The Speaker
Friday, 24 May 2024 – 23:20

All change at Westminster: previewing a week in politics

Parliament reopens this week following a radical shakeup in the wake of the general election. The reopening will see 365 Conservative MPs heading to the house but just 203 MPs from Labour – their lowest number since 1935.

The priorities of the new government will be set out by a Queen’s Speech, with the prime minister’s agenda likely to focus on funding for new police officers, education and the NHS. With such a significant majority, it is likely that Boris Johnson will find it far easier than predecessors David Cameron and Theresa May to pass his agenda.

The most remarkable shift that will be seen in the new parliament is the northern towns – former Labour heartlands that switched their allegiance to the Conservatives. Young and vibrant new Brexit supporting Conservative MPs have shifted the electoral map beyond recognition, resulting in perhaps the biggest political realignment in modern history.

The next week will also see the emergence of the candidates most likely to challenge for the leadership of the Labour Party, with Jeremy Corbyn set to resign.

The leadership contest is expected to kick off on 7th January, but it is likely that we will start to see some candidates manoeuvring towards a run for the leadership. The current frontrunners appear to be from Corbyn’s wing of the party, with Rebecca Long-Bailey the early favourite. Angela Rayner, Jess Phillips and Kier Starmer are also amongst those likely to challenge.

Finally, this week is also likely to see the tabling of Brexit legislation in an attempt to ‘Get Brexit Done’ by the new 31st January deadline. The new parliament has a heavy Brexit leaning and it is unlikely that the deal will once again falter.

The prime minister has not yet announced when the legislation will be tabled, but given the size of the government’s majority, it is unlikely that they will wait long and we could see the beginning of the end of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement impasse this week.


Photo: Boris Johnson smiling on Saturday sitting of Parliament on 19 October | Credit: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/ Stephen Pike under licence (CC BY 3.0)

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