Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

14 June 2019

Nick Sangwin became national chair of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) on Thursday 13 June 2019 at the NFB’s annual general meeting (AGM), which was followed by a celebratory gala dinner. 

Construction industry professionals and guests gathered at The Deep in Hull for an evening of dinner, entertainment, and networking. Guests were entertained by Jim Whitley.   The NFB's AGM, which took place earlier in the afternoon, saw the outgoing NFB Chair Neil Walters, commercial director of Orbit Homes, hand the ceremonial chains of office over to Nick and mark the beginning of his twelve-month term.   Nick Sangwin delivered an outstanding speech at the event. He said: “The industry is changing, as it always is. This time, there is a very real sense that the balance of power is shifting away from the 1%. One of the most gratifying aspects of that change is that the NFB is there, pushing. Whether it is on prompt payment, contract risk, access to contracts, we are there.   “This change, however, is coming. Most of the industry is behind the change. The Government wants the change to happen. The only ones who are stalling are those who benefit from things...
14 June 2019
Boris Johnson

A leading Muslim Tory activist has compared Boris Johnson to Adolf Hitler and vowed to quit the party if he becomes leader.

Mohammed Amin, chair of the Conservative Muslim Forum, said the former Foreign Secretary was unfit to be Prime Minister over his comments comparing women wearing the burka to letter boxes and bank robbers. Mr Johnson, the clear frontrunner in the race to succeed Theresa May, has insisted he will continue to speak his mind if he makes it to Downing Street. But Mr Amin said the MP for Uxbridge was a "buffoon" whose popularity with Tory members did not mean he was qualified to be PM. Speaking on Radio Four's Today programme, he said: "I have been a Conservative party member for over 36 years, and we don’t expect our politicians, our Prime Minister, to be saints, but we do require a basic level of morality and integrity and of all the candidates in the Conservative party leadership election, Boris Johnson is the only one that I believe fails that...
14 June 2019
Child hiding in the dark

We must close the extracurricular loophole and protect 16 and 17-year-olds from sexual exploitation, writes Sarah Champion

We all appreciate the crucial role extracurricular activities play in childhood. Whether it’s learning new skills, discovering passions or making friends, these are experiences that stay with you for life. However, for hundreds of children these opportunities are leading to grooming and sexual exploitation by the very adults they rely on for support and guidance. That’s why I am lobbying Government to extend the definition of adults who are in a position of trust over children and supporting the NSPCC’s ‘Close the Loophole’ campaign. Staff and volunteers working with children are in roles that give them the opportunity to form close relationships over years, and the power to determine whether a child makes the team, pass their driving test or get to travel to the competition of their dreams. No child’s ambitions should be ruined by the sexual advances of an adult that is supposed to have their best interests at heart. "No child's ambitions should be ruined by the sexual advances of...
Sarah Champion
14 June 2019
Boris Johnson at his campaign launch

Rather than this ludicrous selection process, the system for choosing a prime minister should be swift and seemly, and result in the preferred choice of elected MPs being installed in No 10, says Lord Cormack

Within days we will know which candidate the Conservative parliamentary party wishes to see as our next prime minister – and who is their second choice. My firm belief is that whoever commands a majority on this minority government’s benches should go to the Palace and receive the Queen’s commission to form a government. But that is not what is planned. No, as the rules stand, we will have no new prime minister until near the end of July, not until the winner and runner-up in the parliamentary contest have travelled the country seeking to secure the support of a majority of the less than 0.5% of the electorate who make up the paid-up membership of the Conservative party. As far as the rest of the electorate are concerned, this tiny minority of their number are largely unknown. Some will not even be British and it is quite clear, from the credible reports of an increase in membership during the last three months of 2018 and the first three months of this year, that there has been a...
Lord Cormack
14 June 2019
The BBC has come under fire from across the political spectrum since the EU referendum in 2016

Over the past three years, the BBC has faced accusations of bias from all sides of the Brexit and political debate. Does this mean the corporation is doing something right? Or is bashing the Beeb simply more politically useful now? Sebastian Whale investigates

In the early afternoon of Sunday 12 May 2019, Nigel Farage, still feeling agitated, went on Twitter. “We are not just fighting the political class, but the BBC too,” he told his more than 1.3 million followers. Earlier, he had called the BBC the “enemy”. The Brexit party leader had just appeared on The Andrew Marr show, the BBC’s flagship Sunday political programme. Midway through the European election campaign, he had been pressed by Marr on his past views on gun control and foreigners with HIV accessing the NHS. “What is wrong with the BBC?” Farage responded, waving his arms in an exasperated fashion. “This is absolutely ludicrous. I’ve never in my life seen a more ridiculous interview than this.” His subsequent post on social media, which received 10,000 retweets, included a clip of the exchange. Watching on was Richard Corbett, the leader of the Labour party in the European Parliament, who was incredulous that Farage had recently appeared on both Marr and BBC Question Time....
14 June 2019
Chuka Umunna

Former Labour MP Chuka Umunna has joined the Liberal Democrats following his split from Change UK.

The Streatham MP said his latest party "offer the best chance to improve the lives of those I represent as well as countless other citizens across our country". He made the move following talks with outgoing Lib Dem leader Vince Cable, who said the party's new MP "will be a great asset to our party not just on Brexit, but in fighting for the liberal and social democratic values". But Labour chairman Ian Lavery called on Mr Umunna to call a by-election in the seat he won for Labour in 2017 with a majority of 26,285. He tweeted:  Three parties in as many months....who’s next ? Put your immense popularity to the good people of Streatham...let’s have a PV (people's vote) on you and your principles. ." In a statement, Mr Umunna - who was first elected a Labour MP in 2010 and briefly stood for the...
14 June 2019
John Major

John Major has accused Tory leadership contenders threatening to shut down Parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit of "gold-plated hypocrisy". 

The former Prime Minister said the idea of "proroguing" - which has been floated by Dominic Raab as a way of ensuring Brexit happens on 31 October - was "fundamentally unconstitutional". Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the race to take over Theresa May next month, has also stopped short of using the extraordinary measure. Speaking at Chatham House, Sir John said: “I don’t think anybody who proposes that, or even let it flit through their mind for a second, has any understanding of what Parliament is about, what sovereignty is about, what leadership is about, or what the UK is about and the sooner the House of Commons stamps on the idea absolutely, comprehensibly and forever, the better.” He said Britain was entering “very dangerous territory” if candidates for PM were considering the option on the basis that Parliament "may take a different view from a particular faction in the House of Commons". The Tory grandee added: “When you look back at British history, you cannot image...
14 June 2019
Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock is preparing to pull out of the Tory leadership race, it has been claimed.

Tory insiders told PoliticsHome the Health Secretary could quit as early as Friday after coming sixth in the first ballot of Tory MPs. That would spark a scramble among the other contenders to win the backing of the 20 MPs who supported Mr Hancock. Sources in Rory Stewart's camp said they hoped that up to half of them could back their man, who came seventh in the first ballot with 19 votes. According to The Times, Mr Hancock met with Sajid Javid - who came fifth with 23 votes - but the talks broke up without any agreement.  He is thought to be more likely to support with Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove - who came second and third respectively, but well behind Boris Johnson - in the remainder of the contest. Mr Hancock's team did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday night. But one Conservative source told PoliticsHome: "The rumour itself that he is even thinking it will drive his people away." Esther McVey, Mark Harper and Andrea Leadsom were eliminated from the leadership race...
14 June 2019

Dods Monitoring's Tessa Horan analyses the challenges faced by those hoping to tackle childhood obesity 

Tackling childhood obesity requires implementing core changes to the way people live, which is no small feat. Fears have arisen that implementing such progressive forms of health policy could lead to the curation of a regulatory minefield for those in the food industry whilst not sufficiently tackling the socio-economic problems; a central cause of obesity amongst children. When the first chapter of the Childhood Obesity Plan was published in 2016 it was hailed as a flagship policy for then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to tackling the growing crisis of severely overweight children in the UK. It signalled an urgent shift in the way we deal with childhood obesity, promising a more holistic approach with multiple stakeholder involvement. Painting the Picture The Commons Health Committee report ‘...
14 June 2019
Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is coming under increasing pressure to agreee to take part in upcoming TV debates involving the candidates to become Tory leader.

The runaway favourite is the only contender to have so far refused to sign up to the shows, which are due to be broadcast by Channel Four on Sunday and the BBC next Tuesday. His team - who are eager to limit the opportunities for Mr Johnson to squander his commanding leader by blundering - would only say they were "in discussions" with the broadcasters. But the other six remaining candidates issued a joint-statement on Thursday night confirming they had signed up to the format. They said: "We are at a critical moment for our country and our party. The next Conservative leader, and Prime Minister, will have the crucial task of uniting Britain behind a new vision - not only to deliver Brexit, but to define what comes next. "This leadership contest provides an important opportunity to debate, to shape and to define the ideas which will underpin those competing visions. That is why we are committed to taking part in the Channel 4 televised debates this Sunday and the BBC programme next...