9-10 March 2019 – the weekend’s press releases (part 1)

There’s no doubt that the Press Team have been busy over the weekend, and we’ll spread the press releases over two posts accordingly…

  • Lib Dems: Javid’s judgement has had tragic consequences
  • Lib Dems: We must now eradicate period poverty from society
  • Swinson: UK must help secure release of Egyptian woman Amal Fathy
  • Jardine reveals “embarrassing” gender balance of the Privy Council

Lib Dems: Javid’s judgement has had tragic consequences

Responding to the reports that the baby son of Shamima Begum has died, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

The news that a little baby has died will touch the vast majority of people’s hearts – regardless of the crimes of his mother.

Many of us feared this tragic outcome when the Home Secretary washed his hands of Britain’s responsibility for a British citizen and a British baby.

The Home Secretary’s actions were highly questionable on legal grounds anyway – and his pathetic attempt to claim there was a security risk only undermined his case further.

If the courts eventually show he has acted illegally in making a British citizen stateless, we will remember this baby in holding him to account.

Lib Dems: We must now eradicate period poverty from society

Commenting on reports that Chancellor Phillip Hammond is to commit to investing funding to eradicate period poverty in English schools in next weeks Spring Statement, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

This move is long overdue and comes after years of campaigning.

With 1 in 4 women saying they have experienced forms of period poverty, adding schools to hospitals as places where you can get free tampons and pads is a welcome second step down the road to a real solution to this problem.

Liberal Dememocrats will continue to press the case for the full eradication of period poverty across the whole of society.

Swinson: UK must help secure release of Egyptian woman Amal Fathy

The Liberal Democrats have demanded the UK Government help secure a presidential pardon for Amal Fathy, an Egyptian women’s rights defender who is currently under house arrest after spending seven months in prison last year on false charges.

Following her jailing, Amal Fathy was designated a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, who see her treatment – having been punished for her bravery – as part and parcel of a wider ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders in Egypt.

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Jo Swinson has written to the Foreign Secretary urging him to ensure that the Foreign Office make clear to the Egyptian Government that UK investment must be matched by real efforts to improve the treatment of women in Egypt and to uphold and protect the human rights of all Egyptians.

Jo Swinson said:

It is appalling that women such as Amal Fathy who have fought to protect and enhance human rights are being subjected to persecution and imprisonment on false charges.

British foreign policy has a long and proud history of promoting human rights and equality. The Conservative Government must continue this legacy.

Jeremy Hunt must make it clear that, in exchange for our economic investment, we expect to see significant improvements in the treatment of women and protection of human rights in Egypt.

Jardine reveals “embarrassing” gender balance of the Privy Council

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine has used International Women’s Day to call on the Government to end the gender imbalance in institutions like the Privy Council.

The Edinburgh West MP – who already has a Bill before the commons calling for the House of Lords’ name to be changed to the House of Peers – this weekend highlighted that there are five times as many male privy councillors as female ones.

The council, which is an advisory body to the Queen, grants Orders of Council and regulates specific public bodies. It currently lists a total of 680 members, only 109 of which are women.

The House of Lords has a similarly poor gender balance, with twice as many men as women.

The MP, who is also currently campaigning against the so called ‘Pink Tax’, said:

These figures are an embarrassment and throw back to the outdated and unacceptable narrative that political decision making is man’s job.

The Privy Council is just one example of how we are failing to move on quickly enough. It’s embarrassing that so many of this country’s most prestigious institutions continue to give off the impression they are an old boy’s club.

There is no justification for such a significant gender balance to exist anywhere in 21st century Britain. It’s high time our institutions were brought up to date.

More than 100 years on since the first women in this country won the vote we shouldn’t have to be making the case for every governing body to have equal representation.

It is time to end the narrative that political decision-making is a man’s job. We can take a step towards that later this month with my Bill to rename the House of Lords.

We’ll bring you the rest in about three hours…

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  • Lorenzo Cherin 11th Mar '19 - 1:32pm

    So concentrated is the typical scathing and party oriented political attack i our discourse, we should expect and demand better.

    Sir Ed has regular and viable examples of moderation and sensible views expressed that now are few in his comments or voting in the Commons.

    He was wrong on the corrosive substances, knife crime minimum sentences for a second offence caught with a knife, wrong here.

    It is possible to disagree with the decision of Sajid Javit and not politically use the awful loss of this poor child. It would not have been the reverse for the baby just by a decision to allow the mother to be here, these would have been matters then taking weeks to organise. The conditions over years and months under ISIS and in these camps are not the sort to make for a good birth or healthy lifestyle. No responsibility for this aspect is that of our Home Secretary , the tone of Sir Ed not helpful and too extreme.

  • I’m surprised/disappointed we didn’t comment on the latest revelations about the Qatar World Cup bidding process (see yesterday’s Sunday Times). It’s pretty clear that this vote was mired in the worst kind of sleaze. The competition should NOT be going to Qatar, and someone should say so. There’s an open goal here (sorry, but you know I had to!!)

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