Labour to commit to big increase in charging points for electric cars

Policy is part of a green industrial revolution promised by the party if elected

Labour will build a national network of charging points for electric vehicles at a cost of £3.6bn to kickstart its planned “green industrial revolution” if elected, the party will say on Monday.

The rollout of rapid-charging stations on motorways and urban streets would be enough for more than 21m cars in the next decade, and, the party said, would remove one of the biggest obstacles to electric car ownership and create 3,000 skilled jobs for electricians and engineers.

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Boris Johnson plays down chance of Brexit breakthrough at UN

Despite a series of planned meetings with European leaders, the PM says there are ‘still difficulties’ over an agreement

Boris Johnson has cautioned against speculation he could come significantly closer to a revised Brexit deal during a series of talks with European leaders at a UN summit this week, saying “a New York breakthrough” did not seem to be on the cards.

The prime minister, who is scheduled to meet the European Council president, Donald Tusk, and a string of leaders of EU nations over the next two days at the UN general assembly (UNGA), insisted that his overall “cautiously optimistic” stance of securing a deal remained unchanged.

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Boris Johnson unveils £1.2bn for climate and endangered species

Announcement comes as PM heads to New York for meeting of UN general assembly

Boris Johnson has unveiled a combined £1.2bn in funding for new efforts to tackle the climate emergency and protect endangered species as he prepares to attend the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in New York.

While at the UN general assembly, the prime minister will use a speech to announce £1bn in aid money for UK inventors to seek funding for high-tech initiatives connected to areas such as renewable energy and lower levels of pollutants.

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Corbyn on collision course with Labour members over Brexit

Leader in conference bid to stop party campaigning for remain at general election

Jeremy Corbyn has risked the wrath of Labour’s membership after he moved to stop the party campaigning to remain in the EU at a general election.

Before a crucial vote on Monday on whether it should explicitly back remain in any election, Labour’s autumn conference descended into factional rows with rebellious MPs privately threatening another leadership challenge.

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Labour delegates vote for plan that would abolish private schools

Policy would remove charitable status and redistribute properties to state sector

Labour delegates have endorsed radical plans that would abolish private schools by removing their charitable status and redistributing their endowments, investments and properties to the state sector.

Conference delegates approved a motion that said such a commitment should be included in the party’s next general election manifesto. The motion added universities would be limited to admitting the same proportion of private school students as in the wider population, currently 7%.

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Diane Abbott urges resigned Corbyn adviser to reconsider

Shadow home secretary calls Andrew Fisher ‘an asset’ and close friend of Labour leader

Diane Abbott has urged a key adviser to Jeremy Corbyn who resigned citing a lack of “professionalism, competence and human decency” in the Labour leader’s team to reconsider his decision.

In a leaked resignation memo to colleagues, Andrew Fisher, who masterminded the party’s 2017 manifesto, said he no longer had faith that Labour would be successful and accused the leadership team of making a “blizzard of lies and excuses”.

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Forget Brexit. The new battle is over Jeremy Corbyn’s successor | Zoe Williams

The bid to remove Tom Watson was about more than the deputy leader’s support for the remain cause

Labour is a remain party,” Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, said on Saturday night to a room in Brighton that exploded. Emily Thornberry arrived at the People’s Vote rally wearing a blue top with a necklace of golden stars, calling for Labour to become the party of remain. Keir Starmer, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Clive Lewis, Tom Watson: all of the high-ranking members of the shadow cabinet are openly remain. Some 90% of constituency Labour party motions on Brexit call for the party to campaign unambiguously for remain. It has the features of a showdown not between the leadership and the members but between a very tight inner circle – which no longer even includes McDonnell, the shadow chancellor – and everybody else. But atmospherically, it feels more like an ultimatum delivered in a rocky relationship. “Do this or I’ll leave” is never the starting point of the row, or even its apex. By the time that person says it, and means it, the balance of power has already shifted.

Related: The failed Watson plot exposes what really scares Corbyn and his coterie | Andrew Rawnsley

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The Guardian view on Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour: it should be a broad church | Editorial

The Labour leader ought to be true to his ideological roots and must not attempt to force members to back his Brexit policy on the back of trade union votes

The seeds of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership victory of 2015 were sown more than a decade earlier on the floor of a Labour party conference in Brighton. Then the Labour leader was Tony Blair and he had, in 2003, taken Britain into the Iraq war with predictable and disastrous consequences. By 2004, when Iraq was descending into chaos, Labour members were furious. Mr Blair only avoided an embarrassing defeat in Brighton that year when trade union power helped see off a conference motion calling for the early withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. Mr Blair won the vote, but he lost the argument with members. Mr Corbyn’s campaign was built on this disaffection. Key to Mr Corbyn’s appeal as Labour leader was that he promised not to let members down again.

Yet this year Mr Corbyn is accused of doing just that over Brexit. Instead of Labour going into an election with a clear pro-remain position, something that the majority of ordinary members want, Mr Corbyn – with the backing of the big trade unions – will, it seems, bulldozer his “fudge” policy through. His plan seeks to persuade voters that compromise is needed to reconcile warring Brexit tribes. This is a brave and not unwelcome move in our polarised times. Mr Corbyn’s policy is for a Labour government to renegotiate a Brexit deal and put it to a plebiscitary vote within six months of winning an election. There would be a special conference to determine Labour’s position in that referendum. On Sunday Mr Corbyn refused to say how he would campaign in it. This approach recognises that the country is divided and that give and take might be required to bring people together. It allows those Labour MPs in leave constituencies to campaign in the next election as leavers, and those in remain constituencies to campaign as remainers.

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The British economy creates lots of jobs – not lots of pay rises | Philip Inman

The UK has created many part-time or self-employed roles, with new full-time posts going to older workers, mainly in and around London

Jobs, jobs, and more jobs. That is Britain’s economic success story of the last 10 years.

While public services crumble and the welfare budget continues to be squeezed, when planning for a no-deal Brexit has displaced almost all other activities in Whitehall, ministers can always point to the UK economy as a well-oiled jobs machine.

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Corbyn has committed to a people’s vote, so why do remainers still attack him? | Owen Jones

A Labour election victory is the only viable route to ending the UK’s polarising culture war over Brexit

Essential to the success of any struggle is to recognise when you have won. It is less than a year and a half since the People’s Vote campaign was founded. It has organised mass demonstrations, rallies, petitions; its grassroots have leafleted, chanted, sung and often rather pointedly made themselves heard on social media. Their demand was straightforward: any Brexit deal negotiated with the EU should be subject to a confirmatory referendum, with remain as the other option. And that campaign has achieved a dramatic success, compelling Labour to implement its policy if it wins an election. Yet where are the triumphant declarations or the rightly triumphalist victory parties?

Labour’s leadership is savaged for inconsistency and zigzagging incomprehensibly, as though it is unique or politically bankrupt in its attempt to manage drastically shifting sands and an ever more polarising culture war. For those of us who campaigned for remain in the referendum, there was a particular problem: there was no mass movement on our side. The official remain campaign was a dire, corporate, status quo outfit that did not understand, and was institutionally incapable of relating to, a deep well of disillusionment in British society.

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Corbyn suggests UK could be better off after Brexit if deal is right

Labour leader risks infuriating activists and MPs as he plays down splits at party conference

Jeremy Corbyn has suggested a Labour Brexit deal could be preferable to remaining in the European Union, putting himself on a collision course with activists and MPs pushing for the party to campaign for remain.

In an appearance on the Andrew Marr show before a contentious debate on Brexit at the party’s conference in Brighton, Corbyn sought to play down Labour divisions after an aborted attempt to ditch Tom Watson’s job and the resignation of a key policy aide, Andrew Fisher.

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What is it about Britain that has produced such a litany of failed leaders? | Will Hutton

Today’s Tory and Labour politicians lack the will of their predecessors to reach out to others across the social divide

Britain faces a crisis of political leadership. Neither the right nor the left of politics is capable of throwing up a figure who can bind their respective coalitions together and sustain parliamentary majorities best to navigate Brexit or Remain and their aftermath.

Faith in parliamentary democracy is plummeting; belief in strongman politics is rising; the view that there is an elite, of which the political class is a member, intent only on feathering its own nest and pursuing its own sectarian interests, is widespread.

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The Gove and Cameron rift: Why making up is so very hard to do

Like many families, they fell out over Brexit. But airing details of the split in public is not how to heal it

Wait, as the young people say on the internet, until Sarah Vine finds out about rock bands. Last week the self-styled Westminster Wag sharpened her pencil to use her habitual method of communicating with mates, family and the wider world – her Daily Mail column – to lament the passing of her and husband Michael Gove’s decades-long friendship with Dave (as his intimates, the experienced scoop-master revealed, call him) and Samantha Cameron.

The wider world was not immediately overpowered by sympathy, having somewhat gnarlier matters to worry about. In brief: ever so sorry the New Year’s Eve fondue party’s off, but we’re a bit tied up stockpiling beans and Googling insulin supplies. Be right back to hear more about fun times at Chequers once we’ve filled in our applications for settled status. Be brave!

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The failed Watson plot exposes what really scares Corbyn and his coterie | Andrew Rawnsley

Instead of focusing on winning the election, the Corbynite left are desperate to tighten their grip on the party for fear it will be broken by another defeat

On the eve of the Labour conference, a poll was published that gave Jeremy Corbyn a negative personal approval rating of minus 60 points – yes, you read that right, minus 60 points. These are depths of unpopularity never plumbed by any opposition leader in the more than 40 years that pollsters have been recording this figure. Even Michael Foot wasn’t that disliked by the British public in the run-up to Labour’s landslide defeat at the hands of Margaret Thatcher in 1983. To have a candidate for prime minister who is that repellent to the country is a problem for Labour, especially when it is facing a general election. To Mr Corbyn’s allies, the answer is obvious – the deputy’s head must roll.

The plot to oust Tom Watson by abolishing his post ought to be shocking and yet it is not that surprising to anyone who has been paying attention to the Labour party since it came under the control of Mr Corbyn and his friends.

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Rory Stewart: ‘If Boris Johnson gets a deal, my political career is over’

The former international development secretary warns of ‘more Trumpian type politics’

Rory Stewart’s career in politics will be over if Boris Johnson manages to secure a British exit from Europe next month, he has told a festival crowd.

The former international development secretary, who was among the 21 Conservative MPs to have the whip withdrawn after rebelling against the government, said: “I would resign. It would be the end of my political project.” Speaking to a packed crowd at the How The Light Gets In philosophy and music festival in London he added that he still regards the prime minister’s promise to deliver Brexit by 31 October as “somewhere between a fairy story and an untruth”.

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Labour has travelled a long way from the first Euro referendum to the third

Corbyn is claiming to emulate Harold Wilson in staying neutral over Brexit. But the reality of 40 years ago was very different

My friend Tom McGuinness, who will be known to many as the lead guitarist in Manfred Mann (now the Manfreds), recently spotted a most moving Churchill quote on a D-Day memorial in Normandy. “Men will be proud to say ‘I am a European’. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native country.”

Having at one stage early in the second world war proposed a union between Britain and France, the great man cooled on the idea. Later he called for a United States of Europe, but he was not in favour of our joining. Nor was Clement Attlee, Labour prime minister from 1945 to 1951. As for Attlee’s successor as Labour leader, Hugh Gaitskell, he was passionately against it, arguing that it would be an insult to “a thousand years of history”.

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Boris Johnson’s confrontation: don’t lose sight of the real story | Kenan Malik

The PM’s hospital encounter led to an online frenzy while the state of the NHS was forgotten

‘The problem with politicians and political activists is that they are trapped in their own little bubbles.” If there’s one complaint that defines our age, it’s the accusation that those involved in politics are too removed from “real” people. The trouble is, when political activists show that they have the same concerns as everybody else, the complaint gets turned on its head. “But that’s not a real person, that’s a political activist.”

So it was with the confrontation last week between Boris Johnson and Omar Salem, the father of a sick child at Whipps Cross university hospital in London. Much of the debate about the confrontation has been less about Johnson or the state of the NHS than about Salem being a Labour party activist.

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The Observer view on Labour’s lack of leadership over Brexit | Observer editorial

Voters will not be fooled by Corbyn’s foolish prevarication

Britain is gripped by political crisis. We have a prime minister bent on taking Britain out of the EU in just over a month, even if it means crashing out with no deal, with dreadful consequences for jobs and growth, for regional inequalities and for the union. Lacking any democratic mandate, Boris Johnson has shut down parliament for five weeks in an attempt to stop MPs from blocking him, a move whose legality the supreme court will rule on this week. Yet the Labour party is heading into its conference this weekend riven by splits over Brexit and sectarian attempts by Jeremy Corbyn’s allies to scrap the position of deputy leader.

It represents a breathtaking failure of leadership by Corbyn. Never has Britain been in such desperate need of a leader of the opposition who can take on a prime minister who appears prepared to ride roughshod over the rule of law and who has shown such rank disregard for our democratically elected representatives. Yet Labour seems determined to show voters that it, too, is a hopelessly divided party that cannot reach consensus on its internal party structures, let alone a clear position on Brexit or a vision for the country.

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For authoritarians, stifling the arts is of a piece with demonising minorities | Elif Shafak

As well as misogyny and homophobia, censorship is now a weapon for the popular right

Early this month, Brazil’s leading literary event, the Bienal do Livro Rio, found itself at the centre of the country’s culture wars when a comic book was ordered to be confiscated by the authorities. The book in question was Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, which in one scene showed two fully-clothed men kissing. The gay kiss so upset Rio’s mayor, Marcelo Crivella, who once called homosexuality “a terrible evil”, that he ordered the book to be removed by police in order “to protect children”.

Crivella, a former bishop, belongs to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, which is known for its statements that homosexuals and bisexuals are possessed by a female devil. Crivella has also argued that Hindus hold “unclean spirits” and Catholics are “demonic”. The evangelical organisation has hundreds of branches and is one of the major forces behind the electoral success of the country’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. The church’s founder, the billionaire Edir Macedo, by far Brazil’s richest pastor, according to Forbes magazine, claims that “prostitutes, homosexuals and bisexuals are always possessed by pombagiras”, Afro-Brazilian spirits associated with witchcraft.

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Key Labour aide ‘quits over lack of competence and decency in Corbyn’s team’

Adviser Andrew Fisher accuses leadership of ‘class war’ in resignation, as new row blows up over party’s position on Brexit

A key advisor to Jeremy Corbyn has reportedly quit saying the Labour leader cannot win the next general election.

In a significant blow to Corbyn, Andrew Fisher, who masterminded the party’s 2017 manifesto, said he no longer had faith that Labour would be successful.

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Angela Rayner: ‘I’m not OK with a school system that allows you to fail or be chucked out’

Labour MP tells shares her radical plans for education and explains how New Labour helped turn her life around

“My school, we affectionately nicknamed it Avonjail, but it was called Avondale, Avondale high school in Stockport. I left with no GCSEs above a D,” says Angela Rayner, with a school rebel kind of a grin, as we start our interview. Brought up on a Stockport housing estate by her mother, who could neither read nor write, Rayner was pregnant when she quit full-time education. “I kind of left at 15.”

Related: ‘We will scrap Ofsted’: Labour makes radical election pledge

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Lord Falconer: Labour’s decision to axe student group ‘legally invalid’

Shut down of Labour Students also breaks party rules, claims former cabinet minister

Former cabinet minister Lord Charlie Falconer has said the decision by Labour to axe its youth wing is legally invalid and breaks party rules as it emerged the group has been stripped of its voting rights at the party’s autumn conference.

The peer wrote to the party’s general secretary, Jennie Formby, to say the motion to shut it down passed on 17 September was based on false information and the group remains affiliated to the party.

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The language of Brexit ‘betrayal’ is poisoning politics | Jonathan Lis

A puritanical culture war has taken hold in which compromise is regarded as treason

For a few weeks it was all going well for the so-called remain alliance. As Boris Johnson strained every sinew to facilitate the most damaging Brexit possible, bitter opponents Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson teamed up with other party leaders to force, in law, a request to extend the process. They then agreed not to sanction an early election, against Corbyn’s natural instinct and arguably his party’s immediate interests. And then the truce broke.

No sooner had parliament been prorogued than the centre and left parties forgot they were meant to be working together against a near-existential threat. The old tribalism was resumed in earnest. Labour denounced the Liberal Democrats for their new “extreme” policy of seeking to revoke article 50 without a referendum. Swinson accused Corbyn of “betraying” remain voters for not personally committing to remain in a referendum.

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Even bankers are starting to think Corbyn might be the safe choice now | Andy Beckett

Faced with the Tories’ no-deal extremism and a glaring crisis in capitalism, the financial establishment is losing its fear of a radical Labour government

Beneath all the noise of Brexit, an unexpected question is being quietly asked in British politics as an election nears. Is a Jeremy Corbyn government actually the safe option? If you’ve been persuaded by the years of warnings from most of the media and countless politicians that such a government would be extreme, chaotic, authoritarian and doomed to failure, you may find this question ridiculous. If you’re still a Corbynista, then the notion of him as a stabilising premier for today’s turbulent Britain may be equally absurd. For many believers, the whole point of Corbynism has been the possibility that it might lead to “the most radical government in British history”, as the leftwing theorist and activist Jeremy Gilbert yearningly put it in 2017.

Yet people in unexpected places are starting to consider a Corbyn government less risky than the alternatives. Earlier this month, Oliver Harvey, an analyst for Deutsche Bank in the City of London, told the Telegraph: “We see the magnitude of economic damage caused by a no-deal Brexit as much higher than [that caused by] policies proposed in the last Labour manifesto.” In the same article, Christian Schulz, an analyst for Citibank, noted approvingly that “Labour has become more decisively pro-EU”, while “a fiscally profligate no-deal Conservative government” had become less “enticing”.

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