Tag Archives: john hemming

Liberal Democrat MPs with the best real-life experience

The Express has an interesting article listing the MPs who have, it says, the best real life experience.

Two Liberal Democrat MP appear on the list.

They are:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

Is John Hemming right to seek guidance on when children can be left home alone?

I was interested by this report in this week’s Sunday Times (£) concerning John Hemming, a long-standing campaigner against overbearing child protection policies and practices and secretive family courts. I’ve seen enough instances in my time where social workers have made serious errors, causing horrendous distress, to make me glad that he’s on their case.

He’s tabled a Parliamentary Question asking the Government for guidance on the age at which a child can be left at home alone after being approached by a mother who was given a police caution some years ago for leaving her then 6 year old in the house while she went for a driving lesson. That caution has been held against her as she now wishes to train as a mental health nurse.

I have to say that I have absolutely zero sympathy with anyone who thinks that it’s ok to leave a 6 year old in the house rather than cancel a driving lesson. The last time ROSPA had the funding to collect statistics on home accidents, they found that 120 children died in a year as a result of an accident in the home. The whole list makes sobering reading. More recent research looks at the reasons behind child hospital admissions and deaths.  So I think it was right that she received a police caution. Whether that should stop her becoming a nurse now, many years on, is a different matter. One stupid mistake shouldn’t automatically blight a whole career choice.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 20 Comments

Birmingham Post: “MP John Hemming is often a beacon of truth”

hemming_teaThat’s the glowing verdict of the Birmingham Post’s Jonathan Walker on the city’s Yardley Lib Dem MP, John Hemming:

Let’s give credit where it’s due and celebrate one of the mavericks of the House of Commons. He’s a little eccentric and if he’s blessed with a brain the size of a planet he might just have an ego to match. But he’s frequently championed unfashionable causes – and eventually been proved right.

The trigger for this bout of praise was his role as chairman of a campaign group called Parents Want a …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

It’s been a while since Liberal Democrats got 25% in a ballot…

JUMP 4 JOYThat got your attention, didn’t it?

Actually, it wasn’t so much a ballot but a great big raffle. This morning the annual draw took place to select twenty MPs to select Private Members’ Bills. Five Liberal Democrats were allotted slots, with the top two places going to Andrew George and Michael Moore. John Hemming, Sarah Teather and Martin Horwood complete our quintet.

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

Nick Clegg’s leadership: A summary of the coverage

Nick Clegg visits Manchester VelodromeWell, there was a certain inevitability that poor election results would lead to calls for Nick Clegg to resign. Today, the papers are full of comments from activists and MPs critical of the Deputy Prime Minister.

John Hemming, John Pugh and Adrian Sanders have all gone public with their criticism of Clegg. It should be noted that none of them are particularly noted for being his biggest fans. There is a certain irony that where there were elections on their patches, they did reasonably well. In Pugh’s Southport …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 46 Comments

Liberal Democrat Muslim Network launched in Birmingham

Launch of Lib Dem Muslim NetworkMuslim Liberal Democrat members and activists from across all parts of the country came together on Saturday 3 May in Birmingham to promote a strong Muslim network within the Party in support of greater inclusion, dialogue and campaigning.

The key aims of the Network are:

1. Promote the party amongst Muslim communities across the UK

2. Provide a support mechanism for Muslim members within the Party

3. Promote dialogue and greater understanding of Muslim communities in the UK

4.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 30 Comments

Lib Dems: “Cyril Smith’s acts were vile and repugnant and we have nothing but sympathy for those whose lives he ruined”

cyril smith bookWe reported here yesterday the latest revelations of extensive alleged paedophile abuse by former Liberal MP, Cyril Smith, in a new book co-authored by his Rochdale successor, Simon Danczuk. Today’s Observer highlights the party’s response, and the responses of two current Lib Dem MPs, John Pugh and John Hemming:

In a statement the party said: “Cyril Smith’s acts were vile and repugnant and we have nothing but sympathy for those whose lives he ruined. His actions were not known to, or condoned by the Liberal Party or the

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 43 Comments

Hemming helps woman in forced Caesarean and adoption case

The Telegraph carries a story which should make any liberal ask a lot of questions.

To summarise, a pregnant Italian woman was sent to Stansted for a training session. She was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after becoming distressed. But worse was to come:

By now Essex social services were involved, and five weeks later she was told she could not have breakfast that day. When no explanation was forthcoming, she volubly protested. She was strapped down and forcibly sedated, and when she woke up hours later, found she was in a different hospital and that her baby had

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 33 Comments

EDMwatch #1: animals, VAT on tabloids, Diabetes and Sir Alex Ferguson

I thought it might be a good idea to introduce a new feature for the start of the shiny new parliamentary session – a regular look at the Early Day Motions tabled by MPs. These are basically House of Commons petition and are used to raise awareness of an issue. One of the biggest elements of an MP’s postbag or inbox is a pile of requests from supporters of a particular organisation or charity to sign a particular EDM. As a rule, ministers don’t sign EDMs.

You would think, wouldn’t you, that MPs could just sign them with a click of …

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

Opinion: One last chance to achieve far-reaching libel reform

The Defamation Bill is nearly law. Several key reforms needed to protect free debate are already included in the Bill, thanks to the tireless work of the Libel Reform Campaign (declaration: I have acted as an adviser to the campaign), the heroic defence of free speech by individuals in the face of financial ruin, and Parliamentarians from both Houses, with Lib Dems leading the charge.

At the very last, however, a Tory attempt to scupper one of the most important provisions that was included in the bill needs to be defeated if the ensuing Act is to achieve …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 11 Comments

In other news… Hemming “resignation threat”, Rogerson on second home tax, Russell on Israel & more

MP John Hemming’s fury over ‘cover-ups’ (Daily Express)

A LIB Dem MP threatened to resign the party whip last night and sit as an independent unless child protection was treated “more seriously”. John Hemming said the Government was “dangerously complacent” about the level of cover-ups at ­children’s homes and in the ­wider family justice system. He said if ministers did not demonstrate “a change of attitude”, he would withdraw his “personal support for the Government”.

Mentally impaired people ‘exploited by court-appointed deputies’ (BBC News)

Action is needed to prevent vulnerable people being ripped-off by those appointed by the courts to manage

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

In other news… Nick talks Dutch, Farron’s footie boycott, Hemming’s whistleblower charter & more

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past few days…

Nick Clegg insists on speaking Dutch at Cabinet Office meeting (Telegraph)

Nick Clegg, who speaks five languages fluently, chose to conduct a recent meeting at the Cabinet Office with Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president, entirely in Dutch. Did the Deputy Prime Minister, whose mother is from the Netherlands, do so to outfox a Downing Street official whom David Cameron had allegedly sent to spy on their conversation? “Nick enjoys being able to talk Dutch,” the Liberal Democrat leader’s spokesman tells Mandrake.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

In other news… Teather on pupil premium, State of play for Welsh Lib Dems & other stories

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past few days…

Teather: Pupil premium ‘changing the way schools think’ (BBC)

The Liberal Democrat MP and minister at the Department of Education Sarah Teather, said the policy is about “changing the whole way schools think”. Speaking to The World At One, she said there is a “scandalous gap” between those from poor backgrounds and those from wealthier backgrounds. ” about focusing money on the individual child regardless of where that child is,” she told Martha Kearney. Under the policy, by this September schools in England

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

LibLink: “John Hemming is definitely a cat man”

John Hemming, Lib Dem MP for Birmingham Yardley, is an unabashed iconoclast. The Independent this week sought to understand what makes him tick a little better. Inevitably there is some focus on his private life — most notoriously brought to public attention by his estranged wife’s stealing of a kitten from his girlfriend’s house — but also a lot of space given to his views on the UK care system and the economy. Here’s an excerpt:

Hemming is serious but funny, blithely overweight, and a stickler for detail. He sits surrounded by plenty of clutter, a frisky kitten and an inquisitive

Posted in LibLink | 1 Comment

LDV Caption Competition | John Hemming “you’ll have had your tea” Edition

There’s no prize at stake – just the opportunity to prove you’re wittier than any other LDV reader…


(Hat-tip to international development action group Tea Time for Change.)

Here’s Lib Dem MP for Birmingham Yardley John Hemming enjoying a cuppa a in a good cause. What do you think might be being said or thought by those pictured?

And the winner of our last caption comp is…

Some fantastic entries for our most recent caption competition, Liam Fox “was he pushed?” Edition.

Posted in Caption Comp | 6 Comments

And in other news…

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Nick Clegg’s speech to the Liberal Democrats conference rally

Welcome to Birmingham, a city with a great, outspoken liberal tradition. The home of Joe Chamberlain, where Gladstone called for Home Rule in one of the most rousing speeches of his life, and where Lloyd George nearly lost his life when he spoke out against the Boer War. Now it’s the home of those great modern day, outspoken liberals – John Hemming and Lorely Burt.

I have spent the last few weeks criss-crossing the country, speaking to as many of you as possible, hearing your concerns and answering your questions. We did what Lib Dems do: discussed, debated, argued – …

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Was Lib Dem MP John Hemming right to name Ryan Giggs as superinjunction footballer?

The media can now, openly and legitimately, report the name of the Premiership footballer alleged to have had an affair with a former reality show contestant. That the name ‘Ryan Giggs’ is public is down to Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who ‘outed’ the Manchester United star in the House of Commons this afternoon using Parliamentary privilege. As BBC News reports:

Addressing MPs, Mr Hemming said: “Mr Speaker, with about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all.”

House of Commons speaker John Bercow interrupted the MP saying: “Let me just say to the honourable

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 66 Comments

Opinion: Are hyper-injunctions compatible with the Human Rights Act?

“Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.” That famous aphorism is commonly quoted, though perhaps not in the courts that hand down hyper-injunctions whose very existence is kept secret on the pain of imprisonment. This incredible situation was exposed in Parliament by John Hemming MP, whose work deserves to be widely read.

When you read a hyper-injunction what strikes you is the sheer sweeping arrogance of the way they make themselves almost totally secret. One of the many questions raised these injunctions is how they can be compatible with …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Fred Goodwin gets super-injunction that even stops him being called a banker

The Independent reports:

Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland who became a focal point for anger over the financial crisis, has obtained a super-injunction banning the media from identifying him as a banker.

The existence of the super-injunction was revealed today by John Hemming, a back-bench Liberal Democrat MP who tabled a question in Parliament about the gagging order.

Normally the media is forbidden from even reporting that a super-injunction exists but Parliamentary privilege allows MPs to speak on the floor of the House of Commons without risk of prosecution.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 9 Comments

LibLink: John Hemming – Scrap tuition fees? Yes we have

Over at The Guardian’s Comment is Free website, Lib Dem MP for Birmingham Yardley John Hemming has penned a robust defence of the Coalition’s plans for higher education funding in England, taking as his starting point the IFS’s findings that more than half of students will pay 9% of income over £21,000 a year for 30 years: “In other words this new system is a graduate tax in all but name.” Here’s an excerpt:

It is, however, not an open-ended graduate tax as it has a cap. The cap works in such a way that graduates with higher earnings get to

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 14 Comments

Parliamentarians in the news

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Hemming in the headlines

The London Evening Standard reports:

The wife of an MP was today charged with burgling the home of her husband’s ex-lover and stealing a kitten.

Christine Hemming, wife of John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, is alleged to have raided the home of Emily Cox, a researcher by whom Mr Hemming fathered a child in 2005. Mrs Hemming, 52, of Moseley, Birmingham, was not required to enter a plea during a brief appearance at the city’s magistrates’ court.

She was granted bail and committed for trial at crown court over the alleged burglary on the night of September 29. Her

Posted in News | 7 Comments

Jason Kitcat: update on the councillor facing censure for using YouTube

A quick update on my post about Brighton Green councillor Jason Kitcat, who is facing disciplinary action over putting footage of a council meeting up on YouTube. He’s posted the latest news over on his blog, and it is good to see that he is getting support from across the political spectrum:

ConservativeHome’s local government blog had yesterday posted a supportive piece which Local Government Minister Grant Shapps MP then tweeted a link to, adding his own view:

Surely no justification for reporting a Cllr who seeks to promote openness to the Standards Board

Indeed! The comments on the ConservativeHome piece are

Posted in Local government, News and Online politics | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment

LibLink: John Hemming – How the IFS got it wrong in calling the budget regressive

Over at The Guardian’s Comment is Free website, Lib Dem MP for Birmingham Yardley John Hemming argues that the Institute for Fiscal Studies made a number of mistakes in its analysis of the Coalition’s budget plans. Here’s an excerpt:

Labour politicians seized on an Institute for Fiscal Studies report last month which described the emergency budget as “clearly regressive”. Unfortunately, some of the IFS’s conclusions and the reporting of them were misleading and inaccurate. … the IFS has made a number of important errors in its report, which tends to exaggerate the effect of the cuts on the poorest households.

Posted in LibLink | 33 Comments

Lib Dem MPs split on Euro referendum?

Almost two years ago, in the early weeks of Nick Clegg’s leadership, the Lib Dem parliamentary party managed to tie itself in knots over the question of whether to support a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. In the end three frontbenchers, David Heath, Tim Farron and Alistair Carmichael, quit after defying the party’s three-line whip to oppose a referendum.

Well, Sky News has the interesting story that the party still hasn’t managed to get its line straight and agreed, re-opening that split:

Now it seems to be deja vu all over again, with a new Lib Dem split in voting

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 9 Comments

MPs rally to Hemming’s cause over “intimidating” solicitor’s letter

LDV reported on Wednesday that Lib Dem MP for birmingham Yardley John Hemming had been granted an emergency Commons motion to debate what he termed an “intimidating” email received from a firm of solicitors Withers LLP.

A brief update, courtesy of the BBC report:

MPs have rallied round one of their number who said he was being “intimidated” and prevented from exercising his right to freedom of speech in the Commons by a firm of solicitors.

On 14 January 2010, they backed a request from Liberal Democrat John Hemming to refer the matter to Committee on Standards and Privileges, who will

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Emergency Commons debate after Lib Dem MP John Hemming “intimidated” by solicitors

The BBC reports:

Commons Speaker John Bercow has granted MPs an emergency debate after one Member claimed he had been “intimidated” by a firm of solicitors.

Liberal Democrat John Hemming, who represents Birmingham Yardley, complained about an e-mail he had received from Withers LLP.

Mr Bercow said the MP believed it amounted to a “contempt of the House” and ordered a debate for Thursday. It was a matter “to which I should allow precedence”, he told the Commons.

Full story here.

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Top MP blogs published

TotalPolitics (in association with Iain Dale) now have published their list of top MP blogs, as voted for by over 1500 readers.

In the top 30 are Lynne Featherstone, Willie Rennie, John Hemming, Steve Webb, and John Barrett.

Only one party leader features in the list, and that’s Nick Clegg.

Posted in News and Online politics | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

Birmingham Ladywood Lib Dem PPC loses judicial review

The Birmingham Mail has the story:

… a city councillor failed to overturn a judge’s ruling that he “scurrilously” tried to smear a Labour opponent when giving evidence in an election court.

Coun Ayoub Khan, who is his party’s prospective candidate for Ladywood at the next general election, hoped to clear his name after Elections Commissioner Timothy Straker QC found he had made up a “sordid” story in an attempt to falsely accuse Aston Labour councillor Muhammed Afzal of witness nobbling.

Mr Straker, in an election trial in Birmingham last year, also found that Coun Khan, who is a barrister, made up an “unpleasant and unsubstantiated” claim that Coun Afzal’s supporters were responsible for an arson attack on a Range Rover owned by a Liberal Democrat supporter.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 10 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 18th Dec - 11:43pm
    Peter Martin, yes I do realise that trying to balance the budget is counter-productive. A big part of the problem is the way government does...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 18th Dec - 11:17pm
    @ Mick Taylor, If you vote for a motion of no confidence in the government knowing it is unlikely to pass, ( which it is),...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 18th Dec - 11:06pm
    @ Frankie, “The Euro will fail, trust me I’m an economist” The euro doesn't have to fail. If the US$ can work so can the...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 18th Dec - 10:48pm
    @ JoeB, 'The 2017 Conservative Party manifesto pledged to eliminate the deficit by the “middle of the next decade”' Presumably it means the Govt budget...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 18th Dec - 10:44pm
    I wouldn't have expected to be in agreement with Paul and David either, but there you go. Just to finish the bit that fell victim...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 18th Dec - 10:26pm
    Joe, on this matter Alex MacFie and Paul Holmes are spot on. Your option, I'm sad to say, is pretending we are a powerful player,...