Labour shame: Corbyn without any senior Shadow Cabinet minister to face Gove – ‘Dire!’

The party put forward Paul Blomfield, who is not even among the first 31 members of the Shadow Cabinet, according to the Labour Party’s website.  Political Correspondent at ITV, Paul Brand, tweeted: “No disrespect to Paul Blomfield whatsoever, but does illustrate the dire state of limbo the Labour Party is in that on the day the government announces its negotiating stance with the EU there isn’t a shadow cabinet member (i.e. Keir Starmer) available to give Gove both barrels.

“Keir Starmer’s team say he had ‘prior commitments’ today, so asked Paul Blomfield to stand in.”

Mr Brand mocked Mr Starmer’s excuse of the Labour leadership contest, as he said “of course Keir Starmer will be busy with the leadership contest. Which has another five weeks to run”.

Mr Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, has been a Shadow Minister for Exiting the EU since October 2016. However he is not listed among any of the 31 most-senior Shadow Cabinet members by Labour itself.

Today, Boris Johnson warned he will walk away from trade talks with the EU in June if there is no “broad outline” of a deal.

The Government said they will not accept any alignment with EU laws as the EU is demanding.

The European Union has demanded the UK continues to allow fleets from inside the bloc access to British waters in order to strike a post-Brexit free trade deal.

Talks are set to begin on Monday, but the Government has warned it “will not negotiate any arrangements in which the UK does not have control of its own laws and political life”.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Michael Gove warned: “We want the best possible trading relationship with the EU, but in a pursuit of a deal, we will not trade away our sovereignty.

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“We respect the EU’s sovereignty, autonomy and distinctive legal order and we expect them to respect ours.

“We will not accept nor agree to any obligations where our laws are aligned with the EU or the EU’s institutions, including the Court of Justice.”

Mr Johnson has vowed to get a deal with the EU by the end of the transition period, December 31 2020.

The general election in December 2019 saw the Labour Party lose 59 seats.

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It was the party’s worst election result since 1935 and saw its vote share fall by eight points.

The Tories snatched thousands of votes from people who normally voted for the Labour Party.

Mr Corbyn said he took responsibilty for the result, describing the result as a “body blow for everyone who so desperately needs real change in our country”.

According to YouGov, Sir Keir Starmer is on course to win the leadership contest in the first round.

The latest poll has found that Sir Keir will get 53 per cent of the vote ahead of Rebecca Long-Bailey on 31 per cent and Lisa Nandy on 16 per cent.

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