Dods at Party Conference 2019

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

17 September 2019
Liberal Democrat rosette

The Liberal Democrats have dropped a candidate after he called for senior Conservatives to be "burned at the stake".

Galen Milne has been axed as the party's candidate for Banff and Buchan in northeast Scotland after his comments on social media came to light. According to The Sun, Mr Milne took aim at top Tories Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Michael Gove, David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg in a post on Facebook. He reportedly said: "Johnson, Fox, Gove, Davis, Rees-Mogg should be hung, drawn and quartered, with each quarter being sent to the 4 corners of the UK to be burned at the stake." The comments prompted anger from the Conservatives, with Tory vice chairman Andrew Bowie urging Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson to step in - and blaming her "extreme position on Brexit" for the comments. Mr Rees-Mogg, the Commons leader, meanwhile quipped: "Typical Lib Dem. Mr Milne should get his facts straight. As Lord President of the Council, I am entitled to the privilege of being beheaded." Confirming that Mr Galen had now been ditched as a candidate, a spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats said: "Such language...
17 September 2019
John Major

Sir John Major is to publicly argue that Boris Johnson acted unlawfully by suspending Parliament.

The former Prime Minister is due to speak for 20 minutes at the Supreme Court, which is hearing two appeals over Mr Johnson's controversial decision. The court hearing will begin on Tuesday and could run until Thursday, meaning the judgement may not be released until next week. At the Court of Session in Edinburgh last week, judges ruled that the PM had effectively broken the law by recommending to the Queen that Parliament be prorogued until 14 October. Ministers have insisted it was a routine move ahead of a Queen's Speech on that date setting out the Government's legislative agenda. But the Scottish judges said the true motive was to "stymie" MPs' opportunity to debate Brexit in the run-up to the UK's scheduled departure from the EU on 31 October. The Supreme Court will hear the Government's appeal against the ruling, as well as an appeal on a separate case by anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, backed by Sir John Major. At the High Court in London last week, judges rejected Ms...
17 September 2019
David Cameron and George Osborne

David Cameron has slammed "hysterical" critics of his government's decision to cut public spending, as he argued he should have gone further.

The former Prime Minister said he should have "ripped the plaster off" earlier in his premiership and introduced steeper cuts in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. And he claimed that critics of the swingeing programme of fiscal belt-tightening had acted as though the Conservatives had "reinstated the workhouse". While spending on health, pensions and overseas aid rose under the Cameron-led coalition government, there were steep cuts to most other areas of state spending, with welfare, justice and local government hit by hefty reductions. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly criticised the Conservatives over the cuts programme and vowed to roll it back if he enters Number 10. Writing in his memoirs, which are being serialised by The Times, the ex-PM said the "economic rescue job" following the banking crash had been his "biggest test" in Number 10. And Mr Cameron...
17 September 2019
Joanna Cherry and Gina Miller

On Tuesday, Supreme Court justices will begin to examine if Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks in the run-up to the Brexit deadline was legal. Here's what you need to know.

HOW WILL IT PLAY OUT? The case at the highest court in the land will last three days - and follows separate cases against the Government over the Prime Minister's advice to the Queen to "prorogue" Parliament until 14 October - one of the longest periods in modern history. While the act of prorogation, which tees up a Queen's Speech to introduce a new legislative period, is not controversial in itself, opponents have said the timing in the run-up to the Brexit deadline has been used to shut out MPs. As the final court of appeal, the Supreme Court panel will decide whether to back the Scottish Court of Sessions's ruling that prorogation was unlawful, or the separate judgment in England that said it was a political issue, and not for the courts to interfere. WHAT DID THE COURT OF SESSION RULE? The Inner House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh last week found that the Prime Minister’s advice to the Queen...
17 September 2019

Victims and the wider public will be able to challenge the prison sentences handed to sex offenders if they believe them to be “unduly lenient” under new Government reforms.

Those convicted of child sex abuse crimes, including taking and distributing indecent images of children, could be targeted by the new rules. The Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme has been in place for 30 years and allows anyone to ask the Attorney General to refer certain sentences for review if they believe them to be too low. The programme already covers offences such as murder, robbery, and a range of terror offences. Its expansion to 14 further offences will also include certain crimes involving controlling and coercive behaviour, stalking and harassment. Ministry of Justice figures show that 99 criminals saw their sentences hiked following reviews by the courts in 2018. Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, said: “We are determined that those found guilty of heinous crimes such as child sex offences receive the sentences their actions warrant. “Sentences are decided by our independent judiciary based on the facts before them, but it is...
17 September 2019
Jeremy Corbyn

Labour should follow the Lib Dems by calling for Article 50 to be revoked, says Neil Coyle MP.

Forty-seven 47 Labour MPs did not vote to trigger Article 50 in 2017, including me. I remain proud of that vote. The damage done to the UK since justifies that position on a daily basis. Jobs lost, the economy damaged, the pound hit, investment falling in crucial sectors, and a Government trying to subvert democracy by unlawfully suspending Parliament. No MP should be proud of contributing to that dreadful reality. Theresa May was forced to give MPs a vote on Article 50 by the courts. She called it with no plan, no agreement drafted, with no detailed discussions with EU partners underway, and with no agreement within her own Cabinet, let alone one that could possibly carry her ERG backbenches. She twice had to seek an extension to Article 50. The EU provided the last extension on condition the UK ‘use the time wisely’. No one can seriously suggest this has happened. A handful of Labour colleagues, including Stephen Kinnock, have suggested May’s deal should be brought back with tweaks...
16 September 2019

Kerb appeal matters to two thirds of home buyers, according to a survey by the HomeOwners Alliance.

• Kerb appeal matters to two thirds of home buyers, according to a survey by the HomeOwners Alliance • Survey reveals the kerb appeal features buyers are looking for – well-maintained windows and a roof in good condition topped the list • Spending just a few hundred pounds can improve your home’s kerb appeal and positively influence a buyer’s first impression – such as fixing broken tiles on a roof (£190), carrying out a garden tidy up (£150) or improving the front drive or pathway to the house (£100-£500). Estimated costs are provided by the Federation of Master Builders.  More than two thirds (68%) of homeowners say kerb appeal was important in their choice of home. Homeowners have revealed a list of the features most important to them in creating a positive first impression in the home they wanted to buy.  In the HomeOwners Alliance survey, of more than 2,000 UK adults conducted by YouGov, the most important aspects were well-maintained windows and a roof that...
16 September 2019
Jo Swinson

Boris Johnson has behaved like "a socialist dictator" since becoming Prime Minister, according to Jo Swinson.

The Lib Dem leader will condemn her Tory opposite number over his decision to suspend Parliament, sack 21 MPs from his party and threats to ignore a new law blocking a no-deall Brexit. In her fkeynote speech to the Lib Dem conference, Ms Swinson will say: “Silencing critics. Purging opponents. Ignoring the law.  “For someone who proclaims to hate socialist dictators, he’s doing a pretty good impression of one.” Ms Swinson will also slam the Prime Minister’s “sickening” stance on no-deal as she pushes the Lib Dems newly-agreed position to revoke Article 50 if they win a general election. “Planning for no-deal is like planning to burn your house down,” she will say. “You might have insurance, but you’re still going to lose all your stuff.” She will add: “The first task is clear. We must stop Brexit. “And we are crystal clear: a Liberal Democrat majority government will revoke Article 50 on day one. “Because there is no Brexit that will be good for our country....
16 September 2019
Boris Johnson

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister has torn into Boris Johnson over his approach to Brexit negotiations after protesters forced him to duck a press conference.

Xavier Bettel accused the Prime Minister of failing to come up with concrete proprosals for replacing the Irish backstop - the UK's key demand in the ongoing talks. Speaking after talks between the pair, he said he and fellow European leaders will not accept any responsibility “for the mess we are in at the moment”. Mr Bettel's rant came as he stood next to an empty podium when Mr Johnson was supposed to be standing for a joint-press conference. But Mr Johnson refused to take part in the outdoor event because of the presence of noisy protesters nearby. Downing Street sources said they had asked for the press conference to take place inside, but had been rebuffed by their hosts. Hitting out at the lack of detailed alternatives to the backstop being provided by the UK, Mr Bettel said: "I won't give an agreement to ideas. We need written proposals and the time is ticking. So stop speaking, but act." Asked about comments by Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay suggesting a...
16 September 2019
David Cameron ITV

David Cameron has admitted he is “haunted” by his decision to hold the EU referendum.

The former Prime Minister said he feels responsible "about the state the country’s got into" since the 2016 Brexit vote. In his first TV interview since quitting Number 10 in the wake of the referendum, he told ITV's Tom Bradby he had "huge regrets" about the 52%-48% vote to leave the EU. But he insisted he had been right to call the referendum in the first place. Mr Cameron said: "I’m deeply sorry about all that’s happened. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about all the decisions I made and all that has followed. "But when I go back to that decision, that Britain’s position needed to be sorted and we needed a renegotiation and a referendum; I believed then that was the right approach." "Do I have regrets? Yes. Am I sorry about the state the country’s got into? Yes. Do I feel I have some responsibility for that? Yes."@David_Cameron addresses his EU referendum regret in...