Rachel reeves

Why is Rachel Reeves so proud of working at the Bank of England? 

We don’t know much about what taxes she will impose. Nor do we have many clues as to how she will boost growth, or find the money to improve public services. Still, not to worry. It turns out that we can, at least according to her feed on X, trust the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves to ‘run the economy’ for a very simple reason. She used to work at the Bank of England, and apparently they know about that kind of stuff over there. There is just one problem. In reality the Bank is not as brilliant as Reeves seems to think it is – and it is questionable, to

Why the fuss over The Spectator’s sale?

This diary is late. Two months late. The columnists who missed my Evening Standard deadlines often had elaborate excuses. Mine is that I’ve been involved in working out who is going to own this magazine. We’ve seen some oddities in this particular drama. Those vehemently opposed to government interference in a free press suddenly calling for government laws to regulate press ownership. Columns from advocates of free trade and open investment in every industry except, it turns out, their own. I don’t doubt some are motivated solely by high principles; but it’s worth asking the question of others: do their high principles happen to accord with their view of who

What does Rachel Reeves stand for?

As the world discovered when she was caught lifting other people’s work for her book on women in economics, Rachel Reeves is not the most original of thinkers. But she has political talents. She has cultivated her image as an uninspiring technocrat in order to present herself as someone who will not spring surprises or take risks as chancellor. She thinks the state is inefficient and taxes are too high. She believes in ‘securonomics’, which sounds like a pleasing contrast to years of Tory policies. It is easy to preach fiscal discipline, but in office Labour would find it very difficult to contain spending Polls show that voters now think

Rachel Reeves rapped over interests

Oh dear. Following the spring statement, Labour have been keen to make political capital in recent days, touting their credentials as responsible guardians of the nation’s finances. Not for them, the financial mismanagement and sleaze of Boris Johnson’s Tories: Labour have been reborn as the party of fiscal probity. So it must have been with some dismay that shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves last month found herself being investigated by the parliamentary commissioner for standards over her entries in the register of members’ interests. Now the commissioner, Kathryn Stone, has concluded her report into the MP for Leeds West. And it looks like that Stone may well be a reader of Steerpike’s columns

Is Labour ready to become the party of business?

While the Tories limp from one scandal to the next, an opportunity has opened up for Labour when it comes to courting business. Although it’s unlikely many voters elected Boris Johnson into office because they trusted his moral compass they did at least think he would deliver on his promise of sunlit uplands. But two years and a pandemic later, government spending as a percentage of national income is set to top 45 per cent, we’ve yet to ignite a bonfire of EU regulations, inflation has reached 5.4 per cent (and still rising) and the cost of living crisis is rapidly worsening. Voters are starting to question whether, with the

The flaw in Labour’s economic attacks

Labour avidly disagrees with the Tories’ plan to fill budget gaps by hiking National Insurance. So what would they do differently? This was one of the many tasks Rachel Reeves had today as the shadow chancellor delivered her speech at Labour party conference. Reeves not only had to set out an alternative tax-and-spend policy but also take aim at the financial decisions made by Boris Johnson’s government. Did Reeves succeed? No doubt her job was made much easier over the weekend as an energy crisis, which the government should have seen coming, continued to splash across the front pages, exacerbated by fuel shortages at the pumps brought on by a lack of

Labour’s disastrous switch to economic nationalism

The government will ‘Buy British’ whenever possible. A new law would force every public body to publish the percentage of supplies bought from domestic suppliers. And Gareth Southgate will be appointed as the country’s new management tsar, tasked with turning every worker into a winner. Okay, I admit I made that last one up. The rest, however, were among the blizzard of policy announcements from Labour’s shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, over the weekend. Less than three months into her new role, she, along with Sir Keir Starmer, has clearly decided to shift Labour economic policy towards tub-thumbing economic nationalism. But hold on. Is that really a good idea? Sure, it

Sunday shows round-up: Face masks to become ‘personal choice’ after 19 July, says Robert Jenrick

Robert Jenrick – We will have to ‘learn to live with the virus’ The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick was the government’s chief spokesman today as England edges ever closer towards the planned relaxation of Covid restrictions on 19 July. Jenrick continued to make positive noises about this date, telling Trevor Phillips that data being examined by the Prime Minister was looking promising – and suggesting that another postponement of ‘Freedom Day’ was highly unlikely. However, Jenrick’s cautious comments did not rule out the return of restrictions in the winter, should cases continue to rise: RJ: It does seem as if we can now move forward… to a much more permissive

Rachel Reeves can easily make life difficult for Rishi Sunak

There is one thing to be said for Anneliese Dodds: as shadow chancellor, she set the bar very low. Virtually invisible, with few ideas, and a manner designed to send even political obsessives to sleep, her successor Rachel Reeves won’t have to do much to look like an immediate improvement. A wet tea towel would have more impact. And yet if Reeves wants to make a real impression, there is one move she should make, even though it would require some courage. She should focus on attacking the government from the liberal, pro-consumer right rather than the left – because that’s where the space is. After a disastrous set of

Labour’s trio of lobbying Lords

Labour has been making much of the issue of lobbying since the Greensill scandal broke last month, with Rachel Reeves calling for a ‘proper’ investigation ‘to rein in the lobbyists and lift standards in this great democracy.’ But attention has now turned to the opposition’s own frontbenchers– particularly in the House of Lords where both Charlie Falconer and Sue Hayman have been revealed as having ties to lobbying firms. Falconer is a partner at US law company Gibson Dunn which offers ‘political lobbying’ advice in the UK while Hayman is a board member of London outfit Grayling. Now Steerpike can reveal a third frontbencher on the red benches moonlighting as

Sunday shows round-up: Cameron’s behaviour ‘is acceptable’, says Environment Secretary

George Eustice – David Cameron’s behaviour ‘is acceptable’ Both Andrew Marr and Sophy Ridge were joined this morning by the Environment Secretary George Eustice – and much of their conversations focused on the recent lobbying debacle sparked by the former Prime Minister’s texts to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Cameron was attempting to secure support loans on behalf of the financial services firm Greensill Capital, but was unsuccessful and the business filed for insolvency in March. Marr questioned Eustice over whether the current lobbying rules were too soft and ineffectual: AM: Do you think that what David Cameron has done is acceptable? GE: …Well, it is acceptable because [it was] within

The Brexit charlatans are getting away with it

Opponents of demagogues from Donald Trump to Nigel Farage have suffered from a huge political disadvantage. They were either politicians who were or had been in power, and had to take responsibility for all the failures and compromises power brings as inevitably as blisters on weary feet. Or they were voters, who thought that mainstream politicians were preferable to the leaders of the far right and left. Demagogues could dismiss them as establishment lackeys, Blairites, liberal elitists, Republicans in name only, and so on. And the dismissals could work. For how many wised-up 21st century voters wants to think him or herself as some establishment drone, some dupe of a

The Spectator summer party, in pictures | 6 July 2016

In recent weeks, Westminster politicians have found themselves compared to the characters of House of Cards and Game of Thrones over their post-referendum antics. Happily, parliamentarians were able to put such differences aside on Wednesday night as they took a well-deserved break from work at The Spectator summer party. As Labour’s Rachel Reeves and Liz Kendall caught up with Liz Truss, Laurence Fox — the Lewis actor — put on a passionate display for the cameras with his male companion for the evening. Meanwhile with a Tory leadership contest underway, Theresa May made sure to do the rounds and rally support for her campaign at the champagne-fuelled bash. Her efforts did not go unrewarded, with Fox confiding to

Watch: Richard Burgon leaves Rachel Reeves unimpressed at PMQs

Although the EU referendum is supposed to be an issue which transcends party politics, the memo is yet to be received by Richard Burgon. Labour’s blunder-prone shadow City minister managed to bother those on both sides of the House today thanks to his question on the EU. RB: If the British people vote to leave the European union, will the Prime Minister resign — yes or no? DC: No "No" says @David_Cameron when asked by @RichardBurgon about resigning if the #EUref sees the UK vote to leave the EU https://t.co/j0ucznLHAH — BBC Daily Politics and Sunday Politics (@daily_politics) March 9, 2016 Given that Labour official backing the Remain camp, it’s hard to see

John Prescott caught in live TV gaffe: who is Jamie Reed?

With Jeremy Corbyn announced as the new leader of the Labour party, shadow health minister Jamie Reed immediately resigned from the shadow cabinet. However, it seems the party aren’t too down hearted by the news. In fact Labour heavyweight John Prescott doesn’t even know who the Labour MP for Copeland is. Speaking on BBC News — seemingly unaware he was live — Prescott admitted he did not know who the former shadow health minister was. When asked by Jane Hill, what he made of Jamie Reed already standing down, Prescott replied that he didn’t know who he was: ‘Who is Jamie Reed? Is he in our party?’ Watch @johnprescott: Who’s Jamie

Why has Rachel Reeves tried to blame the OBR for Ed Miliband’s job predictions?

Who is to blame for Ed Miliband getting the job projections so embarrassingly wrong? Famously, he used to go about advocating his ratio of doom: that there would be one private sector job lost for every state sector job shed by the coalition. Given that George Osborne intended to shed half a million government jobs, Miliband’s maths predicted a million jobs lost. Instead there were two million created – with 5 jobs created for every 1 shed by the government. His employment spokeswoman, Rachel Reeves, was challenged about this today in the welfare debate on BBC Two’s Daily Politics. She replied: ‘We were quoting numbers from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility… So the Office for Budget Responsibility got

Men dominate professional chess thanks to history not ‘hardwiring’ in their brains

British chess Grandmaster Nigel Short has form when it comes to explosive statements. Competing in a tournament in France some years ago as a junior player, he was asked during an interview ‘what do you hate most in life?’ His answer – ‘the French’ – failed to win over his audience. Short’s latest foray into contentious self-expression came with his intervention into the age-old debate about the differences between the male and female brain. According to Short’s comments, the female brain fails in the logic department, hence girls will never be able to match boys over the chessboard. He is reported to have said that we should ‘gratefully accept’ that men are ‘hardwired’

Ed speaks some human

When Ed Miliband ran for the Labour leadership in 2010, his supporters boasted that he spoke human. Tonight, in a question time session with a group of young people broadcast on BBC3, Miliband showed flashes of his ability to connect with an audience. But, overall, it was a patchy performance. Miliband was very good on some subjects and dealt neatly with some left-field questions. However, he still doesn’t have the right answer to the question of whether he would do a deal with the SNP after the election in the event of a hung parliament. He dismissed the ideas as ‘a piece of nonsense from the Tories’. But, in contrast

Rachel Reeves goes for tribal politics over hard questioning on food banks

Most people went into Work and Pensions Questions expecting Iain Duncan Smith to be in a tetchy fame of mind following this morning’s report on food banks. As a matter of fact, the Work and Pensions Secretary was very, very keen to tell us as often as he possibly could how ‘seriously’ he was taking that report. And the Opposition, which claims to care a lot more about these matters, completely failed to make productive use of its time grilling him. Some Tory ministers were worried that an impending Labour reshuffle at some point this term might see Rachel Reeves moved on to their patch, as she’s deemed very good

Why the Tories can’t really criticise Rachel Reeves on debt

Rachel Reeves’ interview on BBC Daily Politics may have been excruciating at times (below), but was it really the ‘car crash’ that the Tories are today claiming? Matthew Hancock is crowing that she pointed out the conditions necessary for reducing debt. She said:- ‘We are planning to get the national debt down, which means you have to be running a surplus to be able to do that. If you are going to have national debt falling you have to have a surplus overall… To get debt falling you have to have a surplus on overall spending.’  Whether wittingly or not, Reeves went further than Ed Balls. She said she wants a