The Andrew Marr Show
During the paper review, Tory MP Anna Soubry nailed her colours to the mast about the future of her party, describing Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson as “a remarkable woman and I hope very much one day will be a remarkable Tory leader”.
Liam Fox repeated his conversion to a two-year post-Brexit transitional period this morning.
The International Trade Secretary had previously talked of such an arrangement lasting a few months, but now says an extra 24 months before the UK is finally free of Brussels would be little more than a “rounding error” after having waited 40 years to get out.
However, Fox would not want to see the UK still in a transitional arrangement at the time of the 2022 General Election.
Marr tried to pin Jeremy Corbyn down on Brexit today, and the Labour leader said as the UK is leaving the EU it has to leave the Single Market - something which the Lib Dems called a “lie” (there’s a full write-up here).
On historic student debt, Corbyn said he never made a commitment to write off the money that those who have graduated owe the Treasury. He admitted that when he promised to “deal with it” during an interview with the NME, he didn’t know exactly how much money would need to be written off. A full write-up is here.
Reflecting on the BBC pay revelations, Corbyn said the broadcaster needs to look “very hard at itself” in order to address the “astronomical” pay gap. He repeated his pledge of a 20:1 pay ratio in public sector organisations.
Corbyn called for a gender pay audit in all companies, and for more to be done to tackle how women’s careers stall when they take time out to start a family.
Sophy Ridge on Sunday
Niall Paterson stepped into Sophy Ridge’s shoes today, and grilled Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner over Brexit. Gardiner seemed to be more honest than Corbyn on the reason why Labour supports leaving the Single Market, arguing such a move is a natural political consequence of the Brexit referendum result.
Gardiner was asked if Tom Watson should remain as Labour’s Deputy Leader as rumours circulate of a potential ousting. Gardiner said there was “no vacancy” at present - hardly a ringing endorsement.
In a pre-record, Equalities Minister Justine Greening explained why the Government was going to make it easier for people to officially change their gender.
On BBC pay, Greening said what was revealed shows why it was right for the Government to force the broadcaster to reveal what its top staff earn.
On gay weddings in churches, Greening said it’s important the church “keeps up” and is “part of a modern country”.
Lib Dem’s new leader Vince Cable said the centre ground of British politics has been vacated, and that was where his party needs to be.
Cable continued his party’s previous stance of supporting a referendum on the Brexit deal.
Cable revealed he has been talking to MPs from other parties about how to water down the Government’s Brexit plans.
“Yes, members of the Shadow Cabinet. And Conservatives – mainly backbenchers because I’ve only just come back into Parliament.
“I think a lot of them are very, very unhappy. They’re not quite sure what to do about it. I think 50 Labour MPs rebelled a couple of weeks ago – that was quite brave of them, but I think they’re going to have to stick at that – and a lot more are in the same position. They are being intimidated. They are being told to toe the line or else.
“There are a lot of Conservatives and, perhaps even more, there are businesspeople who are deeply, deeply unhappy. And I suspect that before long a lot of the Conservatives will see this ending in disaster are going to resurface.
“And I want to talk to them. It’s not a narrow party issue, this, there is a very broad movement now beginning to coalesce.”
Jess Phillips and Jacob Rees-Mogg teamed up again to review the past few months of politics. Rees-Mogg revealed he was pleased the public rejected the sloganeering of the Tory campaign, while Phillips ate a slice of humble pie over Corbyn.
Tory veteran Ken Clarke appeared on BBC Radio 5Live, and said a challenge to Theresa May’s leadership would be a “disaster” for his party.
He argued there was no “obvious successor” to May, and said if Downing Street got its act together the Prime Minister could last another two years.
“For people who do not like Theresa May, which is not me, they’re doomed to be led by Theresa May for the next two or three years and they’ll get even more disasters, the Conservative party, if the two or three years are not reasonably successful. We need to go back to economic growth, we need to concentrate on the key problems.”
With the Sunday Shows over for the summer, this round-up will obviously be taking a break. Hopefully you’ve found it useful, and please do sign up to my Brexit Briefing delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday afternoon.