Author Archives: Andrew Stunell MP

Andrew Stunnell writes … The fight against antisemitism isn’t over yet

antisemitismThe findings of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism, launched today, make very sober reading.

MPs and Lords from across the political spectrum, including Navnit Dholakia and me, have spent six months following last summer’s Israeli- Palestinian conflict in Gaza assessing the evidence of the hate and discrimination it has triggered directed at Jewish institutions and people across Europe, and making recommendations about how to tackle its upsurge here in the UK.

Our recommendations cover key areas including work to reassure the UK’s Jewish community, which from the evidence we have received appears to be in a considerable state of anxiety and discomfort. The fundamental safety and security of our British Jewish (and indeed any other minority) community is critically important. Non-Jewish readers probably don’t know that every Jewish school in England already has high security fencing and (unarmed) security guards, supported by the Government. Unfortunately we now think it is time to enhance and improve measures to safeguard synagogues and other Jewish institutions, too. And we want to see clearer guidance for police, prosecutors and judges to make sure our response to antisemitism is as strong as it can be.

Posted in News | Tagged | 30 Comments

Andrew Stunell MP writes…Tackling anti-semitism at home and abroad

We may have had a peaceful summer at home but overseas the situation was anything but relaxed, not least in Gaza where the tension between Israel and Palestine spilled over into violence and bloodshed. Whatever your interpretation of events there, nothing can excuse the fact that the resultant anger and hurt felt by many was channelled by a few into violence against British Jews, leading to a 400% increase in recorded antisemitic incidents in the last quarter. That was a pattern repeated across Europe, which is why as a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism I joined a delegation of MPs to Berlin and Paris in order to learn the lessons of the summer. Our findings will help to inform a new parliamentary report into antisemitism now being drawn up.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 10 Comments

Andrew Stunell MP writes…Keep free EU movement and end the dodges

I signed up to the ‘European project’ a decade before I joined the Liberals. It was an instinctive reaction to working on refugee resettlement schemes in Germany and Austria. Even in the early ’60s there were still a million “displaced persons” living in camps in western Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War. That should remain a stark reminder to complacent euro-sceptics that spending time grizzling about straight bananas risks a lot more than a million or two British jobs and our country’s shrinkage to a world micro power. That’s what makes being the Party of “In” a …

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Andrew Stunell writes … Removing discrimination from electoral campaigns

Ballot paperLast week the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Electoral Conduct published its recommendations. The Liberal Democrats played a leading part in this inquiry and we are pleased to report that our approach to tackling discrimination is rightly credited in the findings of the all-party panel.

Electoral campaigning in Britain is, the Inquiry found, generally a positive and democratically enriching process. There are however a number of areas in which better frameworks for action could be introduced which would make Britain not just a responsible democracy but one that is world-leading in facing down discriminatory electoral conduct.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 10 Comments

Andrew Stunell writes: Empty homes – the Lib Dem success story

As avid readers of Lib Dem Voice will know, tackling the scourge of empty homes has been high up my agenda since entering government. Empty Homes bring down communities, and doing something to tackle this growing problem was one of our big housing “asks” in the coalition negotiations. Previous governments hadn’t paid empty homes much heed at all, with the numbers left to soar, peaking in 2008 at 783,000. Labour’s failed Pathfinder scheme had set out to demolish thousands of homes, but ran out of cash, leaving some families marooned on what had become “ghost streets”. I was determined that this government was going to be different.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments

Andrew Stunell MP writes… Launching the Liberal Democrats’ local election campaign

Local Election Day is now exactly a month away for most of Metropolitan England as well as across the whole of Scotland and Wales. Nick Clegg was in my own area of Stockport earlier today to officially launch the Liberal Democrat local election campaign, visiting a local business and speaking with councillors, business owners and local people.

I’ve no doubt that many of you have been out on the doorstep over the last few months, talking to people and showing them what we are achieving both nationally and locally.

You will already have your big messages in place. Number one has got …

Posted in Local government | Tagged , , , , , and | 8 Comments

The Local Government Slot: Coalition boost to English Language funding

Going down the road to the Post Office, the supermarket, or just chatting at the school gates are things we take for granted in our everyday life. But they are only really possible because we have a shared language – English – that enables us to communicate what we want effectively. That’s not true for everyone, though.  And if you speak no, or very little, English, it’s not just your social life that’s cramped.  You can’t help the children with their homework, and you’ll find it very hard to get a proper job. A high proportion of the people who …

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