Tag Archives: ken macdonald

The Party Disciplinary Review

There was a recent article on Lib Dem Voice by Lord MacDonald on the review that is taking place on the Party’s disciplinary procedure. I would like to encourage you to take part if you have not already done so – I confess I only just got around to filling it in myself yesterday!

Regarding complaints, I have experienced elements of both ends of this process – having something done to me which I made a complaint about; and sitting on a disciplinary panel to decide whether charges against a party member were held or not.

My insights into the …

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Your chance to have a say on draft disciplinary reform proposals

Editor note – comments are closed on this article, given its nature.

The consultation on the Party’s governance held in late 2015 laid bare a number of concerns which members had with our current disciplinary processes. The Federal Executive at the time took the decision to commission a separate review, which I was asked to chair in the autumn of 2016.

I am clear: the only way members will be well-served by a disciplinary process is if it is simple, transparent and efficient. It needs to be independent, a stand-alone process, and it needs to deal with complaints promptly with clear lines …

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Sal Brinton writes…How the party is addressing members’ concerns over harassment complaints

The Federal Board of the Liberal Democrats has met to discuss the concerns expressed by members of the party over the last few days. We considered what action should be taken to address these concerns, and also to let members know about changes that are in progress already.

I want to start by thanking everybody who has spoken up about harassment and sexual assault over the last few days. I know, from personal experience in the media when I was younger, that it is insidious, pervasive and demeaning and the effects never really leave you. Vince Cable and I remain very clear that there is no place for harassment and sexual assault inside the Liberal Democrats and we must have a zero tolerance approach to it.

That is why the serious allegations made by some members relating to rape and assaults in a case that is currently under investigation are very serious. Because the case is under way at the moment, the party cannot comment. However, we can look at some of the concerns raised by the complainants about where the process may have failed. That is urgent, and the Board recognises this.

Early in 2017 the Federal Board asked Lord Ken Macdonald, former Director of Public Prosecutions, to carry out a review of our current disciplinary processes for two reasons. Firstly, following the Morrissey Review the party constantly reviews its processes, but the Board was also  concerned to hear that some cases appeared to take too long, and that some processes were inconsistent. Ken was asked to think radically about a new process that would be seen as independent, fair, faster and accountable. The snap General Election halted the evidence he was taking, but the report is now nearing conclusion and will be presented to the Board in December, published to the party in January and then changes presented formally to Spring Conference.

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Lord Ken MacDonald writes… For Liberal Democrats, civil liberties belong to every age

The closer we get to the election, the louder the question resonates: what have Liberal Democrats brought to government? In all the compromises and stresses of coalition, has our difference made it all worthwhile?

In the area of civil liberties, so important to us as a party, the answer must be a resounding ‘yes’. Of course not all the coalition battles around freedom have taken place in public, but they have been fiercely fought nonetheless- sustained, difficult struggles against the Tories and parts of the Whitehall machine, to keep our country loyal to its most enduring values in the face of terrorism and risk.

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Crunch time for secret courts – email the Lords tonight

This time tomorrow, the House of Lords will have voted on the Justice and Security Bill. These men and women have the future of fair and open justice in their hands.

If they pass the Bill as it stands just now, it will not satisfy the Joint Committee on Human Rights. That is serious stuff. It is counter-intuitive for any Liberal Democrat to be going against what that Committee, not to mention Liberty, Amnesty and every other human rights organisation, says. How many red flags do we need?

The amendments in the Lords will, if passed, ensure that secret courts are only …

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Liberal Democrat responses to anti-terrorism legislation review

Here’s a round-up of responses from Liberal Democrat figures and blogs:

Tom Brake MP (Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs and Justice)

Sanity and justice have been restored to British life.

Today is a victory for those who have campaigned to restore the historic freedoms that Labour spent 13 years destroying.

Control orders are gone, 28 days detention without charge is gone, indiscriminate stop and search is gone and the abuse of anti-terror powers by councils to pursue petty offences is over.

There will always be a balance to be struck between freedom and security and these proposals

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Anti-terrorism review: 6 questions to judge the government by

With the publication of the government’s anti-terrorism review just about to happen, and likely to include a large number of details, what are the key points to look for in judging how the review has gone?

So far, we know one outcome – the reduction in the maximum period people can be held without charge from 28-days to 14-days (which is in line with the Liberal Democrat manifesto). Yet to be published are the plans on control orders (the abolition of which has been another key Liberal Democrat demand) and on a host of other anti-terrorism legislation.

What to look out for

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More details published of Government’s review of anti-terrorism powers

A Home Office news release tells us:

The Home Secretary has announced today that a rapid review of key counter-terrorism and security powers is underway. The review will look at what counter-terrorism powers and measures could be rolled back in order to restore the balance of civil liberties and counter-terrorism powers…

The review will look at six areas:

• the use of control orders;

• stop and search powers in section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and the use of terrorism legislation in relation to photography;

• the detention of terrorist suspects before charge;

• extending the use of deportations with assurances to remove foreign

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LibLink: Ken MacDonald – “Freedom’s place in the fight against terrorism”

OurKingdom is running the chapter in Why Vote Liberal Democrat by Ken Macdonalrd (former Director of Public Prosecutions) on liberty and terrorism:

Britain is a country with a long and proud history of promoting civil liberties. This is a tradition we should be determined to defend. But in recent years the state’s regard for these long-held values has diminished. Tony Blair once memorably described them as ‘belonging to another age’. They do not. They belong to each and every one of us, right now.

You can read the full piece over on the OurKingdom site and read a review of

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Why vote Liberal Democrat? Book review

If you go to Amazon searching for “Why vote Liberal Democrat?”, edited by Danny Alexander and just published  by Biteback, you may be surprised to find yourself being presented instead with a book of the same title from 1997, written by William Wallace. The new book is misfiled by Amazon under the title “Why vote Lib Dem?” but actually the 1997 volume provides an interesting contrast with the 2010 version.

The 2010 book is one of a series, covering also Labour, Conservatives, SNP, Plaid and the Greens. All the others are single person authored books (with the exception of …

Posted in Books, General Election and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 19 Comments

What links Colin Firth, Ken Macdonald, Brian Eno, Gurkha veteran Madan Kumar Gurung, Pam Giddy, Floella Benjamin and Duwayne Brooks?

Well, all six of them have contributed to the soon-to-be-published opus, Why Vote Liberal Democrat?, published this Thursday. To pre-order your copy from Amazon, please click here.

Here’s the party press release blurb:

Actor Colin Firth, former Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald QC and musician Brian Eno have all contributed to a book entitled ‘Why Vote Liberal Democrat’. The book, which goes on sale on Thursday, covers topics as varied as fair taxes, gay rights, looking after our armed forces, political reform and the fight against climate change.

Other contributors include Gurkha veteran Madan Kumar Gurung, political reform

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