1 March 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: Govt reforms failing to reduce reoffending

Today the National Audit Office have released a report stating that reforms to probation services have failed to meet the Ministry of Justice’s targets to reduce reoffending.

Responding to the report, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

The rehabilitation of offenders and their re-integration into the community is central to who we are as a society and vital for cutting crime. It must be done with a sense of responsibility.

Good public services cannot be expected to be run on a shoe string. The Tory party’s obsession with saving money has actually cost millions and increased crime.

Liberal Democrats demand better. The Government must properly fund rehabilitative services, create clear lines of accountability and take its responsibility to all citizens seriously.

Lib Dems: ‘National Gallery 27’ ruling shows employment law must be rewritten

Following today’s landmark judgement by the Employment Tribunal on the National Gallery 27, declaring that its team of educators were workers entitled to basic employment rights, Liberal Democrat DWP Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

This is a great victory for employment rights but a huge embarrassment for the Government. They sat by whilst a public body funded by taxpayers used the worst kind of employment practices. These 27 brave individuals who worked for the National Gallery should never have had to take this legal case on and today’s decision should shame the Government.

For too long, businesses have been able to get away with depriving workers of their rights through dodgy self-employment schemes, facilitated by confusing and outdated employment laws.

Employment rights must be strengthened by requiring businesses, rather than individuals, to prove someone’s employment status at a tribunal when there’s a dispute. The Liberal Democrats would also create a new ‘dependent contractor’ status to enshrine the pay and rights of workers in the gig economy.

I hope today’s decision encourages the Government to act, so that other workers do not suffer as the National Gallery 27 have.

PM’s ‘right to rent’ checks found guilty of breaching human rights

Today, the High Court has ruled that the Conservative Government’s ‘right to rent’ scheme breaches human rights laws. These rules, aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from renting properties, were blocked by the Liberal Democrats back in 2013.

Responding to the ruling, Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

The Windrush Scandal should’ve been the end of Theresa May’s hostile environment, and today’s judgement must be the final nail in the coffin.

The Liberal Democrats blocked the Theresa May’s ‘right to rent’ checks in Coalition precisely because we were concerned about racial discrimination, but the Tories didn’t listen and rolled them out after 2015.

The hostile environment has seen thousands of people deprived of their rights, and now the High Court has ruled that a key part of it is discriminatory. The Government must now scrap it without delay.

Cable: Incomprehensible Grayling still in his role

Responding to the news that the Conservative Government have been forced to pay Eurotunnel £33 million, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

This news compounds the Conservative Government’s embarrassment over their botched ferry contract.

Now Ministers have poured another £30 million down the drain because they didn’t take even the most elementary precautions at the beginning of the process.

In any normal world Chris Grayling would have been fired long ago. It is incomprehensible that he is still in his role.

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4 Comments

  • David Becket 2nd Mar '19 - 10:05am

    Wera had nothing to do with the coalition, so she is the right person to have a go. However it is stretching a point to blame every one of Grayling’s many mistakes on the junior member of the coalition. What is true is that the memory of the coalition still causes many to see this party as toxic. This raises two issues. How do we manage a coalition in the future. For a start we do not do a Clegg and cosy up to the other party, and we stick to our red lines. In local government I have worked in coalition with both Labour and Tories. It worked, but when supping with the devil we used long spoons.
    The second point is that a leader who held a very responsible position in the coalition is not a suitable leader for the party now. We need a clean break, and it cannot come soon enough.

  • @ David Becket. I have a lot of sympathy with what you say, David, especially your conclusion. I too managed a Cabinet post in a local government coalition and understand the conflicts.

    The bigger point, however, is that far too many public sector services have been contracted out to pretty awful outfits….. The probation service being the latest example. The party needs to conduct a forensic examination of all this and to have something to say about it.

  • Helen Dudden 5th Mar '19 - 5:56am

    I consider our society to be broken and fractured. We have a high level of knife crime, and I welcome those changes announced yesterday.
    Some of those committing knife crime must be known to the Probation Services.
    The problems with our society at present, is, time wasted in getting to grips with serious issues like these. I feel the Terror on our streets is another. I thoroughly back the government stand on that issue. Saying, and thinking no starts having positive results.

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