Tag Archives: simon hughes

Conference Countdown 2016: Looking forward to Lib Dem Disco?

For those of you heading to Conference in Brighton this weekend, I hope word has reached you by now that Cambridge Lib Dems are once again hosting the hugely enjoyable Lib Dem Disco in association with UK Music.

It was such fun last year that even Buzzfeed was astounded.

This year will see defending champion DJ Jo Swinson taking on the challenge from Kirsty Williams, Simon Hughes and the ALDC’s own Abi Bell. As before, your MC for the evening is one Julian “J Huppz” Huppert.

Things kick off at 10:30pm in the Balmoral & Buckingham Room, Hilton Metropole, Brighton on Saturday 17th September.

Please note that in previous years a special online discount was offered. This year tickets are all £10 each. We would like to apologise if this was incorrectly stated elsewhere. Naturally you can trust this now that you’ve read it on Lib Dem Voice!

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Simon Hughes to join Open University

 

According to the BBC, Simon Hughes has accepted a post at the Open University, as their Head of Public Affairs. This will be a maternity cover for one year.

The OU site gives this great quote from author Bill Bryson:

What other nation in the world could have given us William Shakespeare, pork pies, Christopher Wren, Windsor Great Park, The Open University, Gardeners’ Question Time and the chocolate digestive biscuit?

We wish him well!

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Simon Hughes calls for CPS and Police to look again at Poppi Worthington case

Former Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Simon Hughes has called for the Police and CPS to look again at the investigation into the death of 13 month old Poppi Worthington. He said:

There is an investigation by the IPCC about whether police did their job properly in this case and due to be a second inquest into Poppi’s death. I’m sure Cumbria Police and the CPS will now also want to look again at the evidence in the public domain.
“In the light of the public judgment in the family court case, police and the CPS should now reopen and review this case. If our justice system is about justice for the deceased as well as the living and above all about the welfare of children still alive, then it must be in the general interests of justice that there is a further review of this case.

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IfG interviews former Lib Dem ministers, feat. Browne, Swinson, Hughes, Featherstone, Cable, Huhne

The Institute for Government did a lot of work during the coalition looking at how this (by English standards) unusual arrangement was working, and could work better. Now we have (for now at least) moved beyond coalition, the IfG has been interviewing ministers who served in the last government, seeking their reflections on their time there.

The IfG website has transcripts of a number of interviews with both Conservative and Lib Dem former ministers. The Lib Dems featured are:

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Sir Simon Hughes knighted by the Queen

Sir Simon Hughes’ knighthood is official! Yesterday he went to Buckingham Palace to receive his insignia from the Queen.

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LibLink: Simon Hughes: A message to Tim Farron: Unite, inspire and enthuse

Simon Hughes was one of the first people to endorse Tim Farron for leader. He’s written an article for today’s Independent in which he outlines what he thinks Tim should do next:

The new leader knows what to do. He must and will unite, inspire, and enthuse the party, involving supporters of both candidates in one big campaign for liberalism, determined to rebuild – and quickly. The clarion calls dreadfully muffled in the last year must be heard in all our communities: freedom, democracy, respect for our planet, a decent quality of life for all, and much greater equality in our still horribly unequal country. We must turn our policy and philosophy into practice where we govern and into campaigns where we do not. We need a massive housing programme of council, social rent, and other affordable housing, and help for the mentally ill. We must champion political reform to restore the link between voters’ views and election results. We must be the party of internationalism and of Europe, and a movement which values those who have chosen to live here.

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Congratulations to Liberal Democrats on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Many congratulations to the Liberal Democrats honoured into today’s birthday honours list.

We’ve already mentioned Simon Hughes, who is knighted.

Duwayne Brooks (pictured) receives an OBE for public and political service. Duwayne was our very prominent and energetic candidate for Mayor of Lewisham in 2014. He has been a councillor in the London Borough of Lewisham, serving as the lead member for the Liberal Democrats on the Safer Communities Board at the Local Government group, where he has also been Community Cohesion and PREVENT Champion. He has run a charity supporting victims of crime. Duwayne is a great example of a Liberal Democrat rolling their sleeves up to make their community better.

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Arise, Sir Simon!

Simon Hughes is one of a thousand people recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list today, receiving a knighthood. Many congratulations to Simon on an award which is very well deserved after a lifetime of skilful and devoted public service.

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Video: Simon Hughes endorses Tim Farron’s leadership bid

It’s Simon, so it’s not going to be brief, but here is a party legend saying why he thinks Tim should be leader:

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Five Liberal Democrat ex-MPs turn down the ermine

Honourable mentions for Messrs Cable, Laws, Alexander, Baker and Hughes who have, according to the Guardian, turned down or said they are not interested in offers of peerages in the dissolution honours:

Four senior Liberal Democrat politicians defeated in the general election, including former business secretary Vince Cable, have turned down offers of a peerage from Nick Clegg in the dissolution honours list. It is understood that David Laws, the former education minister, Simon Hughes, the former justice minister, and former Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander have also decided to reject a chance to sit in the House of Lords.

The Lords is likely to be a battleground for the government since the Conservatives do not have an overall majority in the upper chamber, even though in practice there are strict limits on how far peers can resist central planks of legislation agreed by the Commons. The Liberal Democrats currently have 101 peers, Labour 214, the Conservatives 178 and crossbenchers 224.

Hughes, a former deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, who lost his Southwark and Bermondsey seat to Labour, told guests at a recent birthday party: “I don’t believe in an unelected second chamber. When you see the list I will not be on it. I am not going there.”

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The Hughester gits dan wiv da kids

Well, not really, the title above is rubbish, but Simon Hughes seemed to score a “street cred” point yesterday when an interview with him was carried on Buzzfeed.

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Featherstone and Hughes defend Coalition record on civil liberties in letter to Independent on Sunday

The coalition’s record on civil liberties took a bit of  a pasting in last week’s Independent on Sunday. Today, Justice Minister Simon Hughes and Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone defended the Liberal Democrat record in a letter to the paper. Their missive rather felt the sharp edge of the editor’s pen, but the full version (via the party website) is below. They have a good go at both the Tories and Labour.

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Christmas in Bermondsey the Simon Hughes way: “Our big city is made up of little villages, little communities and we all have to look after each other”

Do you have those inevitable first week of January blues? This will warm your heart because it’s really what politics is all about. It’s about making people’s lives better. It’s a short film showing Simon Hughes going around various community events in his constituency on Christmas Day. As he said, the big city is made up of villages and we all need to look after each other. Enjoy.

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What is going on with the Liberal Democrat media strategy?

This morning we have George Osborne all over the media talking about how wonderful it is that he’s able to give £2 billion to the NHS. Let’s bear in mind that Norman Lamb has been pushing for a cash injection for some time. All he gets is billing on the Liberal Democrat website for the months of tenacious evidence building and making the case for further investment.

I was quite pained to see Simon Hughes put out round the news channels on Wednesday to promote the Counter Terrorism Bill. While he was in the BBC News Channel studio, David Anderson was criticising the very plans that Hughes was defending. It seemed like a bit of a stitch-up. Nick Clegg has always set great store by David Anderson’s judgement. Anderson’s opinion of the Government’s plans to exclude people they think have been fighting in Syria for up to two years was pretty scathing.

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Simon Hughes writes… Counter-terrorism bill – the Liberal Democrats are on the right track

The rise of the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is one of the most serious and dangerous issues we have had to face since we came into Government. Whatever we call this organisation – IS, ISIL or Da’ish – we can’t ignore their brutal activity. The graphic and disturbing images of violence coming from Syria and Iraq show the barbaric way this extremist group has perverted the Muslim faith.

We also need to face up to the reality that this group has publicly announced its desire to bring its murderous ideology to the streets of Britain. The murder of Drummer Lee Rigby is a stark example of the potential threat from extremist ideologues. It is estimated that around 500 British citizens have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight for ISIL and other military groups. Around half have returned and others will continue to do so. This presents a new and unique challenge to the UK security services and police, and earlier this year the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, run by MI5, raised the threat level from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’. This means that an attack in the UK by violent extremists is highly likely.

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Lib Dem Peers try to make revenge porn a criminal offence

Next Wednesday, 22nd October, the House of Lords will debate the following amendment  to the Criminal Justice Bill which, if passed, would make revenge porn a criminal offence. It follows :

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Ashcroft’s poll of Lib Dem battleground seats: incumbency is alive and well but 2015 will be a survival election for the party

Tory peer and pollster Lord Ashcroft has published his latest set of constituency findings. He polled some of the key Lib Dem / Tory and Lib Dem / Labour battlegrounds in the summer – he’s now followed that up by looking at a further 22 seats. Of these, 2 are Lib Dem targets, 15 the party is defending against the Tories, and 5 against Labour. You can see the full results here .

Here are the headline findings:

  • Of the 20 Lib Dem-held seats polled, the Lib Dems would retain just 6.
  • The Tories would gain 7 and Labour would gain 4. The other 2 would be a tie (though actually a further 5 are statistical ties within the margin of error).
  • The Lib Dems would win neither of their two targets.
  • Posted in Polls | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 37 Comments

    Hughes: Lib Dems will extend Freedom of Information to open up public services run by private companies

    simon hughesIt’s been a week of Lib Dem policy announcements, foreshadowing the party’s pre-manifesto to be voted on by members at this October’s conference in Glasgow:

    Monday: Norman Baker: “The Lib Dems want to restore the public’s trust in the police”
    Tuesday: Fairer funding for Wales: “Lib Dems will actually do something about it,” vows Kirsty Williams
    Wednesday: Steve Webb: Lib Dems will introduce “fair warning” for job-seekers who break benefit rules before sanctions imposed
    Thursday: Lib Dems pledge more tax cuts: after personal allowance raised to £12.5k will also increase National Insurance threshold

    And on Friday, ready for the weekend papers, Simon Hughes – the Lib Dem justice minister – highlighted plans to bring housing associations, water companies and the Big Six energy companies within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, opening them up for public accountability.

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    LibLink: Alex Proud – “If you believe politicians are useless, you’ll end up with useless politicians”

    In the Telegraph today, Alex Proud — who self-describes as “A lapsed Liberal and a rugged, Gladstonian Liberal who likes free markets and the odd gunboat, but a Liberal nonetheless” — reflects on his recent meeting with Nick Clegg and Simon Hughes:

    … sitting between Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg I was reminded for the first time in ages just how inspiring good politicians can be. They force us to think outside the box of our own petty concerns and project ourselves onto a national and even global stage. They remind us that we can change the world for the better. They actually made me feel like a teenager again – raging against Thatcher while still admiring her steeliness and her ability to bend the country to her will. Dare I say it, they even ignited a spark of nostalgia for a time before my birth, when we felt we could stand up to dictators, end war and make the next generation fairer and healthier.

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    Opinion: Liberal Democrats’ principled decision gives civil servants continued workplace protection they need

    PCS picketOne of the announcements at Nick Clegg’s press conference on Monday was his categorical rejection of Tory ministers’ attempts to abolish check-off across government.

    What’s check-off? This isn’t a Michael Gove attempt to ban a celebrated Russian playwright, it’s a mundane administrative convenience which allows members of trade unions to pay their union subscription by getting their employer to deduct it from their wage packet and send it on for them.

    Union members like check-off because it’s the easiest way to keep their subs up to date. Trade unions like it because …

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    Liberal Democrat Muslim Network launched in Birmingham

    Launch of Lib Dem Muslim NetworkMuslim Liberal Democrat members and activists from across all parts of the country came together on Saturday 3 May in Birmingham to promote a strong Muslim network within the Party in support of greater inclusion, dialogue and campaigning.

    The key aims of the Network are:

    1. Promote the party amongst Muslim communities across the UK

    2. Provide a support mechanism for Muslim members within the Party

    3. Promote dialogue and greater understanding of Muslim communities in the UK

    4.

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    Opinion: Justice for Simon Hughes

    As someone who has never exactly been a supporter, there have been very few bright spots in the otherwise suffocatingly dark firmament which is the Coalition Government.  One was and is the appointment of Norman Lamb as Care Minister who has been doing a remarkable job, also the undoubted achievements of Lynne Featherstone.  So the news yesterday that Simon Hughes has been appointed a justice minister was one of those rare occasions when some of my perennial despair was tinged with just a little hope.

    I have a lot of time for Tom McNally and I think he …

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    ++ Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes replaces Lord McNally as Justice Minister

    Simon HughesNews just in:

    Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes has replaced Lord (Tom) McNally as the Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Justice.

    Lord McNally has been appointed as the new Chair of the Youth Justice Board, a post which he will take up in mid-March 2014. Simon Hughes will take over as Justice Minister with immediate effect.

    Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

    “Tom McNally has been a fantastic minister who has pushed through a Liberal agenda in the Ministry of Justice. He will now bring the same

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    Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats: a year of achievement

    cropped EMLD logoI was delighted to be re-elected Chair of Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats (EMLD) at the AGM last Saturday, 25th November.

    2013 has been a year of considerable achievement, not least a very well-attended race equality conference in partnership with the Social Liberal Forum  which was launched by the business secretary Vince Cable.

    EMLD were also successful in changing party policy on education and employment when our motion endorsing the Race Equality Taskforce report was unanimously approved at federal conference in Glasgow.

    We were instrumental in preserving the “general duty” part of the …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

    Opinion: Thanks to Simon Hughes and Liberal Democrat Voice for helping get Florence Nightingale back in history lessons

    The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has announced that Florence Nightingale will remain in the National Curriculum after all, reversing a decision earlier this year to boot her out.

    I want to offer my hanks to Liberal Democrat Voice for letting me state my reasons why Nightingale should stay in earlier this year. Thanks also to Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, for his efforts in getting the decision re-examined. Liberal Democrats can take a particular pleasure in seeing a fellow Liberal re-instated. Florence Nightingale was a lifelong Liberal supporter, at a time when political allegiances were …

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    Simon Hughes re-selected for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

    In news which will surprise nobody, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes has been re-selected by his local party in Bermondsey and Old Southwark to fight the 2015 General Election as reported by the London SE1 community website.

    Simon said:

    Since I was first elected, we’ve been through a lot. Fighting to have tube stations in Bermondsey and Southwark, unemployment dropping from nearly 20 per cent to 7 per cent, regeneration of our high streets, and many things that matter to local people like better housing and schools, and more training and jobs.

    But little compares to the work I have been

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    Clegg, Ashdown, Williams & Hughes set out case for action in Syria

    Writing in tonight’s London Evening Standard, Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes, Paddy Ashdown and Shirley Williams set out the case for international action in Syria.

    After describing the horrors of  chemical weapons, they declare:

    We four believe a strong response from the international community is now necessary.

    Posted in LibLink and News | Also tagged , , and | 18 Comments

    Simon Hughes and Alex Carlile debate Snoopers’ Charter on Murnaghan

    It’s been like Snoopers’ Charter Central this morning.

    It didn’t take very long after the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich for politicians of a more authoritarian outlook to be falling over themselves to condemn Nick Clegg for vetoing sweeping measures on Communications data and call for their immediate introduction. LDV’s Stephen Tall dealt with two of them, John Reid and Alex Carlile, by making them his Liberal Villains of the Week, saying:

    And then comes the next inevitability: politicians striking a pose as authoritarian strongmen by cravenly giving the jihadists the glory they seek. Two of the usual

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 21 Comments

    Simon Hughes MP writes…My vote on the Same Sex Marriage Bill

    I want to say a few personal words to my party friends and colleagues, straight and gay, after this week’s debates and votes on the same-sex marriage bill.

    I voted for the second reading of the bill but abstained at third reading. I tried to make clear my reasons in my three speeches on the bill in February and this week. Please read them carefully. Some of you may be pleased or relieved that some Liberal Democrat MPs, including me, voted for amendments and against third reading or abstained on third reading. You may share our beliefs on this issue or …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 111 Comments

    11 Liberal Democrat MPs vote for registrars to be exempt from marrying same sex couples

    The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has made fairly easy progress through the Commons tonight. After a Government/Labour compromise on a review for extending civil partnerships to opposite sex couples, and the heavy defeat or withdrawal of amendments, including “son of Section 28”, it looks as though many of the barriers to this Bill’s passage have been removed.

    There is still a further day of debate tomorrow, though, and further amendments to be debated.

    One of the amendments discussed today, defeated by 340 votes to 150 in favour, was to allow registrars to exempt themselves from marrying same sex couples. Eleven Liberal …

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