25 February 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems produce Bill to properly tackle plastics crisis

Today, Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Environment, will present his Plastic Pollution Bill to Parliament.

The Bill will set targets to help fix our plastics crisis and require the Secretary of State to publish a strategy for the reduction of plastic pollution.

The Bill has been backed by a cross-party group of MPs as well as Friends of the Earth and the Women’s Institute.

Ahead of presenting his Bill, Mr Carmichael said:

Plastic pollution is the scourge of our oceans. The Government must start taking action to reduce our plastic to change our throwaway culture. The answer will need international cooperation but the UK can give a lead for other countries to follow.

The Government’s approach has been about grabbing headlines on easy parts of the agenda – banning cotton buds and plastic straws. That approach falls far short of the proper plan we need for banning single-use plastic.

To make a true difference in our oceans, we must do more than the Government’s current piecemeal approach. My Bill will allow the UK to lead the way in challenging consumer behaviour. We need to eliminate plastic pollution from our seas by aiming to end the use all non-essential single-use plastics within six years.

Lib Dems: Nearly 600 deaths on our streets is a ‘national disgrace’

Figures released this morning show that of the 597 homelessness deaths in 2017, Manchester (21) and Birmingham (18) were the cities worst affected, with Bristol, Lambeth and Liverpool (all 17), also registering more than one death a month.

Responding to these statistics, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who has introduced legislation to scrap the archaic Vagrancy Act, said:

The fact that nearly 600 people died on our streets in 2017 is not just a tragedy, it is a national disgrace of which we should be deeply ashamed.

These figures show that all over the country, our homelessness crisis is at epidemic levels and people are indefensibly losing their lives. We must do more to protect vulnerable people and support those at their lowest ebb.

The Liberal Democrats demand better. We want the Government to be building up to 100,000 social homes a year, provide accommodation and support to those in need, and finally back my Bill to scrap the Vagrancy Act.

Moran: Use of Vagrancy Act should shame the Govt

A Freedom of Information request has shown that 6,518 ‘offenders’ were found guilty under the Vagrancy Act (1824) between the years 2014 to 2017 in England and Wales.

The Metropolitan Police were the most likely force to use the Act, which criminalises rough sleepers, averaging 459 convictions a year. West Midlands police force area averaged 161, and Merseyside averaged 148 per year.

Commenting on the findings, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who has brought forward legislation to scrap the Vagrancy Act, said:

The Government, and local authorities, should be ashamed that they have continued to allow the use of a law that makes rough sleeping a criminal offence, and for it to be used so prolifically with little regard for the people afflicted.

This law was controversial 200 years ago, and it has no place in a modern, compassionate society.

I call on the Government to back my cross-party campaign to scrap the Vagrancy Act, a Bill which criminalises and degrades the most vulnerable, and should bring shame to those who allow its use.

Labour must back a People’s Vote with an option to stay

Responding to Labour’s Brexit policy announcement, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

We welcome this news, this could be a defining moment in the Liberal Democrat campaign for a People’s Vote.

My party will work with Labour and others to secure a People’s Vote with an option to remain.

We have long argued it is the right and logical thing to do for the people to have the final say on Brexit.

We welcome any MPs who share this crucial aim.

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