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Farage: Labour 'dragged unwillingly' to EU vote U-turn

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said that the Labour Party has been Labour "dragged unwillingly" to in to a U-turn over an EU referendum.

Farage: Labour 'dragged unwillingly' to EU vote. Credit: Farage: Labour 'dragged unwillingly' to EU vote.

Mr Farage said: "The Labour Party has been dragged, unwillingly, to accept the inevitable that there will be an in/out EU referendum in the next two years. But Harman and Benn's position shows quite how little they have learned from their defeat and how much more they have to learn about the European Union debate in the UK.

. "They grudgingly accept that it is the will of the British people to have a say on their future, but they make it clear that they will campaign for in, whatever the result of Mr Cameron's negotiations."

Harman: EU referendum is a 'huge question' for Britain

Acting Labour leader has outlined her argument explaining why her party would now back an EU in out referendum.

Harman: EU referendum is a 'huge question' for Britain. Credit: PA

Harriet Harman, speaking on the Andrew Marr show, said: "There is a huge question. Is our future as 60 million people outside of Europe on our own, or are we going to be one of those big building blocks."

It is not inconsistent to say that we recognise that our future is better in Europe than outside of Europe but we want to see Europe change, not only for this country, but because all around Europe they have got to address the question of people feeling like Europe is too centralised, insufficiently accountable and insufficiently in touch.

– Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman

"We would be on our own. If we were outside of Europe we would be a small country, outside those big continental building blocks around the globe," Ms Harman added, pointing out that "timing"was key, and the vote must not be at the same time as other important elections.

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Sturgeon: SNP will block scrapping Human Rights Act

MPs for the Scottish National Party (SNP) will join forces with other opposition parties in an effort to block Tory plans to scrap the Human Rights Act, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Nicola Sturgeon has said the SNP will work to keep the Human Rights Act. Credit: Andrew Milligan / PA Wire/PA Images

The First Minister claimed the Conservatives' agenda "lacks legitimacy in Scotland", where David Cameron's party has just a single MP.

The SNP's priority is ending austerity, and the damage it does to people's lives - the Tory government's priority is ending human rights, and the opportunities for fairness they offer ordinary men and women.

For example, it was the Human Rights Act that enabled people to go to court in this country to challenge the grossly unfair bedroom tax.

To scrap the Human Rights Act would be an appallingly retrograde step.

– Nicola Sturgeon

The Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights, Alex Neil, has already written written to UK Justice Secretary Michael Gove "to reiterate the Scottish Government's opposition to the repeal of the Human Rights Act".

Ms Sturgeon said she also raised the matter directly with the Prime Minister when they met and Holyrood could refuse consent to abolish the Act.

She added: "SNP MPs will work across party lines at Westminster to defeat the Tory government on the Human Rights Act - and the SNP Government will invite the Scottish Parliament to refuse legislative consent to scrap it, given the strong devolved dimension.

"This important issue illustrates how Holyrood working together with SNP MPs and others at Westminster can challenge a Tory agenda that lacks legitimacy in Scotland - and help the cause of progressive politics across the UK."

Cooper wants to put 'families at heart' of Labour party

Yvette Cooper has said the Labour party has to offer hope to families. Credit: Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire/PA Images

Labour leadership hopeful Yvette Cooper has said she will put measures to help families at the heart of her campaign to rebuild Labour after its election defeat.

The shadow home secretary said Labour had to "reach outwards" and "rebuild", winning back voters who deserted the party in favour of the Tories, Ukip and the SNP.

Ms Cooper believes she can smash the "glass ceiling" and become Labour's first permanent female leader, vowing to "shake up the system".

In an interview with The Sun on Sunday (£), mother-of-three Ms Cooper, whose husband and former shadow chancellor Ed Balls lost his Westminster seat in the general election, said Labour had to offer hope to families.

We need to put families at the heart of our politics. As a mum, I feel very strongly about that because my family, my kids are the most important thing in my life.

That has to be reflected in what we do. We have got to reach out and rebuild and that means winning back voters.

We've got to show practical things we can do to help families get on, to know their kids can get an apprenticeship, have a good start in life and go to university.

– Yvette Cooper

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John Prescott backs Andy Burnham for Labour leader

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has thrown his support behind Andy Burnham in the race to replace Ed Miliband as Labour leader and compared the former health secretary to former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Lord Prescott said he supports Andy Burnham's bid to become Labour leader. Credit: Stefan Rousseau / PA Archive/PA Images

Lord Prescott said Mr Burnham showed many of the "skills and qualities" demonstrated by Mr Blair.

In his Sunday Mirror column Lord Prescott said: "Before Tony became our leader, he spent 11 years as an MP. In that time he learned his brief, gained the -experience, handled the media and won the public's trust with an overwhelming landslide.

"I have seen a lot of those skills and -qualities in Andy Burnham during his 13 years as an MP. Many people talk about aspiration but Andy is a living example - a working class lad from Liverpool who went to a -comprehensive and got a place at Cambridge University."

He added: "Andy also has that one thing all leaders crave - the common touch. I've seen him in small groups and big meetings.

"People instantly warm to the guy. He's a family man who loves his football. He's not just faking it like Cameron to be popular...

"Tony was a winner. We now need someone who can earn the trust of the public and has an insatiable desire to help everyone get on in life."

Cooper: Labour 'have to face some hard truths'

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has admitted her party needs to "face some hard truths" if they want to become electable in future.

Yvette Cooper, Labour's shadow home secretary Credit: PA Wire

Writing in a blog for The Huffington Post, Cooper said: "Bluntly, not enough people trusted us with their future. Not enough people were convinced we could do the job.

"The mountain we now have to climb is high."

The Labour leadership contender also warned her party against swinging too far to the left or right in its bid to win back voters stating "that's no good for Labour, for Britain or for those who depend on progressive change. We can't fight and win by remaining a narrow party, we have to reach out."

Leslie questions 'secrecy' of BoE's EU exit assessment

Shadow chancellor Chris Leslie has raised questions over the 'secrecy' and 'concealment' surrounding the Bank of England's project looking at the economic risk to Britain if the country votes to leave the European Union

Chris Leslie accused the Conservatives of favouring the rich Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme Leslie said: "It's a very momentous decision that the country is facing, it's incredibly important for our place in the world and we have got to have the full information and analysis so that the British people can reach an informed decision.

"I don't think it's unreasonable to have an assessment of the consequences for jobs, trade and living standards, but why on earth so much secrecy and concealment?"

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