17 October 2018 – today’s press releases

Moran to move amendment to deliver votes at 16

Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran will today [17/10/2018] move an amendment to the Overseas Electors Bill to lower the voting age to 16 for UK citizens living abroad.

The Overseas Electors Bill, which proposes extending the right of UK citizens living abroad to vote in UK elections, will be debated at the Public Bill Committee today [17/10/2018].

Ms Moran is moving her amendment in the wake of the Welsh Assembly supporting plans last week to introduce votes at 16.

Ms Moran said:

If we are happy to allow a 16 year old to pay tax, be a parent or serve in the army then we should not deny them the right to vote. That is why Liberal Democrats have long supported votes for 16 and 17 year olds.

With 16 and 17-year-olds playing an active role in elections in Scotland and now the Welsh Assembly backing plans too, the genie is out of the bottle.

The Overseas Electors Bill gives us a chance to give 16 and 17 year olds living abroad the chance to vote in Parliamentary elections, and in the process urge the Government to do the right thing and extend votes at 16 for all elections in every part of the UK.

Given Brexit poses so many threats to the lives of young people, they deserve their voice to be heard. It is time to demand better from the UK Government. It is time Ministers ensured every 16 and 17 year old across the UK, and those British citizens living overseas, have the same right to vote.

Davey: Govt must change approach to illegal hard drugs

Responding to the reported increase of hard drug related gang activity, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey has said:

When children as young as 12 are being exploited by drug gangs, the Government’s approach clearly needs to change. We need to stop both the supply and demand of illegal hard drugs.

That’s why the Liberal Democrats are demanding greater investment in the Border Force, to stop drugs and weapons entering the country in the first place, and an extra £300 million a year for the police, to rebuild the community policing that helps to prevent gangs from operating.

But we must also treat the addiction that fuels demand for these drugs. Rather than simply being locked up, drug users should be diverted into evidence-based treatment programmes and given the support they need to get off drugs.

Lamb: PM should follow Trudeau and legalise cannabis

Responding to the news that Canada has legalised the recreational use of cannabis, former Health Minister Norman Lamb said:

Theresa May should follow Justin Trudeau’s lead in this liberal and sensible approach to legalising cannabis. As the former Home Secretary, she should know full well that the Government has lost control of drug-related crime in this country; and that the criminal market is causing violence in many communities.

An independent expert panel, which I set up in 2015, estimated that by legalising cannabis in the UK we could raise up to £1 billion annually in taxes, money that could be invested in policing, health and education.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to legalise cannabis and take the market out of the hands of criminals, so that we can properly protect young people from the risks of buying cannabis on the streets.

Tories must not be allowed to run out the Brexit clock

Responding to Michael Gove’s comments that there might not be a Brexit deal until December, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

The Conservatives are making a mess out of Brexit.

Theresa May is trying to run out the clock and push Parliament into a bad deal, or no deal at all. The future of this country must not come down to diplomatic filibustering.

MPs must not allow this form of legislative blackmail. Instead they must give the people the final say on Brexit and an option to remain in the EU.

Govt must freeze fares and sort out rail fiasco

Commenting as chaos intensifies at Paddington station, former Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:

The chaos on the railway at Paddington station once again shows the urgent need for the Government’s rail review. It’s hard to believe that testing a new train was allowed to happen on the busiest part of the network in the middle of the working week, surely this could be better thought-out.

If Paddington Bear had arrived today, he wouldn’t have been greeted by a new family, but crowds of frustrated people awaiting a rail replacement bus service.

We need an urgent freeze on fares while Government sorts this fiasco, a proper automatic compensation scheme and assurances there are enough marmalade sandwiches to placate understandably angry commuters.

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2 Comments

  • nvelope2003 18th Oct '18 - 4:22pm

    The problems of the public sector Network Rail are unlikely to be solved by a fares freeze as users of TfL services are finding since Mayor Khan’s fares freeze, but might be ameliorated by realistic pricing for a very high cost service. Since the operator of the state railway monopoly cannot be subject to normal commercial pressure the users who support nationalisation must be prepared to pay the cost of it instead of sending the bill to the largely non using taxpayers. I suspect that testing the train was done at a time when the track was not closed by engineering works. I do not think those who were inconvenienced by this incident were thinking about bears or marmalade but the rather educated sounding lady who demanded immediate renationalisation might care to have a look at Wikipedia.

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