Politics latest: Streeting meeting junior doctors in 'biggest test of new government' - as regional mayors arrive at Number 10 (2024)

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  • Streeting to meet junior doctors for first time in 'biggest test of new government'
  • Mayors arrive in Downing Street for meeting with new PM
  • Braverman under fire for 'disgusting' criticism of Progress Pride flag
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07:54:09

Is the new government going to build on the green belt?

We've just been speaking with Jim McMahon, a levelling up minister, and we start by asking if the government plans on building on green sites, which is controversial for many.

He replied: "We're determined to build 1.5m new homes, but we are also very clear that there are so many sites [where there is] completely untapped potential in many urban constituencies.

"These are brownfield sites, these are very dirty industrial sites that just haven't been developed over decades where local people would be absolutely keen to see those developed.

"And so, we want to make sure that is first."

The minister also wanted to be clear what is meant by the green belt.

He said they don't want to build on the "rolling hills" of Britain, but some land classified as green belt "actually is a grey belt, and local people would say it's an eyesore that they want to see developed" for the housing that is needed.

"This is a national emergency, and we're absolutely keen and determined to get on with it," he added.

Asked how quickly the government will reach their goal of 1.5m new homes, Mr McMahon said it will happen over the course of this parliament, and "the foundational work is taking place now".

Challenged on how they will meet the target when previous governments failed, he said they need to "unlock sites that currently have planning permission that aren't being developed", and building on brownfield sites.

07:41:01

Braverman under fire for 'disgusting' criticism of Progress Pride flag

The former home secretary, Suella Braverman, is in Washington DC, and she spoke overnight (UK time) at the National Conservatism conference.

The MP for Fareham and Waterlooville discussed her time in government, and sharply criticised the Progress Pride flag, which she said is flown to "show how liberal and progressive we are".

The progress pride flag is a redesign of the original pride flag, and it incorporates elements of both that and the trans pride flag to focus on inclusion diversity within the LGBT+ community.

Mrs Braverman said: "The Progress flag says to me one monstrous thing: that I was a member of a government that presided over the mutilation of children in our hospitals and from our schools."

The likely Tory leadership contender also gave her take on the party's disastrous election defeat last week.

She told the conference: "We won a great majority in 2019 promising to do what the people wanted.

"We were going to use our Brexit freedoms and stop waves of illegal migrants. We were going to cut taxes. We were going to stop the lunatic woke virus. We did none of this."

She continued: "Our problem is us. Our problem is that the liberal Conservatives who trashed the Tory party think it was everyone's fault but their own.

"My party governed as liberals and we were defeated as liberals. But seemingly, as ever, it is Conservatives who are to blame."

Conservative broadcaster Iain Dale was among many who expressed fury at Mrs Braverman's comments about the Progress Pride flag.He labelled her speech "disgusting".

He wrote on X: "And she seriously thinks she has a chance of leading the Conservative Party.

"Not while I have a breath left in my body. Moderate Conservatives need to stand up and be counted. This will not stand."

Ben Bradshaw, former Labour MP for Exeter, said she "reveals the true face of the Tory right with her bitter fury about LGBT people".

"We exist. Get over it," he added.

07:10:31

Mayors arrive in Downing Street for first meeting with new PM

Regional mayors have started to arrive in Downing Street ahead of their meeting with the new prime minister.

Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy PM, Angela Rayner, will host mayors of both partiesas they start implementing their plans to devolve more power, and (they hope) trigger growth across the UK.

The meeting is due to last around an hour, before the PM hosts the second cabinet meeting of his premiership.

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, told journalists as he arrived that he is "looking forward to meeting" Sir Keir.

Our political correspondent Mhari Aurorais in Downing Street and will be speaking to the mayors following the meeting.

We will bring you their take on what the new PM said once it concludes.

06:52:47

Streeting to meet junior doctors for first time in 'biggest test of the new Labour government'

Health Secretary Wes Streeting will sit down today with representatives of junior doctors for the first time today as he seeks to rapidly resolve ongoing strikes.

Waves of industrial action have been taken over the last 18 months in a long-running dispute over pay.

Junior doctors want pay restored to 2010 levels, which amounts to a roughly 35% pay rise - something the new PM has said the government cannot afford.

But the BMA union representing junior doctors say they are just seeking a path to getting there within a reasonable timeframe - something they will discuss with the new health secretary today as formal negotiations are set to get under way this week.

Our political correspondent Mhari Aurorasays: "The real question with this meeting is, can Labour succeed where the Tories failed?"

"This is going to be one of the biggest tests for this new Labour government - can they find a way through, can they end these strikes?

"If they fail, this could be really detrimental to Sir Keir Starmer's premiership and Labour's promises of the decade of national renewal."

06:41:14

Good morning!

Welcome back to the Politics Hub on this Tuesday, 9 July.

It's a big day in Westminster as the new parliament meets for the first time at 2.30pm. The first job will be electing the Speaker (with the former one likely to be re-elected), and then MPs will be sworn in.

Here's what else is happening:

  • The new prime minister and his deputy are due to meet shortly with regional mayors as they start implementing their plans to devolve more power and also trigger growth across the UK;
  • Sir Keir Starmer will then chair his second cabinet meeting since the general election less than a week ago;
  • The health secretary, Wes Streeting, is due to meet with union representatives of junior doctors today as he seeks to rapidly resolve their strike action that has been ongoing for 18 months over pay;
  • Mr Streeting and the new chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Pat McFadden, are due to speak at a conference on Britain's future, organised by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change;
  • On the Conservative side, the remaining MPs are expected to meet to elect a chair of the 1922 backbench committee, after which the timeline of the leadership contest can be decided;
  • Elsewhere, many high-profile people from the right of the party - some of whom lost their seats last Thursday - will meet for a half-day conference to discuss what went wrong, and how to move forward;
  • And later this evening, the PM and his top team will jet to Washington DC for the NATO summit - and Sir Keir will get the full VIP treatment from the embattled US president, with an Oval Office meeting expected during his visit.

We'll be discussing all of that and more with:

  • Jim McMahon, levelling up minister, at 7.15am;
  • Tobias Ellwood, former Tory MP, at 7.30am;
  • Andrew Griffith, shadow science secretary, at 8.15am.

Follow along for the latest political news.

23:00:01

That's all for the Politics Hub tonight

Thanks for joining us for the start of the first full week of a Labour government in 14 years - and there's plenty more to come.

You can scroll through the page for today's updates, or check our 10pm post for a round-up of Monday's most significant news.

We'll be back at 6am with all the latest from Westminster.

22:40:01

Sunak reshuffles shadow cabinet - so who made the cut?

The Conservative Party has announced a reshuffle, as former ministers and returning MPs make the transition into becoming the shadow cabinet.

Lord Cameronhas resigned from Rishi Sunak's frontbench, having been foreign secretary before Labour's victory in Thursday's election, and has now been replaced in the shadow role by his deputy Andrew Mitchell.

Also, despite clinging on to a seat in last week's vote,Richard Holdenhas quit as Tory party chairman, with Richard Fuller taking his place in the interim.

Writing in his resignation letter, Mr Holden said there needed to be a "thorough review into the general election campaign", but it would "best take place with a new set of eyes to help provide the clearest view".

You can read more from Sky News below:

22:15:40

Cameron explains why he stepped back from shadow cabinet

Former prime minister Lord Cameron has sought to explain why he resigned from Rishi Sunak's frontbench - and it has to do with his peerage.

As the ex-foreign secretary is not an MP, he is unable to enter the Commons and face-off with the new Foreign Secretary David Lammy.

Lord Cameron said that "clearly the Conservative Party in opposition will need to shadow the new Foreign Secretary from the Commons".

"So I told Rishi Sunak that I would step back."

However, the ex-PM said he is "delighted that the shadow foreign secretary role has gone to my good friend Andrew Mitchell".

22:00:01

We're coming to the end of the first day of the new Labour government's first full week in office.

Here's an easy catch-up on what you need to know tonight:

  • Rachel Reeves has delivered her first major speech as chancellor, pledging a "planning revolution" to boost housebuilding and allow new onshore wind projects to help deliver "sustained economic growth";
  • Our economics and data editor Ed Conway said while Ms Reeves' speech lacked any "big bang moment", the hard reforms she's promising could one day deliver what the UK's long struggled with.
  • Sir Keir Starmer has followed up his weekend visit to Scotland with trips to Northern Ireland and Wales, as he seeks to restore "mutual respect" between Westminster and the devolved governments;
  • Sir Keir's spokesperson fielded questions from journalists today - they said the prime minister was keen for close relations with France whoever ends up in power there after the country's inconclusive elections.
  • A good relationship with France will be key to tackling the small boats crisis, which has continued today with the first migrant arrivals since the election;
  • And the Conservatives have confirmed a shadow cabinet reshuffle tonight - with Lord Cameron out as shadow foreign secretary, and Richard Holden gone as Tory chairman.

That's all for now - but we'll have updates all day Tuesday.

21:40:01

Plans to ease overcrowding in jails due to be announced this week

By Mollie Malone, news correspondent

The government is expected to announce new plans to ease overcrowding in jails across England and Wales by the end of this week.

Sky News understands one of the core proposals being considered is a lowering of the automatic release point, from the 50% mark in their sentence, to 40 or 43%.

At the moment prisoners serving standard determinate sentences - those with fixed end dates - are released at the halfway point.

Once released they serve their sentence on licence. This change could mean thousands of additional inmates with earlier releases.

Sexual, violent, and terror related offenders are excluded.

'Immediate' problems - but 'no quick fix'

It comes as Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood today met with representatives from across the prison service, at the beginning of her first full week in the role.

Sky News understands Ms Mahmood was keen to emphasise her background as a barrister, experience in the sector, and the prime minister's former job as director of public prosecutions.

She expressed a desire to better embrace technology and AI to improve the efficiency of the service in the future.

Ms Mahmood spoke of the "immediate" problems in prisons, though sources say little detail was provided, as the government continues to weigh up its options.

Sky News understands there are around 700 spaces left in male prisons across England and Wales.

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper today admitted there is not going to be a "quick fix" to solve overcrowding in prisons, suggesting the government is "extremely concerned" by the situation they have inherited.

Politics latest: Streeting meeting junior doctors in 'biggest test of new government' - as regional mayors arrive at Number 10 (2024)

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