Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

17 November 2018
gerardcoynegerardcoyne

A rival of top Jeremy Corbyn ally Len McCluskey has dropped his claim of unfair dismissal against the union Unite. 

Gerard Coyne, the union’s former West Midlands regional secretary, has withdrawn a lawsuit claiming he was unfairly sacked over a misuse of data.  Mr Coyne was sacked in June 2017, just a few months after standing against Mr McCluskey for the role of general secretary at the union, which is Labour's biggest financial backer. Mr McCluskey won 45.5% of the vote against Mr Coyne’s 41.5%.  An investigation by Unite’s chief of staff Andrew Murray found Mr Coyne had used Labour party data to contact potential supporters.  Reacting to Coyne’s withdrawal, Howard Beckett, the union’s assistant general secretary for legal affairs, said: “We welcome the withdrawal of Mr Coyne’s case against Unite.  “This now concludes the litany of challenges Mr Coyne has brought against the union relating to his defeat in last year’s general secretary election and his dismissal from the union for misusing his position as regional secretary. “It should be noted that not a single one of...
17 November 2018
jennyjones

Two female peers have hit out at fellow Lords for their “cruel” attitudes in a debate on claims of sexual harassment against Lib Dem peer Lord Lester. 

The House of Lords voted by 101 to 78 to delay a decision by a Parliamentary watchdog to hand Lord Lester a mammoth near-five-year ban over allegations he tried to get a woman to have sex with him in return for a peerage. Lord Lester has maintained that the claims - made by author and campaigner Jasvinder Sanghera about events said to have taken place 12 years ago - are "completely untrue". But Barroness Jones, of the Greens, told the Guardian she was so shocked by the debate on his ban that she left the chamber.  She said: “I actually walked out of the debate at one point because I was so shocked at the things that were being said…  “So mysogynistic [and] victim-blaming.  “I couldn’t believe this was happening in 2018. It was so archaic and, honestly, cruel.”  Meanwhile fellow Lib Dem peer Baroness Hussein-Ece said she had become “...
17 November 2018
michael-gove

Michael Gove and four other Cabinet ministers will try to force Theresa May to change her plan for Brexit in exchange for their loyalty, according to reports.

The "gang of five” is said to consist of Eurosceptics Gove, Andrea Leadsom, Chris Grayling, Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox. According to the Telegraph, the ministers have “made it clear” they would not hesitate in following Dominic Raab and Esther McVey in quitting if their demands are not met.  It is understood the group want Britain to have the option of pulling out of the Irish border “backstop” agreement unilaterally, rather than with the EU’s consent as it currently stands.  The five ministers, who have all attended Ms Leadsom’s “pizza nights” to thrash out strategy in the past – as well the likes of Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt – believe their changes could help Mrs May avoid a no confidence vote from her MPs. But key EU figures have made it clear that they are unlikely to allow changes to the draft agreement, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel...
17 November 2018
gerardcoyne

A rival of top Jeremy Corbyn ally Len McCluskey has dropped his claim of unfair dismissal against the union Unite. 

Gerard Coyne, the union’s former West Midlands regional secretary, has withdrawn a lawsuit claiming he was unfairly sacked over a misuse of data.  Mr Coyne was sacked in June 2017, just a few months after standing against Mr McCluskey for the role of general secretary at the union, which is Labour's biggest financial backer. Mr McCluskey won 45.5% of the vote against Mr Coyne’s 41.5%.  An investigation by Unite’s chief of staff Andrew Murray found Mr Coyne had used Labour party data to contact potential supporters.  Reacting to Coyne’s withdrawal, Howard Beckett, the union’s assistant general secretary for legal affairs, said: “We welcome the withdrawal of Mr Coyne’s case against Unite.  “This now concludes the litany of challenges Mr Coyne has brought against the union relating to his defeat in last year’s general secretary election and his dismissal from the union for misusing his position as regional secretary. “It should be noted that not a single one of...
17 November 2018
Angela Smith

A moderate Labour MP has condemned a "cabal of hard-left members" after losing a vote of no confidence in her performance by local party members.

Actvists in the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency Labour party said they were unhappy with Anegla Smith's criticism of Jeremy Corbyn. The motion of no confidence was passed by 27 votes to 20 at a meeting of the CLP's general management committee on Friday night. It is understood local Labour officials will now write to Nick Brown, the party's chief whip at Westminster, asking for Ms Smith to be kicked out of the party. In a statement, the MP said: "I take my responsibilities as a member of parliament very seriously and my first priority is always to do my job, to the best of my ability. "It is frankly astonishing that a cabal of hard-left members have absorbed everyone's precious time and energy on a divisive motion of no confidence. "Given that the country is facing its biggest crisis since Suez, one would have thought their attention would be better focused on the huge decision facing the country, a decision that will affect the lives of every one of my constituents for years...
16 November 2018
Disability at workDisability at work

We know that employers and disabled people themselves know best what they need. That’s why we’re listening, and constantly improving our services, says Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Disabled People.

It’s great news to see there are now more disabled people in work than out, and over the last five years 973,000 disabled people have entered employment. This is really encouraging, but we know there’s more to do to build on this progress and to ensure that all disabled people who want to work have the opportunity to do so. Key to our approach is changing people’s minds, by showcasing the benefits of having a diverse workforce and the contribution that people with disabilities can make in any workplace. The Government’s free employment scheme, Disability Confident is fast approaching the milestone of 10,000 businesses having signed up, an increase of over 4,000 in the last year alone. New research, published this week, shows that half of all Disability Confident employers have recruited at least one disabled person since joining the scheme, rising to 66% amongst larger employers. It’s great to see the scheme creating real opportunities for disabled people. The Disability Confident...
16 November 2018
Melvyn Bragg presents Radio 4's In Our TimeMelvyn Bragg presents Radio 4's In Our Time

Brexit has become a cult like the Moonies, David Cameron is a “smarmy PR man”, Emmanuel Macron is a “weasel” and Theresa May could emerge “better than Boudica” if she backs staying in the EU. That is according to veteran broadcaster Melvyn Bragg.

In a colourful interview with The House magazine, the South Bank Show host hit out at “squirearchal, hedge funding, overprivileged” Brexiteers and accused them of offering no evidence for their arguments. He also branded David Cameron “contemptible”, “pusillanimous”, a “leading wimp” and attacked him for apparently seeking a return to frontline politics, asking “who the f*** does he think he is”. Lord Bragg, who presents Radio 4’s In Our Time, also called on Jeremy Corbyn to “come off the fence” and back Remain at a second referendum, warning his “dallying is doing the Labour party no good”. The full interview can be seen here. Below are a selection of his quotes: On Cameron...
16 November 2018
Michael GoveMichael Gove

Michael Gove is on the brink of becoming the latest Cabinet minister to quit after turning down the offer of becoming Brexit Secretary.

Theresa May asked him to replace Dominic Raab, who resigned yesterday in protest at the Brexit deal she has struck with Brussels. But Leave-backing Mr Gove rejected the offer after the Prime Minister told him there was no chance of trying the renegotiate the agreement, which has angered many Brexiteers. According to The Times, the Environment Secretary delivered the news to Mrs May just moments before she delivered a Downing Street press conference urging MPs to support her. The drama came at the end of a day which had already seen three other ministers, plus a string of parliamentary aides, quit their posts, and heard fresh calls for Mrs May to step aside. It is understood that Mr Gove planned to sleep on whether or not to resign from the Cabinet, and will announce his decision either today or over the weekend. If he were to quit, it would be another hammer-blow to the Prime Minister'...
16 November 2018
PovertyPoverty

Tory policies have inflicted “great misery” on the most vulnerable in society and the Government is “in denial” about it, a damning UN report has said.

Philip Alston, the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights for the UN, said welfare reforms since 2010 were “punitive and mean-spirited” - and said the working poor had been especially hit. The verdict is a blow for Theresa May, after she singled out the working poor - or the "just about managing," as she named them - as the group she most wanted to help when she made her first speech on the steps of No 10. But the Government said it “completely disagrees” with the analysis and insisted it was “absolutely committed” to helping people improve their lives. Mr Alston issued his withering verdict at a press conference in central London this morning, after a 12-day fact-finding mission to Britain. “Government policies have inflicted great misery unnecessarily, especially on the working poor, on single mothers struggling against mighty odds, on people with disabilities who are already marginalised, and on millions of children who are locked into a cycle of poverty from which...
16 November 2018

Commenting on the Government’s announcement that employers are taking more disabled people into the workforce, Rob Wall, head of policy at the Chartered Management Institute has released the following statement.

It's good to see the latest statement that employers are taking more disabled people into their workforce, but they need to ensure there is a planned progression path so that they can develop and utilise their skills to the maximum to benefit the business.   CMI research shows that only 10% of the FTSE 100 companies surveyed rate their performance on developing disabled people within their businesses as fair or very good; whereas 42% rated their performance as fair or very poor.   It is disappointing that companies recognise that they can do more to develop disabled people but are not doing so.