Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

19 July 2019
shadow cabinet

Labour’s Shadow Cabinet are being urged to “examine their consciences” as Jewish leaders call on them to stamp out anti-Semitism in the party.

It comes ahead of a special meeting of Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench team aimed at tackling the issue, after the crisis over anti-Jew hatred deepened following a recent BBC Panorama documentary. Both the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and the Board of Deputies of British Jews have biw written to the Shadow Cabinet ahead of next week's meeting, with the JLC calling it “unprecedented” for Labour's top team to be discussing a “a racism crisis within its own movement”. The Board of Deputies meanwhile posted a series of recommendations for Labour to enact in order to regain the trust of British Jews. The Board's president Marie van der Zyl said “a significant amount of the fault” lies with Mr Corbyn, as both groups criticised the way complaints of anti-Semitism have been handled. JLC chair Jonathan Goldstein called the crisis “sickening”, adding: “We appeal to you, individually and collectively, to examine your consciences and do everything in your power to stop Labour Party anti-...
19 July 2019
Philip Hammond and Boris Johnson

Philip Hammond has suggested he could back a vote to bring down a Boris Johnson goverment as he accused "noisy" Brexiteers of attempting to frustrate the negotiations.

The Chancellor said he would not “exclude” the possibility of backing a motion of no-confidence in the likely new Prime Minister if he attempted to force a no-deal through Parliament. In a scathing interview with the Le Monde and Suddeutsche Zeitung newspapers, Mr Hammond vowed to do “everything in his power” to stop a Brexit outcome that failed to secure “explicit parliamentary approval”.  “There should be a new and sincere attempt to reach a consensus”, he said. “If we do not find a solution with the members, we may have to ask the British to give their opinion again in one form or another.” On Thursday Mr Hammond rebelled against his party by abstaining on a vote by MPs to block Boris Johnson from suspending Parliament in order to force through a no-deal exit on October 31. Asked if he would consider lending his support to a motion of no confidence in Mr Johnson if and when he gets into power, the veteran Cabinet minister told the papers: “I...
19 July 2019

The UK must provide choice and control to dying people. says Dignity in Dying. 

Responding to Sir Vince Cable’s article, Tom Davies, Director of Campaigns and Communications at Dignity in Dying said: “Sir Vince Cable is right: it is high time that Parliament acted to change our outdated, broken laws on assisted dying. The British public has long supported a change in the law, and MPs are catching up with their constituents. A recent debate in the House of Commons was testament to this, where a majority of speeches were supportive of law change and many MPs shared the heart-wrenching experiences of loving families who have suffered under the current law. “We urge MPs to follow Sir Vince’s example and truly listen to dying people and their families. Their stories prove that the law is not working and that MPs have a duty to act. There is no reason why Parliament cannot follow in the footsteps of law-makers in the US, Australia and Canada and develop safe, evidence-based laws that provide choice and control to dying people while offering greater protection to the...
19 July 2019

Building societies are helping to tackle the challenges facing mortgage prisoners by helping those with regulated and active lenders to switch product and calling for Government to protect mortgage prisoners with unregulated lenders going forward.

Mortgage prisoners are often considered as a single homogenous group, but the majority of mortgage prisoners fall into one of three main groups according to FCA research from 2016. There are consumers who could switch to a better deal with their existing provider but have so far chosen not to do so. Another group are with non-active but regulated firms. The third main group are borrowers who are with non-active and/or non-regulated firms, the FCA has estimated that there are around 215 mortgage books that fall into this category. Each group needs tailored solutions as they are in different situations and pose different legal, risk and operational challenges. For the first group of borrowers, a cross industry voluntary agreement covering 97% of the market and launched in July 2018, ensures that eligible borrowers with an active lender have already been given an option to move to a cheaper mortgage with the...
19 July 2019
Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid is to hit out at Donald Trump as he pleads with political leaders to "moderate their language" to help tackle extremism.

In a major speech on Friday, the Home Secretary will say he knows "what it's like to be told to go back to where I came from". That is a reference to the ongoing row in the United States over tweets by the President in which he said four ethnic minority congresswomen should go back to their own countries rather than criticise America. Mr Javid will say that is a further example that "public discourse is hardening" and providing the perfect breeding ground for those who peddle hate. And he will say it is up to the public to call out those who use racist tropes as a way of stoking up hatred. "If we are to stop extremism in its tracks we must have the courage to confront it, the strength to take decisive action and the foresight to tackle the root causes," he will say. "Public discourse is hardening and becoming less constructive. Everyone has a part to play: broadcasters who must not give a platform to extremists, police who must swoop on the worst offenders, public figures who must...
19 July 2019

It is possible that a once non-contentious Bill could be enough to reinstate Stormont, writes Sophie Rose Feary.

A Bill to Reinstate Stormont The Government is currently trying to fast-track the Northern Ireland Executive Bill through Parliament, to have it reach Royal Assent before the House rises for recess. It is possible that this once non-contentious Bill could be enough to reinstate Stormont. Northern Ireland Executive Bill The Bill’s original aim was to extend the period for forming an Executive in Northern Ireland - an uncontentious issue that would have seen the Bill easily pass through both Houses. However, new clause’s have been added by MPs. Labour MP Stella Creasy tabled one on abortion, and fellow Labour MP Conor McGinn one on same sex marriage. This sees the Bill stray from its original intentions, and delves into complex topics that have divided Northern Ireland. The issue of abortion had once again raised its head in the press and social media due to new restrictive abortion laws in Georgia, USA. Whilst never muted, the coverage this received re-ignited the fire...
19 July 2019
Children in a classroom

Schools urgently need a multi-billion pound cash injection to fix the "broken education funding system", MPs have said.

A report by the Education Select Committee says spending on schools has not kept pace with rising demand, and ministers "desperately need" to come up with a ten-year plan to fix it. The MPs said schools were increasingly being asked to cover additional services such as mental health provision and more complex special educational needs without adequate resources.  The committee calls for an immediate "£3.8billion uplift" foro the sector, and that Department for Education secures more money from the Treasury under the pupil premium scheme. Tory former minister Robert Halfon, who chairs the Education Committee, said: “If it is right that the NHS can have a ten-year plan and a five-year funding settlement, then surely education, perhaps the most important public service, should also have a ten-year plan and a long-term funding settlement. “Substantial amounts of money have been allocated to education by the Government, but spending has not kept pace with...
19 July 2019
Elderly people

"It is time Parliament acted to empower individuals, ensuring that nobody with a rational desire to end their suffering is forced to suffer" says Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable.

It is time we changed the law on assisted dying. Roughly 300 people a year with terminal illnesses are killing themselves, often without medical support and in very agonising circumstances. A further 50 a year are going through the great pain and expense of travelling while ill to Dignitas. It is not right that under the current system people are criminalised for the simple wish to die with autonomy and dignity. Our legislation needs updating with compassion and proper safeguards.  It is only very recently I have come around to this view of calling for legislation that enables assisted dying. I used to be vehemently opposed. Throughout my last 20 years as an MP, I felt unable to support cases brought to me by constituents arguing in favour (although I would express my sympathy). My former views were partly shaped by personal experience. My mother, in the remaining few months of her life, lived in a state of confusion and worry that she was a burden. One week she would be...
19 July 2019
EU and UK flags

A no-deal Brexit would pose a "fundamental risk" to the UK economy, harm the competitiveness of key industries and put thousands of jobs at risk, according to senior MPs.

In a damning report, the cross-party Brexit Committee said leaving the EU without a deal would be "at best a foolhardy gamble and at worst lead to severe disruption" across the country. Boris Johnson - who is expected to be confirmed as the new Prime Minister next week - - has pledged to deliver Brexit "do or die" on 31 October. But the committee report says: "Some have argued that a no deal exit would bring the EU 'back to the table' and that the UK would secure a better deal as a result. "This is, at best, a gamble. At worst, it could lead to severe disruption of the economy, pose a fundamental risk to the competitiveness of key sectors of the UK economy, and put many jobs and livelihoods at risk." In particular, the report says that the north east of England and the West Midlands would be the areas of the UK most badly affected by no-deal, with the chemical, retail, food and drink and manufacturing sectors the hardest parts of the economy. The report also dismisses Mr Johnson's...
19 July 2019
School classroom

Public sector workers are to receive a £2billion pay rise in one of Theresa May's last acts as Prime Minister, it has emerged.

Around two million police officers, teachers, NHS staff and members of the Armed Forces will see their pay go up under the move, The Times reported.. However, the cash will need to be found from existing Whitehall budgets, meaning savings will be required elsewhere to pay for it. The Prime Minister is expected to confirm the measure next week, shortly before she leaves Number 10 for the last time on Wednesday. According to The Times, police officers will receive a 2.5% rise, while soldiers will see their pay go up by 2.9%. Teachers and other school staff are in line for a 2.75% hike, dentists and NHS consultants will get a 2.5% rise and senior civil servants' salaries will go up by 2%. It will be the highest public sector rise in six years, and comes at the end of almost a decade of pay restraint as the Government tried to bring down the deficit. It...