Liam Byrne

(Photo: Getty)

Cameron has created a socialist utopia for pensioners

22 June 2015 12:33

On the radio this morning, a campaigner from the Child Poverty Action Group had an ‘emperor’s new clothes’ moment. Why not, she said, treat the young like the old. If… Continue reading

'Would you like fries that?' Liam Byrne back in the Maccas saddle.

Liam Byrne’s burger flip

24 June 2014 11:08

‘As someone who started work behind a fry station in McDonald’s, I know that any job is better than no job,’ says former Labour minister turned Miliband demotee, Liam Byrne… Continue reading

Tristram Hunt with fellow rising stars Gloria de Piero and Emma Reynolds. Picture: Getty

Labour lurched towards honesty in its reshuffle

8 October 2013 7:38

Labour types are pretty grumpy that yesterday’s far-reaching reshuffle of their ranks is being billed as another ‘lurch to the left’. The reality is a little more complex: the party… Continue reading

Image: Carla Millar

Liam Byrne’s vulture strategy

5 September 2013 20:45

David Aaronovitch’s furious Times column this morning described Ed Miliband as a vulture, swooping down on problems caused by this government rather than leading. If he wanted another example of… Continue reading

Unemployment Figures Set To Rise Further In UK

Welfare failures that are costing us dear

21 August 2013 21:20

I’m told there’s a joke that does the round in Whitehall, that to err is human, but if you really want to foul things up you need Iain Duncan Smith.… Continue reading

Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne’s pitch to keep hold of his job

21 August 2013 17:15

It can hardly be a coincidence that one of the few Labour figures to bother giving a speech on policy in the middle of Tumbleweed Time is a shadow minister… Continue reading

Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne changes tack to say benefit cap isn’t tough enough

15 July 2013 10:59

Liam Byrne’s attack on the workless benefit cap this morning is interesting, because he’s trying to position himself as tougher than the Conservatives on out-of-work benefits. Labour’s shadow work and… Continue reading

British Sectary of State for Work and Pe

Why Universal Credit delay is a good thing, not a political failure

11 July 2013 17:06

‘Iain Duncan Smith must now ask himself if he is fit for purpose.’ That’s what Liam Byrne thinks of the Work and Pensions Secretary’s admission that the roll-out of Universal… Continue reading

Minister of State for the Cabinet Office David Laws, who has passed Liam Byrne's note to ITV. Photo: Getty Images.

David Laws fires first shot in Lib Dems’ anti-Labour offensive

24 June 2013 16:30

David Laws’ decision to hand Liam Byrne’s infamous ‘there’s no money’ note to ITV  is intriguing. It suggests that the Liberal Democrat leadership intend to escalate their attacks on Labour.… Continue reading

Is Britain working?

David Cameron sings the good jobs news, but can Labour deal with green shoots?

12 June 2013 18:00

There was plenty for David Cameron to sing about at today’s PMQs when it came to the ONS’ latest labour market figures, and sing he did. He said: ‘First, it… Continue reading

Liam Byrne has been making noises about a contributory principle in welfare. Picture: Getty

Liam Byrne tries to answer Labour’s welfare question

7 April 2013 14:00

One can’t help but feel sorry for Liam Byrne. He is a fish out of water in Ed Miliband’s Labour party, something he implicitly acknowledged when he announced his intention… Continue reading

Liam Byrne and most of the Labour party abstained on a vote on work experience sanctions. Picture: PA

Labour’s frontbench gets a taste of the welfare battles to come

19 March 2013 18:45

The Commons this evening approved emergency regulations for the government’s work experience programme so the DWP can avoid repaying benefits to those who were sanctioned for refusing to take part.… Continue reading

Andrew George has tabled a series of amendments to the welfare uprating bill. Picture: PA

Lib Dems and Labour to push for changes to benefits uprating bill

14 January 2013 15:16

Round two of the row over rises in benefit payments is on the way, with Lib Dems and opposition parties tabling a series of amendments to the government’s legislation. I… Continue reading

Liam Byrne has been making noises about a contributory principle in welfare. Picture: Getty

The next Labour welfare policy?

4 January 2013 14:35

As he was selling his party’s plan for a jobs guarantee on the airwaves today, Liam Byrne made a passing reference to something that could form another part of Labour’s… Continue reading

James Purnell tried to introduce reforms to welfare with the same principles that Ed Miliband and Ed Balls are discussing today. Picture: Getty

Labour revisits old welfare ghosts with its jobs guarantee

4 January 2013 9:35

Dig out the bunting, fly the red flags in celebration, for finally we have a policy from the Labour party. Ed Miliband promised that 2013 would be the year he’d… Continue reading

Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

Ed Miliband vs the working class

14 December 2012 16:37

Who’s on the side of the strivers? Is it George Osborne, who’s cutting benefits in real terms for the next three years, which he defends as ‘being fair to the… Continue reading

Ed Balls, a competitive force on the football pitch, believes he is winning on the benefits argument, too. Picture: Getty

Why Ed Balls is so confident about benefit wars

14 December 2012 14:19

The debate over benefit uprating will run and run because both sides think they are winning. George Osborne thinks the public resent generous benefits rises. Liam Byrne and Ed Balls… Continue reading

Liam Byrne says the balance of welfare in this country is 'completely out of whack'. Picture: Getty

Liam Byrne interview: The welfare system is ‘completely out of whack’

13 December 2012 11:34

Liam Byrne is a modernising, Blairite Labour MP, and in case you were in any doubt about that, he conducts his interview with Coffee House sitting next to a framed… Continue reading

Vince Cable made it clear he objected to some of the language used by George Osborne about benefit claimants. Picture: Getty

The strivers vs scroungers battleground

6 December 2012 15:23

Welfare will be one of the key battlegrounds at the next general election, and George Osborne’s Welfare Uprating Bill will certainly be one way the Conservative party can prod Labour… Continue reading

Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne tries to turn David Cameron’s striver language back on him

25 November 2012 15:01

The Leveson Inquiry will dominate this week. Inside Number 10 they regard it as ‘the most difficult’ of the three big issues dominating their time at the moment – the… Continue reading

Iain Duncan Smith must beware of ignoring warning signs about the implementation of the universal credit. Picture: Getty.

Iain Duncan Smith denies threat to universal credit

10 September 2012 18:03

Allowing Iain Duncan Smith to dig his heels in at the Work and Pensions department in last week’s reshuffle sent out two messages. The first was that the Prime Minister… Continue reading


A more ambitious approach to fighting poverty

14 June 2012 15:00

‘You attack poverty by knowing what you do changes the lives of those people.’ In that phrase on this morning’s Today programme, Iain Duncan Smith summed up the difference between… Continue reading


Miliband’s reshuffle isn’t necessarily to the left

16 May 2012 1:39

Ed Miliband’s reshuffle turned out to be a rather small affair. The news out of it is that control over the policy review passes from Liam Byrne to Jon Cruddas,… Continue reading


Byrne for Birmingham?

29 March 2012 18:14

Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet could soon lack a Liam Byrne. The shadow work and pensions secretary is expected to announce his intention to run for the position of Mayor of… Continue reading


Ed Miliband turns back to Brown (again)

9 March 2012 15:49

At the end of last year, Ed Balls suggested that Labour would be ‘taking a tougher approach to conditionality [for benefit claimants]. If people can work, they should work.’ Now… Continue reading