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Labour: PM is putting party consensus on EU before jobs

Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has said that the Prime Minister's comments on the EU, made on the BBC's Today programme, raise more questions than they answer:

The gap between his back benchers and our EU partners remains un-bridgeable.

It is little wonder that British business leaders like Richard Branson and Martin Sorrell, together with the Americans, the Germans and the Austrians, have all warned in the last week of the dangers of the UK sleepwalking towards exit from Europe.

At a time when the priority should be jobs and growth, the Prime Minister sadly seems willing to put vital UK investment at risk for the sake of trying to keep his party united.

– douglas alexander, shadow foreign secretary

Douglas Alexander: Labour has been 'entirely consistent'

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander has said Labour had been "entirely consistent" since July in arguing for a real-terms cut in EU spending.

He said: "The Labour Party was consistent and clear in July that we thought the right approach for Britain, in fact the right approach for Europe, was to go for a real-terms cut.

"We support Britain's future in Europe but we also support the reform of Europe," he added.


Douglas Alexander on Labour's foreign policy

On an Israeli-Palestinian settlement:

To continue to build settlements on other people’s land is wrong, and it is illegal. And so too is launching rockets into Israel ...

We will work with our international partners to see not only a secure Israel but a viable Palestinian State.

On Iran:

A pre-emptive strike now by Israel cannot be justified, but nor can Iran’s evasion and hate-filled rhetoric ...

Britain must continue to work for a peaceful resolution to this crisis with our international partners led by Cathy Ashton.

On "winning back trust":

The long shadow of the last difficult decade has taught us many lessons. We have to win back trust. I understand that ...

But for Britain to now try and retreat from the world would be as foolish as it would be futile ...

It’s not imperial delusions that give you strength in the modern world, it’s the capacity to cooperate and collaborate.

Alexander challenges PM to 'break your silence on Afghanistan'

Douglas Alexander is accusing the Prime Minister of avoiding talking about Afghanistan. He told the Labour conference:

David Cameron, the self same Prime Minister who told us in May 2010 that Afghanistan would be his number one foreign policy priority, has now not made a single speech on Afghanistan to the House of Commons in 14 months.

Conference, that is shameful. From this platform I say today to David Cameron, break your silence on Afghanistan.

– Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary

Shadow Foreign Secretary quotes runner Mo Farah

Great Britain's Mo Farah entertains the crowd as he takes part in the Olympic and Paralympic Athletes Parade Credit: Stephen Pond/PA Wire

Douglas Alexander has started his speech by quoting the British distance runner and double gold-medalist Mo Farah.

When asked by a reporter whether he would have preferred to compete in the Olympics for his native Somalia, Mr Farah replied: "Listen mate, this my country. This is where I come from and when I put on a Great Britain vest I am proud. I am very proud."


David Cameron's 'weakness' outlined

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander has branded David Cameron's possibility of an EU referendum as a sign of 'weakness'.

He said:

"These latest statements about the possibility of an EU referendum reveal more about David Cameron's present weakness than his future plans.

"Ruling out a referendum one day and then ruling it back in again the next looks like a Prime Minister spending more time managing his party than leading the country.

"David Cameron seems to be more concerned with securing headlines about Europe than securing vital reforms within Europe."

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