Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

10 December 2018
John Bercow

John Bercow today laid into Theresa May after she scrapped a major Commons showdown on Brexit without seeking the permission of MPs.

The Speaker said it was "deeply discourteous" of the Prime Minister to shelve the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal in the face of certain defeat. Mrs May admitted her plans were set to be voted down “by a significant margin” due to concerns about the Northern Irish backstop plan. Tory rebels had threatened to try to block the delay if it was put to a Commons vote. But a Downing Street spokesman confirmed that the decision will go through on the nod using a simple Commons procedure where a government whip says "tomorrow" when a clerk reads out the orders of the day. Mr Bercow accepted that the Government had the power to unilaterally ditch the vote due tomorrow night, but said it would have been "infinitely preferable" to ask MPs first. He condemned the Government for pulling the U-turn “at this inordinately late stage...
10 December 2018

The British Safety Council reiterates its demand that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU must not in any way erode the progress made in the UK over the last four decades on workplace health, safety and welfare standards, together with the protection of worker’s rights and product safety. 

The British Safety Council reiterates its demand that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU must not in any way erode the progress made in the UK over the last four decades on workplace health, safety and welfare standards, together with the protection of worker’s rights and product safety. The adoption of EU directives into the UK legislative framework has been instrumental in the continual improvement in these areas, resulting in dramatic reductions in workplace fatalities and injuries, as well as enhanced recognition of occupational health issues. Lawrence Waterman, Chairman of the British Safety Council, said: “The government has repeatedly stated that there are safeguards for employment protections in the backstop – the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement’s arrangements that will be triggered and hold sway until all parties agree to a comprehensive trade policy. However, in Parliament, in answer to some probing questions, the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox admitted on Monday 3...
10 December 2018
Jacob Rees-Mogg

The right to free expression and to seek and receive ideas, without fear of persecution or interference, is one of our most cherished British values, says David Isaac, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Freedom of expression is one of the most widely-discussed yet most misunderstood human rights. And in this time of great change and uncertainty, when sadly many points of view are increasingly polarised and public, it is more important than ever. There is something in the news almost weekly about people being banned from speaking or being pushed offline for having unpopular views. The right to free expression and to seek and receive ideas, without fear of persecution or interference, is one of our most cherished British values. As a society we have always prided ourselves on a free press that holds the powerful to account and challenges injustice. Our diversity of views makes us vibrant, independent and tolerant.   Freedom of expression extends to all different kinds of points of view. It does not discriminate. Even the most offensive and uncomfortable ideas – provided they do not incite violence or hatred – are protected by law.   At the Equality and Human Rights...
10 December 2018
Theresa May

Spare a thought for Michael Gove.

That's not really a sentence I ever thought I would have to write. But it the Environment Secretary, who pulled back from the brink of resignation over the Brexit deal a fortnight ago, was the one sent onto the Today programme this morning to tell the nation that the meaningful vote was "100%" going ahead. Barely three hours later, Gove was among those on a conference call with the Prime Minister at which she told her Cabinet that the vote would not be happening after all. And it's not just the MP for Surrey Heath who has every right to be feeling bruised right now. Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay - who only got the job when Gove knocked it back following Dominic Raab's resignation - went on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday to also state that the vote was happening, amid Sunday paper reports that a delay was likely. These things matter, especially since Theresa May had very little political capital to spend to begin with. Why should either of those ministers - or Jeremy Hunt, who also...
10 December 2018
Tommy Robinson, Gerard Batten, Ukip

Two members of the Ukip ruling body have quit the party and accused leader Gerard Batten of turning it into a "Nazi" organisation, PoliticsHome can reveal.

MEP Julia Reed and former parliamentary candidate Michael McGough quit Ukip's National Executive Committee last week in despair at the tie-up with far-right activist Tommy Robinson. Mr McGough said Ukip had become a "national socialist, authoritarian party" run by "fundamental Christians, ex-convicts and Middle East interests". Meanwhile, a Ukip peer has decided to ditch the party banner and sit as a non-affiliated Lord - leaving just two Ukip members in the Upper Chamber. 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...
10 December 2018
Theresa May

Theresa May has postponed the crunch Commons vote on her Brexit deal in the face of overwhelming opposition from her own MPs.

The move - which was revealed in a conference call with Cabinet ministers - came just minutes after the Prime Minister’s spokesperson told reporters the vote was “going ahead" on Tuesday night as planned.  Mrs May will confirm the move in a statement to MPs at 3.30pm, before Commons leader Andrea Leadsom makes a statement changing tomorrow's Commons business. However, it remains unclear whether there will need to be a vote by MPs to approve the move. That would open up the possibility of the Prime Minister facing yet another defeat. Mrs May has been under pressure from her own Cabinet to pull the vote to stave off a major defeat and allow her to return to Brussels to try and seek changes to the Brexit deal. Asked if the vote was "definitely" happening on Tuesday, Mrs May's spokesperson had said at 11.07am: "Yes". Pressed again on whether there were "any circumstances" in which the vote would not go ahead tomorrow night, the spokesperson said: "The vote’s going ahead as...
10 December 2018
Parliament

Dods People draws together a list of appointments in Westminster politics, the devolved administrations and the public affairs sector in the last week.

Houses of Parliament: House of Lords Baroness Osamor (Labour, Life Peer) was introduced to the House. Lord Willoughby de Broke changed party from UKIP to sit as non-affiliated. Services Committee – Lord McAvoy resigned as a member and Lord Touhig and Baroness Wheeler appointed as members. House of Commons Stephen Lloyd resigned the Liberal Democrat Whip and now sits as Independent. Public Accounts Committee – Anne-Marie Trevelyan replaced Gillian Keegan as a member. Treasury Committee – Steve Baker replaced Stephen Hammond as a member. Government Departments: Department for Education and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Sam Gyimah resigned as Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation and Chris Skidmore was appointed to the role. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee on Climate Change – Piers Forster appointed to the committee, replacing Brian Hoskins. Nuclear Decommissioning Authority - Lawrie...
10 December 2018

The Trustees of Mates in Mind welcome James Rudoni to the charity as Managing Director.

Steve Hails, Chair of Trustees of Mates in Mind, said: “The Trustees welcome James Rudoni to the charity as Managing Director this month and look forward to working with him and the team. We believe James’s experience and insight will be of great value to Mates in Mind as it continues to grow in support of the industry’s recognition of the imperative to address mental health and wellbeing given the higher rates of suicide amongst construction workers and finishing trades.   “Mates in Mind, as a new industry charity, has been a real success over its first year thanks to key people behind it. In this period, our message has reached almost 200,000 workers through our more than 175 Supporter and partner organisations. But with the industry employing more than 2 million, we still have some way to go.   “James has a successful track record of delivering strategic objectives, operational leadership and service innovation within the commercial and charity sectors. He was...
10 December 2018
If the UK follows a wise economic policy after leaving, we can be better off out than in, writes John Redwood

Rather than listening to scare stories, let’s focus on the money, the freedoms and the opportunities a no-deal Brexit can bring, says John Redwood

The prime minister has offered us a withdrawal agreement, not a deal. It looks likely that the Commons will vote this down. It is costly, one-sided, and offers no guarantees for our future partnership with the EU. Why would the EU be more willing to offer preferential trade terms and other benefits once we have agreed to part with a large sum of money and accept its rules and laws for at least another 21 months, when it has previously not been prepared to do so? If parliament passes no new Brexit legislation, we will leave the EU on 29 March 2019 with no withdrawal agreement, in accordance with the Article 50 letter we sent and the EU Withdrawal Act. This means that, from 30 March next year, the UK will be an independent, self-governing democracy again. We will not owe any money to the EU, so we can spend all the money we save on our own priorities here at home. The Lords committee on the legal position made this clear, and alternative pessimistic advice within the government...
10 December 2018

Rising costs and continued uncertainty over Brexit are to blame for the slight drop in construction output, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Commenting on the construction output figures for October 2018, published by the Office for National Statistics, Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB, said: “The UK construction sector is more or less flat-lining with a small decline of 0.2% in October compared with the previous month. Rising costs for large and small construction firms are contributing to the slight drop in construction output. Recent Government statistics show that in the past year, there were nearly 3,000 insolvencies in the construction industry. While wages are continuing to rise because of the ever-worsening skills crisis in our sector, firms are also feeling the pinch because of the rising cost of materials. The depreciation of sterling following the EU referendum has meant key materials have become more expensive. We are expecting material prices...