Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

20 May 2019

Every week we at Mind hear from people with mental health problems who are struggling to cope the combined impact of having their benefits frozen for years on end, cuts to financial support for disabled people, and the five week wait for Universal Credit

Ayaz Manji, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer at Mind, said:                                          “No one should be going hungry – but, sadly, we’re not surprised to hear that tens of thousands of families are struggling to put food on the table. “Poverty not only affects physical health, but has huge ramifications on mental health too. The stress of being unable to provide for yourself and your family with one of your most basic needs – food – can lead to problems like depression and anxiety, or make the situation worse if you’re already living with a mental health condition. “Every week we hear from people with mental health problems who are struggling to cope the combined impact of having their benefits frozen for years on end, cuts to financial support for disabled people, and the five week wait for Universal Credit. The Government urgently needs to change the system...
20 May 2019

Every week we at Mind hear from people with mental health problems who are struggling to cope the combined impact of having their benefits frozen for years on end, cuts to financial support for disabled people, and the five week wait for Universal Credit

Ayaz Manji, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer at Mind, said:                                          “No one should be going hungry – but, sadly, we’re not surprised to hear that tens of thousands of families are struggling to put food on the table. “Poverty not only affects physical health, but has huge ramifications on mental health too. The stress of being unable to provide for yourself and your family with one of your most basic needs – food – can lead to problems like depression and anxiety, or make the situation worse if you’re already living with a mental health condition. “Every week we hear from people with mental health problems who are struggling to cope the combined impact of having their benefits frozen for years on end, cuts to financial support for disabled people, and the five week wait for Universal Credit. The Government urgently needs to change the system...
20 May 2019
Esther McVey

Theresa May's successor as Prime Minister must "believe in Brexit" and be prepared to take the UK out of the EU without a deal, according to Esther McVey.

The former Cabinet minister appeared to take a swipe at leadership rivals who backed Remain in the referendum as she launched her 'Blue Collar Conservatism' group. Ms McVey was the first Tory MP to officially throw her hat into the ring to succeed Mrs May, who has vowed to stand down regardless of whether or not the Withdrawal Agreement Bill is backed by MPs next month. The Tatton MP, who campaigned for Leave in 2016, said there can be no more "backsliding" on Brexit and insisted the UK must leave on the 31 October deadline with or without a deal. Asked whether Mrs May's successor must back Brexit, she said: "It has to be a Brexiteer I believe, because it has to be someone who believes in Brexit and delivers on our manifesto." Pressed on whether the likes of Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid - who both voted Remain but now say they back Brexit - would be good enough, she replied: "It has to be a Brexiteer who believes in Brexit. However they voted they can tell you, but it has to be...
20 May 2019
Houses of Parliament

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

Houses of Parliament: House of Lords Lord Moonie resigned from Labour and now sits as non-affiliated. House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee – Andrew Murrison resigned as Chair, elections to replace him will be held on 12th June. Environmental Audit Committee – Derek Thomas replaced Colin Clark as a member. Health and Social Care Committee – Angela Crawley replaced Philippa Whitford as a member.   Government Departments: Department for International Development Independent Commission for Aid Impact – Hugh Bayley and Tarek Rouchdy to become part-time Commissioners from July. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Nigel Dakin appointed Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Deborah Bronnert CMG has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation in January 2020. Home Office Simon Hoare stood down as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary. Edward Day appointed as the Drug Recovery Champion. Northern Ireland Office John...
20 May 2019
Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage has lashed out at "radicalised" Remain supporters after he was hit by a milkshake while campaigning ahead of the EU elections.

A man threw the banana and salted caramel drink at the Brexit Party leader as he walked around the centre of Newcastle. The frustrated former Ukip chief was promptly led away by security officials, and was filmed saying: “A complete failure. You could have spotted that a mile away.” Mr Farage was then followed and heckled by onlookers, while the man who appeared to launch the drink was escorted away by a police officer. Chaotic scenes in Newcastle city centre as Nigel Farage hit by a milkshake. He’s been whisked away by his security. This is the aftermath. pic.twitter.com/qxz8yay492 — Sean Seddon (@seddonnews) May 20, 2019 The incident makes Mr Farage the latest victim of the milkshake protest against pro-Brexit figures, which was sparked after former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was hit in Bury. Mr Robinson, who is...
20 May 2019
Heidi Allen

Heidi Allen has cast Change UK’s future into doubt by suggesting the party may not exist in its current form by the time the next general election is called.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the newcomer group’s interim leader signalled that Change UK could morph into something else in the "brand new world" of the next parliamentary race. The former Tory MP admitted the format of the party - which is struggling to break through in the polls ahead of this week's European elections - could change as she pushes for it to become “more successful”. Ms Allen said: “Will I stand again in South Cambridgeshire, in my constituency, as Change UK, in whatever format? "Let’s hope, depends when next general election comes. If we’ve managed to bring together other MPs from the House of Commons, the format might be slightly different. “But whatever the 'Brand New World' party looks like, at that point of the General Election in South Cambridgeshire, absolutely. "I’m not going back to the Conservatives.” Ms Allen also hinted that a deal with the Lib Dems could still be on the cards as she talked up a “modern world of coalition”. Her...
20 May 2019
Police outside Parliament

MPs and their staff are on the receiving end of more direct and indirect threats than ever before. We must fight to preserve the integrity of our system, writes Simon Hart

In the last year or so the number of reported threats against MPs has risen by 126%. These are not just any threats, but those which are sufficiently serious as to warrant police action. What’s more they aren’t just directed at MP’s but at staff, family and volunteers too.  There are plenty of people out there who think this is all part of the rough and tumble of politics and even self inflicted – let’s face it, we don’t exactly behave with much decorum in the Commons chamber and this, coupled with the claim that we ignore public sentiment anyway, creates an environment where it is easy to say we deserve everything we get.  But my debate on Tuesday is not about protecting famously brittle political egos. Never has politics (at all its many levels) needed to attract the best of society more than it does now. Elected office should be revered across the land, with long waiting lists for the privilege of serving our communities. The motive should be driven by a public service...
Simon Hart
20 May 2019
Trophy Hunting

Clearly we cannot ban trophy hunting overseas, and it is not our place to do so. But we could reduce demand for it, writes Zac Goldsmith

Global nature is in crisis. We have just had sight of the most comprehensive-ever assessment of the state of nature, the IPBES report, and it makes for truly grim reading. A full 25% of all animal and plant species in the world are at risk of extinction.  It is an environmental tragedy, but it is also a threat to humanity on at least the same scale as climate change, and we urgently need to act. Clearly trophy hunting isn’t the main cause of this disaster – but it matters. It matters because it shows in the plainest possible way how we have failed to put a meaningful value on the natural world.  Morally, trophy hunting horrifies the vast majority of the British public. It is depressing if the best we think we can do for beautiful and endangered creatures like lions, elephants and rhinos is for wealthy Westerners to pay thousands of pounds to shoot them. And when we see horrific stories like that of the shooting of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe in 2015 or of hunters posing...
Zac Goldsmith MP
20 May 2019
Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage today accused Gordon Brown of peddling a “disgusting smear” after the former prime minister raised questions over Brexit Party funding.

The Labour ex-leader said the new anti-EU outfit was making “questionable claims” about the source of its war chest and demanded a probe by election watchdogs. He raised concerns about the numerous small donations the party has received, which do not need to be registered with the Electoral Commission and are said to make up the vast majority of its funding stream. But the Brexit Party boss told PoliticsHome: "This is a disgusting smear from Gordon Brown, the man who worked alongside Lord Levy when Labour donors went to the House of Lords in large numbers. "We are complying with electoral law in every way. The establishment are jealous of our rapid growth." Mr Farage has previously been criticised for taking cash from insurance tycoon Arron Banks, who is under investigation by the National Crime Agency over campaign funding during the 2016 EU referendum. At a speech in Glasgow, Mr Brown noted that donations to the Brexit Party could be made through PayPal using any currency. "You can...
20 May 2019
Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid is set to announce that he could use new powers to ban British nationals from travelling to Syria.

Speaking to senior security officials on Monday, the Home Secretary is expected to warn that a new counter-terrorism act could ban Britons from heading to the war-torn country or face up to 10 years in prison. Mr Javid - who is thought to be considering a run for the Conservative leadership when Theresa May steps down - will say that UK citizens without good reason should be “on notice” for travelling, or remaining, in certain areas. The move comes as British nationals who have joined terror group Islamic State (IS) in Syria have sought to return to the UK. Mr Javid is expected to say: "I've asked my officials to work closely with the police and intelligence agencies to urgently review the case for exercising this power in relation to Syria, with a particular focus on Idlib and the north east. "So anyone who is in these areas without a legitimate reason should be on notice." He will add that the police and security services "have worked tirelessly" to identify people attempting...