Tag Archives: roger roberts

So where exactly were the UKIP peers during the Immigration Bill?

house of lordsNoticeable by their absence during the Lords debates on the Immigration Bill were the three Peers who are members of UKIP. A cross-party group of peers, including our Shirley Williams, Roger Roberts, Bob Maclennan, Jonathan Marks, Alex Carlile, Nigel Jones, David Chidgey and Mike Storey thought this was worth mentioning in a letter to the Standard.  This is what they said:

The report stage of the Immigration Bill concluded in the House of Lords on Monday April 7.

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The Immigration Bill: 23 Liberal Democrat Lords rebel on “stateless” power, 12 on child trafficking guardian

immigrationThe Immigration Bill was back in the Lords this Monday where the Government suffered two defeats. The first was to overturn the power of the Home Secretary to deprive terror suspects who had acquired British citizenship  (note, suspects, not anybody who has been convicted of anything) of that citizenship even if so doing would render them stateless.

Of the 242 peers supporting Lord Pannick’s amendment, 23 of them were Liberal Democrats. And their ranks included more than the usual Awkward Squad.

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Liberal Democrat peers support asylum seekers’ right to work

Advocates disrupt transfer of asylum seekers from VillawoodThe Immigration Bill is currently going through its final stages in the House of Lords. On Thursday, Liberal Democrat peers, led by Roger Roberts, tried to amend it by inserting a clause which would have entitled asylum seekers to work after 6 months.

Roger told me that he was not able to press the amendment to a vote because it received no support from either Labour or Conservative front benches. This, he felt, was grossly unfair given George Osborne’s desire for full employment and Labour’s …

photo by: kateausburn
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Lord Roger Roberts writes…Liberal Democrats in Government must fix failing asylum system

Yesterday was International Migrants Day. Sadly, celebrations for many were rather subdued.  morning marked the end of a long, hard and emotionally-charged  battle. Isa Muazu, a 45 year old asylum seeker from northern Nigeria, who had been on hunger strike for nearly 90 days, landed in Lagos, Nigeria.

Lawyers and campaigners fighting his cause ran out of avenues through which they could challenge the removal decision in the limited time-frame given. The case has been enormously distressing for many of those who have chosen to engage with it, but it has also raised the profile of many long-standing concerns surrounding immigration detention in …

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Botched deportation of dying man highlights need for humanitarian overhaul of asylum system

On Wednesday, Roger Roberts wrote an extremely moving article about the fate of Isa Muaza, a Nigerian asylum seeker who had been on hunger strike for 90 days in protest at the conditions in which he was being kept at an immigration detention centre. His removal from the UK, even in his frail, close to death condition, was planned for Friday morning.

Through Thursday, many of our readers signed the petition asking for Theresa May to reconsider her decision to deport Muaza. Huge effort was put in by Liberal Democrats including Sarah Teather, Julian Huppert and Tim Farron as well …

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Go home posters still up in Glasgow…

We know that Liberal Democrats within the Government have said that there will be no repetition of the Go Home poster vans which were sent to drive round certain boroughs in London.

We also know that there will be no repetition of the Go home posters displayed in the Glasgow UKBA office, again thanks to Liberal Democrats within the coalition. Sadly, though, these posters have not been taken down as some asylum seekers I met earlier this week at the Liberal Democrat Seekers of Sanctuary fringe meeting on Monday were able to verify on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking at Monday’s meeting, Nico, …

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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 …

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Grassroutes to Government – a new Lib Dem activists’ network launches today.

A new network of grassroots activists under the leadership of the veteran peer, Roger Roberts, has been formed to develop communications with the party’s senior management. and parliamentarians.

 Grassroutes to Government is drawn from across the membership and we launch today via a virtual launch on all the party’s social media platforms.

We can already point to a range of new lines of communication that will ensure the members have a clearer voice and we expect to have continuing discussions to underpin the importance of our activists.

Planning for the new group began soon after Federal Conference in Birmingham last September. Roger Roberts says:

 “Pressure

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Lib Dem Peers rebel as Government defeated on Welfare Reform

The Government has suffered a series of defeats in the House of Lords tonight on various aspects of the Welfare Reform Bill.

The House of Lords was discussing amendments relating to the Employment and Support Allowance.

The Guardian reports that 3 Liberal Democrats, Jenny Tonge, Matthew Taylor and Roger Roberts voted for an amendment which protected young people’s right to claim Employment and Support Allowance.

The Government was also defeated on their one year time limit for claiming Contributory ESA. This was increased to two years by the amendment. The Liberal Democrat rebels were Dee Doocey and Jenny Tonge.

The third defeat was …

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Coming up in the Lords… 10-20 January

Welcome to Liberal Democrat Voice’s coverage of the House of Lords, where we’ll be flagging up some of the forthcoming events at the more reflective end of the Palace of Westminster. So, without further ado…

The House of Lords returns to work next Tuesday after its Christmas recess, with a heavy legislative schedule to be dealt with before the end of the Session, and the first fortnight offers a hint of what is to come.

Days 2, 3 and 4 of the Committee Stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing

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Opinion: Filling the political vacuum

Young people’s attitude towards political and public affairs has recently been less than promising, to say the least. The majority of six-form students do not know how the political system in this country works, and seem to have no willingness to engage and vote for their future. Luckily, not all hope has been lost. A new initiative has been launched which aims to narrow the gap between young people and their involvement in politics.

Bite the Ballot is a grassroots campaign created by and for young people with the aim to inspire and encourage others to engage and be part …

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Peers call for end of child detention in immigration centres

Following the Home Office’s decision to postpone until March the end of child detention in immigration removal centres, a group of peers has written to the Guardian calling for the government to honour their commitment to end the practice.

The group of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Crossbench peers includes Roger Roberts and Navnit Dholakia, as well as Sue Miller, who told Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning that the equivalent of four or five primary schools per year are being locked up:

We are really tired of waiting for the end of child detention… We need not to lock

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What is happening with ending child detention in immigration cases?

The subject of child detention for immigration purposes was raised by Liberal Democrat peer Roger Roberts in Parliament yesterday. I’ve expressed my frustration often enough at how journalists sometimes get in the way of the news with their insistence on introducing, talking over and then summarising what other people are saying, rather than letting us hear the actually words for ourselves. So taking a leaf out of my own book here is full transcript of the question and follow-ups from Hansard:

Asked By Lord Roberts of Llandudno: To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will end child detention in

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