Welcome to the Weekly Whip. Your one-stop shop for Lib Dem Parliamentary updates, covering the week that was and the week to come.
For up to date information from the Lib Dem Whips Office, follow us on Twitter: @LibWhips
Week commencing the 9 March
Following International Women's Day on Sunday, this week, we continued to present fantastic Bills to Parliament. Each of them aimed at improving women's lives and our society for the better. To read a rundown of all our IWD Bills, head to this write up from Cosmopolitan:
Monday 9th March
In the Commons we had the Second Reading of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill, which passed the Commons without a division.
Wera started us off with this week's Presentation Bills', where a bill is published ready for Parliament. Here is where we award the completely missing the point' award to Conservative MP Phillip Hollobone.
This year's 'when is International Men's Day?' 🙄 pic.twitter.com/cY0yJ3WX6Z— Lib Dem Press Office (@LibDemPress) March 9, 2020
Tuesday 10th March
Tuesday saw the first Conservative backbench rebellion on the Telecommunications Bill. Prominent Conservative grandees tabled an amendment which would have restricted the use of high-risk vendors (Huawai) for operators of the 5G network after 2022. We supported 36 tory rebels but the vote was ultimately won by Government.
Final Vote result on the amendment: Ayes: 282, Noes: 306.
Wednesday 11th March
Ed Davey MP used his question at PMQs to highlight the lack of historic funding in the NHS and how this influencing our ability to tackle COVID 19.
Alistair also had a hit and asked for the government to support the Shetland Space Centre, in his constituency.
"Given the NHS has to face #coronavirusuk with a record shortage of nurses & the care sector with over 120,000 vacancies, does the PM not agree that the three Tory governments since 2015 should have fixed the roof when the sun was shining?" - @EdwardJDavey #PMQs #Budget2020 pic.twitter.com/h7zh4PCFhm— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) March 11, 2020
Jamie Stone MP led a debate on the Mental Health of Veterans in Westminster Hall. Westminster Hall is a secondary chamber to the House of Commons where backbench MPs can debate their own issues.
Just before the budget, Sarah Olney presented her bill that prohibits anti-abortion protests within 150 metres of abortion clinics.
Women should not be subjected to harassment for seeking legitimate health care.— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) March 11, 2020
Protesting at abortion centres is nothing more than bullying. The Bill @sarahjolney1 is tabling today will protect all women, all over the country, from harassment and intimidation. pic.twitter.com/96ZBiQmCMt
We then moved onto the Budget, Ed led our response. He was clear the Budget should have done more to tackle the climate emergency and social care, see more here.
What's behind the low growth forecast in the #Budget2020?— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) March 11, 2020
As a forecast for four or five years' time, it's not the coronavirus. It's not the world economy. It's the impact of Brexit and the government's new immigration system. pic.twitter.com/9nJRSAKHwY
Thursday 12th March
In the Commons, as usual, we started with the weekly business statement (from the Leader of the House detailing the agenda of the House of Commons for the following week). This was followed by a continuation of the debate on the Budget. Sarah Olney spoke for us in this.
Friday 13th March
Friday is typically either a day that the Commons and the Lords won't sit. Or (as was the case this week) it is the chance for those backbenchers who won in the Private Members Bill ballot, to try and get their legislation into law.
Next week we are looking forward to:
- Monday & Tuesday – The continuation of the debate on the Chancellor's Budget. Munira will be covering that for the Lib Dems.
- Wednesday – Labour have control of the timetable in their 9th Opposition day of the parliamentary year.
- All week – we are expecting updates on COVID19 and other Ministerial statements