Hello and welcome to politics live where we will chart the highs and lows in Westminster and beyond in the wake of last week’s election. I’m Bonnie Malkin holding the fort until Andrew Sparrow takes over later on.
First up: Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet meets today for the first time since the election and the Labour leader is being urged to reappoint its members because of their loyalty during the campaign.
There have been indications that Corbyn might reach out to past critics including Yvette Cooper, Angela Eagle and Chuka Umunna, who have said they would be willing to serve. But Clive Efford, chair of the party’s Tribune Group, said: “Jeremy has got a shadow cabinet that remained loyal and allowed him to perform extremely well during the general election. He can’t sack those people. They deserve to be rewarded for what they have done.”
That is today. But I think it is worthwhile recapping the extraordinary goings on of yesterday.
Theresa May gave a “contrite and genuine” apology to backbench MPs for her election failure, telling the party’s 1922 Committee: “I got us into this mess, and I’m going to get us out of it.”
Hard Brexit is increasingly sounding like a thing of the past, with the Tories looking to drop the “no deal is better than a bad deal” mantra. Ruth Davidson, the Conservative leader in Scotland, said she was pushing for an “open Brexit” with maximum economic access. May needs to cobble together a Queen’s speech – due on 19 June, but possibly delayed. Brexit and counter-terrorism policy will figure prominently, but items like new grammer schools could be scaled back.
There’s still a list of other Conservative factions Theresa May needs to appease – from David Davis and the senior cabinet “greyhairs” who offer stability, to Boris Johnson and those who think he’d do a better job, as well as both Brexiters who still want a clean break and Remainers determined to salvage an economic relationship with the EU.
The Moodys ratings agency meanwhile says the inconclusive election is likely to delay Brexit progress and could harm Britain’s international credit rating. Domestically though, UK employers are saying they plan to continue hiring despite slow growth and uncertainty about the EU exit negotiations.
May and the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, will announce a war on online terror today and attend the England v France friendly at the Stade de France tonight.