Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.It was set to be a big Brexit day, but the developments on that front were largely overshadowed by a row over whether Labour MP Chris Williamson should be suspended. After a number of revelations around antisemitism – from the MP saying the party had been “too apologetic” about it to describing supporters of Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth as “white privileged” – top figures called for disciplinary action. Deputy leader Tom Watson, London mayor Sadiq Khan, the GMB’s Tim Roache and many backbenchers all demanded his suspension.At first, Labour would only say he should apologise. Then the party said he had been issued with a notice of investigation. Later, the decision was taken to suspend him and the whip was therefore withdrawn. This three-stage process, which itself followed many months of pressure from MPs and groups urging action, ensured that the story dragged on throughout the day and continues to do so. The Daily Mail, The Independent and Newsnight have all reported that Jeremy Corbyn was personally involved in the initial decision not to suspend Williamson, and that it was only reversed when – as warned in yesterday’s morning email – more resignations were threatened. Labour’s press team have strongly denied such reports, saying: “Jeremy Corbyn is not involved in disciplinary processes and did not intervene in this case.” What we do know is that Williamson’s approach to antisemitism issues hasn’t changed since JLM filed a complaint last summer. Only the likelihood of Labour MPs resigning over it has changed.This row dominated the news although MPs were set to vote on important Brexit amendments. Turnout was low, however, so Labour’s one laying out its Brexit plan was defeated by 83 votes – a larger majority than in January. (Check out last night’s full results and rebel lists here.) Commentators confidently pronounced: ‘and now, Labour switches to supporting another EU referendum’. But that isn’t quite right. As made clear by the “Our Alternative” videos tweeted by frontbenchers, and Corbyn’s reaction to the results, the party isn’t giving up on its own vision of Brexit. It intends to keep pushing its “five demands”. With Labour also backing a “confirmatory referendum” (i.e. pass a deal, then put it to a public vote against ‘Remain’), this raises the interesting question of how the party would campaign in that situation. For ‘Remain’, and against its own deal?We know that getting a ‘people’s vote’ through the Commons is currently unattainable, with too few supportive Tories and too many Labour rebels. Though neither believes it is, the leaderships of both main parties want the threat of another referendum to feel real – party unity reasons for Corbyn, pressuring Brexiteers for May. On an interesting episode of ITV’s Peston last night, John McDonnell claimed to think ‘PV’ will become more likely with rising panic among MPs. But if this ever did look to be the case, I’d bet the Prime Minister would do everything possible to shut it down, aided by the many Tories strongly and genuinely opposed to the idea. We may be closer to another referendum than ever, but it’s still very far from likely.Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Labour /Chris Williamson /Brexit /
LONDON Broncos may only have two wins on the Super League ladder but are a formidable team according to Saints Head Coach Nathan Brown.The two sides lock horns at the Twickenham Stoop this Saturday (1pm) desperate for the win.“London played really well at the back end of last year,” Brown said. “Craig Gower was out for them but now he’s back he is a crucial player. They have a formidable team when fit with a lot of experience and young English London-based players.“Gower, Chris Bailey, Antonio Kaufusi, Michael Witt and Kieran Dixon (pictured) – they are good players. Every time Dixon plays he gets better. He is an eye catching player who is improving all the time. He’s scored 14 tries and that is a great effort. When London string wins together you can only imagine how many he will score. He is a good young talent.”Brown will hand Luke Thompson a debut in the clash with Nathan Ashe starting too. Adam Swift is likely to return and Mark Percival will be in contention for the other wing spot.He will be missing Francis Meli, Jon Wilkin and Ade Gardner through suspension, whilst James Roby, Jonny Lomax, Josh Perry, Willie Manu, Mark Flanagan, Anthony Walker and Gary Wheeler are unavailable through injury.Brown continued: “A few things didn’t go our way on Saturday but the guys’ effort and commitment to fight back and get in front was terrific. But we need to channel our energy a little smarter in different areas. At 12 men we made one bad decision and they got us from a kick at the end.“We need to channel our energy better and we do that by kicking the ball well and gaining better field position. We have been competing hard but have to be smarter in some areas.“Injuries and suspensions are part and parcel of the game. I have been coaching for a long time and have been through it before; it’s waiting for when the end comes. The young kids are gaining more experience than they would have and that will put pressure on the returning players too.”One player who Brown singled out for his performances over recent weeks is Tommy Makinson.The youngster has stepped up to full back in the absence of Jonny Lomax.“Tommy’s full back play has got better,” Brown added. “You could see the difference between the last time we played Hull KR to the cup game. He has really stepped up. When everyone is fit he is a younger player in the squad but now (in the present situation) he is quite an experienced player.“He’s done himself proud in the last couple of weeks and has benefitted from the situation we are in. It has made him a much better player, more capable of playing a number of positions.“He had an unfortunate game against Hull FC and Gardsy (Ade Gardner) was behind him waiting for a chance. Tommy then went and played for Whitehaven, got man of the match, and did the same for Rochdale. He’s handled himself well.“When Jonny Lomax coms back he will be at full back – but that isn’t because of Tommy – that’s because we all saw where Jonny should play.”
THE final part of our review of the year looks at international call ups and the preparation for the new season.OctoberSaints players made their tips for Man of Steel – with Danny Houghton the squad’s popular choice.Atelea Vea moved to Leigh whilst Dougie Charnock joined Barrow.Internationally, Calvin Wellington, Ben Morris and Regan Grace were named in Wales’ World Cup Qualifier squad whilst Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival received England Four Nation’s nods.Matty Smith inked a three year contract to return to his hometown club whilst Adam Walker joined him from Hull KR.Adam would later be selected for Scotland alongside new signing Luke Douglas.In other team moves, Saints said goodbye to 12 players who were part of the first team squad in 2016 and announced the signing of Tommy Lee from Salford.NovemberPaul Sculthorpe MBE joined the England Rugby League staff.Aaron Smith, Liam Cooper, Jonah Cunningham, Ben Morris, Josh Eaves, Rob Fairclough and Matty Lees all put pen to paper on deals that saw them promoted into the first team squad for the 2017 Betfred Super League campaign.Kyle Amor and Jon Wilkin signed extensions; Amor remaining at the club until 2020 whilst Wilkin penned a two year deal.And pre-season got underway in earnest with Keiron Cunningham and his coaching staff putting the players through their paces.A frosty run in Liverpool was soon superseded by brutal sessions at Altcar and the now traditional Christmas run which took place in Formby in December.Many thanks to all Saints fans who have followed the club this season – onwards and upwards to 2017!
However, thankfully none of the Saints 17 were worried by the reputation of the visitors and for the first time in a long time they played as a team for each other.As the U19s found out last year when you’ve been riding high and having things your own way for such a long time sometimes you’ve never been tested and can find it hard to cope.That’s what the Saints did to the Tigers as they opened up a ten point lead with two well taken Sam Royle tries.The first came with the Saints first possession of the game. Great drives from stand out props Evan Bullen and Matty Lees led to a penalty and on the last a fabulous grubber from Rob Fairclough was chased by Royle who touched it down just before the whitewash.His second came after another charge from Bullen put the Saints on the front foot. Fairclough took control putting Royle through a gap to score.The Tigers hit back almost straight away as danger man Jacob Trueman dummied his way over on the left.The Saints missed a try down the left flank from a scrum in the Tigers half when Matty Costello uncharacteristically was sleeping as Kev Brown made his gap for him.The Tigers drew back closer with their second unconverted try seconds after the sin-binning of Cam Brown for holding down after a Tigers break caught the Saints short.When the Saints got a penalty of their own for holding down in front of the Tigers sticks the opportunity to waste time and take the points was too much and Brad Billsborough extended the lead with his second goal of the half.The Saints were looking forward to taking a well-deserved lead in to the break when the Tigers scored their third try despite a suspicion of a forward pass.However, if you’re a connoisseur of these missives, apart from having some issues of your own you will also know that this team has been in these positions before at the interval and been found wanting in the second half.But there was something different about this team tonight and they started the half as they had finished the first with determination and lots of effort putting the pressure onto the Tigers who couldn’t handle the Saints forward power.The turning point came with the introduction on 48 minutes of Paul Nash who quickened up all aspects of the play the ball and also scored the try which broke the visitors.A half break from Ben Sims was taken on by Matty Lees who was stopped inches short. But a repeat set was gleaned and as Callum Hazzard was stopped short Nash was left at the play the ball.He through the biggest dummy you’ve ever seen which was bought not only by the whole of the Tigers defence but also seemingly by Nash himself as he almost butchered the try by ignoring the hole he’d created and stepping back into a defender. He managed to bounce off and fall over the line.Another penalty for a head high tackle was converted by Billsborough to open up a two score lead and when the Saints scored next the possibility of an upset became a real prospect.On the hour it was another fine kick from Billsborough to the right corner combined with pressure from Tom Nisbett which forced the Tigers to kick to touch.Three tackles from the resultant scrum saw Hazzard again held short. This time the ball was spread wide right were Cameron Brown showed great pace and poise to go around the cover and touch down within inches of the whitewash.The nerves were set jangling again as the missed conversion and a good try from the visitors drew them to within six points with a quarter of an hour left.But cometh the hour cometh them man as a brace of tries from Matty Lees finished the Tigers off.Both showed exactly what he is about, strong determined running giving defenders no chance of stopping him. But both came on the back of quick ball from Nash and drives from Bullen and Hazzard, exactly what had worked all day.This was a fabulously gutsy team performance from a side that for once believed in themselves and wasn’t prepared to be beaten.In addition to those already mentioned there were good performances from Sam Royle, and Nash’s compatriots off the bench Joe Sharratt, Ben Sims and Chris Kellett.Match Summary:Saints: Tries: Sam Royle (1 & 19), Paul Nash (52), Cameron Brown (61), Matty Lees (71 & 73). Goals: Brad Billsborough 5 from 6.Castleford: Tries: Jacob Trueman (23), Robbie Storey (28), Luis Johnson (38), Jack Render (65). Goals: Jake Sweeting 1 from 4.Half Time: 12-12 Full Time: 34-18Teams:Saints: 1. Kevin Brown; 5. Tom Nisbett, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Matty Costello (C), 2. Luke Ward; 6. Ryan Horne, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Evan Bullen, 9. Brad Billsborough, 21. Matty Lees, 11. Sam Royle, 12. Mike Weldon, 13. Callum Hazzard. Subs: 14. Paul Nash, 15. Chris Kellett, 16. Joe Sharratt, 17. Ben Sims.Castleford: 1. Callum Turner; 30. Declan Sheehan, 3. Robbie Storey, 4. Pat Diskin, 2. Jack Render; 6. Jake Sweeting, 7. Jacob Trueman; 8. Rory Dixon (C), 9. Luke Million, 10. Jamel Goodall, 11. Joe Summers, 12. Luis Johnson, 13. Joe Fella. Subs: 14. Shay North, 15. Jack Ray, 16. Harvey Kear, 17. Jonty Glendinning.
First of the month check for a lump. Sarah Vaughan’s story “I’d always thought I was good at checking for lumps until back in Dec 17 I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I was shocked at the size of the lump and how I’d not noticed it develop. I then realised it was probably months not weeks since I had last checked, I suppose i’d become complacent and had a “this won’t happen to me” attitude especially aged 43”.“I had a long road ahead of treatment and was almost kicking myself I hadn’t been more vigilant. I wasn’t alone, after talking to friends who also admitted they rarely checked their breast for changes or lumps it prompted me to raise awareness through a blog called @firstofthemonthcheckforalump which I began on the 1st Jan 18. The idea behind it is that if you check on a set date every month it becomes a habit.”“Any changes that are noticed can be checked quickly by your GP as early detection for any cancer increases the survival rate dramatically. I learnt a lot in those first few weeks. 55,000 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis each year. Breast cancer can present as visual changes not just lumps and guess what men can also develop breast cancer although it’s around 400 a year.”So between chemo, getting married with a wig on and trying to remain sane, I got into the habit of posting on the first of every month to remind people when and how to check. It became a bit of a diary as I went throughout 6 rounds of gruelling chemo, surgery and then radiotherapy and although I brought dark humour and bared my soul to the blog it quickly became apparent that I was helping people and turning this negative experience into a positive.”“I received many personal messages thanking me for raising awareness as they too had found a lump or noticed a visual change and were now being treated with a good prognosis from early detection. A really good friend had found a lump in his testicle and went on to be treated for testicular cancer. He said he never would have checked if it had not been for my campaign. Recently I have designed two posters for the back of toilet doors to raise awareness of Breast cancer and testicular cancer.”We’re hoping that seeing this article can prompt people to get into the habit of checking every month. This is what you should look out for:Breast cancer – Feel For Lumps. Save Your Bumps.A lump in the breast or armpitDimpling or changes in skin textureInverted or weeping nippleRedness/inflammationChanges to size and shape Testicular cancer – Use your thumbs to check your plums.A lump or enlargement in the testicleChanges to size or shapeHeaviness/pain in the testicleChange in texture or the testicle becomes hardA dull ache in the back or groin