Politics latest: Streeting will have 'a good go' at ending strikes; Reform MPs to 'have fun' in parliament (2024)

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  • Streeting to meet junior doctors for first time in 'biggest test of new government'|Tells journalists he'll have 'a good go' at solving strikes
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What is the NATO summit and why is Starmer going?

Just days into his premiership, Sir Keir Starmer is leaving the country.

To be precise, he is heading to the US for a meeting with NATO leaders - his first foreign summit as PM.

Below, our political reporter Jennifer Scottexplains why he is taking the trip and what might happen when he is there:


Mayors 'accept' that northern leg of HS2 is 'gone'

Metro mayors emerged from their meeting with Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner a short while ago, and they said it was "great to be back" in Downing Street after a 14-year absence.

We asked Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham if they discussed potentially reviving the northern leg of HS2, which has not been ruled out by ministers speaking to Sky News in the last two days.

Mr Burnham replied: "Well, I've been talking to ministers about it. It's not about going back to HS2 though. We accept that has gone.

"What it is about doing is, having an alternative to the West Coast Main Line when those HS2 trains start running between London and Birmingham.

"The idea that they can go onto the existing West Coast mainline - well, honestly, that just won't work. So there has to be an alternative plan to create the capacity."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it's "a joke" that HS2 trains from Birmingham to London won't end at Euston either.

"So what we hope is once these ministers have got a chance to get their feet under the table, they work with people like Andy, [Liverpool city mayor] Steve Rotherham, [West Yorkshire mayor] Tracy Brabin and myself and others to come up with a solution that works for them."


Reform MPs arrive at parliament

Nigel Farage got elected to parliament on his eight attempt at this general election - alongside four others from Reform UK.

The five arrived at parliament this morning ahead of the first meeting of new MPs in the Commons this afternoon.

They paused by the St Stephens Entrance for photographs, but did not make a statement.

One photographer shouted, "Have fun", to which party chairman Richard Tice replied: "We will."


Streeting on solving doctors' strikes: 'I'll give it a good go'

Sir Keir Starmer is currently holding the second cabinet meeting of his premiership, and ministers have been seen arriving in the last half hour (see images below).

Health Secretary Wes Streeting was among the arrivals, and he was asked if he will reach a pay agreement with junior doctors to end industrial action.

He replied: "I'm gonna give it a good go."

He is due to hold a first meeting with the BMA junior doctors' committee later today.


Choosing new Tory leader will take 'probably months'

The remaining Conservative MPs are due to meet in parliament later to elect the chair of their backbench group, the 1922 committee, which decides the process and timeframe for the party's leadership contest.

Conservative shadow minister Andrew Griffith told Sky News that the process of electing a new leader will take "probably months, not years".

"But equally, I don't think we're going into a conclave this afternoon and waiting for white smoke to emerge. I think we've got the ability to take that time.

"It's also really important to me that we involve the membership of the Conservative Party properly."

He said with only 121 Tory MPs, it is "important that we have a very inclusive process that does speak to all of the membership".


Tories to win back power by 'earning trust' and 'being a credible opposition'

It was confirmed yesterday that Lord Cameron had resigned from the top Tory team and would not serve as the shadow foreign secretary during the leadership contest.

The party chairman, Richard Holden, also resigned from his post following the devastating election defeat.

Asked about those resignations, shadow minister Andrew Griffith said that colleague will "rotate in, rotate out a little bit", and that different people will be on the front bench at different times.

"I think all of us in the now much smaller, sadly to say, Conservative parliamentary party, are very serious now about the work of being a good official opposition.

"That work starts today as parliament resumes. We all go back into the chamber, sit on those green benches."

Working back to being in government, he said, is done by "earning trust, by being a credible opposition".

Pushed by Sky's Kay Burley, he admitted that losing the two men from the top team "didn't help", but he added: "We lost a lot of other colleagues, sadly, because they lost their seats last week. And people will make their own decisions."

But he also said it is "logical" that Lord Cameron has decided not to serve in the opposition because he does not have a seat in the House of Commons.

Mr Griffith also argued that the Tories can turn it round in one term, pointing to Labour having done exactly that.


'No magic silver bullet' to fix housing crisis, says senior Tory

We heard a short while ago from the shadow science secretary, Andrew Griffith, and we started with Labour's pledge to build 1.5m new homes over the next parliament.

The Conservative government never met their target, which was effectively the same, and Mr Griffith said it is "hard" to do.

"There are many factorsinvolved in how you get people the houses they need, the houses they want, satisfy their aspiration to own their own home, which is a core Conservative principle.

"It's not just about the supply of homes. It's also about access to finance, letting people, be able to get a mortgage."

He went on to say that "here aren't any magic silver bullet solutions", and said Labour in power in Wales and London "failed to build the homes that the nation needs".

Mr Griffith blamed the London mayor in particular for not building enough homes in London.

He also criticised Labour's plans to build on green belt land, saying: "What we definitely shouldn't be doing is fighting our precious nature and building on some of the last remaining genuinely greenfield land."


'Levelling up slogan' to be removed from department name, minister confirms

Government minister Jim McMahon was asked this morning if "levelling up" would remain in the name of the department in which he is a minister after reports yesterday that it would not.

He told BBC Breakfast: "No, it was firmly tippexed out of the department yesterday, so we are now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

"Why that is important for me is levelling up was only ever a slogan, it wasn't a thing that people felt in their communities."

After adding that it was also important to ensure local government was included in the department's name, he said: "It is a reshaping of the department. It is a refocus, but frankly it is also just grown up politics."


Politics at Jack and Sam's: Starmer flies to Washington

Sky News' deputy political editor Sam Coates and Politico's Jack Blanchard are back in your podcast feeds with their guide to the day ahead in politics.

On the day new MPs are sworn in, Jack and Sam talk about the prime minister's meeting with the metro mayors and his trip to NATO. They also discuss how Wes Streeting is approaching the junior doctor strikes.

👉Tap here to follow Politics at Jack and Sam's wherever you get your podcasts👈

Email Jack and Sam: jackandsam@sky.uk


PM tells mayors he will 'set up a council for regions and nations'

Sir Keir Starmer is meeting with metro mayors of all parties in Downing Street at the moment, alongside his deputy, Angela Rayner.

The PM told them at the start of the meeting: "Having this meeting four days after I was invited by the King to form a government is a real statement of intent."

He continued: "I'm a great believer in devolution, I'm a great believer in the idea that those with skin in the game – those that know their communities – make much better decisions than people sitting in Westminster and Whitehall.

"We will do regular meetings, probably around the country, because I think it'd be good to do it in different areas."

Sir Keir also said the government will "set up a council for regions and nations" that they will all attend.

Watch some of the start of the meeting here:

Politics latest: Streeting will have 'a good go' at ending strikes; Reform MPs to 'have fun' in parliament (2024)
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