Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

13 December 2018

Agreement with Ioniqa Technologies reflects investment in promising new recycling technologies

The Coca-Cola Company today announced a new agreement extending a loan to Ioniqa Technologies (The Netherlands) to facilitate the development of Ioniqa’s proprietary technology to produce high-grade recycled PET content from hard to recycle PET waste. The agreement is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of high-grade recycled content PET for use in The Coca-Cola Company’s bottles.  This investment supports the company’s global vision to work toward a World Without Waste, which includes a goal to create packaging made of at least 50% recycled material by 2030. The new technology supports the circular economy for plastics by allowing packages such as colored PET bottles that may have been excluded from certain recycling streams, to be recycled into food-grade quality packaging. The Coca-Cola Company’s agreement with Ioniqa is intended to accelerate scale-up of its recycling technology for PET. Ioniqa has developed a proprietary recycling technology that, is...
13 December 2018
Theresa May

MPs will not get a chance to vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal until after Christmas, Downing Street has confirmed.

Confirming that Theresa May's negotiations with fellow EU leaders remain deadlocked, a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said the meaningful vote will not take place until the Commons returns from the Christmas break on 7 January but before 21 January. The announcement will infuriate Labour and the Lib Dems, both of whom have demanded that MPs be given the chance to finally vote on the deal next week, before Parliament rises on 20 December. Mrs May had initially planned to hold the vote on 11 December, but announced a delay after being warned that she faced a humiliating defeat. The Prime Minister has since begun a frantic round of talks with EU leaders in an attempt to win "legally-binding" assurances on the Northern Irish backstop, which has angered Tory Brexiteers and the DUP. At the European Council meeting going on in Brussels, European heads of government have insisted that the legally-binding withdrawal agreement will not be re-opened. Mrs May will make a personal plea to them...
13 December 2018
EU and UK flags

Parliament's Christmas recess should be scrapped if the vote on Theresa May's Brexit deal is delayed until 2019, the Lib Dems have said.

The party said it would be "an insult to the British people" if MPs went on holiday without the issue finally being resolved. Tom Brake, the Lib Dems' Brexit spokesman, spoke out after Commons leader Andrea Leadsom all-but confirmed there will be no meaningful vote before Parliament rises for a two-week Christmas break on 20 December. He said: "At a time of so much uncertainty caused by this Brexit mess, it is an insult to the British people that Theresa May is happy for MPs to go on holiday without voting on the biggest issue in generations. People deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats demand better. "Liberal Democrats do not believe Parliament should rise for the Christmas recess until Theresa May does what the people expect and give MPs a vote on her deal. "Now more than ever MPs should be working to help their constituents, not least by...
13 December 2018
Labour MP Jess Phillips

Ministers have come under fresh fire after two suspended Conservative MPs had the whip restored so they could take part in last night's crucial vote on Theresa May’s leadership.

Labour MPs Jess Phillips and Louise Haigh took aim at the decision to reinstate Tories Andrew Griffiths and Charlie Elphicke ahead of the crucial ballot on whether to oust the Prime Minister.  Both Conservatives had been suspended over allegations of misconduct, but had the party whip restored just hours before yesterday’s confidence vote. Mr Griffiths lost the whip after admitting to sending thousands of sexually explicit text messages to female constituents. A Conservative investigation found he had breached the party's code of conduct, but that no further action should be taken because of mental health problems the Burton MP was experiencing at the time. Meanwhile, Dover MP Mr Elphicke was interviewed under caution by police earlier this year in connection with “alleged sexual offences” against two female members of staff. He has denied any wrongdoing and said yesterday he remained “as confident as I always have been of clearing my name”. But the decision to...
13 December 2018
Tommy Robinson, Gerard Batten, Ukip

Ukip has just one peer left in the House of Lords after the alliance between leader Gerard Batten and controversial far-right activist Tommy Robinson triggered a fresh resignation, PoliticsHome can reveal.

Lord Stevens quit the party last week over concerns it was becoming “anti-Muslim” and was “drifting away from its original purpose in life”. His departure follows that of Lord Willoughby de Broke, who PoliticsHome revealed last week had also renounced the Ukip banner, and leaves just Lord Pearson as a Ukip peer. Mr Batten has been hit by a wave of resignations in recent weeks by senior figures angry at his embrace of anti-Islam activist and ex-BNP member Mr Robinson - real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. Former leader Nigel Farage, Scottish leader David Coburn and a string of MEPs are among those who have fled over concerns Mr Batten is obsessed with the controversial activist and the Muslim faith. Lord Stevens...
13 December 2018

More than 120,000 children will be in temporary accommodation this Christmas, official figures have revealed.

Some 82,000 families and individuals are currently without a permanent home - a 63% rise since the Conservatives came to power in 2010. Ministers said their work on housing was "making a real difference" and said they were pumping billions of pounds into schemes.  The Government has been struggling to deal with a housing crisis that has seen rents and house prices pushed up and led to rough sleeping soaring by 170% since 2010. Some 123,600 children were in temporary accommodation by the end of September this year, with 6,890 families placed in bed and breakfasts. Many local authorities were meanwhile breaching the law by housing some 900 families in B&Bs beyond the statutory six week limit. Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said: “Homelessness fell at an unprecedented rate under Labour, but under the Tories even more children will be homeless this Christmas, with over 80,000 households and 120,000 children now without a home. “This is a direct result of Conservative decisions...
13 December 2018
Andrea Leadsom

MPs will not be able to cast their verdict on Theresa May's Brexit deal before Christmas, the Government revealed today.

Ministers released the schedule of parliamentary business for next week - the last before the festive break - with no plans for the so-called 'meaningful vote'. The crunch Commons showdown on the Prime Minister's deal had originally been scheduled for Tuesday this week - but Mrs May pulled it at the last minute in the face of certain defeat. MPs have been demanding to know when they will get to have their say, but Mrs May has only said it will come by the 21 January next year. The PM is racing to secure fresh changes to the so-called Northern Irish backstop from the EU before she puts her deal to a vote. Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom today revealed the House business for next week, which contained no mention of the crunch Brexit clash. That drew criticism from Labour, with opposition frontbencher Valerie Vaz blasting the fresh delay. The Shadow Commons Leader said: "I don't know if I've heard properly: has the leader actually given all the business next...
13 December 2018
Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab has revealed he voted to depose Theresa May last night as he argued she still needs to stand down or risk ushering in a Labour government.

The former Cabinet minister said it was “very difficult to see how this Prime Minister can lead us forward” after she saw off a no-confidence challenge to her leadership. Some 117 Tory MPs voted for Mrs May to be kicked out of Downing Street while 200 said she should be allowed to stay and at least deliver Brexit. Pro-Brexit Tories have argued the PM should stand down - and Mr Raab this morning became the most senior figure to join their ranks. “We will have to back her as best we can,” the former Brexit Secretary - hotly tipped as a contender to replace Mrs May -  told the BBC. “But the problem is that both in relation to Brexit and the wider sustainability of the Government, the given likelihood of any changes to the deal, given the likely scale of opposition, it looks very difficult to see how this Prime Minister can lead us forward.” He told Sky News he did not support Mrs May in the ballot last night, and added: “My biggest fear now is that if she continues in place we have a...
13 December 2018

The UK’s ethical “responsible finance” sector grew by £19 million (8%) in 2018, according to new figures published today.

Responsible finance providers helped tens of thousands of financially vulnerable people to avoid borrowing from high-interest lenders. They also supported thousands of credit-worthy businesses and social enterprises rejected by or unable to access finance from mainstream lenders. The providers, otherwise known as community development financial institutions, lend to financially excluded individuals and to viable businesses and social enterprises. New research published today in Responsible Finance: The Industry in 2018 demonstrates: • Responsible finance providers lent a total of £254 million to 52,121 customers in 2018, an 8% increase on the £235m lent in 2017. • The providers lent £85 million to 5,310 businesses, creating 4,490 new businesses and creating or saving 10,370 jobs. This was a 27% increase on the £67m lent to UK businesses in 2017. • £138 million was lent to 475 social enterprises – 112 more social enterprises than in 2017 – creating and saving 4,060 further jobs...
13 December 2018

A fresh legal row has broken out between the UK and Scottish governments after both sides claimed victory following a Supreme Court ruling on post-Brexit powers.

In a unanimous judgment handed down today, the court ruled that laws passed by Holyrood did not run counter to the UK devolution settlement. However, in a blow for the Scottish Government, the court said part of the bill was "outside the legislative competence" of the Scottish Parliament. The two sides had been at loggerheads over which EU powers should return to the devolved nations after Britain leaves the bloc, with the SNP accusing ministers of a “power grab”. But the Government had challenged the so-called "continuity bill" passed by Holyrood in a bid to address the issue, with ministers arguing that move went well beyond Scotland’s remit. The court today said: "It finds that the whole of the Scottish Bill would not be outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament. "However, section 17 would be outside the legislative competence of the Parliament because it would modify the Scotland Act and, at least in part… would be outside the competence of...