Tag Archives: simon hughes

Opinion: Justice for Simon Hughes

As someone who has never exactly been a supporter, there have been very few bright spots in the otherwise suffocatingly dark firmament which is the Coalition Government.  One was and is the appointment of Norman Lamb as Care Minister who has been doing a remarkable job, also the undoubted achievements of Lynne Featherstone.  So the news yesterday that Simon Hughes has been appointed a justice minister was one of those rare occasions when some of my perennial despair was tinged with just a little hope.

I have a lot of time for Tom McNally and I think he …

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++ Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes replaces Lord McNally as Justice Minister

Simon HughesNews just in:

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes has replaced Lord (Tom) McNally as the Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Justice.

Lord McNally has been appointed as the new Chair of the Youth Justice Board, a post which he will take up in mid-March 2014. Simon Hughes will take over as Justice Minister with immediate effect.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“Tom McNally has been a fantastic minister who has pushed through a Liberal agenda in the Ministry of Justice. He will now bring the same

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Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats: a year of achievement

cropped EMLD logoI was delighted to be re-elected Chair of Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats (EMLD) at the AGM last Saturday, 25th November.

2013 has been a year of considerable achievement, not least a very well-attended race equality conference in partnership with the Social Liberal Forum  which was launched by the business secretary Vince Cable.

EMLD were also successful in changing party policy on education and employment when our motion endorsing the Race Equality Taskforce report was unanimously approved at federal conference in Glasgow.

We were instrumental in preserving the “general duty” part of the …

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Opinion: Thanks to Simon Hughes and Liberal Democrat Voice for helping get Florence Nightingale back in history lessons

The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has announced that Florence Nightingale will remain in the National Curriculum after all, reversing a decision earlier this year to boot her out.

I want to offer my hanks to Liberal Democrat Voice for letting me state my reasons why Nightingale should stay in earlier this year. Thanks also to Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, for his efforts in getting the decision re-examined. Liberal Democrats can take a particular pleasure in seeing a fellow Liberal re-instated. Florence Nightingale was a lifelong Liberal supporter, at a time when political allegiances were …

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Simon Hughes re-selected for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

In news which will surprise nobody, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes has been re-selected by his local party in Bermondsey and Old Southwark to fight the 2015 General Election as reported by the London SE1 community website.

Simon said:

Since I was first elected, we’ve been through a lot. Fighting to have tube stations in Bermondsey and Southwark, unemployment dropping from nearly 20 per cent to 7 per cent, regeneration of our high streets, and many things that matter to local people like better housing and schools, and more training and jobs.

But little compares to the work I have been

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Clegg, Ashdown, Williams & Hughes set out case for action in Syria

Writing in tonight’s London Evening Standard, Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes, Paddy Ashdown and Shirley Williams set out the case for international action in Syria.

After describing the horrors of  chemical weapons, they declare:

We four believe a strong response from the international community is now necessary.

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Simon Hughes and Alex Carlile debate Snoopers’ Charter on Murnaghan

It’s been like Snoopers’ Charter Central this morning.

It didn’t take very long after the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich for politicians of a more authoritarian outlook to be falling over themselves to condemn Nick Clegg for vetoing sweeping measures on Communications data and call for their immediate introduction. LDV’s Stephen Tall dealt with two of them, John Reid and Alex Carlile, by making them his Liberal Villains of the Week, saying:

And then comes the next inevitability: politicians striking a pose as authoritarian strongmen by cravenly giving the jihadists the glory they seek. Two of the usual

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Simon Hughes MP writes…My vote on the Same Sex Marriage Bill

I want to say a few personal words to my party friends and colleagues, straight and gay, after this week’s debates and votes on the same-sex marriage bill.

I voted for the second reading of the bill but abstained at third reading. I tried to make clear my reasons in my three speeches on the bill in February and this week. Please read them carefully. Some of you may be pleased or relieved that some Liberal Democrat MPs, including me, voted for amendments and against third reading or abstained on third reading. You may share our beliefs on this issue or …

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11 Liberal Democrat MPs vote for registrars to be exempt from marrying same sex couples

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has made fairly easy progress through the Commons tonight. After a Government/Labour compromise on a review for extending civil partnerships to opposite sex couples, and the heavy defeat or withdrawal of amendments, including “son of Section 28″, it looks as though many of the barriers to this Bill’s passage have been removed.

There is still a further day of debate tomorrow, though, and further amendments to be debated.

One of the amendments discussed today, defeated by 340 votes to 150 in favour, was to allow registrars to exempt themselves from marrying same sex couples. Eleven Liberal …

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LDVideo: Nick Clegg and Simon Hughes comment on the Lib Dem performance in the local elections

The Lib Dem leader and deputy leader on the outcomes from Thursday’s elections…

Nick Clegg on the Lib Dems’ local election performance

Local elections: Simon Hughes defends Lib Dem result

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Julian Huppert writes…Update on the Defamation Bill

libel-reform-campaign-logoThe Defamation Bill has had a troubled passage through Parliament. Hijacked by Labour over Leveson, attacked by Tory backbenchers concerned about companies and undermined by vested interests, I was glad to see it finally reach one of its last Parliamentary stages in the Commons today.

I was on the Joint Committee that considered this bill when it was a draft – those discussions are already beginning to feel like a distant memory! But we will deliver a huge reform of the UK libel laws.

All the while, Lib Dems have been vociferous in …

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Simon Hughes says that Lords reform is still on the Liberal Democrat agenda

The Financial Times website carries an article suggesting that senior Liberal Democrats are preparing to make the issue of Lords reform a deal breaker in any future coalition negotiations. It quotes Deputy Leader Simon Hughes as saying:

If the time did come for more coalition negotiations, the experience of coalition the first time will be clearly taken on board when we think through what we would do a second time. The constitutional reform agenda and particularly reform of the Lords would have to be a part of the package.

The article goes on to say that sources close to Nick Clegg …

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Equal marriage: the speeches of Stephen Gilbert, Stephen Williams and Simon Hughes

Last night saw the House of Commons approve the second reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Three Lib Dem MPs spoke, and here are their contributions to that historic debate…

steve gilbertStephen Gilbert (St Austell and Newquay) (LD):

It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Toby Perkins), who has articulated what many people of faith across our country have struggled with before coming to the conclusion that love should be for one and all and that marriage should not be an exclusive institution.

I declare an interest:

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Opinion: A Comprehensive Middle East Peace Settlement

Simon Hughes said this year,  “We are near to the end of the opportunity of being able to get a peaceful two-state solution because of the extent of the settlements. The separation of Gaza from the West Bank and the increasing encroachment of the settlements mean that an alternative to the two-state model must be explored. We need to be honest and realistic about having a Plan B and a Plan C as well as a Plan A, as an international community.”

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Lord Alderdice writes… Improving the Justice and Security Bill

Last night the House of Lords debated and voted on the Justice and Security Bill at its Report stage. I know from reading Lib Dem Voice and from listening to the recent debate at Conference what a touchstone issue this Bill is for many members. Which is why I want to explain how the Bill, which we have now passed to the Commons, is a very different beast from that originally under consideration.

Some of you will have seen that the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) produced a unanimous report last week. We have two eminent Liberal …

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LibLink: Simon Hughes – This water tax trickery in the corporate sector is unacceptable

Simon HughesOver in the Observer, Simon Hughes is making his views on tax avoidance perfectly clear.

Every pound lost to tax avoidance, tax planning, tax efficiency, or whatever other euphemism is used, by people who simply don’t want to make their contribution is a pound that cannot be spent on vital services. At a time when we are asking individuals and households to make great financial sacrifices, behaviour of this kind from the corporate sector is simply unacceptable.

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Nick Clegg does PMQs in style

Nick Clegg did Prime Minister’s Questions today while David Cameron is schmoozing his way round the Middle East. He was so assured, confident and natural and spoke completely without notes. He even answered the question he was given and not the one he wanted to answer, too. He made David Cameron look like a complete amateur, to be honest, and Gordon Brown, too.

My Liberal Democrat Voice colleague Nick Thornsby reminded us on Twitter this morning that four years ago, two days after Barack Obama was elected the first time round, Nick, then a humble third party leader, questioned PM Gordon Brown, who put him down quite snidily. And the subject of his questions? Taxing the wealthy and cutting taxes for the poorest. Nothing if not consistent. Have a look here.

 

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MP conference fringe league table 2012: Norman Baker is the new Simon Hughes, but he’s no Vince Cable

Back for its fourth year (see 20092010 and 2011) is my conference fringe meeting league table, showing how many fringes each MP will be speaking at. As ever, this is based on the information from the official fringe listings in the printed conference directory. With the reshuffle, I expect a fair number of fringe organisers are reshuffling their panels too; the table is still however a good indicator of the combination of demand for certain MPs and their enthusiasm for working the fringe.

Trends to note include that Cable topped the table the first two times, then slipped to third …

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Autumn 2012 Conference agenda: online now

Simon Hughes MP emails party members:

We’re now just a few weeks away from our main annual conference.

If you’re already heading to Brighton this year, that’s great. I look forward to seeing you there.

The agenda is now online.

As well as the opportunity to debate with, quiz and meet the Deputy Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Parties, we have a packed programme including speeches from Sarah Teather, Tim Farron and Vince Cable, and policy debates on growth, housing and green jobs.

If you’ve not yet signed up to come to conference, please do so here.

It is a

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Simon Hughes: Keeping the green agenda on track

An email from Simon Hughes to party members and supporters yesterday read…

As the Guardian reports today, the Liberal Democrats have stopped George Osborne giving in to his backbenchers and kept the Coalition’s green agenda on track.

Liberal Democrats are determined to make the Coalition Government the greenest ever and prove that going green can be good for business and jobs.

Today’s announcement of subsidy levels for renewable energies gives investors the long term stability they need and should see £20-25bn invested by 2017.

It will help create new green jobs and keep us on track to meet our ambitious climate change targets.

Liberal Democrats …

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LibLink: Simon Hughes – Polly’s advice to the Lib Dems is double-edged

Simon Hughes has a letter in the Guardian today responding to Polly Toynbee’s article “Now is the perfect time for Liberal Democrats to wield the knife“.

Simon writes:

Polly Toynbee’s argument, like some arguments she has made before, is based on a false and misleading premise – that this government is embarking on some ideological dismantling of the state. This does everyone a disservice.

Here are three reasons why: first, by the end of this parliament the government will be spending about £730bn a year, a full 42% of GDP and roughly the same as we did in 2008. Hardly back to

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Simon Hughes challenges Harriet Harman over Labour’s record in Sheffield

From a party news release:

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, Simon Hughes, joined Liberal Democrat councillors in Sheffield to highlight more than £4m of wasteful spending by Labour locally.

The figures were revealed while Labour Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, visited the city, attempting to defend Labour’s waste on Sheffield City Council.

Local Liberal Democrat councillors are campaigning to save Sheffield’s weekly bin collections, vital recycling services and local dementia homes, placed under threat of closure by Labour councillors.

Senior Sheffield Labour councillors have argued that no money is available, but there has been a staggering £4.2m of wasteful spending.

In the last 12 months Labour councillors have:

  • Approved

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LDVideo: Clegg – we don’t need Hunt inquiry. Hughes – we need Hunt inquiry

Here’s Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg saying that the Leveson Inquiry is the best place for culture secretary Jeremy Hunt to give evidence about his role in the BSkyB takeover bid…

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Simon Hughes calls for independent inquiry into Jeremy Hunt

As the BBC News reports here, Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes last night called for the independent advisor on the ministerial code to investigate whether the allegations that Conservative culture secretary Jeremy Hunt was too friendly to the Murdochs are accurate:

Deputy leader Simon Hughes has become the first senior Liberal Democrat to join calls for an inquiry into whether Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt breached the ministerial code of conduct. Downing Street says there are no plans to investigate the contact between News Corp and Mr Hunt’s ex-special adviser. Mr Hughes said he could not understand why the issue

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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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LDVideo Conference Special: the views of Nick Clegg, party members & Simon Hughes

If you’re missing out on the thrills and spills of the Lib Dems’ spring conference in NewcastleGateshead, hopefully these videos will offer you some flavour of proceedings…

Nick Clegg to tell Lib Dems: Stop lamenting, start celebrating

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In other news… Richard Kemp for Liverpool, Kennedy on the UK, defection in Cambridge, Hughes at Leveson

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

Richard Kemp to represent Liberal Democrats in Liverpool mayor election in May (Liverpool Echo)

‘He said: “I am standing because I believe that only the Liberal Democrats have the long term strategies which will place this city in a leading position able to create the jobs and investment which this city so badly needs. Liverpool needs an encompassing vision and direction that everyone in the city, residents, business and friends can buy into and support.”

You can read Richard’s own account of …

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LDVideo: Simon Hughes on the Coalition Budget, 50p tax rate and NHS reform bill

Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem deputy leader, was interviewed by the BBC’s Andrew Neil at the weekend on some of the key issues currently facing the party and the Coalition. These included the Lib Dem push for tax-cuts for the low-paid, maintaining the 50p tax-rate for those earning more than £150,000, and the NHS reform bill.

Here’s what he had to say:

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Laws and Hughes up pressure on Osborne to cut taxes for the lowest paid

Yesterday’s Independent on Sunday carried the news that Lib Dem MPs will this week step up the pressure on the chancellor, George Osborne, to move more quickly to raise the income tax personal allowance to £10,000. This follows Nick Clegg’s speech last month in which he called publicly for the upcoming budget to go faster than previously anticipated in implementing the policy.

As the Indy reports:

This week the Lib Dems will mount a major campaign to persuade Mr Osborne to agree to a sharp increase in the allowance. Simon Hughes, the party’s deputy leader, has urged all members and

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In other news… Vince upsets Tories, Liverpool to choose mayor, Radcliffe hexes Clegg, and Hughes settles with Murdoch

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

  • Cable sticks by Les Ebdon as his choice of ‘university tsar’ – the Lib Dem business secretary is opening up a rift in the Coalition:

    Business Secretary Vince Cable is standing by his candidate to head the university fair access watchdog, despite a rejection by MPs. Les Ebdon had been put forward by ministers as their preference for director of the Office for Fair Access. But MPs on a select committee have voted to try to block the appointment. However ministers are not backing

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