Welcome to the Weekly Whip. Your one-stop shop for Lib Dem Parliamentary updates, covering the week that was and the week to come.
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Weekly Whip w/c 28th July
Monday 28th September
We had a relatively quiet start to the week with a general debate on Covid-19. Munira led our response to this debate, highlighting our concerns with the situation in care homes.
People in care homes who cannot have loved ones visit are telling me they are losing the will to live. It's been described as living in "prison-like conditions"— Munira Wilson MP (@munirawilson) September 28, 2020
If we really have the largest testing system imaginable, the Govt must be able to find a solution to this tragedy 👇 pic.twitter.com/IRp0hMcQDU
A day with no votes gave our MPs an opportunity to give their attention to our final day of conference, and in particular Ed’s first conference speech as leader of the Party. In a moving and personal speech he made a strong commitment to be the voice of carers.
"So let me say this, to all of you who need care and all of you who are carers, I understand what you’re going through.— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) September 28, 2020
And I promise you this: I will be your voice. I will be the voice of the 9 million carers in our country." - @EdwardJDavey #LDConf 🔶 pic.twitter.com/vjs3ZLeqzu
Tuesday 29th September
A very busy day in the Commons with the remaining stages of the Internal Market Bill. In total there were 6 votes, 4 at report stage and 2 at 3rd reading. Please see the full breakdown of the votes here.
We were pleased to support our Alliance colleague Stephen Farry in his division to removed clause 45, the provision in the Bill allowing the government to break international law.
Wera spoke passionately for us at Report Stage, highlighting the dreadful precedent breaking our international agreements will have on our reputation as a Country.
Yesterday was a sad day in Parliament.— Wera Hobhouse MP 🔶 (@Wera_Hobhouse) September 30, 2020
This legislation has wide reaching consequences that will impact our legal sector, our international reputation, and ultimately our ability to have any clout on the world stage. pic.twitter.com/5FqKYxWjgM
We only had 1 hour for the 3rd reading debate, much of which was taken up by Ian Blackford’s speech, but it gave Sarah Olney an excellent opportunity to intervene…
Wednesday 30th September
Another big day for the Lib Dems in Parliament. Ed Davey led our efforts against the Coronavirus Act being renewed. We had grave reservations with the bill including the effects on the disabled, those who require care, along with curbs on civil liberties.
Given the government did not offer any concession on the rights to the disabled community and we had no opportunity but to oppose.
"The fact that this Act breaches our legal obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - that may not matter to Conservative members opposite. But it should." @EdwardJDavey on why Lib Dems MPs voted against the Coronavirus Act. pic.twitter.com/0dImnAXwuQ— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) September 30, 2020
See the breakdown of the votes here, we were the largest party to oppose the Bill.
24 MPs opposed the renewal of the Coronavirus act, including all our MPs.https://t.co/P9WIN5EH2K— Lib Dem Whips 🔶 (@LibDemWhips) September 30, 2020
The end of the day saw 3 votes on Planning regulations. We joined Labour is the lobbies to get the Sis revoked. All three pertained to the increased permission for developers to build upwards another two storeys on top of existing and in some cases, new buildings
Thursday 1st September
Thursday brought another day in which the Lib Dems led the opposition to government. Daisy Cooper had a UQ accepted on the 10pm curfew for the hospitality industry. Matt Hancock eventually accepted the importance of the issue and changed the UQ to a statement. This did not stop Daisy eviscerating the policy in particular the lack of evidence behind it.
Earlier today, I exposed the shocking truth behind the Govt’s #10pm #curfew: turfing crowds out of #Covid secure venues onto streets is putting lives & livelihoods at risk. Time to #scrapthecurfew #CallTimeOnTheCurfew— Daisy Cooper MP 🔶 (@libdemdaisy) October 1, 2020
Here’s my speech in full 👇 pic.twitter.com/Hc7AaWNRGU
We had time to go through all stages of a short Bill too. The Social Security (up rating of benefits) Bill allowed the government to increase social securities even though average earnings growth fell below 0% this year. Wendy highlighted the need to focus on intergenerational fairness when considering the triple lock.