Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

14 August 2018

Social housing tenants will be given the right to buy as little as 1% of their council homes each year in a bid to boost home ownership, ministers have announced.

The Government says the new ownership plans set out in its long-awaited social housing green paper would offer tenants a “springboard” onto the housing ladder and could boost home ownership rates across the UK. Labour has dismissed the plan as "pitiful". Currently, tenants wishing to buy a stake in their home are required to pay a minimum 10% stake in the property, making it an unaffordable step for many people. Under the new proposals, tenants will also be given “sharper teeth” to take on rogue landlords, with a sped-up complaints procedure and better access to effective dispute resolution. Other measures include the creation of a league table for landlords and housing providers, a move ministers claim would "rebalance the landlord/tenant relationship to hold bad practice to account". Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said the new measures would "improve fairness, quality and safety for residents". "Providing high quality and well managed social housing is a core priority for...
14 August 2018
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to apologise for his attendance at a controversial memorial service honouring suspected Palestinian terrorists.

The Labour leader has been under fire over claims, denied by the party, that he laid a wreath at a grave commemorating those accused of being behind the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Yesterday he admitted “being present” at the 2014 wreath-laying ceremony in Tunisia, but said he did not think he had been “involved”. Labour backbencher and Jewish MP Luciana Berger dismissed the explanation, however, and demanded an apology over the incident.  But today Mr Corbyn refused to apologise telling Sky News: "No, I’m not apologising for being there at all… “I was there when the wreaths were laid – that’s pretty obvious. “There were many others there that were witness to that, I witnessed many other people laying many wreaths." Labour has insisted Mr Corbyn was at the Palestine National Cemetery in Tunisia to honour the victims of a 1985 Israeli airstrike.  Responding to the row, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "The laying of wreath...
14 August 2018
theresa may

Theresa May has urged the public to “remain vigilant” in the wake of a suspected terror attack in which a car hit pedestrians outside the Houses of Parliament.  

The Prime Minister branded the attack “shocking” as police revealed that it was being treated as a “terrorist incident”. In a statement Mrs May said: “Today’s suspected attack outside the Houses of Parliament is shocking. “For the second time in as many years the home of our democracy, which is a potent symbol of our precious values of tolerance and freedom, has witnessed terrible scenes just yards from its door. “My thoughts are with the innocent members of the public who were hurt in this appalling incident. I wish them a speedy recovery and we must be thankful that nobody suffered life-threatening injuries.” This comes as the latest Government figures reveal a spike in UK terror activity, with 13 Islamist plots and 4 extreme far right plots foiled by the police since March 2017. According to Number Ten, there are also 676 live counter-terror investigations currently underway – up from ‘over 500’ in March this year.   The Prime Minister said: “The threat to the United...
14 August 2018

It is disgraceful that over 100,000 people, many of them living with dementia, could be having their freedom restricted, says Sally Copley, Director of Policy, Campaigns and Partnerships at Alzheimer's Society.

An article published today by Baroness Judith Jolly, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Health, highlights that a backlog of Deprivation of Libery Safeguards (DoLS) assessments means over 100,000 people may not be having their rights upheld.  The article also demonstrates that this issue has a disproportionate impact on people with dementia, as the complex nature of the disease means a DoLS assessment by someone with limited training or time can mean the wrong care plan is put in place.  It is disgraceful that over 100,000 people, many of them living with dementia, could be having their freedom restricted. Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are an essential part of protecting the rights of people with dementia, and the system in which they operate must be given the resources it needs to do that. The proposed reform of this broken system is great in theory, but as Baroness Jolly highlights, currently we’re just not equipped to deliver that in practice. A million...
14 August 2018

Police have arrested a man after a number of pedestrians were injured as a car crashed into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.

Footage showed armed officers surrounding the car before a man was led away in hancuffs. Streets around the area have been cordoned off and several ambulances and firefighters also arrived at the scene. Police said nobody was thought to be in a life-threatening condition. Counterterror police have taken charge of the investigation - although the Met said it was keeping "an open mind". Scotland Yard said on Twitter: “At 7.37am today, a car was in collision with barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. “The male driver of the car was detained by officers at the scene. A number of pedestrians have been injured. Officers remain at the scene. “We will issue further info when we have it.’’ At 0737hrs today, a car was in collision with barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. The male driver of the car was detained by officers at the scene. A number of pedestrians have been injured. Officers remain at the scene. We will issue further info when we have it. — Metropolitan Police (...
14 August 2018

The number of EU citizens working in the UK faced a record nosedive in the year to June, official figures have revealed.

Some 2.28 million EU nationals were working in the country between April and June 2018 - 86,000 fewer than in the same period the year before, the Office for National Statistics said. The fall reflects an increase in the number of EU nationals leaving the UK since the Brexit vote in June 2016. Campaigners warned of a "Brexodus" and said the "alarming" fall could be just "the start". The drop coincided with a rise in the number of job vacancies to its highest figure on record at 829,000 - some 51,000 more than for a year earlier. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed people fell by 124,000 compared with the year before and by 65,000 compared with the previous three months to hit 1.36 million - a record low. And earnings were up by just 0.1% once when inflation was taken into account, and 0.4% when bonuses were excluded. Matt Hughes, the deputy head of labour market at the ONS, said: “The number of people in work has continued to edge ahead, though the employment rate was unchanged on the...
14 August 2018
European Union flag outside Parliament, Brexit

Support for a second referendum on Britain's exit from the European Union has climbed in the past month, according to a new poll.

A fresh study for the Independent by pollster BMG found 48% of the public would now back a vote on any deal struck between the UK and the EU - up from 44% just four weeks ago. Fewer than a quarter (24%) of the 1,500 people surveyed were opposed to second vote, down three points over the same period. Sixteen percent said they did not have strong feelings either way, while 11% said they did not know. The poll will also make grim reading for Theresa May, with 49% saying the Prime Minister should be replaced if she cannot strike a Brexit deal her Cabinet can rally behind, up from 46% last month. Meanwhile, 52% of people believed a fresh election should be called if Mrs May is ousted as Tory leader, up a percentage point on last month's figures. The poll meanwhile found that just 14% of people would support Mrs May's controversial...
14 August 2018

Tory eurosceptics are set to unveil a hard Brexit rival to Theresa May's controversial Chequers plan just days before the Conservative party conference, it has emerged.

The Prime Minister's Brexit proposals - designed to minimise trade disruption and avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland - sparked fury from Brexiteers, who believe they will leave the UK too closely bound to the European Union. The Sun reports that top Conservative Eurosceptics, led by European Research Group chair Jacob Rees-Mogg, are now preparing to present their own "Clean Brexit" plan on the eve of the party's big gathering in September. A source told the paper: "This is about delivering the clean Brexit that people voted for. No concessions." The Times meanwhile reports that the policy paper - which will aim to win the backing of up to 80 Conservative MPs - will strike a hardline stance with the EU. The proposal in its current form would see Britain agree to a...
14 August 2018

The Government has published the long-awaited Green Paper on social housing, setting out what the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government intends to do to improve social housing for tenants. Social housing is accommodation provided to those who need it by local authorities and charities if they’re affected by issues such as low income or disability.

The report – entitled ‘a new deal for social housing’ - centres around five broad themes. Tackling stigma and celebrating thriving communities, expanding supply and supporting home ownership, effective resolution of complaints, empowering residents and strengthening the regulator and ensuring homes are safe and decent Responding to this publication, Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, said: “We’re pleased that this report has finally been published but disappointed not to see greater emphasis placed on mental health, given the high proportion of social housing tenants affected by poor mental health. Over one in three people who live in social housing have a mental health problem and there is a strong link between housing and mental health. You’re more likely to experience problems with your home if you have a mental health problem and, equally, where you live can have a huge impact on your mental health. “There are a huge number of housing issues affecting our members...
14 August 2018
Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have blasted the Israeli Prime Minister after he condemned the Labour leader's attendance at a controversial memorial service.

Mr Corbyn has been under scrutiny in recent days following claims, denied by Labour, that he laid a wreath at a grave for Palestinians accused of the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Labour has said the leader's 2014 visit to the Palestine National Cemetry in Tunisia was to honour the victims of a 1985 Israeli airstrike, and Mr Corbyn has said he does not "think" he was "involved" in a wreath-laying for those accused of the Munich attack. But Mr Netanyahu said: "The laying of wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone – left, right and everything in between." Mr Corbyn shot back, however, saying the claims were "false" and lashing out at the Israeli Government's recent response to protests in Gaza. "What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since...