Dods at Party Conference 2018

Labour | Conservatives | SNP

10 December 2018

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) is delighted to announce that it has begun the search for the UK’s best and brightest freelancers with applications now open for the 2019 Freelancer of the Year Awards.

Freelancing deserves celebrating, and that’s why since 2014, IPSE's awards have been championing and rewarding innovation and excellence in the freelance community. And 2019 promises to be bigger and better than ever with four individual awards, including a new freelancer project prize, up for grabs: Freelancer of the Year. £5,000 cash prize for the winner, £2,000 for the runner-up. Young Freelancer of the Year. £3,000 cash prize for the winner. New to Freelancing. £3,000 cash prize for the winner. Freelance Project of the Year. £1,500 cash prize for the winner. Applicants will be judged on a range of criteria including the strength of their portfolio, business acumen, creativity, the distinctiveness of their offering and their passion and commitment to freelancing. All finalists will also win a range of industry-leading business support prizes, as well as one-year IPSE membership. The awards are designed to crown not only the country’s most talented...
10 December 2018

The UK’s leading dementia charity, Alzheimer’s Society, has warned that the story at the heart of a new BBC1 drama, Care, is too often the reality for countless people at the mercy of a broken social care system

The Society has commended scriptwriting legend Jimmy McGovern for casting a light on an invisible group of people sacrificing their careers, relationships, health and wellbeing to care for loved ones with dementia - as it is unavailable elsewhere. The charity, hopes the prime-time one-off drama, starring Sheridan Smith, which screens on Sunday 9 December, will give fresh momentum to its Fix Dementia Care campaign to ensure that people with dementia get the care and support they need. It is calling on people to back the campaign, and ensure an increasingly Brexit-focused government turns its attentions to an issue affecting scores of the 850,000 people living with dementia, and their families.  The powerful drama - inspired by the real life experiences of McGovern’s fellow writer Gillian Juckes - follows a single mother Jenny (Smith), suddenly thrown into caring for her mother who develops dementia after a stroke, alongside her children, and holding down a job. The...
10 December 2018
Jeremy Corbyn

The Foreign Office has launched an investigation after a government-funded charity shared links critical of Jeremy Corbyn on social media.

Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan said he wanted a report on his desk by "10 o’clock this morning" after Fife-based Institute for Statecraft shared media articles on Twitter attacking the Labour leader. The Initiative - which has has been backed by more than £2m in FCO funding over the past two years - describes its aim as "tackling disinformation in Europe" and "addressing the activities of the Russian state". But the Sunday Mail reported that the organisation's Twitter account - which has around 2,600 followers - shared a series of links to media pieces critical of the Labour leader and his allies. The feed has also shared articles critical of Conservative politicians, including one that urged Tory peers to "come clean about Russia links". The Sunday Mail highlighted posts including a quote from an article that dubbed Mr Corbyn a "useful idiot" who "helped the Kremlin cause", as well as one that said the Labour leader's communications chief Seamuas Milne had worked "...
10 December 2018
Brexit protest flag

The UK can unilaterally reverse its decision to leave the European Union, the bloc's top court has ruled.

In a major judgment that will be seen as a boost to anti-Brexit campaigners, the European Court of Justice said that EU member states were “free to revoke unilaterally” Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which kicks off the two-year process of leaving. The ruling follows a case brought by a cross-party coalition of Scottish politicians and Remain-supporting campaigners, including the SNP’s Joanna Cherry and Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler. The court said: “In today’s judgment, the Full Court has ruled that, when a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that Member State is free to revoke unilaterally that notification.” It added: “That possibility exists for as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that Member State has not entered into force or, if not such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the...
10 December 2018

Crossrail’s budget is expected to balloon by a further £1bn after ministers agreed to sign-off on an emergency funding package.

According to the Financial Times, officials from both the Department of Transport and Transport for London have been locked in emergency talks over the weekend, with sources suggesting that further delays could be announced alongside the new funding settlement. The flagship London transport project has been hit spiralling costs and and delays, with its launch date recently pushed back by another year to next August.  A Department for Transport spokesperson said there had been “constructive discussions between the government and Transport for London” to try and find a “longer-term funding and financing package”. The cost overruns have already lead to the resignation of the project's chair, Sir Terry Morgan, who stepped down last week after just five months in the job. Earlier this year Theresa May pointed to Crossrail as an example of a successful partnership between the state and the...
10 December 2018
Dan Jarvis makes a speech after being elected as the Sheffield City Region Mayor

If devolution is going to improve economic performance, then government boundaries should relate to modern day economic realities, writes Clive Betts

Yorkshire has a population bigger than Scotland and an economy greater than Wales. Its citizens might like to describe it as God’s Own County, but the assertion of such a slogan is insufficient to cover the wide diversities of communities and economies in the historic county. I have been a long-time supporter of devolution. Basing devolution on historic boundaries may be appropriate where and when it is clearly relevant for the delivery of particular services. The real test, however, is which boundaries and arrangements are the most appropriate in a particular location and these will differ from place to place according to local circumstances. The current economy and future economic challenges for South Yorkshire are completely different from those facing North Yorkshire or the East Yorkshire coast. In 201, the Government began to devolve powers to mayoral combined authorities. While there were and still are differing views about the requirements to have a mayor there was general...
10 December 2018

The Law Commission today has proposed reforms that would support the expansion of commonhold as an alternative to leasehold.

Commonhold was introduced in 2002 as a new way to own property. Commonhold allows a person to own a freehold flat and at the same time be a member of the company which owns and manages the shared areas and the structure of the building. The benefits of commonhold Commonhold offers significant benefits to homeowners compared to leasehold including: Owners own their property outright, so their ownership won’t run out in the future – whereas leases expire and extending them can be costly There is no landlord – instead, owners have a stake in the wider building and can make decisions about the shared areas together There is no ground rent – owners will only pay what it costs to maintain the building and will control that expenditure There is no risk of forfeiture in commonhold – in leasehold, if a leaseholder breaches the terms of the lease, the landlord can take back the property without paying anything to the leaseholder Standard rules and regulations apply – which means owners...
10 December 2018
EU and UK flags

Theresa May will make a final decision today on whether to cance tomorrow night's Commons vote on her Brexit deal after being warned she faces a humiliating defeat if it goes ahead.

Government chief whip Julian Smith is understood to be urging the Prime Minister to postponse the vote after concluding that victory for the Government is now impossible. Several Cabinet minister have also told Mrs May that there is no prospect of winning the vote, and that the defeat could be so emphatic that it could sweep her from office. Suspicions that it could be delayed increased last night after the embattled PM held talks with both EU Council president Donald Tusk and Irish Toaiseach Leo Varadkar. A spokesperson for the Irish government said: "They discussed the current situation on Brexit, including the planned vote in Westminster on Tuesday." One Cabinet minister told PoliticsHome that the chances of the vote being pulled at the 11th hour were "low", but it has not been ruled out. Speaking yesterday, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay told the Andrew Marr Show: "The vote is on Tuesday. That is what we're focused on." Ironically, Mrs May could be spared from the humiliation of a...
10 December 2018
Free ports, if implemented properly, can attract new investment to some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK

Establishing free ports across the north of England would boost trade, create jobs and rebalance the UK’s economic divide, says Martin Vickers

As an island nation, the United Kingdom has always been reliant on its ports for trade. Brexit, presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capitalise and expand on our port infrastructure to boost our economy and rebalance the north-south divide. We could achieve this by implementing a free ports policy across the country or as a northern cluster; discarding red tape, bureaucracy and costly tariffs. This will drive investment into our ports, creating jobs and boosting local economies. Free ports are designated areas around a shipping port or airport which are separate for customs purposes. This allows goods to be imported and exported without paying tariffs. Around the world, around 3,500 free ports already exist but we do not have a single one in the UK at present. This puts us at a considerable disadvantage and poses a serious risk of us slipping behind some of our trading partners and competitors. This is a policy that would disproportionally benefit the north. Former...
10 December 2018
Theresa May

Conservative MPs are poised to launch a leadership contest against Theresa May as she prepares for a decisive Commons showdown on her Brexit deal, it has been reported.

According to The Times, Brexiteer Tory MPs are poised to send in letters calling for her removal to 1922 Committee chair Graham Brady if she loses tomorrow night's meaningful vote, with the 48 needed to trigger a confidence vote expected to be finally reached over the coming days. The Prime Minister will today launch a desperate last-ditch bid to win over wavering Tory backbenchers by holding a series of private meetings as the countdown to the vote continues. It is understood that Mrs May will make a final decision today on whether to delay the vote after being warned by senior ministers, including chief whip Julian Smith, that she is heading for a heavy defeat. But yesteday the Brexit Secretary...