Tag Archives: mark harper

Immigration minister Mark Harper quits. An honourable resignation? Inevitable is nearer the mark

Mark Harper, Conservative immigration minister, today resigned after learning his cleaner did not have permission to work in the UK. Here’s how the BBC reports it:

Mr Harper notified Prime Minister David Cameron, who accepted his resignation “with regret”, Number 10 said. It added there was “no suggestion” the 43-year-old Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean had “knowingly employed an illegal immigrant”. Fellow Tory James Brokenshire has been appointed the new immigration minister.

His resignation is being hailed as honourable, though I think inevitable is nearer the mark. There is no suggestion he acted illegally, and in his own version …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 24 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

Data sharing and electoral registration: there should be a second opt-out

Over on the Open Rights Group blog, Jason Kitcat has recounted the recent meeting hosted by the Cabinet Office about the government’s plans to improve data sharing across the public sector in order to improve electoral registration, particularly as we shift to individual registration (the benefits of which I’ve blogged about here).

These plans could range from the helpful (such as giving people the option when, say, telling the TV Licensing Authority that they have moved also to have the information sent to update their electoral register entry) through to the very different (such as linking up tax records …

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Clegg agrees to let more coalition differences show in public

The degree to which ministers should let differences within the coalition shown in public was much debated in the second-half of the year, and I’ve blogged several times about the advantages of doing just that. So the latest news from Nick Clegg on this is very welcome:

The Liberal Democrats plan to air future disagreements with their Conservative partners in public as Nick Clegg attempts to assert a more distinctive identity for his party in a new phase for the coalition…

In a shift of tactics for the coalition, which was launched by the two party leaders in the Downing Street garden

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 58 Comments

Move to individual electoral registration speeded up

In a statement to Parliament yesterday, Mark Harper (Minister for Constitutional Reform) announced that the Government will speed up the introduction of individual electoral registration by axing Labour’s plans for an interim phase of voluntary individual registration. Instead, individual electoral registration will be introduced in 2014.

The principle of switching to individual registration has been supported by all the main parties. I previously wrote about the reasons for this support for individual electoral registration:

The current electoral registration system is based on one registration form being delivered to each household, with the head of the household completing the form on behalf of

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Parliament debates electoral administration

On Wednesday last week Parliament had a Westminster Hall debate on the subject of electoral administration, triggered by Meg Munn, the Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley. Sheffield was one of the areas particularly badly affected by the problems with people queuing to vote at 10pm on polling day, and it was this issue which dominated her opening remarks. Citing the Electoral Commission’s views on the matter, she urged the government to change the law to enable those who are still queuing at 10pm to be allowed to vote in future.

This proposal received support from other MPs during the debate …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment
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