Good morning. There is no PMQs today – there is never one straight after the state opening of parliament – but Boris Johnson will be in the Commons at lunchtime giving MPs a statement on coronavirus. Much of it will replicate what he told the nation on Monday at his press conference, but ITV’s Robert Peston says that he wants to settle the terms of the Covid inquiry quickly and that we might even get an announcement about that today.
In the meantime, the Labour party’s post-election post mortem continues, and overnight we’ve had reports or write-ups of three interviews given by Angela Rayner, the deputy leader who emerged from the weekend’s botched reshuffle with an enhanced job. Being able to give an interview ostensibly highly supportive of your leader, while also making harsh criticisms, is quite a skill, but Rayner pulled it off very successfully. Here are some of the things that she said about Labour’s performance to date.
Keir’s done a very good job of being a constructive opposition. And he’s tried to do that. And the challenge that we face now is about what do we stand for? And what we put forward? And that’s what I heard on the doorstep. It was, ‘Well, okay, Keir Starmer is not Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s on the new leadership, what do you stand for?’
- She said that in the past Labour had used a “patronising” tone with voters. She told ITV:
I’ve talked about the patronising tone that we have sometimes, and I’ve felt that as a working class girl. We don’t want people to do things for us, or tell us what to do we want the empowerment to do things for ourselves … I think at times we’ve had the tone wrong, yea.
We’ve got to offer something that speaks to our voters post-pandemic that focuses on jobs and security, and looking out for our area and being proud of it.
We failed to be able to articulate that in those areas we had austerity and significant cuts and the Government has delivered piecemeal investment, little bits here and there, but taken it out of the areas where the greatest need is …
What do we mean by improving things? For me it’s pay-rises, it’s rights at work, it’s ending out-sourcing so our public services are for the public and not for profit, it is bringing back industry and green jobs into areas that have been hammered. That’s it in a nutshell.
It’s about not talking fluffy language, it’s actually making sure that you have got a decent, secure job that pays you well and that you can get a home and look after your family.
This morning another member of the shadow cabinet, Ed Miliband, the shadow business secretary, also offered a criticism of the party’s performance so far. Labour needed to be bolder, he said. He told the Today programme:
We propose a £30 billion green infrastructure plan, absolutely we should be doing that.
We should be bolder, of course we should be bolder.
Thinking about the country is the right thing for our party in the following sense, which is this country needs big economic change, that’s what Keir Starmer believes in, that’s what he talked about in his Queen’s Speech yesterday.
He believes we are an unfair, unequal and unproductive country, and that’s got to change.
Here is the agenda for the day.
10am: Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, gives a speech to the National Cyber Security Center.
After 12pm: Boris Johnson gives a Commons statement on Covid. There is no PMQs today because ministerial question sessions have not started yet.
After 1.30pm: Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, and Rachel Reeves, the new shadow chancellor, speak at the start of the resumption of the Queen’s speech debate.
3pm: Mark Drakeford is due to be confirmed as Wales’s first minister when the Senedd meets for the first time in Cardiff after last week’s election.
Politics Live has been a mix of Covid and non-Covid news recently, and that will probably be the case today. For more Covid coverage, do read our global live blog.
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