Fri, 19 April 2024

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The House Live All
By Bishop of Leeds
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Labour’s Lisa Nandy: I’d vote to scrap the monarchy in a referendum

2 min read

Lisa Nandy has said she would vote to scrap the monarchy if a referendum was ever held on the issue.

The Labour leadership hopeful’s stance put her at odds with her fellow contenders in a Channel 4 debate on the next boss of the party.

Asked how she would vote in a referendum on the monarchy during a quickfire round of questions, Ms Nandy said: “I'm a democrat so I would vote to scrap it."

But the Wigan MP added: "This is not our priority as a country, we've just left the EU without any kind of plan about where we're going next."

Asked the same question, Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: "No, I wouldn't. I think I'd downsize it."

And Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey replied: "I think we have got more important things to worry about. I wouldn't vote to abolish the monarchy."

The three leadership contenders were also pushed to name their favourite Labour leader of the past 50 years - with none picking Tony Blair or Jeremy Corbyn.

Sir Keir opted for Harold Wilson, who served as Labour Prime Minister during the 1960s and ‘70s, while Ms Nandy opted for long-serving MP Barbara Castle, describing her as the greatest Labour leader that never was.

Ms Long-Bailey meanwhile refused to pick a favourite. 


Elsewhere in the debate, Sir Keir threw his weight behind police pilots that shun arrests for cannabis possession.

Asked whether he would decriminalise the drug, the former Director of Public Prosecutions replied: “I wouldn’t immediately. I have supported schemes where cannabis possession, you’re not arrested, you’re not prosecuted for it. And I believe in that.”

Asked the same question, Ms Long-Bailey said: “No. but I think we need to have a conversation nationally.” 

And Ms Nandy replied: “No, let’s have a proper review.”

The exchanges came as Labour begins sending ballots to the hundreds of thousands of members and supporters who are eligible to pick the next leader.

Voting begins on Friday and runs until April 2 - with the winner declared at a special conference on 4 April. 

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