An update on Labour in the UK from Missy.
Today was the ‘Re-boot’ or ‘Re-Launch’ of Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour Leader. This re-launch has been publicised over the Christmas break, this was meant to be an opportunity for Corbyn to promote himself as ‘anti-establishment’ and a man of the people.
Amongst the expected announcements today was a clarification on Labour’s position on Brexit, and free movement, an area that Labour has been a bit muddled and inconsistent. Over the last few weeks or so Corbyn has reiterated his support of free movement, stating that he does not think there is an issue with the levels of immigration, meanwhile a number of senior members within Labour have all stated that Labour needs to support some form of limits on immigration.
So how did Corbyn’s re-launch go? Well, to quote the Telegraph it was a ‘car crash reboot’.
He spent most of his day in interviews, finishing with his major re-launch speech in the afternoon.
In the lead up to today the media were focussed on Brexit and immigration, despite being expected to announce that Labour wasn’t wedded to free movement, Corbyn started his day on Good Morning Britain (GMB) where he said that Britain should keep free movement if it is the cost of access to the Single Market. In his speech he did state that Labour was not wedded to the idea of free movement, he then went on to say that they also wouldn’t rule it out. Essentially it appears that the Labour position on free movement is as confused and divided after the re-launch today, as it was before.
Even though Immigration was meant to be the main issue today, Corbyn managed to overshadow his own re-launch by announcing on GMB that he wants to put a cap on earnings, this became the story today.
The reaction to this announcement ranged from ‘interesting’ (Scottish Labour Leader), to ‘totally idiotic’, and a ‘lunatic idea’ (Danny Blanchflower, former member of Corbyn’s economic advisory committee, and former member of Bank of England monetary policy committee).
The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said Salary cap is not Labour policy. In his keynote speech Corbyn backtracked on the idea of a salary cap, watering it down to saying that the ratio between the top salary and bottom salary in a business should be less than it is currently.