Tag Archives: mike hancock

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

2,133 days of active service but no fuel allowance

“It’s bureaucracy gone mad!” is a familiar cry from Lib Dem MPs, councillors and activists across the country. But I think in Portsmouth we probably have something that takes the biscuit in that regard.

Here, Mike Hancock has been taken up the case of a 94 year-old Second World War veteran, Mr Bob McGowan who was denied his winter fuel payment by moving one day too late. He is now threatening to hand back his war medals in disgust at the way that he has been treated unless, at the very least, he gets an apology and a donation to Help …

Posted in Op-eds | 3 Comments

How Mike Hancock saved George Osborne

The FT has the story:

Now here is a heart-warming tale of goodwill and political selflessness to start this cold winter day, a story of how a Lib Dem turned away an extraordinary piece of Tory intelligence and helped scupper Gordon Brown’s election plans.

Who is the man of honour in this a place of skulduggery and low politics? Arise Mike Hancock, the maverick Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South.

Continue reading »

Posted in News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Hancock to take £1,000 a year “tenants’ tax” protest to Parliament

Mike Hancock, Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South, together with his fellow Portsmouth Lib Dems, has taken his campaign on behalf of council tenants to the highest levels, including Downing Street and Parliament. The issue? One that is faced by 156 councils around the country:

… council tenants are angry because each household will be paying £1,000 a year over the next thirty years directly into the Government’s coffers. The Government takes money from Portsmouth and 205 other councils. Some money is distributed back to councils. 50 councils benefit and 156 pay money to the Government but there is an overall surplus that the Government keeps of £194 million. Therefore a large surplus – £4.6 million this year from Portsmouth alone goes into general Government expenditure – effectively a tax that only council tenants have to pay. With large increases due in the amount taken in coming years, Portsmouth City Council estimates that unless it is reformed Portsmouth’s 15,000 council tenants will pay £500 million over the next 30 years to the Government – over £1,000 a year.

Mike presented the petition in Parliament last night – here’s Hansard’s (somewhat quaint) account of proceedings:

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

Conservative Portsmouth councillor quits amidst claims of hate campaign

Portsmouth Conservative councillor Lee Hunt has quit the Conservative council group in a dispute over claims of a hate campaign and whether Flick Drummond, the Conservative candidate for Portsmouth South, is the right person to take on Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock.

The Portsmouth News reports:

A long-serving Tory councillor has quit his party after claiming he was the victim of a hate campaign.

Councillor Lee Hunt resigned as the Tory whip at a group meeting on Friday saying he could ‘no longer stomach’ his colleagues’ actions.

The Central Southsea councillor of 10 years says he was forced to quit because he spoke out

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Lib Dem MPs divide on embryology bill free vote

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill passed the House of Commons easily this week, 355 to 129. The Bill’s measures include allowing scientists to produce human-animal “hybrid embryos” for stem cells, use of “saviour siblings” to provide bone marrow or umbilical cord tissue for treating genetic conditions, as well as making it easier for lesbians and single women to access NHS fertilisation services and allowing a lesbian or gay couple to be named on the birth certificate as the legal parents of their children.

The Lib Dems made it a free vote, and 16 MPs voted against the Bill at …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

How the MPs are lining up (UPDATED)

By popular request, here’s the current list of which Lib Dem MPs have declared for which leadership candidate so far. (Originally compiled with the help of Jonathan Isaby of The Daily Telegraph.)

The list shows that Nick has attracted two MPs who supported Chris as leader in 2006: Greg Mulholland and Stephen Williams; and eight who supported Simon Hughes (all listed below). Chris has attracted one former Ming Campbell backer – Tom Brake – and three MPs who supported Simon Hughes last time.

Eight MPs have stated they will not declare for any candidate; four have yet – so far as I’m aware – to state their intentions.

As we continue to note, the number of MPs who declare for any one candidate is, in one sense, irrelevant: we are a one-member-one-vote party. Clearly, however, MPs’ endorsements will carry some influence with party members, especially among non-activists.

The full list appears below:

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

How the MPs are lining up (UPDATED)

I’m grateful to Jonathan Isaby of The Daily Telegraph, who has compiled (and allowed me to reproduce here) his up-to-date list of which Lib Dem MPs have declared for which leadership candidate so far.

Jonathan comments: “Below are my most up-to-date lists, which suggest that Huhne now cannot possibly overtake Clegg in terms of MPs declaring. Brackets state where they went in the 2006 election.”

The list shows that Nick has attracted two MPs who supported Chris as leader in 2006: Greg Mulholland and Stephen Williams; and seven who supported Simon Hughes (all listed below). Chris has attracted one former Ming Campbell backer – Tom Brake – and two MPs who supported Simon Hughes last time.

Nine MPs have stated they will not declare for any candidate; 14 have yet to state their intentions.

As was pointed out in the comments on yesterday’s thread, the number of MPs who declare for any one candidate is, in one sense, irrelevant: we are a one-member-one-vote party. Clearly, however, MPs’ endorsements will carry some influence with party members, especially among non-activists.

It will also influence how the media perceives, and then reports, the strengths of the respective leadership campaigns. Though, of course, being seen as the favourite is not always the most comfortable of positions, as Ming Campbell discovered last time. Lib Dems do love an underdog.

Posted in Leadership Election and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 26 Comments

Opinion: Let’s Get Honest With Ourselves

The departure of Ming Campbell gives a tremendous opportunity for the Liberal Democrats to be honest with themselves: an opportunity that only arises rarely in the middle of a Parliament.

The media will ignore it, but the leadership contest can and must be used by those who have been spelling out the obvious, critical issues of central organisation which are fundamental to the success of the Party, to do so quickly and publicly, before bandwagons get started for any candidate (and I haven’t been contacted by one and will want to see their answers first).

The point needs to be made that even Ming’s strongest critic would not pretend that the issue lay entirely with one personality. There are a number of questions that needs an answer by any candidate worth her or his salt, if we are truly serious about building on the platform of 2005 and going on the offensive from then on.

Questions such as:

Posted in Leadership Election and Op-eds | 76 Comments

Ming says EU reform treaty referendum “not necessary”

In a pre-conference interview in today’s Financial Times, Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell has dismissed calls for the party to back a referendum on the EU reform treaty – but has kept open the possibility of a re-run of 1975’s ‘in or out’ poll:

… Sir Menzies, a “pro-European”, told the Financial Times the new EU reform treaty was “sufficiently different” from the original constitution to avoid the need for a plebiscite. He said the only case for a public vote would be on a much broader “in or out” question about Britain’s membership of the EU, to prompt a

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 24 Comments

Second Lib Dem MP signs up for Euro referendum

David Heath, the Lib Dems’ Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor, has become the second party MP to urge a public vote on the EU reform treaty.

David today joined a cross-party group of MPs in launching a nationwide campaign, labelled simply “I want a referendum”, which aims to force Gordon Brown to call a referendum on the EU treaty.

Last week, Mike Hancock became the first Lib Dem MP publicly to call for the party to support a referendum.

Posted in News | 6 Comments

Hancock backs EU treaty referendum

Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South, Mike Hancock, has publicly demanded the Liberal Democrats support a referendum on the EU reform treaty – and says that that many of his Parliamentary colleagues agree.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World at One today, Mike said:

“I believe requires the agreement of the British people – as Prime Minister Blair promised, and as we as a party in the Liberal Democrats promised. … I’m unsure myself, but I would hope that the Lib Dems will stick to their word on this one. I certainly wouldn’t compromise my position on it. I’m adamant,

Posted in News | 15 Comments
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