Clarke’s concessions on secret courts will not satisfy Liberal Democrat campaigners

Ken ClarkeIsabel Hardman has written a piece on the Spectator’s Coffee House blog which essentially says that Liberal Democrat MPs and campaigners are on a bit of a collision course over Part II of the Justice and Security Bill. Liberal Democrat conference voted overwhelmingly in favour of this measure being withdrawn because of its provisions on secret courts.

The article suggests that Liberal Democrat MPs are likely to support the measures now that Ken Clarke has accepted an amendment from the House of Lords guaranteeing judges, not ministers would authorise secret courts. Liberal Democrat Voice’s Nick Thornsby explains why this is not acceptable opponents of this measure within the Party.

It is of course welcome that Ken Clarke has recognised some of the flaws contained in the original bill. But even the amendments made in the House of Lords don’t go far enough. The bill, establishing the principle of court cases where one side can’t hear the evidence from the other, is fundamentally illiberal. It is difficult to see how Part II can remain intact and be acceptable to Liberal Democrats.

Hardman suggests that “this could be as big a problem for the party as the Health and Social Care Bill was”. I think she’s under-estimating the situation. The NHS debate did split the party along social and economic liberal lines. That is not the case with this measure. There is nothing like civil liberties being threatened to unite people across the party. It is unlikely, in any debate that may take place in the future, that you’d see the result turn on tens of votes.

You can read the whole article here.

If you wish to take part in the Liberal Democrat campaign against secret courts, you can do so here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , , , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

One Comment

  • Just to observe that the lack of any comments on this item is a possible indicator that the concessions that Ken Clarke is minded to make in the light of the Lords’ amendments to this Bill may have taken some of the steam out of Lib Dem opposition to it.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarmalc 6th May - 10:14am
    Everyone from the MP to the councilors and the activists seems to be doing a great job. The rest of the party should take note,...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 6th May - 10:12am
    The CEO of Ipsos-Mori is going back to 1910. He should know that there was a substantial widening of the franchise in 1918 when David...
  • User Avatarmalc 6th May - 10:08am
    Not as bad as feared. From what I've seen Rennie and his team have fought a very good campaign. The downside is that when Labour...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 6th May - 10:00am
    Great result for a great team. Congratulations to all my friends in Southport who probably even exceeded their own expectations. Clearly hard earned, but also...
  • User AvatarDavid 6th May - 9:54am
    One seat retained keeps a toehold on the Assembly, but seconds in Cardiff, Ceredigion and Montgomery are depressing: these are seats we should win. While...
  • User AvatarDavid 6th May - 9:50am
    Clearly hard work was well-rewarded in Fife and Edinburgh. And a couple of close seconds in the North West. But we seem to have lost...
Sat 7th May 2016
Sun 8th May 2016
Tue 10th May 2016
Sat 14th May 2016