- Lib Dems join Amnesty International UK in fight against NI abortion laws
- Cable: Housebuilders must not pinch their profits from the public purse
- PM in the process of creating a double cliff-edge
- Govt’s no deal papers shows PM driving UK to a cliff edge
- Labour fail to oppose Govt’s controversial knife crime orders
Lib Dems join Amnesty International UK in fight against NI abortion laws
Today, Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine will join women impacted by NI abortion law along with Amnesty International UK, other MPs, and other service providers and activists to hand in a petition to decriminalise abortion.
Ms Jardine will be one of 28 women, the number who travel from NI to England each week for an abortion, walking with suitcases to the Northern Ireland Office. The suitcases will be filled with 62,000 signatures calling on Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, to decriminalise abortion.
Ms Jardine said:
We cannot allow the women of Northern Ireland to continue to be denied the same human rights as those of us in the rest of the UK, and indeed across Europe, an injustice which has been criticised by the United Nations.
The collapse of devolution in Northern Ireland is no excuse for ignoring the voices of women who have been raped, are expecting a child with a fatal foetal abnormality or because they just cannot be pregnant, and have sought an abortion.
Today the Liberal Democrats are standing alongside Amnesty and colleagues from across the political divide to give those women a voice.
It’s time the Government listened to them and to the 62,000 people who have signed the petition, who are calling for the decriminalisation of abortion.
Grainne Teggart, Amnesty’s Northern Ireland Campaign Manager, said:
62,000 people are calling on the Northern Ireland Secretary of State to decriminalise abortion. They recognise the grave harm caused by the existing law and want change.
All eyes are firmly on the Secretary of State to see how she’ll respond. For too long our demands for equality have been ignored and our rights sacrificed for political expediency.
The time for change is now. Northern Ireland cannot be left behind as the only part of the UK and Ireland with a near total ban on abortion. It’s 2019 – time we had laws that respect and value women’s lives.
Cable: Housebuilders must not pinch their profits from the public purse
Responding to the announcements that Persimmon’s profits have topped £1 billion as it is under scrutiny over its continued involvement in the Help to Buy scheme, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:
Far from benefiting first time buyers, the major effect of Help to Buy is to drive up demand while having no effect on supply. Prices go up and buyers are forced off the housing ladder. The result is not help for those who need it, but a boost to the profits of big developers.
Liberal Democrats have set out how government could be delivering 300,000 homes a year over the next decade, by creating a British Housing Company as a dedicated, not-for-profit body to build on land acquired compulsorily without profits from land scarcity.
The fact that Persimmon’s profits have topped £1 billion at the taxpayer’s expense is a scandal. The Government must act to stop Help to Buy, rather than allowing big housebuilders to pinch their profits from the public purse.
PM in the process of creating a double cliff-edge
Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement in the House of Commons today, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:
It is a positive step that the Prime Minister has ensured MPs will have the chance to put off No-Deal Brexit.
However, rather than ending the uncertainty, the PM has instead created a potential double cliff edge that businesses will need to plan for.
The consensus in the House of Commons is becoming increasingly clear; her deal will not get through, No-Deal will not get through. As Liberal Democrats have been saying for months, the only way to end the impasse is to give the public the final say through a people’s vote and an option to stay in the EU.
Govt’s no deal papers shows PM driving UK to a cliff edge
Responding to the Government’s release of their papers on the ‘Implications for business and trade of a no deal exit on 29 March 2019’, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:
The assessments made of the UK’s preparedness for a no deal makes sobering reading. With nearly a third of critical projects off track and the UK economy set to shrink by up to 9%, the Prime Minister must rule out no deal at any time and in all circumstances.
The only reason no deal is still on the table is because Theresa May has been trying to frighten MPs into supporting her already defeated deal. Now we know MPs will be able to vote down no deal in March, it becomes even clearer what a waste of time and money this tactic has been.
These papers are a tragic reminder of how Theresa May’s scaremongering has driven the country to a cliff edge. The only real alternative is to offer the public a final say, with the option to stay in the EU.
Labour fail to oppose Govt’s controversial knife crime orders
Tonight the Conservative Government’s controversial ‘ASBO-style’ knife crime prevention orders were passed 145-84, with 63 Liberal Democrat peers voting against the Government compared to just 17 peers from Labour.
Responding to the vote, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson in the Lords Brian Paddick said:
Tonight the Labour Party failed to oppose the Government’s controversial knife crime prevention orders.
ASBOs didn’t work to tackle anti-social behaviour, and these new knife ASBOs won’t work to tackle knife crime. They will unnecessarily criminalise children as young as 12, put more young people in prison on pointless short-term sentences, and waste valuable police time and resources.
Also commenting on the vote, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:
The Liberal Democrats demand better for the victims of knife crime and their families.
We will oppose these proposals in the Commons and demand a real solution: more community police officers and a proper public health approach to tackle the shocking rise in violent crime.