Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

14 August 2018
Armed police on Victoria Embankment in Westminster, central London

Theresa May has heaped praise on the "courageous" emergency services as police confirmed that they are treating a car crash outside the Houses of Parliament as a suspected terrorist attack.

The Prime Minister said: "My thoughts are with those injured in the incident in Westminster and my thanks to the emergency services for their immediate and courageous response." Downing Street meanwhile announced that an emergency Cobra meeting of security officials would discuss the "suspected terrorist incident" this afternoon. A man in his 20s has been arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences after the silver Ford Fiesta he was driving hit cyclists and pedestrians before crashing into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament. The Metropolitan Police confirmed that its Counter Terrorism Command is now leading the probe into the incident, with the suspect currently in detention at a south London police station. A Met spokesperson added: "There was nobody else in the vehicle, which remains at the scene and is being searched. No weapons have been recovered at this stage. "A number of people were injured as a result of the collision and they have been taken to hospital...
14 August 2018
Ruth Davidson

Ruth Davidson has thrown her weight behind proposals for a so-called “Amazon tax” to even the playing field between online giants and high street shops.

The Scottish Conservative leader warned the high street could “vanish” if the Government failed to increase taxation on online firms. Writing for the Telegraph, Ms Davidson compared the income of online giant Amazon to oil rich Kuwait before lashing out at the firm’s efforts to reduce their tax bill. “Kuwait’s entire GDP is outstripped by the place you go when you’ve forgotten your nephew’s birthday,” she wrote. “That’s right, at $117,900 million, the online retailer Amazon had a greater revenue stream than the entire economy of the 'Hollywood of the Gulf' last year.” Last month it was revealed that Amazon had managed to cut its corporation tax bill to £4.6m, and that further measures to postpone payments on its warehouses had reduced the Treasury take to just £1.7m. The Scottish Tory leader acknowledged that online firms “offer an...
14 August 2018

Dr Hugh Milroy, Chief Executive of Veterans Aid responds to the Government's announcement on social housing. 

This is yet another useful step forward in addressing the national housing problem - but I believe it does not go far enough and the time has come to take things to the next level.  To do so the Government could look to military history for inspiration. In 1942 the Government under Churchill realised that, as a result of the Blitz, there was a need to replace slums and, vitally, to care for the needs of returning military personnel post-conflict. Accordingly, the 'Burt Committee' or Interdepartmental Committee on House Construction came into being.  This Committee, under the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act 1944, recommended the building of prefabricated (non-traditional) houses.  Many of these “prefabs” lasted well beyond their supposed use-by date and fulfilled a real need. It may just be that with regard to our housing crisis the time has come to act as decisively as Churchill did all those years ago?      
14 August 2018
Dementia patients sit together

Baroness Judith Jolly, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health, writes about the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) system, covered in the Mental Capacity Act Amendment Bill which is currently going through parliament.

You may not know it but there are currently over 100,000 people, many of them with dementia, who may be unlawfully having their freedom restricted and receiving inappropriate care. This is because of the broken Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) system, which has been made worse by the crisis in the social care system. But who is impacted by DoLS? The answer is the most vulnerable in our society, including those who have had a stroke or individuals with learning disabilities. However, they are most often used to protect older people, as the likelihood of a person having a DoLS application made on their behalf increases significantly with age. DoLS reforms are therefore the main focus of the Mental Capacity Act Amendment Bill, which had its second reading in the House of Lords in July. These new safeguards aim to make sure people in care homes, hospitals or those receiving care at home, who can’t consent to their care arrangements, do not have their freedoms unlawfully...
14 August 2018
Chuka Umunna

Labour MPs are being "pushed to breaking point" by the party's battle with anti-Semitism, prominent backbencher Chuka Umunna has warned.

The Streatham MP and former shadow business secretary urged Jeremy Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet to hold an “emergency meeting” to deal with the problem, and said anti-Jewish abuse had been allowed to "flourish" in the party. Labour has come in for criticism from a string of Jewish community groups in recent weeks after its ruling body decided against adopting the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Definition (IHRA) of anti-Semitism and its accompanying examples of abuse. Writing in the Independent, Mr Umunna said the party's top team now needed to take "collective action" to tackle the mounting crisis, and claimed that backbench MPs were scared out speak out in case they faced deselection for criticising Mr Corbyn. "In this context, it is extraordinary that Labour’s Shadow Cabinet has not held an emergency meeting to get a grip and bring an...