Labour leadership

As party members start receiving their ballot papers, many of the papers report the latest position to elect a new leader for the Labour Party.

The Guardian reports that front-runner Jeremy Corbyn is attempting to win over big business

Jeremy Corbyn has launched an audacious bid to defeat his rivals by pledging pro-business reforms to back entrepreneurs as voting begins in the Labour leadership race.

In a move to broaden his appeal to all parts of the party as ballot papers are distributed, Corbyn will announce a series of measures including tax cuts for small businesses and increased spending on training. This comes as polling of Labour voters confirms that the leftwing candidate has a significant lead. According to Opinium, 37% would vote for Corbyn if they had a vote – up 13 points from a month ago. Of 1,940 surveyed, 29% would back Andy Burnham, down 10 points from July. Yvette Cooper attracts 19% and Liz Kendall 15%.

The Independent reports a poll which says Corbyn would reduce Labour’s chances of winning the next election.

A victory for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership race will reduce the party’s chances of winning the next election, a poll forThe Independent on Sunday reveals.

As ballot papers arrive for more than 600,000 members and supporters, the wider electorate thinks Mr Corbyn stands the least chance of returning Labour to power in 2020, the ComRes poll shows. In a dramatic twist, David Miliband, defeated by his brother in 2010, would stand the most chance of winning for Labour.

With Mr Corbyn still the odds-on favourite to win on 12 September, The IoS has learnt that his team has already begun preparing his shadow cabinet. He is planning to make John McDonnell, the leader of the Socialist Campaign Group who stood against challenged Gordon Brown in 2007, shadow Chancellor, a source revealed. Mr Corbyn’s aides have also sounded out Tom Watson, the front-runner for deputy leader, for a party management role.

Senior Labour figures are now putting their views forward.  ITV says Gordon Brown is about to intervene in the contest.

Gordon Brown will make a high-profile intervention in the Labour leadership contest with a keynote speech.

While he is not expected to endorse any of the four candidates in the race, Mr Brown’s address is expected to distance himself from the policies of frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn.

A new poll finds Corbyn is considered the leadership candidate both most likely to improve Labour’s fortunes and damage the party’s chances.

The BBC has a similar story.

Gordon Brown is to intervene in Labour’s leadership race for the first time, saying the party needs credible economic policies to win power.

He is also expected to say he strongly disagrees with many of Jeremy Corbyn’s economic and foreign policies.

His comments come as a poll suggests Mr Corbyn is considered the candidate most likely to worsen Labour’s prospects of winning the next election.

Voting has now opened in the contest to replace former party leader Ed Miliband.

Mr Brown, the former prime minister, will deliver an address on “power for a purpose”.

His speech comes as Mr Burnham claimed he was the only candidate capable of blocking Mr Corbyn, currently seen at the front runner, and preventing a damaging split within the party.

A ComRes study of 2,035 adults in Britain, for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror, found 31% of those polled thought Mr Corbyn would worsen Labour’s prospects of electoral success.

Ms Cooper was rated as 18%, Ms Kendall as 17% and Mr Burnham as 14% – making him the poll’s least damaging candidate.

The figures gave Mr Burnham a net rating of +5, Ms Cooper -3, Ms Kendall -6 and Mr Corbyn -10.

And Sky News claims the former PM will deliver an address on “power for a purpose”.

Gordon Brown will intervene in the Labour leadership contest later, as the rival candidates step up their efforts to win support.

The former prime minister, who is well thought of within the party and is credited with making a key intervention in the Scottish referendum campaign, will deliver an address on “power for a purpose”.

Sources in Yvette Cooper’s campaign have played down reports Mr Brown will use his speech to back her leadership bid, but the shadow home secretary has admitted she has spoken to the ex-PM.

Ahead of the address, Andy Burnham has insisted he is the only person capable of blocking front-runner Jeremy Corbyn and preventing a potential split within the party.

It comes as a poll suggests Mr Corbyn is the leadership candidate most likely to hurt the party’s chances at the next election.

City AM reports a comment from another former PM.  Tony Blair has told Labour supporters: Love me or hate me, don’t vote Jeremy Corbyn.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has ramped up his efforts to stop the Labour party from electing far-left candidate Jeremy Corbyn as its next leader.

Writing in the Guardian today, Blair said: “The party is walking eyes shut, arms outstretched over the cliff’s edge to the jagged rocks below.”

He added: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the left, right or centre of the party, whether you used to support me or hate me, but please understand the danger we are in.”

Voting opens today. Registered voters will be able to cast their ballot in favour of Corbyn, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper or Liz Kendall. Corbyn remains the odds-on favourite.

Non-members had been invited to take part in the leadership vote as “registered supporters” for a £3 fee if they agreed to “support the aims and values of the Labour Party”.

The new, open policy has come under criticism that it could allow non-Labour voters to skew the result.

The party said last night that nearly 611,000 people were eligible to vote in the contest, including almost 190,000 affiliated voters, just over 121,000 registered supporters and nearly 300,000 party members.

Labour said it will continue verifying identities and “removing those not entitled to a vote” – it has already disqualified 1,200.

And City AM also quotes a City leader saying the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn would be “disastrous”

A prominent City dealmaker and Labour party supporter has said that a victory for leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn would do “irreparable damage.”

Martin Clarke, chief financial officer of roadside recovery giant AA and a former executive at the private equity firm Permira, told City A.M. in an interview yesterday that electing Corbyn would sever Labour’s ties with business.

“It would be disastrous, there would be no doubt about it,” Clarke said, adding: “It was pretty pathetic under Miliband.”

His comments follow those of several other key business figures, including Alan Sugar, criticising Labour’s lurch to the left. Sugar quit the party following May’s election defeat.

But Clarke, who joined the Labour party in 1979 and stood as a parliamentary candidate in 1983, said that his concerns about Corbyn were “broader than just the relationship with business”.

Clarke said Corbyn had a “left-wing, outmoded view of the world”, and said that if the Islington North MP took the reins, he and others would consider tearing up their Labour party membership cards.

“I would be looking at a party which was simply so alien to my own views of what a Labour party is all about,” he said, adding: “I would certainly cease giving money to the party.”

But Clarke said that despite recent polling figures in favour of Corbyn – a YouGov poll this week showed Corbyn as the clear front-runner with 53 per cent of the vote, compared to 32 per cent for Andy Burnham – he was “sceptical” of their accuracy and optimistic that Burnham or Yvette Cooper would win.

Clarke has donated to Cooper’s leadership campaign, but declined to say how much he had given. During the last parliament, Clarke backed Cooper’s husband, former shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

At No 10, David Cameron is plotting a trap for the new Labour chief, says the Sunday Times.

DAVID CAMERON has drawn up a plan to exploit Labour’s turmoil by forcing its new leader to reveal a stance on unions, immigration, the economy and welfare within weeks of taking charge.

Downing Street will hold a vote on tough new strike laws as soon as the Labour leader is elected on September 12, ensuring the party’s first “loony left” move is embracing its trade union paymasters.

Senior Labour figures revealed yesterday that leadership contenders Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham last week rejected a secret proposal for one of them to be a unity candidate to defeat Jeremy Corbyn, the hard-left frontrunner and principal target of Tory tactics.

Under the Conservative plan, the new Labour leader will be obliged to decide in the first week whether to oppose George Osborne’s new fiscal responsibility charter, which will enshrine in law the need for a budget surplus.

Injured troops say NHS is letting them down

Sky News reports on the interaction between injured troops and the NHS.

A group of servicemen claim prosthetic limb expertise in the UK lags behind the US.

Some of the UK’s most severely wounded soldiers and marines say the NHS is letting them down now that they have left the military.

A group of around 160 servicemen who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and lost at least one leg, amputated above the knee, say that prosthetic limb expertise in this country is not as good as that available in the US and in some cases amounts to “physical abuse”.

They say either it should be improved significantly or the Government should foot the bill to send them to a specialist centre in Oklahoma.

A new report, written by a former Royal Marine Captain, Jon White, who lost both legs and an arm in an IED strike in Afghanistan, highlights the patchy nature of NHS provision for former soldiers like him.

He likens the provision in some places to a village mechanic used to working on old bangers being confronted with a brand new Ferrari and not knowing how to deal with it properly.

Mr White told Sky News: “I’m hoping that once they see the facts presented in front of them and can see a very reasonable and workable solution in front of them that actually they’ll decide to follow through with this.

“It’s a shame it’s taken some adverse press in the past to get there, but I don’t really care to be honest about the past.

“As long as we get things right in the future that’s the main thing.”


The Mirror reports David Cameron’s new immigrant row as he says they are trying to “break into” Britain

David Cameron has reignited anger over his comments about migrants by saying some try to “break into” the UK.

The new remark came as he defended his earlier description of the flow of people across the Mediterranean towards Britain as a “swarm”.

He claimed he was not trying to “dehumanise” refugees from war. The PM insisted the UK had been “one of the most ­generous countries in Europe” for giving asylum to those fleeing ­persecution or danger.

But he said: “What we can’t do is allow people to break into our country.

“A lot of people coming are in search of a better life.

“They are ­economic ­migrants and they want to enter Britain ­illegally and the British
people and I want to make sure our borders are secure and you can’t break into Britain without permission.”

He caused controversy when he blamed chaotic scenes at Calais on a “swarm” of ­migrants heading towards Britain.

The Mail has a similar story.

A defiant David Cameron refused to back down yesterday over his controversial decision to describe migrants heading for the UK as a ‘swarm’.

Instead, the Prime Minister raised the stakes by issuing a new vow to stop illegal immigrants trying to ‘break into’ Britain.

Mr Cameron reacted to the crisis at Calais last month by referring to migrants as ‘a swarm of people’ – sparking acting Labour leader Harriet Harman to remind him he was talking about ‘people, not insects’.

But yesterday, Mr Cameron insisted: ‘I was explaining that there are a large number of people crossing the Mediterranean and coming from the Middle East and coming to Europe… I do not think it does dehumanise people.’

But the Prime Minister risked a fresh row over his choice of language as he added: ‘What we can’t do is allow people to break into our country. A lot of people coming to Europe are coming in search of a better life, they are economic migrants and they want to enter Britain illegally.

House of Lords

The Express reports fury as peers claim £360,000 in taxpayers’ cash – despite NEVER voting

PEERS have been slammed for claiming £360,000 in taxpayers’ money over the last five years – despite failing to vote on a single issue.

10 members of the House of Lords pocketed a staggering 65 per cent of the total, according to new figures released by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS).

The pressure group warned the upper chamber – which has almost 800 seats – was “shockingly out of date and unrepresentative”.

Peers are able to claim £300 for each sitting day they attend the House as well as travel expenses.

But in the last parliamentary session alone, more than £100,000 was claimed by peers who did not vote at all.

The ERS also claimed David Cameron’s plan to appoint 50 more peers over the summer would cost taxpayers at least £1.3million a year.

The Mirror has a similar story.

Peers claimed £360,000 in attendance fees and expenses over the last five years even though they failed to take part in House of Lords votes, new research has found.

The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) said just 10 members of the upper chamber were responsible for claiming £236,000 of the expenditure.

The body, which is campaigning for a reform of the House of Lords, warned the institution was “growing out of control” and was “shockingly out of date and unrepresentative”.

Peers are able to claim £300 for each sitting day they attend the House as well as limited travel expenses.

The ERS analysis found that during the 2010-15 parliament £360,000 was claimed by peers in years they failed to vote once.

In the last parliamentary session alone, more than £100,000 was claimed by peers who did not vote at all, the report said.

The ERS said reported plans by David Cameron to appoint 50 more peers over the summer would cost at least £1.3 million a year in expenses and allowances.

It said any attempt to rebalance the upper chamber strictly in line with the 2015 general election results would require the appointment of an additional 723 members, resulting in a “supersized” upper chamber.

The group also questioned the independence of peers and the outside expertise they were able to bring – pointing out that the attendance rate of non-party crossbenchers was lower than that of party appointees.

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