Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

7 June 2019

A study out today by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the University of Birmingham has found that women experiencing domestic abuse are three times more likely to develop a mental health problem. The study shows that the likelihood is much higher than previously understood and is the first of its kind, looking at women’s experiences over time from the point at which they have an experience of abuse.

Responding to the study, Mind’s Head of Policy and Campaigns, Vicki Nash, said: “We hear every day from women with mental health problems who have struggled to get the support that they need. Around one in five (19 per cent) women experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression, and this study show adverse experiences such as domestic abuse can increase the likelihood of this, as well as the risk of developing a serious mental health problem such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. “The journey to good mental health can be difficult, particularly for women who have faced traumatic life events, and it is made all the more difficult when people are unable to get the help they need, when they need it. Too many women are not having their needs met by mental health services, which are also not using a trauma-informed approach. “Change will only be possible with government action and the appointment of a new Prime Minister offers an opportunity to deliver on...
7 June 2019
Theresa May

Theresa May will officially stand down as Conservative Party leader on Friday after nearly three years in the job.

She will exchange letters with Tory chairman Brandon Lewis confirming that she is giving up the role, but will stay on in an interim basis until her successor is elected. Mrs May will also remain Prime Minister until the new Conservative leader is in place, which is expected to be at the end of July. She fired the starting gun on the Tory leadership race two weeks ago when she announced outside Number 10 that she was quitting over her failure to deliver Brexit. "I tried three times I believe it was right to persevere even when the odds against success seemed high," she said. "But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interest of the country for a new Prime Minister to lead that effort." In a clear warning to her successor not to pursue a no-deal Brexit, Mrs May said "compromise is not a dirty word". "It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit," she said. "It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours...
7 June 2019

Despite decades of equality legislation across G7 members, there is still a big difference between the average earnings of men and women. As we leave the EU, the UK has a chance to set out our global leadership on issues which affect the day to day lives of all UK workers, says Baroness Buscombe. 

Today I’ll be joining other employment and welfare ministers from the world’s largest advanced economies at the G7 meeting in Paris. I go there with a success story to share on employment in the UK. Under this Conservative Government, 3.7 million more people have entered work since 2010, providing the security of a regular pay packet and dignity of work. In Paris, I will lead the UK delegation to discuss further opportunities and challenges that we all face, such as the changing nature of work as a result of technological disruption and gender imbalance in work and pay. Because, as we leave the EU, the UK has a chance to set out our global leadership on issues which affect the day to day lives of all UK workers. Our response to the ‘Gig Economy’ and new types of demand-led work is already showing that. We are implementing the vast majority of recommendations from the Good Work Plan, resulting from a far-reaching independent review of modern working practices commissioned by the...
7 June 2019

Exploring the tension between an open and transparent government in times of political turbulence.

Transparency in what action the government undertakes and what information it holds has become a cornerstone of liberal democratic government. Proposals for the Freedom of Information Act were first published in 1997 and in the White Paper at the time the government explained that the aim was a more open government based on mutual trust and that “openness is fundamental to the political health of a modern state”. Today though, in an age of fake news, disinformation, the 24-hour news cycle and widespread access to information technologies, the open and transparent nature of government can be seen to be taking steps back rather than forward, and all at a time when trust and transparency are most needed. Recent examples only serve to highlight the struggle between transparency and the government’s desire to hold its privilege over information deemed to be in the public interest....
7 June 2019
Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid has taken aim at Boris Johnson as he warned his Tory leadership rivals against "exploiting division" in their bid to become Prime Minister.

In a thinly-veiled attack on the former Foreign Secretary, the Cabinet minister said he believed some of his rivals were prepared to stir up tensions in a bid to win a future general election. He said that no “serious politician” should use terms like "letterboxes" to describe Muslim veils – in a direct reference to controversial comments Mr Johnson made last year. Speaking at an event hosted by thinktank British Future on Thursday night, the Home Secretary noted the tactic used by some politicians of "deciding that one way to get votes is to appeal to division, to get people angry". He added: “I do think there’s a decision we face as Conservatives: what kind of party do we want to be? "Do we want to be a party that appeals broadly, to the whole country, a one nation party that tries to bring people together, or do we want to go down the route of division? For me it has to be the former.” When asked if the warning applied to those running for the Tory...
7 June 2019
Matt Hancock is currently the Secretary of State for Health

Aged just 40, Matt Hancock could soon become the youngest prime minister since William Pitt the Younger. But the Health Secretary believes he has the experience and energy to deliver Brexit – and then help his party “embrace modern Britain”. He talks to Sebastian Whale

At 40 years old, Matt Hancock would be the youngest prime minister since William Pitt the Younger to enter No 10. Not that he is overawed by the prospect. “If you’re ready then you’re old enough,” he says self-assuredly. Fortuitously, Pitt is one of Hancock’s three political heroes. “He changed Britain and took us from the lows of having lost the American colonies to the heights of the defeat of Napoleon and set Britain fair for the 19th Century,” he explains. Sir Winston Churchill and Benjamin Disraeli make up the rest, the former for “obvious reasons”, and the latter because he united Britain through a period of profound change. “He brought the country together during the disruptions of the first industrial revolution which are akin to the disruptions we now see in the fourth industrial revolution,” he says. With a wink and a nod to the present day, he adds: “He embraced that change and brought the country with him.” Despite being the youngest candidate in the race to...
7 June 2019
Betting shop

Labour MP Carolyn Harris asks questions about executive pay in the bookmaking sector and greater regulation for online gambling, following her successful campaigning on fixed odds betting terminals.

I was shocked – yet not surprised – to hear about yet more truly abhorrent news from the gambling industry this week. The first of two kicks in the teeth was that GVC Holdings, which owns Ladbrokes and Foxy Bingo, awarded its chief executive an eye-watering £19.1 million in pay last year. The company’s chairman was also given a bumper pay packet.  If this weren’t bad enough, GVC decided to decamp to Gibraltar, a tax haven, to hold its AGM. It’s reported that this was a bid to avoid their shareholders, many of whom were angry at the massive sums being handed out.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with businesses making money. But what we’ve seen from GVC this week is nothing short of a moral outrage. Right now across the UK there are hundreds of thousands of people struggling with gambling addiction. Far too many have lost everything they have to gambling; whether this be online or on the high street.  But while the misery continues up and down our communities, the...
7 June 2019
Matt Hancock is running to replace Theresa May as prime minister

Matt Hancock has hinted that he would prioritise improving people’s wellbeing over economic growth if he becomes the next Prime Minister.

In an interview with The House magazine, the Health Secretary said he was interested in a similar policy being pursued by the government of New Zealand. Mr Hancock - one of 11 candidates in the running to be Tory leader - argued that improving workers’ health wellbeing would boost the UK’s productivity. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government recently became the first to produce a ‘wellbeing budget’ that prioritised social issues, such as improving mental health and addressing child poverty, over economic growth. When asked what he made of the policy, Mr Hancock told The House: “I think it’s a really interesting approach, and I’ve thought quite a lot about it. “Ultimately, for me, the purpose of politics is to help people to achieve their potential. I believe very strongly that everybody has a contribution to...
7 June 2019
The lesson of the topsy-turvy last three years is never rule anything in or out

Lib Dem Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake MP has written to all Conservative leadership candidates calling on them to avoid a No-Deal Brexit adding: "What support would a Government under your premiership provide for the thousands of citizens who would likely lose their jobs if the UK left the EU without a deal?".

Any prospective Tory Prime Minister who pulls a cheap trick by talking up a No-Deal Brexit is simply unfit to run for the highest office in the country.  They all know the economic lunacy of No-Deal, and the chaos it would cause across the country.  That’s why I’m calling out these candidates from the start, be honest about Brexit and dump the dangerous rhetoric. Letter: I am writing to you regarding a No-Deal Brexit, and your dangerous rhetoric and threat to take the UK out of the EU on October 31st, with or without a deal, if you win the Conservative Party leadership contest and are the next Prime Minister. As someone who has been privy to the most reliable briefings, due to your position in Government, I am sure you are well aware of the damage a No-Deal Brexit would cause. Indeed, I hope that like me you have met with hundreds of businesses, consumers, organisations and stakeholders, many of whom will have warned you of the difficulties they would face if a...
7 June 2019
Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon

Ministers should consider scrapping the Scotland Office and replacing it with a new department that oversees UK constitutional affairs, according to MPs.

The Scottish Affairs Committee said there were question marks over whether the department - which represents the UK Government north of the border - should continue to exist given that the SNP administration at Holyrood mostly works with others, such as the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs. In a report, they call for a probe into replacing the respective offices for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and their Secretaries of State with a single department responsible for constitutional affairs and inter-governmental relations. The committee's recommendation comes as part of wider calls for an overhaul of the links between London and Edinburgh, which they say has been characterised by a lack of trust following the Brexit vote. They say relations between the UK and Scottish governments have become “fractious” since the SNP took power in 2007, when the two governments were led by different parties for the first time. The...