Monday Politics

Corbyn’s fragile grip loosens

Conor Pope  |  13 February 2017

Compared to past reshuffles, Jeremy Corbyn’s latest shows him at his weakest, writes Progress deputy editor Conor Pope This is the fifth shadow cabinet reshuffle since Jeremy Corbyn became leader just 17 months ago, and the first that I have not had to cover as a reporter. It has not been the most eventful of his term …

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Populism without popularity

Conor Pope  |  6 February 2017

While Labour ought to hold Copeland and Stoke, there was very little appetite for Labour’s current direction in either seat, writes Progress deputy editor Conor Pope ‘Well, now I’ve got that off my chest.’ With that, she smiled and closed the door. This was Friday afternoon in the small Cumbrian town of Cleator Moor, where …

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Calling it right

Conor Pope  |  30 January 2017

Labour would not ‘be on the right side of history’ if it voted against invoking article 50, argues Progress deputy editor Conor Pope The job of opposition is not to oppose. To say so makes a good tweet, but poor politics. It is the job of opposition to hold to account, and get the best …

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Corbynism: phase two

Conor Pope  |  9 January 2017

What are the implications of Jeremy Corbyn’s relaunch as a leftwing Donald Trump? This week will see Jeremy Corbyn ‘relaunch’ as a leftwing, anti-establishment populist, ditching the mainstream centrist approach that has ill-served him up until now. Inspired by the rise of Donald Trump, Corbyn’s team have determined that the lesson to learn from the defeat of …

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Last week’s results were not good enough – full stop

Jacqui Smith  |  9 May 2016

Expectations management is an important part of the media-handling of elections. However, I refuse to have my expectations of Labour success managed by our leadership. Our election results were not good enough to put us on target for a Labour government in 2020, therefore they are not good enough full stop. And to those suggesting …

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Helen’s story needs to resonate in the real world too

Jacqui Smith  |  12 April 2016

I was the member of parliament for Ambridge. For those of you who are not fans of the Archers, I know it is a Radio 4 drama series (can’t bring myself to say ‘soap’) and therefore not real, but nevertheless the village of Inkberrow with its pub called the Bull is widely recognised to be …

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Bobbies on the beat, not big beasts

Jacqui Smith  |  7 March 2016

I agree with Jeremy Corbyn on his decision that a future Labour government would keep the police and crime commissioners introduced by the coalition government. He made this announcement in launching Labour’s campaign for the police and crime commissioner elections, which will be fought in all police areas apart from London and Manchester on 5 …

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Being in government matters

Jacqui Smith  |  18 January 2016

I was a teacher for 11 years before I went into parliament in 1997. In Worcestershire, we had the dubious distinction in those Tory years of having the worst nursery education provision in the United Kingdom, which made us the worst in Europe. A Labour government changed that. I was fortunate to teach in one …

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Select committees leading the opposition

Jacqui Smith  |  11 January 2016

For reasons which have been well explored – and to which we will return, the prime minister and leader of the opposition have not had good starts to 2016. But as parliament returns for its first full week in 2016, my tip is to keep an eye on what’s happening in parliament’s select committees. While …

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Politics is a team sport

Jacqui Smith  |  23 November 2015

The unsung hero of the shadow frontbench is undoubtedly Rosie Winterton, the chief whip. It was clear from the time that Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader on a platform of policies at odds with many in the parliamentary Labour party that whipping would be a constant tightrope. As a former chief whip myself, I …

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