MPs will pay tribute this morning to the Queen as she becomes our longest reigning monarch, with David Cameron hailing her as “a rock of stability in a world of constant change”. Afterwards, Labour’s own rock, Harriet Harman, who has kept her party together after its electoral defeats in May and back in 2010, will attend her last PMQs as acting Labour leader. This will mark the passing of an era for Labour, as next time David Cameron could be facing Jeremy Corbyn across the despatch box.
We’re getting more of a sense of the chaos a Corbyn victory will cause, with the Guardian reporting that up to eight shadow cabinet members may refuse to serve on his frontbench. “Mopping up or making excuses for Jeremy Corbyn’s views is not sustainable,” one told the paper. These refuseniks could undermine Corbyn’s ability to unite Labour by building a team from all wings of the party. “You may end up with a de facto ‘shadow shadow cabinet’ on the backbenches just by dint of the fact Corbyn’s shadow cabinet are so utterly useless,” one adviser told BuzzFeed.
Meanwhile, some Labour MPs are preparing to defy Corbyn’s anti-war stance by backing air strikes in Syria. “Many of my colleagues…feel the same way,” Mike Gapes told the Sun. “Should the favourite win, Labour will undergo no Damascene conversion to Corbynism,” Mary Riddell warns in today’s Telegraph. This comes as the Independent highlights concerns among modernisers that Corbyn’s “class war” pitch would leave many voters cold, with the Policy Network think tank warning that Labour faces “permanent irrelevance” if it fails to shed its “outdated ‘cloth cap’ image”.
Corbyn’s rivals are trying to woo voters away, with Andy Burnham urging them to “elect a leader to fight the Bullingdon Boys, not Blair”. However, there is a palpable feeling that their attempts are too late. As Harriet Harman enjoys her last hurrah at PMQs, some Labour MPs will be bracing themselves for what is to come. The PM will likely pay tribute to her too, as senior Tories may deplore her politics, but they respect her resilience. Corbyn’s recent spiky clash with Cameron over Iran showed that if he wins, the gloves will come off.
“She won’t be one of those former leaders who breathes down their [successor’s] neck” Harriet Harman’s spokeswoman says
State Of the EU-nion
Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, is set to call for “more Europe” as multiple crises threaten to tear the continent apart. In a video promoting his Washington-style speech, he intones: “Either we succeed in bringing Europe closer to EU citizens – or we fail.” Matthew Holehouse has more.
This comes as rebel Tory MPs are urging David Cameron to ban the spending of party money during the EU referendum campaign in the wake of his historic Commons defeat, and to allow his ministers a free vote. Chris Hope has the details.
Refugee leaves MP in a lather
Tory MP Adam Holloway has claimed he couldn’t get a haircut last week because his refugee barber went on holiday to the country he had fled from.”I feel sure that the rest of Mr Holloway’s constituents will want to join me in expressing sympathy for his loss,” writes our sketchwriter – and constituent – Michael Deacon, “while taking the opportunity to reassure him that Gravesham contains other hairdressing salons, many of them staffed by non-asylum seekers.”
Javid dishes anti-Semites
Respectable, middle class people are “happy to repeat” modern takes on “age-old slanders” about Jews, Business Secretary Sajid Javid has said in an attack on “dinner party anti-Semites”. Steven Swinford has more.
Auntie’s political bloomers
Peers have claimed there is “clear evidence” that the BBC is “biased against older women” as they criticised the corporation over the sacking of ex-Countryfile host Miriam O’Reilly. The Beeb has also been accused of bias from both sides of the political spectrum, with Jeremy Corbyn’s team lambasting the corporation’s “distortions and exaggerations” in its Panorama programme about him, while Tory MP Bernard Jenkin mocked its “cultural bias” over the EU referendum.
May on the march
Brian May looked incredibly glum as he mourned the death of his friends, the badgers, who fell victim to a cull carried out to prevent TB in cows. Helena Horton reports on the Queen guitarist’s appearance at a mass funeral march through London for his fallen furry friends.
Lady in Red (no longer)
Tory pensions minister Ros Altmann has been kicked out of the Labour Party after it was discovered she had been a member for more than 18 months, Ben Riley-Smith reports. The Tory peer was reportedly amused to receive a text recently from Jeremy Corbyn asking if he could “count on your vote”.
Next to normal
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has been criticised for referring to people without a disability as “normal”. SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford said that the comment were a “shocking insight” into Mr Duncan Smith’s mentality.
Affairs of State
Parliamentary computers have been used to try to log onto crisis hit adultery website Ashley Madison, Michael Wilkison reports.