Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

21 July 2019
James Brokenshire

Renters are to be given access to a database of blacklisted landlords as part of a Government crackdown on rogue lettings.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire has revealed new plans for a search system that will give prospective tenants access to check landlords and letting agents by name and records. The Rogue Landlords Database will hold information of landlords’ criminal records, including those convicted of failing to make a property habitable, as well as sex and drug offences. The plans come as part of a series of renting reforms, including measures to end no-fault evictions. Mr Brokenshire said: "This database has the potential to ensure that poor quality homes across the country are improved and the worst landlords are banned, and it is right that we unlock this crucial information for new and prospective tenants. "Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences." The initiative, which will boost power for 11 million renters in England, has been welcomed by housing campaigners. Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said: “We welcome government plans...
20 July 2019
Ed Davey

Sir Ed Davey MP sets out his vision for the Liberal Democrat leadership draws to a close. He writes "With me as leader the Lib Dem resurgence becomes an unstoppable surge".

If you doubt the need for a strong Liberal Democrat force led by a credible leader, please study for a minute the photo of Boris Johnson holding aloft a slippery kipper. It tells you everything about the inanity, insanity – and terrifying danger we face.   So Johnson condemned supposedly absurd EU fish packaging regulations following complaints from an Isle of Man fisherman; and was wrong in every particular. The Isle of Man is not even a member of the EU. Such regulations are the responsibility of member states. It was actually the British government that introduced stringent requirements. And even if Johnson’s speech had not been so catastrophically fact-free, any fisherman wishing to export to the EU post-Brexit would still be subject to EU regulation, the only change being that Britain would cede all control over the drawing up of such regulations.   But I soon stopped laughing over the stunt. I reflected that Johnson’s little lie just feeds into Johnson’s bigger lie,...
20 July 2019
Gloria De Piero

Gloria De Piero has resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench and announced she will not stand in the next election because of a “lack of tolerance" in the Labour Party.

Speaking to party members in her constituency, the shadow justice minister said that while being an MP was “the greatest honour of my life”, she would resign from her frontbench position immediately and would not be standing at the next election.  The Ashfield MP said: “Tonight I will be writing to Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Burgon to step down from the front bench – I thank both of them for giving me the opportunity to serve but I want to spend the limited time I have left as an MP focussing on what has brought me to this Party – to fight for opportunities in life that people from backgrounds like mine rarely have. “The Labour Party is made up of mostly good people who sometimes disagree on how to achieve good. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s good and its healthy and it should be welcomed." But she added: “The lack of tolerance for different viewpoints in the Labour Party frankly worries me. We have to have respect for each other, even if we disagree, because we are all...
20 July 2019
Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry has been taken to hospital after a cycling accident in Westminster.

The senior Labour MP was knocked off her bike after colliding with a taxi as she cycled out of Parliament. Police and an ambulance arrived, and the Islington and Finsbury MP was taken to accident and emergency after being treated at the scene. A spokesperson for the Labour frontbencher said: "Emily has now been discharged from hospital, and is hugely grateful for the support of the ambulance crew and A&E staff who helped her following her accident. “She will be back to work and back on her bike as soon as possible.” Ms Thornberry’s Labour colleagues offered messages of support.  Shadow foreign minister Liz McInnes tweeted: “Best wishes for a speedy recovery to my friend @EmilyThornberry. Hope nothing broken!” Nick Thomas-Symonds, shadow security minister said: "Sorry to hear this – wishing you a speedy recovery @EmilyThornberry."
20 July 2019
Donald Trump and Theresa May

Boris Johnson will "straighten out" Brexit if he becomes Prime Minister next week, US President Donald Trump has said.

The US President told reporters that he spoke to the Conservative leadership frontrunner on Thursday, adding: “I think he’s going to do a great job. I think we’re going to have a great relationship.” He also doubled down on his criticism of Theresa May's Brexit, calling it “a disaster”. But he said of Mr Johnson: "I think Boris will straighten it out. A lot of people say Johnson is a different kind of guy.” The Republican president added: "He’s a different kind of a guy but they say I’m a different kind of a guy too – we get on well." Mr Johnson was criticised this week for failing to label comments from President Trump telling non-white congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came” as racist.  When asked if the remarks were racist in the final Tory leadership debate on Monday, the former foreign secretary said only thaat they were "totally unacceptable". Pressed on whether they were racist, he said...
19 July 2019
Jo Swinson MP

As the Liberal Democrat leadership contest concludes Jo Swinson MP sets out her vision for the party: “This is about taking the Liberal Democrats beyond 20%. And there is no limit to my ambitions for our party”.

This week I called out the President of the United States for being a racist. This is not a normal thing to do, but these are not normal times. After Donald Trump told four democratically elected Congresswomen of colour - all U.S citizens - to ‘go back’ to their own country, it was absolutely the right thing to do. For some reason, so many of our political leaders felt unable to do the same. Foreign Secretary and leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt was “appalled”, and the man who will most likely be our next Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, shrugged a vague condemnation - his eyes firmly fixed on his fantasy of a U.S. trade deal. Why does this matter? Because casual racism is dangerous, whoever says it. Coming from the leader of the free world, it’s terrifying, and the scenes of crowds chanting ‘send her back’ were sickening and chilling. Leadership is about standing up for British values, even if it means telling your friends or allies they’re wrong. The forces of nationalism and...
19 July 2019
Anna Soubry

A pro-Brexit activists has pleaded guilty to public order offences after shouting abuse at MP Anna Soubry.

The Broxtowe MP said she was "pleased" after James Goddard, 30, from Greater Manchester, admitted to causing alarm and distress using threatening or abusive language over the incident which took place outside the Houses of Parliament. Meanwhile fellow defendant Brian Phillips, 55, pleaded guilty to using threatening or abusive words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress. Westminster Magistrates' Court heard that Mr Goddard - a regular protester outside the Commons - had shouted "Nazi, traitor and scum" at the MP, who has been a vocal campaigner for staying in the European Union. In December he filmed himself following Ms Soubry and shouting: "You are a traitor, you are a disgrace. You are on the side of Adolf Hitler." Mr Goddard also pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence against a police officer during the protests, which took place during December 2018 and January this year. Ms Soubry is currently an MP for the Independent Group,...
19 July 2019

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19 July 2019
Darren Grimes

Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes has won his appeal against a £20,000 fine handed down by the Electoral Commission.

Mr Grimes was hit with the five-figure fine in 2018 after the elections watchdog said it had found "significant evidence" that the official Vote Leave Brexit campaign had failed to properly declare its links with his youth-focused BeLeave group. But Mr Grimes appealed against the fine at the Mayor's and City of London Court, accusing the watchdog of "errors of fact, the law and unreasonableness". In a statement, Mr Grimes said he was "delighted and relieved that the Court has found me innocent". He added: "This case has taken a huge toll on myself and my family, an I'm thankful it's now over. I will be eternally grateful to all those people who have supported me - your generosity and kind words of encouragement have kept me going. "The Electoral Commission's case was based on an incorrectly ticked box on an application form - something that it had been aware of for over two years and had not been raised in two previous investigations. "Yet the Commission still saw fit to issue an...
19 July 2019
Nigel Farage

Sajid Javid has praised Nigel Farage for quitting Ukip and dismissed suggestions his new Brexit Party is made up of "extremists".

In a speech in London, the Home Secretary said "populism and even open racism" had "catapulted extremists to power" around the world in recent years. But he argued that a similar trend had not happened in the UK, as he defended Mr Farage's new outfit despite the Brexit Party he now leads not making "life any easier" for the Tories. The Cabinet minister said: "Ukip have floundered since they moved further right, with their leader being advised by EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a man that is now behind bars. "That decision sparked a wave of resignations and their support has collapsed. "And we must give credit where credit's due. So I applaud Nigel Farage for walking away, branding Ukip thugs and extremists. "And even though his Brexit Party has not made my life any easier, I want to be clear: they are not extremists. "Because it doesn't help to exaggerate the problem, to demonise anyone with a different view and to see danger when it is not there." Mr Farage quit Ukip...