Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.It’s official: Labour is backing a fresh public vote on the UK’s relationship with the EU. Last night, Jeremy Corbyn told the parliamentary party that an official amendment will be tabled to the government’s neutral Brexit motion this week setting out his “five demands” for Brexit. This seeks to change our negotiating position, but will be rejected by the Commons. Then the leader revealed we had reached the final stage of Labour’s conference policy, the moment many have been fighting for and others have been dreading, as he said that “in line with our conference policy, we are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country”.Why now? There is speculation that the resignations of pro-EU MPs last week prompted the shift, but this is dismissed by those who argue that this plan has been in place since September. Whatever the reason, we know that Corbyn is still uneasy backing a ‘people’s vote’, as our dozens of Labour MPs including frontbenchers. Even Emily Thornberry, who was comfortable talking about the development on Newsnight, once said backing another referendum would give the impression that the political class thinks voters are stupid.These tensions are causing confusion. Thornberry is clear that supporting another referendum is conditional on Labour’s plan being rejected tomorrow; Keir Starmer says the ballot paper options would be ‘Remain’ or ‘credible deal’, with Labour campaigning to remain, and the party would continue to push for a referendum even if May’s deal passes. But the leadership wants to play it more by ear. Labour sources are briefing that firm decisions haven’t yet been made on such details, which prompted Tom Watson to tweet that press officers are undermining the “sovereignty” of shadow cabinet members.The bottom line is that ‘no deal’ has become more likely and Labour has felt a duty to use whatever it has in its arsenal to block that outcome. Both morally (to help prevent the economic fallout) and electorally (to ensure it can’t be blamed for it). And the other bottom line is that – while this position, combined with the Prime Minister moving closer towards Article 50 extension, may shift the Brexit Overton window, and have (as yet unknown) consequences at the next election – the votes just aren’t there.There is currently no Commons majority for a ‘people’s vote’. Only nine (former/current) Tories have backed the idea so far. John Mann, Kevin Barron and other Labour MPs in Leave seats have already made clear they’ll be voting against. Caroline Flint is calling for a free vote (no whip). Remember that 14 Labour MPs voted against the last Cooper amendment, while eight shadow ministers abstained, and another referendum is more contentious than a Brexit delay. People’s Vote campaigners will say, forget electoral calculations and stand up for what’s right. Those sympathetic to Corbyn’s hesitance will say, we might have just cost ourselves marginal Leave seats, and for what? The interesting question is whether this move will have a long-term impact on Labour’s policy towards membership of the EU, and there is no way of knowing the answer to that yet.Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Tom Watson /Labour /Jeremy Corbyn /Emily Thornberry /Keir Starmer /People’s Vote /
SAINTS fans and past players recently returned to Knowsley Road to reminisce about their memories and special times at the club.Filmed overlooking the pitch, loyal fans – some that have supported the club since 1939 – looked back over the years and shared their stories. And you can see them here. It wasn’t just supporters who were keen to tell their tales, past players Neil Holding, Peter Harvey and Dave Markey also spoke about their memories, giving an insight into what really happened behind the scenes at one of the most successful rugby league clubs in history. Avid Saints supporter and senior partner at Hattons Solicitors, Bruce Hatton commented: “I’ve been a loyal Saints supporter since I was a child. Looking back at my first trip to the club and the electric atmosphere standing on the terraces, it’s not hard to see how I became hooked to this exciting game. My own memories and experience of Saints and Knowsley Road meant that Saints were the natural club for us to sponsor when we opened our first Hattons office almost 10 years ago. “We have chosen to create these films along with digital media specialists Trusupporter, as a way of giving back a quality service to the supporters. Every fan has a tale to tell and I believe we have helped to bring these memories to life through our online Supporter Memories Hall of Fame. “As we all say goodbye to Knowsley Road we can fondly look back on many happy memories there and now it’s time to look forward to the new stadium where many new memories will be created.” The online Hall of Fame is an interactive website, showing pictures, stories and most importantly seven short films of four supporters and past players talking about their happiest, saddest and funniest memories as a Saints fan. There will be seven more fans films added in the New Year of four more supporters. Louise Cuming of Trusupporter said: “Fans have amazing stories – it is an absolute goldmine of surprise, intrigue, shock and warm-hearted human interest. For Hattons we have found a St Helens fan that slept with the Carnegie Rugby League Challenge Cup and the Engage Super League Trophy! We’ve called that film ‘three in a bed’ but who could have predicted that? It is just one of many unusual stories we have captured.” The online Supporter Memories Hall of Fame can be viewed by visiting www.hattonslaw.com/saintshalloffame and entering your email address to log in.
SAINTS will kick off their Super League campaign at home to Huddersfield Giants on Saturday February 2.The match will see Nathan Brown face his former employers at Langtree Park in a cracking start to the new season.Saints will then travel to Widnes (Sunday Feb 10) before returning home to take on Hull FC.The traditional Good Friday clash will be at the DW Stadium with the club welcoming Castleford on Easter Monday.Warrington will provide the opposition at the Magic Weekend and the home tie against Wigan will be a Monday night thriller on July 22.Super League Chief Executive Nigel Wood is predicting that a World Cup year will provide the catalyst for the greatest Super League season of all in 2013.Wood said: “Super League continued to build in stature in 2012 with record attendances and viewing figures and I am sure this exciting and action-packed fixture schedule will see even more people enjoy the experience of watching this extraordinary competition in 2013. We have a 14-team Super League in 2013 followed by a 14-nation Rugby League World Cup and that makes for the perfect formula for success. “The chance to feature in the most successful Rugby League World Cup of all time at the end of the year is guaranteed to bring out the best in every Super League player and I share the view held by tens of thousands of fans that the big kick off cannot come quick enough. The agreement struck with Manchester City to host Magic Weekend at the Etihad Stadium in 2013 and 2014 will see that event grow and the return of ‘Extraordinary Mondays’ live on Sky Sports will help showcase Super League to a wider audience.”All 14 Super League clubs will head for the Etihad Stadium on the Bank Holiday weekend of May 25-26 for the unique experience of Magic Weekend, which hosts the event for a second successive year.May 25: Salford City Reds v Widnes Vikings (12pm), Bradford Bulls v Huddersfield Giants (2.15pm), Hull FC v Hull Kingston Rovers (4.30pm), St Helens v Warrington Wolves (6.45pm).May 26: Catalan Dragons v London Broncos (3pm), Castleford Tigers v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (5.15pm), Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors (7.30pm). Tickets for Magic Weekend 2013 will go on sale from Tuesday December 4 at the Saints Ticket Office and remember the best way to see your Saints in 2013 is with a season ticket.To find out more click here.Saints Fixtures in 2013Round 1Saturday February 2St. Helens v Huddersfield Giants (5:45pm SKY)Round 2Sunday February 10Widnes Vikings v St. Helens (3:00pm)Round 3Friday February 15St. Helens v Hull FC (8:00pm)Round 4Sunday February 24Bradford Bulls v St. Helens (3:00pm)Round 5Friday March 1St. Helens v Leeds Rhinos (8:00pm SKY)Round 6Friday March 8Warrington Wolves v St. Helens (8:00pm SKY)Round 7Friday March 15St. Helens v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (8:00pm)Round 8Friday March 22St. Helens v Salford City Reds (8:00pm)Round 9Friday March 29Wigan Warriors v St. Helens (TBC SKY)Round 10Monday April 1St. Helens v Castleford Tigers (3:00pm)Round 11Sunday April 7Hull KR v St. Helens (3:00pm)Round 12Friday April 12St. Helens v Catalan Dragons (8:00pm SKY)Challenge Cup Round FourSaturday & Sunday April 20 & 21Round 13Saturday April 27London Broncos v St. Helens (3:00pm)Round 14Friday May 3St. Helens v Widnes Vikings (8:00pm)Challenge Cup Round FiveSaturday & Sunday May 11 & 12Round 15Monday May 20Leeds Rhinos v St. Helens (7:45pm SKY)Round 16 (Magic Weekend)Saturday May 25St. Helens v Warrington Wolves (6:45pm)Round 17Monday June 3Huddersfield Giants v St. Helens (7:45pm SKY)Round 18Sunday June 9St. Helens v Bradford Bulls (3:00pm)International BreakWeekend of June 15Round 19Friday June 21Salford City Reds v St. Helens (8:00pm)Round 20Friday June 28St. Helens v Hull K R (8:00pm)Round 21Sunday July 7Castleford Tigers v St. Helens (3:30pm)Challenge Cup Quarter FinalSaturday & Sunday July 13 & 14Round 22Monday July 22St. Helens v Wigan Warriors (7:45pm SKY)Challenge Cup Semi FinalSaturday & Sunday July 27 & 28Round 23Saturday August 3Catalan Dragons v St. Helens (6:00pm)Round 24Friday August 9St. Helens v London Broncos (8:00pm)Round 25Sunday August 18Wakefield Trinity Wildcats v St. Helens (3:30pm)Challenge Cup FinalSaturday August 24Round 26Friday August 30St. Helens v Warrington Wolves (8:00pm)Round 27Friday September 6Hull FC v St. Helens (8:00pm)
WILLIE Manu wants Saints to repay the fans with a massive performance in the derby.The 34-year-old back rower believes they let themselves and the supporters down in the Good Friday reverse to the Warriors – and now is the time to put it right.“We’ve been talking about that defeat this week and we certainly let ourselves down,” he said. “It is something we need to address – we need to win and repay our fans for what happened on that day.“It will be a good test for us but I’m sure if we concentrate on what we need to do then we can come home with the win.“We need to tighten up on our completion rate as in the first and last ten minutes against Castleford we fell away from that. That is something we have to concentrate on if we want to stay on top.“We have fallen short a couple of times when we’ve been top and we have spoken about that.”Willie played his second game for Saints since returning from a broken thumb in the win over Castleford on Sunday.“It’s good to be back,” he added. “It beats getting flogged on the pitch on your own as you’re working through rehab.