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  1. Name: Sir Dylan Macmillan QC Avatar: Charles Dance Age: 60 Sex: Male Ethnicity: White British Marital Status: Married Sexual Orientation: Straight Party: Conservative Faction/Subgroup: Maybot Political Outlook: Sir Dylan is a noted Leaver, advocating for a Norway-Style Brexit. Macmillan did not see eye to eye with Mr Osborne and Mr Cameron on a number of issues regarding austerity arguing behind closed doors that there should be more of a balance between tax restraint and spending restraint. He is a staunch social conservative and wants tough controls on immigration and tougher sentences, but he supports neither a full cap on immigration nor a return to the death penalty calling the former "short-sighted" and the latter a "brutality which belongs in the history books" Constituency: North East Bedfordshire Year Elected: 2001 Education: Mr Macmillan attended Bedford School, a private school in the local town run by the Harpur Trust. Following this he read Law at Oxford. Career: Mr Macmillan was a practicing Barrister for 20yrs specialising in Judicial Review and other matters of public law. It was a judicial review case regarding planning which finally convinced him to stand for Parliament, in his own words "they'd done the right thing the wrong way, I wanted to change the law to fix their problem for them" Political Career: Sir Dylan was elected in 2001 to replace Sir Nicholas Lyell following his retirement. Mr Macmillan supported Ken Clarke in the leadership contest. Eventual winner Ian Duncan Smith appointed him Shadow Solicitor General in the May 2002 reshuffle. Mr Macmillan never speaks about the ensuing vote of no confidence, but many friends believe he voted against IDS. Michael Howard promoted Sir Dylan to Shadow Attorney General in 2003, a post he held until after the 2005 Leadership Election. Mr Macmillan supported Mr Clarke again but to no avail. Sir Dylan is not good at picking leadership candidates to support. Macmillan spent the Cameron years in the backbench wilderness, eventually Chairing the Justice Select Committee. He was brought back into Government after the 2015 election where he was made Minister of State for Police, Crime, Criminal Justice, and Victims under the auspices of the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. It was here that he became good friends with both Theresa May and Michael Gove coming to respect both in their own way. In the Brexit Referendum Macmillan broke for Leave arguing for a Brexit that "gives us control of our borders". When David Cameron resigned Sir Dylan urged Gove to run against Boris behind the scenes and supported him for the leadership. When Gove was eliminated Macmillan became a high-profile backer of Theresa May, many cruelly suggested that this was to get a job in Cabinet but Sir Dylan has no idea where that vicious rumour came from. Following May's successful election Sir Dylan was appointed Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain and Secretary of State for Justice, the highest position he had ever held in politics. Macmillan was a faithful ally of the Prime Minister during her Premiership but he did speak out against the British press labelling the judges of the Supreme Court "enemies of the people" commenting that the law, while sometimes unclear and in need of testing, is neither an enemy nor a friend of the people, it is simply the law.
  2. Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Levelling Up Mr Speaker with your permission I would like to make a statement on the recent developments in Liverpool City Council. Mr Speaker as most in the House will be aware Liverpool City Council was placed into special measures as a result of an investigation by Merseyside Police. It is a matter of public record that they spent many months conducting an investigation which has resulted in a number of arrests made on suspicion of fraud, bribery, corruption and misconduct in public office, both in December 2019 and in September 2020. Further arrests were made on 4 December 2020 in connection with offences of bribery and witness intimidation. This investigation has enveloped both the former Mayor, Labour's Joe Anderson, and the former Chief Executive, Ged Fitzgerald. Mr Speaker as the Council was placed in once unthinkable special measures by one of my predecessors the Right Honourable Member got Newark, this involved certain constitutional and democratic reforms in Liverpool City Council as well as the appointment of commissioners to oversee and exercise certain limited functions on behalf of the people of Liverpool while the rot was excised from the Council. These commissioners have, among other powers, all executive functions associated with regeneration, highways, and property management at Liverpool City Council in the event that the Authority does not continue to make improvements. Mr Speaker the report I received this week suggests that there is still a long way to go until we can say that Liverpool City Council is rot free. Mr Speaker I received a report from Commissioners and the Civil Service this week which I shall read to the House the key points from: The bribery, corruption, fraud and financial mismanagement has shown little sign of abating: it is more deep-rooted than feared after the long tenure of the previous Mayor. Former concerns that the problems facing Liverpool City Council was limited to certain departments has been understated, the issues appear to be council wide, particularly when relating to finance. There are concerns about financial decision making particularly as a result of this. It is patently failing on every measure in its duty to provide best value for residents: the council’s errors in renewing energy supply and failure to act on other contracts (20 identified by the inspectors) has cost the council £20m. The investigators have found little to fault in the current Mayor of Liverpool City Council who they have praised as being cooperative, though there are doubts she alone is able to resolve the issues facing the council. The investigators are particularly enthused that she has appointed Theresa Grant as Chief Executive, who has had previous successful experience in running failing councils subject to government intervention. As a result of the issues identified in this report certain recommendations were made to the Government which were brought to discussion with the Mayor of Liverpool City Jo Anderson and the Metro Mayor of Liverpool James Riley. The Government came into the meeting with a series of objectives which I am happy to share with the House: The corruption must end as quickly and efficiently as possible The deal struck must represent good value for money for the taxpayers of both Liverpool City Council and the United Kingdom The deal must be supported by both the Metro Mayor and the City Mayor of Liverpool Mr Speaker after long discussions in the City of Liverpool I am pleased to confirm to the House that such a deal has been reached. I am delighted to be able to confirm the terms agreed between myself, Jo, and Jim are as follows: All Commissioners are granted executive powers on recruitment and retention. Two new commissioners are sent in: one overseeing recruitment within the council and another overseeing local government finance. The Secretary of State shall receive monthly reports from the Commissioners and take charge from the Central Government side. The commissioners and wider council be supported with an additional £10m funding from central government. This will take the form of an interest free loan of £4mn to be repaid within ten years and a £6mn grant to specifically cover the additional costs presented by the Commissioners. An advisory council of political leaders be established to oversee and assist the council in setting strategic aims and a path to meeting those aims. This will be co-chaired by Lord Heseltine and Jim Riley, it will be made up of further experts and former Council Leaders. I am pleased to report that Lord Heseltine and Mayor Riley have agreed to co-chair and can confirm the other five members to be: The Baron Alton of Liverpool The Lord Storey Steve Rotheram Baroness Blackstone Anna Rothery The panel will represent a broad stroke of political ideologies and allegiances with all members having strong ties to the City of Liverpool or past experience of managing failing councils. They will report regularly to me and be available to Liverpool City Council as it begins to rebuild after a prolonged period of poor management. Mr Speaker it is my fond hope and desire that these measures are not to resemble anything close to a normal state of affairs, or present any form of permanence on their face. These are special measures, these are emergency actions to save the people of Liverpool from their Local Government. We have cut off one head of the hydra we are faced with but there are many more to come. As the report makes clear corruption is still rife, we have ongoing police investigations, and the people of Liverpool have many challenges ahead. I will continue to pursue this in my role as Secretary of State to ensure that we can turn Liverpool City Council from one of the most corrupt Councils in the modern history of our nation to one of the best performing ones. I am grateful to Jo and Jim for their unwavering support in compiling these measures and hope that we will be able to engage constructively going forward to put the best interests of the people of Liverpool front and centre. Mr Speaker, I commend this statement to the House.
  3. Name: Sir Dylan Macmillan Avatar: Hugh Laurie Age: 45 Sex: Male Ethnicity: White British Marital Status: Married to Dame Olivia Macmillan Sexual Orientation: Herero Party: Conservative and Unionist Political Outlook: Campaigned for Leave, advocated a Norway-style Brexit but voted for May's deal and Boris' deal. Generally a little more wet than the average. Constituency: North East Bedfordshire Year Elected: 2019 Education: Law Degree from Oxford University Career: Solicitor before starting own firm in Bedford Political Career: Conservative Party Leader on Bedford Borough Council 2011 - 2019, selected candidate when his predecessor, Alistair Burt, declined to seek re-election.
  4. Second Johnson Administration September 2021 Reshuffle Edition Prime Minister: Boris Johnson Deputy Prime Minister: Dominic Raab Chancellor of the Exchequer: Rishi Sunak Foreign Secretary: Liz Truss Home Secretary: Priti Patel SoS for Defence: Ben Wallace SoS for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities: Michael Gove SoS for Health and Social Care: Sajid Javid Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Steve Barclay SoS for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy: Richard Fuller President for COP26: Alok Sharma SoS for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade: Anne-Marie Trevelyan SoS for Work and Pensions: Dr Therese Coffey SoS for Education: Nadhim Zahawi SoS for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs: George Eustice SoS for Transport: Grant Shapps SoS for Northern Ireland: Brandon Lewis SoS for Scotland: Alister Jack SoS for Wales: Simon Hart SoS for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport: Nadine Dorries Leader of the House of Commons: Jacob Rees-Mogg Chief Whip: Mark Spencer Leader of the House of Lords: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Also Attending Cabinet: Minister of State for the Cabinet Office: Lord Frost Chief Secretary to the Treasury: Simon Clarke Attorney General: Suella Braverman QC Minister of State for Crime and Policing: Kit Malthouse Minister of State without Portfolio: Nigel Adams Minister of State for Higher and Further Education: Michelle Donelan Player Members of the Government: [Vacant]
  5. Boris Johnson Executes Cabinet Reshuffle After weeks of speculation Boris Johnson has executed a Cabinet Reshuffle to “refresh the Government” after the Covid 19 Pandemic. There have been many moves some might consider to be overdue, a few more left field picks, and of course more than their fair share of tantrums and political bickering which has come to define the Conservative Party over the Covid era. The biggest move is quite clearly the demotion of Dominic Raab from Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs to Secretary of State for Justice. Sources believe Boris has long eyed his one-time leadership rival for a demotion in order to promote new talent and throw red meat to the base. But Mr Raab did not go quietly, allegedly holding up the reshuffle by as much as an hour refusing to take his new position without the moniker of Deputy Prime Minister being attached, a demand Boris acquiesced to in order to be able to promote Liz Truss to the position of Foreign Secretary. She leaves the Department for International Trade one of the most popular Tories in Government, at least among Tory members, and Boris is clearly hoping to keep her sweet over the coming months and years. Completing the spinning triangle that is this saga Robert Buckland QC has been sacked from the Government entirely. A couple of scandal ridden departures have been announced today as well with Robert Jenrick, the beleaguered Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government was relieved of his post to be replaced by Michael Gove who moves from the Duchy of Lancaster to become the new Secretary of State for “Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities for Intergovernmental Relations”. Steve Barclay, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, replaces him at Lancaster and is in turn replaced by Simon Clarke at the Treasury. Meanwhile Gavin Williamson has been unceremoniously fired from the Department for Education to be replaced by the Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi. The main surprise was the promotion of long-suffering member of the Business Select Committee, Richard Fuller, to the position of Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. The move, seen by some as a hardening of both Brexit and free market orthodoxy on the Government’s economic team comes at the same time as fellow Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries is promoted to Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. A geographical power couple that now have the final say over privatisation of media in all its forms doing the bidding of a PM who is on the record wanting to privatise Channel 4 and heavily reform the BBC Licence Fee. Admin Note: The full Cabinet can be found in the usual places.
  6. Boris Johnson, Prime Minister
  7. The Constituency Claim Sheet is live. You all have comment access so you can use the suggest function to put your names in and then an admin only needs to accept the suggestion when your bio has been approved. Enjoy! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16R56VhjfpKjEW_kRyl8oOCtnr_JXH7qw_KXba6TDsro/edit?usp=sharing The sheet has been sorted by party with the largest majority by seat at the top of each party's section. So for the Tories their safest seat is South Holland and the Deepings (majority 62.7% of the vote) and for Labour their safest seat is Liverpool Walton (majority 74.83% of the vote) Please do not select the seat of a person who was a a prominent member of the May or Corbyn frontbenches, contested the last leadership election, or are a current/former member of the Cabinet/Shadow Cabinet.
  8. In case you missed it on the Discord the 2007 round is closed. Sign ins for the new round will open when the rules are posted and admins say so.
  9. For Announcements that are Short
  10. Hi! Just to reiterate what was said by the Speaker of the House account welcome to the game! Most of the party stuff is done on Discord as well as a chunk of press and parliament. You can find our Discord here: PoliticsUK (discord.com).
  11. Israeli Troops Enter the Gaza Strip Following a month of rocket bombardment Israeli ground forces entered the Gaza Strip "for as long as needed to ensure the safety of Israel and Israeli citizens" Israel took control of the Gaza Strip with minimal resistance from the Palestinian Authority although sporadic firefights did break out leaving 31 Palestinian combatants dead and 2 Israeli soldiers injured Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni declared the first phase a "complete success" before adding that work would now begin on "dismantling the terrorist infrastructure that has infested the Gaza Strip since the Palestinian Authority took control" Arab countries were quick to condemn the move calling it a "clear violation of Palestinian sovereignty" and "against the very norms of international diplomacy" Analysts, already expecting OPEC to reduce oil supply, now expect an even larger contraction set to increase inflation upwards of 5% as oil producing Arab countries seek to pile international pressure on Israel and the West to see an Israeli removal
  12. The Daily Mirror Jim Connelly- An inside account on the man who changed the Labour Party By James Byrne I first met Jim in 1994. He had just been selected as the Labour candidate in Bradford South by-election and some of my good friends in the party, Tony Benn and Dennis Skinner, could not speak highly enough of him for his work in the Trade Union movement. As we went on the train from London to Bradford to meet him and do a bit of campaign work with him, I was told story after story of how he rose up the ranks in the Transport & General Workers Union and worked with Jack Jones. I heard of his influence on democratising the Labour Party. I heard of his activism in the anti-apartheid movement. I was very impressed. When we finally got to Bradford and I was introduced by Tony and Dennis who were already familiar with him, I quickly understood why they held him in such high regard. A hard worker, coming from a working class family. He climbed the ranks. He was ambitious and you could see how much he cared about people. You could tell that he was a gentleman and we quickly became good friends. He joined the Socialist Campaign Group after his election, and we began to work closely on campaigning on a wide range of issues, as well as both of us being dedicated to our constituency work. We would be more often found on picket lines or on marches than we would be in the tearooms of Westminster. That is the way that we had to show our influence and our solidarity, even at a time when the leadership moved away from our roots as a grassroots party on the side of workers and Trade Unions. He had joined the parliamentary left at our weakest point since the split of the Labour Party in 1931. We had been completely ostracised from the rest of the Parliamentary Labour Party, the leadership continued to move further rightwards after Tony Blair was elected Labour leader just a month after Jim was elected to parliament. Blair would go on to court the endorsement of Rupert Murdoch whilst we were out in the cold. These were what I call our “Wilderness Years”. During the years of the Blair leadership, the left were encased in what was described by Peter Mandelson as a “sealed-tomb”. We would rebel often, and succeed rarely, if ever. We would speak out and criticise the leadership when we felt they went wrong, but it ultimately had little effect. Even when we were part of the Stop the War Coalition march on February 15th 2003 against the Iraq War, the largest protest in British history with an estimated 1 million people in attendance, the people were ultimately ignored. The left, it seemed, was history. We were seen as a dinosaur in British politics, stuck in the arguments of the 1980s, not with the modern consensus of free market capitalism that was advocated on all sides of the House of Commons, with the exception of our little corner of the Labour backbenches. However, New Labour, after the Iraq War and with divisions between Blair and Gordon Brown becoming more visible, began to creak a bit. After 2 election landslides, in 2005 Labour saw huge losses. We lost 80 seats and only narrowly held on to our majority, and we won just 0.5% of the vote more than the Conservatives. Our party broke out into all out civil war following that election. The “Blairites” against the “Brownites” as it was dubbed. But, throughout this factional battle for the leadership, the Labour Party was the real loser. At a meeting of the Socialist Campaign Group, we settled on two candidates, John McDonnell and Michael Meacher, to put forward to represent the left. After receiving more nominations for the leadership, Michael dropped out and John was put forward as our candidate to widen the debate for the leadership and put forward ideas to “challenge the present political consensus”. John put forward a fantastic programme for the party leadership, his “manifesto for 21st century socialism”. Unfortunately, John did not get on the ballot and Brown was declared leader unopposed. Ultimately, this led to our party losing out at the 2007 General Election. However, the leadership contest in 2006 provided a vital basis for the left going forward. After Gordon Brown resigned as leader, we were looking for another candidate to put forward for the leadership. John declined to run again, so naturally the next choice for everyone was Jim. He accepted and me and Peter Britchford quickly began organising nominations. We felt that the basis of the policy platform of John, along with our vision for democratic reform in the party and a return to our roots were the basis to get the membership onside and energised, along with working closely once again with the Trade Union movement. We felt optimistic and when Jim got on the ballot we rejoiced at finally having a proper leadership election, but I don’t think any of us thought that we could win. We could change the argument, but we never thought the leadership would go to Jim. When it was announced that Jim had won, there were hugs and celebrations and a lot of phone calls. I was very surprised to be asked to serve as the Shadow Foreign Secretary, but I felt we had gotten a great top team together. Peter Britchford, another good friend of mine, was appointed as Shadow Chancellor and many other comrades came into the fold after never leaving the backbenches in our careers, some of which spanned decades. I was especially delighted to see Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell join us on the frontbench. Frontbench experience was also then provided by Jack Williamson who was elected as the Deputy Leader and took on a few other jobs in the Shadow Cabinet. Inside the Shadow Cabinet, the feeling was great at the start. We were full of optimism and began working on our approach for the next 5 years for how we would hold the government to account and how we would return to power. First up was the Queen’s Speech from the new Prime Minister Nicholas Colton. Jim put up what I thought was a good performance, but language needed to be more layman's terms looking back. We overcomplicated a simple message, a mistake we did not seem to learn from. Then we would hit the first sign of problems with our democratisation reforms. We have always believed that the Labour Party belonged to it’s grassroots, and Jim wanted to ensure more power for our members, moving power away from the cushy offices of Westminster which had led to our party becoming out of touch with the British people by the end of the New Labour decade. Unfortunately, we allowed the spin and fearmongering to take hold over these reforms. Instead of being seen as reforms to move power away from those at the top, it was spun by the Conservatives, as well as other opponents of the leadership, as a power grab by those at the top. We brought forward other reforms beside Mandatory Reselection for Labour MPs to hold them accountable to their local parties, there was One Member, One Vote for leadership elections to stop 200 members of the PLP’s votes being worth the same as that of thousands of members. We made every vote equal. Of the other reforms put forward to and passed by the NEC, the Policy Review was one of the most important to try and reconnect with voters we had lost and those who did not turnout, which I have been told before Mr Black was elected was to report to the new leader shortly after his election. Early in our leadership, we also began to see the trouble that the British economy now faces, with the government bailing out Northern Rock. Peter Britchford was on top of this, holding the government to account on the matter, but unfortunately he soon had to resign for personal reasons. Tabitha Kinsey, someone from the moderate wing of the party, had to be brought to the frontbench to replace him. Whilst we put forward good work against the government, whether on the government’s reckless approach to Iran or protecting the billionaires, we were crashing on the rocks of internal party mutiny. Any good work we did was set back by sniping from certain Blair era cabinet ministers who had not realised the party needed a fresh approach after crashing out of government. Unfortunately, this division was hurting us in the polls, for every one step forward there were 2 steps back in the polls. When Jack Williamson resigned as Deputy leader, it was exciting to see young rising star Sophie Patrick take the position when she became Deputy Leader without opposition. However, there was protest by some at her platform even when they refused to stand in the election. Being newly elected to parliament in 2007, I had never worked closely with Sophie before, but I had seen her work at Unison and she was a highly impressive figure. I was taken by surprise at her promise to change Clause IV, and did raise some concerns privately about how it would look. However, after Sophie came on to the frontbench, I saw what she could do. Her work on our flood plans led the way and the National Care Service proposals have been extraordinary, with our party now offering a plan to tackle issues with social care and provide security for older individuals in our society who now need our support. These plans put forward showed the radically different vision for Britain we can put forward to improve things for Britons across the country. But, at the same time, her inexperience did show at times, and did come back to bite us, such as her major mistake when calling for a strike which did a lot of damage to us and was a completely unforced error made by Sophie. The next major issue to arise was in budget season. Whilst then-Chancellor, and now Prime Minister, Sarah Hastings froze pay for public sector workers in real terms and bailed out billionaires, our proposals offered real terms pay rises for our brave army service people and tireless NHS staff, investment for the economy, cuts to taxation for the most vulnerable in society whilst asking those with the broadest backs to pay their fair share. We offered cheaper transport for young people and proposed to get rid of fares on the London Underground. We put forward house building investment, NHS investment and investment to tackle climate change. I saw the hard work that Jim put in to lead the way on the budget, but you could also tell that attacks and lack of progress in the polls were getting to him. As I said earlier, for every time we went up in the polls, we got hit down twice as hard. Jim had worked his socks off, but circumstances surrounding the party and mistakes by others meant that he did not get the full fruits of his labour. When Tabitha Kinsey walked out of the Shadow Cabinet out of nowhere, I think that is when Jim decided that this was the end of the road for him. We talked in the Shadow Cabinet and me and Sophie asked him to reconsider and stay on, but he did not have the fight to continue as leader. However, despite this, Jim has changed our party and our movement. After the wilderness years for the Labour left, Jim brought Labour’s traditional values back to the heart of our party. Labour is now a party, once again, for the grassroots. Power has been moved from the Parliamentary Labour Party to the people. Jim has begun the process of moving Labour towards a 21st century socialism, and we must continue that under the party’s new leader, and any move away from those democratic and socialist principles must be combated. I am sad to see my good friend Jim Connelly step down. He served with integrity and has brought forward hope against a decaying political consensus. Socialism is back on the map in British politics, real change is possible for our country, and that is thanks to Jim Connelly. His legacy will have major impacts for the future of our party and our politics, and I believe we are all the better for it. Thank you, comrade, and solidarity, Jim.
  13. Economy Contracts and Unemployment Takes Off The political and economic scenes were rocked last night as it was confirmed that the United Kingdom economy contracted by 0.4% in Q (April to June) and is now expected to enter a recession that "could last between 2 and 3yrs in the worst case scenario" This news was compounded by unemployment breaching 6% (6.25%) for the first time since the Premiership of John Major The figures, while better than expected, represent a serious worsening of the United Kingdom's fiscal and economic situation with the projection that a recession could last between 2 and 3yrs putting significant squeeze on the public finances and on unemployment Some good news for the Government came through when the Bank of England confirmed that measures to shore up the banking system had "worked better than we could ever have imagined" with most banks now capitalised very strongly. Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, told the BBC "We have only one bank now being monitored for special measures at all, the rest are capitalised as well as can be expected. Without a shock over and above the recession it is looking good that the Government won't have to nationalise anymore banks" Bank recapitalisation has not sparked business confidence or investment with banks sitting on the money to insulate themselves against shocks over Q2 The Government's scheme to buy foreclosed homes and turn them into Council Houses has sparked banks to take what has been described as a zero tolerance approach to mortgage lateness, expecting that the Government will renew the policy and buy the repossessed property, helping them unload so called "Subprime Mortgages" and hopefully turning them into the Council's problem rather than the banks'.
  14. The Ayes to the Right - 336 The Noes to the Left - 308 The Ayes have it, the Ayes have it!
  15. The Ayes to the Right: 398 The Noes to the Left: 246 The Ayes have it Con - 333/0 Labour - 16/222 Lib Dems - 34/0 SNP - 0/7 Plaid - 0/6 SDLP = 0/5 UUP - 5/0 PA - 4/0 Respect - 3/0 BNP - 2/0 TUV - 2/0 DUP - 1/0 Grn - 1/0 All - 1/0 Ind - 1/0
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