Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

11 December 2018
Theresa May

Theresa May will today make a last-ditch plea to EU leaders to help save her Brexit deal.

The Prime Minister will appeal directly to her German and Dutch counterparts, Angela Merkel and Mark Rutte, for further assurances that Britain will not be permanently locked into the Northern Ireland backstop after leaving the EU. The controversial back-up plan, which would impose different trade rules on Northern Ireland, has been a focal point for growing opposition to Mrs May’s deal. In the face of almost certain defeat, she yesterday opted to delay the meaningful vote on the agreement and will instead ask for extra concessions from EU leaders in an effort to win back vital domestic support. But last night, EU Council president Donald Tusk dealt the Prime Minister a fresh blow when he tweeted that "we will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop". Instead, he said Brussels was only prepared to "facilitate UK ratification", a small concession which is unlikely to satisfy Tory Brexiteers or the DUP, who have vowed to vote down her deal. Ireland's prime minister Leo Varadkar...
11 December 2018
EU flag

Opposition leaders have accused Theresa May of "contempt for Parliament" for cancellin the vote on her Brexit deal at the last-minute.

In a joint-letter, Jeremy Corbyn, Ian Blackford, Vince Cable, Caroline Lucas and Liz Saville Roberts said the Prime Minister had "run away from a heavy defeat" because it was apparent that MPs were set to reject the withdrawal agreement. Mrs May stunned Westminster yesterday by deciding to delay the vote after admitting she was set to suffer a humiliating reverse, and pledged to seek "reassurances" from the EU on how the controversial Northern Ireland backstop would operate. However, she did not say when the vote will eventually take place. The opposition leaders called on her to confirm whether the revised deal she eventually puts to the Commons will be "substantially different" from the one she pulled, and whether MPs will be given the chance to debate the Government's negotiating objectives. The letter said: "You unilaterally announced that you will 'defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow and not proceed to divide the House at this time'. No new date has been confirmed for the...
11 December 2018
David Cameron

David Cameron has said he does not regret holding the Brexit referendum.

The former Prime Minister said he was bound by a manifesto commitment to call the vote, although he admitted he was “very concerned” after Theresa May’s decision to call off the planned Commons vote on her Brexit deal threw Westminster into fresh turmoil. Leaving an event in central London, Mr Cameron told a Sky News reporter: “Of course I don’t regret calling a referendum. I made a promise in the election to call a referendum, and I called the referendum. “Obviously I’m very concerned about what’s happening today, but I do support the Prime Minister in her efforts to try and have a close partnership with the EU. “That’s the right thing to do, and she has my support.” BREAK: David Cameron tells me he does not regret calling the referendum @SkyNews — Dan Whitehead (@danwnews)...
11 December 2018
Smart meter

By introducing new planning standards, we would ensure that all houses are built with climate change in mind and will oblige housebuilders to update old stock, says Lord Stunell.

Brexit would be a disaster for our country.  But there’s something that, in my opinion, is even more serious.  Climate Change will hit every country, not just ours.  It will make the whole world much less safe and much poorer. It has started already. There are millions worldwide facing fire, drought, crop failure and flooding. People have lost their homes, people with nothing left to lose, searching desperately for security.  It’s already fuelling conflicts and makes even sailing on a leaky rubber boat across the Mediterranean a risk worth taking for some. We must take urgent – and difficult – action to slow it down. Despite Brexit, as well as Brexit. So, on the latest ‘Biggest Brexit Day Ever’, my Question in the House of Lords is simply asking what the Government plans to do to meet the UK’s legal obligations to cut our emission of greenhouse gases. The UK has not just signed international agreements, but the targets were enshrined in UK law. The Tories have...
11 December 2018
Christmas Jumper Day

Events like Christmas Jumper Day help support Save the Children to change the lives of children, says Stephen Twigg MP. 

With Brexit continuing to dominate Parliamentary business, this is going to be quite the week in Westminster. However, when we make it to Friday we have the chance to celebrate Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day where millions of people across the UK pull on their festive woollies to show their commitment to development and creating a brighter future for children by lending their support to a great cause. Sometimes we feel like a nation divided. That’s why I welcome Christmas Jumper Day. It is an important reminder of the thing that binds us and the reason many of us went into politics: our national commitment to tackle global injustice and work to tackle systemic and exploitative structures. Christmas Jumper Day is meant to be fun. But there is a serious side to it. Around the world, people don’t have access to necessities nor the infrastructure or opportunities necessary to achieve their potential. Up and down the country, classrooms, offices and communities will be coming...
11 December 2018
IKEA's Planning Studio in London's Tottenham Court Road

IKEA UK and Ireland's Matt Maguire writes about changes to the company's business model to enable it to better serve an increasing number of customers, who are living in cities and densely populated urban areas.

75 years ago IKEA was established as a small, mail-order business in southern Sweden by Ingvar Kamprad. From humble beginnings, Ingvar’s vision for IKEA was always clear – to provide a wide range of home furnishing products that are affordable to the many people, not just the few. His aim was to help more people live a better life at home. Since then, IKEA has grown into the world’s largest home furnishing retailer, defining and redefining the home furnishings market with well-designed and affordable products. Our business model, based on customers visiting our large, often out-of-town, stores, collecting their own furniture and assembling it themselves has given us a solid foundation and more than 30 successful years trading in the UK. However, retail and the way people live is transforming, with significantly increased digitalisation, new technology and urbanisation. As a result, retailers are faced with many challenges and for IKEA we see that this requires us to be even closer...
11 December 2018

Responsible Finance, Carnegie UK Trust and Scotcash are bringing together a high-level group of influencers today (11 December 2018) at the Scottish Parliament to discuss "tackling financial exclusion in Scotland – what more can be done?”  

 The evening debate will shine a spotlight on what action the Scottish Government can take to tackle financial exclusion through support for affordable credit. Many of the most disadvantaged citizens in Scotland are facing a series of economic challenges placing them under substantial pressure. Weak income growth, households’ lack of ‘rainy day’ savings and the implications of the ‘gig economy’ are all factors contributing to the financial pressure on households. Access to credit is essential for smoothing out fluctuating incomes and responding to financial shocks. Many of the most disadvantaged households have limited and reducing access to credit, and they pay significantly more to borrow money than other members of society. Carnegie UK Trust’s vision for affordable credit is that everyone, wherever they live, should have access to more affordable forms of credit, which reduce the cost of...
11 December 2018
Gavin Williamson has pushed for more money for defence since entering the MoD

We have dangerously downgraded the status of defence in our national priorities. Spending must rise to 3% of GDP if the UK is to face up to modern-day threats, writes the chair of the Defence Select Committee Julian Lewis

The extra £1bn (£200m in 2017-18 and £800m in 2018-19) allocated to defence by Philip Hammond’s budget is a welcome sticking plaster on a gaping wound. We have made modest progress in the foothills, but we still have a financial mountain to climb if our country’s safety is adequately to be resourced. Of the 25 inquiry reports produced by the Defence Committee and its Sub-committee in the past three years, there is one to which I repeatedly return. “Shifting the goalposts? Defence expenditure and the 2% pledge” was published in April 2016 and mainly examined whether the Cameron government had ‘fiddled the figures’ in calculating the proportion of GDP invested in the UK’s armed forces. It concluded that, although the accounting criteria fell firmly within Nato’s existing guidelines, items such as war pensions – permitted, but previously excluded – were now being used to pad out the data. Yet, the report’s enduring interest lay in two annexes, scrupulously compiled by our professional...
10 December 2018
Lloyd Russell-Moyle is told to leave the Commons chamber

A Labour MP has been banished from the House of Commons chamber after seizing the ceremonial mace in protest at Theresa May's decision to shelve a vote on her Brexit deal.

Speaker John Bercow ordered the Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle to leave the chamber after he picked up the mace - which sits on the table of the House and symbolises royal authority - and attempted to walk out. The Brighton and Kemptown MP told PoliticsHome he had made a "spur-of-the-moment" decision to register his anger at the Government's moves to defy "the will of the House". But his protest was met with calls to "expel him" from the Conservative benches, while others shouted "shame" and "disgusting". Reacting to the move, Mr Bercow said: "I'm sorry, but by the power given to me by standing order number 43, and I think the honourable gentleman will know the implication of his action, I must order honourable gentleman to withdraw immediately from the House for the remainder of this day's sitting." He added: "Mr Russell-Moyle, please...
10 December 2018
Jeremy Corbyn

Dozens of Labour MPs have piled pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to launch a formal bid this week to topple Theresa May - in the hope it could lead to a second EU referendum.

Prominent figures led by former frontbencher Ian Murray said it was “imperative” to act and stop the Conservative party “ripping our country apart and making it much poorer in the process”. But Labour said it would hold back until a motion of no confidence in the Government was “most likely to be successful”. The call came as the Prime Minister ditched plans to hold a crunch Commons vote on Brexit tomorrow - admitting she faced certain defeat. Mr Murray wrote in a letter to Mr Corbyn, which was signed by a number of fellow Labour MPs as well as peers, that he should “use this opportunity” to make the case for a second EU referendum. “It is imperative to take action this week under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act to table a vote of no-confidence in HM Government,” his letter said. “If this fails, we must commit to a public vote with an option to stay in the EU straight away.” The Edinburgh South MP added: “This is not about re-running the 2016 referendum or pitting Leavers...