Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

5 November 2019
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg delivers a speech during the

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been condemned after suggesting the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire lacked “common sense”.

The House of Commons leader told LBC radio that the 72 people who died in the blaze should have ignored firefighters’ advice to remain in their homes and instead leave the burning building. His comment came after a report into the fire last week found that more lives could have been saved were it not for a delay in revoking London Fire Brigade’s “stay put” policy. Mr Rees-Mogg told presenter Nick Ferrari: “The tragedy came about because of the cladding, leading to the fire racing up the building and then was compounded by the stay put policy and it seems to me that is the tragedy of it. “The more one’s read over the weekend about the report and about the chances of people surviving, if you just ignore what you’re told and leave you are so much safer. “And I think if either of us were in a fire, whatever the fire brigade said, we would leave the burning building. It just seems the common sense thing to do. And it is such a tragedy that that didn’t happen.” Jeremy Corbyn...
5 November 2019

The UK’s most creative transport start-ups and SMEs have today been invited to team up with The Go-Ahead Group for the latest programme of its landmark innovation lab.

The Billion Journey Project, now entering its third year, sees FTSE 250-listed Go-Ahead Group offer a 12-week scheme to help small businesses grow and develop their solutions for passengers. The scheme is leading in the transport industry and part of Go-Ahead’s efforts to improve customer experience through innovative new offerings. Named for the billion journeys that Go-Ahead enables every year, the scheme previously generated a “life-changing” app for disabled transport users, which went on to be rolled out nationally across the railways in 2018. Other programme successes include AirPortr, which allows airline passengers to check in their baggage from home, with special ticketing offers planned for passengers of Go-Ahead’s Gatwick Express service. Mark Anderson, Head of Commercial Innovation said, “I am delighted that Go-Ahead is once again opening up The Billion Journey Project to engage with the UK’s great transport innovators. “For us to prepare for the future of transport...
5 November 2019

The British Specialist Nutrition Association respond to an opinion article by Lord Aberdare, where he argues that more must be done to tackle malnutrition in the UK.

With the number of adults being admitted to hospital with malnutrition having more than doubled in the last decade, and one in three people in care homes and one in ten visiting their GP either malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, it is important that the role of good nutritional care across health and social care is recognised. While there is now some attention on hospital food with the recently announced national review, for many the problem is caused by an illness that prevents them from eating or absorbing nutrients normally. For these patients, what is often needed is properly administered specialist nutrition, whether they are in hospital, in care homes or in their own homes. Currently, responsibility for nutritional care across health and social care, including the assessment and identification of patients at risk of malnutrition and appropriate management, is spread across a number of organisations and roles. As malnutrition continues to increase, BSNA fully supports Lord...
5 November 2019

Nearly two thirds of vets (63%) worked when they didn’t feel well enough in the last year, according to new figures released today by the British Veterinary Association (BVA). BVA is warning that the problem of ‘presenteeism’ could have a longer-term impact on vets’ wellbeing.

The results, from over 1300 responses to the BVA Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey, found that the problem is more noticeable amongst locum vets (69% have worked when they’ve not felt well enough) and employees (64%) but is also an issue amongst partners and the self-employed (57%). It’s more common for vets in clinical practice (65%) than in non-clinical roles (51%). In all of these sectors over half of vets reported working when they were unwell. Nearly one in five (18%) of the vets surveyed said they do not take sick leave because they feel uncomfortable doing so. This is more common amongst younger vets (25% of under 35s compared to 19% of 35-54-year olds, and 8% of over 55s) and female vets (21% compared to 11% of male vets). BVA is reminding all vets that they have a legal right not to attend work when they aren’t well enough do so and that any concerns should be discussed with managers. The free BVA legal helpline is available to members to provide further guidance on...
5 November 2019
Post Office

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has accused a major postal union of making a "politically calculated" bid to stop people voting in the general election.

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) is locked in a bitter industrial dispute with the Royal Mail over pay and conditions. It has threatened a mass walkout in the run-up to the 12 December election - potentially putting the delivery of millions of postal votes at risk. Ms Leadsom said: "CWU's threat to ruin Christmas and disrupt the postal system during the general election is just a preview of things to come if Jeremy Corbyn is ever allowed near the keys to Number 10. "The timing of this threat is clearly politically calculated and would disrupt both the election and people's Christmas deliveries." Almost one in five people opted for a postal vote in 2017, according to the Electoral Commission, with requests to cast ballots at home more common among elderly people. Royal Mail bosses wrote to the union - which is affiliated to Labour - last week, urging them not to "threaten the integrity of our democracy". But the Business Secretary's comments drew an angry response from the union...
5 November 2019
David Cameron

Not a single house has been built as a result of a Conservatives pledge to create hundreds of thousands of new homes, the independent spending watchdog has found.

The Tories' 2015 manifesto committed the party to building 200,000 'Starter Homes', to be sold at a 20% discount and exclusively available to first-time buyers under the age of 40. David Cameron, the Prime Minister at the time, said it would give young people shut out of the housing market the chance to to access "decent, well-built, homes with gardens - places to start and raise a family". More than £2bn was allocated to the programme in the November 2015 spending review. But a report by the National Audit Office found no evidence that any homes had been built under the programme - with the legislation needed to enforce the scheme yet to make it into law. "No Starter Homes have been built to date," the NAO said. "The funding originally intended for Starter Homes has instead been spent on acquiring and preparing brownfield sites for housing more generally, some of which is affordable housing." The Ministry of Housing meanwhile "no longer has a budget dedicated to the...
5 November 2019
Fruit and Vegetables

Malnutrition in the UK is under-recognised and under-treated, we must identify and promote good nutrition as an integral part of all mainstream health and care pathways, writes Lord Aberdare. 

The importance of nutrition was brought home to me following a period of illness some years ago, when medical nutrition products played an important part in my recovery.  But I have been shocked to learn about the scale and impact of malnutrition, right here in the UK, affecting not just those who are elderly or ill, but also young people suffering from obesity through poor eating habits, resulting in malnutrition – which after all can mean nutrition that is unsuitable or unbalanced, not just inadequate. I put down a House of Lords question on this issue on 14 October, which turned out to be the first day of the second Malnutrition Awareness Week – of which I was previously unaware. The question will come up for answer today, just squeaking under the wire before Parliament is dissolved. Malnutrition in the UK is under-recognised and under-treated.  There are some 3 million people living with malnutrition, including 1 in 10 older people. 1 in 6 patients are malnourished...
5 November 2019
Fireworks

Easy access to loud fireworks is putting the UK's animals at risk of avoidable pain, suffering, and distress, says Daniella Dos Santos, President, BVA.

Fireworks season can be a fun time for many people, but the loud, high-pitched noises and bright flashes can be extremely traumatic for animals across species, from pets and livestock to horses, wildlife and zoo animals, who have no way of understanding what is happening around them. Current controls on the use and sale of fireworks, as well as controls to mitigate noise levels, do not go far enough to adequately safeguard the health and welfare of animals in the UK. That is why the British Veterinary Association is urging policy makers to prioritise stricter legislation on how and when they are used and sold. What’s the issue? Under current laws, fireworks can be set off by anyone over the age of 18 years between 7.00am and 11.00pm on any day of the year. On Bonfire Night, the cut off is extended until midnight, while for New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year it’s until 1 am. The permitted noise threshold for fireworks means they can reach up to 150 decibels, which is as...
5 November 2019
London commuters

Young millennials are on course to pay more towards the UK state while receiving less in return than any other post-war generation, a major new study has found.

It revealed that while all groups born since 1931 received more support in education, health and benefits than they have paid in taxes throughout their lives, those born in 1996 would get less than half than those born in the 1950s. The Resolution Foundation found that co-called “baby boomers” born after the Second World War would receive a "welfare dividend" of £291,000 over the course of their lives, while those born towards the end of the 20th century would get just £132,000. Ahead of next month’s general election, former Tory minister Lord Willetts, who heads the think tank, said politicians had “exacerbated” the age divide by tilting the welfare state in favour of older people through the introduction of benefits like free TV licences.. The findings form part of an updated edition of The Pinch, which the peer first wrote ahead of the 2010 election, and which warned that younger generations risked losing out. Lord Willetts said: "When I first wrote...
5 November 2019
Fireworks

Ministers must do more to make the "inconsiderate and irresponsible" use of fireworks as socially unacceptable as drink-driving, MPs have said.

A report by the Petitions Committee called for tougher regulations in a bid to reduce the distress they cause to animals, people with health conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and small children. Their findings were published to coincide with Guy Fawkes Night, when fireworks will be used on bonfires across the country. Around 750,000 people have signed petitions to the committee calling for a crackdown on the way fireworks are sold to the public. However, the cross-party committee stopped short of an outright ban, saying it could have unintended consequences for community groups raising money for charity, as well as boosting the sale of dangerous explosives on the black market. Their report said: "Inconsiderate and irresponsible use of fireworks should be considered as socially unacceptable as drink driving. "There is very clear evidence that loud, unexpected noise from fireworks has severe and distressing effects on people with a range of health...