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Tue, 23 July 2024

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By Ben Guerin
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Top Stories: Corbyn To Be Blocked As Labour Election Candidate, Severe NHS Staff Shortages

Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour Party between 2015 and 2020 (Alamy)

6 min read

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will not stand as a Labour MP at the next general election, as current leader Keir Starmer sets out to show that the party has changed.

Starmer will propose a motion at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Tuesday that will set out a position to not endorse Corbyn as a Labour candidate in his Islington North constituency in London. 

Last month, the UK's equality watchdog said Labour has now improved how it handles anti-Semitism complaints. Starmer apologised for the party's record and announced Corbyn would not stand for Labour. 

"What I said about the party changing, I meant it, and that’s why Jeremy Corbyn will not stand as a candidate at the next election,” Starmer said at a speech marking the EHRC findings. 

Corbyn had the Labour whip suspended in November 2020 over the initial EHRC findings and has stood as an independent candidate since.

The former leader has suggested Starmer is not respecting the "rights of Labour members" by blocking him from being unable to stand for the party. 

"Today, Keir Starmer has broken his commitment to respect the rights of Labour members and denigrated the democratic foundations of our Party," he tweeted.

"This latest move represents a leadership increasingly unwilling to offer solutions that meet the scale of the crises facing us all.

"As the government plunges millions into poverty and demonises refugees, Keir Starmer has focused his opposition on those demanding a more progressive and humane alternative.

"I joined the Labour Party when I was 16 years old because, like millions of others, I believed in a redistribution of wealth and power.

"Our message is clear: we are not going anywhere. Neither is our determination to stand up for a better world."

A spokesperson for Momentum, the pro-Corbyn socialist campaign group, has responded to Starmer's decision by accusing the leader of being "drunk on his own power".

“We utterly condemn this venal and duplicitous act from Keir Starmer, which further divides the Labour Party and insults the millions of people inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership," the spokesperson said. 

"We urge all NEC representatives to reject this anti-democratic maneuvre tomorrow. It should be for Islington North Labour members to decide their candidate, not a neighbouring MP drunk on his own power."

The Momentum representative claimed that party members in Islington North "overwhelmingly" want Corbyn to be the Labour candidate and added: "Keir is doing this because he knows Jeremy would wipe the floor in any selection contest.”

NHS faces severe staff shortages

Healthcare workers
The NHS faces increasing pressure from workforce shortages and heightened demand (Alamy)

An internal NHS document warns that the staff shortages in the NHS in England could increase to more than 570,000 by 2036.

The workforce plan, produced by NHS England and seen by the Guardian, shows that nursing is the most affected, with staffing shortages of more than 350,000 nurses predicted by 2036. 

The plan outlines that a dangerous level of understaffing could lead to inadequate patient care, with a risk that the NHS will be unable to cope with increasing demand for healthcare with a growing and ageing population. 

According to the document, the NHS needs to increase the number of all health trained professionals by 55 per cent from 66,032 to 102,484.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is in a standoff with Health Secretary Steve Barclay over a proposal to double the number of doctors trained in the UK and train 77 per cent more nurses each year, according to the Guardian – plans which would cost the treasury billions of pounds. 

Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting called the shortages a “national emergency” and said: “The NHS is experiencing the worst workforce crisis in its history and it is crying out for the government to act.

“Until the Conservatives admit they have failed to train enough staff, patients will continue to wait too long for the care they need.”

A government spokesperson said: “We’re growing the healthcare workforce, recruiting 50,000 more nurses and we have almost hit our target of delivering 26,000 additional primary care staff.

“The NHS will soon publish a long-term workforce plan to support and grow the workforce.”

Government faces multiple rebellions on Migrant Bill

SUELLA BRAVERMAN
The Home Secretary and Prime Minister are facing a number of rebellions on the controversial bill (Alamy)

The government’s Illegal Migration Bill is back in the House of Commons on Monday, with as many as 60 MPs rebelling on different aspects of the bill. 

Some Tory MPs do not believe that the prime minister has gone far enough with measures to reduce Channel crossings in the Bill, and The Times reports that the home secretary, Suella Braverman, might even be “secretly backing” these rebels.  

Senior government sources claimed the Home Secretary was a “sock puppet” for rebels pushing for the bill to put in harsher measures. 

However, a source close to the Home Secretary said: “This is totally untrue and neglects to mention the fact the Home Secretary has been calling MPs to ask them to give the government time to consider their concerns and not rebel against the bill.

“The people spreading scurrilous rumours like this about the home secretary should reconsider and refrain.”

Some backbenchers also want the prime minister to withdraw the UK from the European Convention on Human rights, which forced the grounding of the first scheduled flight deporting migrants to Rwanda last year. 

Conservative MP Tim Loughton is leading another rebellion with the support of Labour, which is trying to get the government to concede on providing “safe and legal” routes for refugees to seek asylum. 

Others are also calling for an amendment to the bill which prevents juvenile asylum seekers from being affected.

New SNP leader to be announced

The new leader of the SNP will be announced today, replacing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has held the office since 2014.

Around 100,000 SNP members have voted in the leadership race in a two-week online ballot, with the results announced at 2pm on Monday. 

The candidates for leadership are Humza Yousaf, Ash Regan and Kate Forbes, who will be looking to rescue the SNP from a fall in membership and internal rows over gender reform laws. 

The SNP, the biggest political party in Scotland, have suffered a loss of 30,000 members in 18 months.

After the winner of the contest is announced, Sturgeon is expected to formally offer her resignation to King Charles.

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