Friday, 1 July 2022 – 15:41

No parliament, no problem: Previewing a week in politics

Prorogation hits the courts

Now well into Parliament’s prorogation, we are certainly in no danger of politics taking a back seat. After the case seeking to declare Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament illegal made its way up to the Supreme Court, many were expecting a quick verdict. That is what it looks like we will get, with the ruling set to be announced online early in the coming week.

The case was originally heard in a Scottish court, before being appealed to the supreme court and it is likely that the ruling will be at least partially upheld. Without wanting to be muddied by politics, the court is unlikely to make a judgement on whether Boris Johnson lied to the Queen, but are likely to state that although unprecedented, the prorogation is not illegal; meaning that parliament would not be forced back to work earlier than the PM had intended.

Labour party conference

Before the conference even convened in Brighton, Labour was hitting the headlines for planning to vote on abolishing the role of deputy leader Tom Watson. Watson has been much maligned by Corbyn and his allies, for his more Blairite approach to governing the Labour party – often openly criticising the party leader.

Strangely it was Corbyn who ‘swooped’ in and saved Watson, option instead for a review into the position of the deputy leader. It is not clear whether the reason for rescuing Watson was an attempt to appear above petty politics and unite the party behind him; or simply a coup gone wrong, with too few votes to actually pass the rule change.

The conference truly gets underway at the beginning of this week and it is likely to be dominated by the parties ‘muddled’ Brexit position and the divide between the left and centre factions of the party. The war with Watson is likely just the warm-up, with clashes likely over the parties position to remain neutral in a future referendum, and on the divide between momentum and the more centre-ground members of the party.

Conservative Party Conference

No sooner than Labour party closes does the Conservative Party kick off their annual knees-up – an event that is likely to be little more than an ego tour for the new leader. Boris’ campaign for leadership was built on a promise to breathe new light and energy into the party, and if there is any time for him to inject some adrenaline into the party’s ageing membership then its in Manchester.

The conference will kick off on Sunday with much of his new-look cabinet being sent out to fringe events to meet and revitalise all those who turn up. New policies are likely to be put on a show to be tested by the membership, to see just where the party go from here.

More interestingly though will be the 21 expelled MP’s, most of whom will still be going to the conference. Former prisons minister Rory Stewart is set to partake in several fringe events, whilst Dominic Grieve – perhaps the most maligned of the rebels – is set to host his own event on preventing no deal. It is likely that just as Labour’s week will be defined by factional wars, the Conservative party conference will be underlined by trying to cover up the void with a veil of top-down unification.

Thomas Cook

It is such a busy week that we have squeezed in an extra story for you. The potential collapse of Thomas Cook is likely to dominate much of the news beyond the party conferences. The government are facing increasing pressure to rescue the company from a £200 million black hole, that will likely see the company through the next few months.

If Thomas Cook is unable to find these funds then it is likely that the government will be out of pocket by closer to £600 million, with atoll protection meaning the government will be forced to pick up the tab for any passengers that a Thomas Cook collapse would leave stranded abroad.

For more on this story, see our Managing Director Nathan’s analysis of the ongoing crisis at the travel company

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