Tory claims on strengthening the border through Brexit deal groundless – Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, responding to comments by Priti Patel on Brexit and border security, said:

“Tory claims to be strengthening the border through their sell-out
Brexit deal are groundless. By quitting the entire system of EU security
and justice, we will no longer have real-time access to a host of
critical databases or access to the European Arrest Warrant.

“This will undermine the ability of our police and border agencies to
apprehend terrorists and organised criminals, and could even make us a
safe haven for fugitives fleeing the justice systems in the EU.”

Boris Johnson lied about the Tories’ child poverty record – Ian Lavery

Boris Johnson lies about Tory record as over four million children will spend Christmas in poverty

Boris Johnson has lied about the Conservatives’ record on child
poverty, telling the Andrew Marr Show that “there are 400,000 fewer
children in poverty than there were in 2010”, despite figures showing an
increase of half a million.

In 2016 the Conservatives abolished the Child Poverty Act and
scrapped targets to reduce poverty. 4.1 million children – that’s 30% of
all children – now live in poverty in the United Kingdom.

A report by the Resolution Foundation found that Boris Johnson’s own
manifesto, which preserves the coalition’s benefit cuts, risks child
poverty rates rising to a 60-year high – to 5.2 million.

The Trussell Trust expects foodbank demand this Christmas to be even
higher than last year, when it provided 186,185 three-day emergency food
parcels, with almost 80,000 of those going to children.

Child poverty reduced dramatically under the last Labour government, which lifted around 900,000 children out of poverty.

The next Labour government will provide:

  • free school meals for all primary schoolchildren and a Right to Food
    to end the scandal of children and their families relying on foodbanks
  • an end to in-work poverty, abolishing zero-hours contracts and the
    public-sector pay freeze, and introducing a real living wage of at least
    £10 an hour
  • the expansion of free childcare and the opening of 1,000 new Sure Start centres
  • reforms to social security, scrapping Universal Credit, the Two-Child Limit and the Benefit Cap
  • a million homes over a decade to tackle the housing crisis
  • proper investment in local public services after a decade of Tory neglect

Ian Lavery, Labour Party Chair, said:

“Boris Johnson claimed the number of children living in poverty in our country has gone down, when the exact opposite is true.

“He cannot seem to open his mouth without telling a lie. You cannot trust a word he says.

“Labour will end foodbank Britain and lift children and families out
of poverty. We’ll end in-work poverty, scrap Universal Credit and the
immoral two-child limit, we’ll bring in a Real Living Wage of at​least
£10 an hour for all workers 16 and over, end zero-hours contracts and
strengthen trade union rights.

“This is the real change our country needs.”

Labour announces plan to make England one of the most cycling and walking friendly places in the world

The next Labour government will make England one of the most cycling and walking friendly places in the world.

Labour is announcing ambitious plans for a new ‘Healthy Streets
Programme’ to make our towns and cities cleaner and greener to transform
the environment, travel opportunities and quality of life across the

Labour’s ‘Healthy Streets’ programme will be modelled on the best
towns in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. Like Amsterdam where 67%
of trips are by foot or bike. Only 29% of trips are made by foot or bike
in the UK.

Labour will deliver the boost to cycling and walking needed to
urgently tackle the climate emergency, the local air pollution crisis
and the epidemic of ill-health caused by a lack of investment in walking
and cycling. Labour’s investment in walking and cycling will, for the
first time, make active travel a genuine option for the many, not just
the brave.

Labour will:

Double cycling journeys by adults and children.

Build 5000km of cycleways.

Create safe cycling and walking routes to 10,000 primary schools.

Deliver universal affordable access to bicycles and grants for e-bike purchase.

Provide cycle training for all primary school children and their
parents, plus extend training to secondary schools and make it available
for all adults.

According to the Royal College of Physicians, 40,000 deaths a year
are attributable to air pollution so reducing car emissions will have a
positive public health effect.

Andy McDonald, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said:

“Walking and cycling are essential forms of transport, but have been neglected by nine years of Tory Britain.

“Making more of our everyday trips by walking and cycling is crucial
to reducing transport emissions and tackling the climate emergency.

“We could cut up to one third of carbon emissions from car journeys
if we had the same quality of segregated cycle infrastructure and
cycling culture as the Dutch, and simultaneously we would cut the
obesity and diabetes crisis that is threatening to overwhelm the NHS.

“Labour’s plans will make England one the best countries in the world for walking and cycling.”

No energy white paper – Rebecca Long Bailey responds

Rebecca Long Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Business and Energy Secretary, responding to the publication of several consultation documents rather than a long-awaited energy white paper, said:

“The publication of a slew of consultation documents, in place of a
coherent white paper, is evidence that the Conservatives are failing in
one of the central duties of government: keeping the lights on in a way
that is climate friendly and affordable.

“After waiting months for an energy white paper, and after almost ten
years of Conservative rule, you would expect answers rather than


Notes to editors

It has been reported that the Treasury is blocking the energy white paper:

Serious questions for Hancock to answer: Ashworth responds to green paper slipped out by government

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, responding to the publication of the government’s ill health prevention green paper, said:

“There are serious questions for Matt Hancock to answer on why he has
slipped this important green paper out at this time. It looks like he
is trying to bury bad news and that he buckled under pressure from Boris
Johnson and the corporate lobbyists running his campaign.

“With advances in life expectancy stalling, infant mortality rates
worsening and health inequalities widening, this green paper is hugely

“Proposals to extend the sugar tax to milkshakes have been shelved
again and an expected levy on tobacco firms to fund smoking cessation
services appear to have been kicked into the long grass.

“The Tories have imposed £800 million worth of cuts to public local
health services and there is no indication these cuts will be reversed.

“Sadly this green paper is a missed opportunity, raises disturbing
questions about the role of lobbyists in watering it down,  and isn’t
worth the paper it’s written on. Only Labour will prioritise health
inequalities and fully fund public health services.”


Notes to editors

The government uploaded its green paper Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s today