Jeremy Corbyn is off to Scotland today, attempting to draw a line under the row over Trident that consumed the final day of Labour’s party conference. He may find greater sympathy for his position there, as a YouGov poll conducted earlier this year found that 48% of Scots want to scrap Trident, while only 25% of Brits would say the same.
The Labour leader will undoubtedly hope for an easier ride in Scotland after his swipe at Britain’s nuclear deterrent in his keynote speech, and his later promise to never press the nuclear button, sparked shadow cabinet revolt, with ministers questioning his suitability as a potential prime minister. Despite aspiring for a democratic “debate”, Corbyn’s emphatic opposition and insistence that he would never use the deterrent has left many puzzled. “For a deterrent to be effective there has to be both the physical capability and the willingness and intent to use that capability,” General the Lord Dannatt wrote in today’s paper.
How is Corbyn hoping to solve Labour’s Caledonian Conundrum? The Labour leader has told BBC Scotland that the party suffered north of the border due to its decision to join the Better Together pro-union campaign, which will irk moderates like Alistair Darling, who led the operation. “Mr Corbyn is…deluded about the strength of support for his brand of politics,” Allister Heath wrote in today’s paper. Tom Harris, a former Labour MP who lost his seat in May, warned that Scots will still support the SNP if they feel Labour has “no realistic chance of displacing the Conservatives”.
Jeremy Corbyn is also promising to give Scottish Labour more independence, tackling Johann Lamont’s infamous claim that it was treated like a mere “branch office”, suggesting that he may give its current leader Kezia Dugdale control of the whip for Scots at Westminster. But such an idea rings hollow, as the only Scottish Labour MP is Ian Murray, who has to stay loyal if he wants to remain in Corbyn’s shadow Scottish Secretary. Dugdale has had to toe the Corbynite line too, rowing back on her suggestion that Corbyn’s election would leave the party “carping on the sidelines” for years, so how independent does he really want his colleagues to be?
“Too many people have told me that they think the Labour Party lost its way.”
Cleaning Up Politics Pt87
Former MPs will be banned from working as paid lobbyists for six months after stepping down, following the “cash for access” scandal revealed by the Telegraph.
America and Russia are to hold urgent talks after Russian air strikes in Syria reportedly targetted US-backed rebels, not Isil. You can follow the developments on our liveblog, as Britain warned that these strikes are likely to drive people into the arms of Isil.
Nicky Morgan has become the first Cabinet minister to publicly state that she may enter the race to succeed David Cameron when he steps down. I’ve previously outlined why the Education Secretary could be well-placed for the Tory crown.
The electrification of two major northern rail routes is to be restarted, Patrick McLoughlin has announced, just days before Conservative party conference starts in Manchester.
European Commission boss Jean-Claude Juncker faces fresh questions about his role in designing Luxembourg’s controversial system of “sweetheart” tax deals after he released an 18-year old document that urged his government to monitor the system more closely. This comes as Nigel Lawson decided to lead a campaign group championing Britain’s exit from the EU.
Nicola Sturgeon has attempted to shield the SNP from the police investigation into Michelle Thomson’s property dealings by insisting the party knew nothing about them when the MP was selected as a general election candidate.
Lord Hanningfield, the former Tory peer, has been charged with fiddling his House of Lords expenses. The 75-year-old former pig farmer and one time leader of Essex County Council, will appear in court later this month charged with one count of false accounting.
DC: The Past Has Passed
David Cameron has called for Jamaica to “move on” from the “painful legacy” of slavery as he defied calls to apologise for Britain’s role in the slave trade.