Tag Archives: lord mcnally

Who will follow in Tom McNally’s ermine footsteps?

The news Helen Duffett posted this week — Tom McNally to stand down as Leader of the Lib Dem Lords — was rather drowned out by the Tory conference and the row over the Daily Mail’s smearing of Ralph Miliband. But as the BBC’s parliamentary correspondent Mark D’Arcy (no, not the fictional Mr Bridget Jones: different guy) points out here, it’s a role that matters lot these days, especially with the House of Lords here to stay for the forseeable…

The decision of the avuncular Lib Dem Lord to stand down as deputy leader of the House and leader

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | Leave a comment

After Leveson: which blogs are to be regulated? Answer: no-one yet knows.

Leveson report front pageI was one of those invited to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) this week for what was termed a ‘Small scale blogger stakeholder discussion’.

A quick reprise of why:

  1. As I posted here three weeks ago, concerns about the legislation are widespread and include both those who are pro-Leveson and anti-Leveson.
  2. Civil servants at the DCMS are now scrambling within a very short timescale to try and make sense of the cross-party legislation passed by the Commons to implement the Leveson Report through a Royal

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

Government pauses on web regulation to ponder question, “What is a small-scale blog?”

A follow-up to my weekend post, Bloggers unite to oppose “botched late-night drafting” that proposes new press/web regulation, highlighting the concerns of many — including the Hacked Off campaign group — that politicians’ hasty law-making had resulted in legislative over-reach.

lord mcnallyIn the House of Lords last night, the Government accepted an amendment that will exclude from the Royal Charter-backed independent self-regulation plans ‘A person who publishes a small-scale blog’.

How ‘a small-scale blog’ is defined will be consulted on by the culture, media and sport department. Patrick Wintour in The Guardian reports this as “a miniconsultation with the newspaper industry on how best to construct a workable definition of the bloggers”, which would be an, erm, interesting way of going about it.

Here’s what Lib Dem justice minister Lord (Tom) McNally told peers:

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Who Lib Dem members think are the most effective non-MPs at promoting the party

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Oakeshott, Ashdown and Pack top your list

LDV asked: Which prominent Lib Dems who are NOT MPs (eg, peers, campaigners) are doing an effective job of promoting the party to the public? Please write-in.

    Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott
    Lord (Paddy) Ashdown
    Mark Pack
    Evan Harris
    Baroness (Shirley) Williams
    Lord (Chris) Rennard
    Caroline Pidgeon AM
    Willie Rennie MSP
    Baroness (Susan) Kramer
    Stephen Tall
    Kirsty Williams AM
    Lord (Tom) McNally
    Baroness (Ros) Scott
    Brian

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 6 Comments

Coming up in the Lords… 23 January – 2 February

It has become abundantly clear since the Christmas break that most of the Parliamentary excitement, apart from that curiosity known as Prime Minister’s Questions, is going to come from the Lords until Easter, and the coming fortnight will be no exception.

Days 5 and 6 of the Report Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill will take place on January 23rd and 25th, with the Third Reading scheduled, perhaps optimistically for 31st January. It’s always dangerous to guess exactly how much progress will be made on Day 4, taking …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Individual electoral registration, credit and social mobility

One aspect of electoral registration, and the potential problems with making registration voluntary, is the knock-on effect on credit and social mobility. That was the aspect which Liberal Democrat peer (Lord) Chris Rennard took up during a debate in the Lords this week:

Lord Rennard: My Lords, does the Minister accept that it really is necessary to carry out a thorough, door-to-door, face-to-face canvass in order to ensure both the accuracy and the completeness of the electoral register? Does he accept that failure to do so not only threatens the integrity of the democratic process but could also cause problems for

Posted in Election law | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Opinion: A real opportunity to Make Justice Work

One of the highlights of conference for me was the breakfast roundtable organised by Make Justice Work. As conference goers and fringe organisers will know, getting one MP along is a challenge, managing to attract three must be close to a record! So it was a demonstration of the commitment our party has to reforming the criminal justice system that Justice minister Tom McNally, chair of the Justice Select Committee Alan Beith and member of the Home Affairs Select Committee Julian Huppert, all attended.

For those of you who don’t know the organisation, it was founded by Roma Hooper to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

Nick Clegg’s speech to LibDem Conference

During Liberal Democrat conference someone watching it from home texted me: “I now know what the Lib Dems are against – bankers, top rate taxpayers, tax cheats generally, overpaid directors and energy companies But, with the single exception of gay marriage, I’ve got no idea what the Lib Dems are for.”

Some will – rightly – quibble over the ‘against’ list in that but the essential point is a fair one. Liberal Democrat conference has been a lot about what won’t happen or isn’t the case: the coalition isn’t going to end early, the Liberal Democrats are not the same as …

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , , , , , and | 16 Comments

Opinion: Liberal Democrats didn’t just avoid Murdoch, we tried to cut him down to size

In my last post for Lib Dem Voice, I pointed out that Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems had never courted Murdoch and his cronies.

Actually, that was just the half of it.

We didn’t just avoid him. We have tried, in different ways over a number of years, to cut the media mogul down to size and clamp down on the sort of abhorrent media practices that have been exposed of late.

As far back as 1994, the year before Tony Blair chose to fly to Oz to lick Rupert Murdoch’s boots, we were calling for the OFT …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 38 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

Liberal Democrat peers: oh dear

No point beating about the bush, if you want to find several handful of Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians who I think are wrong just look to the Liberal Democrat benches in the House of Lords where, as today’s news showed, there is a very large minority opposed to introducing elections for the upper house.

Despite Lords reform having been a long-standing Liberal Democrat (and before that both SDP and Liberal Party) policy, despite the party being in a coalition committed to Lords reform (a pretty remarkable opportunity when you consider the Conservative Party’s traditional view), despite Liberal Democrat party leaders having …

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

Lord McNally fully backs reforming the Lords

There’s been quite a lot of muttering from politicians about now Lords reform, although featuring in the manifestos of all three main parties at the general election, might not quite be needed or quite yet. That’s even included, regrettably, Liberal Democrat ranks in the Lords.

But Tom McNally, Liberal Democrat leader in the Lords, gave those who think 100 years hasn’t been long enough to think about change or that democracy isn’t what Parliament requires, short shrift in the latest Liberal Democrat News:

One hundred years ago the Liberal government committed itself to a second chamber “constituted on a popular basis instead

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Lord McNally: General Election costs “broadly the same” under AV, no plans for counting machines

An exchange in the House of Lords this afternoon led Lord McNally, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice to exclaim, “Gosh, we are getting a lot of information today.” (contrast with David Cameron’s appearance this morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme)

Phil Willis (Lord Willis of Knaresborough) asked Her Majesty’s Government “what they estimate will be the costs of a general election held under the alternative vote system”.

Lord McNally replied that the costs of a general election under AV would be broadly the same as under the existing system. Any extra costs incurred by the …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

Libel Reform Bill published

Earlier today, the government published its draft Libel Reform Bill. It’s an issue that Liberal Democrats, along with many others, have been campaigning on for a few years now and one on which Lib Dem minister at the Ministry of Justice Tom McNally has said his reputation should be judged on.

So it is good news for both our freedoms and Tom’s reputation that the Bill published today proposes major reforms and has met with a warm response, including:

Major changes to Britain’s antiquated defamation laws will be outlined by ministers today with the publication of a bill to provide greater

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

Youth Justice day: thanks and farewell

A final thanks to all those who have contributed to today’s focus on Youth Justice. I trust, dear readers, you have found the debate enlightening and challenging and those of you heading for Sheffield will join us for the debate on Saturday afternoon. We have a fringe event on Friday evening at 8pm in Suite 5 in Jury’s Inn. Peter Oborne will be chairing a debate with Tom McNally, Simon Hughes and others on Youth Justice in an Age of Austerity.

In the midst of all that I personally find unpalatable about the Coalition this is one area where I have …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment

The weekend debate: Is it part of government’s role to encourage political campaigning?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

During the week, Lord McNally said in Parliament, as part of an answer to a written question, that “The Government do not have a role in encouraging party political activity on the ground”.

Is he right: should it be part of the government’s role to encourage party political activity or should government have nothing to do with it? For example, should the government fund (directly or indirectly) publicity campaigns to encourage people to get involved in politics, including via parties? Should it …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Lib Dems push forward on freedom of speech, freedom of information

Two snippets of news today about freedoms – a reminder of the importance of libel law reform and good news on extending freedom of information.

In the Independent, John Kampfner (Chief Executive of Index on Censorship) writes:

“There’s nothing like a boob job cream to get readers going on an important issue. The case of Dr Dalia Nield, one of the country’s leading plastic surgery consultants, goes to the heart of the problem with English libel law. Dr Nield took issue with the company producing the cream, which claimed to increase a woman’s cup size. Her remarks, in a national newspaper,

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Good news on libel law reform as McNally stakes his reputation on reform

Liberal Democrat minister Lord Tom McNally not only repeated his support for libel law reform over the weekend, but also said it was an issue on which his ministerial career should be judged.

Speaking at an event to mark the first anniversary of the Libel Reform Campaign, Lord McNally declared the current state of libel law as “not fit for purpose” and went on to say,

We agree the law needs reforming and have been working on a draft Defamation Bill, which we hope to publish and put out for consultation in March.

See the Press Gazette for more on this story.

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Opinion: Lords avoid falling into Labour’s “elephant trap” – just

The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituency Bill advanced to its second reading in the House of Lords earlier this month after narrowly avoiding a referral motion tabled by Labour peer Lord Falconer.

Lord Falconer had argued that the bill was hybrid as it treated two existing parliamentary seats – Orkney and the Western Isles – as special cases that would have been exempt from the constituency boundary redrawing element of the bill.

The motion was defeated by 224 votes to 210, allowing the second reading of the bill to take place.

But there needs to be a closer look as to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

Paul Tyler writes… Party funding: dilemmas and delays

Since so many of us have fought elections against extremely well-funded opposition candidates, Liberal Democrats are naturally and rightly exercised by the matter of campaign finance. Though Labour made some modest progress with its Political Parties, Elections and Referendums (PPERA) Act, back in 2000, the Act’s focus was transparency, rather than regulation.

When I chaired the party’s policy group on Better Governance in 2007, we set out an objective that no donor should be able to buy influence in the political process, and no party should be able to buy elections. This was the approach we took in the cross-party talks …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Lords reform: 100 years in the making, another 50 to go?

One of the major achievements in the Coalition Agreement is the commitment of the Conservatives to support not merely a “wholly or mainly” elected Upper House but also one elected by proportional representation no less.

The timetable has started to slip, from the original agreement’s decision to “come forward with a draft motions by December 2010” to talk about draft legislation in January and then, slipped in near the end of Nick Clegg’s conference speech, the intention that the first elections will not be held until the latest possible moment while still keeping the commitment to act in this Parliament – …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 15 Comments

Government moves to relax copyright on public information

Look for examples of sensible government attitude towards copyright and the Pentagon may not strike you as an obvious starting point. But for years the US military has had a very enlightened attitude towards its official photographs: the photos are paid for by the public so the public should be able to use them for free. The British military has also moved towards much more sensible policies on such copyright matters in recent years.

Aside from such piecemeal advances, there has been a debate going on about the general application of “Crown Copyright” and what, or shouldn’t, be allowed to be …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Tom McNally shows how it’s done

An excellent speech today from (Lord) Tom McNally:

What was so sad about the last Labour Government was that it slipped far too easily in to authoritarian behaviour and authoritarian measures.

Labour created thousands of new offences and used a steady stream of criminal justice and anti-terrorism laws to ratchet up the powers of the state and to diminish the rights of the citizen.

This coalition comes into office to reverse that tidal flow of laws and restrictions on individual liberty. Which is why my department, the Ministry of Justice, will now check each new criminal offence. And if we don’t need

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Good news for minor parties, unelected politicians and those who dislike election expense controls

Slipped in near the end of Nick Clegg’s keynote speech to Liberal Democrat conference was the news that the first democratic elections to the House of Lords are pencilled in for 2015.

Party sources have confirmed that the reference to Liberal Democrat candidates at the next general election fighting alongside candidates for a reformed Upper House means the draft Lords reform legislation due to be published early in 2011 is being planned on the basis of elections in 2015.

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

Opinion: The pressing need for libel reform

Our libel law is complex, costly and out of date. It lacks certainty and sweeps too broadly in ways that threaten freedom of speech. That is why I have prepared a Defamation Bill to act as a catalyst enabling the coalition Government to give effect to their commitment to review libel laws, and to give Parliament the opportunity to make better law.

Recent calls for libel law reform have come from the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Report Press Standards, Privacy and Libel, the Ministry of Justice Working Group on Libel, and the Libel Reform Campaign led by a coalition …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Libel reform bill set for spring publication

The Press Gazette reports:

A newly published Ministry of Justice Structural Reform Plan shows that developing options for reform is expected to take from June this year until March next year.

The plan gives as a milestone the publication next March of a “draft Defamation Bill for the reform of libel laws published for pre-legislative scrutiny”.

But it gives no indication of a timetable for the introduction or passage of the actual legislation…

The Government announced on 9 July, towards the end of the second reading debate on the Defamation Bill introduced into the House of Lords by Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC,

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

The other Lib Dem Parliamentary contest

Note: the following post has been substantially updated as a combination of circumstances meant the original had various inaccuracies. Apologies for that.

It’s not only Liberal Democrat MPs who are gearing up to vote next week. So too are their colleagues in the upper house where the leader of the Lib Dem peers Tom McNally now in government at the Ministry of Justice. Navnit Dholakia is unopposed for deputy leader but a new ‘backbench forum’ is also being created and that will see some contests.

Joan Walmsley and John Alderdice are standing for convenor and Kishwer Falkner and Jane Bonham Carter are contesting the role …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 7 January 2010

Good morning and welcome to Daily View on 7th January. Waking up to a cold frosty reception this morning are Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former Labour ministers and fellow East Midlanders Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt – and, well, pretty much the rest of us as temperatures are set to stay below freezing for most of the country for most of the day.

The 7th January in history saw a trio of firsts: Galileo Galilei first observed the largest moon of Jupiter; the first use of the modern Italian flag; and the first transatlantic telephone call.

A trio of Nicks have birthdays today: Nicholson Baker, the American novelist; Nicolas Cage, the tax defaulting American actor – and our own Nick Clegg MP, who is 43 today!

And in misogyny news: today is Distaff Day, when traditionally, women, who’d had a break from household work over Christmas, began their domestic tasks again.

2 Big Stories

Today we have one nice story and a load of links poking fun at the Labour party.

Lord Mandelson plans street parties for Queen’s diamond jubilee

Mind you, even this story in the Telegraph, ostensibly about something else entirely, can’t help but speculate on Gordon’s much-demanded departure. Here’s the Lib Dem relevant paragraphs:

Lord McNally, for the Liberal Democrats, had to cough to get himself heard, for Lord Mandelson had risen too soon. This faux pas prompted Lord McNally to say, “That’s a bad start to the year,” before demanding street parties and mugs to celebrate the jubilee.

A lesser performer would have been thrown by the embarrassment of forgetting the genial Lord McNally, but Lord Mandelson recovered without apparent effort, declaring himself strongly in favour of street parties and mugs.

Yay, street parties and mugs! Woo!

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | Leave a comment

McNally on the Lords: “it must not just be for the rich, the retired and the London-based”

The report of the Senior Salaries Review Body was being debated in the House of Lords on Monday – and Lord (Tom) McNally was there to put forward the Lib Dem view that, whatever and however peers are paid, the second chamber becomes a place which is open to those of all backgrounds, income and geography.

The Lib Dems in the Lords submitted evidence to the SSRB which recommended replacing the attendance allowances and all office costs with a single taxable daily rate with a specific receipted overnight allowance. The SSRB recommended reforms to expenses which would see the introduction of a £200 daily allowance and £140 overnight receipted expense while the Lords is sitting.

Here’s Lord McNally’s speech to the Lords in full:

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Are there more ex-SDP members on the Tory front-bench than the Lib Dem front-bench?

Danny Finkelstein asks the question over at The Times’s Comment Central here. Scores on the doors (allegedly) so far show it to be a draw…

Tory shadow cabinet ex-SDPers: Greg Clark, Chris Grayling, Andrew Lansley and David Mundell.
Lib Dem shadow cabinet ex-SDPers: Vince Cable, Chris Huhne, Tom McNally and Paul Burstow

Or can LDV readers point out more…?

Posted in Humour and News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 13 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 22nd Mar - 1:10pm
    @ Catherine Jane Crosland. "it was frequently pointed out how easy it would be to register multiple times with multiple email addresses." Funny you mention...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 22nd Mar - 1:03pm
    Should have added that one of the most intelligent, shrewd (and humorous) persons I ever knew left school at twelve and went down the pit...
  • User Avatarmatt 22nd Mar - 12:49pm
    @Catherine Jane Crosland You mustn't point out contradictions in what LD's say when the situation suits. That does not go down very well on these...
  • User AvatarIan Martin 22nd Mar - 12:49pm
    Three million !
  • User Avatarmatt 22nd Mar - 12:37pm
    @Glenn I tend to agree. I just find it irksome that some seem to believe that the petition has democratic legitimacy because a couple of...
  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 22nd Mar - 12:36pm
    Matt, I'm sure you are right. During the recent discussion over whether registered supporters should be allowed to vote for Lib Dem leader, it was...