Dods at Party Conference 2020

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

5 November 2019
Margaret Thatcher

Boris Johnson wants to deliver Brexit so he can "unleash Thatcherism on steroids", according to Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour leader will use a major speech to claim that the Tories plan to sell off the NHS, slash workers' rights, reduce food standards and water down environmental protections after the UK leaves the EU. He will claim that the moves are necessary in order to agree a free trade deal with Donald Trump's White House. Mr Corbyn will also pledge that a Labour government would "get Brexit sorted" within six months of being elected by holding a second referendum with Remain on the ballot paper. Speaking at an election campaign rally in Harlow, Essex, the Labour boss will say the Prime Minister "is trying to hijack Brexit to sell out our NHS and working people by stripping away their rights". "Given the chance, they’ll run down our rights at work our entitlements to holidays, breaks and leave," Mr Corbyn will say. "Given the chance, they’ll slash food standards to US levels where 'acceptable levels' of rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they’ll put chlorinated...
5 November 2019
 A red HIV ribbon is held in front of a base which is rainbow-coloured

PrEP transforms lives. The drug must have a permanent home within England’s sexual health services, writes Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP

Last year I marked 10 years since I became HIV positive. It has been a long journey, from the fear of acceptance and today, advocacy, knowing that my treatment keeps me healthy and prevents HIV being passed on to any partner. With the developments in pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily tablet which can stop a person from getting HIV, we have a real chance of ending HIV transmissions. Robust scientific evidence has shown that PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV. Yet, England is the only place in the UK where access to PrEP is restricted. Organisations including Terrence Higgins Trust and the British HIV Association are clear that this needs to change. England has lagged behind on PrEP for far too long. The PrEP Impact Trial was launched across England in October 2017 with 10,000 places available. Due to soaring demand, the trial places were increased by an extra 3,000 in September last year. In January, the secretary of state Matt Hancock committed the UK Government to...
Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP
4 November 2019
Lindsay Hoyle

Sir Lindsay Hoyle has won the race to take over from John Bercow as Speaker of the House of Commons.

The Labour MP, who was Deputy Speaker under his predecessor, took 325 votes in the final ballot of MPs, taking him over the 50% threshold following four rounds of voting. As is traditional, he was then "dragged" to the Speaker's chair by supporter Caroline Flint and Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans.  Sir Lindsay, who becomes the 158th Speaker of the Commons, said: "I hope this House will be once again a great respected House not just in here but across the world.  "We've got to make sure that  tarnish is polished away, that the respect and tolerance that we expect from everyone who works in here will be shown." Welling up with emotion, Sir Lindsay also paid tribute to his late daughter Natalie, who died last year. He said: "There is one person who's not here, my daughter Natalie. I wish she'd been here. We all miss her as a family, none more so than her mum Miriam. She was everything to all of us. She will always be missed, she will always be in our thoughts...
4 November 2019
Vote Labour

A Labour candidate in next month's general election has apologised after social media posts in which she said she would “celebrate” the deaths of Tony Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu resurfaced.

Zarah Sultana also backed the right of Palestinians to mount "violent resistance" against Israel. Ms Sultana will contest the seat of Coventry South, where Labour has a majority of nearly 8,000, on 12 December. In Twitter comments revealed by the Jewish Chronicle, the party activist responded to a quote claiming it was wrong to “celebrate the death of any person regardless of what they did”, Ms Sultana said: “Try and stop me when the likes of Blair, Netanyahu and Bush die.” She added: “The sooner they meet their creator the better. The concepts of justice and accountability don’t truly exist in this life. Only in the next.” In a separate Facebook post, Ms Sultana wrote that while she had written that she backed the Palestinian right to “non-violent resistance”, she had in fact meant “violent resistance”. She said: “...
4 November 2019

The British Safety Council welcomes the government’s efforts to encourage inclusion in the workplace, but there must be clarity for employers and employees as to what is expected.

Writing for PoliticsHome today, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions says that it is a priority for her that “no-one is barred from pursuing a career because of a disability or health condition”. The British Safety Council shares this view and we welcome the government’s efforts to encourage inclusion in the workplace through Disability Confident. The government is right to be asking how we can do more. It is estimated that ill-health at work costs the economy £100 billion a year and that sickness and absence costs employers around £9 billion. There are 12.7 working-age people with a long-term health condition, including 7.6 million who have a disability that reduces their ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Last year, one in five people between 50 and 64 left their last job because of their health.  But we want to see the government think more expansively about how we define disability and ill-health in the workplace. Employers have a role supporting employees...
4 November 2019
John Bercow

Whichever candidate prevails as the new Speaker, they will have an important duty to enhance staff wellbeing, writes Dods Monitoring's Guinevere Poncia. 

After one of the most turbulent Parliamentary decades in living memory, John Bercow’s time as Commons Speaker has ended. His retirement signals the end of an oft-controversial era, where relations between the Speaker and the Government reached a new low, and the relationship between the public and Parliament is under increasing strain. The new Speaker will continue to be a pivotal figure as these circumstances develop and will face the daunting task of guiding Parliament through what remains of Brexit, as well as the responsibility of addressing other challenges facing the Parliamentary community, including bullying and harassment and MPs’ safety.  View full Speaker Election report from Dods Monitoring. How is a Speaker elected? Electing a new Speaker is a speedy process. Over one day, MPs cast secret votes for their preferred candidate under the supervision of the Father of the House, currently outgoing Rushcliffe MP Ken Clarke...
4 November 2019

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4 November 2019
Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker has accused Boris Johnson of telling "so many lies" during the 2016 EU referendum campaign.

The outgoing European Commission president told Der Spiegel that politicians should have done more to "counter" untruths about the EU in the run-up to the vote for Brexit. And he revealed that the Commission had decided not to wade into the fierce debate over Britain's future on the advice of the then-Prime Minister David Cameron. "So many lies were told, including by current prime minister, Boris Johnson, that there needed to be a voice to counter them," he said. The Brussels boss - who is soon to be succeeded by Ursula von der Leyen - also hit out at successive generations of British politicians, including his "friend" Tony Blair, for failing to talk up anything other than the economic benefits of EU membership. "I have been involved in European politics since December 1982 and have seen time and again that the British have operated on the premise:...
4 November 2019
Workplace inclusivity

The Government is encouraging employers to think differently about disability, aiming to achieve inclusivity and equal opportunity for disabled people in the workplace, writes Therese Coffey MP. 

Everyone should be able to get on in work and ensuring no-one is barred from pursuing a career because of a disability or health condition is a priority of mine. Our workforce is changing - more people from underrepresented groups in our society are taking up positions at all levels, and since records began there are more disabled people in work than ever before - increasing by 1.15 million over the last six years. And there is more good news, with new figures revealing that 29,000 entrepreneurs with a self-declared disability have set up businesses through our New Enterprise Allowance scheme since 2011. Helping unemployed people become their own boss as a route off benefits, the scheme offers claimants a personal business mentor, weekly living allowance and funding of up to £25,000 for their business idea. But we know there is still more to do. For our society to be truly inclusive, disabled people must be given equal access to the opportunities out there, whether that’s setting...
4 November 2019

Brexit, workforce, and animal welfare top the list of 10 pledges that the British Veterinary Association is calling on all political parties to include in their manifestos for the upcoming General Election.

The 10 pledges, available at, are based on BVA animal welfare campaigns, including on animal sentience, non-stun slaughter, and illegal puppy imports, BVA’s commitment to evidence-based disease control, and the ongoing drive to improve recruitment and retention in the veterinary profession. The pledges were unveiled at a private briefing for MPs and Peers in Westminster last month. The event was hosted by BVA honorary associate Ben Lake MP (Ceredigion) who called on fellow politicians to engage with BVA, describing the Association as “a font of knowledge and advice and assistance” in today’s “hurly burly world”. The 10 pledges are: Reject a no-deal Brexit Boost the veterinary workforce Protect all animals in law Protect UK welfare standards in future trade deals and agri policies Protect the welfare of animals at slaughter Strengthen legislation against illegal puppy imports Commit...