December 12th: Today’s Announcements

 

Announcements as at 12th December

  • Lib Dems demand more action on ‘dangerous’ short prison sentences
  • ‘Gold-plated’ visa chaos shows Home Office can’t take back control
  • Cable: Conservative spat won’t resolve deepening divisions

 

Lib Dems demand more action on ‘dangerous’ short prison sentences

Responding to the Prisons Minister’s appearance before the Justice Select Committee today, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey has called on the Government to introduce “a presumption against short prison sentences and greater use of community sentences”.

The Prisons Minister, Rory Stewart, told the committee that the “wrong kind of short sentences actually endangers the public” because they increase re-offending and destabilise prisons. He also announced that the Ministry of Justice now has a new GPS tagging system that allows it to monitor offenders in the community.

Ed Davey said:

“It is good to hear Tory Ministers finally admit what the Liberal Democrats have long been arguing: short prison sentences don’t cut crime.

“But despite the evidence, the Government is trying to create even more short sentences. Even worse, some of these are mandatory sentences, which will tie judges’ hands and worsen prison overcrowding while failing to actually prevent crime.

“The Liberal Democrats demand better. We need a little less talk from Ministers about ending short sentences, and a little more action.

“That’s why we are opposing the Government’s new mandatory sentences, and calling for a presumption against short prison sentences and greater use of tough community sentences, which have been shown to be more effective at reducing reoffending.”

ENDS

 

‘Gold-plated’ visa chaos shows Home Office can’t take back control

Responding to today’s U-turn on suspending ‘gold-plated’ visas, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey has attacked the Government’s immigration plans as “simply unworkable”.

Last week, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes announced that tier 1 (investor) visas would be suspended from midnight last Friday, due to concerns that they were being used for money laundering. However, the Home Office Migration Policy Department confirmed today that the scheme “is not currently suspended”.

Ed Davey said:

“The Home Office can’t even take action on one small part of the immigration system without creating chaos and confusion. How do the Tories expect it to cope with a whole new system for millions of European workers if we leave the EU?

“The truth is that Theresa May’s plans are simply unworkable. That’s why she has refused to publish her immigration white paper for more than a year – because she knows it will expose the hollowness of her promise to ‘take back control’.

“The Liberal Democrats demand better. Now that Theresa May has delayed the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal, there’s no excuse for her not to publish the white paper beforehand, so that MPs can properly scrutinise the proposals.”

ENDS

 

Cable: Conservative spat won’t resolve deepening divisions

Responding to the reports that the Prime Minister will face a vote of confidence in her leadership, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

“Theresa May’s deal is a total mess and is the latest backdrop for yet another Conservative meltdown over Europe

“The Leave campaign’s promises clearly cannot and will not be delivered, and the Conservatives are now engaging in a self-indulgent internal spat which won’t resolve their deepening divisions.

“Theresa May should now show real leadership in calling a People’s Vote, to break the deadlock, with an option to remain in the EU. It is the way forward out of this mess.”

ENDS

* Tahir Maher is a member of the LDV editorial team and the Chair of the English Party

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