Tag Archives: private members bills

Wera Hobhouse wins Government support to make upskirting a specific sexual offence

Good news from Westminster – Wera Hobhouse’s Bill to make upskirting a specific sexual offence could closer to becoming law today when it receives its second reading in the Commons. Wera has won Government support for the measure but it requires to get through today without objection before it can proceed.

Wera has been working with campaigner Gina Martin and her lawyer Ryan Whelan on the details of law reform with the Ministry of Justice.

Wera today said she was “delighted” as the Government agreed to support her legislation to close any potential loopholes, in order to better protect victims and increase convictions:

I got involved in politics to change things that my constituents and I care about. I am incredibly grateful to Gina Martin for starting this campaign, and for giving me the opportunity – in my first year in parliament – to do exactly that.

The fact that the Government has listened to our calls is testament to the widespread consensus that there was a gap in the law that needed to be addressed. By working with Gina and ministers on the detail of my Bill, we have demonstrated that when we work together successfully we can make a difference on issues that really matter to people.

We all made the case for common sense. Now if someone is to fall victim to upskirting, the law will recognise them as the victim, and the police will be able to act immediately and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Gina Martin explained how she built her successful campaign:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

Lord Dick Newby writes: A simple solution to an otherwise blurred vision

adjustable spectacles

Yesterday, I introduced a Bill in the Lords to permit over-the-counter sale of adjustable focus spectacles. At present only reading glasses can be sold in this way, with all other types of eyewear requiring a visit to a qualified optician or optometrist.

The spectacles in question achieve the required focus for each eye by turning a dial found at the side of each lens. They are produced to a very high quality and are useful for both to deal with some medical issues – eg types of diabetes where sight varies from day to day – and more generally as a spare or temporary pair of glasses. They are manufactured by an Oxford-based company, Adlens. They are sold in 57 countries worldwide including Japan and the US, where 500,000 units have already been sold, many without prescription.

However, in the UK, the only glasses which can be sold without a prescription are reading glasses. Although technically the Department of Health could just amend the legislation, it relies on advice from the General Optical Council (GOC) – the opticians’ regulatory body. Despite supportive expert opinion, the GOC has come up with a raft of issues – some of which are entirely spurious and none of which are decisive – to prevent the Adlens glasses being readily available.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Baroness Judith Jolly writes…Why we need a UK register of arms brokers

I never expected to come anywhere near the top of the ballot for private members bills. My record for the Lib Dem raffle over thirty odd years is less than five or six wins. And I came third! That means I have second reading next Friday (10th June).

My bill calls for arms brokers to be registered and a fit and proper test applied to would be brokers. At present there are few restrictions so you or I could set up as a broker. In the US they are regulated.

Save the Children and Amnesty International are supporting us. Save the Children said:

Our Yemen work in Parliament has mainly focused on humanitarian access and the credible reports of breaches of international and human rights law. Whilst we recognise the positive impact that the Government’s humanitarian response and interventions have made, we remain concerned that the Government’s current support for Saudi Arabia-led military action is undermining the protection of civilians and is inconsistent with its support to the humanitarian response. We believe more robust action is needed to ensure that existing standards and norms are upheld by all parties to the conflict, in line with Government commitments under the new National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review, and to ensure full compliance by the UK with legal obligations under national and international law relating to the sale of arms.

Amnesty International added:

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

Martin Horwood MP writes…Pavement politics

Pavement_parking_1 by PeterEastern
It is a badge of honour for Lib Dem MPs, Councillors and activists when people call us pavement politicians. We are a party that is relentlessly focused on community politics and the issues that matter on streets up and down the country.

That’s why, when I was drawn earlier this year in the Private Member’s Bill ballot, I decided to champion a Bill focused on an issue that blights tens of thousands of streets across the country – pavement parking.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 20 Comments

Michael Moore MP writes…Securing the UK’s commitment to international development

Lynne Featherstone in UgandaI am pretty sure I have taken every chance available to enter the ballot for a Private Member’s Bill since being elected to the House of Commons in 1997.

What is certain is that I have never succeeded in securing one of the highly coveted slots that give backbench MPs a chance to pilot legislation through Parliament – until now, that is.

In the old days I am sure that those lucky enough to emerge in the “top 20” of the ballot would have learned of their good fortune by letter or maybe even messenger. By contrast, I became aware of securing the second slot by text messages and a sudden spate of social media ‘notifications’. The letter duly followed.

In the weeks since, I have had many enquiries asking which issue I would choose and have had just as many (mostly) helpful suggestions – my thanks to all who took the trouble.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 8 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

Crockart’s Nuisance Calls Bill to be debated tomorrow as All Party Group recommends action

Nuisance calls banner

Mike Crockart’s Private Member’s Bill (or the Communications (Unsolicited telephone calls and texts Bill to give it its proper name) is up for its second reading tomorrow. It’s the only Liberal Democrat measure being discussed. The Bill aims to ensure that people are not bothered by unwanted calls if they don’t want to be. The explanatory notes to the Bill are here.

By amazing coincidence, the  All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuisance Calls, of which Mike is co-chair,  published its report on the unsolicited marketing industry this morning. It …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments

Protecting children, nuisance calls, delivery charges and supporting deaf people – the Liberal Democrat private members bills

Stephen Tall told us all about the private members’ bills brought in by Tory MPs in their “alternative Queen’s Speech” – everything from burka banning to reintroducing the death penalty to naming the August Bank Holiday after Margaret Thatcher.

I thought I’d look into the measures the Liberal Democrats who were successful in the Great Parliamentary Raffle are hoping to bring into law. As you might expect, they’re a bit more practical and relevant.

Sir Malcolm Bruce’s Bill is all about improving communications support for deaf people. Signature has more details:

Sir Malcolm is a tireless advocate for the deaf community

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

Smith, Crockart, Bruce and Williams win in Great Parliamentary Raffle

Well, I learned something I didn’t know about parliamentary procedure yesterday. I had always assumed that the Private Members’ Bill Ballot was an actual ballot, where MPs voted for themselves or their colleagues. How naive was I? The secret is now out, and available on You Tube. It’s actually a big raffle as you can see here:

440 MPs’ names went into the box and just 20 were drawn out. Among them were 4 Liberal Democrats. We had Sir Robert Smith in 9th place, Mike Crockart in 11th, Mark Williams in 13th and Sir Malcolm Bruce in 14th.  I …

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Opinion: Job share MPs – an idea whose time has come

As regular LDV readers may know, I’ve long advocated the idea of allowing candidates to put themselves forward for election on a job-share basis (letting constituents decide whether they want to elect job-share MPs). Today a Bill making this possible will be presented to the House of Commons.

The Representation of the People (Members’ Job Share) Bill will be introduced as a Private Member’s Bill by Labour MP John McDonnell. It will be interesting to see how much cross-party support the Bill gets. Individual Lib Dems have certainly been sympathetic to its aims. Mark Williams MP tabled an Early Day Motion …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 6th Dec - 1:04am
    The proposal for running a current spending surplus over the course of an economic cycle (excluding capital spending) comes from the work undertaken by the...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 6th Dec - 1:00am
    Peter Martin, Did you actually read what I wrote? – “I would hope that if we remain in the EU economic growth can get to...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 5th Dec - 11:20pm
    Matthew Huntbach, Yes, you've tried. I have tried. Quite a few others - some leaning toward "loyalist", others leaning toward "dissident", have also tried. I...
  • User AvatarRural Radical 5th Dec - 10:40pm
    This is a great article, albeit on a theme that needs wider development outside the heat of an election. From the Chartists to the Ascott...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 5th Dec - 10:24pm
    I don't know where this nonsense about running a permanent budget surplus came from.
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 5th Dec - 10:15pm
    @ Yousuf, I didn't mention the Labour manifesto. Maybe you are confusing me with someone else? I'd just say they aren't totally free problems that...
Tue 10th Dec 2019