Podcast by Gisela Stuart MP, Chair of Vote Leave, Seema Malhotra MP who had just left Labour’s shadow cabinet, and the LD Business spokes Baroness Burt
We talk to Gisela Stuart MP, Chair of Vote Leave, Seema Malhotra MP who had just left Labour’s shadow cabinet, and the LD Business spokes Baroness Burt.
Historians will look back at the events in Westminster today as tumultuous! At 8am the Chancellor George Osborne appeared in public for the first time since Thursday’s vote to leave the European Union with a statement that was meant to steady the markets. It worked for a bit and then the pound sank to a record low since 1985. Next came Labour’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson, back from Glastonbury, to issue a statement to his own leader Jeremy Corbyn, that he would in all likelihood face a leadership challenge after at least 20 of his shadow cabinet expressed no confidence in him and resigned, issuing scathing statements attached to their individual tweets criticising their leader for not doing enough to pull out Labour’s vote in the referendum.
By 2.30 pm all took to their seats in the Chamber to listen to the Prime Minister David Cameron issuing his own statement about his resignation as Prime Minister and how a Brexit from the EU might be handled. Of course Jeremy Corbyn then issued his own statement, including congratulating the Prime Minister for his record in office on gay marriage, the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, and for his reactions to the tragic shooting ten days ago of Labour’s Jo Cox MP.
The day ended with a downgrading of the UK’s S&P credit ratings from AAA to just AA. In the evening a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party agreed to hold a vote of no confidence in Mr Corbyn the next day. Meanwhile speculation was rife that leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson MP and lukewarm Remainer Theresa May MP would be the two contenders for the Conservative throne after the Tory backbench 1922 Committee had met. A new General Election by the end of the year and possibly revoking the five-year Fixed-Term Parliament Act was also being discussed.
In these three exclusive interviews for www.parliamentaryradio.com we speak to the Chair of the Leave camp Gisela Stuart the Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, now tipped to be a leading Brexit negotiator; Seema Malhotra, the Labour MP for Feltham and Heston, who had just resigned as shadow secretary to the Treasury; and Baroness Lorely Burt of Solihull the Liberal Democrat’s business spokesperson who actually managed a laugh when we asked her how bad things were?
Gisela: “I am not the government, not even the alternative government. I was Chair of an organisation that campaigned for a Leave vote; a government’s responsibility even when it goes into a general election is to take the manifestos and work out a plan of what the alternatives are. We had a government that called a referendum at choice and it was so certain it would win that it didn’t have to think about what it itself had to do. I am a Labour back-bencher, I am not an alternative government. The Prime Minister put that question to the people. The European Union is a busted flush.”
Seema: “I think it is time now to work for a peaceful transition and I believe that is in Jeremy’s interests as well. I hope he will have the courage to step down and know he will have the party behind him. It was incredibly difficult it was heart breaking, I feel for Jeremy, but it was the right decision, and he has taken this party as far as he can and we now need a fresh start. Jo Cox is someone I think about every day. The message we should have from Jo’s #MoreInCommon is a very powerful one and I want to make the effort and take the time to make coalitions across parties to make change happen.”
Baroness Burt: “I just feel really gutted because we know it is going to be an uphill struggle from here on in, but arrangements are being made should the worst happen, and the worst is happening. Osborne sought to reassure the markets today that Britain is still open for business and who knows there maybe opportunities for businesses to benefit in different ways from this result. I would love to see a second referendum, if possible I would certainly do so. My Party is committed to taking us back into the European Union with full membership back. I would counsel business to keep calm.”
Listen to the podcast
In these three exclusive interviews for www.parliamentaryradio.com we speak to the Chair of the Leave camp, Gisela Stuart, the Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, now tipped to be a leading Brexit negotiator; Seema Malhotra, the Labour MP for Feltham and Heston, who had just resigned as shadow secretary to the Treasury; and Baroness Lorely Burt of Solihull the Liberal Democrat’s business spokesperson who actually managed a laugh when we asked her how bad things were?