Tag Archives: tom brake

Tom Brake signs cross-party letter to Prime Minister asking him to drop the “rape clause”

Tom Brake is one of MPs from nine parties who has signed a letter to the Prime Minister asking him to withdraw the ill-thought out “rape clause” which was part of the measures brought in in the Budget.

George Osborne capped tax credits and benefits at two children, a measure Liberal Democrats had blocked throughout the Coalition years. Within the detail, SNP MP Alison Thewliss discovered a clause which said that women who had had a third child as a result of being raped would be exempt. How do you actually prove that to a DWP official? It’s such an ill-thought out, cruel policy. As if the principle of capping benefits at two children wasn’t bad enough, this took its cruelty to a whole new level. No woman should have to prove rape to access basic benefits for her child.

Since then, Alison has been pursuing the Government at every opportunity to say how exactly this policy will be implemented, but hasn’t had an answer, satisfactory or otherwise.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Farron and Brake say that those who killed Alexander Litvinenko must be held to account

Tim Farron and Tom Brake have reacted to this morning’s publication of the report into the nurder of Alexander Litvinenko which concluded that Andrei Lugovoi, a key ally of Vladimir Putin, and Dmitri Kovtun killed Litvinenko and that Putin probably authorised it.

Tim Farron said that those responsible must be held to account:

A UK citizen was killed on the streets of London with polonium. It was an attack on the heart of Britain, our values and our society.

I call for EU travel bans, asset freezes and coordinated action to deal with those who committed this evil assassination. I have called for a new Magnitsky Law to make sure that these people are held to account for what they did.

These assassins trampled over British sovereignty and we cannot let this go unanswered.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Tom Brake slams “shamefully weak” UK government statement on Saudi executions

Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesperson Tom Brake has torn into the Government’s statement on the executions of 47 prisoners in Saudi Arabia in a series of tweets this evening.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 18 Comments

Liberal Democrat MPs explain Syria vote

We heard from Nick Clegg on Sky News last night and Tim Farron has written and talked about why he’s decided to support Syrian airstrkes.

Other MPs have been explaining their thinking. As we find them, we’ll put them up on this post.It’s going to be a bit of a marathon read, but worth having all the rationale in one place.

Alistair Carmichael

You will have seen it reported in the press and media this morning that Liberal Democrat MPs will support the motion in the House of Commons today to extend to areas of Syria our current military involvement against ISIL/Da’esh in Iraq. I want to explain why, after lengthy discussion and deliberation, we have reached this decision and why I will support it.

Decisions of this sort are never easy and this has been the most difficult one that I have ever known. I certainly do not share David Cameron’s reported view that those who oppose intervention are “terrorist sympathisers”. This is an issue on which we have all had to come to our own conclusions and for many of us it has been an enormously difficult process. I know no one, inside parliament or not, who has approached this from anything other than a position of good faith and I respect completely those who have reached a different conclusion from mine.

By comparison the decision to oppose war in Iraq was simple by comparison – it was clearly illegal and it was difficult to identify what the British interest in intervention was.

Recognising that some of the problems we are dealing with today have their roots in that disastrous misadventure, we should be quite clear about why this is a different conflict with different issues.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 10 Comments

Tom Brake on why Liberal Democrats opposed George Osborne’s Fiscal Charter

It’s all quite simple, really – the Liberal Democrats, unlike Labour, were not going to fall into Osborne’s trap. Here is Tom Brake’s speech from last night’s debate:

The Liberal Democrats will not support the charter tonight. Whatever the machinations in the Labour party, our reasons for opposing it are clear: the charter is just as much about fantasy economics as was Labour’s magic money tree. We remain committed to abolishing the structural deficit by 2017-18, and to seeing debt fall as a percentage of GDP in the following years. We will not, however, abandon the critical need for continued investment in infrastructure, and we will ensure that our economy remains competitive in the medium and long term. We are for sound and stable economic policy—something that sadly has been abandoned first by the official Opposition and now by the Government.

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Tom Brake to fast in support of Shaker Aamer

From today, friends and family of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident left in the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison camp, will be fasting in support of him. They will go without food for a minimum of 24 hours to highlight his plight.  From the Fast for Shaker website:

On 25th September 2015, the US told the UK that Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held in the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, will be released and returned to his family in the UK after being held for nearly 14 years without charge or trial.

By US law, 30 days’ notice must be given to Congress before any prisoner can be freed from Guantánamo, and in the meantime Shaker has embarked on a hunger strike protesting constant and ongoing abuse and his fears that, in his weakened state, he won’t live to see his family again.

To show solidarity with Shaker, his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, celebrities, MPs, Shaker’s family, campaigners and supportive members of the public are pledging to undertake a hunger strike of their own, starting on 15th October, for a minimum of 24 hours.

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake has pledged to fast next Monday:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

LibLink: Tom Brake – The Human Rights Act

Over at the party website, Tom Brake has been writing about the importance of the Human Rights Act. The Tories may have apparently watered down planned action to repeal it but they are absolutely desperate to do so. The last thing we should be doing is letting up our campaign to convince the public about the need for the protections the ECHR and Human Rights Act provide.

He outlines some of the people who have been helped by the HRA.

Take for example, 90-year-olds Richard and Beryl Driscoll. They lived together for more than 65 years until, in 2006, he was moved into a residential care home.

He could not walk unaided and she was blind. She relied on her husband as her eyes and he relied on her for his mobility.

They wanted to remain together but the council said it wasn’t possible to accommodate them in the same nursing home.

But thanks to a campaign that argued their treatment breached their human rights – specifically their right to a family life – the council were forced to back down and they were reunited.

It’s difficult to believe that, without the protection afforded to them by the HRA, there would have been a happy ending.

The same is true in Europe too. Up until 2004, it was possible for two gay men to be prosecuted for having sex if one was aged 16 or 17, even though it was legal for heterosexual couples.

This blatant unfairness was only removed as a result of an ECHR ruling, one the right to a private life, a clause that causes heartless Tories such distress.

And, in 2002, a male-to-female transsexual – asked Strasbourg to determine whether there had been a violation of her right to respect and family life.

Why? Because Britain did not legally recognise her changed gender and did not let her marry. Her victory was a huge step forward in the battle for trans-equality in this country.

Our current human rights legislation has also blocked blanket interception of private messages by the state, protected our right to a fair trial and prevented indiscriminate police stop-and-search.

You can read the whole article here.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 6 Comments
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