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Inside Politics

U.K.'s Labour Party Wins Control With Landslide Victory; Sr. Admin. Official: Framework Is "Now In Place" For Ceasefire; CNN Speaks To Mother Of Hostage Held In Gaza; Biden: "Yes," I Can Still Beat Trump In November; How The Battleground Map May Be Shifting. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired July 05, 2024 - 12:30   ET




DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: The United Kingdom has a new prime minister.





BASH: Overnight, the Labour Party swept into power with a landslide victory. It ends 14 years of Conservative Party rule. The party had its worst election showing ever. King Charles III officially asked Labour leader Keir Starmer to form a government in his name.

The stinging defeat ends Rishi Sunak's time as prime minister. He officially left Downing Street and turned in his resignation to the king early this morning.

CNN's Nic Robertson joins us mow live outside 10 Downing Street. Nic, these are some really, really big changes.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Sweeping changes, although here's the sort of catch probably not a huge amount of change in foreign policy relationships with the United States, with NATO, with Ukraine policy towards Israel, these things are going to be unchanged.

But what the Labour Party is setting out to do is really revamp the economy in the U.K. The vote here is really been a rejection of the Conservatives, partly because they've had massive infighting ever since Brexit pulled the party to the center, to the right, pulled themselves apart, pulled the country down, given it massive inflation, double digits inflation,

The economy has hurt and people are really reacting to that. But the prime minister today, Keir Starmer also so sort of reacting to, in a way, voter apathy. Less than 60 percent turnout. That's only happened once before in the last century.

So very low turnout and a real disconnect between the public and politicians. Public are really losing faith in politicians. And Keir Starmer really wants to redress that. And we heard him, you know, say that time and again.

This is about he said he's putting his -- he said that the party would be putting the country first, their party members putting the country first. The party second, really trying to win back the faith of the British public.

BASH: And Nic, you obviously are in the U.K., but it is not the only country experiencing sort of an anti-incumbent fervor (ph). We are going to see a second round in France this weekend. Can you sort of connect the dots and talk about what we're seeing in Europe more broadly?

ROBERTSON: I think the real connective tissue here is the economy. The economy is not working. It is being hurt by inflation. It is being hurt by higher energy prices. Food prices are going up and this is really something that is, you know, affecting the publics, whether it's in France or in Germany.

The French went to the right. The German electorate recently went to the right in the European elections. But interestingly, take Scotland here, the Scottish National Party. In these elections, they had 48 seats. They went down to nine. They were the incumbent party running the Scottish Parliament.

So there's been a reaction against most of the incumbents, and it is, in many cases, pushed either to the extreme right or the extreme left. And here in the U.K., we saw an expression of that with the pro-Brexit Reform Party, right-wing party led by Nigel Farage, a friend of Donald Trump.

So I think the connective tissue is definitely this reaction, reaction to hurting economy and also, to a degree, immigration. And that's a unifying factor for a lot of these parties across Europe.

BASH: Yes. Never mind across the pond right here in the U.S.

Thank you so much. It sounds like it's a typical rainy day in London during the summer. Thanks for joining us.


Coming up, new hope for a cease fire for hostages deal between Israel and Hamas. We're going to get the latest reporting from Tel Aviv. And I will talk to a mother of a young woman who has been held captive in Gaza for nine months.


BASH: A framework is now in place. Israel and Hamas are nearing agreement on a ceasefire and hostage release deal. This comes after a call between President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday. A senior administration official tells CNN the deal remains very consistent with the one Biden proposed in May. Now it is important to remember that a deal has not been finalized.


CNN's Jeremy Diamond joins us now from Jerusalem. We obviously want to be optimistic, but also realistic that we've heard some progress reports before that didn't pan out. What are you hearing now?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no question about it, Dana. And I think most of the folks that I'm talking to are expressing a lot of cautious optimism, the caution coming from those many times in the past where it seems like progress was being made. It seemed like there was momentum behind things, and we've watched these things fall apart.

But I really do think that this moment is different. And the main reason why it's different is just think about what we heard from the White House yesterday. A senior administration official saying that there is effectively a framework agreement in place between Israel and Hamas. And they are now moving to this new phase of detailed negotiations, which is not a place that they have been in before.

And in the words of the White House and President Biden's urging to Prime Minister Netanyahu on the phone yesterday, this is now an opportunity to, quote unquote, "close out the deal." And so, this is a different place than where we have been before, perhaps the furthest that these two sides have come since the last truce fell apart at the beginning of last December.

But as you said, the devil is still in the details. A lot still remains to be sorted out here. They are now turning their attention in Doha, Qatar with the Mossad director, David Barnea, leading the Israeli delegation. They're now focusing on the implementation of this ceasefire agreement, the sequencing of the releases of the hostages, as well as the Palestinian prisoners that Israel would release in exchange, including, for example, the identity of those prisoners, the severity of the charges that some of those prisoners face.

These are all some of the very, very thorny and delicate issues that will confront these negotiators in the days and weeks ahead. And I'm told that it will take at least two to three weeks to sort out the negotiations on the details of this deal. And once again, we should stress that a final outcome securing a deal is certainly not assured. Dana?

BASH: Yes. Thank you so much for that important reporting, Jeremy Appreciate it.

272 days, that's how long it's been since Meirav Leshem Gonen has spoken to her daughter, Romi. Their last call was on the morning of October 7th when Romi and her friends tried to escape the Nova Music Peace Festival in Israel. She was shot that day and everyone she was in the car with trying to escape was murdered. She has been held by Hamas in Gaza ever since.

Joining me now is Meirav Leshem Gonen. Thank you so much for being here. Really appreciate it. I want to start with what you just heard from Jeremy, and more importantly, perhaps what you are hearing from the Israeli government broadly about any hope that they have, and more specifically, most importantly to you, what they're hearing about Romi and about her condition.

MEIRAV LESHEM GONEN, DAUGHTER HELD HOSTAGE BY HAMAS: First, I want to say that I think that God lies in the details and that's what we are holding. We need to look upon it and see it as. We're working now on the details of God and not the details of the devil since God needs to win in this case. And, yes, I agree with cautious optimism.

Since we know Hamas, we the free world already understand and knows Hamas. We understand Hamas is the pure evil and we have to make sure that we're fighting it, but we're fighting it with our forces, the good forces like, you know, friendship, like trust between us, like the way we can talk to each other.

This is something that Hamas is totally different from us. And about Romi, we have no new information for the last 220 days and we are waiting for the deal to come true and to see Romi back home.

BASH: So no information at all about her condition. When was the last time you were able to get information from the Israeli government about her, her situation, her whereabouts?

GONEN: We got information when the last women that came back from Hamas hands came to Israel, and we learned that they were with her in the tunnels. Since then, there is no new information. We know that no news is sometimes good news. I know she's alive. I feel her.


I'm talking to her from time to time and she needs to come back home and fast so we can heal her and we can make sure she will be able to live her life as she deserves. You can see her with her sister and brother, her two big sister and brother. We need her back, all of us.

BASH: What's your message to the negotiators? You say you have cautious optimism, but as Romi's mother, what is your message to them as they endeavor on these complicated discussions?

GONEN: I think our strength lies in the relationship we have between us, countries, and we need to strengthen each other. I can say to the negotiators that our values is the free world, is to leave. The life is more important to us. This is the opposite than Hamas, which he -- all he wants is to die. And this is his way of living. But this is not our way.

We, the free world, understand that the values of vouching for each other, the love of life, the way we look at life. This is how we need to look when -- what we need to look at when we are negotiating now. And I want to strengthen all the parties of this negotiation to be strong, stronger than the darkness, and make sure this will come true now.

This is too long. Nine months is too long.

BASH: Yes.

GONEN: We need to bring them back now.

BASH: Yes.

GONEN: The one that's still alive, and the one that's already murdered.

BASH: The last time you spoke with your daughter Romi was on the morning of October 7th. We have part of that call that I want to share with our viewers.


GONEN: Romi? Romchu? I'm here, sweetie, everything will be OK. We'll go to the hospital. Everything will be OK and you'll feel better. And then we'll go on a trip wherever you want. You are not alone, you are with me. My darling.


BASH: I mean, I can't even imagine what it feels like to be a mother and to have that situation where obviously you were so helpless. The good news is that she is still believed to be alive. She did have her hand injured, a bullet to her hand. What do you want the world to know about your daughter, Romi?

GONEN: She's not just a light, she's a strong woman. She fights for justice for other people. That's who she is. She worked as a waitress in Tel Aviv, and she was loved by the customers, by her -- the other waitresses, by the employers. She is one that -- you want to be a friend of her. She's the best sister you would like to have. She's funny.

When she's angry, you don't want to be around her. But she's a good, she's a good person. She is. She wants everybody to feel good. She wants everybody to have -- to feel loved. And she knows how to do it. She has so many friends.

We are now at Shabbat evening at the house that father and mother of Gaia Halifa that was murdered in the car, her best friend. This is the kind of friends she had, the one that taking care of her and she's taking care of them. And this is, you know, this is the young people we have now in Israel, in America.

The kind of people that knows how to love each other, knows how to fight for justice. And I think we need to be, also, to have justice for her and bring her back home.

BASH: Well, Meirav, thank you so much for coming on and talking about your daughter. You said it is the Sabbath already there in Israel, Shabbat Shalom. GONEN: Yes.

BASH: Obviously everybody hopes that we find peace. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

And we'll be right back.


GONEN: Thank you.



BASH: President Biden just boarded Air Force One for a trip to Wisconsin, where he will hold a campaign rally when a reporter yelled out, "Can you beat Trump?" He replied with one word, "Yes."

Jeff Zeleny is back with me. Jeff, let's talk about the electoral map. The question is going to be how it moves if it moves. Show us where we are and what you're hearing from sources about concerns about where we could be.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dana, we are four months from Election Day today. Number fifth. So if you look at the battleground map right now, we know there are seven battlegrounds clearly in play where both sides are spending significant money.

Of course, we know the upper Midwestern states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and then down to Georgia, North Carolina, and, of course, out west to Arizona and Nevada. However, I am told by Democratic advisers to the DNC and the Biden campaign that the last week and more has potentially shifted this battleground map to put states like Minnesota potentially in play, New Mexico potentially in play, New Hampshire as well.


These states, of course, traditionally have been long competitive in previous elections. We'll remember, of course, back to the 2000, 2004 campaigns, these were very close states. But this would change things dramatically, particularly with Minnesota.

I've often thought of Minnesota as the reddest blue state, if you will. What I mean by that is in 2016, it was the narrowest loss for Donald Trump, and they've always thought about that and remember that. So look for Minnesota now to be a key battleground, regardless if President Biden stays in the race or not.

He's going to Wisconsin today. Minnesota is just next door. And this is a state, they share a media market. So look for considerable more advertising to be placed in Minnesota. And for the next four months of this campaign, the battleground map may not look exactly like we thought it would going in. A question is, if Kamala Harris, the Vice President becomes the candidate, what does that do to change the map? A Democratic adviser told me, we'll have to do a lot of polling and see. Does it take Georgia out? Put it in? But, boy, the map is not as set as we thought it might be at just about a week and a half.

BASH: And one of the things in that map that you showed isn't just the expanding states, it's what would happen to the states that we've been all focused on --

ZELENY: Right.

BASH: -- as battlegrounds. They look like they could be more red than yellow.

ZELENY: Without a doubt.

BASH: Yes. Thank you, Jeff.

ZELENY: You bet.

BASH: Appreciate it.

Thank you for joining Inside Politics. CNN News Central starts after a quick break.