Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

17 September 2018

The Government must urgently reconsider the rollout of Universal Credit (UC) and heed the growing warnings about the damage the policy has caused, IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has today said.

The widespread condemnation of Universal Credit is clear and damning evidence of how damaging the policy has been. IPSE urges the Government to urgently halt the reform’s rollout and address its flaws before its damage can be manifested further. Nowhere is Universal Credit’s damaging impact felt more clearly than on the self-employed. The self-employed lose out due to monthly reporting because it does not take into account of the fact the income of the self-employed varies hugely from month to month. This means a self-employed person can end up £3,000 worse off each year under UC compared with an employee earning the same amount. That is a significant amount of money. Why, for example, should a farmer who sells or produce crops only at a particular time of year, be penalised? The Government must address the problem of monthly reporting by considering self-employed earnings over a more reflective annual basis. The latest criticisms come just three months after a particularly...
17 September 2018
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde with Chancellor Philip Hammond

Leaving the European Union without a deal would put the entire economic recovery since the 2008 financial crash at risk, Philip Hammond has claimed.

The Chancellor risked the fury of Tory eurosceptics as he seized on a prediction by the International Monetary Fund that the UK would face a "significantly worse" outlook under a no-deal Brexit than if Theresa May reaches agreement with the EU. He said: "Leaving without a deal would put at risk the substantial progress the British people have made over the last 10 years in repairing our economy. "We must lock in economic progress we’ve made. We must heed IMF warnings about consequences that not making a deal will have for jobs and the economy." Unveiling its annual predictions for the UK economy, the IMF said it expected growth of 1.5% a year in 2018 and 2019 if the Government managed to strike a Brexit agreement. But, speaking to reporters at the Treasury on Monday, the body's managing director Christine Lagarde said: "Those projections assume a timely deal with the EU on a broad free trade agreement and a relatively orderly Brexit process after that." She added: "The larger the...
17 September 2018
Boris Johnson

Downing Street has mocked Boris Johnson after the former Cabinet minister launched his latest attack on Theresa May's Brexit strategy.

The ex-Foreign Secretary - who quit the Government  in July in protest at the so-called Chequers plan - took aim at the proposals to keep the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland open after Brexit. He said if the suggestion of a ‘combined customs territory’ with EU rules on goods were implemented it would be “the first time since 1066 our leaders were deliberately acquiescing in foreign rule”. And he pinpointed a December 2017 ‘backstop’ agreement - which could see just Northern Ireland remain in a full customs union with the bloc - as the moment the Government slipped up. “For Ulster Unionists of any description, for the Tory party, for anyone who cares about the union between Britain and Northern Ireland, it is a monstrosity,” he wrote in his weekly Telegraph column. But a spokesman for Theresa May today noted that Mr Johnson had...
17 September 2018

The energy industry continues to go through a period of rapid transformation, from the huge growth in renewable electricity generation to the new, exciting move to local flexible grids that will unlock the value of maturing technologies such as electric vehicles, micro generation and battery storage.

To facilitate the shift to a smarter, flexible energy system, SSEN is transitioning from a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to a Distribution System Operator (DSO) and in its ‘Supporting a Smart Electricity System’ report it set out the five principles that will underpin its transition.  These are: SSEN’s DSO must work for all customers Learning by doing will give the best outcomes for customers SSEN’s transition to DSO must be coordinated and cost efficient Neutral facilitation is paramount SSEN’s DSO should unlock local solutions. Following a recent fault that occurred on SSEN’s Orkney network, which is home to the world’s first Active Network Management (ANM) scheme, SSEN put into practice its ‘learning by doing’ principle, successfully maintaining export access to its flexible generation customers to allow Orkney’s ANM renewable generators to continue to generate, helping to maintain the operation of...
17 September 2018
Labour rosette

An activist who claims she was raped by a senior Labour official has accused the party of sitting on a report which reveals sexual harassment is "rife" in the organisation.

Bex Bailey said she was angry that the outcome of an investigation by top QC Karon Monaghan remains under wraps nearly five months after it was delivered to Labour bosses. The probe was set up by the party after Ms Bailey revealed last year she was sexually assaulted at a Labour event in 2011. When her allegations first emerged, Jeremy Corbyn praised her "enormous bravery" and pledged to do "whatever it takes" to eradicate sexual harassment from the Labour party. Speaking to the BBC last year, Ms Bailey said it took her two years to "summon up the courage" to report the incident, and that she was warned that doing so could harm her career. Karon Monaghan was appointed to carry out an investigation into Ms Bailey's claims as well as a wider review of Labour's processes for dealing with sexual harassment. PoliticsHome...
17 September 2018
Nick Forbes

A fresh Labour row is set to erupt after plans were resurrected to allow party members to elect local council leaders.

In a surprise move, Labour's ruling National Executive Committee will be asked to vote for the radical policy when they meet tomorrow. The proposal is among a raft of potential rule changes to emerge from a review of the party's democratic structures by former MP and Jeremy Corbyn ally, Katy Clark. Under the plans, 'local government committees' made up of party members instead of Labour councillors would be given the power to draw up the party's manifesto for town hall elections. Most controversially, party members would also be balloted to decide who is the Labour leader on the local council. PoliticsHome has been told that a previous version of the plan was dropped by Labour general secretary Jennie Formby at the last NEC meeting a fortnight ago. However, a new version of the plan has been included on the agenda for tomorrow's meeting. If it is apporoved, it will then be put to Labour delegates at next week's party conference in Liverpool and would almost certainly become official...
17 September 2018
British Plastics Federation

On Monday 10 September, The British Plastics Federation (BPF), in conjunction with Plastics Europe, held a Parliamentary Reception called ‘The Future of Plastics in a Sustainable Society’.

The event took place at the Houses of Parliament and was attended by 162 people, including 22 MPs and a further ten government representatives. The sponsor of the event, MP for Rugby Mark Pawsey, welcomed everyone before explaining that MPs recognize the important contribution plastics manufacturers make to numerous local economies. Pawsey states: "Through my own experience of running a packaging business, I am delighted to support the work of the BPF and all its members. I am very pleased to hear that so many of you have welcomed parliamentarians to your plants in order to educate and inform them of the huge contribution the industry makes, both in terms of the products you produce and the local economies you support". He was followed to the stage by BPF Director General Philip Law, who highlighted the importance of plastic in reducing fuel consumption, food waste, CO2 emissions, as well the key role it plays in healthcare. He stressed the issue we are facing is not about plastic...
17 September 2018
Vince Cable

Vince Cable is set to accuse anti-EU MPs of putting Britain at risk in pursuit of the “erotic spasm” of Brexit.

In a speech to the Liberal Democrat faithful, the party leader will condemn those who want to realise their “dreams” for the country at the risk of creating “nightmares for the rest of us”. He will also urge Theresa May to back a referendum on her final Brexit deal, and lament: “When we feel sorry for the country’s Prime Minister, something is seriously wrong.” Mr Cable will make the comments in his speech closing the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton - at which the party pitched to centre-ground voters who want to stop Brexit. He will blast: “For the ‘True Believers’ – the fundamentalists – the costs of Brexit have always been irrelevant. “Years of economic pain justified by the erotic spasm of leaving the European Union. Economic pain felt – of course – not by them but by those least able to afford it.” He will add: “The public don’t mind what these people dream about behind closed doors – so long as their dreams don’t become nightmares for the rest of us. “It really beggars...
17 September 2018
Vince Cable

Vince Cable is set to accuse anti-EU MPs of putting Britain at risk in pursuit of the “erotic spasm” of Brexit.

In a speech to the Liberal Democrat faithful, the party leader will condemn those who want to realise their “dreams” for the country at the risk of creating “nightmares for the rest of us”. He will also urge Theresa May to back a referendum on her final Brexit deal, and lament: “When we feel sorry for the country’s Prime Minister, something is seriously wrong.” Mr Cable will make the comments in his speech closing the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton - at which the party pitched to centre-ground voters who want to stop Brexit. He will blast: “For the ‘True Believers’ – the fundamentalists – the costs of Brexit have always been irrelevant. “Years of economic pain justified by the erotic spasm of leaving the European Union. Economic pain felt – of course – not by them but by those least able to afford it.” He will add: “The public don’t mind what these people dream about behind closed doors – so long as their dreams don’t become nightmares for the rest of us. “It really beggars...
16 September 2018
Theresa May

Theresa May has finally slapped down Boris Johnson after he accused her of strapping a suicide vest to Britain - and suggested his remark made him unfit to be PM.

The Prime Minister said the attack by the former foreign secretary - which caused a political storm - was "completely inappropriate". She also said the speculation over her leadership was becoming “irritating” and insisted she was still a “bloody difficult woman”. Mr Johnson sparked fury last week when he said the Chequers deal put forward by the Tory leader was like “a suicide vest around the British constitution” with the detonator in the hands of Brussels. Mrs May responded directly to the comments for the first time during a BBC Panorama interview to mark the six-month countdown to the Brexit date. “I have to say that that choice of language is completely inappropriate,” the Prime Minister said in the interview set to be broadcast tomorrow. “I was Home Secretary for six years, and as Prime Minister for two years now, I think using language like that was not right and it’s not language I would have used.” The comment...