Tag Archives: julian huppert

116 Liberal Democrats write to the Daily Mail opposing secret courts

Today’s Daily Mail contains a letter from 116 Liberal Democrats asking MPs to vote down Part 2 of the Justice and Security Bill. The signatories include a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, an MEP, 5 members of the Federal Executive, 2 members of the Federal Policy Committee, 6 past and present members of the Liberal Democrat Voice editorial team and a number of parliamentary candidates. The letter says:

We are writing to urge all MPs to do the right thing by voting against Part II of the Justice and Security Bill when it has its Report stage in

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A response to Julian Huppert’s analysis on the Justice and Security Bill

A response to Julian Huppert’s analysis of the Justice and Security Bill

We learned on Wednesday this week that the Justice and Security Bill is being rushed into Report Stage in the Commons. The government has now published its latest proposed amendments to the Justice and Security Bill. Astonishingly I have been told that Conservatives are saying the Bill has been moved forward to conclude in the Commons on 7th March to avoid a further motion at our Spring Conference.

Julian Huppert and Mike Crockart worked very hard during the Committee stage of the debate, and voted (supported by Labour) to defeat secret …

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the week’s campaign news

Mike_ThorntonIt’s only just over a week since the Eastleigh by-election was called. But this first Lib Dem / Tory by-election battle of the parliament has attracted a lot of interest. One aspect that hasn’t been noted much in the media is the level of enthusiasm within the Lib Dems to fight this by-election, and fight it to win.

As the party’s weekly briefing itself noted, Mike Thornton’s campaign has broken the party’s by-election records, with “more volunteers, more money raised and more campaign literature delivered in the opening days of the Eastleigh by-election campaign than any other”.

Here a few of the stats:

  • Well over 1,000 Lib Dem volunteers have visited the by-election HQ since it was officially opened on Saturday morning.
  • On Thursday alone, 2,200 phone calls were made to prospective voters and activists knocked on 1,700 doors.
  • More than 650 individual donations have been received through the party’s website and through email appeals in the last six days.
  • 21 of the party’s 57 MPs have already visited: Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander, Ed Davey, Vince Cable, Sir Malcolm Bruce, Sir Nick Harvey, Tim Farron, Jo Swinson, David Laws, Duncan Hames, Andrew Stunell, Simon Wright, Sir Robert Smith, Stephen Gilbert, Tom Brake, Roger Williams, Don Foster, John Leech, Tessa Munt, Mark Williams, John Pugh and Adrian Sanders.

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++ Government wins vote on Benefits Uprating Bill; 6 Lib Dem MPs rebel

There were no serious doubts the Coalition Government’s Benefits Uprating Bill — pegging increases in welfare payments at a below-inflation 1%, the same as public sector wage rises, for the next three years — would be approved. The only question was the size of majority and how many Lib Dems would rebel (I’ve been keeping a running tally here this afternoon).

There were two votes tonight. First, a Labour amendment to the Bill, defeated by 321 votes to 262, a government majority of 59. Then a vote on the unamended second reading, which the government won by 324 votes to …

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Tim Farron tops our poll as Lib Dem politician who enjoyed the best 2012

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Farron, Huppert and Oakeshott had best 2012 say Lib Dem members

LDV asked: In your opinion, which Lib Dem MP or peer overall has had the best year?Tim Farron speaking - Some rights reserved by Liberal Democrats
This question allowed an unprompted, free-text response, which over 400 party members filled in. And …

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Conference calls for our parliamentarians to reject Secret Courts

At most conferences there is at least one debate which proves how different we are from the other main parties. Different because we entrust Conference to decide party policy, in open debate, even where that may be at odds with the views of our parliamentarians.

Today’s debate on the ‘Secret Courts’ motion was a good example. The full title was F41: No Government Above the Law – The Justice and Security Bill.

This motion, submitted by two local parties, called on the Coalition to withdraw Part II of the Justice and Security Bill, which would empower Ministers to allow civil hearings …

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Conference preview: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

This year, the Liberal Democrat autumn conference has one day per theme, covering jobs, education, environment and tax.

Monday is jobs, with policy motions on creating jobs and policy papers on both sustainable prosperity and also on mutuals, employee ownership and workplace democracy. The first of these (F23) may generate some lively debate around an amendment that would delete the reference to keeping to the government’s “fiscal mandate”.

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Nick Clegg in Cambridge: Liberal Democrats have a good story to tell

Nick Clegg went to Cambridge today. He met Liberal Democrat members  ahead of a packed public Question and Answer session where

Credit: Helen Duffett

he was quizzed on a huge range of subjects. Local MP Julian Huppert, LDV’s own Helen Duffett and Liberal Youth’s Harry Matthews were among those present and tweeting.Nick talked about the distinctiveness of the three traditions, Conservative, Labour and Liberal in British politics and how they couldn’t be folded into each other. He explained how the liberal tradition valued the sanctity of the individual.

The vexed question …

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Reshuffle thoughts: how does it score against my four criteria?

Ahead of the reshuffle, I posted four criteria against which the Liberal Democrat part of the shuffling should be judged. Now nearly all the details are in, how does it look?

 

Most importantly, have people been put in jobs they’ve got a decent chance of doing well? It’s hard enough being a minister in the smaller party in a coalition government without having lots of people thrown into policy areas they are completely new to.

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Jo Swinson, Julian Huppert & David Laws top Lib Dem members’ reshuffle promotion wish-list

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

LDV asked: Which backbench Lib Dem MPs who are not current ministers would you like to see promoted? (Please write-in.) (NB: I’ve set the cut-off for inclusion in this list at 5 individual mentions.)

    Jo Swinson 77
    Julian Huppert 73
    David Laws 66
    Tim Farron 25
    Duncan Hames 21
    Simon Hughes 19
    Andrew George 16
    Tessa Munt 16
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What Lib Dem members think about internet surveillance and free speech

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 560 party members responded, and we’re publishing the full results. (Apologies for the delay in reporting this one, by the way: slipped through the net.)

68% Lib Dem members oppose Draft

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LDVideo: Julian ‘most intelligent MP’ Huppert explains the Higgs boson to Andrew Neil

Two seismic events occurred yesterday. First, the Higgs boson ‘God particle’ has probably been discovered by scientists at CERN. Then, even more extraordinarily, Andrew Neil had a good word to say for a Lib Dem MP, as Julian Huppert offered a succinct summary of why it matters…

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The tale of Julian Huppert and the BBC doughnuts

Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge Julian Huppert was tempted by a team from the Daily Politics proffering doughnuts the other day.

You can see what happened by watching here at around 1 hour 25 minutes in.

I just wonder what would have happened if he had been offered some chips or some pizza as he confessed to being more partial to savoury items.

The only member to take a doughnut was the SNP’s Angus MacNeill. Maybe it was the sugar rush that caused him to tweet today during Prime Minister’s Questions:

Continue reading »

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Julian Huppert in five minutes

How can you possibly compress Cambridge MP Julian Huppert into a mere five minutes? Well, one of the LSE’s blogs has attempted that and here is a sample of the outcome:

Julian Huppert, Lib Dem PPC for CambridgeYou have mentioned that you would like to see more scientists entering Parliament. What advice would you give to those who might be tempted to consider a career jump into politics, and why do you think it would be important for more academics to move into politics?

We need more people with a scientific background in

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Opinion: 1984 and all that

If you wanted to pick an issue guaranteed to unite the whole party – protecting our civil liberties has to be it. So the last 48 hours have been a frenzy of claim, counterclaim, the candyflossesque spin of internal briefings and Lib Dems across the blogo/twitto/facebooko/forumosphere reaching dangerously apoplectic levels of disquiet.

Mark Pack, in his inimitable unflappable style offered an informative briefing via LDV – taking the optimistic view, reassuring us that “what the Home Office proposes is not the same as what Parliament will legislate. No matter how flawed the initial proposal put to Parliament by Theresa May are, they put the RIPA rules on the table – giving the opportunity to get them changed to meet what a liberal approach should be – as little intrusion as possible, only for the most serious of offences and with rigorous, independently verified safeguards”.

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Labour sticks to its support for the Digital Economy Act

Cory Doctorow writes,

Harriet Harman, deputy leader the UK Labour Party, has explained her party’s programme for the British Internet: “implement the Digital Economy Act under a clear timetable including getting on with the notification letters.” “Notification letters?” Why yes, those would be the letters notifying you that you have been accused, without proof, of downloading copyrighted material without permission, and that everyone in your household is now at risk of being disconnected from the Internet, without a trial. If that costs you your job, if that costs your children their education, if that makes it harder to engage with politics, civics,

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PMQs: Tragedy, comedy and the Continuing Saga of the Family Bone

I’m not used to learning anything from the weekly pantomime that is Prime Minister’s Questions. Sadly, though yesterday’s session brought  me the news of the death of Marie Colvin, the veteran Sunday Times reporter whose often heartbreaking reports from war zones I’ve been reading most of my adult life. Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband paid tribute to her work, the latter calling her brave, tireless and an inspiration to women in her profession. More tragedy followed as Sajid Javid, the MP for Bromsgrove, asked the PM to join in with sympathy for those killed and injured in the bus crash …

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

Opinion – Twitter: powerful campaign tool or waste of effort?

The simple tweet “F*ck” at 10am with the reply “Agreed” last Friday was the only source and all the evidence I required to know that Chris Huhne had been charged. Two words tied emotion with cognition. I followed Nick Clegg’s tax cut speech live through the medium of 140 character paraphrase: a sort of Focus-speak reduction I can only imagine would have the speech-writers crying. The utterance “Borgen – Danish West Wing” was all the persuasion necessary to watch it religiously.

Twitter is free, fast and tragic. And if it wasn’t powerful in facilitating the fall of

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Julian Huppert MP writes: promoting innovative science and technology, safeguarding NHS data for research

Science and research are absolutely key to our economy, both now and in the future. That’s why I and others have been pressing the Coalition Government to protect the £4.6 billion revenue budget for science and research programs. And we’ve managed more; since January, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has announced £495 million of investment in capital projects to maximize our research capacity.

This funding is extremely welcome. But it is how this money is spent – not just how many millions are pumped into the economy – which will determine whether the economy recovers and whether we will be …

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Conference gets its wish – drug policy review announced

Liberal Democrats are always looking for distinctive ways to show that the party is making a difference in government – things we can proudly point to and say “look, we made this happen.” This week’s announcement that the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee is to launch a new inquiry into drugs policy is one that activists, MPs and Peers alike can rightly point to as an example of the positive influence Lib Dems have on public policy.

There is now widespread recognition that the UK’s drugs laws are ineffective and expensive, with MPs of all parties signing …

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PMQs: Miliband misses a golden opportunity

LibDem Julian Huppert started Prime Minister’s Questions with a zinger today. He said that jobs and growth depend on consumer confidence, and asked if, therefore, the PM thinks that telling 25 million people that they have no job security and could be fired tomorrow will help consumer confidence (this refers to the proposal from Tory businessman Adrian Beecroft). David Cameron had no answer but instead, as always, threw his briefing notes at the questioner (metaphorically speaking).

I should also mention, en passant, that Julian asked for suggestions for his first question via Twitter. Good man.

After the MiliCam exchange, I was …

Posted in News and PMQs | Also tagged , , , and | 7 Comments

Jeremy Browne writes… The London Conference on Cyberspace

In just over a decade, cyberspace has completely changed the way we live and work. Access has grown from 16 million internet users in 1995 to nearly 2 billion today, more than half of whom are in developing countries. On November 1st and 2nd, we will be hosting the London Conference on Cyberspace. The first of its kind, it will be a high profile event attended by the Foreign Secretary, Hillary Clinton, and high level delegates from over sixty countries.

The rapid development of a globally networked world offers enormous opportunities as well as challenges. When …

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Tim Farron: good speech, but wrong message

Sometimes the toughest speaking gigs for MPs is when they are talking to a friendly audience – but something interesting is happening behind them. So it was a few months ago with Julian Huppert talking to Putney Liberal Democrats. Very thoughtful speech, well received by the members and supporters present – but Julian had to struggle to avoid being upstaged by the cute, preening, attention-seeking cat paddling back and forth behind him.

When Tim Farron came to speak to Haringey Liberal Democrats last night, there was no cat to distract – but instead the minor drama of the stalwart member who …

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Personal Demographics Service: Department of Health

I’ve blogged before about some of the security issues around the NHS’s Personal Demographics Service – a mammoth database with 80,000,000 personal records in it, yet with 700,000 people granted access to it – and with such limited auditing systems that experts have concluded it is “incredibly difficult if not impossible” to detect or trace misuse of the data.

So it was good to see Julian Huppert take up with issue with a Parliamentary question, asking the Department of Health what assessments it has made of how adequate the safeguards in the PDS really are at preventing illegal access to …

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Opinion: A real opportunity to Make Justice Work

One of the highlights of conference for me was the breakfast roundtable organised by Make Justice Work. As conference goers and fringe organisers will know, getting one MP along is a challenge, managing to attract three must be close to a record! So it was a demonstration of the commitment our party has to reforming the criminal justice system that Justice minister Tom McNally, chair of the Justice Select Committee Alan Beith and member of the Home Affairs Select Committee Julian Huppert, all attended.

For those of you who don’t know the organisation, it was founded by Roma Hooper to …

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Opinion: Will the Lib Dems stand up for creative industries?

A Labour friend of mine was smugly telling me about last week’s launch of the Labour Creative Industries Network. Much of this reminded me of their ‘Cool Britannia’ efforts circa 1997.

However, it also got me thinking about how the creative industries see us. We too have some nice words about creative businesses on our website – but do we really have a sense of how we want to support and promote this economically and culturally important sector? The DCMS is the only department where Lib Dems have no ministerial presence. There is a hair’s breadth in arts policy between …

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Blog of the Year Awards 2011: The Winners #LDBOTY

What’s loosely termed the awards “ceremony” for the 2011 Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year Awards has just drawn to a glittering close. As the last firework fades in Birmingham’s night sky, I’m delighted to announce the winners:

Posted in Best of the blogs | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

The 7 Lib Dem MPs unaffected by the Boundary Commission proposals

The last 24 hours’ political news has been dominated by the Boundary Commission for England’s proposals for new parliamentary constituencies — and in particular the reduction from 533 to 502 in accordance with the Coalition Agreement to reduce the size of the House of Commons.

I’m a self-confessed politics geek, so I find this stuff interesting. But I was surprised that it should be the lead news item on BBC Radio 4′s Today Programme this morning — does the public care as much as us anoraks? I doubt it.

True, some members of the public will have particular concerns about …

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“Nick Clegg to vote against abortion counselling law”

So reports The Guardian:

Nick Clegg is on Wednesday planning to vote against a cross-party amendment, tabled by socially conservative MPs, that would strip abortion providers of their counselling role.

In the most high-profile parliamentary debate on abortion since the general election, the deputy prime minister will lead a series of Liberal Democrat and Tory ministers into the no lobby. They will be joined by most Labour MPs in voting against the amendment tabled by Nadine Dorries, a Tory backbencher, and Frank Field, Labour’s former welfare reform minister…

A rival amendment, tabled by the Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, has also been accepted

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Opinion: Digital Economy Act – The fight isn’t over

It’s difficult to quantify the mess the Labour government left us in. Sure, the £158,000,000,000 annual deficit they left behind was one big quantity. But there were also the thousands of children being held in detention, our civil liberties in tatters, university finances out of control, record low levels of house building… the list seems endless.

But seemingly this wasn’t enough for Labour. In their dying breath they created yet another mess for the next government to sort. The Digital Economy Bill was forced through Parliament in its last week before recessing for the General Election campaign.

Grassroots Lib Dems made their …

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