Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Twigg’

Fear and loathing in the PLP: what really happened in Labour’s reshuffle

17/10/2013, 12:25:45 PM

by Atul Hatwal

The cracks are beginning to show. Over the weeks since Ed Miliband reshuffled the shadow cabinet, Uncut has been contacted by a range of different sources, seeking to tell their side of the story about what is going on beneath the slowly fracturing façade of PLP unity.

Piecing together the various accounts, a rather different picture emerges of the reshuffle, to the one commonly reported.

At the heart of it is a leader’s office dominated by fear.

Not fear of what the Tories are doing to the country, or for the electoral battle to come, but a fatalistic conviction that Ed Miliband will either be toppled as Labour’s leader before the next election, or so destabilised as to be incapable of fighting effectively.

This fear framed the reshuffle as Ed Miliband attempted to deal with Blairites, Ballsites, the new hero of the soft left, Andy Burnham and even the young pretender, Chuka Umunna.

The cull of the three Blairites – Jim Murphy, Liam Byrne and Steven Twigg – has been widely discussed, but what is less well known, Westminster sources suggest, is that when faced with Ed Miliband’s concerted move against them, the three discussed their options.

Collective resignation was the first impulse but two factors are said to have changed their minds: the sense that this was their party too and they could still exert some influence on policy; and that any resignation would simply have been written up as sour grapes from the snubbed.


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Stephen Twigg and Marvin Rees talk schools and childcare on the Bristol campaign trail

24/07/2012, 03:24:49 PM

by Amanda Ramsay

The UK is facing a schools places crisis, particularly in cities such as Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, London, Reading and Southampton. Areas such as Barking in east London are facing the prospect of a ‘shift system’, splitting the school day in two with some children attending the morning and others the afternoon shift.

Visiting Bristol yesterday as part of Labour’s city conversation, to help elect Marvin Rees as city mayor, shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg highlighted the government’s swingeing cuts with  new build funding for schools slashed by a massive 57%, against a general 30% cut in most other spending areas.

Rees and Twigg met with parents and representatives of a variety of community groups, to discuss children and families as part of Labour’s childcare commission consultation. Main concerns included current government changes to working tax credits and how little help parents felt was on offer, especially to help single mothers or fathers to be able to work.

Twigg has hinted that better and more childcare will be a key focus for the party’s 2015 manifesto. This will be music to the ears of parents and employers alike, given the intrinsic link between jobs and childcare. More flexibility from employers around part-time working arrangements and more workplace childcare were among ideas put forward in Bristol yesterday.

Speaking as chair of Labour’s childcare commission, Twigg has talked about “switch spending”. That is, reducing spending in one area to fund more in another. Substantial spending cuts would be needed to fund a big improvement in childcare.


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Shadow cabinet: vote for Stephen

18/09/2010, 01:17:55 AM

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The leader we have: inside the leaders’ office

11/06/2010, 02:08:39 PM

“And all the sons I might have had mean nothing, for I have a son.”  So wrote James Baldwin.

And so it is with the leadership.  While Diane and the boys spend the summer in a four month penalty shootout, Harriet has quietly slipped on the captain’s armband.

If the coalition collapses in August – which is very unlikely, but not impossible – it will be Harriet who leads Labour’s reponse. (more…)

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