Yesterday Lisa Nandy secured the GMB nomination which means she is now almost certain to be on the final ballot for the Labour leadership. And this morning she has been giving a series of interviews ahead of a speech on welfare she is delivering at 10am.

On the Today programme she was burnishing her Corbynite credentials by praising the outgoing Labour leader for breaking the consensus that “economic conservatism was a bigger priority than people”. She also criticised New Labour for continuing with elements of Thatcherism, telling the programme:


I’m not going to trash the legacy of the last Labour government because things like the minimum wage were complete game-changers in towns like Wigan, and the investment that went into health and education was really important.

But it is certainly true to say that the consensus that Thatcher built lasted all the way through the New Labour years.

I came into politics after 10 years working in the voluntary sector with homeless teenagers, first of all, and then with child refugees.

And the reason I did was out of frustration with a system under the last Labour government that took small amounts from people at the very top of the system and handed it with conditions to those at the bottom.

Nandy has also come out well from a focus group of ex-Labour voters commissioned for an item on Channel 4 News last night. There is a link to the film here.

Gary Gibbon’s Blog
(@GaryGibbonBlog)

Who do ex-Labour voters want to take on Boris Johnson? https://t.co/E7ZGi57EbQ


January 21, 2020

And here is a Times article (paywall) by James Johnson, the pollster (and former Tory aide) who organised the focus group, which was held in Birmingham. He writes:


Lisa Nandy went down well with the younger group aged 25 to 40. No one in this session was aware of her beforehand, but almost all left saying they thought she would be the candidate most likely to win back their vote. They were most impressed by her honesty and candour in a clip of her being interviewed by Andrew Neil — a rare sight from a politician for these disenchanted voters …

Reflecting on the experience, I wondered how the Conservative party might feel about this research. They should be worried by Nandy. And they would have had reason to be spooked by [Jess] Phillips. Her departure spells out the reality: that the preferences of the voters Labour needs to win back to do not match those of the members. Instead, the favourites in this contest are [Keir] Starmer and [Rebecca] Long Bailey.

When I told respondents that these two were the frontrunners, despairing laughter echoed around the room. I was left with one conclusion: in Number 10, they will be rubbing their hands in glee.

I will post more from Nandy’s two morning interviews soon.

Here is the agenda for the day.

10am: Lisa Nandy, the Labour leadership candidate, gives a speech on welfare policy.

12pm: Boris Johnson faces Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs.

After 12.30pm: MPs debate the EU (withdrawal agreement) bill on its return from the Lords. They are expected to vote to overturn the five government defeats the bill suffered in the Lords.

2.30pm: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, speaks about the Scottish economy at an IPPR event.

Afternoon: The EU (withdrawal agreement) bill returns to the Lords, where peers will have to either accept the Commons version or vote again to amend it.

As usual, I will be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web. I plan to post a summary when I wrap up.

You can read all the latest Guardian politics articles here. Here is the Politico Europe roundup of this morning’s political news. And here is the PoliticsHome list of today’s top 10 must-reads.

If you want to follow me or contact me on Twitter, I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter.





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