Politics latest: 'Biggest test of new government' facing health secretary - as Cameron attacked over 'greatest achievement' (2024)

Top news
  • Streeting meeting junior doctors in 'biggest test of new government'
  • Tamara Cohen analysis:Health secretary may only have weeks to do a deal
  • PM vows to give more power to mayors at Downing Street summit
  • Cameron attacked over 'greatest achievement' at conservative conference
  • Braverman under fire for 'disgusting' criticism of Progress Pride flag
  • Explained:The election of the Commons Speaker
  • Listen to Politics At Jack And Sam'sabove as you scroll - andtap hereto follow
  • Live reporting by Ben Bloch
Election fallout
  • Starmer's challenges:Tackling exhausted NHS|Looming chaos abroad|Defence to dominate early days|Small boats plan?|Rift with scientists needs healing
  • Read more from Sky News:What to expect from Labour's first 100 days|Who's who in Starmer's inner circle|A look back at life when Labour last won power|Find our other must-read election features
  • Results in full:What happened in every constituency


'Positive' meeting between Streeting and junior doctors - but more strikes not ruled out

We've just been hearing from Dr Laurence Robertson and Dr Vivek Trivedi, who chair the BMA union's junior doctors' committee.

They have just emerged from a meeting with the new health secretary, Wes Streeting, about resolving the strikes that have been ongoing for over 18 months.

Dr Trivedi told Sky News the meeting was "positive", adding: "We were pleased to be able to meet the secretary of state and his team so quickly after the general election - it signifies the urgency that they're placing on resolving this dispute."

Asked if they are confident they can resolve the dispute without further strike action, however, they refused to rule it out.

They replied: "We're confident that the meeting today was positive, and we've already agreed to meet again next week with the secretary of state to further discuss how we can progress."

One of the "really positive" parts of the meeting was that Mr Streeting asked about the "roadblocks" to resolving the dispute, which Dr Robertson said they had not been asked in the past.

One of the key demands of junior doctors is that pay is restored to 2008 levels, which would amount to a 35% rise, and Dr Reobertson said there was a "clear conversation about a timeframe and a journey" for reaching that.


'Like the first day at school': How parliament has prepared 300 rookie MPs for the job

The UK's newest MPs might have spent the last six weeks fighting for a place in parliament - but it can still be a shock to the system once they enter it, according to those familiar with the process.

That's why House of Commons staff have spent months preparing for their arrival, working on everything from buddy schemes to starter packs and photobooks to help them get to grips with the job.

This secret team of helpers is not messing about. In fact, the first contact parliament has with newly elected representatives is at the election count itself.

Read all about how new MPs are prepared for the job here:


Reform 'an existential threat' to Tories, says Braverman - as Rees-Mogg warns voters may not return

Former home secretary Suella Braverman spoke at the PopCon (Popular Conservatism) conference in central London where they are discussing what went wrong at the general election.

In a video message, the Tory MP said of the result: "It was challenging, it was gruelling, it was brutal."

She blamed the defeat on the party not having followed through on what they promised at the 2019 general election, and described Reform as an "existential threat to our party".

"It's no good denigrating Reform voters," she said.

"It's no good smearing the Reform Party. It's no good comparing Reform rallies to the rallies of Nuremberg. That's not going to work."

She said criticising Reform voters would be a "fundamental error", and her party had to "restore trust" with its members and the electorate.

Rees-Mogg: We can't assume Reform voters will come back

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, who lost his Somerset seat at the election, warned PopCon attendees the Tories "cannot just assume the pendulum will swing back" their way.

Describing the result - the worst in a generation for the Tories, who wound up with 121 seats - as "an alarm bell", he said they need to win over voters who switched to Reform "one way or another".


Children among more migrants brought ashore after crossing Channel

Downing Street warned yesterday of a "challenging" summer in the small boats crisis - and its assessment is ringing true.

Monday saw 65 people make the journey across the Channel in what was the first activity since Labour's election victory.

And we've just got pictures in of more migrants being brought ashore in Dover today, despite the overcast and rainy weather.

Several children were among them.

More than 13,600 migrants have arrived in the UK via the Channel this year and today's will be confirmed by Home Office data tomorrow.


Tamara Cohen analysis: Health secretary may only have weeks to do deal with junior doctors

As we've been reporting today, the new health secretary is holding talks with representatives of junior doctors at the British Medical Association.

Wes Streeting is hoping to end an industrial dispute that's been going on for almost two years, with several damaging walkouts that have seen patients' endure tens of thousands of cancelled appointments.

Our political correspondent Tamara Cohen says Mr Streeting has made resolving the dispute "his priority" and "pay is on the table" - but he's already facing a race against time.

'Crucial step' for NHS recovery

Junior doctors have been looking for a 35% pay rise, something Labour said during the election campaign was unaffordable.

But Tamara says the two sides only have "a matter of weeks" to find an agreement because junior doctors are due to have another ballot on strike action next month.

Their current mandate for strikes ends in September.

August's ballot, Tamara says, is seen by many observers of the NHS as a "crucial step" for its continued recovery from COVID.



The election of the Commons Speaker begins this afternoon - here's how it works

Parliament is back in action today and the first big order of business is electing the Commons Speaker.

MPs have to elect - or re-elect - their Speaker after every general election and the process remains full of pomp and ceremony (some might say antiquated procedure).

How does it work?

It gets under way with parliament's longest-serving MP, known as the Father of the House, leading his colleagues to the House of Lords.

This role is now taken by Sir Edward Leigh, a Tory first elected in 1983 (read more on him here).

Once in the Lords, the MPs will receive a message from the King asking them nicely to elect a Speaker.

They head back to the Commons to get started.

Who can stand?

Any of the elected MPs can run to be Speaker, but we're expecting the previous parliament's one to get the gig.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle was re-elected by his constituents in Chorley and has indicated he'll seek to become Speaker again.

If MPs approve a motion to put him in the job again, he'll become the Speaker-elect and his appointment will be rubber-stamped by royal commissioners later.

But in the unlikely event the motion is rejected, that's when other MPs can put themselves forward and enter a secret ballot to be held tomorrow afternoon.

And assuming Sir Lindsay is chosen?

Then he'll start swearing in this parliament's MPs this afternoon, starting with himself and Sir Edward, then the cabinet and shadow cabinet.

It'll resume tomorrow morning and is expected to continue through to Thursday too.

Sir Lindsay would also need some deputy Speakers - again, any MP can put themselves forward for this, and they're picked via a secret ballot.

As we reported in our last post, former Tory minister Caroline Nokes is among those who'll be going for it.


Former Tory minister to stand for Commons deputy speaker

MPs will meet for the first time to elect the new Commons speaker this afternoon, and Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who has held the job since 2019, is expected to be re-elected.

But that is not the only job that needs filling - three deputy speakers are to be chosen as well, as the previous ones stood down at the election or were not re-elected as MPs.

As a result, new candidates will be nominated, and then elected by MPs in the coming weeks.

Tory MP Caroline Nokes will be one of the people putting themselves forward for election, it has been confirmed.

She has served as the MP forRomsey and Southampton North since 2010, was a government minister under Theresa May, and in the last parliament, she chaired the Women and Equalities Committee.

We expect the exact date of the election of the new deputy speakers to be confirmed by the speaker in the coming days.


It's lunchtime - which means it's time for a round-up of the main things you need to know from the Politics Hub.

The new Labour government has had a busy morning, and it could end up being quite the pivotal day for the future of the Tory party too…

  • Sir Keir Starmer has hosted regional mayors at Number 10 as he bids to start devolving more power to them;
  • The prime minister told the group - all made up of Labour figures other than Conservative Ben Houchen from the Tees Valley - he was a "great believer in the idea that those with skin in the game make better decisions";
  • Sir Keir has also held a cabinet meeting this morning, and it's been confirmed his government will ditch "levelling up" from the name of the housing and communities department.
  • Looking ahead, it's a big day for Health Secretary Wes Streeting as he meets junior doctors for the first time in the job;
  • He's vowed to have "a good go" at ending the ongoing strikes, with the BMA having demanded a 35% pay rise;
  • As for the prime minister, he'll be jumping on a plane a little later to head to Washington for this week's NATO summit.
  • Away from government business, the remaining Tory MPs are due to meet in parliament later to elect the chair of their backbench 1922 Committee, which runs the party's leadership contest;
  • But one of those who could be in the race, Suella Braverman, has come under serious fire this morning for "disgusting" comments about the Progress Pride flag at a right-wing conference in the US;
  • Reform UK's MPs have also arrived in parliament today, with party chairman Richard Tice vowing they would "have fun".

That's all for now - but stick with us for updates throughout the afternoon, including from a Popular Conservatism event in London and parliament's election of a new Speaker.

And look ahead to Sir Keir's trip to the US in Politics At Jack And Sam's:


Cameron's 'greatest achievement' comes under fire at right-wing PopCon conference

Just days after the Conservative Party's disastrous election defeat, the PopCon (Popular Conservatism) group is gathering in central London for a half-day conference about the future of conservatism.

One of the speakers, historian and TV presenter David Starkey, used his address a short while ago to attack ex-PM Lord Cameron describing legalising same-sex marriage as his greatest achievement.

Pointing to the 2010 general election, when the Tories went into government with the Lib Dems, he said: "The catastrophe begins there.

"What's a Conservative prime minister doing when he says his greatest achievement is gay marriage?

"It's deranged."

David Starkey's chequered past

Starkey has previously been accused of racism, and resigned hishonorary fellowship atFitzwilliam College, Cambridge in 2020 after sayingslavery was not genocide because there are "so many damn blacks" still around.

The comments were labelled "racist" by former chancellor Sajid Javid, and Starkey later apologised.

He also provoked fury last year for saying Rishi Sunak is "not fully grounded in our culture", The Guardian reported.

Tory MP and likely leadership contender Suella Braverman is due to speak at the conference shortly, as is former MP Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Liz Truss, who lost her seat last week, was a prominent speaker at a previous conference.

Politics latest: 'Biggest test of new government' facing health secretary - as Cameron attacked over 'greatest achievement' (2024)
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