Tag Archives: greg mulholland

Pub protection: The Casked Crusader strikes again

Ten days ago, pubs in England unexpectedly won the right to planning protection, as the Government conceded the closing of a loophole that has allowed many good pubs to be converted into convenience stores without needing planning permission.

The news was released by Planning Minister Gavin Barwell to Lib Dem Pub Champion Greg Mulholland, whose record in championing pubs has led him to be hailed as ‘The Casked Crusader’ by none other than the Sun newspaper, and loathed by lobbyists for the under-fire pubcos the BBPA.  Most notably he has led the campaign for a statutory Pubs Code and Adjudicator for tied pub tenants, delivered by Vince Cable and Jo Swinson in Government and defeating the Coalition Government in the process to secure ‘Mulholland’s Law’.
After falling victim to an orchestrated Labour coup to oust him as Chair of the All-Party Save The Pub Group, Greg has continued to press for relief from business rate increases (alongside PPCs Kelly-Marie Blundell and Daisy Cooper), for a Pubs Code in Scotland where tied tenants have no such protection, and for planning reform.  He also continues to fight for better working of the Pubs Code and a change of Adjudicator after the current Government appointed someone accused of inaction and serious conflicts of interest.

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Lamb and Mulholland to abstain on Article 50 vote – what does this mean for the party?

In news which should surprise nobody, both Norman Lamb and Greg Mulholland have said today that they will be abstaining rather than voting against the Article 50 Bill.

The three-line whip tells MPs to vote against if there is no referendum on the final deal with an option to remain in the EU.

Greg Mulholland explained his decision to the Yorkshire Post:

“The outcome of these negotiations is hugely important to the British economy… So I support there being a referendum on the terms of exit so the British people are the ones who decide what our relationship with these nations will be,” he said. ” as I have made clear, including to constituents, I do think that these negotiations should be allowed to commence and that I would not block them doing so, so I will not be voting against Article 50. “What is crucial is that all MPs scrutinise the progress of the negotiations and continue to push the Government to ensure British businesses have access to the biggest market in the world. “I will support sensible amendments to the Bill to ensure the Government does keep Parliament and the British people informed, that our NHS is protected and that British businesses do continue to be allowed to trade with European nations without damaging and costly tariffs and barriers that would harm them and the British economy. I also believe that we should seek to agree that British people living on the continent should be allowed to stay and that EU workers who moved here because we were part of the EU should also be permitted to stay and contribute to our economy and public services.”

Norman wrote about his decision in an article on his website

I fully believe that Remain voters and politicians across all parties must play a key role in influencing negotiations, to ensure that we avoid the damage to the economy and the country’s international status that a Hard Brexit would bring. My personal preference is for the Government to fight for full access to, and preferably membership of, the Single Market, and I will continue, alongside my Liberal Democrat colleagues, to seek to achieve this. I continue to give my full support to Open Britain’s campaign “to keep Britain tolerant, inclusive and open to Europe and the world”.

The Liberal Democrats are united in our opposition to a damaging hard Brexit, united on the Single Market, and united in our determination to make sure the British people have the final say over the final Brexit deal. I fully support our leader Tim Farron and my colleagues inside and outside parliament in campaigning for these outcomes.

However, I have already committed, in public, not to block the triggering of Article 50. It’s no secret that I have an honest disagreement with the party’s position to vote against the triggering of Article 50 unless the Government guarantees a referendum on the terms of the final Brexit deal. Given the vote of the British people on June 23rd, I am not prepared to vote to block the triggering of Article 50 when the bill is brought before Parliament.

Irrespective of my views of the outcome of the referendum, there is a democratic principle at stake, and I feel very strongly about this. When we voted to hold the referendum, we did not set out any preconditions for triggering Article 50, in the event of a vote to leave the EU. I do not see how we can introduce them now. I have therefore made the difficult decision to abstain on this vote.

No Liberal Democrat MP will vote to trigger Article 50

So what does this mean for the party?

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Greg Mulholland wins award from road safety charity

Greg MulhollandLeeds North West MP Greg Mulholland has won the charity Brake’s Parliamentarian of the Year Award for his campaign for justice for victims of criminal driving.

From the Yorkshire Post:

Mr Mulholland said: “I am very honoured to have been named Brake’s Parliamentarian of the Year. For many years now, I have worked with Brake and its fantastic staff, who have been very supportive of my campaign to get better justice for victims and families of criminal driving.

“It has also been a real pleasure to have worked with families and campaigners determined to get that justice. This award represents the work that we have all done together, and no doubt we will continue campaigning until we get the changes that we need to see. Until we get there, I look forward to continuing to work with Brake, so a huge thank you for this award.”

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Rare diseases are not so rare, but are rarely well-researched

rare-disease-day-logoYesterday was Rare Disease Day, although I missed the opportunity to write about it here. It does happen every year, in spite of it being on Leap Day this time.

But the report today that linked the Zika virus to an increased risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome has brought rare diseases back into the limelight. Rare diseases and disorders are defined as those which affect fewer than 1 in 2000 people, and there are over 6000 conditions that qualify.

And, counter-intuitively, a lot of people do suffer from rare diseases, just because there are so many of them. It is estimated that 3.5 million people in the UK have a rare disease, and half of them are children.

Eric Avebury was a great champion of rare diseases, and I enjoyed some stimulating email conversations with him about it after he wrote this post. He suffered, and eventually died from, a rare form of leukemia, which must have sparked his interest in rare diseases, although he was such a wonderful campaigner for all sorts of minority issues, from caste to gay asylum seekers.

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Greg Mulholland wins road safety award

Grea Mulholland has won a road safety award for his campaign to get a better deal for families of people killed in car accidents.

He won named Parliamentarian of the Month by the road safety charity Brake.

From the Bradford Telegraph:

Mr Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) presented his Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Private Members’ Bill in the House of Commons on January 12. It was backed by 31 MPs and will next be heard on March 11.

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Mulholland accuses pubcos on cask ale

The Casked CrusaderWe know that Greg Mulholland valiantly stands up to the big pubcos and was part of a very successful move to give tenants more rights which resulted in one of the few Commons Government defeats of the last Parliament.

In yesterday’s Times (£), he accused the pubcos of passing on costs of duty to their tenants that they didn’t have to pay themselves.

The Lib Dem MP for Leeds North West believes that the pubcos are taking advantage of the agreement between HMRC and the brewers that duty need not be paid on, for example, four to six pints in a firkin containing 72 pints of ale.

He said that some pubcos were routinely charging their tied tenants for the full 72 pints, including the duty element, taking no account of the “undrinkable” portion. The recharging of duty on ale on which no duty had been paid was “potentially a criminal matter”.

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Liberal Democrat MPs explain Syria vote

We heard from Nick Clegg on Sky News last night and Tim Farron has written and talked about why he’s decided to support Syrian airstrkes.

Other MPs have been explaining their thinking. As we find them, we’ll put them up on this post.It’s going to be a bit of a marathon read, but worth having all the rationale in one place.

Alistair Carmichael

You will have seen it reported in the press and media this morning that Liberal Democrat MPs will support the motion in the House of Commons today to extend to areas of Syria our current military involvement against ISIL/Da’esh in Iraq. I want to explain why, after lengthy discussion and deliberation, we have reached this decision and why I will support it.

Decisions of this sort are never easy and this has been the most difficult one that I have ever known. I certainly do not share David Cameron’s reported view that those who oppose intervention are “terrorist sympathisers”. This is an issue on which we have all had to come to our own conclusions and for many of us it has been an enormously difficult process. I know no one, inside parliament or not, who has approached this from anything other than a position of good faith and I respect completely those who have reached a different conclusion from mine.

By comparison the decision to oppose war in Iraq was simple by comparison – it was clearly illegal and it was difficult to identify what the British interest in intervention was.

Recognising that some of the problems we are dealing with today have their roots in that disastrous misadventure, we should be quite clear about why this is a different conflict with different issues.

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