Tag Archives: chris bryant

Vince Cable nails Labour’s crass and inaccurate attacks on Lib Dems’ support for the minimum wage

Sometimes you’ll hear Labour folk claim, with absolute certainty, that the Lib Dems opposed the introduction of the minimum wage in 1998. They’re wrong, as a glance at the voting record shows not a single Lib Dem MP voted against and 26 voted in favour.

Today Labour’s shadow secretary of state for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves, upped the ante, demanding to know:

where was the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable)? He was nowhere to be seen in the debates. He was nowhere to be seen on the voting record. On Second Reading and Third Reading, he failed to vote. Apparently, he abstained because he had reservations about a minimum wage. Perhaps he will stand up today to profess his concern for the plight of the low-paid.

Vince didn’t respond directly immediately. But he did respond:

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

The “affair” is none of our business – but how did it get in the papers anyway?

Today’s Daily Mail carries a story of a love affair which, apparently, has shocked David Cameron so much and got Downing Street panicking to the extent that they are worried about his political agenda being derailed.

From the story, which has no names or much in the way of detail, we can deduce that two middle aged people had an affair which is now over and which caused distress to others. No current cabinet ministers are involved and, from what I can gather, no Liberal Democrats either.

When you get down to it, it seems that the Mail has published a story …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 54 Comments

DPMQs: “Grotesque” and “beneath contempt” – Clegg on the Milly Dowler phone hacking allegations

The highest profile issue at Deputy Prime Minister’s questions today was the issue of press phone hacking in the light of the allegations concerning Milly Dowler and the News of the World.

Harriet Harman asked Nick Clegg to back Ed Miliband’s call for a general public inquiry into illegality in the newspaper industry. As someone has said, this is a bit like holding an inquiry into why we get bad weather. In a sign of divisions within Labour, Chris Bryant, in contrast, has called for a more narrow inquiry.

Nick Clegg stopped short of backing an inquiry but, instead, emphasised the importance …

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 29 Comments

Lord Tyler writes: Don’t listen to the doomsayers

Since the publication of the Government’s White Paper and Draft Bill on House of Lords reform, the old guard have lined up to cavil about its detail, to deride its democratic principles and to defend – in the last ditch – the status quo.

This has augmented the popular media’s predisposition towards arch cynicism and trenchant pessimism. Yet there is firm evidence to contradict their lazy assumptions. Just because Labour engaged in over a decade of dither and delay does not mean that a determined government, with the resolve of the House of Commons behind it, cannot succeed.

The …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 8 Comments

DPMQs: Nick Clegg looks forward to Mañana

The LDV Collective have asked me to add the monthly Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions to my radar screen. When these sessions started they seemed rather manufactured and unnecessary. However, they have evolved into an important part of the Commons’ calendar, covering a wide range of key issues. They are of interest especially for those of us in the Liberal Democrats who are interested in hearing what Nick Clegg has to say in his official capacity, under scrutiny from MPs, in a mercifully Flashman-free environment.

But this will never be like Prime Minister’s Question Time. The chamber is only about a …

Posted in PMQs | Also tagged , , , and | 12 Comments

Opinion: emotional cleansing or ‘oops, your metaphor’s slipped’

Fluff over substance
I have a confession. While I have reservations about the current policy on social housing, that’s not what this piece is about. Andrew Stunell has written compellingly about our policy as has Dominic Curran.

All I’ll say is that successive Labour and Tory governments have failed abysmally over the last thirty years to invest in affordable housing. They’ve helped exacerbate social and community division, inflate housing price bubbles and distort the economy and our attitudes to wealth. Unwittingly or not, they are the architects of the ghetto. So

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

What the papers say…

Tories claim Labour is using taxpayers’ money to fund election advertising campaign – Telegraph, 15.1.10

“The Conservatives accused Labour of “raiding” taxpayers’ money to fund their election campaign. New figures uncovered by the Conservatives show that spending on advertising has increased to £232 million, which is a 39 per cent increase on the previous year.”

A tenth of schools fail to meet GCSE targets – The Guardian, 14.1.10

“One in 10 secondary schools in England failed to meet basic targets for GCSEs last summer and academies were disproportionately represented among the failing institutions, government statistics published today reveal.

“David Laws, the Liberal Democrats’ education …

Posted in General Election and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Stormin’ Norman on the warpath again

That tireless Parliamentary terrier, Lib Dem MP Norman Baker, has been doing what he does best, once again: demanding answers to awkward questions. The man who forced Peter Mandelson to quit the cabinet last time around has now turned his attention to two new bete-noires:

1) Gordon Brown’s refusal to answer questions, which The Guardian’s Politics Blog notes – here’s what Norman said to the House of Commons, courtesy of Hansard:

The issue of openness is crucial for democracy. We touched on it in the previous debate about MPs’ expenses. After all my years in politics, both

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  • User AvatarCassie 18th Jun - 10:32am
    Key point being that even if there is some amazing Brexit benefit for the NHS, it will be for England only. Either they think Welsh...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 18th Jun - 10:20am
    @Cassie "David Raw… And the relevance/usefulness of your remark to 2018, to Brexit, to TM cynically linking extra NHS cash for England (only) with Brexit…...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 18th Jun - 10:13am
    @Peter Martin "Dianne Abbot was widely criticised for attempting a similar back-of-envelope type calculation as yourself when she mentioned recruiting 1000 police officers who were...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 18th Jun - 9:49am
    Thank you David. I wasn't trying to undermine you. I don't treat comments exchanges as a sort of game. I have plenty of other things...
  • User AvatarLyn N 18th Jun - 9:32am
    @Cassie Quite. The Lib Dem’s as a minor partner in a coalition are only ever going to be able to soften the actions of larger...
  • User AvatarGlenn 18th Jun - 9:30am
    Military spending is not just about defence. It's about selling arms and expertise. It can kill people, which I'm pretty certain is not a public...