Dods at Party Conference 2020

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

1 November 2019
Boris Johnson playing rugby

Boris Johnson has urged England’s rugby team to "bring the World Cup home" ahead of Saturday's tournament finale against South Africa.

The Prime Minister said “the whole country” would be behind Eddie Jones’s men as they battle it out against the Springboks in Yokohama. He also praised the side for its shock victory over competition favourites, New Zealand, in last weekend’s semi-final. Mr Johnson, who will wear an England shirt while watching the match with friends on Saturday morning, said: "Very best of luck to the England rugby team. "I watched your semi-final in awe - it was one of our country’s great sporting performances, featuring fearless passages of play against the awesome All Blacks. "Looking at what you did, I know you can go one better today. The whole country is behind you - through every kick, ruck, lineout and maul. "Come on England! Bring the World Cup home." Meanwhile Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I wish Eddie Jones, Owen Farrell and the whole England team good luck for the Rugby World Cup final. "You’ve done brilliantly so far - just one more game to go to finish the job.” Mr...
1 November 2019
Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage

Boris Johnson has ruled out a general election pact with Nigel Farage and insisted that his withdrawal agreement would deliver a “proper Brexit”.

The Prime Minister said his deal presents “exactly” what Britain voted for in 2016 following the Brexit Party leader’s barb that it amounted to a “sellout”. The MEP insisted that his outfit would be prepared to stand down dozens of its candidates in Conservative target seats for the 12 December poll if Mr Johnson agreed to dump the deal. Addressing the PM at his party's campaign launch, Mr Farage said: "Drop the deal. Drop the deal because it is not Brexit. Drop the deal because as these weeks go by and people discover what it is you've signed up to, they will not like it." He added that he would back a "Leave alliance" if the PM pursued "a genuine free trade agreement" with the EU, and ditched the "continued jurisdiction of the ECJ". But hitting back at the former Ukip chief, Mr Johnson told Sky News: "I've ruled out a pact with...
1 November 2019
South Downs

With the country bitterly split over Brexit, Gillian Keegan heads out on the campaign trail hoping to remind voters that, whatever our differences, we have far more in common than that which divides us

The word “unprecedented” has defined my time in Parliament. Unprecedented moments of drama with backbenchers seizing control of the order paper, prorogations that never were and a record number of colleagues switching parties or becoming independent part way through the Parliament. We’ve even had the official opposition refusing to vote for a General Election through the fixed-term Parliament Act. Yet the very next day supporting a General Election Bill. Now we have the unprecedented consequence… the first December election since 1923. A few weeks ago, I was part of a group of One Nation Conservative MPs invited to Downing Street to discuss ideas for an anticipated manifesto. The Prime Minister and his team were actively listening, highly engaged and taking notes. At the time I was struck by how refreshing it was to focus on discussing the domestic agenda, with bold plans to increase investment in the National Health Service, schools, police, roads, green technologies and more,...
Gillian Keegan MP
1 November 2019
Rod Liddle and Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid has condemned Spectator columnist Rod Liddle over an article in which he suggested holding elections at a time when Muslims are unable to vote.

The Chancellor said he did not know if the comment was intended as a “joke”, before branding it “not funny and not acceptable”. Writing in the conservative-leaning magazine, Mr Liddle said: “My own choice of election date would be a day when universities are closed and Muslims are forbidden to do anything on pain of hell, or something. “There must be at least one day like that in the Muslim calendar, surely? That would deliver at least 40 seats to the Tories, I reckon.” The comments prompted Mr Javid to hit back: “Not clear if the Rod Liddle comment is supposed to be a joke - but it's not funny and not acceptable. “No community in our country should be put down that way.” Foreign Office minister, Lord Ahmad, added: “Appalling article by Rod Liddle & for the reputable @Spectator to publish, fuels a rising tide of religious prejudice against over 3 million British Muslims.” Elsewhere, David Lidington, who acted as Theresa May’s de-facto deputy Prime Minister, condemned...
1 November 2019
Sir Henry Bellingham

Sir Henry Bellingham has dropped out of the race to become the next Commons speaker and insisted that his rivals are “better placed” to gain cross-party support.

The Conservative MP said he had “no regrets” over throwing his hat in the ring to succeed John Bercow, a role which is now being fought out between eight candidates. The announcement comes a day after the MP for North West Norfolk was told to apologise to the House of Commons for making an inaccurate declaration of interest over an African mining company. MPs will vote for a new speaker on Monday 4 November. On withdrawing from the race, Sir Henry said Parliament was facing two crises of public trust and confidence, and “the whole bullying saga”. “In order to negotiate our way through these crises, and thus restore public trust, it is important we have a new Speaker who really can command support from all corners of the House,” he said. “Although I have received a very significant number of pledges from many in our own party, I do...
1 November 2019
A young girl holds a sign saying

"It is clear that we need a new kind of politics"

If one thing has characterised my short time in the House, it has been people saying: “It’s not normally like this.” Often followed by a pause, then: “But it has been like this for a long time.” In my third week as a member of the Lords, joining Jenny Jones as the second Green peer, I did get to see a bill through the entire legislative process, one of the first “normal” events.  It was, however, the bill for a general election on the 12th of December, put through its complete cycle in one day. It saw the Queen’s Speech on which I was commenting in my first week swept away together with, sadly, the long-awaited Domestic Abuse Bill. This is the new normal of our broken political system, just as we are starting to recognise the new normal of the climate emergency. Fitting the times, my first week has not been a typical. Here to represent the two million people who voted Green in the European elections in May, and the 1.1 million who voted for us when I was leader in the general...
Baroness Bennett
1 November 2019

Millions of older workers are joining and benefiting from the freelance sector, new research from IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has found.

IPSE’s research shows there are now almost two million (1,907,000) self-employed people over the age of 50 in the UK: a number that has increased by 58.5 per cent in the last ten years. The growth is even bigger among highly skilled freelancers. Today, there are almost a million (950,000) highly skilled freelancers in the UK: a number that has risen by 68.2 per cent in the last ten years. A new IPSE report on the motivations and challenges of the self-employed shows why so many older people are turning to self-employment. They said the four key factors are: Being able to work more flexibly (89% agreed this was a factor). Having more control over work (89%). Having more control over hours (84%). The freedom to choose where to work (83%). One in four older freelancers did say, however, that losing their previous job was a factor in turning to freelancing. This is compared to just seven per cent of 16-29-year-olds. The report does show, however, that older freelancers are...
1 November 2019
Nigel Farage

The Brexit Party will stand against Tories in hundreds of seats unless Boris Johnson agrees to dump his new Withdrawal Agreement, Nigel Farage has declared.

The former Ukip boss said his new outfit would stand aside in dozens of Conservative target seats as part of a formal "Leave alliance". But he insisted the Brexit deal which Mr Johnson struck with Brussels last month would need to be ditched in return for his party's help at the polls. Speaking at his party's campaign launch in Westminster on Friday, Mr Farage described the Prime Minister's deal as a "sellout" and insisted the Government should instead go for a "clean break" with the EU. Addressing the PM directly, he said: "Drop the deal. Drop the deal because it is not Brexit. Drop the deal because as these weeks go by and people discover what it is you've signed up to, they will not like it. "And I also am more than willing to compromise my position. I've been saying for months that we need to go for a clean break Brexit, and I've been saying that because it was the only way of delivering Brexit on the 31 October. "But, if Boris said that he now wanted to go down the...
1 November 2019
Ballot box

UK electoral law poses “serious and unnecessary risks” for voters, parties and candidates and could threaten public confidence, MPs have warned.

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) said the next Government must overhaul the existing “sprawling and complicated” system, ahead of next month's general election. In its report, titled 'Electoral Law: the urgent need for review', MPs found that current legislation is “sometimes contradictory” and difficult to navigate for all involved in the electoral process. MPs warned even compliance teams within political parties find it difficult to know with “complete confidence” if they have followed the law correctly. Administrators and those challenging elections face a “similarly bewildering series of risks and difficulties” in the “outdated” election petition system, MPs say. PACAC chair Sir Bernard Jenkin said: “As voters prepare to head to the polls, they ought to do so with full confidence that the system underpinning our democracy is robust, fit for purpose, and properly safeguarded against attempts to subvert it.  “Similarly, those...
1 November 2019
Alistair burt

Over three decades after he first arrived, Alistair Burt will say goodbye to the Commons at the general election. He reflects on the most memorable moments, the changes, the value of what has stayed the same, and the importance of good colleagues across the House

I’m sure it will hit me quite hard next week. Up until now, or at least up until an election date was finalised, the decision I had taken weeks ago to leave Parliament after 32 years as a Member, 36 years since I first arrived as MP for my home town of Bury, had been relatively painless. It was sad to inform my local Chairman in North East Bedfordshire and leaving a constituency as MP after 18 years elicits pangs of regret, but at least I will still be living there. Leaving Westminster however is different; you will never walk through a number of doors again, will never be called again to speak in the Commons, and some colleagues you may never actually see again – you cannot stay in touch with all. You realise that almost every room holds a memory. The committee corridor, where as a minister, I waited anxiously for grilling by Select Committee, only too aware of the bits of my brief I did not know, hoping they were not as aware as I was! The corridor where the last days of Margaret...
Alistair Burt MP