Five things we learned at the Labour Conference on Sunday

Labour’s conference officially kicked off in Liverpool – and not just on the football pitch.

Here are five things we learned:

– The summer’s tensions over anti-Semitism have not eased. Jeremy Corbyn was challenged directly on whether he was an anti-Semite, “absolutely not”, but a packed Jewish Labour Movement rally saw MPs line up to criticise the party’s handling of the issue.

– Labour could support a second referendum on the European Union if delegates back one. Jeremy Corbyn said he would be “bound by the democracy of our party” even though he would prefer a general election. But there is always a chance that the final motion will be fudged, allowing the Labour leadership to keep their options open.

Activists calling for a second referendum gathered at St George's Plateau in Liverpool ahead of a march aimed at putting pressure on the party to change course (Peter Byrne/PA)
Activists calling for a second referendum gathered at St George’s Plateau in Liverpool ahead of a march aimed at putting pressure on the party to change course (Peter Byrne/PA)

– Despite unanimous agreement on the party’s ruling National Executive Committee, there are still clear splits between party members and the unions on the question of how MP candidates are selected. Results of a vote on a compromise proposal will be announced on Monday.

– Labour launched a series of eye-catching policies in the belief that an election could be just around the corner. The party announced plans for a £560 million tax on holiday homes in England and Mr Corbyn said his government would require businesses employing more than 250 people to reserve one-third of seats on boards for representatives of their workforce.

Robbie Fowler in action for Labour (Peter Byrne/PA)
Robbie Fowler in action for Labour (Peter Byrne/PA)

– Former Liverpool ace Robbie Fowler is not just a striker – he’s also a left-winger. The Reds hero turned out for Labour in their annual match against the press and was on the scoresheet as Labour avenged a heavy defeat in Brighton last year with a 3-2 victory.

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