All posts filed under: Parliament Roundup

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 18th -24th January

Mandelson Attacks Mansion Tax Lord Mandelson has warned Ed Miliband that he won’t win the election by “clobbering” the wealthy a “crude, short-term” mansion tax. Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Mandelson supported instead a Lib-Dem plan to increase the council tax bands to raise the tax on homes worth more than £2 million. “It will be more effective and efficient in the long term,” he said. Alongside Mandelson, other Labour members such as Tessa Jowell and Diane Abbot have criticised what is seen as a “London tax” because of the high property values in the capital. Despite this, there seems to be a support for the mansion tax as a recent YouGov poll shows that 72% of all voters support the mansion tax and among Labour voters, 85% support it. Additionally, support is also shown by Tory voters with a 58% vote for the tax. But it’s Mandelson’s critique that Miliband can’t win by “clobbering” the rich alone that will strike a chord with former New Labour MPs who never voted for Ed as party leader. …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 11th -17th January

Osborne ‘to back Boris over Theresa May’ It has been speculated that George Osborne’s hopes of becoming the next Tory leader have apparently been dashed. Osborne was thought to be running hard for the leadership, undergoing a regrooming exercise and slimming down dramatically, ready to take over when David Cameron stands down – either in May because the Tories lose the election, or in 2017 because he loses interest once the EU referendum is out of the way. But Sam Coates of The Times reports today that Tory MPs have made it clear they do not see Osborne as a contender:” he is viewed as too distant and cliquey, preferring to surround himself with members of his inner circle rather than engage with the wider party. “As a result says Coates, Osborne is to make a spectacular U-turn and back Boris Johnson in a bid to stop Theresa May who is unpopular with Cameron’s inner circle, Osborne included. Miliband on the hunt down for student voters Ed Miliband launched a drive on Friday to get around a million people, …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 5th -10th January

‘Empty chair’ threat for Cameron if he doesn’t participate in TV debate Miliband, Clegg and Farage have recently expressed the fact that they are ready to ‘’empty chair’’ David Cameron by going ahead with the leaders’ election debates on TV without Cameron if he keeps on stressing upon his demand that the Green Party leader Natalie Bennet also takes part. The leaders’ wishes might come true as Ofcom and the TV broadcasters are able to legally ‘’empty chair’’ Cameron, as long as his views are represented within the debate. Cameron’s recent insistence on the Green Party joining the debate if he is to participate has been seen by the other leaders as his attempt to go Green again and that this is his ‘’Naked device to sabotage the TV debates, by tying up the broadcasters in interminable red tape’’. Ed Miliband plans four million doorstep visits in bid for No 10 Ed Miliband is urging Labour activists to carry out four million conversations with members of the public before the general election in May. According …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 8/11/14-15/11/14

New powers to stop jihadists returning to UK revealed by PM David Cameron has recently announced plans to stop suspected jihadists returning home to the UK from Syria and Iraq. In these new plans, the police would be given the power to cancel suspected jihadists’ passports for up to two years under new Temporary Exclusion Orders. Furthermore, Border officials would also be able to take passports from anyone suspected of travelling to join a violent extremist group when they haven’t been given the permission to do so by the Home Secretary which is essential under the current law. Moreover, Airlines would be compelled to share passenger data, suggesting planes carrying suspected jihadists could be turned away from Britain. The Prime Minister stressed on the idea that action is needed to counter the “twisted narrative” of Islamism “that has seduced some of our people”. The proposals, which form part of the Counter-Terrorism Bill, due to be published before the end of the month, mark a slight retreat from Cameron’s original proposals in September to altogether remove …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 1/11/14-8/11/14

Merkel ready to let UK exit EU over migration rule changes It has been claimed that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel would rather see the UK leave the European Union than end the right to free movement of labour within the EU.Merkel reportedly warned David Cameron that he is approaching a “point of no return” if he continues to push for migration reform that requires fundamental changes to EU principles. Cameron wants to renegotiate the terms of the UK’s EU membership before holding an in-out referendum. He has said that the freedom of movement of workers would be at the “very heart” of his renegotiation strategy. But a German government source said: “Should Cameron persist, Chancellor Angela Merkel would abandon her efforts to keep Britain in the EU. With that, a point of no return would be reached. That would be it then.” A Downing Street spokesman said Cameron would make a speech on immigration before Christmas and stressed “You can be sure he will always put Britain first”. Norman Baker resigns with stinging attack on …

Weekly Parliament Roundup : 17th September – 25th September

Britain to pay extra €2.1 bn into EU budget by December Britain has been told it must pay an extra €2.1bn (£1.7bn) into the European Union budget by the end of next month because the UK economy is doing better compared to to other European economies. This demand will definitely be used by the euro sceptics as another reason why Britain should leave the EU. British and European commission officials confirmed that the Treasury had been told last week that budget contribution calculations based on gross national income adjustments carried out by Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, showed that because of the UK’s economic recovery, there was a huge discrepancy of what they were asked to contribute and what they should be paying realistically. Cameron currently refuses to pay the EU budget. Nigel Farage also condemned the EU budget demand by stating, “Having come to Britain to set fire to David Cameron’s migration ideas, José Manuel Barroso [European commission president] has returned to Brussels to pour more fuel on the flames.’’ Johann Lamont quits as …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 3/10/14-10/10/14

Government commits further £330K to stop practice of FGM The government is to put forward an additional £330,000 towards the battle against female genital mutilation (FGM). This plan was announced on the UN’s International day of the girl (11/10). The announcement came after campaigners had complained that while £35m was promised by the government to eradicate FGM abroad, just £1m has been allocated to tackling the problem in the UK. The new funds from the government equalities office will be used for projects that offer expertise and support to vulnerable groups, with £100,000 for work to support victims and survivors of forced marriage, and £150,000 for community engagement in the highest risk areas for FGM and forced marriage. Red Ed under pressure to toughen immigration policies After a very slim by-election win of of 617 votes in Heywood and Middleton, Labour has put Ed Miliband under pressure to toughen its immigration policies. The small victory has led Labour to have a sense of unease towards the fact that UKIP’s growing influence could deprive them of …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 26/09/14-3/10/14

Cameron pledges to scrap Human Rights Act for British Bill David Cameron has announced during the Conservative Party Conference that a future majority Conservative government will repeal Labour’s landmark legislation and replace it with a “British Bill of Rights”. The proposed British Bill of Rights will intend to transform Britain’s relationship with the European court of human rights. There have been many criticisms towards this new proposal and some argue that the British Bill of Rights would be ‘incoherent’ in the sense that  it will only increase the number of cases that go to Strasbourg, and will almost certainly produce more, not fewer, negative rulings against the UK. Cameron and some Tories would argue that the Human Rights Act gives Strasbourg the power to order British judges around. However, it is evident that it does not since Strasbourg’s power is derived entirely from the international agreement from which we are not withdrawing (for now). All the act does is advice UK courts to take Strasbourg jurisprudence into account. More tax cut promises from Tories During …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 13th-19th September 2014

Cameron promises more devolution after no vote in Scottish independence referendum After  Scotland’s  referendum results on Thursday which confirmed that the Scottish people wanted to stay in the United Kingdom with a no vote of 55%, David Cameron has  promised a ‘devolution revolution’ across Great Britain, including votes on English issues by English MPs at Westminster, as he hailed Scotland’s decision to remain inside the UK. In the speech that he made after the referendum results, Cameron made clear that the constitutional reforms, including in Scotland, would not be delivered until after the general election, and that Scottish measures would proceed in tandem with changes in England. He insisted that, “We have heard the voice of Scotland and now the millions of voices of England must be heard,”  Now that Scotland will be getting more powers, many cities such as London are able to look forward to the prospect of being able to make more independent decision. NHS is Labour’s priority for next General Election Ed Balls has recently expressed the idea that Labour will …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 6th-12th September 2014

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 6th -12th September By Gloria Ganda 0.7% of national income to be given to foreign aid? MPs have backed a new law which commits to spending 0.7% of national income on foreign aid. This means that roughly £11bn per year will be given to international aid and development after the Tories have finally backed the Liberal Democrat bill which is also supported by Labour. The legislation was opposed by just seven Conservative MPs and both the Tories and the Liberals are one step ahead of fulfilling one of their manifesto promises to put the 0.7% measure into law. Despite the majority agreeing to the new legislation, the Tories primarily were hesitant towards the legislation as they thought it was unpopular with their grassroots in the difficult economic climate which we are in. However, it looks as though the Legislation could soon come to force. Polls tighten on Scottish Independence Referendum With the Scottish Independence Referendum only days away (18th September), the polls are illustrating that for now, it is too close to …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 1st September – 5th September 2014

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 1St September – 5th September   No return home for British Jihadists? Following the recent Syrian Crisis, David Cameron’s unveiling of anti-terror laws on Monday failed to include specific proposals regarding the prospect of British born citizens coming back to the UK after being involved in acts of terrorism in Syria. Cameron emphasised on the fact that we need a ‘targeted, discretionary power to allow us to exclude Brit Nationals from the UK’ but he failed to state how we would go about in doing this. At the moment, this action would not be following the conducts of Law and order since removing the passports from returning British Citizens would not only be a breach of International Law but it will also be a breach of UK common Law. Despite this, the prospect of banning returning Brit Jihadists might be put into action soon as there have been possible proposals to provide the police with temporary powers to seize their passports. Even with this option, there are still difficulties with the legalities …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 24th -30th March

Weekly Parliament Roundup- 24th -30th March   Is Miliband the right man for Labour? Following the announcement of the budget, many Labour MPs have criticised Miliband for not having a strong and and solid reaction, especially in the Commons Chamber. Before the budget, people were worried that Miliband’s constant stress upon the cost of living crisis was losing its momentum and many people have been waiting to get a sense of direction as to where Miliband is heading. Furthermore, there has been some questioning over his style of leadership and several members have implied that he always makes big policy announcements but leaves huge spaces in between. When he’s not making announcements, his silence creates a loss of spark within the party which then leads members into deciding amongst themselves what the party should be doing. Moreover, it has been hinted that there might be a divide within the party when it comes to the type of policies which the party wishes to bring forward. Some members want radical policies in order to get the …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 10th March – 16th March

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 10th March – 16th March New Budget to be announced by Osborne George Osborne will be announcing his 5th and final budget on Wednesday. Conservative Backbenchers want more tax cuts for middle earners and they also whish for changes at the level at which which the 40p tax rates kicks in. However, he insists that his priority is to increase the personal allowance on which no income tax is paid. Furthermore, Osborne apparently said that if more people pay 40p tax rate. This is supposedly good news for the conservatives and will boost aspirations as they’ll feel like they’ve succeeded. There might be some big increases in the growth forecast but there is still little room for manoeuvre and Ed Balls has recently accused the conservatives of failing to stem the UK’s cost of living Crisis. Michael Gove calls Eton filled Tory inner circle ‘Ridiculous’ In a recent interview, Michael was asked if he was comfortable being Education Secretary taking into consideration the fact that there are so many old Etonians within …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 3rd March-9th March 2014

Weekly Parliament Roundup – 3rd March-9th March Liberal Democrats definitely Pro EU In his recent speech at the party’s spring conference, Nick Clegg reinforced the fact that the Liberal Democrats are the UK’s most pro-EU party. In the speech, he says that they are ‘’Britain’s only party of in’’ and that ‘’Britain stands tallest in the world when it stands tall in Brussels, Paris and Berlin’’. It might be suggested that this is a little audacious of Nick Clegg but in some way, he is finding an advantage in this as this might help him to broaden his voter range in preparation for next year’s General Elections. Clegg used his speech to claim responsibility for the economic recovery and defend the benefits of immigration and this might be seen as a way of him bashing the Tories. The Conservatives are trying to claim for themselves the elements of Liberal Democrat policies but the Lib Dems want the public to be well aware of which policies and ideas were theirs. Click here for more information from …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 23rd February-2nd March 2014

Weekly Parliament roundup 23/02/14-2/03/14 Ukraine Crisis The Ukraine government is allegedly saying that Russia has declared war on Ukraine. As for now we don’t actually know what President Putin’s intentions are and he has discounted most of the sanctions they’ve been getting from the West. He doesn’t believe that the threats from Western governments will be a great deal and one of his main fears is the fighting in Ukraine, if opposition rises, Putin is unsure whether his Military will be able to handle the Ukrainian people efficiently. In regards to foreign relations, Putin doesn’t really care what Cameron has to say about the issue but but is more concerned over Obama’s reactions. William Hague has been in Kiev urging restraints and there have been recent worries about the consequences for Britain’s defence posture if we get involved. Should Britain be dragged into another conflict when our money is tight? We can only take action to calm the situation down as if the issue continues to escalate the way it is now, we might be …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 17th-23rd February 2014

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 17th-23rd February Cabinet visits in Scotland The Cabinet will be heading for the second time in 90 years to North East of Scotland, Aberdeen, the home of the UK’s oil and gas industry. First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond will also be chairing his own cabinet meeting and both the Cabinet and he want to address the future of the North Sea oil industry. Alex Salmond believes that Scottish independence will bring great benefits to the sector. As the referendum is coming nearer, the UK is aiming to now make strong economic arguments in order to weaken the independence arguments. In addition, there have been slightly negative reactions to the visit as some Scotts believe that the three main unionist parties are trying to dictate the actions of the Scottish. Angela Murkel to visit Westminster on Thursday Angela Murkel will be visiting the UK this Thursday and she is here mainly going to have talks The Prime Minister and take a visit also see the Queen. They will talk about the troubled relationship …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 29th-5th February 2014

Weekly Parliament Roundup:  29/01/14-5/02/14 Conservative style Ofsted After the firing of Ofsted Chair and Labour peer Sally Morgan, Michael Gove has said that the next head of Ofsted will be appointed upon merit but has not yet ruled out appointing a Conservative peer.  A number of critics have been saying that Gove is trying to ‘politicise’ an independent body and the same argument has been said by Liberal Democrat Schools Ministers who have said that Gove is bringing his own people into an impartial organisation. However, Michael Gove has replied back by saying that it’s just time for a fresh pair of eyes and his decision on not ruling out the appointment of Conservative peers has nothing to do with politics. Formal Tests in Nursery Michael Gove has given an indication that he wants to introduce formal assessments for 4&5 year olds in order to measure progress more effectively. He believes that by children taking these assessments when they start school, their performance in year 6 will then be better contrasted. As a result, schools …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 22nd-29th January 2014

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 22/01/14-29/01/14 50p Tax rate for the Rich: Ed Balls recently said that a future Labour government promises to achieve a budget surplus, falling national debt and a 50p top rate of tax for the rich. Businesses have criticised the third proposal by saying that it will harm the economy and put a stunt on job production. However, Ed Balls said that Labour’s Plans to reintroduce the 50p top rate of tax does not mean that the party is against business. Despite this, more business figures have said it is sending the wrong signals. Alistair Darling supported Ed Balls by saying that the timing for making this proposal was right since the General Elections are only about 15 months away. Even though there’s a lot of support for the proposal, Former trade minister Lord Digby called it ‘lousy economics’ in the sense that it might prevent businesses from investing in England. The Immigration Bill The Immigration bill was back in the Commons last week and Tory rebels have been threating to reinstate controls …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 15th-22nd January 2014

Weekly Parliament Roundup 15/01/14 -22/01/14   Lord Rennard causes trouble for Lib Dems Former Chief Executive Lord  Rennard  has threatened to sue (according to his legal advisor) if he isn’t allowed to re-join the party in the House of Lords after he was accused with sexual harassment claims from several women and was found not guilty by the courts due to lack of sufficient evidence. Nick Clegg said that he should apologise to the women before he is allowed to join his peers in the House of Lords but Lord Rennard refuses to do so. Lord Rennard has been given a temporary suspension from his House of Lords seat. In the upcoming days and even weeks, the way in which Nick Clegg handles this situation will illustrate his leadership strength.   However, this disagreement is seen to be potentially very damaging to the Local and European elections in May for the Liberal Democrat Party. Chris Davis MEP, also a friend of Lord Rennard recently expressed his support for the former Chief Executive by stressing on …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 13th-19th January 2014

Parliament Roundup – 13/01/14-19/01/14   Labour Speech This week, Labour leader Ed Miliband and his shadow ministers will make speeches for the electorate in order to announce Labour’s upcoming plans. The speeches are designed to broaden the debate away from spending and the deficit. Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds made a speech on Tuesday reemphasising on Labour’s plans to build more than 200,000 homes a year by the end of the next Parliament in 2020 by stressing that we need to increase social housing. However, this might prove tricky for Labour as they will have to allow more borrowing in order to reach this ambitious goal. This goal in particular might be seen as Ed Miliband’s way of proving that Labour is not just about short term goals such as his established energy price freeze. Euro sceptics unsatisfied   95 of Conservative backbenchers have recently signed a vote for the law to be changed for the House of Commons to veto new EU regulations. There has been much recent disagreement with this vote and William …

Weekly Parliament Roundup:4th-11th December 2013

Parliament Roundup: 4/12/13-11/12/13 MPs to receive 11% pay rise: Click for a video explanation IPSA(Independent Parliament Standards Authority) have recently proposed to provide MPs with a pay rise of 11% which will increase their salary to £74,000. They have stated that there will be changes to the pension scheme which will save tax payer 2.5 billion pounds if the rise is to take place. Even though this might be seen as a great thing for the MPs, lots of them are scared to state publicly that they think it is a good idea. The main issue with this proposal is that it might be the wrong time to make such high rises in MP’s salaries when other public sectors are facing difficult freezes. However, of this proposal is to go ahead, it will take legislation in 2015 to stop this from occurring. The public might not like the sound of the proposal at first because many might feel that the MPs don’t deserve such a high pay rise as they have failed to improve costs …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 27th November – 4th December 2013

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 27/11/13-4/12/13 Autumn Statement George Osborne released an Autumn statement on which was said to concentrate on delivering a responsible recovery.  The statement aims to turn the political conversation back to the economy and to emphasise the fact that we are making considerable improvements as our growth forecast is upgrading and how we are now borrowing less. Coalition action on Energy Bill Crisis Recently, there have been Coalition plans to reduce energy bills by an average of £50 per year. In addition to this, the cost of insulating homes will be spread over a longer period and there are plans for a new £1000 incentive scheme given to new home buyers to help them insulate their homes. The government is hoping that this plan will turn attention away from Ed Miliband’s proposed plans to resolve the cost of living crisis which he has not failed to emphasise upon successfully for the last few months. However, there are many rising issues associated with the plans and the most important one is that the coalition …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 20th-27th November 2013

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 20th -27th November  Cameron to take on Brussels: A Liberal Democrat cabinet minister shared concerns that David Cameron is prepared to take on Brussels by imposing tougher conditions on European migrants. The minister claimed and stressed upon the fact that any rules on migrants’ eligibility to welfare payments should be discussed with all members of the European Union.  David Cameron wants to extend the time that migrants stay in the UK before they are eligible to receive welfare payments. He believes that this would be the best way to ensure that the migrants don’t take advantage of the welfare system which is put in place to help genuine citizens in need. However, he will need an agreement and permission from the EU to do this but it is not obvious on how the conditions will be imposed. PMQs:   In this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions there was an ongoing battle between Cameron and Miliband in regards to payday lenders and the cost of living crisis, including the proposed 20 month energy price freeze …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 13th-20th November

Weekly Parliament Roundup – 13/11/13-20/11/13 Geneva II Conference November 2013   Over the last few weeks, the Geneva conference has taken centre stage in the news, in regards to Iran’s nuclear projects. The conference was postponed to the 20th and has resumed over the past few days. Even though definite decisions have not yet been made, following his visit to Geneva, Foreign Secretary William Hague states that Britain’s aim is to create a “Interim first step agreement with Iran that can then create the confidence and the space to then create a comprehensive and final agreement”. The main question is however, is it too late for Britain to step in and try to give Iran guidance on the decision that it should make? The country seems set on making the brave choice to go ahead with their plans without the restrictions from America. Hopefully, Hague will make an influential effort to try and impose financial and energy sanctions against Iran, with the help of other countries such as France and Germany. Increase in Tax Thresholds …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 6th-13th November 2013

Weekly Parliament review – 6th -13th November 2013 Commonwealth Summit Prime Minister David Cameron will still attend the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka despite India and Canada boycotting the event. There have been calls for the PM to boycott the event, especially from Labour members who proposed that they would strongly support the Prime Minister if reversed his decision to attend. On the other hand, Foreign Secretary William Hague stated that if the Prime Minister decided not to attend the summit, it would damage the commonwealth without making any positive change in Sri Lanka. The summit will concern the country’s Human Rights records and Cameron has pledged to put ‘serious questions’ to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda  Rajapaksa  about his regime’s widely condemned Human Rights records and allegations of war crimes against the Tamil minority. Concerns over rise in personal debt in the UK The Conservative member of the Treasury Select Committee Mark Garnier has raised concerns over the level of personal debt in the UK. He recently stated on The World This Weekend on …