Tag Archives: theresa may

Draft Investigatory Powers Bill – the key points and link to the full text

The Guardian has helpfully just published this handy guide to the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, just announced in parliament by Teresa May:

  • Requires web and phone companies to store records of websites visited by every citizen for 12 months for access by police, security services and other public bodies.
photo by: Defence Images
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Details of draft investigatory powers bill emerge

The Guardian reports:

Theresa May is to propose a major extension of the surveillance state when she publishes legislation requiring internet companies to store details of every website visited by customers over the previous year.

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Willie Rennie and Kirsty Williams challenge Scots and Welsh Tory leaders to disown Theresa May’s “borderline xenophobic” comments

Tim Farron was quick to condemn Theresa May’s speech yesterday, saying that she, not immigrants, were damaging to social cohesion. I think it was one of the most disgraceful speeches we have ever heard from a Home Secretary and, let’s face it, Jack Straw, John Reid and David Blunkett had already ensured that the bar was in the gutter. At the time of writing, the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition has not yet deigned to challenge her.

We’ve seen over the Summer how the Welsh and Scottish Tory leaders have set themselves apart from the wilder rhetoric coming from senior Conservatives, such as the “swarm” comments of the Prime Minister. Their Liberal Democrat counterparts Kirsty Williams and Willie Rennie have challenged them to dissociate themselves from Theresa May’s comments.

Kirsty said:

Andrew Davies must speak out against Theresa May’s outrageous speech or we must assume that he shares her views. He was right last month to call for extra help for refugees fleeing the crisis in Syria, but his position is at odds with the borderline xenophobia we heard from the Home Secretary.

Britain is socially, culturally and economically richer for our outward looking, tolerant approach. Yet this Conservative government is whipping up fear and mistrust.

Willie added:

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LibLink: Tim Farron: It’s Theresa May, not immigrants, who is really damaging Britain

The unpleasant rhetoric of Theresa May’s speech this morning has given every liberal what we Scots call “the dry boak” Her remarks were not measured, not reasonable and entirely designed to win over that small proportion of the population who are members of the Conservative Party.

Anyone who knows anything about the immigration system will know how difficult it is to actually get into this country. Married couples often have to endure years of separation before (and it’s not inevitable that they will be) they can live together in this country. The strain put on families is intolerable. People who have endured unimaginable hardships and abuse are often turned away when they come here seeking sanctuary.

Tim Farron has spent the day standing up to May’s inaccurate, misleading and shocking speech. He’s written an article for Politics.co.uk in which he says there is someone damaging Britain – and it is not immigrants:

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Farron urges Theresa May to help Calais refugees

Tim Farron has written to Theresa May to ask her to help the refugees in Calais. He visited the port earlier this month and saw for himself the conditions people had to live in and also heard some of their stories. Here is his letter in full:

Dear Theresa,

I am writing to you about the humanitarian crisis in Calais ahead of your meeting with French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve later this week.

I welcome the measures the Government has already taken to improve the security situation at the Eurotunnel and reduce the disruption which has been caused for British businesses and holidaymakers, but am writing to ask that the UK do more to ensure that the humanitarian crisis in Calais is properly recognised and addressed.

Having visited the Jules Ferry migrant support centre in Calais and met with organisations working on the ground, it is clear that many of those living in “the jungle” are refugees fleeing war and persecution. The organisations who are currently working to support these very vulnerable people are under extreme pressure. The conditions in Calais fall far short of international standards on the treatment and welfare of refugees. Water and sanitation are all in short supply and medical support stretched beyond capacity. Many are being forced to subsist on the one meal a day that the centre is able to provide. More funding and better coordination are urgently needed, and the UK needs to do more. It is absolutely right that we work together with the French to fund improvements in security at the Eurotunnel and action on people trafficking, but the humanitarian support that is so desperately needed must also be adequately funded.

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Tim Farron as many of us have never seen him before

A tweet from the Labour leader of Newcastle City Council won the internet yesterday. It shows the candidates for North West Durham in the 1992 election. Labour’s Hilary Armstrong represented the seat from 1987-2010, but her opponents in 1992 were interesting. There was one Theresa May for the Conservatives looking like she was about to leap out of the photograph and eat you if you disagreed with her and a very youthful Tim Farron.

He was just a month shy of his 22nd birthday when he stood in that election.

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It’s not often the leader of the DUP says something I agree with….

After her recent slow car crash with John Humphrys on Today, one would have thought that Theresa May would have spent the rest of the election campaign getting quietly lost in darkest Maidenhead.

But, oh no, at the weekend she came back with a bang in an interview with the Mail on Sunday:

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Time to lambast the economic stupidity of Tory posturing on immigration


The main headline in today’s Sunday Times (£) is something of a milestone. (Helpfully, the Murdoch empire make most of the story available on Sky News without a paywall).

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Gulags in the UK? – “no” says Simon Hughes

On Monday, Theresa May introduced some new counter-terrorism measures to Parliament.

Let’s take two specifics which were mentioned:

Requiring ISPs to retain and disclose user IP address details

May announced:

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European Arrest Warrant: I’m a sceptic (but not a Eurosceptic)

As I write, the House of Commons is debating the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

Well, sort of. In fact, the Speaker, John Bercow, has already pointed out that “there will not today be a vote on the specific matter of membership of the European arrest warrant”. But Home Secretary Theresa May and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling say there will. In the Tories’ Alice in Wonderland world, when they use the word vote it means just what they choose it to mean, neither more nor less.

As with any debate involving Europe, there is a danger of it being used as …

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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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++ Norman Baker quits as Home Office minister

Norman BakerNorman Baker, appointed Lib Dem home office minister just over a year ago, is to quit his government post and “launch a stinging attack on Theresa May”, according to the Independent:

Norman Baker, the crime prevention minister, is stepping down after a year of internal battles within the Home Office with his Conservative boss.

In a scathing verdict on Ms May’s leadership, Mr Baker warned that support for “rational evidence-based policy” was in short supply at the top of her department.

The Lib Dem has publicly clashed with Ms May on issues including drugs policy and immigration.

He told The Independent yesterday that the experience of working at the Home Office had been like “walking through mud” as he found his plans thwarted by the Home Secretary and her advisers.

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Clegg: May’s comms data claim “one of most misleading and outrageous platform speeches I’ve heard”

On Call Clegg this morning, Nick Clegg said he’d written a strongly worded letter to Theresa May demanding an apology after her claim in her speech to the Conservative Conference that the Liberal Democrats had put children at risk by vetoing the Communications Data Bill.

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Julian Huppert writes to Theresa May over Snoopers’ Charter allegation: “I would expect you to issue a public correction and an apology at the earliest opportunity”

Julian Huppert MPRemember when the Tories were, briefly, a party which stuck up for individuals’ privacy? It happened, honestly – when they were in opposition. But now, in government, home secretary Theresa May is happy to push the traditional authoritarian measures beloved by Tories and Labour alike.

And so it was, again, today that she pushed forward the Snoopers’ Charter (aka the little-loved Data Communications Bill), noting, accurately, that it would already be law if it weren’t for those pesky Lib Dems. Fair enough: it’s an honest argument. Lib Dems believe in civil liberties, Tories tend not to.

But Theresa May went well beyond honest debate, alleging that Lib Dem opposition to the state’s right to track your every internet move was a direct threat to children’s lives. Hold on a moment, points out Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesman Julian Huppert in a letter to Mrs May published this evening (see below), that’s just not true and you owe the party an apology.

photo by: Policy Exchange
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Opinion: On immigration, let’s keep out of this race to the bottom

If there’s one area of political debate where perception triumphs over reality, it’s immigration. While the public rate it as the number one issue facing Britain, it tumbles to 12th place when they’re asked what concerns them most at a personal level, behind the more pressing issues of pensions, health and household finances.

This is the ‘disconnect’ between what people hear about in our debate on immigration – fanned by political opportunists and their media allies – and the reality they experience in their daily lives. It’s the doorstep charge of “well there are just too many of them,

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Three reasons to hope that new enquiries will bring a satisfactory conclusion to child abuse scandal

Parliament SunsetTheresa May has announced two enquiries into historic allegations of child abuse.

The BBC reports:

The head of the children’s charity NSPCC is to lead a review of historical child sex abuse allegations, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.

photo by:
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76% of Lib Dem members oppose Government plans to render foreign-born terror suspects ‘stateless’

Lib Dem stickersLib 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. More than 830 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Three-quarters oppose Theresa May’s plans to render foreign-born terror suspects ‘stateless’

The Government has proposed in its Immigration Bill that the Home Secretary should have the power to revoke the British nationality of those whose presence in the UK are deemed ‘not conducive to the public

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Telegraph: Clegg and Cameron have to intervene in “daily” Coalition rows

The Telegraph has a story today that is rather perplexingly filed under “news” but seems like a summary of what we knew already.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg spend a “disproportionate” amount of their time attempting to resolve rows in the Home Office and Department for Education, in particular, sources said.

Disagreements have also affected policy-making inside the Department for Energy and Climate Change, while rows between Lib Dem and Tory ministers from different departments are a frequent feature of government life, sources said.

The difference in tone between the two sources quoted is interesting. The Tory source is snarky as anything:


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Nick Clegg stops Theresa May’s £3000 immigration bond

nick cleggWay back in March, in a speech that, to say the least, was not well received in the party, Nick Clegg proposed that some people visiting Britain from “high risk” countries should pay a bond. He said:

One idea, which appeals to me, is a system of security bonds. And so I’ve asked the Home Office to do some work on it with a view to running a pilot before the end of the year.

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Tim Farron writes… A liberal win on ‘Go Home’ vans

go home illegal immigrant posterSince I have been President I have worked hard to try and make sure members views are heard in the heart of government.  Banging on ministerial doors to try and make policy after policy better and more liberal.

Over the summer the ‘Go Home’ vans came onto our streets.  At the time I joined Sarah Teather and, oddly, Nigel Farage to oppose them. (Who says politics doesn’t give you strange bedfellows!)

My view was clear both then and now: The vans represented the worst kind of divisive politics and …

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Open letter to Lib Dem MPs: The Immigration Bill is illiberal

Dear Lib Dem MPs,

We Liberal Democrats have long been proud of our internationalism and compassionate stance towards refugees and immigration. Not an ‘open borders’ party, but a party which believes controlling our borders does not conflict with welcoming newcomers or upholding their human rights.

By contrast the Conservatives care little for rights, European or otherwise. Theresa May is engaged in creating a “hostile environment” made so unpleasant for “irregular migrants” will simply pack up and leave, and minority ethnic British citizens could end up being racially-profiled if they ‘look foreign.’ This approach is diametrically opposed to the values I …

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The 17th Tory policy Lib Dems have blocked: Clegg rejects Theresa May’s plans to impose new immigration regulations on private landlords

Perhaps the silliest proposal in a generally thread-bare Queen’s Speech in May was the Conservatives’ plan to ‘look busy’ on immigration.

Yes, the party that claims to want to cut back red-tape for small businesses decided to try and tie-up private landlords in it by imposing a legal duty on them check the immigration status of new tenants and lodgers. It’s an, erm, interesting approach to regulation, I guess: out-sourcing it to people who’ll have no way of validating the information they’re given.

However, the Tories’ grand plans have been scuppered thanks to the Lib Dems, as The Guardian …

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Norman Baker, conspiracy theories and Theresa May

Norman BakerNick Clegg’s decision to reshuffle Jeremy Browne out of the Home Office and Norman Baker in has triggered a mini-furore, with plenty on the authoritarian right outraged at his appointment to the Home Office given he’s the author of a book suggesting MI5 covered up the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly.

The best riposte I’ve seen has been from Jonathan Calder over at Liberal England:

Some will question Norman’s conspiracy theories about the death of David Kelly. To that, I would merely point out that in an

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Opinion: Public Sector Equality Duty review…the countdown has started

Those of us concerned about the fate of the Public Sector Equality Duty are starting to notice increased activity by interested parties. The Government has announced that the review will be published immediately after the summer recess. The review was carried out under the auspices of the Red Tape Challenge.

Announcing the Review last year Theresa May said:

Bureaucracy and prescription are not routes to equality. Over-burdening businesses benefits no one, and real change doesn’t come from telling people what to do. Today’s announcement strikes the right balance between protecting people from discrimination and letting businesses get on with the job.


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Opinion: Tories soft on crime, Lib Dems tough on Tories

If ever there was a fault line in the Coalition, it has been over the two parties’ attitudes to Europe. The possibility for a mass opt-out by Britain from a raft of EU measures in justice and home affairs opened up a rift between the Tories and Lib Dems which has rumbled on for more than a year.

Liberal Democrats insisted that the government heed the overwhelming advice of the police and security services to maintain effective crime-fighting measures which help keep Britain safe. Time after time, law enforcers lined up to ask the government not to jettison the EU …

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Layla Moran writes… Child Detention still happens: Boy held at Campsfield for ‘2-3 months’

It is my belief that in a civilized society we should protect children. That they should not be punished for the actions of their parents or grandparents and that they should be given every chance of leading a fulfilled, healthy and normal childhood. And they most certainly should not be locked up without cause because of their family’s decision either.

Celebrating the end of child detention with Citizens UK #LDConf
Photo: Helen Duffett on Flickr.

Sadly for many years, this was not only true but also prevalent. Children who were here illegally were held in immigration deportation centres for months and sometimes years, were not allowed to go to school, not allowed to develop. A child does not, in full understanding of the consequences, make the decision to enter a country illegally. It would have been the decision of their family in whatever form that may take; yet until 2011 they were punished as equals to these adults.

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Nick Clegg and Julian Huppert are Internet heroes

The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has shortlisted both Nick Clegg and Julian Huppert  for it’s Internet Hero award for 2013.

And why? – for the role they both played in preventing the communications data bill from reaching the statute books.

The other two nominees are Edward Snowdon, who was the whistleblower on the PRISM project, and Spamhaus, an IT security organisation who fought off  a major denial of service attack earlier this year.

ISPA Secretary-General Nicholas Lansman noted that the Internet Hero award is “one of the most anticipated categories” at the ISPAs.

Given what has happened in the last year, it is no surprise

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Times: ‘Cameron is told to drop snooping on web users’

Today’s Times front page is dominated by the news that nine cyber-security experts and academics have issued a stark warning to David Cameron to halt ‘sweeping plans to hand the security services the power to snoop on emails, website visits and social media sites’: “they remain as naive and technically dangerous as when they were floated by the last government,” they warn.

times web snooping

The paper notes the opposition both of Nick Clegg — who highlighted his disagreement with the draft Bill last December — and of Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, who points out: “Where we lead, other countries would follow, snooping on their citizens’ legal activities. … The case for these proposals is massively out-weighed by the cost and the harm to privacy, here and overseas.”

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The Independent View: Seeking justice across borders

In October last year, Theresa May announced in the House of Commons the Conservatives’ intention to opt-out of 130 measures of EU criminal law cooperation.

We, at Justice Across Borders, are opposed to it – and many others are too – but the reality is, the way this issue has been presented by the Home Secretary, and has been debated so far, means nothing to the man in the street. That is why we have taken on the challenge to start a debate that can be joined by all.

Yesterday, we met the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal …

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Your essential weekend reader — 8 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

Three big things I’ve got wrong since I’ve starting blogging and commenting – ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie confesses to a trio of big errors on the NHS, higher-rate tax and equalities: “One of the many reasons I don’t want to be an MP is that I think this sort of ability to think openly and reflectively is probably impossible when you are standing for office.”

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