How The Murky World Of Campaign Finance Must Change

LabourList Our democracy is crumbling. The EU referendum exposed many of Britain’s flaws, but perhaps none more so than our creaking system of campaign finance. Drip by drip we have learnt about the extent to which our democratic system has been flooded with ‘dodgy’ money and dirty data. First Cambridge Analytica, the disgraced big data company using harvested Facebook data to sell elections to the highest bidder – a scandal that saw Facebook receive the maximum fine of £500,000. Then there was Leave.EU – the unofficial Brexit campaign bankrolled by the insurance tycoon Arron Banks – which was recently found guilty of “multiple breaches of electoral law“, fined £70,000 and referred to the Metropolitan Police for suspected criminal offences. In July 2018, Vote Leave – the official Brexit campaign – was fined £61,000 for co-ordinating with BeLeave, which was in turn fined £20,000. Continue reading

Steelworkers Pensions Meeting

NOTIFICATION OF A PUBLIC MEETING FOR ALL THOSE WHO FEEL THEY MAY HAVE BEEN MIS-SOLD A PENSION TRANSFER IN AND AROUND PORT TALBOT Stephen Kinnock MP is attending a public meeting at the Twelve Knights Hotel in Margam, Port Talbot at 1530 on 1 Feb 2019 to discuss fresh and emerging concerns surrounding financial advice given to members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) to transfer out of their final salary pension.  Concerns have been highlighted by the Regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which conducted a major review last year and found that the majority of cases to transfer out of a final salary pension were unsuitable.  Continue reading

A 'Whole Nation' Party

Fabians British politics is in an unhealthy state of polarisation and paralysis. Small but vocal tribal groups sit at either end of the new political spectrum. At one end are the passionate, pro-EU, open border, globalist ultra-remainers. At the other end the hard Brexiteers, anti-European, closed border, nationalist, die-hard leavers. Neither seem too willing to compromise to break the Brexit impasse, and neither seem particularly determined to help reunite our deeply divided country. Continue reading

Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock Welcomes UK Government Confirmation That Baglan Super-Prison Proposals Have Been Axed

Commenting on the news that Baglan is no longer being considered as a potential home of the new ‘super-prison’, MP for Aberavon Stephen Kinnock said: “This is fantastic news and a real victory for the people of Port Talbot. David Rees AM and I have been working hard with our constituents to make clear the reasons why Baglan was an utterly inappropriate location for a new super-prison, and I’m pleased that – after a campaign lasting almost two years – the UK government has admitted defeat. Continue reading

Common Market 2.0

Today the cross-party Norway Plus Group of MPs are publishing a major report advocating ‘Common Market 2.0’ - a plan to reset the UK-Europe relationship for the 21st Century. ‘Common Market 2.0’, co-authored by Lucy Powell MP and Robert Halfon MP, on behalf of the Norway Plus Group, sets out how stepping out of the EU political integration project and towards the popular and fruitful common market relationship that the UK enjoyed with Europe in the 1970s and 1980s could gain widespread public support whilst delivering on the result of the 2016 referendum. Continue reading

Parliament is stuck in a state of limbo. Only Norway Plus can dig us out of this crisis

House Magazine Theresa May limped through her no confidence vote, but her dog’s dinner of a Brexit deal is still dead in the water. May’s decision to defer the Meaningful Vote was not only the most anti-democratic act by a British Prime Minister in living memory, it was also utterly self-defeating. Had May held the vote she would also have gained leverage in negotiations with the EU – proof that they need to budge. But perhaps most importantly she would have moved the debate along. She would have learnt much about the will of the House, and what deal she can do with Brussels. But with May’s head still buried in the sand, and with Labour reluctant to table a No Confidence motion, we remain stuck in a state of limbo. Continue reading

Remember The Golden Days Of Our EU Affair? A Norway Deal Could Return Us There

The Times On Tuesday evening one of us will vote against Theresa May’s deal. The other will vote in favour. One of us will vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s amendment — and for any motion of no confidence in the government. The other will vote against. One of us is Welsh through and through — the representative of the Port Talbot steel-making community and proud scion of a tribe of passionate Labour politicians and trade unionists. The other is as English as hot buttered toast, the representative of Grantham in Lincolnshire, where Margaret Thatcher was born and raised, and a Tory moderniser with a career in business behind him. Continue reading

Theresa May’s Dog's Dinner Of A Brexit Deal Looks Almost Certain To Fall

The Mirror Theresa May’s dog's dinner of a Brexit deal looks almost certain to fall on Tuesday, not least because MPs know that it hands far too much power to the EU after 29 March. With no appetite for an economy-shattering No Deal, her own cabinet ministers must now persuade her to pivot to the only other feasible Brexit option; Norway Plus. Let’s be clear. The Norway option is a strong compromise. Continue reading

Norway Is The Only Way To Avoid The Cliff

New European Let’s be clear: Theresa May’s Brexit deal is a thumping victory for the EU, whichever way you slice it. On March 29, 2019 our country will effectively become a vassal state for the 21 months of the transition period – complying with all EU rules but without any seat at the table. The EU will have us over a barrel as we scramble to turn the vague, open-ended Political Declaration into a legally-binding, long-term future relationship, while the cliff edge of December 2020 looms ever-larger. Continue reading

We Need A Chief Government Linguist To Promote Modern Languages

House Magazine Languages are a vital part of our society and economy and yet their importance is neglected and overlooked. Being able to speak directly to those we deal with is an essential part of being a global citizen. But in the United Kingdom, the number studying a language is declining year after year. The highly developed intercultural skills that come with learning another language are absolutely vital for successful trade and diplomacy, peace-making and peacekeeping. But the subject has no dedicated advocate in government. Continue reading