Tag Archives: zahida manor

Two Liberal Democrat peers quit the party

News came through yesterday that Baroness Zahida Manzoor, has quit the party as she is opposed to our policy following the EU Referendum: This comes after Emma Nicholson apparently left us for the same reasons last month. Politics Home has the details.

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson told PoliticsHome: “Baroness Manzoor has resigned the whip as she disagrees with our view that we should be at the heart of Europe.

“We are disappointed with her decision as it is the Liberal Democrats who are standing up for hope and unity in the face of Brexit.

“More than 18,000 new members take the opposite view and have joined the Liberal Democrats since the EU referendum because of our position on Europe.”

Emma Nicholson’s decision was revealed by The Times last month, with the response from the party headquarters: “Emma who?”

She was elected as Conservative MP for Torridge and West Devon in 1987 and served as vice-chair of the Tory party before defecting in 1995. She joined the House of Lords in 1997.

Baroness Manzoor, who was ennobled less than three years ago, has also resigned her frontbench post as Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokeswoman.

Last year she took a leading role in the Lords’ battle against tax credits.

There is some speculation that Baroness Manzoor may join the Conservative Party. Nick Clegg’s decision to give her a peerage surprised people in 2013 as few had been aware that she had any connection to the party or commitment to it. It would be very strange if she were to join the Tories after she was so pivotal in forcing that u-turn on tax credits. She apparently stunned colleagues by announcing that she was leaving on the last day before the parliamentary recess.

The Tories’ opposition to the EU was one of the reasons Emma Nicholson joined us in the first place, and she served as MEP for a decade. This Herald profile of her from 1995 looks at her life and career.

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Lib Dem amendment aims to repeal £1000 cut for low-paid families

The Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment which would stop the Chancellor’s planned cuts to Universal Credit which are still in place, meaning that families on the lowest income will face a similar annual cut in income as those who receive tax credits. Osborne stopped the tax credit cuts after political pressure but the Universal Credit cuts are still planned to go ahead.

The changes mean that anyone applying for Universal Credit from 2017 would be £1000 worse off.

Work and Pensions spokesperson Zahida Manzoor said:

George Osborne claimed he listened to concerns about low income working families losing out when he U-turned on Tax Credits, but in fact he has simply delayed the pain.

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LibLink: Zahida Manzoor: The Government’s changes to tax credits will have a severe impact on the lives of millions

In the Huffington Post this week, Lib Dem Work and Pensions spokesperson Zahida Manzoor wrote of the party’s opposition to the Government’s severe cuts to tax credits for the lowest paid.

The Tax Credit system is hugely complicated, made up of various different ‘payment thresholds’ and so-called ‘disregards’. But ultimately the key aspect of the system is the ‘taper rate’ – that means how much is taken away in Tax Credits for every additional pound you earn.

This taper rate is important, because when someone is making the decision about whether to take on more hours, particularly if they have children, then money matters. If it turns out you’re only going to keep a few pence in the pound by taking on the extra work it may not be worthwhile, particularly if you need to pay for expensive additional childcare in order to cover the increased time spent away from home.

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