The DRD Snapshot - 30 October 2020
30 Oct 2020
The DRD Snapshot
Welcome to the DRD Snapshot, your essential guide to what you may have missed this week and what you won’t want to miss next…
Source: Getty Images
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Unlawful. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published its report into the Labour Party’s handling of antisemitism yesterday. In the explosive 100-page report, the EHRC found the party, under previous leader Jeremy Corbyn, guilty of unlawful discrimination. The most damning piece of evidence found by the commission was that the Leader’s office had interfered directly with 23 complaint cases made to the party about alleged antisemitism. This is a major story in what was a ‘day of shame’ for the party according to new Leader Keir Starmer…
… in typical Jeremy Corbyn style, the former Labour leader issued a statement following the EHRC report’s publication. The statement made no apologies and instead claimed the problem had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons”. Unsurprisingly, the statement resulted in Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the party he’s served for more than 40 years. Just as the Labour party itches ahead in the polls, it finds itself battling an internal war… again.
Batten down the hatches, folks! Gloomy new reports have emerged in the past week about the rising levels of coronavirus across the United Kingdom with all roads pointing to another nationwide lockdown. France and Germany have reinstated national lockdowns, Spain isn’t far behind – nor it seems, is the UK. A government aide told the FT that “virtually everywhere” will end up in Tier 3 by December and according to Harry Cole, “No. 10 is now considering a Tier 4 in which only schools and essential shops remain open… “. Alas, hopes of a normal Christmas… diminishing!
Let them eat cake. The free school meals debate rumbles on and continues to damage the Government’s reputation. More and more businesses, councils, and even countries within the UK have committed to supporting children on free school meals during the holidays but, so far at least, the Government has not moved. Many Conservative MPs are posting social media statuses praising their local councils for helping provide for vulnerable families… needless to say, it’s not going down well.
THE WEEK TO COME
Parliament returns on Monday after the half term recess in what could prove a pivotal week for the Government. Negotiations with the EU are teetering towards a conclusion and next week could see a breakthrough on fisheries after, reportedly, progress was made on governance and level playing field issues. The UK team have travelled to Brussels and are expected to stay there until the middle of next week to hammer out a deal. The end could well be nigh!
Speaking of Brexit… tomorrow marks the deadline for the U.K. to respond to the EU’s launch of legal action against the UK’s breach of the Withdrawal Agreement in the form of the Internal Market Bill. More on that Bill – the Lords are planning the unusual move of voting on amendments during the committee stage of the IMB on 9th November. There are proposals to delete the offending “break international law” clauses, and the expectation is that the Government will be defeated.
Under pressure! The Government is likely to come under further pressure over its free school meals policy – a U-turn seems imminent, even if the Government gives it another name. Speaking of which, calls to bring in more stringent Covid-19 restrictions are set to continue. If reports are anything to go by, London is likely to enter tier 3 within 2 weeks and the rest of England could well follow a couple of weeks later… it’s not a national lockdown though.
On Wednesday, the Agriculture Bill is back in the Commons where MPs will have the opportunity to, once again, consider amendments from the Lords on animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety. Last week, peers reasserted their power by adding amendments (previously voted down in the Commons) to protect UK farmers and consumers from imports produced to standards not permitted in the UK under future trade deals.
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
A date for your diary – the Chancellor will deliver the Government’s spending review on 25th November!
US Election 2020: “You’re fired”, probably…
DRD Partner, Duncan Fulton takes a look at the race to be the next President of the United States. With just days to go, the polls suggest it’s Biden’s for the taking but we all know what polls are like…
Republican Grand Dame Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan’s revered speechwriter, suggested earlier this week that many Americans are fed up with being trapped in the “24 hour reality TV show of the Trump Presidency and want to change the channel”. But as we approach next week’s dramatic season finale, in spite of all the polling indicating a significant Biden win, this show might yet have one final twist.
To read more, please click here.
WORTH A READ
The Spectator – The long winter – why Covid restrictions could last until April (Fraser Nelson)
The Times – Trump’s flaws are what took him to the top (James Marriot)
The New Statesman – Keir Starmer’s suspension of Jeremy Corbyn will trigger a new unpredictable conflict (Stephen Bush)
The Guardian – An end to Labour’s antisemitism controversy seems as far away as ever (Keith Kahn-Harris)
The Telegraph – UK Brexit negotiators arrive in Brussels with city under shadow of Covid lockdown (James Crisp)
STAT OF THE WEEK
Biden’ his time…
Source: YouGov (26th October)