Tag Archives: alex carlile

Alex Carlile leaves the Liberal Democrats Lords Group: Why now?

The news that Alex Carlile is going to sit as a crossbench peer rather than a Liberal Democrat is perhaps not surprising.  His views on civil liberties and his passionate advocacy for the state to have greater surveillance powers often put him at odds not just with the Lords group but with the wider party. PoliticsHome says:

Lord Carlile felt the party “was not taking a strong enough line in support of surveillance,” a senior Lib Dem source told PoliticsHome.

“He was unhappy with our stance on the Snooper’s Charter,” the source added. “We made a big thing about voting against the Data Communications Bill and he didn’t like that at all.”

A Lib Dem spokesperson said: “We are disappointed but not surprised at Lord Carlile’s decision.

“He has been at odds with party policy on a number of occasions in recent years, especially over civil liberties.

“We are grateful for his years of service to the party and wish him well in future. “

Why now, though? Nothing has really changed. He’s had these views for a very long time and the party has opposed them for a very long time.  I have certainly thought for some time that it would be better if he was a cross bencher but I didn’t have any expectation that it would happen. In fact, for even voicing such an opinion, I was accused of “grisly soviet intolerance” by the Noble Lord in the comments to that article. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

Alex Carlile rejects suggestion support for intelligence agencies may have been influenced by business relationship with ex-spy chief

Alex Carlile has rejected any suggestion his public support for the intelligence agencies may have been influenced by his business relationship with one of the UK’s ex-spy chiefs. Speaking to the Guardian he said:

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Surely it’s time for the Liberal Democrats to part company with Alex Carlile

alex carlile - house of lords
After much provocation over the years, I have finally reached the end of my patience with Alex Carlile. The sooner he and the Liberal Democrats part company the better.

It was embarrassing enough to watch him give the green light to so many of Labour’s illiberal anti-terror laws, but when he supports something which threatens to scupper a key concession won by the Liberal Democrats, it is time for us to actively campaign for him to go.

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Simon Hughes and Alex Carlile debate Snoopers’ Charter on Murnaghan

It’s been like Snoopers’ Charter Central this morning.

It didn’t take very long after the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich for politicians of a more authoritarian outlook to be falling over themselves to condemn Nick Clegg for vetoing sweeping measures on Communications data and call for their immediate introduction. LDV’s Stephen Tall dealt with two of them, John Reid and Alex Carlile, by making them his Liberal Villains of the Week, saying:

And then comes the next inevitability: politicians striking a pose as authoritarian strongmen by cravenly giving the jihadists the glory they seek. Two of the usual

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Official: the snoopers’ charter is dead in this parliament

One element missing from the Queen’s Speech was the Communications Data Bill, aka the ‘snoopers’ charter’. No surprise to Lib Dems: Nick Clegg torpedoed it last month.

So I had a momentary spasm of concern to see on ConservativeHome this story from Mark Wallace: The Snoopers’ Charter comes sneaking back. Again.

I asked Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert (who’s played a crucial role in safeguarding civil liberties this parliament, including on this Bill) if there were any truth in it, and got an immediate reply…

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Next week in the Lords… 14-18 January

House of LordsYes, I know that I had intended to write this on Friday, but it was never a pledge, right? But yes, as Liberal Democrat Peers gather from around the country to vote down a piece of Government business, now seems as good a time to publish this…

Yes, Monday will see the Parliamentary Party in the Lords vote in support of Amendment 28A to the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill, sponsored by Lords Hart of Chilton (Labour), Kerr of Kinlochard (Crossbenches), Rennard and Wigley (Plaid Cymru), which postpones the changes intended …

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

LibLink: We can’t sit in our golden chamber resisting democracy – Paddy Ashdown responds to attack on reform

In the Mail on Sunday this week, Lord Ashdown responded to Lord Carlile’s article from the previous week, which had opposed Nick Clegg’s plans for Lords reform:

If ever there was a time for a strong democratically based second chamber to buttress our democracy, it is now. Whatever view you take of the Cameron/Clegg proposals, nobody can seriously call them ‘ill-considered’. They were preceded by a Royal commission, four white papers and three joint committees. Every party called for it in their manifestos at the last Election.

The Cameron/Clegg reform Bill does not ‘trash’ the Lords, as some claim

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 2 Comments
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