Tag Archives: chris huhne

Nick Clegg gives the William Beveridge lecture


Nick Clegg gives the William Beveridge lecture

Speaking at the at Social Liberal Forum Conference 2012 on Saturday morning, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg gave the William Beveridge memorial lecture. Here are my tweets of the event, interspersed with some links to older blog posts that expanded on some of the issues which came up.

Storified by Mark Pack · Sat, Jul 14 2012 10:25:17

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In other news… Michael Brown extradited, unpaid party internships, Jo Swinson for cabinet? & other stories

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past few days…

Lib Dem donor Michael Brown to be extradited to UK (BBC News)

Convicted fraudster and former Lib Dem donor Michael Brown is facing a hearing in Spain for extradition to the UK. He was flown to Madrid on Saturday to be handed to UK officials after being arrested in the Dominican Republic. In 2008 Brown, who had gone on the run to the Dominican Republic from the UK, was jailed in his absence for seven years for stealing £36m from clients after posing

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Ed Davey MP writes … There will be no public subsidy for nuclear

Liberal Democrats were at pains in the negotiations for the coalition to insist that if nuclear power stations were to be built in the UK that there should be no public subsidy. This position was reiterated by Chris Huhne in a statement to the House of Commons on October 18th 2010 as reported in his article on Lib Dem Voice. So I would  like to allay Fiona Hall concerns expressed on Lib Dem Voice yesterday by clarifying that there has been absolutely no change in this position.

As Chris Huhne outlined in October 2010 this means that “there will …

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Chris Nicholson resigns as CentreForum chief executive, appointed Ed Davey’s new special advisor

When Chris Huhne resigned as energy and climate change secretary last month, he didn’t just create a vacancy in the cabinet — his departure also triggered some musical chairs elsewhere.

The same day Ed Davey was appointed Chris Huhne’s sucessor, Duncan Brack and Joel Kenrick departed as Chris’s special advisors. You can read Duncan’s take on his time in the job here, Liblink: Duncan Brack on how to get green policies implemented in Government.

These two vacancies have now been filled by Katie …

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In other news… Vince, Telegraph inaccuracy, Lembit, Eastleigh, Boundary Commission, site news

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

Vince Cable on that leaked letter to No. 10 (and other matters (The Guardian)

“We’re no longer arguing about fiscal policy – monetary policy’s now taking on most of the heavy lifting anyway,” he says as he notes that Labour has now accepted the need for fiscal discipline. “So the argument has shifted into a debate around how active government should be in promoting the recovery. Is it getting out of the way or is government being proactive and positive? That was the purpose

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This week’s council by-election results: 1 March 2012

Almost a clean sweep for the Liberal Democrats this week, winning five out of the six local council by-elections. There were three gains and two holds by the party, and in Castle ward, Cumbria, there was actually a swing towards the Lib Dems, although the party lost the seat to Labour.

Notably, Shamblehurst – in Chris Huhne MP’s Eastleigh constituency – was held by a wide margin, as Chris Huhne’s website reports:

The Liberal Democrats have secured an overwhelming vote of confidence from Eastleigh Borough residents in a Hedge End by-election that took place yesterday.

Liberal Democrat candidate Richard Effeny secured the

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The Independent View: The major environmental tests facing the Liberal Democrats in 2012 (Part 1)

The Liberal Democrats have long been seen as the greenest of the biggest three political parties. Now in government, the party is facing tough decisions with huge implications both for our country’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and for wider protection of the natural world.

During his time in office Lib Dem Climate Secretary Chris Huhne won a couple of significant battles with Cabinet colleagues. Most notably, despite opposition from the Chancellor, he won the backing of David Cameron to put into law tough new carbon targets for the 2020s that were recommended by their independent advisers the Committee on …

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Chris Huhne makes first court appearance – but what happens next?

Chris Huhne made his first appearance before a court yesterday, following the news earlier this month that the Crown Prosecution Service planned to bring charges against him and Vicky Pryce, his former wife, of perverting the course of justice.

Given the vague way in which matters of legal procedure are reported in the media, there now follows a bit more detail about the procedure of what will happen next and when we might expect the case to be resolved, for those not familiar with the details of the system.

The offence of perverting the course of justice is one which can only …

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Opinion: The good, the bad and the ugly of the Lib Dems

This week has been something of a mixed bag for the Liberal Democrats. Aside from getting over the fact we have lost one of our most respected and feared heavyweights in Chris Huhne, we have been forced to accept that a serious reassessment of our position within government is required and necessary.

Needless to say, the ceaseless commentariat and Westminster gossips are not helping matters. There have been three stories – all different in topic and angle – that have focused attention on the junior coalition partner in recent …

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Opinion: Calm Down, Dears!

It’s a great shame that so many Liberal Democrats have reacted to the political downfall of Chris Huhne by bashing his successor. Ed Davey is an immensely capable minister and will do a wonderful job in his new position. Sadly, some have chosen this news to complain because a woman wasn’t promoted instead of a man. Gender balance is an issue that seems to divide opinion a great deal in the online world, for some reason, despite being hardly as controversial in the real world, where the principle is generally accepted that talent should be rewarded rather than the accident …

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Ed Davey’s approach to green issues: they make for better growth

Ed Davey’s choice of words when presenting a political case is always worth close attention as he is a man very interested in the details and nuances of political messaging. (He was for a while under Ming Campbell’s leadership in charge of refashioning the party’s messaging.)

So what to make of his initial description of his role in charge at the Department of Environment and Climate Change? He said,

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Opinion: Chris Huhne – innocent or guilty doesn’t seem to matter

Chris Huhne’s resignation last week not only deprives the Government of a strong voice for Liberalism, but also this country and the international community of a voice for the common good, in the fight against climate change. We are treading the weary road of a political resignation got over ahead of time, to save even more trouble later.

Such ‘pre-emptive resignations’ are a slur on the legal system. They render its actions useless, by defying the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’. This principle can be abused by criminals anxious to escape justice, but it is a cornerstone of the law …

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Farron on Davey: An outstanding environmentalist

In case you missed it, Tim Farron’s interview on yesterday’s Andrew Marr Show is here in full on BBC iPlayer (starting at 35:43) or here in a shorter clip.

Standing, well wrapped up, in snowy Cumbria, Tim is in typically robust form. He pays tribute to Chris Huhne and says he “wants and expects” him to be back in government soon. He says that the LibDems are concentrating on being “collegiate not destructive” in coalition by ‘behaving like grown-ups’. He pays warm tribute to Ed Davey’s environmentalist credentials and covers a wide range of policy issues.

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The fallout from Chris Huhne’s resignation

I’ve been busy with the media yesterday and today giving my take on Chris Huhne’s resignation, so here are the two main highlights if you missed them:

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How Lib Dem members rated Chris Huhne and Ed Davey before the reshuffle

LibDemVoice is currently conducting one of our regular surveys of party members to find out views on a range of issues. One of the questions we always ask is how satisfied Lib Dems are with key figures in the party. Though the survey is still open, a couple are now out-of-date — specifically, what members’ opinions were of Chris Huhne and Ed Davey in the jobs they occupied until Friday. So here are their results…

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New Lib Dem appointments to government

According to the No. 10 website, Ed Davey MP will replace Chris Huhne as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with Norman Lamb to replace Davey in his role at the Department for Business.

Completing the changes, Jenny Willott becomes an Assisstant Government Whip, and Jo Swinson replaces Norman Lamb as Nick Clegg’s PPS.

Congratulations to those Lib Dem MPs taking up new positions in government.

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Chris Huhne: the straight talking fighter faces his biggest battle

It was in May 2011 that the allegation first surfaced that, eight years previously, Chris Huhne had allegedly asked his then wife Vicky Pryce to take the rap for speeding points that would have seen the aspirant Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh lose his licence. It’s a charge Chris has strenuously denied ever since, always saying he welcomes the police investigation as a chance to clear his name. When asked whether he would resign, he has previously only ever had to answer hypothetically, as here when questioned by Andrew Neil:


(Available on YouTube here.)

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Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce to be charged with perverting the course of justice

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, has just announced that Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne and his former wife VIcky Pryce will be charged with perverting the course of justice.

They will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 16th February.

It is expected that Chris Huhne will now step down from the Cabinet.

Keir Starmer emphasised that Huhne and Pryce have the right to a fair trial and that nothing should be said or reported that could influence that.

He said:

All the available evidence, including the new material, has now been carefully considered by the CPS and we have concluded

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In other news…

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

  • Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt is taking on sexism in the BBC: ‘The BBC must ensure there are more women presenters and executives working on its radio network if it is to justify its licence fee, MP Tessa Munt said today after she found that in some cases there were fewer female voices than 25 years ago.’
  • The FT reports how Danny Alexander, Lib Dem Treasury chief secretary, has highlighted a crackdown on high pay in the public sector: Danny has
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    Telegraph apologises for false slurs on Huhne and offensive Cristina Odone article

    The Daily Telegraph has been forced into a humiliating climbdown after making what it now admits were false claims about Lib Dem cabinet minister Chris Huhne.

    The paper had splashed on allegations that it was Huhne who had leaked the letter from Michael Gove suggesting taxpayers might make a gift of a new royal yacht to the Queen in order to embarrass the education secretary. It’s unclear what evidence the paper had, if any, because Huhne’s involvement was swiftly denied by the Guardian journalist responsible for exposing Mr Gove’s, erm, politically courageous proposal. Perhaps, perish the thought, they just …

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    Opinion: Water – time to see it as a national interest?

    News that one of China’s leading wealth funds has taken a 9 percent stake in Thames Water is significant. The investment comes quick on the heels of a Gulf sovereign wealth fund taking a similar size stake in Thames Water’s parent company, Kemble.

    It’s a measure of confidence in Britain’s infrastructure technology and role in the world as a safe haven for long term investment crows George Osborne. Liberal Democrats may be inclined to take a different view.

    What Osborne fails to mention is that because of increased water-scarcity throughout the world – including the UK – water is set …

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    And the most-mentioned Lib Dems of 2011 were…

    Two Lib Dem ministers made it into the top 10 of most-mentioned politicians in the national print media in 2011. Not surprisingly, one was Nick Clegg, the Deputy PM; the other was Chris Huhne, energy and climate change secretary.

    Here’s the graphic which shows them placed 4th and 10th respectively:

    Two Lib Dems also made it into the list of top 10 backbenchers who appeared in the national print media in 2011. Ming Campbell and David Laws popped up at 9th and 10th respectively (42nd and …

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    Which Lib Dem minister had the worst year? Find out who tied for first place among party members…

    Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 564 party members responded, and we are publishing the full results here over several days.

    Huhne and Clegg tie for the award neither would want to win

    LDV asked: In your opinion, which Lib Dem government minister has had the worst year?

    Unusually for our Voice surveys, this question allowed an unprompted, free-text response, which 385 of our respondents rose to. And here’s what you told us:

      1. Chris Huhne — 80 votes
      1. Nick

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    EXCLUSIVE: Party members vote Vince Cable Lib Dem minister of the year

    Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 564 party members responded, and we are publishing the full results here over several days.

    Vince, Danny and Chris: the Lib Dems’ top trio in government

    LDV asked: In your opinion, which Lib Dem government minister has had the best year?

    Unusually for our Voice surveys, this question allowed an unprompted, free-text response, which 408 of our respondents rose to. And here’s what you told us:

      1. Vince Cable — 67 votes
      2. Danny Alexander

    Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

    Which four Liberal Democrat ministers have most improved their standings in 2011?

    Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 564 party members responded, and we are publishing the full results here over several days.

    Jeremy Browne, Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Lynne Featherstone are the four Liberal Democrat ministers to have significantly increased their standing in the eyes of party members over this year, according to the surveys of party members carried out by Liberal Democrat Voice four times in the year.

    When asked how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with a range of party …

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    Huhne: Tory right wants UK to be semi-detached member of EU

    Politicshome points us towards an interview in The Independent with Lib Dem Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, who warns that the Tory eurosceptic (or should that be europhobic) right wants nothing more than the UK to become ‘semi-detached’ from the EU.

    Criticising the Tory right’s approach to the EU, he says:

    I am worried there is a tendency on the Conservative right wing, a significant part of its parliamentary party, that does not appreciate the importance of being at the table in Brussels when it comes to negotiating the rules for the single market – and does not understand the strength

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    Nick Clegg leads business fightback in Europe

    The FT reports:

    Nick Clegg yesterday made a very public display of engagement with business over Europe as the deputy prime minister convened a business breakfast with Business For New Europe, a pro-single market group. Mr Clegg, flanked by Vince Cable, Danny Alexander, Chris Huhne David Laws, wanted to get the message across that he had dusted himself down and was ready to begin work on rebuilding relations on the continent after a bruising week for Britain.

    But beyond the photo shoot and crafted media message lines, was a second, more exclusive meeting between Mr Clegg and the director-generals of key lobby

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    LibLink: Mark Pack – The three stories that really matters – even to Britain

    Over on his work blog, the Voice’s Mark Pack has a post looking at three important stories which have been largely overshadowed by the domestic political ramifications of the prime minister’s veto.

    Here’s the first issue Mark identifies:

    The actual significance of the summit was the latest, most extensive and more desperate attempt to save the Euro. Judging from initial reactions by economists and the financial markets, this time a Euro summit may just have pulled it off. It has not already been written off as a failure which, compared to other summits on the same theme, already makes it more successful

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    Opinion: Feed-in tariffs and the Lib Dem fight to ensure the Coalition really is ‘the greenest government ever’

    Feed-in tariffs, a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies, have been used successfully in many countries to increase the amount of electricity being generated from renewable sources.

    The UK has actually been fairly slow off the mark on this. Our aim to be ‘the greenest government ever’ included support for feed-in tariffs.

    Indeed, in the Coalition Agreement the preamble to the section on Energy and Climate Change said: ‘We need to use a wide range of levers to cut carbon emissions, decarbonise the economy and support the creation of new green jobs and technologies.’ It went on to say ‘We will establish a full system of feed-in tariffs in electricity,’ and ‘We will encourage community-owned renewable energy schemes where local people benefit from the power produced.’

    So what is happening to the system of feed-in tariffs? And how are the changes going to encourage community-owned renewable energy systems?

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 14 Comments

    A trio of Tory / Liberal Democrat disagreements in government

    Like London buses, Tory / Liberal Democrat disagreements are coming along all bunched together at the moment:

    Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has criticised “climate sceptics” and others who he argues are decrying the UK’s potential for renewable power … His comments are being interpreted by some as a riposte to Chancellor George Osborne who is believed to be more sceptical about the investment needed. (BBC)

    Vince Cable rejects proposal to abolish unfair dismissal laws: Business secretary said plan devised by strategist Steve Hilton was unnecessary and unlikely to improve labour market flexibility (The Guardian)

    In order to safeguard the NHS, free at

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    Recent Comments

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      This is welcome news There is another class of "rogue directors" Vince needs tackle. This is the group of directors who liquidate a company and...
    • User AvatarRebecca Taylor 21st Apr - 12:51pm
      Well said Caron. Good to see an article that doesn't fall back on the ridiculous dichotomy that the NHS is either perfect and doesn't need...
    • User AvatarRC 21st Apr - 12:33pm
      David Evans "@RC Is this the misinformation about tuition fees" Yes, among other things, it is. I have had conversations about precisely this on the...
    • User AvatarHelen Tedcastle 21st Apr - 12:32pm
      Delightful that a film is being made about Vera Brittain. Her life is an inspiration and the fact that her daughter is Shirley Williams, got...
    • User AvatarEddie Sammon 21st Apr - 12:26pm
      I agree with a two pronged approach of more charges and higher taxation. However I would add two further points: 1. We need to incorporate...
    • User AvatarIain Donaldson 21st Apr - 12:21pm
      Chris, if that is the case then why has this Government increased percapita expenditure on Mental Health provision, increased the number of clinical psychologists working...