Category Archives: News

Clegg slams Tories over Trade Union Bill

The Yorkshire Post reports Nick Clegg’s evidence to a parliamentary committee looking at Party funding. He accused the Tories of trying to rig the system in their favour.

Mr Clegg said: “I just think this is fundamentally wrong to do this in such a partisan way.”

The Sheffield Hallam MP said he was no ‘sepia-tinted romantic’ when it came to trade union and Labour links as he had personally suffered from ‘appalling’ use of funds for political purposes in his ‘own Sheffield backyard’.

However he said he was alarmed that Conservative proposals are directed at one party and as Deputy Prime Minister he spent years blocking such measures being introduced.

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Farron supports bid for cannabis legalisation in UK

Tim Farron has thrown his support behind a motion calling for the legalisation of Cannabis as the Guardian reports:

Farron is to endorse a motion at spring conference which calls on the party to extend its existing support for the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use to recreational use.

The motion, to be tabled by the former health minister Norman Lamb, will be debated after the release of the findings of an expert panel appointed by the Lib Dems to examine how a legal market for the use of cannabis would work in the UK. The panel has found that the legal use of cannabis could save the exchequer more than £1bn a year. It could generate between £400m-£900m in tax revenues and could save £200m-£300m in the criminal justice system.

The Lib Dem leader said: “The Liberal Democrats will be releasing a report in due course that lays out the case for a legalised market for sales of cannabis. I personally believe the war on drugs is over. We must move from making this a legal issue to one of health.

“The prime minister used to agree with me on the need for drug reform. It’s time he rediscovered his backbone and made the case again.”

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Nick Clegg compares Investigatory Powers Bill powers to Russia

On the Today programme, Nick Clegg compared the “dragnet” approach of Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill to the way things happen in Russia.

During the Coalition years, Nick had stopped the Conservatives from introducing a “snooper’s charter.” It’s worth remembering that he was going to let it through until a conference call with some angry bloggers who understood the technology, and the intervention of people like Julian Huppert, made him think twice. But once he’s changed his mind, he was good to his word and held May off for 3 years.

The Guardian quotes him as saying this morning:

He said: “Why there is this great congregation of concern from all wings of political opinion is because what the home office is in essence proposing is that in order to be able to surveil and analyse something they are saying they want to collect everything on everyone. That is a dragnet approach which I have always felt is disproportionate.”

He dismissed the analogy of the needle in the haystack – the argument that the security agencies need to embark on the bulk collection of data in order to be able to find crucial nuggets of details about terrorists.

He told Today: “I know the needle-haystack argument and it is a comforting analogy. But the reality is a little different. Why, for instance, is there no other European or Commonwealth country that I know that pursues this dragnet approach?

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Kirsty Williams’ More Nurses Bill becomes law

Kirsty More Nurses Bill graphicKirsty Williams has ensured that Wales is the first nation in Europe to have legislation to guarantee safe staffing levels on hospital wards.

Her bill is only the second private members’ bill to make it into law. The first was by her Liberal Democrat colleague Peter Black.

At Welsh conference the other day, Kirsty explained how a visit to an admissions ward with a family member allowed her to see at first hand the stress that the nurses were under. There simply wasn’t enough of them and Kirsty spoke to one nurse who had been there long beyond the end of her 12.5 hour shift. As she pointed out, if a nurse made a mistake through exhaustion, it would be they, not the manager who had made them work for so long, who would be held accountable.

Kirsty said:

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Lamb: Government wrong to impose junior doctors’ contract

Norman Lamb has commented on Jeremy Hunt’s ill-advised decision to impose the controversial contract on junior doctors. He said:

It is a mistake to force a new contract on junior doctors when there is clearly still such strong opposition to its terms. There is a serious risk that large numbers of junior doctors will leave the NHS to go and work abroad, which will have serious consequences for the health service and patient safety.

Growing demand for services, coupled with a funding settlement which doesn’t keep up, are the fundamental problems facing health and care and yet the Government is refusing to take real action to address this.

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“Shoot refugees” extremism from Conservatives in the European Parliament

In the European Parliament, MEPs form groups with colleagues from other member states who share their political outlook and aims.

For Liberals Democrats, ALDE is our long-standing pan-European party, which has existed practically since the Treaty of Rome was signed.  In 2009 the UK Conservatives left the similarly long-established European People’s Party to for a new ECR group.

From the outset there was concern about some of the extremists with whom the Tories were apparently prepared to work.

In 2014, ECR recruited a new German faction, Alterative fur Deutschland.  They are a hardline Eurosceptic party whom UKIP also courted.

One of AfD’s MEPs has said that refugees should be …

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Lib Dem In Campaign – the first video

Here is the first video of the Lib Dem In campaign. What do you think?

Today we launch our campaign for Britain to remain in Europe. This is Britain’s time to lead, not leave. Together we…

Posted by Liberal Democrats on Wednesday, 10 February 2016

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