The five things you need to know on Friday October 30, 2015...
This morning's Waugh Zone is edited by Ned Simons. Paul is away but is back on Monday, you'll be pleased to know.
1) CORBYN'S GOOD WEEK
Last night saw nearly 20 Conservative MPs rebel against the government and demand George Osborne soften the impact of his tax credit cuts on the working poor - capping off a not particularly fun week for the chancellor.
It has by contrast, off the back of a solid PMQs performance by Jeremy Corbyn, been a rare good week for Labour. Writing for The Huffington Post today, Ken Livingstone celebrates Osborne's defeats over tax credits. "The Corbyn-led Labour Party made a political choice to resist the temptation to put constitutional practice ahead of the interests of millions of working people," he says.
The former London mayor adds: "Corbyn’s leadership is interesting not just for how he has given expression to the need for a strong opposition in parliament. The changes go far wider. The balance sheet is growing. Labour is now unafraid to connect with the mass movements and civil society that form our country’s wider opposition to the Conservatives."
Corbyn supporters are in a good mood. Speaking on BBC Question Time last night, Billy Bragg claimed Labour MPs sceptical about the party’s new leader are “squirming in their seats” at the rise of the “grass roots". Addressing the audience member sceptical about Labour’s electoral chances in Scotland, Bragg said: “To sit up there and tell me what’s going to happen to Jeremy Corbyn, mate, I think you’ve got another thing coming.”
There is also change over on the right of the party. Progress, the Blairite think-tank, has a new chair. Alison McGovern. Gordon Brown's former parliamentary private secretary takes over from John Woodcock.
2) CONDI VS TRUMP
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has hit back at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for suggesting former President George W. Bush was to blame for 9/11.
Rice said on Thursday: "I think Americans are not guilty for 9/11, I think President Bush is not guilty for 9/11." She made the comments when The Huffington Post asked for her response to Trump's remarks during a Q&A following a speech she gave at the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank in London.
In an Oct. 16 appearance on Bloomberg TV Trump pointed a finger at Bush for failing to prevent the terrorist attacks.
3) NETFLIX AND CHILCOT
The two million word report into the Iraq War should be ready for publication in June or July 2016. Approximately seven lifetimes since the Inquiry was set up. Sir John Chilcot revealed the timetable in a letter send to David Cameron which was published yesterday. The inquiry's chairman said the report would be published once it had been vetted. But Cameron has told Sir John he is "disappointed" at the time table and urged him to "expedite" the final stages.
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4) REFUGEE CRISIS
Yvette Cooper has written to David Cameron urging him to offer "immediate" humanitarian aid to the Greek island of Lesbos at the epi-centre of Europe's refugee crisis after witnessing shocking scenes first-hand, my colleague Graeme Demianyk reports. You can read the former Labour leadership candidate's letter in full on The Huffington Post.
Her call comes as MPs raised doubts over whether Britain is prepared for the arrival of thousands of Syrian refugees. The chair of the home affairs committee, Keith Vaz, said today "at no point in the recent past has the UK come near to resettling 4,000 refugees in one year". The government has pledged to resettle 20,000 people before the end of this parliament.
5) COMMONS PEOPLE LIKE YOU
Yesterday we launched the first of our 'Commons People' HuffPost UK Politics podcast. So if you want to know what it sounds like when Owen Bennett, Graeme and I are locked in a small room together when Paul is away then click here. This week featuring special guest appearances including Labour MP Jess Phillips. Warning: there is a quiz about VAT.
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