Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

22 April 2019
Labour sign

Labour has been forced to delete a tweet wishing everyone a Happy St George's Day after they sent the social media message out a day early.

The party had hoped the message would sway potential voters as they reiterated their promise to hand voters four extra bank holidays to mark the patron saint days of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister. But Labour were left red-faced after it was pointed out they'd published the tweet a full 24 hours early. The message, which was also sent out by several regional Labour accounts, said: "Happy St George's Day! With the next Labour government, we'll celebrate the patron saint with a bank holiday - and bank holidays for St Patrick, St David and St Andrew too. "Sound good? Share the news."  The gaffe comes just days after the party was forced to delete another posted aimed at celebrating the Jewish festival of passover. The tweet, which included the Star of David, a glass of wine, and a loaf of bread, was binned after Twitter users pointed out that Jews are forbidden from eating leavened bread during the holiday. Instead, flat...
22 April 2019
People work at a blast scene at St. Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have condemned the “appalling” Easter weekend attacks in Sri Lanka that have left at least 290 people dead.

Hundreds of people were killed and around 500 injured by a series of explosions targeting churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. The island’s foreign ministry has confirmed that five British nationals - including two US-UK dual nationals - were among those killed in the wave of attacks. British politicians lined up to condemn the killings, with the Prime Minister saying: "The acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling, and my deepest sympathies go out to all of those affected at this tragic time." Mrs May added: "We must stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear." Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "I'm appalled by the horrific attacks in Sri Lanka, on Easter Sunday, the most important day in the Christian calendar. "I stand with the victims, their families, the people of Sri Lanka and Christians around the world. We must defeat this hatred with unity, love and respect." And Foreign...
22 April 2019
Tory rosette

Conservative donors are giving money directly to Tory MPs instead of the party's central office because of their anger about Theresa May's handling of Brexit, it has been claimed.

Alexander Temerko, who has donated more than £1 million to the Conservatives, told The Times that the Prime Minister had "alienated" voters on both sides of the Brexit divide. And he revealed that he had now resorted to giving thousands of pounds in donations straight "to associations and MPs" instead of Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ). "Who is suffering? CCHQ. A lot of donors now prefer to support individual MPs not CCHQ," he warned. "Remainers are disappointed about a lot of uncertainty, Brexiteers are disappointed because Brexit has not happened. She should be much more careful with donors. She has alienated them." The comments came as Conservative members moved a step closer to forcing a vote on ousting Mrs May as Tory leader. Under Conservative rules, the Prime Minister - who last December saw off a no-confidence vote spearheaded by MPs - cannot be...
22 April 2019
Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has surged to an eighteen-point lead over his nearest Conservative leadership rival in a fresh poll of Tory activists.

The former foreign secretary swept up almost a third (32.3%) of all support in a study for the ConservativeHome website - well clear of his nearest rival Dominic Raab on 14.7%. The result marks a ten-point leap in the past month, and comes in spite of Mr Johnson - a longstanding critic of Theresa May's Brexit deal - switching to back the EU agreement when it came before MPs for a third vote. But it follows a bruising month for Theresa May, who has been forced to agree a further delay to Brexit with European leaders. ConservativeHome editor Paul Goodman said of Mr Johnson: "Essentially, his resignation catapulted him to the front of the queue as the main Conservative opponent of Theresa May’s EU policy. And the worse she does, the more he thrives. "The postponement of Brexit, the talks with Jeremy Corbyn, the...
22 April 2019
Baroness Lawrence and Theresa May

The murder of Stephen Lawrence forced Britain to "wake up to the reality of the racism that still exists in our society", Theresa May has said.

In a message marking the first annual Stephen Lawrence Day, the Prime Minister said the "watershed" killing of the 18-year old had reminded the country of the challenges still facing the country. Stephen was stabbed by a racist gang, who also attacked his friend Duwayne Brooks, in South East London in 1993. While David Norris and Gary Dobson were convicted of murder and are currently serving life sentences, the rest of the gang have never been caught. Stephen's murder prompted the 1999 Macpherson inquiry, which said the killing had been "simply and solely and unequivocally motivated by racism" and exposed "institutional racism" within the Metropolitan police who investigated the attack. Mrs May said: "Stephen's murder was a watershed moment for our country. "It was a moment that demanded we wake up to the reality of the racism that still exists in our society and the obstacles that far too many young people live with every single day of their lives. "It was a moment that...
22 April 2019
Conservative MP Boris Johnson

The climate change protesters who have brought parts of London to a standstill in a bid to highlight the plight of the planet should go and "lecture" China instead, Boris Johnson has suggested.

The former mayor of London hit out at Extinction Rebellion protesters - who have warned that the world faces an "unprecedented global climate emergency" - for "paralysing public transport in the greatest city on earth, and stopping people from getting to work". And he urged them to instead target China, whose carbon dioxide emissions are still "rising vertiginously". Police last night moved to clear remaining Extinction Rebellion protesters from London's Waterloo Bridge, while the roads around Parliament Square have also been cleared. The group warns that the world is already in "a period of abrupt climate breakdown" and is calling on the Government declare "a climate and ecological emergency" and cut carbon emissions to zero by 2025. Ministers in 2016 pledged to enshrine a zero-carbon target in law, although no legislation has yet been passed. The organisation also wants the Government to set up "and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological...
21 April 2019
Jeremy Corbyn

Easter should prompt a renewed focus on the world's refugee crisis, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

In a message to mark the religious holiday, the Labour leader said Britain could boast "a proud history of providing a safe refuge to those in need". But he blasted the Government for taking a tough line on migration, including during a high-profile row earlier this year about people trying to cross the English Channel. Mr Corbyn said the UK now faced "a great moral test" in the face of surging numbers of refugees around the world. "Jesus went on to know what it was to be ostracised, rejected and tortured," Mr Corbyn said. "A family forced to flee their homeland for fear of persecution. "Sadly, this is still so familiar to us today. There are 68 million refugees across the world, more people than have ever before been forced to flee persecution, war and abject poverty." And the Labour leader added: "The refugee crisis is a moral test. Jesus taught us to respect refugees. "He himself said 'welcome the stranger'. And the Bible says 'the foreigner residing among you must be...
21 April 2019
Theresa May with her husband Philip

Theresa May has used her Easter message to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians around the world.

The Prime Minister said the UK "must stand up for the right of everyone, no matter what their religion" to follow their beliefs. Mrs May, who said she would spend Easter Sunday "giving thanks in church", warned that "for many Christians around the world, such simple acts of faith can bring huge danger". And she said: "Churches have been attacked. Christians murdered. Families forced to flee their homes. "That is why the Government has launched a global review into the persecution of Christians. "We must stand up for the right of everyone, no matter what their religion, to practise their faith in peace." The message came as Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was urged to expand a government review into the worldwide persecution of Christians. The review, launched in December, is being led by the Bishop of Truro and will look at how the Government can better support those under threat. According to the Christian group Open Doors, a quarter of a billion Christians face some degree of...
21 April 2019
Liam Fox

Liam Fox has warned that Britain will end up fielding scores of "disruptive and resentful" members of the European Parliament if it has to take part in Europe-wide elections next month.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the International Trade Secretary also cautioned Theresa May against agreeing membership of an EU customs union with Labour's Jeremy Corbyn - saying it would undermine promises to voters that Brexit meant "taking back control". Britain is currently slated to take part in the 23 May elections to the European Parliament after the Prime Minister was handed a six-month Brexit delay by EU leaders. Mrs May has insisted that Britain could still swerve the EU vote if MPs get behind an EU agreement by 22 May. Bur Dr Fox - a leading Brexiteer in the Cabinet - said Brussels was now risking Britain having "an effect on the formation of the next [European] Commission”. And he warned: "The last thing our European partners want are 50 disruptive and resentful UK MEPs." The International Trade Secretary - speaking on a trip to...
21 April 2019
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn could refuse to take up residence in 10 Downing Street if he becomes Prime Minister, it has been reported.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Whitehall officials have been told that the Labour leader would prefer to use Number 10 as an office while continuing to live in his longstanding North London residence. A source told the paper: "He just doesn’t want to live above the shop, even though he’s being told he will probably have to." While the move could prove a security headache for the police, the Mail on Sunday claims that the Labour leader is keen not to become associated with the "airs and graces" of life in Downing Street. A source told the paper: "I think his wife Laura would also prefer not to move to Downing Street. It is a bit like living in a goldfish bowl." The Mail on Sunday cites a source close to Mr Corbyn who said the leader had been "openly discussing" staying on in his Islington home....