Jeremy Corbyn Q&A: What happens next for the new Labour leader?

Mr Corbyn has already signalled he does not want to appear at every PMQs

Monday 14 September 2015 09:31

Q | How will Corbyn tackle Prime Minister’s Questions?

A | His determination to take a new approach was underlined when he appealed for supporters to email him with suggested questions for David Cameron.

Mr Corbyn has signalled that he does not want to appear every Wednesday and to give other frontbenchers the chance to hold the Prime Minister to account.

He is already understood to have been in contact with Speaker John Bercow to discuss varying the format of the weekly confrontation.

Tom Watson, the new deputy leader, said the party wanted to end the “bully boy scoring points” at PMQs and to work with David Cameron to make it more thoughtful.

Mr Cameron would face a dilemma in how to deal with the new Labour leader who is renowned for his low-key and courteous style.

Q | Will he join the Privy Council?

A | The leader of the opposition is traditionally invited to join the group of senior politicians who advise the Queen. Members, who acquire the title the Right Honourable, are also briefed on “privy council terms” on security and intelligence issues.

Mr Corbyn, who is a strong republican, has been equivocal on the subject, explaining: “I am quite capable of having private discussions with anybody whether I have got a handle on my name or not. I have been involved in plenty of those discussions as an MP. A handle doesn’t give you authority.”

Allies insist that reports claiming he would turn down the invitation are premature.

Q | How will Jeremy Corbyn’s election affect donations from Labour supporters?

A | Labour now has thousands more individual supporters, which will boost income, but there is a fear that support from wealthy donors may dry up. Although John Mills, a Corbyn critic who has given £1.5 million, has appealed to backers to “stick around”.

Paul Kenny and Dave Prentis, heads of the GMB and Unison respectively, might like to increase their support for Labour, but they both warned yesterday that if the Trade Union Bill is passed, it will severely hit their ability to give any money to Labour.

Mark Serwotka, leader of the PCS, the Civil Service union, and Mick Cash, leader of the RMT, are delighted with Mr Corbyn’s election, but there are procedures to go through before either union could decide to affiliate to Labour. It will not happen this year.

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