24-26 January 2020 – the (long) weekend’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats welcome Citizens’ Assembly
  • Liberal Democrats: Sadiq Khan’s mass surveillance roll-out unacceptable
  • Ministers must explain soaring cost of HS2 to Parliament
  • Government must review assisted dying laws

Liberal Democrats welcome Citizens’ Assembly

Ahead of the first meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, set up by House of Commons Select Committees last year, Liberal Democrat Climate Action Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

The climate crisis is doing irreversible damage to our planet. The UK must cut its emissions to net-zero, be it by improving how we heat our homes or cutting emissions from flying.

This Citizens’ Assembly could help the government take the difficult decisions it needs to, but the Conservatives are failing to take the climate emergency seriously.

In the year Glasgow is hosting the COP26 climate change conference, it is shocking that the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change has yet to meet. Delay is no better than climate change denial.

Liberal Democrats support the Citizen’s Assembly and we will ensure that the Conservatives listen to their recommendations.

Liberal Democrats: Sadiq Khan’s mass surveillance roll-out unacceptable

Responding to the Metropolitan Police’s announcement today that it will begin to use automated facial recognition surveillance operationally, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London Siobhan Benita said:

It is unacceptable for a new form of mass surveillance like this to be rolled out onto London’s streets without proper consultation, regulation or oversight.

Facial recognition technology is hopelessly inaccurate. It is biased against women and ethnic minorities. The evidence that it will make us safer is patchy at best, but there is a real risk that it will erode civil liberties and increase distrust and discrimination.

To make London safer we must restore effective community policing, starting with the re-opening of local police stations, which the current Mayor has shut down.

Liberal Democrats do not want London to become a city where innocent people feel as though their every movement is being watched. The fact that Sadiq Khan has given the go-ahead for this undermines his recent claim to share our liberal values.

If Londoners want a liberal mayor with a positive vision for a safer, greener, kinder capital, their best option is me.

Ministers must explain soaring cost of HS2 to Parliament

Responding to a National Audit Office report that has found that the High Speed Two rail project is over budget and behind schedule because the Government have under-estimated complexity and risk, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

This NAO report shows that neither HS2 themselves nor the government have got control of this project. HS2 is a vital project for increasing capacity across the rail network, cutting emissions and unlocking the economic potential of the North.

We need proper transparency and accountability of this project going forward. Taxpayers deserve to know how their money is being spent.

Liberal Democrats will not allow the Tories to once again fail to invest in the North and will continue to hold them to account.

Government must review assisted dying laws

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine, who last week led calls for a review of the assisted dying law, today welcomed the Justice Secretary’s announcement that he is considering a call for evidence on changing the law.

Ms Jardine said:

I am delighted that the Government appears to be listening to the growing swell of public support for a change to the law on assisted dying, which simply isn’t working.

We cannot continue with the current two-tier system, where only those who can afford the £10,000 price tag can access an assisted death in Switzerland, while those who cannot often feel they have no option but to take matters into their own hands at home.

I urge the Government to begin a thorough review of the law on assisted dying. We need a fresh public debate on how to improve the law and offer choice and compassion to those in the final stage of their lives.

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3 Comments

  • Jenny Barnes 27th Jan '20 - 10:42am

    COP26 should have films in every room and corridor running behind the keynote speakers etc. of hurricanes in US, australian bushfires, floods in SE Asia, bleached coral, melting glaciers (speeded up ofc) dying koalas, plastic pollution – seabirds with crops full of plastic…and plastic nurdle factories, INEOS, oil refineries, gas flaring… motorways running full of cars, airports with planes taking off and landing every minute…. get some idea of how big and serious the whole thing is.

    oh it’s not do something about domestic heating OR aviation; it has to be AND. I see that BA is planning to replace its 4 engine 747s with the new similar passenger capacity 2 engine 777X. That will reduce fuel consumption per paxkm somewhat. But we need the equivalent of a large tax on aviation fuel – passenger levies may work as a proxy.

  • “Ministers must explain soaring cost of HS2 to Parliament”.

    Isn’t that just the nature of the beast ?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 28th Jan '20 - 1:23am

    We honour Holocaust Memorial Day and as Liberal Democrats this is the only real aspect of today that should fire us up!

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