Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

19 September 2018
Dominic Raab

Labour has blasted Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab for “wasting time” when he should be negotiating with Brussels.

The Cabinet minister was mocked after he wrote a letter to Keir Starmer demanding Labour lay out its position on quitting the bloc. He demanded “urgent clarification” on reports Labour could call for the suspension of the two-year Article 50 process with a view to calling another referendum. Mr Raab said: “More than two years on from the referendum, with the right deal within our reach, the vast majority of British people will see that instead of trying to make Brexit a success, Labour are only interested in trying to frustrate the process.” But a Labour source shot back: “Labour respects the result of the referendum and is not calling for a second referendum. “With only weeks of Brexit negotiating time to go and no progress in sight, people would expect Dominic Raab to be getting on with the job of negotiating for Britain, not wasting time writing letters to the opposition.” Meanwhile Labour MP Ben Bradshaw ridiculed the Brexit Secretary for writing “silly letters”. You would have...
18 September 2018
UK and EU flags

The UK faces a “chaotic and damaging” Brexit if it fails to secure a withdrawal deal with the EU, an influential group of MPs has warned.

The Brexit Select Committee argued crashing out of the bloc without a deal would damage the UK economy and leave businesses facing “huge uncertainty". In a hard-hitting report, the MPs warned the Prime Minister that her Chequers Deal would not break the deadlock between the UK and the rest of the bloc. The report highlighted how key parts of Mrs May's proposal, including the customs strategy and the plan to share goods regulations, had already been rejected by the European Union, and it urged the Government to urgently adapt its blueprint. The warning comes after Chancellor Philip Hammond sounded the alarm over the economic consequences of a no-deal departure, saying it would “put at risk the substantial progress the British people have made over the last 10 years in repairing our economy". Mrs May has so far refused to back away from her Chequers plan, telling MPs they must support it or face a disorderly exit from the bloc.  Brexit Select Committee chair...
18 September 2018
Theresa May

The EU is set to warn Theresa May that the final Brexit deal will be binding and cannot be "altered" by a future Prime Minister.

According to the Times, chief Brussels negotiator Michel Barnier is preparing to demand the UK provides assurances that it will not seek to change the terms of any withdrawal agreement struck by the Prime Minister. This follows comments made by Michael Gove at the weekend that a future government could “choose to alter the terms” of any deal.     A spokesman for the Prime Minister yesterday insisted that the Environment Secretary "was simply setting out a matter of fact, which is that no Parliament can bind the hands of its successor". But The Times reports that Mr Barnier is planning to demand that any agreement made with Mrs May also binds her successor. According to the newspaper, a diplomatic note handed out at a recent meeting of senior EU officials warned that the UK’s legal system could leave room for post-deal changes. It stated: “The Commission...
18 September 2018
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn’s private secretary has been granted a security pass to the House of Commons after it was revealed that she had been working without out one for nine months.

According to HuffPost UK, Iram Awan has finally been given access to the Parliamentary estate by the House of Commons authorities. It comes after the news outlet last week reported that Ms Awan had been working in Parliament for more than nine months amid alleged security concerns. It was claimed that during that period she had routinely entered Mr Corbyn’s Westminster office via a visitor’s entrance, escorted by one of the leader’s team. The Commons authorities are currently investigating the alleged breach, as Parliament’s rules strictly forbid such an arrangement. Responding to the news, a Labour source said: “We are glad the pass has been granted. “It is clearly wrong and damaging for there to have been such an unjustifiable delay.” A House of Commons spokesperson said: “An...
18 September 2018
Jewish kippah

Theresa May has said there are “no excuses” for anti-Semitism in Britain and rejected calls for a boycott of Israeli goods.

The Prime Minister said in a speech to Jewish leaders that criticism of Israel was never a justification for “hatred against the Jewish people” She hit out at the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which is backed by activists, including some Labour frontbenchers, in protest over the country’s treatment of Palestinians. In a speech at the United Jewish Israel Appeal dinner in London, Mrs May said: “There can never be any excuses for boycotts, divestment or sanctions: they are unacceptable and this government will have no truck with those who subscribe to them.” “Under my leadership the UK will always be a real and trusted partner for Israel, supporting Israel’s security and prosperity, not just through our words but also through our actions.” Mrs May said that given Britain had adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, “no-one can plead ignorance or hide behind any kind of excuse”. Her speech comes after...
18 September 2018

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) will host two panel sessions on self-employment alongside SME4Labour and the Co-operative Party at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool on Tuesday 25 September.

Small Business Question Time Alongside SME4Labour, the event – inside the secure zone from 4-5pm – will be chaired by Ayesha Hazarika and will include Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd MP, Labour MP Alison McGovern, Business Insider UK’s Adam Payne and IPSE’s Director of Policy Simon McVicker. Following a similar format to BBC Question Time, the panellists will focus on topics including:  Brexit: what does the UK’s EU exit mean for the self-employed; Universal Credit: how this government reform is having a devastating impact on the self-employed; Pensions: currently less than a third of the self-employed save for retirement; What ‘good work’ means for the self-employed: following the Taylor Review; Vulnerable self-employment: how to stamp out bogus self-employment without reducing the opportunities to work flexibly. To register, click...
18 September 2018
UK border

Britain's post-Brexit immigration system should not give preferential treatment to European citizens, according to a major report.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) said free movement from the European Economic Area should end after the 21-month implementation period that kicks in on 29 March next year. It also recommended that immigration to the UK should be made easier for high-skilled workers, but that strict limits should be placed on low-skilled labour. The group recommends ending the cap on Tier 2 visas - which are granted to those who are offered a “skilled job” with a “licensed sponsor” - and opening them up to “medium-skilled” workers. The suggestion will heap further pressure on the Government to drop its target of reducing net migration to below 100,000. Elsewhere, the 140-page report says that the slump in the pound following the EU referendum did more damage to wage rates and employment opportunities for British people than the influx of migrants from new EU countries since 2004. The long-awaited report, which was commissioned by former Home Secretary Amber Rudd in July 2017...
18 September 2018

The Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) report, which sets out a series of recommendations for the new immigration policy post-Brexit, would cripple the construction industry, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Commenting on the MAC report, published this morning, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Today’s report makes very worrying reading for the tens of thousands of small construction firms across the UK who are already deeply concerned about the skills shortage. Its recommendations ignore the pleas of construction employers who have called on the Government to introduce a visa system based on key occupations rather than arbitrary skill levels. Instead, the proposal is to apply the Tier 2 immigration system to EU workers, which would be disastrous for small and micro construction firms. Even if tweaked and improved slightly, the Tier 2 system would not make provision for ample numbers of low skilled workers to enter the UK and these are people the construction industry relies upon. For the Government to make good on its construction and house building targets, it will need sufficient...
18 September 2018
John McDonnell

John McDonnell has said that he hopes the next leader of the Labour party will be a woman.

The Shadow Chancellor - who has been tipped as a possible successor to Jeremy Corbyn himself - told a Mumsnet webchat that he hoped a female candidate would take over the top job when a vacancy arises. Mr McDonnell made the admission after he was forced to defend the party’s efforts to improve gender equality following one user’s accusation that the party had a “really sh***y record with women”. Unlike the Conservatives, Labour has never had a permanent female leader in its 118-year history. But the Shadow Chancellor said: “The Labour Party has more women representatives that any of the political parties. We are the first party to have a Shadow Cabinet which is 50/50 men and women and I am hoping that the next leader of the party will be a woman. “We are continuing with all-women shortlists for selections - as the first party to do so - because this has been very successful.” His comments will be seen a boost for Shadow Cabinet members Rebecca Long-Bailey,...
18 September 2018
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn

Britain is, by common consent, in the middle of its greatest political crisis since the Second World War.

Brexit is barely six months away, and the Government seems no closer to being able to define precisely what the UK's future relationship with the EU and the rest of the world will look like. Ten years on from the financial crash, the national debt continues to accumulate at an alarming rate, while the monetary levers for dealing with a future shock become more limited. Happily, employment levels are at a near-record high. But the rise of in-work poverty remains an apparently insoluble problem. And ministers seem no closer to coming up with a sustainable and affordable social care system to deal with Britain's ageing population. By any measure, it is an era which demands firm leadership and a clear plan of action. Above all, it calls for politicians with vision and authority, backed by a clear popular mandate. However, an opinion poll this morning simply confirms that voters are of the view that they simply do not exist. According to the YouGov survey, just 36% of the public believe...