Tag Archives: alex carlile

“He was the only politician who was interested” in transgender rights

I am just back from a lovely afternoon at Transgender Pride Scotland. I hadn’t expected to be there but my plans changed – sadly too late to take place in the march in the biting cold and driving rain and sleet.

By the time I got there, the crowds were happily ensconced in a conference centre near the main student halls complex in Edinburgh. In the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, packed sessions on  such subjects as tackling transphobia, what to expect at school, navigating gender identity issues as a non binary person, speech and voice as well as creative workshops took …

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Alex Carlile leaves the Liberal Democrats Lords Group: Why now?

The news that Alex Carlile is going to sit as a crossbench peer rather than a Liberal Democrat is perhaps not surprising.  His views on civil liberties and his passionate advocacy for the state to have greater surveillance powers often put him at odds not just with the Lords group but with the wider party. PoliticsHome says:

Lord Carlile felt the party “was not taking a strong enough line in support of surveillance,” a senior Lib Dem source told PoliticsHome.

“He was unhappy with our stance on the Snooper’s Charter,” the source added. “We made a big thing about voting against the Data Communications Bill and he didn’t like that at all.”

A Lib Dem spokesperson said: “We are disappointed but not surprised at Lord Carlile’s decision.

“He has been at odds with party policy on a number of occasions in recent years, especially over civil liberties.

“We are grateful for his years of service to the party and wish him well in future. “

Why now, though? Nothing has really changed. He’s had these views for a very long time and the party has opposed them for a very long time.  I have certainly thought for some time that it would be better if he was a cross bencher but I didn’t have any expectation that it would happen. In fact, for even voicing such an opinion, I was accused of “grisly soviet intolerance” by the Noble Lord in the comments to that article. 

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Alex Carlile rejects suggestion support for intelligence agencies may have been influenced by business relationship with ex-spy chief

Alex Carlile has rejected any suggestion his public support for the intelligence agencies may have been influenced by his business relationship with one of the UK’s ex-spy chiefs. Speaking to the Guardian he said:

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Surely it’s time for the Liberal Democrats to part company with Alex Carlile

alex carlile - house of lords
After much provocation over the years, I have finally reached the end of my patience with Alex Carlile. The sooner he and the Liberal Democrats part company the better.

It was embarrassing enough to watch him give the green light to so many of Labour’s illiberal anti-terror laws, but when he supports something which threatens to scupper a key concession won by the Liberal Democrats, it is time for us to actively campaign for him to go.

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Simon Hughes and Alex Carlile debate Snoopers’ Charter on Murnaghan

It’s been like Snoopers’ Charter Central this morning.

It didn’t take very long after the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich for politicians of a more authoritarian outlook to be falling over themselves to condemn Nick Clegg for vetoing sweeping measures on Communications data and call for their immediate introduction. LDV’s Stephen Tall dealt with two of them, John Reid and Alex Carlile, by making them his Liberal Villains of the Week, saying:

And then comes the next inevitability: politicians striking a pose as authoritarian strongmen by cravenly giving the jihadists the glory they seek. Two of the usual

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Official: the snoopers’ charter is dead in this parliament

One element missing from the Queen’s Speech was the Communications Data Bill, aka the ‘snoopers’ charter’. No surprise to Lib Dems: Nick Clegg torpedoed it last month.

So I had a momentary spasm of concern to see on ConservativeHome this story from Mark Wallace: The Snoopers’ Charter comes sneaking back. Again.

I asked Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert (who’s played a crucial role in safeguarding civil liberties this parliament, including on this Bill) if there were any truth in it, and got an immediate reply…

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Next week in the Lords… 14-18 January

House of LordsYes, I know that I had intended to write this on Friday, but it was never a pledge, right? But yes, as Liberal Democrat Peers gather from around the country to vote down a piece of Government business, now seems as good a time to publish this…

Yes, Monday will see the Parliamentary Party in the Lords vote in support of Amendment 28A to the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill, sponsored by Lords Hart of Chilton (Labour), Kerr of Kinlochard (Crossbenches), Rennard and Wigley (Plaid Cymru), which postpones the changes intended …

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LibLink: We can’t sit in our golden chamber resisting democracy – Paddy Ashdown responds to attack on reform

In the Mail on Sunday this week, Lord Ashdown responded to Lord Carlile’s article from the previous week, which had opposed Nick Clegg’s plans for Lords reform:

If ever there was a time for a strong democratically based second chamber to buttress our democracy, it is now. Whatever view you take of the Cameron/Clegg proposals, nobody can seriously call them ‘ill-considered’. They were preceded by a Royal commission, four white papers and three joint committees. Every party called for it in their manifestos at the last Election.

The Cameron/Clegg reform Bill does not ‘trash’ the Lords, as some claim

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The other issue Lib Dem peers can win on tomorrow

Moves in the House of Lords to amend the health and welfare bills have been getting the lion’s share of recent coverage, but this week sees a quartet of Liberal Democrat peers leading the charge on a different topic – the Legal Aid Bill.

Lib Dem Lords Thomas, Carlile, Clement Jones and Phillips have a set of amendments down for debate tomorrow to put right what Ken Clarke hasn’t got right in his zeal to end the so-called ‘compensation culture’. The amendments look to tighten up and improve the plans to ban so-called ‘referral fees’ in personal injury cases. Its these fees which …

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Anti-terrorism legislation: news emerges of likely reforms

In his Hugo Young lecture last week Nick Clegg clearly signalled the imminent end to control orders. Now over the last couple of days the shape of the likely conclusions from the anti-terrorism review are starting to emerge, with the current 28-day limit on detention without charge coming back down to 14 days. A new set of tighter than usual bail conditions could then be imposed for a further 14 days.

The police’s stop and search powers are also likely to be curtailed, particularly following the news that in the last year over 100,000 stop and searches were conducted under …

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Meanwhile, also in the news…

Former Liberal Democrat MP Alex Carlile is to step down as the government’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation on 31 December. He will be succeeded by David Anderson QC, a specialist in EU and public law and human rights and a visiting professor of law at King’s College, London. Lord Carlile will, however, provide expert, independent oversight of the official review of the government’s strategy (“Prevent”) for preventing violent extremism.

Politics.co.uk reports mixed views from Liberal Democrats about how the party’s backbench committees are working: “One co-chair charged with one of the biggest policy portfolios said the committees were a …

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Photographers: ’tis the season to be wary?

Suspicious subjects for photos this season include sunsets and Christmas lights. And be especially wary of using the “wrong” sort of camera or taking the “wrong” number of photos (details which are, as yet, not revealed to ordinary, law-abiding shutterbugs).

Two more photographers have been stopped by over-zealous police officers for taking photographs of public scenes, despite being within their rights to do so.

First, a BBC photographer was stopped outside Tate Modern while taking this atmospheric shot:

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Simon Hughes challenges Home Secretary over McKinnon extradition

Yesterday’s LDV highlighted an article by Lib Dem peer Lord (Alex) Carlile, urging that alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon not be extradited to the USA to face charges – it is feared Mr McKinnon’s health could significantly deteriorate as a result of his Asperger’s condition. Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes used the opportunity of topical questions to the Home Secretary yesterday to ask Alan Johnson direct if he would intervene to prevent Mr McKinnon’s extradition.

Simon Hughes (North Southwark and Bermondsey) (LD): Will the Home Secretary act now to deal with growing anger in my constituency and around

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[email protected]: Alex Carlile – Why it would be cruel not to put Gary McKinnon on trial in Britain

Over at the Daily Mail, Lib Dem peer Lord (Alex) Carlile, the independent reviewer of British anti-terrorist laws, takes up the case of Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon, who is under threat of potentially health-threatening extradition to the USA after he hacked his way methodically into protected documents. Lord Carlile argues he should be tried in the British courts:

Gary McKinnon is immature, vulnerable and sadly without insight into the effect he sometimes has on others. He suffers from a severe form of Asperger’s Syndrome. He is obsessive and can be difficult. He hates any changes of routine. Medical evidence shows him

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