister. After failing to fund the NHS adequately for years, he now wants to come out as 'the One who kept the NHS afloat'. A purely populist strategy, aided by his Brexiteer desire by leaving the vital EMA. Because he will keep saying that Britain 'led the world with the fastest vaccine rollout'. And I commend the NHS in providing more than 88 million jabs in this country, let that show on the record. But the Prime Minister seems to use his love for Brexit to show the people that it worked 'because we vaccinated faster than anywhere in Europe'. As if that was a positive thing. I will come to the solutions, Mr. Speaker. This 'Levy' will take out hundreds of pounds from British families, which will make their cost of living only more problematic, in the name of 'funding the NHS'. But in reality, the Prime Minister is implementing a tax hike to bring back the funding that the NHS has required for twelve years. I do hope the benches opposite support Labour's proposals to stop this tax hike on working people, and instead make a proper social care plan? With Labour, our plan would include: enshrining the principle of 'Home First'. Really putting an emphasis on prevention and early intervention to lower healthcare costs. Increasing the living wage of care workers to no less than 10 pounds. Investing in training for care workers to improve health quality. And lastly, giving the more than 10 million unpaid family carers the proper training, information, and advice, to create safe workspaces to balance work and caring responsibilities. In conclusion, Mr. Speaker. The party opposite has presided over a ten year backlog, rising from their inability to properly funding the NHS, leading to an fifty billion pound gap. Now, during Covid, this has become painfully visible in the growing backlog of patients awaiting proper care. The solution of the PM: increasing the tax burden, instead of reforming social care and creating a truly comprehensive NHS plan. I urge the members opposite to see trough this shameful, and frankly manifesto-breaking proposal by a Prime Minister who has broken multiple promises already. Thank you, Mr. Speaker
  22. Name: Marie Martin Avatar: Cate Blanchett Age: 45 Sex: Female Ethnicity: Franco-British Marital Status: Married Sexual Orientation: Bisexual Party: Labour Political Outlook: Between Open Labour and Momentum Constituency: Canterbury Year Elected: 2017 Education: State School and then double majored in English Lit and French lit, got teaching qualifications Career: Teacher (2000-2017) Political Career: Councillor (2011-2017) She supported Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn in leadership elections and then supported Corbyn in 2016 as well but was critical of how he approached the Brexit campaign. She supported Corbyn in 2016 with belief that he needed an opportunity to prove himself and believed that Labour was gaining grounds in public with his radical approach even if she believed that there were issues with his style. She got elected as Canterbury's first Labour MP ever, a seat that was in Tory hands in every iteration since 1918 and this was Labour's most public win in 2017 election. She believed that Corbyn earned to chance to fight one more election as leader with 2017 result. She was extremely disappointed with how Labour Right behaved during all of Corbyn's leadership even if she agreed that Corbyn was making a mess of antisemitism issue and failing to address it. By the time Luciana Berger resigned and how Corbyn leadership and allies reacted to that she got completely disaffected with the leadership team. She is very pro-remain and voted consistently to stay within the customs union and single market. To this day she is still supporting the Norway solution and advocates for it. She is also an avid campaigner on human rights issues, LGBTQ rights and refugee rights. After Corbyn leadership she has backed Angela Rayner for leader and when she decided to run for deputy leader she has campaigned for Rayner. What was coming a bit shocking to many allies was that she first backed Emily Thornberry's run for leader then she backed Lisa Nandy for leader instead of Rebecca Long Bailey. She believed that while Rebecca Long Bailey is a good campaigner and valuable member of the party, she was too closely associated with Corbyn and does not believe it was what Labour needed. She put Starmer last in the ballot as she believes it's time for a female leader and both and Long Bailey would make better leader than Starmer. Since Starmer was elected as leader she has pledged to back Starmer and give him the opportunity that was not afforded to Corbyn and has been displeased with some elements of Campaign Group's rather disingenuous attacks on Starmer.
  23. Second Johnson Administration September 2021 Reshuffle Edition Prime Minister: Boris Johnson Deputy Prime Minister: Dominic Raab Chancellor of the Exchequer: Rishi Sunak Foreign Secretary: Liz Truss Home Secretary: Priti Patel SoS for Defence: Ben Wallace SoS for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities: Michael Gove SoS for Health and Social Care: Sajid Javid Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Steve Barclay SoS for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy: Richard Fuller President for COP26: Alok Sharma SoS for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade: Anne-Marie Trevelyan SoS for Work and Pensions: Dr Therese Coffey SoS for Education: Nadhim Zahawi SoS for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs: George Eustice SoS for Transport: Grant Shapps SoS for Northern Ireland: Brandon Lewis SoS for Scotland: Alister Jack SoS for Wales: Simon Hart SoS for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport: Nadine Dorries Leader of the House of Commons: Jacob Rees-Mogg Chief Whip: Mark Spencer Leader of the House of Lords: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Also Attending Cabinet: Minister of State for the Cabinet Office: Lord Frost Chief Secretary to the Treasury: Simon Clarke Attorney General: Suella Braverman QC Minister of State for Crime and Policing: Kit Malthouse Minister of State without Portfolio: Nigel Adams Minister of State for Higher and Further Education: Michelle Donelan Player Members of the Government: [Vacant]
  24. Boris Johnson Executes Cabinet Reshuffle After weeks of speculation Boris Johnson has executed a Cabinet Reshuffle to “refresh the Government” after the Covid 19 Pandemic. There have been many moves some might consider to be overdue, a few more left field picks, and of course more than their fair share of tantrums and political bickering which has come to define the Conservative Party over the Covid era. The biggest move is quite clearly the demotion of Dominic Raab from Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs to Secretary of State for Justice. Sources believe Boris has long eyed his one-time leadership rival for a demotion in order to promote new talent and throw red meat to the base. But Mr Raab did not go quietly, allegedly holding up the reshuffle by as much as an hour refusing to take his new position without the moniker of Deputy Prime Minister being attached, a demand Boris acquiesced to in order to be able to promote Liz Truss to the position of Foreign Secretary. She leaves the Department for International Trade one of the most popular Tories in Government, at least among Tory members, and Boris is clearly hoping to keep her sweet over the coming months and years. Completing the spinning triangle that is this saga Robert Buckland QC has been sacked from the Government entirely. A couple of scandal ridden departures have been announced today as well with Robert Jenrick, the beleaguered Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government was relieved of his post to be replaced by Michael Gove who moves from the Duchy of Lancaster to become the new Secretary of State for “Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities for Intergovernmental Relations”. Steve Barclay, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, replaces him at Lancaster and is in turn replaced by Simon Clarke at the Treasury. Meanwhile Gavin Williamson has been unceremoniously fired from the Department for Education to be replaced by the Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi. The main surprise was the promotion of long-suffering member of the Business Select Committee, Richard Fuller, to the position of Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. The move, seen by some as a hardening of both Brexit and free market orthodoxy on the Government’s economic team comes at the same time as fellow Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries is promoted to Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. A geographical power couple that now have the final say over privatisation of media in all its forms doing the bidding of a PM who is on the record wanting to privatise Channel 4 and heavily reform the BBC Licence Fee. Admin Note: The full Cabinet can be found in the usual places.
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