Author Archives: Richard Wingfield

Opinion: Why Liberal Democrats should support lowering the age of consent

Liberal Democrats have long-championed the rights of young people. We were the first major party to call for the voting age to be lowered to 16. We were the only party in 2010 which committed to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into UK law. In government, we have ended the detention of children for immigration purposes. But in one area of personal freedom and development, we remain distinctly illiberal: the age of consent.

In response to the recent calls from Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, to lower the age of consent …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 27 Comments

Opinion: Prisoner voting and the rule of law

Liberal Democrats have always been proud defenders of the rule of law. As our manifesto stated in 2010, the values of ‘fairness and the rule of law’ lie at the heart of our foreign policy. However, just as we call on other states such as Burma, Belarus and Zimbabwe to respect the rule of law, so we must be ever vigilant that there is no weakening of this fundamental principle at home. The Liberal Democrat policy on the Justice and Security Bill at conference in September was a powerful reminder to the leadership on how seriously we, as a party, take this issue.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 14 Comments
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  • User AvatarD McKay 24th May - 2:44pm
    I always thought the BBC's daytime output was designed to get us to work. One can enjoy Homes under the Hammer occasionally but there are...
  • User AvatarGlenn 24th May - 2:23pm
    David, who can compare quality programs like The Voice, Celebrity Pointless, Celebrity Bake Off etc to trash like Boardwalk Empire, Fargo, and Breaking Bad or...
  • User AvatarBarry Snelson 24th May - 1:55pm
    David, I am more positive about the loss of the BBC. It dominates media and so much creative talent must be wasted by promising new...
  • User AvatarAlderman David Becket 24th May - 1:46pm
    Whilst I am not fully convinced by the arguments this is the sort of debate we should be having, and leading. Our present system is...
  • User AvatarRichard Flowers 24th May - 1:29pm
    @Peter Watson It's one of the advantages of the gradual and look-at-the-evidence path, that we would be able to see what happens, and whether if...
  • User AvatarRichard Flowers 24th May - 1:23pm
    @Mike Scott You make a very good point about housing - and the disproportional impact of housing benefit is one of the biggest hurdles to...