Labor conference summary: Rashford, PR and a ‘problematic’ exit | Labor conference 2021

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Quote of the day

After 18 months of your leadership, our movement is more divided than ever and the promises you made to members are not being honored. It is only the last of many.

Andy McDonald’s dazzling assessment of Keir Starmer’s leadership, in his letter of resignation from the post of shadow secretary for employment rights and protections.

Tweet of the day

From Jon Trickett, former president of Labor:

Debate of the day

With Labor facing an uphill battle to win the next general election, delegates in the main conference hall debated whether the party should abandon the first past the post electoral system and switch to some form of proportional representation in place. The motion said the current system “privileges ‘swing voters’ over neglected voters – including younger ethnic, black and minority communities,” creating “widespread deprivation of the right to vote, disillusion and political disengagement.” .

But Margaret Clarke of the GMB union, who spoke against the proposal, said it would be an unnecessary distraction and that it had proven unpopular with voters, having been defeated in a referendum in 2011.

The day in pictures

Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chancellor, with Starmer after speaking at the conference. Photography: Stefan Rousseau / PA

Row of the day

Some Labor figures feared the conference had already been overshadowed by internal wrangling over party rule changes, with Angela Rayner calling Tory ministers “scum.” However, their frustrations reached new heights after Andy McDonald announced he was leaving the shadow cabinet.

McDonald said it was because Starmer’s office asked him to oppose a national minimum wage of £ 15 and increasing statutory sickness benefits to living wage levels, which he refused to do. He said it was important to raise awareness of the true value of the work done by low-paid workers. “Let the Labor Party – the Workers’ Party – not realize this is a big blow,” he said.

Mcdonald was one of the few shadow cabinet ministers to serve under Jeremy Corbyn, and some centrists won’t mourn his departure. Charlie Falconer, the shadow attorney general, told The Guardian the timing of the ruling was “undermining” and clearly “problematic” for Starmer.

The highlights of Tuesday

Labor will try to bring attention back to its policies by devoting Tuesday to the issue of public services. The centerpiece will be Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds’ address on Neighborhood Policing, with further speaking engagements by Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth; shadow secretary of education, Kate Green; shadow justice secretary David Lammy; and Shadow Child Poverty Secretary Wes Streeting.



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