Brexit fallout: Labour and Tory leadership battles

Tom Watson apologises to the country ‘for the mess in
Westminster’
“I’d like to apologise to the country for the mess they are
seeing in Westminster right now,” says Labour deputy leader
Tom Watson.
He tells the BBC he spoke to Jeremy Corbyn earlier to see if
they could reach a “negotiated settlement” but found the
leader “unwilling to move from his position”.
Mr Watson says the situation is “a great tragedy”. He
recognises that Mr Corbyn has a mandate from Labour
members – but says those members must realise that the
leader needs a mandate in Parliament as well.
He says he is of the view that Mr Corbyn cannot carry on
after a vote of no confidence but adds: “I’m afraid Jeremy is
not willing to discuss that with me.”
17:07
Labour needs ‘strong, effective and convincing leader’ –
former shadow minister
BBC News Channel
Former shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander says she is
not surprised that Tom Watson is not challenging Jeremy
Corbyn for the Labour leadership. She says Mr Watson is
committed to his role as deputy leader.
“It comes back to Jeremy, and what Jeremy decides to do,”
she tells BBC News.
Ms Alexander, who quit the shadow cabinet at the
weekend, argues that “parliamentary democracy” only
works if the leader of the opposition commands the support
of his MPs.
Labour needs a “strong, effective and convincing leader”,
she adds. Mr Corbyn should step down and allow a “new
generation” to “take the fight” to the Conservatives.
17:07
Tom Watson ‘will not challenge Corbyn’
Laura Kuenssberg
BBC political editor
The deputy leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, has told
the BBC that he will not challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the
leadership of the Labour Party.
However he said that he’s been trying to negotiate Jeremy
Corbyn’s departure.
Mr Watson echoed the words of the Scottish Labour leader,
Kezia Dugdale, and said that Mr Corbyn can’t lead the party
like this.
He said he expects there to be a leadership election. And he
said the party is facing an existential crisis and is in peril.
16:48
PM calling on Corbyn to go ‘a good reason for him
staying’ – Livingstone
BBC News Channel
Ken Livingstone says Jeremy Corbyn has been an inclusive
Labour leader and should stay in post.
“He reached out to all these old Blairites, he gave them jobs
in his shadow cabinet” and allowed a free vote on bombing
Syria, the ex-London mayor tells BBC News.
It is not the Labour leader’s fault that the UK voted to leave
the EU, Mr Livingstone insists: “More Labour voters voted to
stay in than any other group.”
After the prime minister called on the Labour leader to quit
in Parliament earlier, Mr Livingstone – who was suspended
by his party in April following comment he made about
Hitler and Zionism – says: “If you hear David Cameron calling
for Jeremy Corbyn to resign, that’s a very good reason for
him staying.”
And he thinks people would be “appalled” if someone who
had won the support of nearly 60% of Labour members
was forced out. If MPs don’t like it “they should consider
their own position”, he says.
16:34
Tory committee confirms election timetable
The 1922 committee of the parliamentary Conservative Party
has just approved the timetable set out by its executive for
the party’s leadership election.
This means nominations have now opened and will close at
noon on Thursday.
Depending on the number of candidates, there will be a
series of ballots among MPs before the two most popular
contenders go into a run-off in which the party’s
entire membership will be able to vote. The final outcome is
expected on 9 September.
16:32
Salmond urges Labour leader to ‘stick in’
LBC
Jeremy Corbyn should stay on and “stick in”, says former
SNP leader Alex Salmond.
Speaking on his LBC phone-in, the former Scottish first
minister said Mr Corbyn had a shown a “consistency of
approach and policy”, and called the MPs resigning from his
front bench “non-entities nobody’s ever heard of”.
But he said he did think there was a possibility of
“parliamentary fracturing” if Mr Corbyn stayed on, with
“disgruntled right-wingers” leaving to form their own group.
He also said he believed there was “some truth” to the
suggestion that the move against Mr Corbyn is linked to the
publication of the long-awaited Chilcot report into the 2003
Iraq invasion next week.
16:29
Sturgeon ‘determined’ to find way for Scotland to stay
in EU
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been giving a
press conference in Brussels, where she has been meeting
EU officials, including Jean-Claude Juncker.
She tells journalists that she has had “a sympathetic
response to the position that Scotland now finds itself in”.
She says she was not there “to reach any conclusions” or to
secure “any commitments” at this stage – but says she is
confident that “Scotland’s voice is being heard”.
Mr Sturgeon repeats her argument that Scotland faces being
forced out of the EU against its will, after a majority of Scots
backed Remain, adding:
16:21
If there is a way for Scotland to stay, I am determined to try
to find that way.”
Lib Dems gain 10,000 new members after EU vote
The Lib Dems say more than 10,000 people have applied to
join the party since the UK voted to leave the EU.
The party launched a campaign after the Brexit vote, using
the hashtag #Wearethe48 – a reference to the 48% of people
who voted to remain in the EU.
Leader Tim Farron says the result is “reversible” and said he
would campaign to keep the UK in the EU at the next
election, whenever it takes place.
Senior Tory and Labour figures insist the result must be
respected.
Read more.
16:20
Shares rally to hit pre-Brexit levels
The FTSE 100 has surged through the level it closed at last
Thursday, recovering all of the ground it had lost in the wake
of the Brexit vote.
The FTSE 100 share index closed up 3.6% at 6,360.1 after a
flurry of last-minute trading.
At the close of trade on Thursday last week, before the
referendum vote, the FTSE 100 ended the day at 6,338.10.
Analysts said the fast recovery was unexpected. Read the
full story
16:18
Labour leader visits Polish cultural centre
Jeremy Corbyn speaking to the press earlier during a visit
to a Polish cultural centre in Hammersmith, west London.
With him is Labour deputy leader Tom Watson.
The building was daubed with graffiti at the weekend in
an incident that police called “alleged racially motivated
criminal damage”.
16:06
Greek PM gives backing to Corbyn
twitter: https://twitter.com/tsipras_eu/
status/748169087499505664
twitter: https://twitter.com/tsipras_eu/
status/748169874598404096?lang=en-gb
16:02
Tim Farron: Party infighting is ‘the last thing we need’
BBC News Channel
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron says that even if Jeremy
Corbyn is forced out, “the people behind Jeremy Corbyn –
Momentum – will be very keen to exercise revenge” against
those who had supported a no confidence motion against
him.
During what he describes as chaotic times, Mr Farron tells
BBC News “the last thing we need” is the two largest political
parties having leadership crises.
Mr Farron has commtted the Lib Dems to continuing
to campaign for the UK’s membership of the EU, even
though he accepts on the “current trajectory” the UK is set to
leave.
He says it is possible to respect the referendum result but to
continue to argue for a different position.
Those who lost the 1975 referendum – when the UK voted to
remain – didn’t stop calling for EU withdrawal “right up until
the present day”, he adds.
16:00
Lib Dem leader calls for party ‘realignment’
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron says “lots of us” who
campaigned on the Remain side ahead of the
referendum enjoyed working across party boundaries, and
often found more in common than support for the EU.
He pitches the Lib Dems as “the gathering place for
progressives” now.
Would he be interested in forming a new party, for example
with anyone thinking of leaving Labour as a result of the
current turmoil? He doesn’t dismiss the idea:
15:59
There needs to be a realignment, otherwise we will be left with
a Tory government forever.”
More than 200 Scottish Labour activists urge Corbyn to
go
BBC political correspondent tweets…
twitter: https://twitter.com/nickeardleybbc/
status/748173442130780161
15:37
Liam Fox ‘to stand for Tory leader’
Press Association
Sources say Liam Fox is to stand for the Conservative Party
leadership.
Mr Fox is a former Defence Secretary and was prominent in
the Leave campaign.
15:34
Union leader tells Labour MPs to ‘put up or shut up’
BBC News Channel
Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of the TSSA union, calls
Labour MPs “petulant and self-indulgent” for calling on
Jeremy Corbyn to go at this time.
He accuses former shadow ministers of behaving in a “very
petulant way” by choosing to “walk out en masse” – and he
tells MPs to “put up or shut up”.
He adds that Labour MPs know that Mr Corbyn has
“overwhelming support, not just from Labour Party
members but Labour Party voters”.
Labour has won by-elections, done well in local elections
and won the Bristol mayoral contest under Mr Corbyn’s
leadership, Mr Cortes argues.
15:28
Backing for Corbyn amongst constituency parties
Lewis Goodall writes…
BBC Newsnight
Jeremy Corbyn was elected on the biggest mandate in the
Labour Party’s 116 year history, chosen with nearly 60% of
the votes of the party membership.
That enthusiasm, however, was not shared by Labour’s MPs.
Corbyn barely managed to get the 35 votes required to be
nominated from the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP).
Yesterday, they voted by a margin of 172 to 40 in a vote of
no-confidence against his leadership. Some MPs speculated
that after the EU referendum, enthusiasm amongst the party
grassroots had similarly soured.
There’s some evidence that this hope is wishful thinking.
Newsnight has spoken to more than 50 Constituency Labour
Party chairs and secretaries who endorsed C

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