Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

17 January 2019
builders

Following her question in the House of Lords, Baroness Thornhill writes for PoliticsHome on why extending permitted development rights will create even more poor quality homes and undermine local economies.

The government’s consultation ‘Planning Reform: Supporting the high street and increasing the delivery of new homes’, which has just closed, contains proposals to even further extend permitted development rights (PDRs) to allow building to extend upwards and to allow commercial premises to be turned into residential units without needing planning permission. My concerns are based on the proven negative impacts of the government’s current policy, in place since 2013, which allows offices to be converted to housing units (I hesitate to call them homes). This has led to the creation of poor-quality homes, as well as the loss of important employment space, while driving a coach and horses through local plans and leaving the public mystified as to who can do what where and when. Our council’s ability to scrutinise outcomes of these conversions was at best limited, at worst non-existent. When I was Mayor of Watford we saw the numbers of these conversions rising, as they have done in other...
17 January 2019
Jeremy Corbyn

Opposition leaders have issued a last-ditch plea to Jeremy Corbyn to back a second referendum on Brexit after he failed to trigger a general election.

Lib Dem boss Vince Cable and the Westminster leaders of the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party said Britain was “locked in a Brexit impasse” and a so-called "People's Vote" vote was the “only way forward”. Plaid MP Liz Saville Roberts meanwhile warned Mr Corbyn her party would not support any more “meaningless” no-confidence motions in the Government, after Labour suggested it could repeat its stunt. Theresa May last night comfortably won the no-confidence vote tabled by the Labour leader by 325 votes to 306. It means the Government has headed off the chance of a general election for now. After much wrangling at its conference last year, Labour agreed that it could push for a second Brexit referendum if it fails to secure a general election. But Mr Corbyn is reluctant to do so over fears it would alienate swathes of Labour voters in pro-...
16 January 2019
Theresa May

Jeremy Corbyn has failed in his attempt to trigger a general election after MPs voted against Labour's motion of no confidence in the Government.

Following six hours of debate, MPs backed Theresa May's beleaguered administration by 325 votes to 306. The result is a much-needed boost for the Prime Minister, coming just 24 hours after the Commons inflicted a record-breaking 230-vote defeat on the Government's flagship Brexit blueprint. Mrs May will now set up talks with senior politicians in a bid to find a way through the Commons impasse and get her deal through Parliament. Kicking off the debate, Mr Corbyn had called on MPs to reject Mrs May's "zombie government" and give voters a fresh say on who should run the country. He said: "The Prime Minister has consistently claimed that her deal, which has been decisively rejected, was good for Britain workers and business… she should have nothing to fear by going to the people." Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson said: "The country feels genuinely sorry for the Prime Minister, but she cannot confuse pity for political legitimacy, sympathy for political support." In a barnstorming speech...
16 January 2019
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn tonight issued a withering snub to Theresa May after the Prime Minister reached out to the Labour leader to build a cross-party consensus over Brexit.

The Leader of the Opposition said he would not begin talks with the Conservative boss unless she takes a no-deal departure from the EU off the table. It came after a Labour motion of no-confidence in the Government was comfortably defeated by 325 votes to 306 - just 24 hours after the Brexit deal clinched by Mrs May was emphatically rejected by MPs. In the immediate aftermath of the result tonight, Mrs May surprised the Commons when she said she would begin talks with opposition leaders about Brexit and hoped to have the first meetings tonight. She said it was her duty to deliver on the “solemn promise” to respect the EU referendum result, and noted that MPs “have a responsibility to identify a way forward that can secure the backing of the House”. “To that end, I have proposed a series of meetings between senior parliamentarians and...
16 January 2019

Please find below Responsible Finance's responses to consultations.

Treasury access to financial services (December 2018)  This inquiry looks at consumers’ access to financial services and whether certain groups of consumers are excluded, both in terms of obtaining a basic level of service from financial services providers as well as access to products including insurance. The inquiry will have a particular focus on the provision of financial products and services for vulnerable consumers.  Read our response here.   FCA Fees (January 2019) Read our response here.   High cost credit review (August 2018) Consultation on rent-to-own, home-collected credit, catalogue credit and store cards, and alternatives to high-cost credit. Read our response...
16 January 2019

NOAH urges politicians to work together to agree an urgent resolution to Brexit negotiations in order to provide certainty for animal health businesses

Companies are working hard to finalise plans to protect and ensure supply of vital veterinary medicines within the UK, as 29 March rapidly approaches.  “Leaving the EU without a deal will present a risk to the seamless supply of the medicines our animals need to protect their health and prevent disease and suffering, despite the extensive preparation our members have been carrying out to prepare for the many Brexit scenarios that have been under discussion,” NOAH Chief Executive Dawn Howard explained. “We need a decision to be made that means that we do not leave the EU on 29 March without a transition period. Should ‘no deal’ prevail, then it is vital that government guarantees veterinary medicines are given the same customs priority afforded to human medicines. Many vital medicines, including vaccines, have short shelf lives and specific transport conditions. They must not be caught up in potential backlogs with other commodity goods. “Our members look forward to continuing...
16 January 2019
Tom Pursglove

A vice-chair of the Conservative Party has quit the role over Theresa May's Brexit deal.

Corby MP Tom Pursglove said he could not "in all conscience vote to sign our country up to an international treaty that we have no ability to leave of our own accord". He said that as a result, he had decided to resign as the Tories' vice-chairman for youth. In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Mr Pursglove said he was opposed to the so-called "backstop" plan to avoid a hard border in Ireland in any circumstances, as well as the Prime Minister's decision to sanction a £39bn divorce payment to the EU. He added: "Whilst fully respecting the wide array of views that others sincerely hold, I have spent the entirety of my political life campaigning to leave the European Union, and I am also acutely conscious of the need to deliver on the democratic decision of the referendum, in which Corby & East Northamptonshire voted overwhelmingly to leave. "Ultimately, last night’s vote came down to a simple matter of trust - trust I found myself unable to place in the European Union. "That...
16 January 2019
David Cameron

David Cameron has said he does not regret calling the Brexit referendum as his successor Theresa May battled to save her premiership.

The former Prime Minister said he "deeply regretted" losing the 2016 campaign to keep the UK in the EU - but hoped Mrs May would be able to secure a "partnership agreement" with the bloc. Speaking to the BBC, Mr Cameron also said he believed the PM would win this evening's no confidence vote against her government, and urged MPs to "come together" to find a Brexit deal they can support.     But he refused to say he regretted kicking off the Brexit process that cost him his premiership. The ex-prime minister said: "It was a promise I made two years before the 2015 general election. It was included in our manifesto. "It was legislated for in Parliament. I think six out of seven members of Parliament from all parties voted for that referendum." Mr Cameron announced his resignation hours after the referendum result was announced. He added: "Obviously I regret the difficulties and the problems we have been having trying to impelment the result of that referendum. But I...
16 January 2019
Traffic queueing on the M20 approaching the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone, Kent

On behalf of UK haulage operators, the Road Haulage Association implores the Government and Parliament to quickly gain a consensus on a Brexit withdrawal agreement that will keep the UK supply chain moving.

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said: “It is imperative that any withdrawal deal includes a transition period to establish new and efficient border technology, and systems across industry needed to be put in place to avoid disastrous queues at ports and also a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. “In addition, a deal would avoid reliance on an acute shortage of permits and measures for customs that are unworkable and impractical.”  
16 January 2019
Theresa May

Downing Street has insisted that Theresa May will not give ground on joining the EU's customs union - just minutes after a Cabinet minister refused to rule it out.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister - who suffered an historic House of Commons defeat on her Brexit deal last night - said membership of the tariff tie-up was "incompatible" with Britain striking its own trade deals. That followed Justice Secretary David Gauke calling on the Government to be "flexible" in talks with opposition MPs on a way forward. Leaving the customs union - which sees all EU member states agree to a common tariff on goods imported into the bloc - has long been a red line for Number 10 in its talks with the EU. Theresa May has previously made leaving the customs a red line in her Brexit negotiations, but some Cabinet members believe that position should be ditched to help break the Commons deadlock. Mr Gauke told the BBC's Politics Live that ministers should avoid "boxing ourselves in" as they make good on the...