Dods at Party Conference 2020

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

6 November 2019
Chris Williamson

Chris Williamson has been banned from standing for Labour at the general election.

He is one of three former Labour MPs informed on Wednesday that they will not be candidates for the party on 12 December. The other two are Stephen Hepburn, who is currently suspended from the party, and Roger Godsiff, who was triggered for reselection by members in his Birmingham Hall Green constituency. The decision was taken at a meeting of Labour's ruling national executive committee. A party source said: "The NEC has decided to not endorse Chris Williamson, Stephen Hepburn and Roger Godsiff as candidates in the general election. Labour candidates will be selected in these three constituencies.  "The Labour party rule book clearly states individuals who are suspended from the party are not eligible to be Labour candidates. The Labour Party is also clear that all Labour Parliamentary candidates must receive endorsement from the NEC in order to be confirmed as Labour candidates." Mr Williamson, who regained his Derby North seat from the Conservatives in 2017, had the Labour whip...
6 November 2019

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has raised concerns about the credibility of HMRC to oversee compliance with the changes to IR35 in the private sector after its latest tribunal defeat.

The warning came in response to the news that ITV presenter Helen Fospero has become the latest TV presenter to defeat HMRC in an IR35 tax tribunal. Andy Chamberlain, IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy, said: “This is the second IR35 tribunal judgement that has come to light this week that HMRC has lost. That drives home the reality that IR35 legislation is so complex that even the UK’s tax authority cannot understand it. And if HMRC cannot grasp its own legislation, how can it expect businesses across the UK to when it changes IR35 in the private sector next April? “The two cases this week – concerning an IT contractor and TV presenter Helen Fospero – both hinged on the absence of ‘mutuality of obligation’ in their engagements. This is critical because HMRC refuses to accept that there can ever be a contract where ‘mutuality’ is absent. “The fact that HMRC has been judged wrong on this – and that it clearly cannot understand its own legislation – fatally undermines its CEST (Check...
6 November 2019
Alun Cairns

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has resigned from the Cabinet as a probe was launched into claims he knew a Conservative candidate had "sabotaged" a rape trial. 

In a further blow to the Tories on the day Boris Johnson prepared to launch the party's general election campaign, he quit and vowed to co-operate "in full" with an investigation into the claims. Ross England, a former aide to Mr Cairns, made allegations about the victim's sexual history in an April 2018 rape trial at Cardiff Crown Court, leading to its collapse. Mr Cairns went on to endorse Mr England's candidacy as a Welsh Assembly member for the Vale of Glamorgan and the party "categorically" denied he was aware that Mr England's actions had undermined the court case. But the pressure on Mr Cairns grew after BBC Wales obtained a leaked email to Mr Cairns from his special adviser Geraint Evans dating back to August last year, which said: "I have spoken to Ross and he is confident no action will be taken by the court." In a letter to the Prime Minister confirming his decision to quit, Mr Cairns said: "You will be aware of allegations relating to the actions of a party employee and...
6 November 2019
Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has mounted a fresh attack on Jacob Rees-Mogg over his “shameful” suggestion that Grenfell Tower residents lacked "common sense".

The Cabinet minister was forced to apologise after he told LBC Radio that the 72 people who died in the blaze should have fled the burning building rather than follow firefighters’ advice to stay put. But the Labour leader said it was policies such as raising flammable cladding on high-rise buildings and cutting the fire service’s budget that had failed to demonstrate "common sense". Addressing a rally in Telford this morning, Mr Corbyn added to his condemnation from Tuesday, by saying: “[The Conservatives] shamefully seem to think the victims of the Grenfell fire died because they didn’t have the common sense to save themselves. “I’ll tell you what’s common sense: Don’t put flammable cladding on people’s homes. That’s common sense. “Don’t close fire stations and don't cut fire fighters. That’s common sense.” Mr Rees-Mogg told the station yesterday: "The more one’s read over the weekend about the report and about the chances of people surviving, if you just...
6 November 2019
James Cleverly sits at one end of a long table, holding a pen

Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly has defended his party over claims they created "fake news" by publishing a heavily edited video about Labour's Brexit policy.

The Tories have come under fire after they were accused of "doctoring" a clip of Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer to make it appear that he was unclear about his party's position. In the minute-long video, which has been viewed over one million times, the Conservatives inserted an extended pause following a question from GMB host Piers Morgan about the EU's willingness to negotiate a new Brexit deal with Labour. But in the original interview, Sir Keir responds immediately to the question, saying he had been in discussions with EU leaders for the past three years, adding: "So I know that a customs union and single market alignment, and protection of workers' rights and environmental rights and consumer rights is something that can be negotiated." The heavy edit drew criticism from Piers Morgan himself, who said the party had "doctored" the video and asked why they had decided to "fake it". Meanwhile, Tory minister Johnny Mercer also apologised for sharing the...
6 November 2019
Andrew Bridgen

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has apologised after suggesting that Jacob Rees-Mogg would have survived the Grenfell Tower tragedy because he is more "clever" than the victims.

The leading Brexiteer spoke out to defend his Conservative colleague after he was criticised for claiming the 72 people who died in the blaze lacked "common sense" for ignoring fire brigade advice to stay in their flats. Mr Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, later said he was "profoundly" sorry for any offence he had caused. Appearing on the BBC's PM programme on Tuesday, North West Leicestershire MP Mr Bridgen insisted Mr Rees-Mogg was "an extremely compassionate intelligent human being".  "His comments surrounding Grenfell were uncharacteristically clumsy but I think we have to put it into the context of Jacob," he said.  "Jacob is a leader. He's an authority figure and what he has failed to...
6 November 2019
The Menai Bridge in Anglesey, North Wales, where Plaid Cymru launched their General Election campaign

Support for the construction industry is unarguably a key topic for the General Election, requiring attention from parliamentarians and policymakers. This is the Chartered Institute of Building's manifesto for the 2019 General Election. 

It’s official – there will be a general election on Thursday 12 December 2019. There are those who believe it will be dominated by Brexit - but there’s no doubt that many other issues which have a tangible and long-lasting impact on our society will be campaign topics. Support for the construction industry and those who work to shape our built environment is unarguably a key topic, requiring attention from parliamentarians and policymakers.  The quality of our built environment affects all of us. It influences productivity and wellbeing at home and at work. It creates and maintains the places that people live, work and play in, the infrastructure that supports them and the services that sustain them. It cannot be ignored by government and needs to be prioritised, not least because it is also one of the supporting pillars of the UK economy, officially contributing just over 6% of economic output and employing around 2.3 million people directly. We published a manifesto for the...
6 November 2019
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns

A rape victim has urged Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns to resign over claims he knew a Conservative election candidate had "sabotaged" her trial.

Ross England, a former aide to Mr Cairns, made claims about the victim's sexual history in an April 2018 rape trial at Cardiff Crown Court, leading to its collapse. Mr Cairns went on to endorse Mr England's candidacy as a Welsh Assembly member for the Vale of Glamorgan and has said he was not aware that Mr England's actions had undermined the court case. A statement from the Conservatives published last week "categorically" stated that Mr Cairns was "completely unaware of the details of the collapse of this trial until they became public". But BBC Wales has obtained a leaked email to Mr Cairns from his special adviser Geraint Evans dating back to August last year, which said: "I have spoken to Ross and he is confident no action will be taken by the court." Asked by the BBC whether Mr Cairns should now step down, the victim - a former member of staff for the Conservative Party - said: "Absolutely.  "If he'd...
6 November 2019
Jo Swinson

The Liberal Democrats will raise income tax in order to fund a multi-billion pound spending boost for mental health services if it wins the general election.

The party said it would put a penny on every pound paid in income tax from April, with £11bn of the £35bn raised over the next Parliament ringfenced for treatment. They said the money would go towards child and adolescent services, matching waiting time standards with those in physical health and expanding the NHS's mental health workforce. The Lib Dems branded provision a “postcode lottery” as it stood, and said people with severe mental illness die on average 15-20 years earlier than the rest of the general population. They added that by prioritising young people, “it is possible” to ensure that no one will have to travel out of area for “all but the most specialist mental health services”. The party’s health spokesperson, Luciana Berger, said: “Our country is in the grip of a mental health crisis, with more and more people desperately seeking support, and being let down by the underfunded services on offer. “Liberal Democrats want to achieve real equality between mental...
6 November 2019
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn would go after the wealthy with “a relish and a vindictiveness not seen since Stalin” if he wins the general election, Boris Johnson has declared.

The Prime Minister, who will kick off the Conservatives’ election campaign with a speech in the West Midlands, launched a no-holds-barred attack on the Labour leader as he compared him to the brutal Soviet dictator. And he accused Labour of wanting to “destroy the very basis of this country’s prosperity” with a clampdown on business. The attack came as Mr Corbyn prepared to contrast his own leadership style with the Prime Minister's by saying he would “hold open the door for others to walk through” if he gained the keys to Number 10. But, writing in the Telegraph, Mr Johnson tore into the Labour leader as he claimed the Conservatives “don’t sneer” at business. “We cheer for them: because their success is our success; and the tragedy of the modern...