Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

8 November 2019
Boris Johnson

Conservative ministers have announced plans to make it easier for doctors and nurses hoping to move to the UK to obtain visas if they win the election.

The party's frontbench said medical professionals will be given “preferential treatment” over applicants with other jobs and that decisions on their applications would be “guaranteed” within two weeks. They will also pay half the amount faced by others to undergo the process, at £464 rather than £928, and will be able to pay the cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge through their salary. Ministers said the policy will form part of their planned points-based immigration system, which would come into place once Britain has fully left the European Union. They added that extra points would "always" be given to prospective NHS employees. It follows Boris Johnson's pledge in August to ditch the cap on the number of "exceptional talent" visas which are currently handed out, in a bid to attract those working in science, engineering and technology. Home Secretary Priti Patel said the plans would allow the UK to "control numbers while remaining...
8 November 2019
IKEA learning lab

The transformation of IKEA will bring a greater focus on affordability, convenience and being people and planet positive to create a new IKEA by 2021, says Peter Jelkeby, Country Retail Manager and Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA UK and Ireland.

Returning to IKEA in the midst of the biggest transformation in its history is both a pleasure and a privilege for me. In my first few months as Country Retail Manager, I’ve had the opportunity to visit almost all our 22 UK stores and meet many of our co-workers. What has struck me is the dedication and enthusiasm of everyone in this unique business and their commitment to securing the future of IKEA in the face of huge upheaval in the retail industry and significant internal change. The transformation of IKEA will bring a greater focus on affordability, convenience and being people and planet positive to create a new IKEA by 2021. During the first year of our transformation, we made our multi-channel offering more flexible and accessible as we know that customers’ expectations and how they shop with us is changing. We opened a second kitchen and bedroom Planning Studio in Bromley and updated our digital capabilities to make it easier for customers to access our product range online...
8 November 2019
Summer Davos in China

A potent tonic of trade wars, protectionist barriers and populist actors has led to the retreat of globalisation. This could have significant ramifications for the life sciences sector, Dods Monitoring's Nabil Rastani writes. 

A study conducted by Global Alert has inferred that the world is entering an era of ‘deglobalisation’. For the first time since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the integration of the global economy and political system is being rolled back. There is a real danger that this could impact the production of new and innovative medicines. The UK has a rich tradition of internationalism, helping to shape the embryonic globalist movement by becoming an essential actor on the international stage through institutions such as the UN, WTO and until recently the European Union. According to the Rule of Law index, the UK has consistently ranked as one of the most open governments in the world. Indeed, the UK’s commitment to free trade and a system underpinned by the rule of law has helped cement it as an economic powerhouse, with specialised industries such as the life sciences sector being able to trade seamlessly with a plethora of actors globally. However, the inexorable march of populism...
8 November 2019
House construction

FMB's Programme for Government provides a blueprint of policies for whoever wins the General Election to support this key sector of the economy.    

The solution to many of the big challenges that will be debated during the General Election campaign from the housing crisis to the climate crisis, to vital infrastructure investment to fire safety, from building schools and hospitals to restoring our high streets, will rely on good quality construction companies across the country. The construction industry’s contribution to the UK speaks for itself. It contributes 9% of GDP each year and employs 2.7 million people and the vast majority (99%) of construction companies are small and medium sized companies (SMEs), embedded in local communities The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) was started in 1941, rising out of the Blitz, to act as a voice for these small and medium sized construction companies. Small building companies had an enormous task on their hands to help rebuild London after the war, and they grouped together to form the FMB, to tackle issues such as labour and material shortages. Almost 80 years later, the FMB...
8 November 2019
Tory rosette

A Conservative general election candidate has been forced to stand down after just 24 hours over comments he made in the past about rape.

Radio show host Nick Conrad had said they should "keep their knickers on" to avoid being attacked. Mr Conrad made the comment during an on-air during a discussions about footballer Ched Evans, who was convicted and later cleared of a rape charge. He stepped down as host of the breakfast show on BBC Radio Norfolk when he was chosen to stand in Broadland on 12 December. But he has not been forced to quit as the Tory candidate following a furious row over his previous remarks. In a statement issued late on Thursday night, he said: "Five years ago I made ill-judged comments during an on-air radio discussion for which I made a genuine and heartfelt apology.  "Last night I was honoured to be made the Conservative candidate for Broadland and had hoped to become the MP for a constituency which is close to my heart.  "However it has become clear to me that the media attention on my previous comments have become a distraction.  "For me, the most important thing is for the Conservative Party to...
7 November 2019
Jeremy Corbyn

A Labour goverment would give workers the opportunity to choose the working hours that best suit them, the party has announced.

The party said it would deliver a "workplace revolution" which would give people the automatic right to flexible working unless employers could prove the job required set hours. The radical plans would also see Statutory Maternity Pay increased from 9 to 12 months, while larger firms would also be forced to introduce a "menopause workplace policy" in a bid to reduce stigma. Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler, said: "Next Thursday, it is equal pay day, the day when women effectively stop getting paid for the rest of the year compared to their male counterparts. It's a disgrace. "I'm sick of how women are treated at work. Audits aren't enough, we know there's a problem that needs fixing. So we will do something about it. "We'll also extend the amount of time a new mother can spend with her newborn by extending Statutory Maternity Pay to 12 months, so that all mothers can afford to spend those vital early months with their baby." Meanwhile, the party vowed to create a "...
7 November 2019
Labour members

Labour's membership is on course to hit half a million again following a surge in applications after the general election was called.

PoliticsHome understands that the number of people in the party bottomed out at around 475,000, down from a peak of 564,000 at the end of 2017. However, it has now gone up again to more than 480,000 and party bosses are confident it will break through the half million barrier in time for the election. A Labour source said: "Since the election was called, our mass membership has risen to the challenge. "We’ve been campaigning across the country and the small donations are coming in fast. Come rain, wind or shine, our members are ready to transform our country." PoliticsHome revealed in July that Labour's membership had dipped below half a million after tens of thousands quit the party. Despite that, senior figures, including Jeremy Corbyn, have continued to insist that there are more than half a million in the party. It is understood that the...
7 November 2019
Jeremy Corbyn

A Labour goverment would give workers the opportunity to choose the working hours that best suit them, the party has announced.

The party said it would deliver a "workplace revolution" which would give people the automatic right to flexible working unless employers could prove the job required set hours. The radical plans would also see Statutory Maternity Pay increased from 9 to 12 months, while larger firms would also be forced to introduce a "menopause workplace policy" in a bid to reduce stigma. Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler, said: "Next Thursday, it is equal pay day, the day when women effectively stop getting paid for the rest of the year compared to their male counterparts. It's a disgrace. "I'm sick of how women are treated at work. Audits aren't enough, we know there's a problem that needs fixing. So we will do something about it. "We'll also extend the amount of time a new mother can spend with her newborn by extending Statutory Maternity Pay to 12 months, so that all mothers can afford to spend those vital early months with their baby." Meanwhile, the party vowed to create a "...
7 November 2019
Jane Aitchison

A Labour election candidate has been criticised after she appeared to compare celebrating the death of Tony Blair to cheering Adolf Hitler's demise.

Jane Aitchison made the bizarre comparison during an excruciating interview with Radio 5Live's Emma Barnett. Ms Aitchison, who is standing for Labour in the Tory-held marginal of Pudsey, west Yorkshire, spoke out as she defended comments made by another of the party's election candidates, Zarah Sultana. She was forced to apologise after social media posts emerged in which she said she would celebrate the deaths of Mr Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu. Asked about what Ms Sultanah had written, Ms Aitchison said: "People say things that are very, very passionate, and they say things that are wrong, but I don't think that what she's saying there is necessarily worse than looking down on the people of Grenfell who died in a fire which is what we've experienced." That was a reference to comments by Jacob Rees-Mogg, in which he appeared to suggest that the Grenfell fire victims should have had the "common sense" to ignore fire brigade warnings and leave their homes when the blaze took hold....
7 November 2019
Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid has ditched the Government's rules for keeping borrowing low as he pledged to spend an extra £20bn a year on public services if the Conservatives win the election.

The Chancellor made the promise at the same time as he attacked Labour for promising to dramatically increase spending. Under the current fiscal rules established by Mr Javid's predecessor, Philip Hammond, the Government aims to keep borrowing below 2% of national income. But Mr Javid said that he wanted to take advantage of low interest rates to increase that figure to to 3%, freeing up billions more to spend on infrastructure projects like new hospitals, schools, roads and railways. At the same time, he insisted that the current budget - which covers day-to-day spending - would be balanced within three years. He said: "I’m announcing new fiscal rules that if elected will allow us to take advantage of the opportunity to invest in our future and our public services but without squandering the hard work of the British people. "Like anyone who budgets whether it’s a household or small business or large business, I know that we must keep track of what we’re spending, and what we bring in...