Today, I’m asking a Minister if breaking the law with a car attracts a lighter sentence than if someone does the same in any other area of their life?
Many years ago a police traffic sergeant told me that the best way to murder someone is to do it with a car. A hit and run carries a fairly minimum sentence and even if caught you can always claim that “accidents happen.”
The reality of this was brought home to me in 2014 when a man travelling at 80-88mph drove straight at the traffic officer who stepped out to flag his vehicle down for speeding. The killer made no attempt to stop as he threw PC Duncan into the air ‘like a rag doll’ and left him with fatal injuries. The starting point for murdering a police officer with a knife, or iron bar is 30 years, this driver received an eight and a half year sentence.
Today I ask whether the government will ensure that the police have a ‘duty of candour’.
One of the main recommendations that came out of the recent report on the murder of Daniel Morgan is that the police should have a “duty of candour”. It seems such a simple and inoffensive change to how the police conduct themselves, but it would generate a flow of fresh air and transparency through the suffocating fog of the UK’s policing culture. The Daniel Morgan case is the most documented example of institutional corruption within the police, but is only one of many going back over several decades.
Water companies have been urged to “shoulder their responsibilities” by researchers who found that “poor management” of sewage was the main source of microplastic pollution in UK rivers. Meanwhile, Greens in the Lords are considering putting an amendment to the Environment Bill banning water companies from pollluting rivers.
The government has made lots of positive changes to the Domestic Abuse Bill as a result of pressure from campaigners and amendments by the Lords, but there are still four areas where the Lords are pressing the government for more.
I won the ballot for Topical Oral Question, for the first time, on 20th April with this question: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the passing of a law by the National Assembly of France to prohibit domestic flights to destinations that can be reached by train in two and a half hours or less, what consideration they have given to reducing domestic air travel in the United Kingdom.
London has seven incinerators and the lowest recycling rate of any region in the UK by far.
I’ve spent over 13 years explaining how these giant polluting towers burn waste that should be recycled. London’s Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem councillors have all promoted Energy from Waste plants as a good solution, despite the health worries about pollution and the growing evidence that burning plastic is very bad for climate change. London’s seven incinerators, many fed by waste from Labour controlled councils, are the reason why Sadiq Khan won’t deliver on the promise of a zero waste London.
I thought I would share this email from Lord Berkeley who served as Chairman of the Rail Freight Group, the industry representative body for the rail freight sector, and is elected as a board member of the European Rail Freight Association. I don’t agree with all the detail, but it shows that there is a cheaper, viable alternative to the environmentally damaging HS2. Interesting snippet: “NIC Chair Sir John Armitt said at the All-party Rail Group meeting on 26 January 2021, ‘you can have the rest of HS2 or you can have regional rail improvement but I cannot see ministers agreeing to both’! ”
The government has rejected the most basic attempts by the Lords to amend the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill. Conservative MPs rejected judicial oversight and they rejected an attempt to rule out rape, murder and torture from the list of crimes that could be authorised. This will give over 500 senior police officers and numerous other organisations the ability to break any law when they (not a judge) deem it reasonable and proportionate to do so.
The House of Lords has once again stood firm as a voice of morality and reason as this government seeks to reject any imposition of minimum standards when making trade deals. The Lords has become a major source of opposition to this government as Conservative and independent peers regularly find themselves at odds with the right wing cabal that operates from Downing Street.
Jenny Jones: “Labour must dramatically change its position in the next few days on this bill or else it will be complicit in future acts of state oppression”
Green Party peer Jenny Jones has submitted a fatal amendment to the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill which will be voted on in the Lords on Thursday during the legislations Third Reading. She has urged Labour MPs and peers not to vote for the spycops bill as it goes through its final stage in the coming week.