Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

9 August 2019
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has urged Britain’s top civil servant to declare that Boris Johnson cannot force through a no-deal Brexit in the middle of a general election campaign.

The Labour leader said that forcing Britain out of the EU hours before a potential change of government would mark “an unprecedented, unconstitutional and anti-democratic abuse of power”. It follows claims that the Prime Minister could wrong-foot Labour’s plans for a no-confidence vote after Parliament's summer recess by setting any resulting election after the 31 October Brexit deadline. That would potentially mean that MPs would be powerless to stop the UK leaving the EU on that date because the Commons would not be sitting. In a letter to Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill, Mr Corbyn said that in such circumstances, the Brexit deadline should be extended so that a new government could change course. He said: “Forcing through no deal against a decision of Parliament, and denying the choice to the voters in a general election already underway, would be an unprecedented, unconstitutional and anti-democratic abuse of power by a Prime Minister elected, not by the...
9 August 2019
Sleeping baby

Shadow Minister for Public Health Sharon Hodgson writes that she knows breastfeeding can be physically draining and often painful, yet it is one of the most powerful factors in infant health.

Breastfeeding can be so hard at first. I know from my own experience that if you don’t have support and a bit of advice, encouraging a baby to nurse can be physically draining and often painful if not done correctly. That’s why Breastfeeding Week matters. It’s a reminder that breastfeeding is one of the most powerful factors in infant health – it can prevent disease and reduce health inequalities. But this Week is also a reminder that there is advice out there to support new mums in breastfeeding, if they choose to do so. We know that the first 1001 days from conception to age 2 are the most developmentally crucial for securing better long-term health outcomes for our children.  However, as a society we fail to focus on the benefits that a good nutritional diet can have on children from an early age – and we don’t promote them enough either.  That’s where Breastfeeding Week comes in, of course. There has been much greater awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding in...
9 August 2019

The Government must delay the implementation of damaging VAT changes in the construction industry, demands a coalition of the major trade bodies in the sector, in a letter to the Chancellor published this morning.

The letter calls on the Chancellor to push back the implementation of reverse charge VAT, due on 1st October, by at least six months due to the fact that: • The timing of these changes could not be worse given they are due to take place just before the UK is expected to leave the EU, quite possibly on ‘no-deal’ terms; • Reverse charge VAT will be yet another burden on construction employers on top of other pressures facing the industry, such as material price rises, increased pension contributions and skills shortages; and • The changes could lead to a loss of productivity, reduced cashflow and in the worst cases, lead to a hit on jobs, tipping some companies over the edge, particularly small businesses. Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “The fact that 15 of the leading construction trade bodies have come together to speak to the Government with one voice on this issue shows the extent to which we are concerned. We urge the Government to...
8 August 2019

It is very welcome that new statistics show more people are using the Access to Work scheme, writes IPSE. 

Jonathan Lima-Matthews, IPSE’s Public Affairs Manager and author of the report Making Self-Employment Work for Disabled People, said: “It’s very welcome to see more disabled people taking up the government’s Access to Work scheme. Disabled people we have spoken to in the course of our research have praised it highly.   “The one problem is that this excellent scheme still isn’t being publicised widely enough – particularly to the self-employed. 36,240 is a very small proportion of the UK’s seven million disabled people. It is also concerning that more has not been done to promote Access to Work among a key group: the disabled self-employed.   “As Mr Tomlinson rightly says, for many disabled people, finding and staying in employment can be...
8 August 2019

New research conducted by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) shows less than a third of managers are ready to support staff transitioning at work. 

A survey of over 1,000 managers across the UK reveals that less than a third of managers (30%) say their employer has a Transitioning at Work policy. This falls to under a fifth of managers in the private sector (17%) and in SMEs (15%). There are many actions employers can take to support trans staff. Putting in place a comprehensive policy is often the first step. It shows the organisation’s commitment to a trans-inclusive workplace, equips managers with the information they need to manage staff who are transitioning and supports trans employees. CMI research shows that managers value and are making use of policies to support staff who are transitioning, although this varies by size and sector: 4% of all managers surveyed have used a Transitioning at Work policy to support them in their role as a manager. This includes supporting staff who are transitioning, tackling inappropriate behaviour and building a trans-inclusive workplace 6% of managers in the public sector, including...
8 August 2019
Monaco

The number of tax exile non-doms in the UK has fallen to a record low amid fears of a Jeremy Corbyn government and uncertainty over Brexit.

The latest statistics from HMRC show there were 78,300 people living here who list their permanent home in another country for tax reasons, down 13% from the year before. It means they pay no tax on their UK earnings, but not their offshore accounts. A total of £7.5billion was raised from non-doms in 2017/18, down from £9.5billion the year before. HMRC say this has not resulted in an overall fall in revenue to the Exchequer, as the shortfall has been made up by those “previously non-domiciled becoming domiciled” and paying all their tax in the UK. But the taxman did concede that around 6,000 high net worth individuals, have left Britain altogether. Josie Hills, senior tax manager with law firm Pinsent Masons, said: "Brexit uncertainty is driving out many of the wealthiest non-doms who are not prepared to hang around to find out the outcome.” She also blamed Labour's plans to increase taxes on the well-off for the exodus. Ms Hills said: “The prospect of a Labour...
8 August 2019
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has called a special meeting of the Shadow Cabinet to step up Labour's preparations for a snap election, PoliticsHome can reveal.

The away day will take place in Salford, Manchester, on 2 September - the day before Parliament returns after the summer recess. That will increase speculation that Labour plans to table a motion of no confidence in the Government that week as it tries to force a general election before the UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October. Members of the Shadow Cabinet were informed of the get-together earlier this week. The move comes amid reports suggesting Boris Johnson is planning to hold a general election within days of Brexit happening. It has also been claimed that the Prime Minister would effectively ignore any vote of no confidence and stay in office in the run-up to a fresh poll. But John McDonnell has insisted that Mr Corbyn would have the right to form an alternative government, saying he would put the Labour leader "in a cab to Buckingham Palace" to demand the Queen makes him Prime Minister. Mr Corbyn has said Labour will table a confidence motion at an "appropriate very early...
8 August 2019
Boris Johnson and Priti Patel

Boris Johnson has pledged to make it quicker and easier for foreign scientists to settle in the UK under a shake-up of immigration rules after Brexit.

The Prime Minister said a new fast-track system would allow the UK to attract “the brightest and the best" in the fields of science, engineering and technology.. The plans include removing the need for immigrants to have an offer of employment before they can arrive in the country, and lifting the cap on the number of "exceptional talent" visas which are currently handed out. Immigrants' dependents will also be given full access to the labour market, while more universities and research institutes will be allowed to endorse candidates. Mr Johnson, who has already pledged to scrap the Government's target to bring net migration below 100,000 a year, said: "Britain has a proud history of innovation, with home-grown inventions spanning from the humble bicycle to the lightbulb. "We were home to the world’s first national DNA database, we discovered graphene, and our cutting-edge scientists should be proud to follow in the footsteps of titans like Ada Lovelace and Nobel Laureates Francis...
8 August 2019
John McDonnell

Scottish Labour MSPs have accused John McDonnell of "undermining" the party after declaring a Jeremy Corbyn-led government would not block a second referendum on independence.

The Shadow Chancellor sparked a political storm by insisting the "English Parliament" should not stand in the way of another poll on separation. Speaking at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, he said: "We would not block something like that. We would let the Scottish people decide. That's democracy. There are other views within the party but that's our view." His comments put him at odds with Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, who said earlier this year that the party would turn down any request by the SNP to hold another vote. In a hard-hitting statement, the Holyrood-based Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party said they "opposed a divisive and unnecessary second independence referendum and will campaign tirelessly to ensure Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom". And they demanded talks with the UK Labour leadership about Mr McDonnell's explosive intervention. They said: "The SPLP support the stance taken by Richard Leonard as our leader and back the policy position that he...
8 August 2019
Boris Johnson

A senior Tory has quit the party blaming Boris Johnson's "dangerous and damaging" Brexit strategy.

David Herdson, a former councillor and ex-chair of two local Conservative associations, said he was tearing up his membership over the “obsession” with leaving the EU on 31 October 31, the Prime Minister's decision to hire Dominic Cummings and his "unconservative" spending plans. Writing for the Political Betting website, he said: ”What is not necessary is the obsession with either the arbitrary deadline of 31 October, or the clear desire among many in the party to leave with no deal. “The latter would be deeply damaging to the economy and community cohesion, while the former makes it an all but certain outcome as there wouldn’t time to deliver anything else, even if the conditions for re-opening talks weren’t designed as if to be rejected.” He said Brexit has become for the Conservatives “what...