Author Archives: Julian Huppert

How can this government turn its back on thousands of child refugees?

A key test for any society must surely be how it looks after those most in need. Surely no one decent can fail to be moved by that heart wrenching photo of Alan Kurdi, the young Syrian boy washed up, dead, on a Turkish beach. How then, can this government turn its back on thousands of child refugees, breaking its own promises as well as any moral decency?

I’ve been concerned about refugee issues for decades – it’s one of the reasons I went into politics in the first place. As the MP for Cambridge, I served as the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees. It was a hard task, and many of the stories I heard were shocking.

Posted in Op-eds | 5 Comments

Julian Huppert writes…Stoking the flames of liberalism

Can you imagine how you’d feel, waking up on the 24th February, to hear the BBC headline ‘In what is being seen as a stunning boost to the hard Brexit campaign, Paul Nuttall, the leader of UKIP, sensationally snatched the seat of Stoke-on-Trent Central from a disintegrating Labour party. Nigel Farage is now live.’

I’d feel utterly gutted. The Tories, with Labour’s acquiescence, are already following the UKIP line closely enough, without an extra UKIP MP.

I’ve been talking to people in Stoke, and looking at the figures. Labour are in massive trouble there. It’s more than a decade since they got over 40% in any election, local or national there, with a huge decline in their actual votes. Less than half their voters in 2001 were still voting for them in 2015, with 14,000 having abandoned them, and that was even before Jeremy Corbyn. Sadly, many people are deserting Labour and looking for an alternative. For some, that alternative will be UKIP – we have to provide a better option for them.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 15 Comments

Julian Huppert writes…#libdemfightback: from theory to practice

As we move on from the trauma of the General Election, I have been hugely encouraged by the new sense of energy, and the huge new membership – we’ve got almost 200 new members here in Cambridge, for example.

There are lots of reasons – people realising their values chime with ours, people feeling bad about the huge hit that we took, people rather belatedly realising what we achieved.

This will form the core of the #libdemfightback – and I have no doubt that we will fight back and win more seats at all levels.

It is of course really important that we keep these members, and make sure that they do get the policy discussions, the community activity, the sense of value that they want. We cannot just let them believe we are nothing more than a campaigning cult, our rituals being leaflet delivery and door knocking.

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Julian Huppert writes … We must end indefinite detention for immigrants

Immigration detention
Looking back over the Coalition Government, one of our great successes is putting an end to the routine detention of children for immigration purposes. In 2009, 1,119 children were locked up in immigration centres, nearly 500 of them were under five years of age.

Not only have we ended this practice, but in the Immigration Act we made sure that if any future government wants to undo our reforms, they’ll have to do it the hard way by passing an Act of Parliament.

But the issue of immigration detention doesn’t and shouldn’t stop there.

The UK is an outlier in the EU as the only country that doesn’t have a time limit on how long someone can be detained under immigration powers. Ireland has a time limit of 21 days, France 45 days, Belgium two months and Spain 60 days. Even Russia has a time limit, albeit of two years.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 7 Comments

Julian Huppert writes… Clamping down on Tax Dodging

Tax dodging is plain wrong. There can be absolutely no justification for the wealthy not paying what they owe.

More than any other party, we know how important it is to have a fair tax system. Before the last elections, we pledged to lift the income tax threshold to £10,000. We have surpassed this by raising it to £10,600, lifting more than 3 million low earners out of paying income tax altogether.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 12 Comments

Julian Huppert writes … On shoehorning the Snooper’s Charter into the Counter Terrorism Bill

To my shock and dismay a small group of unelected peers are trying to shoehorn the Communications Data Bill (known as the Snooper’s Charter) into the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill as an amendment. This is a bad idea, and also an abuse of process. It would mean that neither the Lords nor the Commons would get a proper chance to discuss the details of what is a massive infringement of people’s privacy.

I served on the Joint Committee Nick insisted on, and we spent a year scrutinising it – and tearing it to shreds. Yes, we need the intelligence services to be able to do their job, but in the words we agreed unanimously “the draft Bill pays insufficient attention to the duty to respect the right to privacy, and goes much further than it need or should”.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 7 Comments

Julian Huppert writes…We need a strategy to promote walking and cycling

We have a huge problem in this country with physical inactivity. Most people do nothing like enough to stay healthy, and as a result problems like obesity and being overweight are very common.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 30 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndrew Davidson 24th Apr - 2:09am
    Excellent news, I am sure in the next 7 weeks the party will keep growing and the enthusiasm of new members like me, working with...
  • User AvatarIan Patterson 24th Apr - 12:35am
    Dizzying and exciting. I do hope HQ systems withstand the strain of all the new members.
  • User AvatarSteve Holbrook 24th Apr - 12:10am
    Of course Lord Wallace's thoughts are inspiring to us because we belong to the thinking, caring body in society. On closing the eyes, there appears...
  • User AvatarTim Hill 23rd Apr - 11:00pm
    Michael BG "it had in 2010. However we have not elected a councillor to Wandsworth Borough Council ever! There was an Alliance councillor 1982-86." So...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 23rd Apr - 10:59pm
    I reccomend that everyone should read Mark Pack on our prospects. However I disagree with some of his conclusions, in particular I think there are...
  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 23rd Apr - 10:15pm
    If we didn't exist Bob would probably invent something looking very close to the Social Liberal Forum.