Ivan Lewis sacked as Shadow NI Secretary

Well that esclated quickly Earlier today I offered to remain as Shadow Sec of State for NI for the time being in the light of the current political crisis.(1) — Ivan Lewis (@IvanLewis_MP) September 13, 2015 I thought it was the right thing to do. Jeremy has decided to offer the role to someone else. I wish my successor well at this crucial time. — Ivan Lewis (@IvanLewis_MP) September 13, 2015 UPDATE Corbyn source says @IvanLewis_MP not sacked, offer to … Read more

Lewis: “It is essential we continue to work with the Government on a bi partisan basis and maintain an honest broker, equi distant role between Northern Ireland’s political parties”

The Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary and Liz Kendall backer, Ivan Lewis has taken to Facebook to state his position on the election of Jeremy Corbyn. Lewis was candid in saying that he has not made up his mind yet whether to join his fellow Corbyn critics in leaving the shadow cabinet. He has, however, ruled out leaving the Labour party. Lewis has stated some criticisms of Corbyn supporters in some of their comments on the Middle East saying; For the … Read more

#HeenanAnderson report published + some home truths & requests from shadow SoS Ivan Lewis

The shadow Secretary of State Ivan Lewis established the Heenan-Anderson Independent Commission this time last year (and the group formally launched in November) to make recommendations on intergenerational poverty and social exclusion in Northern Ireland. Ed Miliband addressed one of their public meetings in the UU Belfast campus in January. On Tuesday morning the co-chairs Deirdre Heenan and Colin Anderson delivered their report [PDF], based on written and oral evidence gathered from over 600 participants Deirdre commented that while poverty … Read more

Ivan Lewis lays it out for SF and the DUP “…no government can afford to sign blank cheques to Northern Ireland”

I missed this last week, because I was mostly off on holidays. But given Theresa Villiers situation grim messaging last night, it’s worth noting these series of Tweets from Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State Ivan Lewis last Friday: It is right that British and Irish Governments are intervening to support the #StormontHouseAgreement which is now hanging by a thread.1/3 — Ivan Lewis NI (@IvanLewisNI) May 29, 2015 People in #NorthernIreland are tired of stalemate. Time for all parties to show … Read more

Now Westminster is settled, here’s all the other unsettling business NI politicians need to get back to

It’s back to work on Monday for our local politicians. There’ll be no commission on the union (though David Cameron should now outright reject the idea), no extra £1 billion of cash, and no immediate possibility of bargaining for the 45 ideas in the DUP’s plan. Though over the next parliamentary term there are sure to be plenty of tight votes in which The Northern Ireland Plan can come out of Nigel Dodds’ back pocket and be used as bargaining … Read more

Ed Miliband in Belfast – no gaffs, little charisma, but a definite listening ear at the Heenan-Anderson Commission

When it comes to visiting English political party leaders, the people of Northern Ireland are unexcited. The hand of history is wobbling over the shoulder of Labour’s Ed Miliband and few really expect the DUP to hold the balance of power after the May 2015 election. However, it has been many years since Ed Miliband called in on this side of the Irish Sea, and the Labour party leader was over to sit in on the Heenan-Anderson Independent Commission’s listening … Read more

Join Ed Miliband and address a public meeting of Heenan-Anderson Commission on Thursday 22

Members of the Heenan-Anderson commission will have their listening ears on as Labour leader Ed Miliband joins them to hear from local individuals and groups in a public meeting on Thursday 22 January in the Ulster University Belfast campus from 10am to 12.30pm. The Labour leader will also deliver a keynote address. [Ed – bet he doesn’t mention One Nation!] The commission – launched by the Shadow Secretary of State Ivan Lewis back in November – are keen to views … Read more

7 NI political hot potatoes for early 2015

1. Expect Mitchel McLaughlin to be finally elected as Speaker of the NI Assembly. If the Welfare Reform Bill passes its Consideration Stage by the end of February (as the financial package requires), will the DUP withdraw their objection and allow Sinn Féin’s Mitchel McLaughlin to be elected as Speaker? They’ll surely not wait until the Bill receives Royal Assent? Mitchel’s elevation will create a vacancy for a Deputy Speaker. Who will the DUP nominate from within their ranks? Realistically … Read more

Heenan-Anderson Commission launches with appeal for ideas to tackle economic marginalisation & deprivation

Shadow Secretary of State Ivan Lewis launched his Heenan-Anderson Commission at lunchtime. The co-chairs – academic Deirdre Heenan and businessman Colin Anderson – were announced nine weeks ago and together an expert panel will examine the reasons for economic marginalisation and deprivation in Northern Ireland and provide recommendations to address the long-standing issues and improve opportunities for those who “currently have no stake in the economy and are at the margins of their communities”. With expectations being actively managed downwards … Read more

Ivan Lewis: I have made it clear that I want to stay in NI until the election and beyond

On Monday night I caught up with the Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Ivan Lewis MP to get his views on welfare reform, the Secretary of State and his own future as he marks a year in the job. I began by asking him, how he thought the Secretary of State was handling the current talk’s process that is on-going at Stormont? Ivan began by welcoming the fact that the government had finally moved to engage with the political process in Northern … Read more

Labour Party: “Making no progress on welfare has financial implications. It is not a cost-free choice…”

As Mick mentioned, the repeated attempts to blame the fallout from the Northern Ireland Executive’s deadlock on Welfare Reform on “the right wing Tory/DUP austerity agenda“, or “the British Tory Government“, or, more frequently, “a cabinet of Tory millionaires“,  have been dealt a blow by clarification of the Labour Party’s position by the Shadow NI Secretary of State at the party’s conference. From the Irish Times report (23 Sept) The disagreement, said [Labour’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary Ivan Lewis], is “a denial” … Read more

Ivan Lewis (shadow SoS) sets up Heenan-Anderson commission to address worklessness & intergenerational poverty

English MPs with an interest in Northern Ireland are coming along like buses today. Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ivan Lewis delivered a speech to the Labour party conference in Manchester this afternoon. He joked that the city was home “to three institutions in serious decline … the Tory party, the Lib Dems and Manchester United.” When people tell you politics can’t change anything, politicians don’t make a difference, give them a two word answer, … Read more

Ivan Lewis on the OTR Letters

In today’s Belfast Telegraph, Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Ivan Lewis attempts to straddle the line between preserving the Labour legacy of peace here and distancing himself from Blair and Peter Hain. In his opening paragraphs Lewis attempts to chart a middle course saying Some have suggested the UK Government and more specifically my party should recant for the introduction of the so called “on the run” administrative scheme. I cannot accept this despite the understandable anger some have expressed. It would … Read more

Ivan Lewis (shadow SoS) on his role, perceived disengagement of UK government & his Haass proposal for a ‘peace’ public holiday

Ivan Lewis MP is now six weeks into his new job as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. But what does he make of the place? Is he alone in thinking that the UK government has disengaged from NI? And is he serious about his Haass submission proposal of a public holiday to celebrate the peace process? I caught up with him on Saturday morning at the DUP conference, hours after he had released Labour’s submission to the Haass … Read more

SDLP conference – a party ill at ease with itself over opposition & strategy #sdlp13

Over half the motions at the SDLP policy-making annual conference were addressed on Friday afternoon and evening. Participation in debate was sporadic and the numbers of delegates in the hall were low compared to the number catching up in the hotel corridors and social areas. One observer recalled that not much more than 50 people were in the hall for Friday’s health debate, and a fifth of them were lobbyists! That was a large attendance compared with mid-morning on Saturday. … Read more

The revolving door of NI ministers at Westminster spins once more

Local Conservative and Labour groups reacted to reshuffles in the NIO and shadow NI teams. At 17:01 NI Conservatives’ co-chair, Trevor Ringland issued a three paragraph statement to thank outgoing minister of state Mike Penning and welcome incoming Andrew Robathan. Until we find out more about Andrew Robathan [Ed – Political Scrapbook website called him a “blue dinosaur”] it’ll be noted that he’s an ex-Coldstream Guard who also served with the SAS … replacing an ex- Grenadier Guard and ex-fireman … Read more