|* Paul Waugh|
by Paul Waugh | Politics
Can Jeremy Corbyn today exploit Tory tensions on Europe? In many ways it’s an open goal for a leader with a light touch to simply quote various backbenchers - and newspapers - at the PM. But as we all know, open goals at PMQs and in Commons statements are often missed.
Some in Labour suggest Corbyn’s own deep antipathy to a ‘bosses’ Europe’ hampers him (and one of Hilary Benn’s early achievements in the Corbyn leadership was to get him to sign up unequivocally to the In campaign). Corbyn allies believe his ‘scepticism’ on the EU gives him space to attack Cameron.
Meanwhile, Labour has an Opposition day debate on corporate tax avoidance and last night the Government put down an amendment defending its corner. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell may want to pounce on the FT’s report of a quote by French finance minister Michel Sapin. He said HMRC’s Google settlement “seems more the product of a negotiation than the application of the law”. Ouch. There’s a double ouch from Ruth Davidson, the Scots Tory leader, who said yesterday of the Google deal “It doesn't feel fair. And in our hearts, I think we all know it isn't fair”. A gift for Corbyn at PMQs?
As for wider Labour party politics, Tom Watson repeated to the Shadow Cabinet yesterday his warning that disunity at Westminster was hurting the party on the doorstep in Scotland and in England. Jon Ashworth last night used a Progress speech to urge ‘moderates’ to dump their Blairite/Brownite, EdM/DavidM divisions and do some hard thinking about policy as they had in 1964 and 1997. He had this jibe at the Corbynistas too though: "Frankly there was nothing Red Tory about the last Labour government or the last Labour opposition.”
* Paul Waugh is the Executive Editor, Politics, HuffPost UK.