Fracking, trident and the economy: Round up from day two of the Labour Party conference


CommonSpace reporter David Thomson gives a round up of what has been happening on the second day of the Labour party conference

TODAY’S INSTALLMENT (26 September) of the roundup of the Labour Party conference includes speeches from the shadow foreign secretary, shadow defence secretary, shadow energy minister and shadow trade union minister.

Shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry MP

Emily Thornberry kicked off proceedings for the second day of Labour Party conference with a session on international affairs. Thornberry told delegates that a Labour government would make up any shortfall in structural funding into the 2020s.

Thornberry said: “So thanks to John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, we can guarantee that a future Labour government will make up any shortfall in structural funding into the 2020s and beyond.

“And the same will go for the funding of peace and reconciliation projects in Northern Ireland.

“The communities who stand to lose out most from Brexit must be looked after first. And that is what we shall do.”

Shadow defence secretary, Clive Lewis MP

Continuing in the session on international issues, the shadow defence secretary told the conference that he is sceptical about Trident renewal, even though the party has the policy to support Trident.

Lewis said: “I also want to be clear that our party’s policy is also that we all share the ambition of a nuclear-free world.

“So we will take steps to make that ambition a reality.”

Lewis added: “So we will make our long-standing multilateralism reality, not rhetoric.

“We will be working with international organisations, including the United Nations General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, within the spirit and the letter of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

Shadow energy minister, Barry Gardiner MP

To finish off the session on international affairs, Gardner announced that a future Labour government would ban fracking.

Gardner told delegates: “You see, there are technical problems with fracking. And they give rise to real environmental dangers. But technical problems can be overcome. So on their own, they’re not a good enough reason to ban fracking.

“The real reason to ban fracking is that it locks us into an energy infrastructure that is based on fossil fuels long after our country needs to have moved to clean energy.”

Shadow trade union minister, Ian Lavery MP

There was a session on the economy – including Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s speech – in which the shadow trade union minister told the conference that Workplace 2020 would be the biggest discussion with working people and employers in a generation.

Lavery said: “We want to hear from working people and employers about how we can promote good practice and raise standards.

“I will be travelling around the UK – to our nations, to our regions, to local communities – because I want to hear from as diverse a group of people as possible.

“I want to work with employees and employers to create an environment that is fair to all.”

Read more – Dugdale urges Sturgeon to focus on "bread and butter issues"

Picture courtesy of David Thomson

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