Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

18 September 2018

Theresa May will insist social housing tenants are not "second-rate citizens" as she announces £2bn to build a generation of new homes.

The Prime Minister will announce that the cash is being made available for housing associations to build as well as manage tens of thousands thousands of properties. Addressing the National Housing Federation Summit, Mrs May will urge them to use their "unique status, rich history and social mission" to change the way such housing is viewed by the general public. "For many people, a certain stigma still clings to social housing," she will say. "Some residents feel marginalised and overlooked, and are ashamed to share the fact that their home belongs to a housing association or local authority. "And on the outside, many people in society – including too many politicians – continue to look down on social housing and, by extension, the people who call it their home." The new cash will become available from 2022, and is in addition to the £9bn affordable homes programme and the £2bn Mrs May announced for affordable housing at last year's Tory conference. However, Downing Street was unable...
17 September 2018
Houses of Parliament

Dods People draws together a list of this week's appointments in Westminster politics, all the devolved administrations and the public affairs sector.

Government Departments:  Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport  Birmingham Organising Committee for the 2022 Commonwealth Games - Jonathan Browning and Zara Hyde Peters named as Non-Executive Directors. Arts Council England – Helen Birchenough appointed as South West Area Chair. Tate - John Booth appointed as a Trustee. HM Treasury  Bank of England - Mark Carney reappointed as Governor and Jon Cunliffe as Deputy Governor of the Bank of England with responsibility for Financial Stability.   Department for Education  School Teachers' Review Body – Andrew Waller and Harriet Kemp appointed as members.   Devolved Authorities:    National Assembly for Wales  Caroline Jones resigned from UKIP and now sits as an Independent.   Welsh Government  Welsh Revenue Authority Board - Dyfed Edwards named as Deputy Chair. Scottish Parliament  Justice Sub-Committee on Policing – Fulton MacGregor replaced Ben...
17 September 2018
Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell

John McDonnell has rubbished reports his allies are sounding out top Labour figures about replacing Jeremy Corbyn as leader - branding them "laughable".

It was reported at the weekend that figures close to the Shadow Chancellor had been tapping up fellow frontbenchers and trade union figures about the possibility of moving against Mr Corbyn. But Mr McDonnell took to Twitter to pour cold water on the claims, saying: "Every year media run the same laughable story of a McDonnell coup against Jeremy. "One year they said I was plotting coup & at same time holding Jeremy hostage forcing him not to resign. "Jeremy & I for 40 years have been as one and always will be. Get used to solidarity in action." Every year media run the same laughable story of a McDonnell coup against Jeremy. One year they said I was plotting coup & at same time holding Jeremy hostage forcing him not to resign. Jeremy & I for 40 years have been as one and always will be. Get used to solidarity in action — John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) September 16,...
17 September 2018
Health Secretary Matt Hancock

Ministers are mulling a pensions-style opt-out system to tackle Britain's social care funding crisis, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed.

The Local Government Association warned earlier this year that adult social care services face a £3.5 billion funding gap by 2025  just to maintain existing standards of care. In a bid to solve the problem, Mr Hancock told the Telegraph that the Government's upcoming Green Paper on social care could include plans for every adult in England to pay into a national fund to cover care for their later years. "I’m attracted to the model of auto-enrolment, which has been so successful in pensions," he said. "If you make it the norm, tell people what it is they have to do to look after themselves, it’s often the case that very few people will opt out. "It takes away the injustice of people losing all that they have saved for." The plans would mean that people would have to actively choose not to contribute towards the social care system. Under the current system...
17 September 2018
Universal Credit

A former top aide to David Cameron has called for the rollout of the controversial Universal Credit system introduced under the ex-PM to be halted.

Clare Foges said the Labour party “has a point” when it points to flaws in the new welfare system, and argued a failure to act could help “poison” the Tory brand ahead of the next election. Universal Credit has been beset by issues since it was launched in 2013 - including payment delays and errors in the application process. The Government has been forced to tweak a number of features of the system, but opposition MPs have urged a pause so remaining issues can be ironed out. Ms Foges - who served for five years in Number 10 and was a speechwriter for Mr Cameron - argued: “On this the lefties have a point.” In an article for the Times, she said: “The Government must listen to sense on Universal Credit, show some humility, and delay the national roll-out of the benefit until its current problems are resolved.” She said it was “tin eared” to champion the philosophy behind...
17 September 2018
Labour conference

Pressure is mounting on Labour bosses to allow disputes over Brexit and the reselection of MPs to be aired at the upcoming party conference.

More than half of the 272 debate motions submitted for the Liverpool get-together are about Brexit - with the vast majority calling for a second referendum, according to campaigners. Meanwhile, grassroots pressure group Momentum revealed a survey showing three quarters of conference delegates back changing internal rules to ensure sitting MPs undergo a contest to be reselected. Labour policy is currently against a second Brexit referendum - although senior figures have insisted all options should be kept on the table. However, the Labour grassroots is overwhelmingly pro-EU, and a special committee will have to sift through the 151 Brexit-related motions today to pick which to air on the conference floor. Labour activist Michael Chessum, from the Another Europe is Possible campaign, urged Labour to make a second Brexit vote a manifesto commitment ahead of the next general election. He said of the current Labour plan to stay closely aligned to the EU: “Of all the options, soft Brexit is...
17 September 2018
Theresa May

Theresa May has warned Tory MPs to back her Brexit plan or see Britain crash out of the EU without a deal - as Boris Johnson accused her of "deliberately acquiescing in foreign rule".

The Prime Minister threw down the gauntlet to Brexiteers in an interview with BBC Panorama. Asked what would happen if MPs voted down a deal with the EU in Parliament, she said: "I think that the alternative to that will be having no deal." The defiant message from the PM came as Boris Johnson branded her plans to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland a "monstrosity" which would "effectively" keep the entire UK in the EU. Eurosceptics warn that the Chequers plans for a "combined customs territory" and "continued harmonisation" with EU rules on goods will hand too much power to Brussels. Writing in the Telegraph, the ex-Foreign Secretary said the proposals were a "constitutional abomination" that would result in a "total write-off of Brexit". He said: "If Chequers were adopted it would mean that for the...
17 September 2018

We need a system that is equitable and universal access based on need, not on where you live and how much money you have, says Independent Age.

We welcome the news that the Government are considering further options when it comes to social care funding, but if they are to reflect the wishes of people in England they must go further and commit to providing free personal care for all older people, which could be paid for through a social care contribution. Our report “A taxing question: how to pay for free personal care”, not only shows the funding options for social care, but also highlights how free personal care would result in significant benefits, and send a clear message about how we value older people. It is vital that any new way of funding does not penalise or unduly disadvantage those who are less well-off.  We need a system that is equitable and universal access based on need, not on where you live and how much money you have.
17 September 2018
Jacob Rees-Mogg

Bank of England governor Mark Carney is a “wailing banshee” whose warnings about Brexit cannot be taken seriously, according to Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The leading Tory Brexiteer said the top economist - who last week warned Cabinet that house prices could plummet by more than a third under a no-deal Brexit - was “quite hysterical” about the UK’s departure from the bloc. Mr Rees-Mogg - who chairs the European Research Group of pro-Brexit Tory MPs - told LBC Radio: "That was suggested by the governor of the Bank of England, who is quite hysterical about Brexit and can’t be taken seriously.. “He’s a political apparatchik and has taken the governorship of the Bank of England from one where the odd movement of the eyebrows was influencing markets to one where he's a wailing banshee.” The North East Somerset MP added: “I don’t think it’s at all distinguished.” His comments came after fellow Brexiteer and Cabinet minister Michael Gove said Mr Carney was “truly independent” and a “first-rate public servant who’s doing an excellent job”. In an interview with the BBC yesterday, Mr Gove also said the Brexit deal the Government strikes with...
17 September 2018

We need a system that is equitable and universal access based on need, not on where you live and how much money you have, says Independent Age.

We welcome the news that the Government are considering further options when it comes to social care funding, but if they are to reflect the wishes of people in England they must go further and commit to providing free personal care for all older people, which could be paid for through a social care contribution. Our report “A taxing question: how to pay for free personal care”, not only shows the funding options for social care, but also highlights how free personal care would result in significant benefits, and send a clear message about how we value older people. It is vital that any new way of funding does not penalise or unduly disadvantage those who are less well-off.  We need a system that is equitable and universal access based on need, not on where you live and how much money you have.