Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

23 October 2018

IPSE have responded to Stephen Lloyd MP.

IPSE has long advised its members against using EBT schemes, but the government’s approach to this issue is clearly causing serious distress for many taxpayers and their families. In many cases, the repayment demands are substantial, and connected to arrangements that were made several years ago on the advice of barristers and unscrupulous scheme providers. Government should focus its compliance efforts on those who created, enabled and profited from EBTs and adopt a more reasonable approach to individuals who have been put under tremendous personal strain from the retrospective loan charge.
23 October 2018
Pound sterling

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Work & Pensions Stephen Lloyd writes ahead of a lobby day in parliament and calls on the Government to amend the 2019 Loan Charge within the Finance Act 2017 so it does not apply retrospectively.

This Wednesday, 24th October, people from all over the country are coming to Westminster to join the #StoptheLoanCharge lobby day. When this legislation comes in next April, it could potentially damage the economy and public services, and will drive many people to the brink of despair.     The 2019 Loan Charge is a retrospective measure introduced in the Finance Act 2017 which reclassified thousands of contract workers as 'disguised employees' under IR35 tax legislation. The Charge potentially affects tens of thousands of contractors, freelancers and agency workers - including social workers, supply teachers, IT specialists, bank and locum nurses - who were recommended to become self-employed under umbrella companies by employers, professional advisers and employment agencies. A consequence of the legislation is that many people will be hit with unforeseen bills of tens of thousands of pounds, and like most of us managing family budgets, they’ll simply not be able to...
23 October 2018

New mortality statistics for England and Wales show that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were the leading cause of death in 2017, for the third consecutive year, accounting for more than one in eight of all deaths (12.7%).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported today that a total of 67,641 deaths were attributed to dementia and Alzheimer's last year - up from 62,948 the year before. With people living longer and surviving other illnesses, the number developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease is increasing, the ONS said. Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Dementia is the biggest health and care crisis of our time, and these new statistics showing that it causes more than one in eight deaths should be a stark wake-up call for urgent action. A million people in the UK will have dementia by 2021 and we are simply not ready for that challenge. “With the NHS and social care already struggling to meet rising demand, and families affected by dementia paying the price emotionally and financially, I urge the Government to end this injustice and use the Budget to properly fund the system so that everyone can...
23 October 2018
Jared O'Mara

An autistic MP has said that high levels of 'heckling and aggression' at Prime Minister's Questions have made it impossible for him to attend.

Sheffield Halam MP Jared O’Mara has called on Speaker John Bercow to adjust the way he chairs the weekly grilling of the Prime Minister in an attempt to limit the loud shouting and rowdy behaviour of MPs. Mr O’Mara was absent from Parliament for a number of months while the Labour party carried out a disciplinary probe into a string of misogynistic and homophobic comments he made in his 20s. He later resigned the Labour whip after being reinstated to the party earlier this year. But the now independent MP said his autism was the reason he had attended only one PMQs session since his election in June 2017. “So far my autism has not been taken into account by Parliament,” he told...
23 October 2018
Jeremy Corbyn

Theresa May appeared to buy herself a little time on Brexit yesterday when she laid out her plans for the Northern Irish backstop issue. But what did she say and what does it all mean?

What did the PM say yesterday? Theresa May was facing a tough audience as she updated MPs on the Brexit negotiations in the wake of the latest European Council summit. She told the Commons a deal was 95% done - with the remaining 5% centering around the Northern Irish border conundrum: How to ensure the frontier stays open in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The EU has called for Northern Ireland alone to remain in a customs arrangement and parts of the single market - effectively creating a new trade border down the Irish Sea. Theresa May has said that is unacceptable. Instead, the PM effectively put two options on the table yesterday. She said Britain could either extend the Brexit transition period - which is due to end in December 2020 - or sign up to a UK-wide customs arrangement with Brussels. She said the former was her preferred option in order to reduce the amount of change business would have to undertake, but insisted both would have to end “well before” June 2022. Crucially...
23 October 2018
Chris Grayling at Conservative party conference

The Transport Secretary has been blasted after it emerged that an official in his department advised keeping a rail firm's compensation scheme for passengers “low key”.

Commuters were battered by delayed and cancelled services this summer after a botched timetable shake-up, with 470 trains a day axed on the GTR network. But correspondence obtained under freedom of information laws revealed that an official in the Department for Transport told a rail company not to publicise a compensation scheme set up by GTR to reimburse those affected by the travel chaos. A message between officials in the department discussing GTR's compensation scheme suggested making the refunds programme known only to “passengers and stakeholders, not media”, while another advised the company to "keep this low key". The move was blasted by former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis, who told the Telegraph: "If this letter is authentic, the official should be immediately dismissed unless it was an instruction from a higher authority. “And if it came from...
23 October 2018

On the 9th of October the GGF launched its new quality mark training programme for installers with great success. Twelve trainees attended the course, keen to hone their skills and focus on the core output of the training: delivering quality installations with exemplary customer service.

The training is the first part of the GGF’s focus on quality. Members who send installers and surveyors on the course can progress to achieve the GGF Quality Installer Award and GGF Quality Surveyor Award. This also involves an on-site inspection and submission of a portfolio of two jobs. There was a buzz in the training room as Andy Clegg, a veteran of the glazing industry, delivered the training with a degree of understanding that engaged all present. There was no escape from admitting to those little tricks and all recognised that they will become a thing of the past, as they committed to delivering quality outputs for the benefit of the customers and business. Comments from those attending included: “I really understood the importance of quality and professionalism after the training.” “The two day course massively advanced my theory of the industry which will help a lot in the practical side.” “I’ve learnt a few new ways of doing things and it’s good to know the GGF’s...
23 October 2018
The Ministry of Defence in London

Theresa May is under renewed pressure to shelve an investigation into historic allegations against British troops who served in Northern Ireland.

A joint letter from 150 Conservative MPs and peers warns the Prime Minister that the Historial Investigations Unit set up to probe past cases is "completely at odds" with a commitment to look after members of the armed forces. Setting up the unit was a key part of the 2014 Stormont House agreement between the British and Irish governments, with the team looking into allegations of misconduct by service personnel as well as unsolved criminal cases. Earlier this year, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said there were still more than 1,000 unexplained deaths stemming from the Troubles, and the probe is intended to provide justice for the families of those who died. But the letter to the Prime Minister - signed by Tory MPs who have served in the armed forces including Johnny Mercer, Richard Benyon and Mark Francois - warns that the investigation leaves British "service and security personnel at an exceptional disadvantage". The signatories also accuse the Government of breaking...
23 October 2018
Stewart Jackson

Tory Brexiteer and former MP Stewart Jackson has prompted a barrage of criticism after lashing out at the step-parent of a child with cancer on social media.

Mr Jackson, who was a top aide to Brexit Secretary David Davis before he quit the Cabinet over Theresa May's Chequers plan, responded angrily to a picture of a young boy being treated in Great Ormond Street hospital while wearing an EU flag. He replied: “What a pathetic cretin”. The boy’s stepfather posted the picture over the weekend, saying: “My stepson had an operation yesterday @GreatOrmondSt. “He’s incredibly brave but gutted he can’t be at the #PeoplesVoteMarch today with his brothers & sisters." The comments sparked a fresh row on the Conservative benches, with anti-Brexit Tory MP Anna Soubry branding Mr Jackson - who lost his seat at the 2017 election - a "bitter man gone badly wrong". When any scrap of humanity is overwhelmed by ideology @BrexitStewart is a bitter man gone badly...
23 October 2018
Vladimir Putin

Sometimes it is difficult to make the case for promoting human rights abroad. But a new report by the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission shows why we must not stay silent about Russia, writes MP Fiona Bruce

Just before the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission’s report on Russia, which is launched today, went to print a week ago, we received news that human rights activist Oleg Kozlovsky had been “abducted, beaten, and subjected to terrifying mock executions” in Ingushetia, North Caucasus, before being released, according to Amnesty International. His abductors reportedly claimed to be from the security services. Mr Kozlovsky wrote on Twitter on 15 October 2018 that his kidnappers brought him to a remote place where they stripped him naked, punched him, broke a rib, took photos, and threatened to rape him. He alleges that they put a gun to the back of his head and said they were going to shoot him. His telephone and camera were confiscated, and they reportedly warned that his children would be killed if he ever spoke about this ordeal. Oleg Kozlovsky gave evidence to our inquiry. Indeed, he was invited to testify in person, but his visa to come to the United Kingdom was not...