Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

14 September 2018

The NFB welcomes the announcement of new funding but remains concerned that the Government’s efforts to solve the housing crisis have moved away from making the planning process more efficient. 

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire MP has announced a new partnership between Homes England and Barclays Bank to provide £1 billion of loan finance to help support small and medium sized (SME) developers get access to the finance they need to get housing developments off the ground. Aimed at speeding up delivery, the fund is open to developers borrowing between £5million and £10million, building 10 homes or more, with a previous track record and a majority control of the development site. The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomes the announcement of new funding but remains concerned that the Government’s efforts to solve the housing crisis have moved away from making the planning process more efficient. Planning remains the greatest barrier for SMEs and regional contractors looking to grow local communities and deliver more homes. The fund may hence struggle to make a difference because developers cannot access the fund unless they already have planning...
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

Over half (55%) of 180 people affected by dementia said they felt the media didn’t represent them and over a third (34%) described dementia portrayal as negative

Yesterday evening (Thursday 13 September), professionals from across the media and arts industries came together with Oscar-winning screenwriter, author, actor and director Lord Fellowes of West Stafford, for the launch of Alzheimer’s Society’s new dementia-friendly media, arts and drama guide, hosted by Channel 4.    Joined by fellow actors such as Hugh Bonneville and Hugh Dennis, professionals from across media, arts and drama, and people affected by dementia, Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Lord Fellowes presided over the launch including a panel discussion exploring how dementia is portrayed in the industry and the impact that has. For the 850,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK and their families, how dementia is depicted in the media and arts has a huge impact on how they feel about their condition and how others view them. It informs people’s attitudes, beliefs and assumptions, shaping public opinion.  Sensationalist accounts have, over the...
14 September 2018
Sadiq Khan and Jeremy Corbyn

Sadiq Khan has been reselected as Labour candidate for the next London mayoral election.

He has secured the support of more than 50% of party members in the capital, meaning he cannot be challenged. Mr Khan's position became unassailable when he won the backing of the powerful GMB union. It means he will now seek a second term in City Hall at the next mayoral elections in 2020. Warren Kenny, the GMB London regional secretary told Huffington Post: “Two years ago Londoners elected Sadiq Khan as London Mayor by a thumping margin in the face of a nasty and divisive campaign from the Tories. "Since he came to office our Mayor has consistently championed people living and working in London. "We are proud to be giving GMB’s firm backing to Sadiq Khan to carry on the job of making London a fairer and...
14 September 2018

Pensions have a PR problem with their inaccessible, complicated language and cumbersome paperwork helping to create a self-employed savings crisis, a report by IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has found.

To mark Saturday’s Pensions Awareness Day, IPSE wants to see both the Government and the pensions industry take steps to overcome the pensions PR problem and improve the savings prospects of nearly five million self-employed people.   The pensions crisis threatens to leave many self-employed people facing pensioner poverty later in life. To avert this, the report,...
14 September 2018
Mark Serwotka

The TUC has refused to be drawn on a suggestion by its president that Israel may be behind the anti-Semitism row which continues to dog the Labour party.

Mark Serwotka, who is an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, said he was "not a conspiracy theorist", but believed the world's only Jewish state could be using the controversy to deflect attention from its own "atrocities" in Palestine. Speaking at a TUC fringe event, the PCS general secretary said: "In a year when Donald Trump has moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in a year when dozens of Palestinians including children were gunned down – unarmed innocent civilians – by the Israeli military, in a year when the Americans are cutting off aid ... isn’t it a vile world when, instead of being on the front foot, denouncing these atrocities, demanding an independent and sovereign state for the Palestinian people, we have had a summer of asking ourselves whether leading Labour movement people are in any way anti-Semitic?" He added: "Now I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I'll tell you what - one of the best forms of trying to hide from the atrocities that you are committing is to go on the...
14 September 2018
Emily Thornberry and Keir Starmer

Labour is preparing to vote against the Brexit deal Theresa May agrees with the European Union, Emily Thornberry has said.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary said her party was "not going to agree" with a vague agreement simply because the alternative is leaving the bloc without a deal. Her comments increase the chances of the Prime Minister being unable to get her deal through the Commons, a development which would throw the Government into chaos. Labour's official policy is to judge any agreement Mrs May secures in the autumn against six tests they have said it must pass to secure their backing. But speaking to the Financial Times, Ms Thornberry said it was unlikely it would do so, and therefore Labour was likely to vote against. She said the Brexit strategy agreed by the Cabinet at Chequers in July - which seeks to maintain close economic links with the EU - was "nonsense". And she added: "Even if they come back in October, November, and they say, ‘this flimsy bit of paper is what you’re going to have to agree to, otherwise there’...
14 September 2018
Vote Leave

The official pro-Brexit campaign has called for spending fines leveled against it to be reversed after the High Court ruled electoral watchdogs misinterpreted the law.

Vote Leave was fined £61,000 and reported to the police after the Electoral Commission said it unlawfully co-ordinated funds with fellow pro-Brexit campaign group, BeLeave. But the High Court today ruled that the watchdog should have considered the £625,000 in question as a direct expense of its own - rather than a donation to the smaller group. However, Vote Leave said it would not have donated the cash to BeLeave in the first place if the Electoral Commission had not assured it in advance that doing so would not count as a direct expense. In a damning verdict today, Lord Justice Leggatt said the watchdog had interpreted the law in a way that would create “a recipe for abuse of the spending restrictions”. He said the “source of its error” was to assume that a donation from one organisation to another would not also constitute a direct expense. “As a result of this error, the Electoral Commission has interpreted the definition in a way that is inconsistent with both the language and...
14 September 2018

As the UK government is urged by a cross party group of MPs to introduce new carbon reduction targets that will deliver net zero emissions by 2050, ETI chief engineer, Andrew Haslett discusses why it is important that the UK focuses on a balanced and blended approach to the low carbon technologies across the whole energy system to deliver a sustainable UK future.

The recent summer which recorded consistent high (and in many locations record) temperatures across the UK and Europe has been a reminder of the reality of climate change, and that the county’s economic and environmental future could benefit from a goal of net zero emissions. However, the fact remains that no single technology will be able to achieve this in isolation. Carbon targets create interdependency, so the choices made in one form of energy affects what needs to happen elsewhere in the energy system - there really is no silver bullet to decarbonisation. And a whole system approach is required. For the last decade the ETI has been building capability in whole energy system modelling and analysis that can operate at national, sector and local levels. Our modelling shows that if we are to achieve an affordable transition to a low carbon energy system, the answer for the UK lies in a blended mix of technologies, including renewables (predominantly offshore wind), new nuclear,...
14 September 2018
Conservative conference

A Tory former minister has accused party bosses of setting a "dangerous precedent" after they banned a pro-Remain group from attending the annual Conservative conference.

Ex-justice minister Phillip Lee hit out at the decision to refuse security passes to the Best for Britain campaign group, claiming the move amounted to an attack on freedom of expression. Three campaigners from the anti-Brexit group were told they had been refused security passes for the party’s Birmingham conference later this month, just weeks after the removal of a Best for Britain fringe event from the conference guide. An email from the Conservative conference team informed them: “Having considered your application for a security pass to attend then Conservative Party Conference, I write to inform you that your application for accreditation has not been granted.” The group is set to hold an event calling for a referendum on the final Brexit deal in a venue outside the secure zone, but will now not be able to enter the main conference hall. Theresa May has repeatedly insisted a second referendum of any kind is not Government policy and will not happen under her watch...