• Palace of Westminster.
    Article: Apr 23, 2018

    In the face of further defeats on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, and following further pressure from Peers across the House of Lords, the government has brought forward amendments to ensure that the UK still has the ability to refer to and apply EU guidance for legal matters in our courts going forwards.

  • The House of Lords. Image: UK Parliament
    Article: Apr 23, 2018

    Liberal Democrats have voted with a majority of cross-party Peers in the House of Lords to inflict another defeat on the government.

    An amendment to retain the Charter of Fundamental Rights in UK law was successfully moved and is the third defeat for the government in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Lords at Report Stage.

    The Charter of Fundamental Rights has been a key component of EU law since 2000 and has set the bar on civil, political, social and economic rights.

    The UK's continued use of this piece of legislation shows the rest of the world that we are still committed to the highest standards on human rights and the principles of the Charter going forward.

  • Article: Apr 22, 2018

    Divest WMPF is a campaign group which wants to stop the West Midlands local government pension fund investing in oil, coal and gas. They are asking all candidates standing in the local elections to sign our Pledge. They plan to publicise all the responses they receive on our website, in social media and via local press.

  • Park election address 2018
    Article: Apr 21, 2018
    By Bryan Lewis

    Park Focus Team, led by their candidateNick Machnick-Foster is delivering their election special Focus in the run up to the Council elections on 3rd May.

    They give 3 good reasons for voting for Nick:

    1 Nick puts Park Ward first: This election is not about who runs the government. It's not even about who runs the City Council. But it is about who will serve local residents and put Park Ward first.
    2 Nick is a campaigner: Nick campaigns for better local services, improving our environment including dealing with derelict buildings such as the old Eye Infirmary.
    3 Nick keeps in touch: Unlike candidates from other parties, Nick keeps in touch with residents using old and new technologies:- Focus leaflets, letters, local press, social media and websites.

  • David Murray
    Article: Apr 20, 2018
    By Bryan Lewis

    Ettingshall Focus Team, led by their candidate David Murray, is delivering their election address across the ward.

    David is a long-term resident of Ettingshall ward, stood as the parliamentary candidate for Wolverhampton SE in 2005, and was the agent for SE in the 2017 general election.

    David says, "Ettingshall has 3 councillors who are each elected for a period of 4 years. Elections are held in 3 out of every 4 years. In the past, some councillors were actively involved in the ward, especially during the ABCD years. But now people complain that they never see them in the area from one election to the next. Maybe they are just getting too complacent!"

  • A pile of leaflets to be delivered in a Liberal Democrat Office
    Article: Apr 20, 2018

    The Liberal Democrats won two of the council by-elections that were held last night (with one still to declare!), gaining two seats from the Conservatives!

    The Liberal Democrats, under Vince Cable, are winning seats up and down the country and against all opposition - because people know when they elect Liberal Democrats, they're electing someone who'll get things done for their community!

  • Vince Cable in Twickenham
    Article: Apr 19, 2018

    He criticised the effective monopolies enjoyed by the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon - comparing their market dominance to that of big oil companies in the past - and suggested ways they could be broken up.

    "Data is the new oil. Data is the raw material which drives these firms and it is control of data which gives them an advantage over competitors. These companies have acquired their pivotal position by providing a service or platform through which data can be extracted, collected and used.

    Just as Standard Oil once cornered 85% of the refined oil market, today Google drives 89% of internet search, 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook product, Amazon accounts for 75% of E-book sales, while Google and Apple combined provide 99% of mobile operating systems.

    National government and, even more so, supranational bodies like the EU can and should look to break up enterprises where size is detrimental to the economic well-being of the country, its citizens and its capacity for innovation.

    There is a case for splitting Amazon into three separate businesses - one offering cloud computing, one acting as a general retailer and one offering a third-party marketplace. Other examples would be Facebook being forced to divest itself of Instagram and WhatsApp as a condition for operating in the EU, creating two new social media networks. Divesting Google of YouTube would be another.

    What is striking that the most effective competition authority in the capitalist world - the European Commission - is probably the only body with the clout to take these decisions. The UK could quite obviously never do it alone.

    Britain commits an act of serious self-harm by doggedly setting itself apart from the power of shared sovereignty with our neighbours.

  • The House of Lords. Image: UK Parliament
    Article: Apr 18, 2018

    Having sat through over 100 hours of debate so far in the House of Lords on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, I have been angered by the combination of arrogance and incompetence which has characterised the Government's response to a very wide range of concerns expressed.

    From how we continue to regulate and licence the supply of over-the-counter medicines to working with our European neighbours on security policy; from how to maintain reciprocal roaming charges to protecting our hard-won rights and freedoms, the Government has displayed indifference and the inability to answer the most basic of questions.

  • Palace of Westminster.
    Article: Apr 18, 2018

    The Government has tonight been defeated in the House of Lords on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.

    An amendment on the customs union supported by the Liberal Democrats, Crossbenchers, Labour, and Conservative peers has passed by 348 votes to 225.

    The defeat forces the government to lay a report before Parliament outlining the steps taken to negotiate a customs union as part of the framework for a future UK-EU relationship, and prevents the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 until these steps have been taken.

    This is a hugely significant moment, the House of Lords has come together to show the government that remaining in a customs union is key to the UK's future prosperity.

    Securing this win on a cross-party basis rams home how out of touch the government have been on this issue and that they drastically need to change tack from the destructive hard Brexit they are pursuing.

  • Palace of Westminster.
    Article: Apr 18, 2018

    An amendment providing enhanced protections for employment, equality, health and safety entitlements, rights and protections, and consumer and environmental standards has been passed in the Lords.

    This is the second defeat today for the government in the EU Withdrawal Bill.

    This defeat is a key step in ensuring that parliament plays the key role in Brexit and not just a handful of Ministers altering standards via the back-door.

    Guaranteeing that standards relating to equality, employment law and many other things can only be altered via primary legislation is extremely significant and essential to the democratic process.