Tag Archives: lynne featherstone

Liam McArthur highlights Swinson’s and Featherstone’s work and supports ambition action on violence against women

Last week the Scottish Parliament debated violence against women during the 16 days of action between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and International Human Rights day. Liam McArthur led for the Liberal Democrats. He noted that in the ninety minutes of the debate, 9 women would face violence at the hands of their partners.

It was a sensible, consensual debate which you can read here.  Liam’s speech in full is published below:

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: Remembering the journey to equal marriage

Lynne Featherstone has been writing for Left Foot Forward about her part in the equal marriage legislation. And she had a tantalising hint that there was more of the story to tell.

One day, when I am no longer a minister, I will be able to tell the whole story of how the law came to be. But for now I can publically thank the activists, the LGBT+ community, the cross-party group of MPs, the Home Secretary, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and others for the support they gave.

What has equal marriage meant for LGBT people?

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Lynne Featherstone urges May to deny Julien Blanc, abuser of women, entry to the UK

I’d never heard of Julien Blanc till a few days ago. I see him referred to in the press as a “pick up artist.” In itself the term is sexist and pretty disgraceful, but it fails to articulate the horrid reality of what this man does. Jenn Li wrote about his so-called act in the Independent recently:

In Blanc’s videos his treatment of women is – to put it lightly – horrifying. There are videos of him going up to women, clasping their throats, while putting his finger on his lips, saying “shhh”.He has decided to document this abuse by labelling the videos of him doing this with his own hashtag: #ChokingGirlsAroundtheWorld.

Blanc also brags about his effectiveness in subduing women and controlling them to satisfy male sexual desire. The troubling language he uses is typical of many Pickup Artists (PUAs), but what makes Blanc’s behaviour even more disturbing is just how much his misogyny is motivated by his complete bigotry.

When talking about how to “seduce” a Japanese woman, he is quoted as saying: “Just grab her… To take the pressure off, yell Pikachu or Pokemon or Tamagotchi or something”. He is obsessed with degrading Japanese women, and abusing his white male privilege.

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Iain Dale to host political fundraiser for Lynne Featherstone

Lynne FEatherstone 2007 Brighton conference by Liberal DemocratsIain Dale, former Conservative candidate and blogger turned LBC Radio broadcaster, made the shock revelation this morning on his ConservativeHome diary:

Next week, shock horror, I’m doing another political fundraiser. Brace yourselves. It’s for Lynne Featherstone – yes, the Liberal Democrat MP. She’s a mate and did sterling work on equal marriage, so I’ve decided to do it – and hang the consequences. All I need now is to do one for a Labour and UKIP MP or candidate, and I will truly

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Lynne Featherstone wins Stonewall Politician of the Year

Lynne Featherstone MP was named Stonewall’s ‘Politician of the Year’ at their annual awards ceremony yesterday. It was awarded jointly to Lynne and to this guy off Eastenders.

Lynne has been tireless in promoting LGBT+ rights over the last four and a half years and was the architect of the bill legalising same sex marriage.

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++BREAKING: Lynne Featherstone to replace Norman Baker at Home Office, Lindsay Northover to go to DFID

I have to say I’m pretty chuffed with Nick Clegg’s announcement that Lynne Featherstone is going back to the Home Office for the final 6 months of this Government. She spent the first two years there and in that time did all the set-up work for the Same Sex Marriage Bill. Since she’s been at DFID, she’s maintained a good working relationship with the Home Office because she’s been implementing a cross-Government plan to tackle FGM that involves them. I hope that she might also be able to dig her Transgender Action Plan out of the long grass where it’s …

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How – or will – Nick Clegg replace Norman Baker in the home office?

jenny willottNorman Baker’s decision to quit as Lib Dem home office minister — citing significant differences with his boss at the department, the Tories’ Theresa May — means a vacancy has opened up. How will Nick Clegg fill it? We’re unlikely to have long to wait, but here are what I see as his options…

Nick could simply promote a current MP. If he does so, then the obvious choice would be Jenny Willott. She covered Jo Swinson’s maternity leave at the business department, earning good reviews along the way. A promotion …

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A trio of awards ceremonies for Lynne Featherstone

It’s a busy week for Lynne Featherstone. Last Tuesday, she won Pink News’s Ally of the Year award as the Minister responsible for setting the same sex marriage process in motion. She’s responsible for a great deal of happiness. She said of her win:

I’d like to thank Pink News for giving me this award, and everyone who was at the event for the reception they gave me – it’s so heart-warming.

Bringing about this positive social change is one of the greatest achievements of our generation, and I’m so thankful to all the organisations, politicians, civil servants and people who supported the successful campaign for Equal Marriage law from start to finish.

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Conference Speeches: Lynne Featherstone: I have been able to do über-Liberal things in Government

Lynne FEatherstone 2007 Brighton conference by Liberal DemocratsConference may have been a week or so ago but we still have some keynote speeches to post. Lynne Featherstone spoke about the work she had done to help the most vulnerable people across the world with great humility. She said she had been able to introduce über-liberal policies but was also keen to pay  tribute to Danny Alexander and Nick Clegg for getting the economy on track.

She spoke powerfully about what she’s dong to protect women and girls around the globe and talked with great humility, saying that whenever she meets people in desperate circumstances she’s very aware that that could have been her. “I didn’t choose where I was born” she said. Here is the video and the text is below:

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Lynne Featherstone on shortlist for Stonewall Politician of the Year

Lynne Featherstone at PrideOn 6th November, Stonewall’s annual awards ceremony takes place in London. Many Liberal Democrats have had their issues with Stonewall in the past, but I’d say that they are definitely improving. For example, it’s good to see Stonewall Scotland’s “Some people are Trans, get over it” t-shirts. They may have come late to the equal marriage party, but they got there eventually.  On top of that,  their resources for schools are excellent.  Stonewall Chief Executive, Ruth Hunt, who is doing some great work in making the organisation more inclusive, spoke at our Conference in Glasgow.

Up for Politician of the Year is our own Lynne Featherstone, the woman who set the country firmly on the road to same sex marriage. Alex Neil, the Minister who was responsible for the Scottish bill, is also nominated. As an aside, it was announced yesterday that the first Scottish same sex marriages will take place on Hogmanay. That’s not a huge amount of time to organise a party, but I’m sure some will manage it.

The shortlist in full is:

Lord Cashman
Lynne Featherstone MP
Lord Fowler
Kerry McCarthy MP
Alex Neil MSP

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Senior Liberal Democrats sign letter praising former FA inclusion adviser Edward Lord after his abrupt sacking

Earlier this month, Edward Lord, who until last Thursday sat on the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, criticised the FA for not taking inclusion and diversity seriously enough. In an interview with the Telegraph on 3rd September, he said:

The public and the rest of the sport industry are getting fed up with football’s inability to tackle discrimination in the game.  Most other governing bodies have really embraced the need for change, to make their sports more inclusive. It always seems as though football is lagging behind. The FA must take action when participants so flagrantly breach their rules against discrimination.

He was referring in part to the fact that the FA took no action against Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore when his highly sexist emails were published.

Last Thursday, the FA sacked him from his role on the Inclusion Advisory Board. You have to wonder what this says about their actual commitment to tackling discrimination. Their statement was uncompromising:

It is not about what Edward has stated publicly, but a matter and question of conduct and respect for colleagues. The group collectively felt that all trust in Edward, due to his repeated failure to work in the spirit of collaboration, had broken down irretrievably.

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“Lynne Featherstone ‘horrified’ over homophobic abuse at Lib Dem councillor”

Lynne featherstone by paul walterMany Lib Dems will have read with sadness of the resignation of Sam Phripp from Somerset County Council owing to “hostility, intimidation and bullying” – including “being referred to as ‘that dirty bloody homosexual'” – from activists from other parties. Here’s what the Lib Dems’ international development minister Lynne Featherstone has had to say about it:

“I was horrified to hear of the treatment of the local Lib Dem Councillor in Somerset,” Ms Featherstone, the Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green told PinkNews.co.uk. We’ve come such a long way in this country to achieve equal LGBT rights and I couldn’t be prouder that this government introduced equal marriage.

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The Independent View: Ending female genital mutilation and early marriage will also help tackle HIV

Youth group, SRH, BangladeshThe leadership shown by the UK government – and in particular the Liberal Democrats and Lynne Featherstone MP – on ending female genital cutting or mutilation (FGC/M) in a generation has been ground breaking and inspiring. The upcoming Girl Summit is a timely opportunity, hot on the heels of the recent Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, to promote girls’ and women’s rights to live free from violence and discrimination and achieve their potential.

There’s no doubt that ending child, early and forced marriage and female …

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Lynne Featherstone on giving women “rights, voice, choice and control over their own lives”

Lynne Feahterstone visiting a Haringey primary school. Some rights reserved. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynnefeatherstone/3010645357/It was International Development questions in the Commons yesterday. Lynne Featherstone was questioned about her work to end Female Genital Mutilation in a generation. She said that the subject should be a required subject on the school curriculum in areas of high prevalence. What I thought was most interesting was that in my young day, you didn’t get Tory dames asking questions about gender equality as Dame Angela Watkinson did. I liked Lynne’s choice of language in her answer. The whole …

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Baroness Lindsay Northover writes…Global recognition of need to tackle sexual violence must lead to action

Eliminating violence against women - Some rights reserved by European ParliamentIf you had told me twenty or even ten years ago that there would be Global Summit on combatting sexual violence against women, attended by the majority of the world’s countries, as well numerous individuals and organisations, I would not have believed you.

For ever, it has seemed, sexual violence against (mainly) women and girls has been seen as simply inevitable.  Especially in time of war.  “War, rape and pillage” just went together.

But just as in the 20th century, when genocide gave …

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LibLink: Lynne Feathestone: We must stop violence before it starts

Ellison Sau, Project Manager for the Men Against Violence Against Women (MAVAW) program at Live and Learn, holding a ‘Stop! Violence against women!’ signIn a blog post on the Department for International Development website, as the London summit on ending sexual violence takes place, Lynne Featherstone has been writing about what the UK Government is doing to end violence against women and girls.

She talks about the scale of the problem and the importance of identifying why it happens:

Globally nearly 1 in 10 women has experienced sexual violence by someone

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Opinion: We need discipline and compromise from both leadership and members

Autumn 2012 conference - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsLast week’s local and European elections were truly awful.

Those of us who joined the Liberal Party back in the dark days of the 1970s remember the many false dawns and disappointments that followed local and General Elections.

We built our base bite by bite from the bottom up and fighting Labour it was tooth and nail.

The loss of all our Councillors in Manchester or seeing Liverpool reduced to just three Councillors or in my own Rochdale where we have gone from 33 to …

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Lynne Featherstone on the need for clean cookstoves to transform the lives of women and girls

Dr. Kalpana Balakrishnan tells Secretary Clinton more about the clean cookstoves effort in South India.Earlier this week we told you of Paddy Ashdown’s visit to Bangladesh to raise awareness of the need for clean stoves. This is also an area where Liberal Democrat International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone has been working and on Thursday, she spoke at a Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves conference in London. This issue is important because the World Health Organisation estimates that 4.3 million people lost their lives through being exposed to household air …

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: More action needed on reproductive rights for all

Lynne FeatherstoneThis week, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone is attending the UN Commission on Population and Development. She has written for the Huffington Post about how crucial it is to make sure that women have the choice about when to have children by having access to contraception, potentially saving 800 lives every day:

Globally there are 222million women who wish to space or delay the timing of births, but do not have access to modern forms of contraception. This has real and devastating consequences on their lives. In 2010, 800 women a day died from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth and in 2008 an estimated 8.7million young women aged 15 to 24 in developing countries resorted to unsafe abortions. All of this was preventable.

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: Two same sex weddings, one happy politician

Protest against a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriageIt was a struggle to stay awake till midnight on Friday night because I’d been up at stupid o’clock to travel to Scottish Liberal Democrat conference. But I did, just to mark that very special moment when same sex marriages started to happen. In the morning, the scenes of happiness on the television news had me blubbing.

Both Nick Clegg and Lynne Featherstone talked over the weekend about how this isn’t just an important thing for the couples themselves. In his speech to Scottish …

photo by: Fibonacci Blue
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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: Last night we saw the nasty side of Nigel Farage

Lynne featherstone by paul walterLynne Featherstone has written an article for the Liberal Democrats’ website in which she slams Nigel Farage’s comments on same sex marriage  and Crimea in the debate last night.

I agree with Vlad

Nigel Farage loathes the EU so much that he is prepared to side with Vladimir Putin against the people of Ukraine and the democracies of the western world.

His statement, that the EU has “blood on its hands”, was an insult to those pro-democracy demonstrators who bravely took to the streets of Kiev to fight for their

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: A long road ahead to stop gender based violence, but we are on the right track

Lynne Featherstone has been writing for local paper in her constituency about her trip to New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the works she’s doing in Government aimed at dealing with the global problem of violence against women and girls:

Over the last year, I have spearheaded a new multi-million pound programme to tackle one of the most extreme manifestations of gender-based violence – female genital mutilation (FGM). And because of this solid foundation of work and momentum, this July the prime minister will host a major summit to tackle FGM as well as early …

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Liberals need to stand up against hate speech and prejudice. If we don’t, we condone it.

Over the last couple of weeks, several events have proved, as if we needed it to be proved, that hate speech and prejudice is alive and well in 21st century Britain.

Last week, Pink News reported  a disturbing, angry and hate-filled transphobic rant by Julie Burchill which appeared as a comment on an article by Paris Lees. Paris had written of her delight in being catcalled and wolf-whistled while on holiday in Ibiza and asked if that made her a bad feminist. Burchill’s reply seemed to be trying to make out that she was a bad human being.

I don’t …

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Just when you thought it was safe to like Stonewall…

mark and ros at equal marriage vigilThe relationship between Stonewall and the Liberal Democrats would be described, in Facebook terms, as “it’s complicated.” We might share many of the same goals, but it can all get a bit spiky between us from time to time.

The Observer reports that their former chief executive Ben Summerskill has attacked the Liberal Democrats for being opportunistic over equal marriage, not passing our policy before 2010. In fact, there was huge support within the party for equal marriage and earlier in 2010, the Scottish Party had passed its policy in support. The equal marriage campaign only really started in earnest a couple of years before that and Stonewall itself took a long time to support the measure.

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone in New York for the Commission on the Status of Women

New york police  Some rights reserved by Amiga-Commodore Development Minister Lynne Featherstone spent two days in New York earlier this week at the United Nation’s annual Commission on the Status of Women. She posted a series of blogs from the Big Apple. Here are some highlights.

Day One:

I’ll be attending a whole load of events as well as talking to my counterparts from around the world to ensure the CSW negotiations lead to a

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David Cameron to host summit on FGM and forced marriage

A good story from today’s Times (£) for International Women’s Day:

David Cameron will play host to Britain’s first Girls’ Summit this summer to galvanise efforts to end female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

The Prime Minister will convene the meeting in July, which will focus on tackling the abuse and oppression of women that is embedded in certain cultures, at home and abroad.

At the top of the agenda will be FGM, which threatens tens of thousands of girls and women in the UK, and forced marriage, whereby many British teenagers disappear from the school roll and, in extreme cases, end

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Nick Clegg announces 2015 negotiating team

Nick Clegg has announced the team who will handle coalition negotiations after the election in 2015 (if needed, of course).  It will consist of Danny Alexander, Steve Webb, Sal Brinton, Lynne Featherstone and David Laws.

In his book ‘22 days in May‘ David Laws revealed that Nick Clegg had appointed the 2010 negotiating team in secret during the previous year. The team was not put together in haste after the election, as many had assumed, so there were really no excuses for the absence of women. Politically David Laws and Danny Alexander were drawn from the economic liberal wing of …

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Lynne Featherstone MP writes…A great leap backwards for gay rights

Uganda’s new anti-homosexuality legislation is abhorrent. It imposes draconian penalties for repeat offences of homosexuality, so-called ‘aggravated’ homosexuality, same-sex marriage, attempting to commit homosexuality and for the loosely defined ‘promotion’ of homosexuality. This is nothing short of a great leap backward – not just for Uganda but for gay rights across Africa. I believe it marks a growing state-backed homophobic trend across the continent, one we cannot and should not ignore.

From Day 1 in my role as Africa minister at the Department for International Development (DFID), strengthening the department’s LGBT rights strategy has been one of my top priorities. I …

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: In praise of civil servants

Lynne Featherstone, writing on her own blog, has given us a very interesting insight into the mechanics of Government and is full of praise and appreciation for the people who have brought about her two key acts as a minister, equal marriage, and the fight against the abhorrent practice of female genital mutilation.

She described receiving invaluable tips from Michael Heseltine and Andrew Adonis when she first became a Minister. It’s interesting that just a short time after Adonis left office himself, he was providing sensible advice for the newbies. Politics is a lot more civilised behind the scenes than you …

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Opinion: the politics of the reshuffle

Lynne featherstone by paul walterNorman BakerThere has been a consistent thread running through Nick Clegg’s most recent government reshuffles: get good campaigners into posts where they can run successful high profile campaigns, implementing liberal policies and winning Liberal Democrat votes.

Put like that, it sounds uncontroversial, but when it has involved the departure of Jeremy Browne from government and swapping out from posts in the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence, it has been rather more controversial.

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