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Following Dominic Grieve’s comments about the European Convention on Human Rights, find below a comment from the Liberal Democrats Justice Minister, Simon Hughes: Simon Hughes said: “Britain has a long, proud history of standing up for ... Continue to article
Simon Hughes set out Liberal Democrat reasons for calling for changes to the so-called 'bedroom tax' housing benefit changes. "It's a change of policy because the evidence shows that the current policy is not working. "The reason the ... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said Parliament could not function properly until there was “a gender balance” among MPs. “We don’t have enough women… I am pleased to say that in all the seats where sitting Liberal Democrat MPs are standing down, the me... Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 11.30am: Northern Ireland questions 12 noon: Prime minister questions 12.30pm: Ministerial statement on the special measures regime and next steps Presentation of bill: Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation... Continue to article
Simon Hughes insisted the Liberal Democrats were not turning their backs on civil liberties by backing emergency legislation to secure intelligence agencies’ access to communications data. “It doesn’t increase the powers of the state at ... Continue to article
There is no 'right to be forgotten', a justice minister has insisted, amid controversy over a European Court ruling designed to give citizens greater control over their online presence. The May ruling, which stemmed from a complaint aga... Continue to article
LORDS CHAMBER 3.00pm: Oral questions, to ask the government: - What is their definition of aggressive tax avoidance; and what specific examples they can instance (Lord Barnett, Lab) - What progress has been made in considering the p... Continue to article
Chris Grayling has accused his Labour counterpart of having "nothing positive to say" on prison reform. The Justice Secretary made the comments during Justice Questions after Sadiq Khan accused him of "finding it difficult to keep the pu... Continue to article
Simon Hughes downplayed reports that the Lib Dems were considering a shift in their stance on an in-out EU referendum. "Firstly the story was that we had started to do it or might be changing our mind... That certainly isn't true. We've ... Continue to article
Simon Hughes defended Vince Cable's actions and condemned Lord Oakeshott over the Liberal Democrat polling row. "Vince Cable's been very robust... He made a very clear statement yesterday condemning absolutely what Matthew Oakeshott had don... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said UKIP would struggle to convert today's success in the local elections into seats in the House of Commons next year. "Mr Farage and his party effectively has two policies, as far as I can see, one is to get out of the Eu... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said the Liberal Democrats were the party to vote for if you wanted more affordable housing. “People want more affordable homes. One of the issues, actually, that is behind people’s antipathy towards immigrants is that they ... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said judges should be given discretion over sentencing for knife crimes and disagreed with Chris Grayling's call for fixed-term sentences. "No we’re absolutely not soft on crime and I’ve been involved in the criminal justic... Continue to article
The Liberal Democrats, at their annual party conference in Gateshead, voted against discussing the Health and Social Care Bill in an emergency motion tomorrow, which would have aimed to get it withdrawn. Under the party's alternative voting system Baroness Williams's rival motion to support the bill was instead accepted and will be debated tomorrow, rather than a motion to "kill the bill".
Nick Clegg had urged his party to get behind the NHS reforms, saying the Health and Social Care Bill had "changed considerably" and "deserves the support of the whole party".
Deputy leader Simon Hughes earlier defended the Liberal Democrats' record in Government, and insisted he was "not worried" about the future of the party.
Speaking to the BBC's Today programme, Mr Hughes said: "Of course I am worried when people are concerned in the community that we are not doing the right thing, and I have concerns about that, but I am not worried about the future of the party and our ability to achieve in government the sort of changes that would not have been delivered if the Tories were there on their own."
Nick Clegg yesterday stressed the Health and Social Care Bill had been changed beyond "all recognition" since its first publication thanks to Liberal Democrat amendments.
He insisted that Liberal Democrat peers had mad "absolutely sure" competition would always be the servant of the NHS and "not its master".
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, echoed the words of his party leader and welcomed th news that Shirley Williams's motion had been chosen instead of discussing whether to drop the bill.
Speaking to Sky News he said: "Shirley has played a key role along with other Liberal Democrat peers in the House of Lords in terms of improving the bill, improving the bill with a view to passing it into law. I think that’s the right thing for the NHS, I think it’s the right thing for the country and so if that’s the debate we’re going to have tomorrow then I welcome that."
Baroness Williams added that after the changes made she is now prepared to support the bill.
Speaking on Sky News she said: "We’ve done everything we can to support the NHS including dealing with health inequalities and therefore I’m prepared to stand up for those reforms but not the original bill which I think was very ill-judged and very ill-conceived.”
The Liberal Democrats are expected to intensify the divisions within the Coalition over housing benefit caps when deputy leader Simon Hughes makes a speech expressing his concerns over the caps.
Mr Hughes is expected to say that the limits will "break up families" and ask: "Is this really how we want to treat now the adults of the next generation?"
Liberal Democrat sources insist that Mr Hughes supports the idea of a cap in principle, but has been left "deeply concerned" about the consequences of the reforms in central London.
The fourth day of the Liberal Democrat party conference in Liverpool was marked by pleadges of loyalty to the coalition by senior party figures and disquiet over cuts by MPs and party members. Simon Hughes said he backed the government, while MP Bob Russell said cuts could not be fair.
David Laws has put the pressure on George Osborne to raise personal tax allowances in next month's Budget, saying such a move could “end the austerity on household budgets”.
In an interview with Newsnight, the Lib Dem MP followed Simon Hughes and Ed Balls in calling for the tax cuts:
“We have to distinguish between the period of austerity for public spending and for public services, which is clearly going to go on for a period of time, from the austerity that we’ve seen in household budgets… now that we have completed most of the tax increases, now that we’re seeing inflation this year on a firm downward track, that gives us the opportunity, if we can make these other reductions in taxation by increasing the income tax thresholds - as Nick Clegg has suggested - that gives us the opportunity of ending the austerity on households budgets.”
Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes has said in an interview with the Guardian that he hoped the spending review would delay the decision to replace Trident, axe tutition fees and allow councils to build more housing.
John Pugh has accused Andrew Lansley of taking Labour's "NHS experiment" to "its logical, ultimate and slightly disturbing conclusion".
Speaking during an emergency motion discussion at the Lib Dem conference, he said: "Some thanks are due to Andrew Lansley, and you may ask why.
"I have a very simple reason for this: he has woken the country to the ultimate absurdity of a 20-year experiment with the NHS. Because what he has endeavoured to do is take the Blairite model for the NHS to its logical, ultimate and slightly disturbing conclusion."
Mr Pugh was supported by Andrew George, who said: "The NHS is more important to the public than the fate of any political party. Yes, Labour paved the way, with Tory support, but this is primarily a Tory plan with our grudging support or possible acquiescence. It’s often said ‘it’s the economy, stupid’.
"Well, I think that the future fate of both this party and this Coalition Government needs to take heed of the concept that actually: ‘it’s the NHS, stupid’."
Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes admitted that the party did not “have a procedure” in place to effectively scrutinise the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill in its initial form.
17/07/2014 on BBC Breakfast
13/07/2014 on Murnaghan, Sky News
10/07/2014 on Newsnight, BBC Two
18/06/2014 on The World at One, BBC Radio 4
28/05/2014 on BBC
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6 hours ago on World at One, BBC Radio 4
Today on BBC News
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