Tory Councillors gorge themselves on £1,600 feast just moments after cutting free transport for disabled kids

From Evolve Politics: Just moments after voting to block a Labour motion to reverse proposed cuts to free public transportation for children with special educational needs and disabilities, Tory councillors in North Yorkshire congratulated themselves by gorging on £1,600 worth of pavlova, roast beef and salmon.

Councillors feasting on a dozen types of cheese was revealed – after a Freedom of Information request – to have taken place following a meeting in February during which Council Tax in North Yorkshire was also hiked up.

Throughout the region, the devastating scythe of Tory austerity has swung its blade across libraries, bus services and street lights, amongst many other vital public services. In January, the council determined that after £16.5m would be cut from the budget, £3m would have to be found in reserves. Cuts included £2m from free transport for kids with special needs, £1m from support for local schools and another £1.1m from support from vulnerable young people. North Yorkshire police have had to cut their budget by 10% (£16.1m) – down from already having one of the lowest budgets per head in the country, and fewer police officers than most other forces.

[Read full article on Evolve Politics website…]

Theresa May fails to acknowledge responsibility for devastation caused to Windrush Generation citizens

Via the Labour Party: Theresa May waffles on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, instead of accepting responsibility for lives being turned upside down by the Windrush scandal she personally caused with her policies while Home Secretary.

BBC | Andrew Marr Show | This Should Never Have Happened

Shameful that the Prime Minister either doesn’t know or doesn’t care how many people from the Windrush generation lost their homes, their jobs, and were denied NHS treatment.Theresa May's hostile environment policy is a disgrace and Labour will scrap it.

Posted by Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday, September 30, 2018

Tory Council approves £38k for iPhones for councillors minutes after saving £43k by doubling disabled bus fares

From Evolve Politics: The Tory majority on Lancashire County Council voted through measures to double bus fares for disabled people from 50p to £1, estimated to save the council £44,000… just minutes after approving the spending of up to £38,000 on state-of-the-9art smartphones for individual use by councillors.

With both measures approved, councillors will now be given the opportunity of handpicking a device for their own individual use, with a top-of-the-range iPhone 7, costing £455 each, being among the choices.

[Read full article on Evolve Politics…]

Theresa May waffles when asked if she agreed with Thatcher that Nelson Mandela was a “terrorist”

Video from Channel 4 News: Theresa May went to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. In this clip it’s clear she did nothing whatsoever at the time to call for his release, and Maybot waffles hard to avoid answering whether she agreed with her party leader Margaret Thatcher that Mandela was a “terrorist”.

Theresa May questioned by Michael Crick about her stance on apartheid during the 70s and 80s

"Mrs Thatcher believed that Nelson Mandela was a terrorist…Did you think the same thing?"Theresa May is questioned by Michael Crick about her stance on apartheid ahead of her visit to Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tory government drops fracking question from public attitude tracker

From The Guardian: The Tory government has stopped asking the British public whether they are for or against fracking for shale gas, just weeks before the first fracking operation in seven years is due to start.

The number of people against extracting shale gas has outweighed those in favour since 2015, and the latest polling by officials found 32% opposed with just 18% in support.

Now the Tory government, which backs fracking and recently relaxed planning rules to help the shale industry, has temporarily suspended that line of questioning.

“This is scandalous as the government knows full well that there is overwhelming public opposition to fracking,” said Rebecca Long-Bailey, Labour’s shadow business secretary.

Tony Bosworth, a campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “Perhaps having recently tried to change planning rules so that fracking companies could drill more easily, they were just scared of a record bad survey result for them this time, so have stopped even asking anymore.”

The question was dropped from the latest update of the four-year-old public attitudes tracker run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Boris Johnson won’t budge from his rent-free taxpayer-funded £20m mansion for weeks

From Daily Mirror: Boris Johnson has refused to budge from his £20million taxpayer-funded mansion, as Downing Street admitted he could still be there for “weeks”. There is growing anger as he remains at the luxury official residence, despite resigning as Foreign Secretary 12 days ago.

[Read article on Mirror website…]

Boris Johnson flouts MPs’ rules after return to newspaper column

From The Guardian: Boris Johnson has broken rules that prevent former cabinet ministers taking up new jobs for three months after leaving office.

The former foreign secretary failed to get permission from the government’s appointments watchdog for his role as a columnist for the Daily Telegraph.

Former ministers should apply to the advisory committee on business appointments (Acoba) before accepting a new role under the ministerial code. Ministers who have been members of the cabinet should not accept new appointments for three months after leaving office.

Johnson returned to his £275,000-a-year Daily Telegraph column on Monday. He gave it up when he was appointed foreign secretary in July 2016.

A spokesman for Acoba said Johnson had not sought its advice, as required, before returning to the role, the Daily Mail reported. “Ministers are written to on leaving office to remind them of the responsibility to follow the government’s rules set out in the ministerial code,” a spokesperson said.

Read more

Ailing MP wheeled into Commons in pyjamas criticises Tory whips

From The Guardian: A Labour MP who discharged herself from hospital and attended Parliament in her pyjamas in order to take part in a Brexit vote has accused Tory whips of stripping her of her dignity.

Naz Shah, the MP for Bradford West, said parliamentary voting procedures were archaic and undignified after the whips refused her request to be paired with a Tory MP to cancel out each other’s vote – a practice that allows MPs to be absent from Parliament with good reason.

She has been in hospital since last Friday with severe nerve pain, an ongoing complication from a hit-and-run collision several years ago.

Read more

Video: Mhairi Black on the absurd anti-democratic behaviour of Tory MPs in Commons

From ScotRef: SNP MP Mhairi Black on the appalling anti-democratic tactics used by Tory MPs in the House of Commons to filibuster out Private Members Bills they don’t like.

(Mhairi was talking on a pro-Scottish independence platform, but whatever your views on that topic this is a good watch!)

Everyone needs to watch this at least once. And I mean *everyone* 👍⚔️🗡️⚔️🗡️⚔️#ScotRef

Posted by ScotRef on Saturday, April 7, 2018

Jeremy Hunt walks out of Learning Disabilities Mortality Review

From Nursing Notes: Jeremy Hunt, Tory Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, walked out of parliament only seconds before he was due to answer questions over the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review.

Barbara Keeley, Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care, tabled the urgent question for Jeremy Hunt to make a statement on key concerns raised in the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review that was published earlier this month.

The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme was established to support local areas to review the deaths of people with learning disabilities, identify learning from those deaths, and take forward the learning into service improvement initiatives.

The investigation looked at specific health inequalities and the barriers that prevent people with learning difficulties from accessing appropriate healthcare services.

The report provides 189 learning points or recommendations for service improvement of which the report identities Inter-agency collaboration and communication, awareness of the needs of people with learning disabilities and the understanding and application of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and the most significant.

[Read full article on Nursing Notes website…]

Theresa May refuses to reveal any details of disabled benefit claimants’ suicides, instead says “work is the best route out of poverty”

From Daily Mirror: Theresa May has refused to reveal any details of suicides by disabled benefit claimants, instead cruelly declaring: “Work is the best route out of poverty.”

[Read article on Mirror website…]

Chris Grayling criticised for blaming rail delays on ‘militant unions’

From The Guardian: Chris Grayling, the Tory transport secretary, has been accused of passing the buck over severe rail disruption on Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern trains, for which he blamed staff shortages caused by “militant unions”.

A report from the National Audit Office criticises the government’s management of the UK’s largest #rail franchise, held by Govia Thameslink, and concludes that policy decisions have had a negative impact on millions of passengers.

The report says Department for Transport officials failed to grasp the potential impact on passengers of combining an increase in capacity, targets to improve services and the increase in driver-only operated trains, which led to strikes by union members.

However, Chris Grayling said blame for the disruption should primarily be shouldered by the unions for their decision to take industrial action.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

DWP officials pocket £44 million in ‘performance’ bonuses despite Universal Credit debacle

From Welfare Weekly: Civil servants working for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have been handed over £40 million in performance-related bonuses, despite serious problems with the rollout of Universal Credit and a startling increase in the number of successful disability benefit appeals.

Figures show DWP staff were awarded £44 million in “good performance” bonuses in the last year, while thousands of new universal credit claimants were forced to a wait a minimum six weeks for their first payment and left at risk of becoming homeless because of rent arrears.

According to the figures, 240 senior DWP officials pocketed a total £760,000 in bonuses, while a further 88,300 junior staff were each handed an extra £1,750 in their pay packets.

[Read full article on Welfare Weekly…]

Theresa May refuses to appoint diverse panel for Grenfell Tower inquiry

From Daily Mirror: Theresa May has refused to appoint a diverse panel to the Grenfell Tower inquiry, it emerged today. It is feared that the retired Court of Appeal judge lacks first-hand experience of the complex cultural factors underpinning the Grenfell Tower tragedy. 

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

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