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Today’s headlines

23 May 2016

Jeremy Corbyn ‘urging Ed Miliband to re-join Shadow Cabinet’

According to the Times, Jeremy Corbyn is attempting to persuade Ed Miliband to return to the shadow cabinet, in a move that will cause bitter divisions within the party. The former Labour leader is offering “counsel and advice” to Mr Corbyn, on issues such as handling the media and how to avoid the mistakes of his tenure as leader. It is reported that Mr Corbyn is hoping to hoping this unofficial advisory role can be become something more permanent in the shape of a shadow ministerial position in the planned reshuffle this summer, as he seeks to consolidate his grip on the parliamentary Labour party. Although the move has not been well received in all sections of the party, with many blaming the MP for Doncaster for the rise of “Corbynmania” due to his decision to allow anyone in to vote in the party’s leadership contest if they paid £3. “Ed shouldn’t be in the shadow cabinet,” one former frontbencher said. “He should be in jail for what he did to the Labour party.” More info.

Treasury warns of year-long recession if Britain votes to leave EU

Britain’s economy would be tipped into a year-long “DIY recession” if the UK votes to leave the EU, according to a bleak analysis by the Treasury on short-economic impact of a Brexit vote. The second and final Treasury analysis ahead of the EU referendum, shows that GDP would be between 3.6% and 6% lower after two years than current forecasts and house prices could be as much as 10% lower. It also suggests that Brexit would trigger 820,000 job losses. Speaking alongside the prime minister, Mr Osborne urged voters to not “knowingly vote for a recession” and that there was a “brighter future on offer” if Britain chooses to remain in the European Union. Former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith said the Treasury’s analysis was “deeply biased” and that it had “consistently got its predictions wrong in the past.” More info.

Labour MP Rachel Reeves urges City regulator to impose overdraft caps

Labour MP Rachel Reeves has called on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to impose caps on unarranged overdrafts to prevent vulnerable customers running up huge debts and being ripped off by their banks. Last week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said banks should set a maximum charge for unauthorised overdrafts, but banks would be able to set their own limit. But Treasury Select Committee member Rachel Reeves questioned the effectiveness of this method, and argued the FCA should go further and issue mandatory pricing restrictions on banks. Writing to Tracey McDermott, interim chief executive of the FCA, Reeves said: “The CMA’s monthly maximum charge remedy has been portrayed as a cap on unarranged overdrafts, yet it is difficult to see it as such when banks are allowed to set the level of their own cap.” She added: “Ask that the FCA take this opportunity to go further and cap the unarranged overdraft charges.” More info.

Steve Hilton says EU makes UK ‘ungovernable’

David Cameron’s former director of strategy has called for a vote to leave the EU, saying membership “makes Britain literally ungovernable”. Mr Hilton was one of the Prime Minister’s closest political aides in Downing Street until he quit as director of strategy in 2012. In a piece for the Daily Mail, he said that the prime minister’s “relatively modest” reform demands had received “arrogant and dismissive treatment” showing that the EU is not interested in anything but “superficial change”. He also claimed the EU had become “so complicated, so secretive, so impenetrable that it’s way beyond the ability of any British government to make it work to our advantage.” The former strategist concluded: “A decision to leave the EU is not without risk. But I believe it is the ideal and idealistic choice for our times: taking back power from arrogant, unaccountable, hubristic elites and putting it where it belongs – in people’s hands.” More info.

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