NEWS THIS WEEK - from Diane Abbott MP
Austerity - Liberal Democrats and David Cameron have learnt nothing
As John McDonnell MP, said this week, the Liberal Democrats’ “well being budget” shows that “the Lib Dems have a staggering cheek. Apart from stealing the well being idea from Labour, they were part of the government that created every austerity measure, cutting benefits and our public services and causing large scale poverty and human suffering in our communities.”
People haven’t forgotten the pain they inflicted on us and the lies they told last time they were in government, and neither have they forgotten about David Cameron’s record, saying he should have “ripped the plaster off” earlier in his premiership and introduced steeper cuts in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Astonishingly this week David Cameron claimed that austerity should have gone further.
As John also said, “Cameron clearly has no idea of the scale of human suffering his austerity cuts inflicted on our communities. This confirms how cut off this privileged class of Tories are from the everyday lives of our people.”
International students treated abominably by the Tories
A report from the Public Accounts Committee has said that the Home Office “rushed to penalise” international students accused of cheating in the English language test scandal without checking the reliability of the evidence. It also says that revoking visas before verifying evidence led to “injustice and hardship for many thousands of international students”.
As I have said before, these international students have been treated abominably. Some used their whole families’ savings to pay to study here, and were then deported on faulty evidence.
Labour welcomes international students here and the contribution they make. They are owed an apology by this government. Until the Tories’ whole ‘hostile environment’ is ended, similar scandals will recur.
Boris Johnson must apologise for shameful comments about child abuse
I issued a Press Release in my capacity as Shadow Home Secretary this week in response to Boris Johnson denying comments he made regarding investigations into historic child abuse cases, in which I said “Boris Johnson’s original comments were so shameful and hurtful to the victims of historic child abuse that it is no wonder he now wants to deny he ever said them.”
“The Prime Minister must apologise, sincerely and profusely, for the harm his disgusting comments caused, and now for lying to the people about it.”
As has been widely reported, in March this year, Boris Johnson said “£60m I saw was being spaffed up the wall on some investigation into historic child abuse.” Yet this week, Boris Johnson denied saying it.
Priti Patel’s suggestion that we could maintain access to all our security arrangements if we crash out of the EU is simply not plausible
Home Secretary Priti Patel claimed on Marr last week the UK could stay part of all international security agreements in the event of a no deal Brexit.
The Home Secretary seems deeply confused about the UK’s security arrangements in the event of a no deal, and needs to clarify the situation urgently.
The reality is that her suggestion that we could maintain access to all our security arrangements if we crash out of the EU is simply not plausible.
Boris Johnson is happy for us to stop cooperating fully with our neighbours on security. Not only will we lose access to real-time information about security threats if we crash out of the EU, but we may also have to destroy some of the data we already have.
This is why Labour has led efforts to get No Deal off the table. This government would knowingly compromise the safety of its citizens – it has no business running our country.
‘String of high-profile failures’ in outsourcing – Labour will end this racket
An Institute for Government report this week analysed ‘a string of high-profile failures’ in outsourcing. The ‘string of high-profile failures’ discussed in this report are not just one-offs – they reflect a broken model for delivering public services, which prioritises profit over people.
The report notes that “a string of high-profile failures has put Britain’s outsourcing model under intense scrutiny.” It says that, despite claims that outsourcing achieves 20%-30% in cost savings, “we found little evidence that such savings are available today, whether for services outsourced for the first time or on second- or third-generation contracts.”
It’s becoming clearer by the day that we’re at a crossroads on outsourcing, as the Institute for Government says, and it’s staggering to look back at the last 40 years of this failed experiment and see so little strong evidence that it works.
Only Labour will end this racket and make sure our public services are run in the interests of the many, not to enrich a privileged few.
3/4 of UK universities are very or extremely concerned about the impact of No Deal
A Universities UK report this week showed that three quarters of surveyed UK universities are ‘very’ or ‘extremely concerned’ about the negative impact a No Deal.
As Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said “Boris Johnson’s reckless No Deal Brexit would be disastrous for our universities.”
Nearly one in five university academics are EU nationals and they all face uncertainty and anxiety about their future. A chaotic and damaging No Deal Brexit will also have a devastating impact on the ability of our universities to recruit students from EU countries and access research funding.
Yet the new Education Secretary has been unable to give universities even the most basic reassurance that he has any credible plan.
That is why Labour will continue to take all necessary steps to stop Boris Johnson forcing us into a No Deal Brexit that no one voted for.
Government’s Prevent review far from independent
The government has now published its terms of reference for its review into Prevent.
The reality is that this review will also be far from independent, as it relies on Home Office support, while the reviewer has previously stated his strong support for Prevent.
As I said in my Press Release on the matter, “This is a strange review. You cannot possibly analyse something without looking at the evidence of how it has operated in the past. And the fact that this crucial information being ignored tells us the government already accepts Prevent has been an abject failure.”