15 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: London lockdown further evidence Govt have lost control
  • Liberal Democrats vote against “dangerous” Government crimes Bill

Liberal Democrats: London lockdown further evidence Govt have lost control

Responding to reports that London will face Tier 2 Covid restrictions from Saturday, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

The Government have completely lost control of coronavirus across vast swathes of the country, and the situation in London is looking very difficult.

In the north of England, and now in London, the sacrifices of millions of people have been squandered by this Government. Because of Boris Johnson’s failure to ensure our test, trace and isolate system worked, millions of people will have to make those sacrifices again.

We need to understand the science behind the tier system immediately, otherwise there will be fears that this fresh wave of restrictions will do very little to help stop the spread of the virus. We need a circuit-breaker introduced now, on the condition that government overhaul the failing test and trace system – otherwise restrictions will need to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

The government must do much more to protect jobs and livelihoods and keep people safe.

Liberal Democrats vote against “dangerous” Government crimes Bill

The Liberal Democrats today led cross-party opposition to the Government’s Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill, calling a vote against the legislation in the House of Commons.

The Bill, which would create a legal basis for certain government bodies to authorise undercover agents to commit crimes in the UK, has given rise to major concerns among MPs and human rights organisations for its breadth and the lack of sufficient limits, safeguards and oversight.

The Liberal Democrats voted against Third Reading this afternoon, but most Conservative MPs backed it and Labour abstained, so the Bill passed by 313 votes to 98.

A Liberal Democrat amendment (Amdt 16) would have restricted the powers in the Bill to the police, the intelligence services, the National Crime Agency and the Serious Fraud Office – in contrast to the Government’s plans to extend them to a much longer list of public bodies including the Environment Agency, the Food Standards Agency, the Gambling Commission and three government departments.

The amendment received cross-party backing from Labour, SNP, Green and Alliance MPs, as well as the Conservatives’ David Davis. However, most Conservative MPs voted against, defeating it 65-311 as Labour abstained.

Following the vote, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

This is a dangerous Bill from a Conservative Government that is careless with our rights and freedoms.

We all understand the need for MI5 and the police to authorise undercover agents to do things that would, in normal circumstances, be illegal. If the Government had restricted itself to that, it would have resounding cross-party support.

Instead, the Tories are using their majority to ram through things that no responsible Government should do. They are trying to award far too broad powers to far too many parts of government, with virtually no safeguards.

That’s why the Liberal Democrats worked cross-party to try and fix this law. With the Government blocking our amendments, we had no choice but to vote against the Bill.

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7 Comments

  • Regarding the CHIS bill, how does this square with our leadership’s apparent enthusiasm for Starmer?
    The Labour MPs voting in the same lobby as us are not welcome on Starmer’s front bench.

  • Richard Underhill 16th Oct '20 - 7:50am

    Ed Davey’s 5 point plan needs one more thing
    a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons

  • Alan Jelfs 16th Oct ’20 – 12:09am………..The Labour MPs voting in the same lobby as us are not welcome on Starmer’s front bench………..

    Strange how these same Labour MPs were described as Marxists, communists, ‘unfit to hold office’, etc. by this party less than a year ago.. In January Ed Davey blamed this party’s disastrous GE result on those same MPs and claimed voters backed Tories rather than risk a ‘hard left’ government…

    “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows” (“The Tempest”)

  • The machinations of the Parliamentary Party defeat me. Still cannot understand how they voted against the Covid regulations. Think they need to get a grip.

  • It is a dangerous sign.Who could these other Govnt Depts be? The more widespread the debts are the more likely that civil rights will be curtailed, controlled. Extinction Rebellion for one.Will they be classed as criminals for merely protesting against the govnt? It is a law that needs to be clearly defined.

  • David Garlick 16th Oct '20 - 8:00pm

    As the ever behind the curve government and reckless Labour squabble over the best way to tackle the rising level of Covid19 cases in Manchester the people of that area do not have any additional measures they need to help them to protect themselves.
    Ed needs to call for heads to be banged together to sort out immediate action to reduce cases, protect the NHS and reduce the number of deaths that will result unless they act now.

  • Should be making a lot more of having voted against CHIS. Only 34 Labour MPs voted against it.

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