What our busy peers will be up to this week

Here are some of the things our team in the House of Lords will be doing this week:

Monday: Roger Roberts will be pushing the Government to take action to relieve the situation of unaccompanied refugee children. Tim Farron has been pushing the Government to accept 3,000 at risk refugee children but David Cameron has recently rejected the proposal. The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to find a solution which does not leave these children vulnerable.

John Lee is asking the Government what their latest assessment is of tourism’s contribution to the economy of the United Kingdom.

Dick Newby is leading a debate on the prospect of amending the Opticians Act 1989 to allow certain adjustable-focus eyewear to be sold over-the-counter in the same way reading glasses are currently.

The Trade Union Bill will be in its first day of Committee.

Tuesday: Malcolm Bruce will be asking the Government what action they intend to take to assist the viability of oil and gas exploration and development on the United Kingdom continental shelf in the light of the reduced price of oil.

Barbara Janke is pushing the Government on proposals for the renewal or replacement of failed housing estates, following the announcement by the Prime Minister of £140 million funding; and whether any additional funding will be made available. She will highlight the need for greater investment in social housing.

Liz Barker will ask the Government about future investment into the promotion of walking and cycling.

The Housing and Planning Bill will have potential amendments debated as it goes through Committee

Wednesday: The Trade Union Bill will be in Committee for a second day.

Thursday: Tony Greaves will be pushing the Government to reveal the impact of the Local Government Finance Settlement on the provision of libraries.

Mike Storey is asking whether the Government plans to legislate to ensure that food and drink provided in all types of schools follow Food Standards Agency food and nutritional guidelines.

Brian Paddick is asking Ministers about current guidance provided to police forces regarding the use of body-worn cameras by police officers.

The Armed Forces Bill will be read for a Second Time as Peers outline their concerns and potential amendments to the Bill.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Parliament.


  • Is the Tim Farron who “has been pushing the Government to accept 3,000 at risk refugee children but David Cameron has recently rejected the proposal,” the same Tim Farron who in December voted in favour of bombing in Syria when one of the Lib Dems five tests was “We call on the government to step up its acceptance of Syrian refugees, and opt in to Save the Children’s proposal to rehome 3000 unaccompanied refugee children,” and said “It is my judgement that, on balance, the five tests have been met as best as they can.”?

    Surely not, or are the LibDems still that easily taken in by David Cameron?

  • Thomas Shakespeare 8th Feb '16 - 8:48pm

    Hi “Ex Liberal”

    I don’t agree with the Syria vote. 2 / 8 MPs voted against, reflecting the difficulty of the vote. However, while I disagree, I think this article explains Tim’s position more clearly. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tim-farron-interview-lib-dem-leader-on-why-he-went-against-his-party-over-syrian-air-strikes-a6786891.html

  • Thomas, but the Independent article you link to says nothing about the 3,000 refugee children test. It only mentions the word refugee twice – once linking to an different article that has nothing about the test of the government taking 3,000 refugees; and another to the cheap, one line joke Cameron made about Lib Dem MPs. We have to accept that Tim totally misjudged this, claiming his tests had been met when this one clearly hadn’t and he lost another opportunity to actually get us noticed for doing (and achieving) something right. Likewise his argument that his decision won more votes than it lost isn’t being reflected in the opinion polls or even gains in by-elections. Is it?

  • I think we need to accept that Tim Farron is not any sort of unalloyed radical Liberal. He was an MP throughout the Coalition period, on his own admission, disappointed he wasn’t offered a ministerial position. In those circumstances it is not really surprising that he went along with the Cameron case. Interesting, and encouraging, that Norman Lamb did the opposite, having been a minister. Personally I was disappointed that John Pugh did not vote against. Perhaps the Lib Dems (and Labour, for that matter) is not a “pacifist party”, but there are many pacifists in our party, and I don’t think it comes well from our leader (with an enthusiastic Christian background, too) to rather rubbish the tradition, and attempts by pacifists to build a better more peaceful world. While we consider the effect on the children, perhaps we should reflect on the major traumas to which all, but particularly the children, are exposed to, and whether that makes war more or less likely in future generations. There are many reasons to oppose the bombing of Syria – the best case being made right now by the Russian action around Aleppo. What do we as Liberal Democrats (whether pacifists or not) think about that?

  • Thomas, Tim Farron’s ‘excuses’ for not following the party line smacks of Nick Clegg’s ‘apology’ over tuition fees…

    There have been several articles with Tim demanding action over a ‘condition’ that he said had been met “as best as they can.” If you set out ‘conditions/red lines’ then backtracking, when they are not met, shows both weakness and lack of conviction…

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