Tag Archives: greg mulholland

Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland becomes first MP to play rugby for GB

Greg GB 3Greg Mulholland, Lib Dem MP for Leeds North, made a little bit of history last week:

On Saturday 12th July I had the huge honour of becoming the first MP to pull on the famous Great Britain white shirt with the red and blue ‘V’, and play for his country at rugby league. I was selected as part of the 20 man GB side who defeated Australia in the over 35s international in Warrington.

How did he get on? Well, you can find out over at the party’s Ad Lib

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Greg Mulholland MP writes…We made it! From the summit of Cotopaxi

Greg on CotopaxiThere could hardly be a greater contrast than the one I experienced recently- from the hustle and bustle of the local and European election campaigns to scaling volcanoes in Ecuador to raise money for the Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Centre.

Our challenge to climb Cotopaxi, a 19,347ft active volcano, was almost derailed due to bad weather and the mountain being closed the days prior to our climb. However, our successful Cotopaxi summit attempt was carried out despite fresh snow and treacherous conditions; I knew this was the only chance to climb

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Greg Mulholland MP writes…Support my gruelling 20,000 ft climb to raise £10k for Royal British Legion rehabilitation centre

Cotopaxi in the clearAt the end of May, I am joining serving and former soldiers and two other MPs in trying to tackle one of the world’s highest volcanoes, Cotopaxi in Ecuador at 19,347 feet. I am taking on this tough challenge to raise awareness of the Royal British Legion Battle Back Centre, the national rehabilitation centre which provides adaptive sports and adventurous training for injured servicemen and women.

The Battle Back Centre helps achieve the best possible recovery and either return to service duty or make a smooth transition to …

photo by: Dave Lonsdale
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The ten most active MPs on Twitter are…

Courtesy of John Rentoul, news reaches us of a list of the ten most active MPs on Twitter in 2013.

top tweeters

Yes, it’s our Tim and our Julian at the top of the list, with an honourable mention for Greg Mulholland.

Tim has managed an incredible fifty tweets a day this year, and probably should avoid piers for a while. And for anyone out there who wonders, it is him, and not a staffer, as those of us who have discovered that, by mentioning Tim in a tweet, you …

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Tim Farron “set to vote against the “Bedroom Tax” while Swales, Mulholland, R Williams and Sanders table motion against it

From the Guardian‘s live politics blog (3:15)

Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president, is set to vote against the government on the bedroom tax tonight, I’m told. A friend of Farron’s tells me: “Party conference in Glasgow expressed its will very strongly against the bedroom tax and so Tim is listening to party members and will probably be voting against the government tonight. Tim is the voice of the party members, they have expressed their view and Tim wants to make sure that their voice is heard.”

Here’s the motion on the bedroom tax that the Lib Dems passed at their party

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Teather, Swales and Mulholland urge Government to rethink Legal Aid proposals

Listening to the Commons debate, secured by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather, I felt relieved that I live in Scotland where the measures don’t apply. The big issue that’s hit the headlines is the withdrawal of choice of solicitor, but there are many more problems with it including the one year residence test. As Sarah Teather pointed out, how would representation be secured for a baby who is the subject of care proceedings.

Sarah talked about the effect of the measures on refugees:

Were it not for the intervention of lawyers, many refugees would be homeless at the very time when the

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Greg Mulholland to propose “complete separation of state marriage and religious weddings”

Greg MulhollandLib Dem MP Greg Mulholland was one of seven Lib Dem MPs to abstain from the vote on same-sex marriage in February. He explained his reasons for doing so here:

I do agree unequivocally that all adults must be treated equally in terms of legal recognition of their relationship and the rights that they convey; the question is how best to deliver that at the same time as protecting freedom of conscience. These are two important rights and must both be delivered simultaneously. The problem is that as currently drafted, the Marriage Bill delivers neither of these. It is a confused and flawed piece of legislation that does not actually deliver equality as it proposes different definitions of marriage for heterosexual and same sex couples; nor does it sufficiently protect freedom of conscience for people with religious and other differing views of marriage. This is why I was unable to support the Bill at second reading, however nor did I want to vote against it or what would be misinterpreted as my being anti equal legal rights, which I am very clearly not.

Greg now has a proposal, though it’s far-reaching legislative changes may not be well-received at Westminster:

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Opinion: Why Greg Mulholland MP is wrong to criticise the NHS Medical Director

When I heard yesterday that the local MP had called for the NHS Medical Director to resign following his decision to suspend all paediatric heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary I dismissed it as predictable populist rabble rousing in search of a good local headline. On realising it was our own Greg Mulholland I felt angry and ashamed. How could one of our MPs have got this so wrong? Or as Stephen Thornton, the Chief Executive of the Health Foundation put it last night, “How low will local MPs stoop? Why does ‘local’ always trump quality in their eyes”. Quite.

In …

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Greg Mulholland explains his abstention on equal marriage bill

Greg Mulholland, Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West, has put a lengthy statement on his website explaining why he abstained during last night’s vote on the Marriage (Same sex couples) Bill. He did not want to vote against as he supports equality, but he does not feel that the Bill, as currently drafted, delivers that.

He said:

I do agree unequivocally that all adults must be treated equally in terms of legal recognition of their relationship and the rights that they convey; the question is how best to deliver that at the same time as protecting freedom of conscience. These are

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Baroness Thomas writes… Getting Personal Independence Payments right

This afternoon the Department of Work and Pensions announces a significant change on the new Personal Independent Payments following significant Lib Dem pressure. Celia Thomas, the Lib Dem peer who has campaigned tirelessly on the issue, explains why it’s a major win.

Getting the rules governing Personal Independence Payments right is vital. The new benefit, which will begin to replace Disability Living Allowance later this year, will have a huge effect on disabled people up and down the country.

I’m broadly in favour of the change to PIP, which seeks to clarify the eligibility of disabled people to this benefit, the purpose …

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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

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PMQs: Opposition leader asks: “Can I agree with the Prime Minister”?

2012’s first Prime Minister’s Questions started with a bit of a score draw about rail fares. It got rather heated as Ed Miliband said the government had allowed fares to go up by 11%. He said:

The last Labour government saw that the train companies were taking advantage of consumers…we took away that power from them

David Cameron retorted that:

The power (to increase fares well above inflation) was given to them to do that by the last Labour government.

Channel 4 News FactCheck, as usual,has an excellent analysis of this spat, concluding that they couldn’t give either men a “Fact” or “Fiction” …

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Ed Davey writes… Glass half full – or half empty?

My announcement last week on pubs hasn’t won me or the Government three cheers from the likes of CAMRA or Fair Pint. Yet I believe it is a notable success for tenants and lessees across the country – and time will prove it so.

For the pubcos have till Christmas to make their Codes of Practice legally binding – so tenants and lessees can enforce their rights – and they know that if they don’t, Parliament would be very happy to make it legally binding for them.

Coupled with the other reforms we negotiated from the pubcos and brewers, real change has …

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PMQs: Bits start to fall off Cameron’s wagon

After last week’s Miliband success at Prime Minister’s Questions, this time we started off with Ed Miliband in softly softly mode. He asked about Libya and the service chiefs’ concern about an extended campaign. Displaying a becoming measure of gravitas, he also asked whether the defence review should be revisited in the light of the “Arab Spring” which William Hague has described as more important than 9-11. That’s a good question given that the review didn’t mention Libya, Tunisia or Egypt.

David Cameron said he has been assured by the military grand fromage that we could keep the campaign going as …

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Greg Mulholland is first convenor of new Backbench Group

Greg Mulholland MP (Leeds North West) is the first convenor of the new Liberal Democrat Backbench Group. On being appointed he said,

The Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party has to work in a completely different environment than before and it is important that the voice of the Lib Dem backbenchers is heard.

We look forward to working constructively with Ministers and the Liberal Democrat leadership to make the government programme as positive as possible in these difficult times, as well as bringing a distinctively Liberal Democrat perspective to some debates.

Given the role of various Conservative backbench MP groupings in exerting pressure from their …

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Tuition fees: which way will MPs vote on Thursday?

Today saw a weird piece of media face with an impostor conning several news outlets into reporting that Edinburgh West MP Mike Crockart was going to resign as a PPS and vote against the tuition fees increase. The impostor even got as far as being interviewed by the BBC on the World at One before the hoax was rumbled. His office said that, “Mike is still waiting to see what the final offer will be before he votes and that has always been our line”.

(Ironically just before this took place, I was in Millbank to appear on the BBC’s

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PMQs: Hattie tries to throw a “stinger” in front of voting reform

Prime Minister’s Questions is definitely becoming more subdued these days. The bellowing and ya-boo atmosphere has reduced by about 80% since the election. The Cumbrian shootings have dominated both sessions so far, which has added to the quietish feeling.

Harriet Harman has suddenly developed an interest in the electoral roll and the fact that “3.5 million people” who could be on it, aren’t. Fascinating. She seems to have suddenly come up with this as a reason to throw a sort of police “stinger” in front of voting reform – or at least constituency boundary re-drawing. She seems to have forgotten that her party was in power for thirteen years. Why didn’t they do something about electoral registration then? And, as David Cameron retorted, the last election was fought on recently redrawn boundaries anyway – which rather kiboshed Hattie’s argument.

Harman then had a go about CCTV. David Cameron went off on one, ending up about rights to enter people’s houses. He did make some good points about civil liberties during which Nick Clegg nodded very strongly. Harman raised an estate on her patch where they want CCTV coverage. Cameron said it was all about proportionality. If only he could say that about voting reform.

Good joke from Cameron:

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Ros Scott’s campaign diary

During the general election campaign we will be running a series of diary pieces from party president Ros Scott. To kick off here’s her campaign diary of this month so far:

1 April

I’m fed up with waiting for Gordon Brown to call the election, so I’ve started without him.

Maundy Thursday saw me up bright and early to catch the 8.35 train to Sheffield for my first official visit of the campaign. I met up with Paul Scriven, leader of the City Council, and our Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) in Sheffield Central. Paul is both a highly effective council leader and …

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Battle of the emergency motions

Conference these days includes slots that are left blank when the agenda is published, and that can be filled later by topics that become evident at a later date.

The deadline for – well pretty much everything, actually, including emergency motions, amendments, appeals, questions and so on – was yesterday.

LDV is aware of two emergency motions that have been doing the rounds asking for support. Firstly there’s one insisting that social services remain accountable to local people through local councils. A government paper launched on the 14th July suggested the creation of a national care body to take some …

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Lib Dems press on Kingsnorth climate camp policing

Lib Dem Voice has covered before the allegations of that the policing at the climate camp at Kingsnorth in August 2008 was unacceptable – click here for the archive. Lib Dem MPs are continuing to press the Home Office to present an honest account of what happened, and to state what lessons have been learned for future policing of peaceful protests.

Yesterday in the Commons, both Greg Mulholland and Chris Huhne asked the questions of the Government’s minister for policing. Here are the exchanges from Hansard:

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Mirza Tahir Hussain’s death sentence commuted

Last month we reported on Greg Mulholland’s efforts to save Leeds man Mirza Tahir Hussain from execution in Pakistan. President Musharraf was also lobbied by Members of the European Parliament and by Tony Blair.

The BBC reports today that the hanging, imposed by a Sharia court after Hussain had been cleared by Pakistan’s high court, has been commuted to a life sentence by the President. Official confirmation is expected later this morning.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarStephen Tall 2nd Oct - 3:19pm
    @ Fiona White - the devolution questions are ahead of the Centre for Cities fringe meeting highlighted above, focusing on the urban battlegrounds. I'm sure...
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 2nd Oct - 3:15pm
    @ Eddie Sammon I wasn't disagreeing with your proposal or its sentiment. However, if the Tories do mange to win a majority, particularly with the...
  • User AvatarJerry Lonsdale 2nd Oct - 3:15pm
    Balls made the proverbial when he was the Children's minister back in the days, if he laid out the foundations correctly the house would not...
  • User AvatarCaracatus 2nd Oct - 3:10pm
    Great result - still a few people in the party capable of campaigning rather than just electioneering. Well done.
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 2nd Oct - 3:10pm
    Going to a conference is expensive and unusually disruptive of other social activities - activities that political action ought to be protecting. So, the present...
  • User AvatarEdward Reach 2nd Oct - 3:09pm
    Matthew, where is the book being presented as representing the authoritative Liberal Democrat position?