Rachel Reeves says new government has inherited ‘worst set of circumstances since second world war’ – as it happened

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o call for a pause in plans to build pylons in his Waveney Valley constituency in Suffolk to carry energy from offshore wind pylons to other parts of the country.

In an interview with Radio 4’s PM programme, Ramsay said he wanted to see a proper options assessment to assess how the windfarms could be connected to the grid.

When it was put to him that, as a Green MP, he could not oppose offshore wind being taken to where the energy was needed, by the most cost-effective method, Ramsay said he had a background working in renewable energy. He would be arguing for more focus on renewables, he said. “But we’ve got to connect it in the right way,” he said. He said an offshore grid should be considered.

Asked if he could say he would not oppose the pylons plan if a proper appraisal showed that was the cheapest and most effective option, Ramsay said he did not think a proper options assessment had been carried out.

Evan Davis, the presenter, put it to Ramsay that he was ducking the question. In response, Ramsay said he wanted a proper options assessment. He claimed time was available for this.

a reset in relations with the devolved governments. Plaid Cymru are saying it must be a “meaningful reset”. This is from Rhun ap Iorwerth, the Plaid leader, who has been meeting his party’s four MPs at Westminster. Ap Iorwerth said:

We made it clear during the campaign, and we make it clear right now, as soon as we can after the government has been formed, that we will hold them to account on behalf of not just the people in the constituencies that we represent but on behalf of all of Wales.

Sir Keir Starmer tells us that he wants to reset the relationship between UK government and Welsh governments, to reset the relationship presumably between the UK government and Wales, but what we say today is that has to be a meaningful reset.

Labour have shown time and time again that they want to cast aside our aspirations on fair funding, on more powers. Our four MPs will not allow that to happen.

10.49am), a Tory spokesperson said:

Rachel Reeves herself said you don’t need to win an election to find out the state of the public finances, admitting that with the OBR, there is already detailed public scrutiny of the country’s finances.

We warned that Labour would attempt this ruse as a cause to raid pensions and raise taxes. It is now clear that is coming to pass, and the British people will pay the price.

The spokesperson pointed out that, in an interview during the election campaigin, Reeves told the Financial Times she did not need to wait until taking office to know what the state of the public finances were like. She said:

We’ve got the OBR now. We know things are in a pretty bad state. You don’t need to win an election to find that out.

Tom Clark from Prospect has an explanation for the apparent contradiction.

Before election Reeves said in a world where OBR produced tax & borrowing numbers she couldn’t “open the books” & pretend to find they were worse than feared

But OBR’s work on spending is circumscribed. HMT officials will now review this & duly find outlook “worse than feared”


Speaking to reporters in Wales, Starmer said:

I’m putting together a very strong team based on delivering.

We got a very strong mandate at the general election, a mandate for change, a mandate for doing politics differently, and about service. That’s why I’m putting my team together.

Emily Thornberry has been fantastic, she’s got a big part to play, as has every single one of my now 412 Labour MPs.

Labour MPs have criticised the reliability of train services after suffering disruption during journeys to take their seats in the House of Commons, PA Media reports.

This is from Paul Foster, the MP for South Ribble.

This is from Claire Hughes, MP for Bangor Aberconwy.

Andrew Ranger, MP for Wrexham, posted this reply to Hughes.

Avanti was not the only service to let new MPs down. This is from Josh Fenton-Glynn, MP for Calder Valley.

This is from Kirith Entwistle from Bolton North East.

And this is what Henry Tufnell, MP for Mid and South Pembrokeshire, posted on X yesterday.

1.38pm.) The Institute for Economic Affairs, which was Liz Truss’ favourite thinktank, is also enthused by the plan to ease planning restrictions (although it would like Reeves to go further). It has released a statement saying:

Rachel Reeves is right to emphasise the importance of growth in tackling Britain’s challenges. Everything from funding public services to a higher quality of life is possible with more growth.

Undoubtedly, the most exciting part of the agenda is the government’s immediate plans to reform the planning system, including restoring housing targets, cutting red tape for major projects and ending the de facto ban on the on-shore wind. The emphasis on using powers to promote growth could unlock major opportunities. But this must be the floor, not the ceiling, of the government’s ambitions. Far more reform will necessary to be done to solve the housing crisis.

And the Adam Smith Institute also says Reeves is heading in the right direction.

It has been harder to find reaction to the speech from leftwing thinktanks. But the New Economics Foundation has issued a statement criticising Reeves’ decision to rule out raising money for the Treasury by cutting interest payments paid to banks that hold money with the Bank of England (see 11.05am). Hannah Peaker, director of policy at the NEF, said:

If we want to see decent growth again, our new government can’t be afraid to spend. A new government has plenty of ways to raise money, from borrowing responsibly to taxing the wealthiest to scrapping stealth subsidies to banks.

Remaining wedded to outdated and arbitrary fiscal rules will hold our economy back. Our fiscal rules aren’t an accurate measure of how much a government can responsibly borrow — and the chancellor could choose to replace them with the wave of a pen.

of four MPs with a joint photoshoot opposite parliament, promising to put pressure on Labour in areas including the environment, housing and wealth taxes.

Carla Denyer, Adrian Ramsay, Siân Berry and Ellie Chowns hugged each other in delight as they arrived on College Green, having not seen each before the election, which saw the party win handsomely in all of the seats they had been targeting.

Berry had been the favourite to retake the Greens’ sole previous seat of Brighton Pavilion, held by the now-departed Caroline Lucas since 2010, while Denyer, one of the co-leaders, had been tipped to win in the similarly urban-bohemian enclave of Bristol Central, where she ousted Labour’s Thangam Debbonaire.

But the party also won two more rural seats against primarily Conservative opposition: Ramsay, the other co-leader, in Waveney Valley, which straddles the Norfolk-Suffolk border, and Chowns in North Herefordshire.

Speaking to the Guardian after the photos, Denyer said winning all four seats had been seen as possible, but “it certainly wasn’t guaranteed”. She said: “Based on both polling and our own door knocking data, it was looking pretty close, right up to the last minute.”

One impact of moving from one to four MPs is that the Greens will, for the first time, need a party whip, Denyer said.

The Green party is a bit different in that we don’t whip our members on how they vote. But we still need that role to do inter-party negotiations about who gets to sit on which committee. So having a discussion about who gets that role is one of the things on the to-do list for this week, alongside getting a password to get how to connect to the wifi and all that normal first day at work stuff.

Asked what areas she hoped to pressure the Labour government on, Denyer said for her this included the climate, housing – “a massive issue”, she said, in her constituency – and better funding for public services, such as introducing wealth-based taxes, ruled out by Labour. She said:

It’s been disappointing to see Rachel Reeves already today repeating the, ‘There’s no magic money tree’ line when Labour have completely refused to consider ways that they could raise funds that would allow us to properly fund our public services.

Here is more from Robert Colvile from the Centre for Policy Studies on the Rachel Reeves’ speech.

Small bit of Kremlinology – worth noting that it’s Reeves who has announced the housing/planning stuff. Not that Rayner isn’t on board, but this is very clearly a core Treasury priority in a way that greatly amplifies its salience within Whitehall.

And this is from Ed Conway from Sky.

Also worth noting Rayner, Miliband, Reynolds, Kyle and others were there in the front row for the announcement this morning.
That “united front” was one of the main things biz leaders who went along were remarking on afterwards

Source: theguardian.com

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