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“Mood shifting slightly” ahead of votes next week, says Nandy – LabourList


The Andrew Marr Show

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy discussed the elections on Thursday, telling viewers that she can “feel the mood shifting slightly” but adding that “these were always going to be difficult elections for us” and that Labour is “not expecting miracles”. She also argued that the UK should not pause its vaccine rollout to younger people so that jabs can be sent to help India with its ongoing Covid crisis.

  • On India and the UK vaccination programme: “Let’s not pit the people of Britain against the people of India. We need to keep up the progress that we’ve made with rolling out the vaccination programme here and we need to dramatically ramp up supply and manufacturing across the world.”
  • Pressed on whether we should send vaccines to India instead of administering them here: “No, I don’t think that we should pause the vaccination programme here. I think nowhere is safe until everywhere is safe, but that includes the UK.”
  • On surplus doses: “The UK has ordered more vaccinations than we need and there will be surplus doses that we can make available to India in due course. We should obviously try and do that as soon as possible.”
  • She added: “We are the hosts of the G7 this year and we should step up, show leadership and press ahead with a global agreement to address every aspect of the barriers to getting the vaccine out.”
  • On other forms of aid: “We certainly could be providing more of the equipment that is needed. We’re world experts in genomic sequencing, we can trap and map this virus. We should me making that capacity available to India.”
  • On people being allowed to travel internationally from May 17th: “We’re very much with the government on this. Once we can start getting back to normal, if the scientists say it’s safe to do so, we should do so.”
  • On the elections taking place next Thursday: “Unlike Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer has been out around the country, talking to people, listening to people, fighting for every vote and not taking them for granted.”
  • On support for the party: “I think things are shifting if I’m honest, I can feel the mood shifting slightly. It doesn’t certainly feel like December 2019, which was the worst election I can remember having to fight.”
  • She added: “People have realised that Labour is under new management, they are angry with a Tory government that believes the rules aren’t for them. But these were always going to be difficult elections for us, we’re not expecting miracles on Thursday night but we’re going to carry on making the case.”
  • On the Royal College of Nurses’ call for a 12.5% pay increase for nurses, which some Labour MPs have backed: “At the very minimum they should get what they were promises, they were promised a real-terms pay rise.”
  • Pressed on nurses’ pay: “Nurses should get two things. First of all, what they’re owed and anything extra that the government is prepared to negotiate with them in order to raise nurses’ pay after what has been a very, very difficult year.”
  • She added: “But we also believe that they should have what nurses in my constituency when I met with them a few weeks ago asked me for, which is the tools to do the job. They’ve had 11 years of underfunding to the NHS.”

Asked whether Boris Johnson should resign if he is found to have broken the ministerial code over his Downing Street flat refurbishment, Scottish Tory Party leader Douglas Ross said: “Of course, I think people expect the highest standards.”

Sophy Ridge on Sunday

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy argued that the only way the world comes through the Covid crisis is by “erasing the virus everywhere in order to erase it anywhere” and criticised ministers for having “taken the axe” to aid spending.

  • On whether Labour backs proposals for daily Covid testing: “We certainly want to see it made easier for people to go about their normal lives… But, obviously as always with this, we want to follow the science.”
  • She added: “It’s right to do tests, it’s right to do trials before we pilot them. I think largely speaking we are with the government on this; we want to unlock, we want to get back to whatever normal looks like on the other side of this.”
  • On reports that the government is considering rolling out the Pfizer vaccine to secondary school children from September: “It certainly would make sense to us if the scientists believe that this is beneficial.”
  • On the Downing Street flat refurb row: “We don’t need an Electoral Commission inquiry to know that the Prime Minister is withholding information from the public that rightly belongs in the public domain.”
  • She added: “We don’t know who the Prime Minister is beholden to. We don’t know if he’s promised them anything in return. We don’t know what the implications of that are… This is about integrity, it’s about trust and it’s about whether there’s one rule for them and one rule for everybody else.”
  • On reports Tory donors were asked to pay the PM’s childcare: “It is extraordinary that we’ve got a Prime Minister that is going around saying he can’t possibly afford to pay his own childcare costs… when he’s in the top 1% of earners.”
  • Asked about recent polling: “I have felt in the last few weeks that something is shifting a little, it doesn’t feel like 2019… People have understood that Labour is under new management and they’re looking at us again.”
  • On the elections next week: “We’re fighting for every single vote and whether or not we get a good set of results in these elections – I think they’re likely to still be very difficult for us – we’re determined to regain that trust.”
  • Asked whether Labour is setting the bar too low: “The bar became pretty low in December 2019… But we’re not unambitious for what comes next and I think the Tories shouldn’t take votes for granted.”
  • On cuts to aid spending: “It’s just unbelievably shortsighted… The only way the world comes through this is by erasing the virus everywhere in order to erase it anywhere and the UK has taken the axe to programmes that help us to do that.”
  • On support for India amid its Covid surge: “We can can should do more… Don’t forget, it was India who stepped up for us when we were almost a year ago today in really dire straights struggling to contain the impact of the pandemic.”

First Minister and Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford discussed the upcoming Senedd elections taking place on Thursday next week, rejecting criticism that Labour’s campaign in the contest has been “too modest”.

  • Put to him that focusing on his record dealing with the Covid health crisis has resulted in an approach that is “too modest”: “Well, I think that we belong in the middle because that is where the great bulk of opinion rests in Wales.”
  • On the Tories in Wales: “The Conservative Party in Wales does not believe in Wales; it believes in handing Wales back to Westminster.”
  • On Plaid Cymru: “Plaid Cymru doesn’t believe in the UK; it would sever us from our friends, our relations, our fellow workers elsewhere in the UK.”
  • On Welsh Labour: “It is only the Labour Party that believes in a strong Wales, in a successful UK. And far from falling through the cracks, actually that represents the great bulk of opinion here in Wales.”
  • On the election: “We started the campaign with opinion polls telling us that Labour would win only 22 seats. To match our 2016 election result, particularly in the current circumstances, I think would be a very high watermark for us.”
  • On post-election arrangements: “We’ve always worked across party lines where other progressive parties can agree on a programme for government. And that’s always been the way I approach it. I am not interested at all in political fixes.”
  • On working with other parties in government if Labour does not secure a majority: “If we need to work with other parties, let’s see if we can have a progressive programme for a progressive nation.”

Labour MP and former chair of the public accounts committee Margaret Hodge discussed the ongoing row over who initially funded Boris Johnson’s flat refurb, telling viewers that the scandal is “part of a pattern” of behaviour from the PM.

  • Asked “why should we care” about the PM’s flat refurb: “When we become MPs we all sign up to a set of standards; we promise to be open, we promise to be honest and we promise to be accountable… Johnson has failed all those tests.”
  • On the inquiries that have been launched: “All the inquiries that are currently taking place on this issue, they don’t go to the heart of the matter… It’s really important to have an inquiry into Boris Johnson’s own actions.”
  • On the PM’s wider behaviour: “It’s part of a pattern… It stands with the dodgy contracts, it stands with the appointments that have been made, it stands with the Greensill scandal, it stands with the whole Dyson effort.”
  • She added: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch, Sophy. If somebody puts thousands of pounds in your bank account to pay for decorations, if someone jets you over for a Caribbean holiday for free, they will want something back.”
  • Hodge called on the PM to “come clean”: “If there’s nothing in it, come clean and then we can move on. But at the moment he’s refusing to do that.”
  • On allegations surrounding the PM’s childcare: “The worry with this… is does this stand alone or is it the tip of an iceberg and are there other ways in which the funding of his rather lavish lifestyle has been dependent on individuals giving him cash, and what do they want in return?”
  • Asked why Labour is “failing to cut through” in the polls: “I don’t accept that we’re not cutting through… We’ve come out of the worst position and rebuilding trust with our voters is something that will take time.”
  • On the impact of the pandemic on the performance of Labour in the elections: “This is a very sort of surreal time in politics, we are all concentrating on the pandemic… People are concentrated on different issues.”
  • On the UK Labour leader: “Keir Starmer has done totally brilliantly. I did not vote for him in the leadership election but I’ve been very impressed by how he’s moved us forward… He’s starting to rebuild trust.”

Dominic Raab also appeared on the show, telling viewers that the Prime Minister has been “very clear” in relation to the row over the Downing Street flat refurbishment and insisting that he “followed all the relevant codes of conduct”.

The Foreign Secretary also said that he has told his Indian government counterpart that “we’ll do whatever we can, whatever they ask for”, adding that the UK is doing “everything that our Indian friends need in their hour of need”.

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