In other news… Teather’s non-defection, Mulholland on beer price-fixing & MEPs on Irish abortion law

Sarah Teather Would Rather ‘Poke Her Eyes Out’ Than Join Labour (Huffington Post)

Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather would rather “poke her eyes out” than defect to the Labour Party despite being sacked from the government, according to the party’s chief enforcer. After the New Statesman noticed Teather had voted against the coalition plans to cap benefits, a policy she decried as “immoral and divisive”, rumours swirled that this meant she was about to defect to Labour. However the speculation was shut down by Lib Dem whip Alastair Carmichael, who tweeted: “I just asked her, says she would rather poke her own eyes out with a safety pin than join Labour. Clear enough?”

Beer “price-fix” fury: Call for ministers to investigate overcharging pubs (Mirror)

The head of an all-party group of MPs has called for an inquiry into claims that pub companies are overcharging landlords for rent and drinks. Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland warns the extra costs are then passed on to hard-up drinkers and contribute to dozens of pubs closing every month. Mr Mulholland, chairman of the Commons Save the Pub Group, wants the companies, known as pubcos, to under­go the same kind of price-fixing investigation the gas industry faces after accusations that energy giants colluded to rig the wholesale price of gas. Claiming the government was turning a blind eye to the problem, he said: “This needs to be properly investigated. If pubcos have been colluding to artificially increase prices, that would be a clear abuse of the market.”

Lib Dem MEPs join calls for legal abortion in Ireland (Driffield Times & Post)

MEPs in the European Parliament in Strasbourg have staged a protest in support of greater access to abortions for women in Ireland … Lib Dem MEPs Rebecca Taylor, Catherine Bearder, and Sarah Ludford together with 52 MEPs from other political groups co-signed a letter to Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, in the wake of the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar following the decision by consultants at Galway University Hospital in Ireland not to proceed with the termination of an unviable foetus.

LibDem councillor defects to The Green Party (Economic Voice)

Long-serving Liberal Democrat councillor Clive Smith has resigned from his party and joined the Greens. Clive, who represents the Link Division on Worcestershire County Council, Malvern Hills District Council, and on Malvern Town Council, has been a member of the Liberal Party since the 1960s.

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