Politics latest: Streeting meeting doctors in 'biggest test of new government'; anger at 'disgusting' Braverman comments on Progress flag (2024)

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  • Streeting to meet junior doctors for first time in 'biggest test of new government'
  • PM tells mayors at Downing Street meeting he will 'set up a council for regions and nations'
  • Braverman under fire for 'disgusting' criticism of Progress Pride flag
  • Listen to Politics at Jack and Sam'sabove as you scroll - andtap hereto follow wherever you get your podcasts
  • Live reporting by Ben Bloch
Election fallout
  • Starmer's challenges:Tackling exhausted NHS|Looming chaos abroad|Defence to dominate early days|Small boats plan?|Rift with scientists needs healing
  • Read more from Sky News:What to expect from Labour's first 100 days|Who's who in Starmer's inner circle|A look back at life when Labour last won power|Find our other must-read election features
  • Results in full:What happened in every constituency

09:27:18

Choosing new Tory leader will take 'probably months'

The remaining Conservative MPs are due to meet in parliament later to elect the chair of their backbench group, the 1922 committee, which decides the process and timeframe for the party's leadership contest.

Conservative shadow minister Andrew Griffith told Sky News that the process of electing a new leader will take "probably months, not years".

"But equally, I don't think we're going into a conclave this afternoon and waiting for white smoke to emerge. I think we've got the ability to take that time.

"It's also really important to me that we involve the membership of the Conservative Party properly."

He said with only 121 Tory MPs, it is "important that we have a very inclusive process that does speak to all of the membership".

09:20:24

Tories to win back power by 'earning trust' and 'being a credible opposition'

It was confirmed yesterday that Lord Cameron had resigned from the top Tory team and would not serve as the shadow foreign secretary during the leadership contest.

The party chairman, Richard Holden, also resigned from his post following the devastating election defeat.

Asked about those resignations, shadow minister Andrew Griffith said that colleague will "rotate in, rotate out a little bit", and that different people will be on the front bench at different times.

"I think all of us in the now much smaller, sadly to say, Conservative parliamentary party, are very serious now about the work of being a good official opposition.

"That work starts today as parliament resumes. We all go back into the chamber, sit on those green benches."

Working back to being in government, he said, is done by "earning trust, by being a credible opposition".

Pushed by Sky's Kay Burley, he admitted that losing the two men from the top team "didn't help", but he added: "We lost a lot of other colleagues, sadly, because they lost their seats last week. And people will make their own decisions."

But he also said it is "logical" that Lord Cameron has decided not to serve in the opposition because he does not have a seat in the House of Commons.

Mr Griffith also argued that the Tories can turn it round in one term, pointing to Labour having done exactly that.

09:11:40

'No magic silver bullet' to fix housing crisis, says senior Tory

We heard a short while ago from the shadow science secretary, Andrew Griffith, and we started with Labour's pledge to build 1.5m new homes over the next parliament.

The Conservative government never met their target, which was effectively the same, and Mr Griffith said it is "hard" to do.

"There are many factorsinvolved in how you get people the houses they need, the houses they want, satisfy their aspiration to own their own home, which is a core Conservative principle.

"It's not just about the supply of homes. It's also about access to finance, letting people, be able to get a mortgage."

He went on to say that "here aren't any magic silver bullet solutions", and said Labour in power in Wales and London "failed to build the homes that the nation needs".

Mr Griffith blamed the London mayor in particular for not building enough homes in London.

He also criticised Labour's plans to build on green belt land, saying: "What we definitely shouldn't be doing is fighting our precious nature and building on some of the last remaining genuinely greenfield land."

08:59:36

'Levelling up slogan' to be removed from department name, minister confirms

Government minister Jim McMahon was asked this morning if "levelling up" would remain in the name of the department in which he is a minister after reports yesterday that it would not.

He told BBC Breakfast: "No, it was firmly tippexed out of the department yesterday, so we are now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

"Why that is important for me is levelling up was only ever a slogan, it wasn't a thing that people felt in their communities."

After adding that it was also important to ensure local government was included in the department's name, he said: "It is a reshaping of the department. It is a refocus, but frankly it is also just grown up politics."

08:25:01

Politics at Jack and Sam's: Starmer flies to Washington

Sky News' deputy political editor Sam Coates and Politico's Jack Blanchard are back in your podcast feeds with their guide to the day ahead in politics.

On the day new MPs are sworn in, Jack and Sam talk about the prime minister's meeting with the metro mayors and his trip to NATO. They also discuss how Wes Streeting is approaching the junior doctor strikes.

👉Tap here to follow Politics at Jack and Sam's wherever you get your podcasts👈

Email Jack and Sam: jackandsam@sky.uk

08:16:37

PM tells mayors he will 'set up a council for regions and nations'

Sir Keir Starmer is meeting with metro mayors of all parties in Downing Street at the moment, alongside his deputy, Angela Rayner.

The PM told them at the start of the meeting: "Having this meeting four days after I was invited by the King to form a government is a real statement of intent."

He continued: "I'm a great believer in devolution, I'm a great believer in the idea that those with skin in the game – those that know their communities – make much better decisions than people sitting in Westminster and Whitehall.

"We will do regular meetings, probably around the country, because I think it'd be good to do it in different areas."

Sir Keir also said the government will "set up a council for regions and nations" that they will all attend.

Watch some of the start of the meeting here:

08:11:56

Minister 'not convinced' HS2 could be reinstated

Speaking to Sky News yesterday, senior minister Darren Jones refused to rule out reinstating the northern leg of HS2 that was cancelled by Rishi Sunak last year.

We asked levelling up minister Jim McMahon this morning if he wants to see it reinstated, he replied: "I want to see substantial investment in transport for this country."

Pushed by Sky's Kay Burley, he replied: "I'm not convinced with what we've been left that HS2 in the way that it was framed is possible.

"There will be reviews taking place about transport infrastructure. I won't pre-empt any of those reviews, but I will be making the case for the north of England to get its fair share of transport investment."

07:54:09

Is the new government going to build on the green belt?

We've just been speaking with Jim McMahon, a levelling up minister, and we start by asking if the government plans on building on green sites, which is controversial for many.

He replied: "We're determined to build 1.5 million new homes, but we are also very clear that there are so many sites [where there is] completely untapped potential in many urban constituencies.

"These are brownfield sites, these are very dirty industrial sites that just haven't been developed over decades where local people would be absolutely keen to see those developed.

"And so, we want to make sure that is first."

The minister also wanted to be clear what is meant by the green belt.

He said they don't want to build on the "rolling hills" of Britain, but some land classified as green belt "actually is a grey belt, and local people would say it's an eyesore that they want to see developed" for the housing that is needed.

"This is a national emergency, and we're absolutely keen and determined to get on with it," he added.

Asked how quickly the government would reach their goal of 1.5 million new homes, Mr McMahon said it would happen over the course of this parliament, and "the foundational work is taking place now".

Challenged on how they would meet the target when previous governments failed, he said they needed to "unlock sites that currently have planning permission that aren't being developed", and build on brownfield sites.

07:41:01

Braverman under fire for 'disgusting' criticism of Progress Pride flag

The former home secretary, Suella Braverman, is in Washington DC, and she spoke overnight (UK time) at the National Conservatism conference.

The MP for Fareham and Waterlooville discussed her time in government, and sharply criticised the Progress Pride flag, which she said is flown to "show how liberal and progressive we are".

The Progress Pride flag is a redesign of the original pride flag, and it incorporates elements of both that and the trans pride flag to focus on inclusion and diversity within the LGBT+ community.

Mrs Braverman said: "The Progress flag says to me one monstrous thing: that I was a member of a government that presided over the mutilation of children in our hospitals and from our schools."

The likely Tory leadership contender also gave her take on the party's disastrous election defeat last week.

She told the conference: "We won a great majority in 2019 promising to do what the people wanted.

"We were going to use our Brexit freedoms and stop waves of illegal migrants. We were going to cut taxes. We were going to stop the lunatic woke virus. We did none of this."

She continued: "Our problem is us. Our problem is that the liberal Conservatives who trashed the Tory party think it was everyone's fault but their own.

"My party governed as liberals and we were defeated as liberals. But seemingly, as ever, it is Conservatives who are to blame."

Conservative broadcaster Iain Dale was among many who expressed fury at Mrs Braverman's comments about the Progress Pride flag.He labelled her speech "disgusting".

He wrote on X: "And she seriously thinks she has a chance of leading the Conservative Party.

"Not while I have a breath left in my body. Moderate Conservatives need to stand up and be counted. This will not stand."

Ben Bradshaw, former Labour MP for Exeter, said she "reveals the true face of the Tory right with her bitter fury about LGBT people".

"We exist. Get over it," he added.

07:10:31

Mayors arrive in Downing Street for first meeting with new PM

Regional mayors have started to arrive in Downing Street ahead of their meeting with the new prime minister.

Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy PM, Angela Rayner, will host mayors of both partiesas they start implementing their plans to devolve more power, and (they hope) trigger growth across the UK.

The meeting is due to last around an hour, before the PM hosts the second cabinet meeting of his premiership.

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, told journalists as he arrived that he is "looking forward to meeting" Sir Keir.

Our political correspondent Mhari Aurorais in Downing Street and will be speaking to the mayors following the meeting.

We will bring you their take on what the new PM said once it concludes.

Politics latest: Streeting meeting doctors in 'biggest test of new government'; anger at 'disgusting' Braverman comments on Progress flag (2024)
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