Jeremy Corbyn has backed down from imposing a three-line Whip on Labour MPs over Syria. He may have been impressed by the argument that MPs should be able to vote with their conscience, or perhaps struck by the potential hypocrisy, having spent thirty years defying the Whip. But what is more likely is that Corbyn stepped back from the abyss when it became clear that he would face resignations from the frontbench. Labour MPs will now be given a ‘free vote’. Read more
The face of UK politics is changing dramatically. In 18 months’ time there will be at least five elected Northern Mayors representing 54% of the population of the north.
With the announcement of an elected Mayor for Sheffield City Region, the second piece of the northern powerhouse jigsaw has been placed by Chancellor Osborne. After months of wrangling that led the Prime Minister to joke that councils in Yorkshire couldn’t get their act together, the Sheffield City Region brings together Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham with Sheffield itself, in a partnership that will take control of significant powers and funding for transport, housing, planning and skills. Read more
Zac Goldsmith has today been selected by the overwhelming majority of London’s Conservatives to fight to keep City Hall blue in 2016. With 70% of the vote, Zac comfortably saw off competition from Syed Kamall, Stephen Grenhalgh and Andrew Boff.
Sadiq won the contest to be Labour’s candidate for London Mayor by a clear margin today. He is a very smart, thoroughly decent guy who will make a good Mayor, if he can beat the Tory’s likely candidate, Zac Goldsmith. Here are three quick thoughts on today’s result. Read more
UK politics is changing. Further devolution is in George Osborne’s back pocket following a flurry of submissions to the Treasury by last Friday’s deadline. We will now see some clever manoeuvres and deals struck before announcements in the Chancellor’s Spending Review on 25 November. He will get his wish to go beyond Devo-Manc and make huge strides towards not only the creation of the Northern Powerhouse, but also to devolve powers to many county areas and city regions outside the North.
A number of factors are propelling Jeremy Corbyn towards success in his Labour leadership bid. So what started as an attempt to shake up Labour’s policy orthodoxy – an accommodation with austerity – looks increasingly likely to result in outright victory for Corbyn’s anti-austerity pitch. Read more