Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

15 September 2018

Female politicians should stop “dressing down” in Parliament because it shows a lack of respect, according to Labour MP Kate Hoey. 

The Vauxhall MP said she has never worn a pair of trousers in the House of Commons because it is important to “show people respect if they’re going to respect you”. Speaking to the Telegraph, she said: "Maybe it's ridiculous and I'm just getting old but I don't like the way people have dressed down completely in Parliament. “I remember my old agent saying: ‘You have to show people respect if they're going to respect you.’ “And that means dressing properly. I've never worn trousers to meetings in my constituency either." Ms Hoey - who has faced a vote of no confidence from her local party after voting with the Government on a key Brexit bill - also claimed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his shadow chancellor John McDonnell were “staunch Brexiteers”. She said: "Well they are, of course. I'm delighted. “That's why, in a way, having Jeremy there is very important...
15 September 2018

Michael Gove has reportedly apologised for attending a dinner to raise funds for DUP MP Ian Paisley last year. 

Tory councillor David Harding said Mr Gove was unaware the event in the Tullyglass Hotel - which is under scrutiny amid claims local councils used taxpayer's money to buy tables there - was a fundraiser for the Northern Irish party. He claims to have received a personal apology from the Environment Secretary at a meeting in Belfast. Mr Harding, a councillor on the Causeway Coast and Glens Council, told the BBC he had met Mr Gove and a special advisor some time after the Tullyglass dinner and he said both apologised to him. He said: "There's a clear instruction from the Conservative Party that members of the government do not attend functions that promote the interests of other parties or raise money for them and it shouldn't happen. "They said they were clear this was a business event, that it wasn't a DUP event, that although it had been arranged by Ian Paisley, this wasn't about raising money for the DUP which...
15 September 2018

Sir Vince Cable has urged all who oppose Brexit to join the Liberal Democrat to help create a “more powerful force” in centrist politics. 

Speak ahead of the party’s conference in Brighton, which starts on Saturday, the Lib Dem leader said his party offered a home to “liberals, social democrats, progressives and centrists”. He said: "Whether you see yourself as a liberal, social democrat, progressive, or centrist there is a home for you here, particularly as we fight Brexit together. "I have made proposals to open up our movement to become an even more powerful force at the centre of British politics, standing up to power and privilege to bring fairness and opportunity for everyone." On the first of the four-day event, the Lib Dems will discuss the Windrush scandal, animal welfare and decentralisation among other issues. Sir Vince - who will make his keynote speech on Tuesday – recently called for a major overhaul of its membership and election rules to counter claims it lacked popular appeal. His proposals, which are likely to be debated but not voted on at this year's event, could allow people to join the party...
14 September 2018
Mark Carney

House prices in the UK would collapse by one-third if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal, Mark Carney has warned.

The Bank of England governor delivered the grim assessment at a special meeting of the Cabinet yesterday. Mr Carney attended the start of the three-and-a-half-hour session in 10 Downing Street, which came amid growing fears that Theresa May will fail to reach an agreement with her Brussels counterparts. According to The Times, he told the Prime Minister's top team that soaring interest rates would cause house prices to fall by 35% in the worst case scenario. The value of the pound would also plummet, while inflation would rocket, he said. And he warned that the Bank of England's options for dealing with such a crisis were limited, as interest rates had already been slashed in the wake of the financial crash 10 years ago. One source told the paper: "Carney was very spicy. You saw a few eyebrows going up around the room but nobody challenged him.” But...
14 September 2018
The Home Office

Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron MP reflects on recent reports that over a dozen asylum seekers have been waiting for more than twenty years for a Home Office decision, during which they couldn’t work, earn or plan for the future.

Twenty years is a long time. Michael Owen was England’s most promising footballer. Britpop was starting to wane. Maybe you remember a fresh-faced Tony Blair, just a year into his spell at 10 Downing Street. Or what if you had just applied for sanctuary in the UK, an asylum seeker fleeing from violence and persecution in some warzone overseas? You told the government what had happened to you and your family, asked for help, and then waited. And waited, and waited some more. According to recent reports, more than a dozen asylum seekers received decisions last year after delays of more than twenty years. One person had been waiting since 1992, frozen in limbo in a system which had forgotten them. The asylum process had robbed them of nearly three decades, during which they couldn’t work, earn or plan for the future, not in this country or anywhere else. Stephen Hale, the boss of the charity Refugee Action, called the delays “utterly barbaric,” and he is right. This is another...
14 September 2018
Elderly people

Independent Age is urging the government to introduce a social care contribution aligned to a commitment to provide free personal care, in order to help improve social care for older people, now and in the future. 

If current trends continue, support to vulnerable older people will continue to decline, access to social care will predominantly become a service based on ability to pay, and many older people will be left to fend for themselves and forced into crisis. Not only are older people increasingly being let down by a social care system that doesn’t work for them, but such pressures are increasingly leading to demands on already stretched Accident and Emergency services and the wider NHS. Urgent action is needed now to stop any further decline in social care and support. The forthcoming social care green paper, the Budget, local government settlement, and Spending Review, all present clear opportunities, individually or collectively, to do this. As part of this debate, Independent Age commissioned Grant Thornton UK LLP and the Social Market Foundation to assess the effectiveness of nine social care funding policy options available to the government to pay for social care in the future....
14 September 2018
Mark Serwotka

A trade union boss and ally of Jeremy Corbyn has suggested Israel "created" the anti-Semitism storm in the Labour party to deflect from its actions in Palestine.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said he was "not a conspiracy theorist" but argued that creating "a story that does not exist" was the best way of "trying to hide from the atrocities you are committing". He was condemned for the remarks. which he made at the TUC conference in Manchester, with the Labour Against Anti-Semitism campaign calling on him to resign. The latest row comes after Labour spent the summer mired in controversy over its initial refusal to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of anti-Semitism. Speaking at a fringe event organised by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Mr Serwotka said Labour had “allowed a lot of this to drag on, in a way that actually didn't help anybody,” the Independent reported. He said: "In a year when Donald Trump has moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to...
14 September 2018
Justin Welby

A Tory MP has accused the Archbishop of Canterbury of hypocrisy after it emerged the Church of England uses zero-hours contracts and invests in Amazon - despite his condemning both.

In a hard-hitting speech earlier this week, Archbishop Justin Welby said zero-hours contracts were “the reincarnation of an ancient evil” and slammed Amazon for paying “almost nothing in tax”. But the Archbishop’s Council - of which Lord Welby is a joint-president - advises parishes to use zero-hours contracts, while Amazon is one of the Church Commissioners' 20 biggest equity investments. Tory MP Ben Bradley - who had already attacked the cleric for the content of his speech - urged Archbishop Welby to “practise what he preaches”. He added: “It’s hypocritical when [he] condemns zero-hours contracts whilst his churches are advertising zero-hours jobs.” Mr Bradley had said the top cleric was “parroting” the Labour party when he made his speech to the TUC conference on Wednesday. But...
14 September 2018
Viktor Orban and Theresa May

Conservative Party chiefs have defended their MEPs' decision to vote against a European Parliament motion condemning Hungary's right-wing government.

The party's representatives in Brussels have come in for severe criticism for opposing the attempt to sanction Viktor Orban's authoritarian regime, which has been accused of racism, anti-Semitism, restricting press freedom and undermining judicial independence. Tory bosses have denied they did it in order to win Hungary's support in the Brexit negotiations. A call for disciplinary action against the country - which needed a two-thirds majority in the European Parliament to be imposed - was carried by 448 votes to 197 in a vote on Wednesday morning. But most of the Tory MEPs voted against the move, leading to condemnation from Jewish and Muslim groups. Mafrie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: "It is very concerning that Conservative Party MEPs chose to defend Hungary's appalling track record, rather than...
14 September 2018
Vince Cable

The Liberal Democrats could change their name in a bid to win opponents over to form a new political movement, Sir Vince Cable has said.

The party leader said he was against the idea - but admitted he had an “open mind” to re-branding the movement the New Liberal Democrats. Rumours have been swirling around Westminster that a new centrist party could form to cut through the two extremes of the current Labour and Conservative parties. Sir Vince is pushing for Lib Dem rule changes to allow non-members to vote in leadership elections and to allow non-MPs to bid for the top job in the hope of attracting new blood to the party. On a potential name change, Sir Vince told the Telegraph: “British politics is very tribal. There still a lot of tribal loyalty and people find it difficult to move in the British system. “Changing names is a superficial thing – maybe because I am not a marketing person I don’t understand the importance of it. “This new enlarged movement that we are creating – if the...