21st December 2007
PubAffairs will be taking a break over the Christmas period and returning in early January.
19th December 2007
Towards Cutting Carbon Emissions
Responding to business requests, Defra has launched a consultation on simplifying the regulations businesses face in cutting CO2 emissions. The new package of measures aims to cut complex bureaucracy and therefore costs to businesses. Environment Minister Phil Woolas said "Working together, Government and businesses must show leadership in tackling emissions, without jeopardising prosperity. In fact, growth brings innovation and resources - which can help us to tackle emissions."
18th December 2007
Clegg Wins Leadership Race
Nick Clegg has been elected as the new Liberal Democrat leader. In a close run race, he received 20,988 votes to rival Chris Huhne's 20,477. Upon his victory, Clegg said "Under my leadership our party will be a self-confident, radical, and energetic party. Together we can break the stifling two-party system and change Britain for good. That is my aim."
13th December 2007
EU Leaders Sign Treaty of Lisbon
EU leaders have today formally signed the Treaty of Lisbon. This reform Treaty creates a more powerful Foreign Affairs Chief; evolves the current rotating EU Presidency into a more permenent 2.5 year post for a President of the European Council (which can be renewable once); reduces the number of European Commissioners to two-thirds the number of Member States; removes many national vetoes in policy areas and; redistributes vote weightings in the Council for qualified majority voting. In practice, the majority of the Treaty Articles will not become reality until being phased in from 2014. Read the speech by the Portuguese Prime Minister.
12th December 2007
Police Strike Ballot & No Confidence Vote in Home Secretary
At an emergency summit, leaders of the Police Federation passed a vote of no confidence in the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and called for her resignation. The move follows her decision not to backdate a 2.5% pay rise for police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Police officers are to be balloted on whether to move forward and lobby for the right to strike.
10th December 2007
UK Wind Energy Assessment
Energy Minister John Hutton has launched a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the seas surrounding the UK for the creation of greater offshore wind energy. Addressing the European energy industry in Berlin, Hutton said "The UK has some of the best offshore wind resource in the world, a long history of design, installation and operational expertise in the offshore environment and the skills and manufacturing capability to transfer to this exciting new sector. The UK is now the number one location for investment in offshore wind in the world and next year we will overtake Denmark as the country with the most offshore wind capacity. I want to ensure the UK remains one of the best places for renewable business".
6th December 2007
Government Crackdown on Rogue Employers
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has signalled a crackdown on rogue employers that avoid paying the minimum wage, publishing a response to the consultation on strengthening enforcement of the National Minimum Wage and Employment Agency Standards which will inform part of the imminent Employment Bill.
6th December 2007
Terror Suspect Detention Extension plans
Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith has announced proposals for extending the limit on the detention of terrorist suspects before they have been charged.
5th December 2007
Stroke Strategy Launched
Health Secretary Alan Johnson has launched the national stroke strategy to provide a quality framework to secure improvements to stroke services. Including £105m for extra training posts and awareness-raising, support and guidance will be provided to strategic health authorities and social care. The Government believes that the new actions could help prevent 1,600 strokes and avoid up to 6,800 deaths and cases of disability every year. Anyone in a higher-risk group that suffers a minor stroke will receive an MRI scan within 24 hours under the new plans.
4th December 2007
Tories attack Labour 'culture of spin'
The Conservative Party has criticised the Prime Minister for the increase in spending on Whitehall spin doctors. Commenting that the latest White Book of press and communications staff in Government Departments shows another year on year increase in numbers, the Conservatives noted that "since 1997, the cost of government PR, marketing and advertising has trebled, with £338 million of taxpayers' money being spent last year alone". Francis Maude, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, said "The culture of spin is alive and well in Whitehall."