Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

11 December 2018
Gavin Williamson has pushed for more money for defence since entering the MoD

We have dangerously downgraded the status of defence in our national priorities. Spending must rise to 3% of GDP if the UK is to face up to modern-day threats, writes the chair of the Defence Select Committee Julian Lewis

The extra £1bn (£200m in 2017-18 and £800m in 2018-19) allocated to defence by Philip Hammond’s budget is a welcome sticking plaster on a gaping wound. We have made modest progress in the foothills, but we still have a financial mountain to climb if our country’s safety is adequately to be resourced. Of the 25 inquiry reports produced by the Defence Committee and its Sub-committee in the past three years, there is one to which I repeatedly return. “Shifting the goalposts? Defence expenditure and the 2% pledge” was published in April 2016 and mainly examined whether the Cameron government had ‘fiddled the figures’ in calculating the proportion of GDP invested in the UK’s armed forces. It concluded that, although the accounting criteria fell firmly within Nato’s existing guidelines, items such as war pensions – permitted, but previously excluded – were now being used to pad out the data. Yet, the report’s enduring interest lay in two annexes, scrupulously compiled by our professional...
21 November 2018
Steve ReedSteve Reed

A Labour frontbencher today defied Jeremy Corbyn by saying a general election to break the Brexit deadlock was “not possible” - as he argued a fresh EU referendum was the only option.

Steve Reed said Tory MPs would never agree to a snap election under UK laws and "only the people can break the logjam" through a new vote on quitting the EU. Labour leader Mr Corbyn has committed to pushing for a general election in the hope Labour can form a government and take over negotiations. The party has agreed that a so-called People's Vote referendum on the final Brexit deal Theresa May strikes with Brussels should be "on the table" as a last resort. But Shadow Culture Minister Mr Reed said Labour must instead leap to pressing for a second referendum, which he said should include giving the option for voters to reverse the decision to leave in 2016. “The Government has no majority, so what happens next will be a matter for Parliament,” he wrote in the Evening Standard. “The Labour party agreed that if the deal...
21 November 2018
Theresa MayTheresa May

 Theresa May sparked confusion today when she said the UK would leave the EU in March next year - just minutes after warning MPs Brexit could be halted.

In an apparent shift in position, the PM today ditched warnings that voting down her agreement with the EU could lead to a no-deal departure, but insisted it could end up cancelling Brexit altogether.  However asked by a pro-Brexit Cabinet minister just moments later if the UK would definitely quit the bloc in March 2019, the PM said she could indeed give that "assurance". The Prime Minister has repeatedly told MPs that voting down her agreement could lead to a no-deal Brexit, which many experts have said could cause major economic disruption. But Cabinet minister Amber Rudd this morning said there was no majority in the Commons for quitting the EU on World Trade Organisation rules, so it would never happen. She was echoed by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, who told BBC 5 Live MPs could put the country "in serious danger...
21 November 2018
Theresa May and Arlene FosterTheresa May and Arlene Foster

Theresa May’s agreement with the DUP “remains in place” despite a major rebellion over the Budget, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister was accused of being “in office, but not in power” last night after the unionist party - whose support Mrs May relies on for her Commons majority - refused to back the Finance Bill and forced the Government to accept changes tabled by Labour and the SNP. The DUP has reacted with fury to Mrs May’s proposed Brexit deal, with the party outraged at plans to shift Northern Ireland into a separate EU customs regime if the so-called ‘backstop’ provision ends up being used. The move has raised questions over the future of its confidence-and-supply arrangement with the Government, which was struck in the wake of the 2017 general election that cost Mrs May her Commons majority. But the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said of the deal today: “It’s published and I’m not aware of any changes to its status. “Members of the DUP have said...
21 November 2018
Theresa May and Jeremy CorbynTheresa May and Jeremy Corbyn

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn clashed at PMQs. Here is how it all unfolded. 

21 November 2018

The Association of Former Members of Parliament has published the latest edition of its official journal Order! Order!

You can download and read it here.
21 November 2018
Theresa May and Jeremy CorbynTheresa May and Jeremy Corbyn

Keep up with the all the latest Commons action LIVE as Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn clash at PMQs. Watch the whole thing below the blog window.

21 November 2018

IKEA (Ingka Holding B.V and its controlled entities) is accelerating its transformation, stepping up investments in new and existing IKEA stores and fulfilment centres, developing city centre formats and focusing on its e-commerce platform, to better meet the needs of its customers and be more convenient and affordable to many more people.

Building on many years of solid growth and as part of a transformation, Ingka Group is assessing all parts of the organisation and is simplifying to enable a greater focus on adding value to its customers. As a result, in the coming two years 11,500 new jobs will be created globally, through opening around 30 new IKEA touchpoints, investments in its fulfilment network and in digital capabilities. At the same time 7,500 jobs may be made redundant, out of the total 160,000 co-worker population, mainly focusing on global functions and offices in 30 markets. Jesper Brodin, Chief Executive Officer, Ingka Group says: “We continue to grow and perform strongly. At the same time, we recognise that the retail landscape is transforming at a scale and pace we’ve never seen before. As customer behaviours change rapidly, we are investing and developing our business to meet their needs in better and new ways. We will put greater emphasis on making our existing stores even better and taking the...
21 November 2018
Amber RuddAmber Rudd

Cabinet minister Amber Rudd today insisted MPs will stop a no-deal Brexit ever happening - despite Theresa May warning it could be the consequence of rejecting the agreement she has struck with Brussels.

The new Work and Pensions Secretary claimed there would be no majority for it in the Commons once MPs had looked "over the abyss" - and suggested another Brexit referendum was more likely. But she argued MPs would in fact support the controversial deal, despite MPs from across the political divide vowing to reject it when it comes Parliament next month. Mrs May has warned that rejecting her deal could lead to the UK crashing out of the EU on World Trade Organisation terms, which many experts have said would spark turmoil in the economy. But Ms Rudd - who only returned to the Cabinet last week following the resignation of Dominic Raab and Esther McVey - blew a hole in the Prime Minister’s argument this morning when she said a no-deal Brexit was impossible. “It is my view that parliament - the House of Commons - will stop no deal,” she told the Today programme on Radio 4. “There isn’t a majority in the House of Commons to allow that to take place.” Asked if she meant voting down the...
21 November 2018
Jacob Rees-MoggJacob Rees-Mogg

Tory Brexiteers’ failed attempt to unseat Theresa May has bolstered the Prime Minister’s standing among the public, according to a new poll.

A YouGov survey for the Times found that 46% of voters now believe the Prime Minister should stay in her job, compared to just 33% a week ago. The poll also showed the proportion wanting her to leave Downing Street has fallen from 47% to 34%. The findings are a major boost for the beleaguered Prime Minster following days of speculation that Tory eurosceptics unhappy with her Brexit deal were poised to unseat her. Jacob Rees-Mogg, chair of the European Research Group of Brexiteer backbenchers, even held a press conference when he submitted a letter of no confidence in Mrs May last week. But since then, the Tory rebels have failed to come up with the 48 letters required to trigger a formal vote. In an embarrassing climbdown, Mr Rees-Mogg yesterday conceded that his campaign to oust the Prime Minister had proved to be more difficult than...