Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

10 November 2019
JB

John Bercow has unleashed a bitter attack on David Cameron, accusing the former prime minister of being "born to rule".

The ex-Speaker, who only stepped down at the end of last month, accused the former Tory leader of having a "probably public-school-instilled" sense of superiority. The comments came as Mr Bercow was asked about his relationships with prime ministers during his decade in the Speaker's chair. While he told The Observer he got on well with the current occupant of Number 10, Boris Johnson, the former Speaker tore into Mr Cameron over the decision to call the 2016 referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union. "David is relentlessly tactical rather than strategic," Mr Bercow said. "Let’s face it, he chose to call the referendum. Was there a clamour for it? There was not. There was chuntering in his own party, but the public wasn’t demanding one. He just thought it would work for him." Mr Bercow added: "He has the most enormous, probably public-school-...
10 November 2019
Tory rosette

The Conservatives have been forced to drop a candidate in a marginal seat candidate over a series of social media posts he made about foodbanks and feminism.

Antony Calvert stepped down as the party's candidate for Wakefield after he claimed his offensive social media posts had created a "distraction" from the election. The party had already placed Mr Calvert's candidacy "under review" earlier this week after TalkRadio revealed social media posts in which he described London as "Londistan" and suggested former Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi should have "fled to Bradford" where he would have gone unrecognised. But Mr Calvert decided to step away from the contest after further Facebook posts, found by the Sunday Times, showed the MP hopeful had claimed he was keen to get into public office in order to expose "ludicrous" claims about food poverty. In the now-deleted post, he wrote: "If there was ever a reason to want to be involved in public office it is to show the ludicrous nature of those like this guy who claim 'food poverty' in the UK whilst many millions around the world would give anything to be in their place." In another...
10 November 2019
Labour rosette

A Labour activist criticised for sharing an image of Theresa May with a gun pointing at her head has been chosen as a general election candidate.

Kate Osborne has apologised for posting the picture in the run-up to the 2017 election. PoliticsHome revealed how nearly 30 female Labour MPs had written to party bosses demanding that she be blocked from standing for the party in the safe seat of Jarrow. In the letter to general secretary Jennie Formby, they said: "If Kate Osborne is selected, it would undermine any claim our party makes to stand resolutely against the harassment and intimidation of women in public life.  "There is a danger of a pattern that affects our general election campaign with candidates that have been selected having abusive social media comments." But on Saturday, a panel made up of members of Labour's national executive committee rubber-stamped Ms Osborne's candidacy. Announcing her success on Twitter, she said: "Jarrow desperately needs a Labour MP to stand up for...
10 November 2019
John McDonnell vs Sajid Javid

A furious row has erupted after the Conservatives put a £1.2 trillion price tag on a Labour government.

A report compiled by the Tories - based on commitments made at Labour's annual conference - said the party would leave the UK "on the brink of bankruptcy". But Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell immediately branded it an "incompetent mish-mash of debunked estimates and bad maths". The 35-page report comes before Labour has unveiled its election manifesto and is based on analysis of its conference pledges and 2017 manifesto. Chancellor Sajid Javid said Labour's spending plans would rack up an extra £650m a day - and increase in overall government spending by 30%. "The true cost of Corbyn is a staggering £1.2 trillion," he said. "Now is the time for responsible investment not reckless borrowing. We simply cannot afford Corbyn's spending spree that would saddle our children with huge amounts of debt and undo all the hard work of the British people in recent years. "Every time Labour get into power they spend beyond their means, leaving our country on the brink of bankruptcy." The...
10 November 2019
Dan Carden

A senior Labour frontbencher has denied changing the lyrics of the Beatles song "Hey Jude" to "Hey Jews" during a late-night bus journey.

Shadow International Development Secretary Dan Carden said he was "categorical" in denying the report by BuzzFeed News, which claimed he adapted the song while on a "raucous" coach journey from the Cheltenham Festival. It is claimed that Mr Carden, then a junior shadow minister, repeatedly sang the chorus of "Hey Jude" and replace the word "Jude" with "Jews" during the trip on 15 March 2018. BuzzFeed News reporter Alex Wickham said he was sat behind Mr Carden throughout the coach journey, which also included other MPs and came days after Labour suspended several members over anti-semitic remarks posted online. Responding to the claim, Mr Carden tweeted: "I have been categorical in my denial about allegations relating to a coach trip some twenty months ago. "This was a coach full of journalists and MPs. If anyone genuinely believed any antisemitic behaviour had taken place, they would've had a...
10 November 2019
Boris Johnson

Labour have accused Boris Johnson of a "politically motivated" decision to block the publication of a report into Russian interference in UK politics.

The Prime Minister has been accused of deliberately blocking the publication of a cross-party report ahead of the 12 December election because he fears it could his "derail" his election campaign. According to the Sunday Times, the bombshell report names nine major Conservative donors who have handed the party millions and developed personal relationships with Mr Johnson. The paper claims Alexander Temerko, who formerly worked for the Kremlin's defence ministry, is named after donating more than £1.2m to the party and describing Boris Johnson as a "friend". Meanwhile, major Tory donor Lubov Chernukhin, wife of former Putin ally Vladimir Chernukhin, is also said to be included in the report. Ms Chernukin has handed the party over £450,000 in the past 12 months, and famously paid £160,000 during a Conservative fund raising event to play a tennis match...
9 November 2019
Boris1.jpg

Boris Johnson has faced backlash for backtracking on his promise to hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory party.

The PM told the BBC there would not be such an inquiry – but instead a "general investigation into prejudice of all kinds".  During the Tory leadership contest, he and other candidates agreed if they won they would hold a specific inquiry into Islamophobia.  And earlier this week, Michael Gove, chancellor of the Duchy of Lanacaster, confirmed to the BBC's Today programme the party would "absolutely" hold an "independent inquiry into Islamophobia...before the end of the year".  Now, however, that does not look likely to move forward.  Afzal Khan, Labour's shadow Home Office minister, blasted the decision, branding it a "spectacular betrayal of Muslim people across our country".  "Johnson promised he would hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia when he stood to become Conservative Party leader... "But now Johnson has shamelessly decided to drop the probe into Islamophobia in his party... "Coming from someone whose own comments about Muslim...
9 November 2019
Boris1.jpg

Boris Johnson has faced backlash for backtracking on his promise to hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory party.

The PM told the BBC there would not be such an inquiry – but instead a "general investigation into prejudice of all kinds".  During the Tory leadership contest, he and other candidates agreed if they won they would hold a specific inquiry into Islamophobia.  And earlier this week, Michael Gove, chancellor of the Duchy of Lanacaster, confirmed to the BBC's Today programme the party would "absolutely" hold an "independent inquiry into Islamophobia...before the end of the year".  Now, however, that does not look likely to move forward.  Afzal Khan, Labour's shadow Home Office minister, blasted the decision, branding it a "spectacular betrayal of Muslim people across our country".  "Johnson promised he would hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia when he stood to become Conservative Party leader... "But now Johnson has shamelessly decided to drop the probe into Islamophobia in his party... "Coming from someone whose own comments about Muslim...
9 November 2019
corbyn

Labour has promised to open a thousand new Sure Start children's centres in England. 

Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would invest £1bn in building the new centres, as part of a larger package of childcare support.  The announcement came as the Lib Dems promised to subsidise childcare for working families when the child turns nine-years-old.  Meanwhile the Conservatives insisted they were already "investing record amounts in high-quality childcare".  According to a report by the Sutton Trust, up to 1,000 Sure Start centres are thought to have closed in the past decade, with funding pressures being the main cause.  Mr Corbyn is expected to say he will "reverse the cuts" in the centres, which were originally launched under Tony Blair's New Labour government.  "Parents are struggling to afford the childcare support they need, while many children are going hungry and growing up homeless."  The news comes as Labour shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth hit out at Tory plans for GPs.  The Conservatives have promised to fund the training...
9 November 2019
Labour women

Female Labour MPs have called on party bosses to block a candidate who shared a picture of Theresa May with a gun pointing at her head.

Kate Osborne posted the image on Facebook in the run-up to the 2017 general election. Labour officials will decide on Saturday whether Ms Osborne, who has since apologised, will stand for the party in Jarrow at the general election. But in a letter to Labour general secretary Jennie Formby and members of the party's ruling national executive committee, 27 female candidates said she should be dumped. They say the would-be MP's decision to share the image "not only indicates an extreme lack of judgement, but further feeds into the cycle of abuse that we are all currently experiencing". The letter, which has been leaked to PoliticsHome, says: "We are writing to you today to express our shock and concern about the possible selection of Kate Osborne to be Labour's parliamentary candidate in Jarrow.   "You will be aware of an image allegedly shared by Kate Osborne on social media, depicting a gun being held to Theresa May's head.  "The impact of such images are clear - they incite...