Brian Haw memorial

“Brian Haw (1949-2011) was one of the most visible, influential, determined and adhesive peace campaigners of our times. In June 2001, he began a peace protest at Parliament Square in Westminster, where he remained for nearly ten years.” Actor and campaigner Mark Rylance writes about him for the Big Issue.

A Crowdfunder has been set up to fund the installation of a small statue of Brian, facing the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth, creating a permanent symbol of protest for peace – you can support the Crowdfunder here

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In the last few months of 2022, Germany extracted 24,000 people from Afghanistan. The UK has so far resettled 6,300 people in total in its Afghan citizens resettlement scheme which opened in January 2022.

I have asked HMG this Question for Written Answer: what recent steps it has taken to address famine and food insecurity in Afghanistan; and if it will reaffirm Britain’s humanitarian commitment by providing resources to help Afghanistan’s electricity shortage? Continue reading “Afghanistan”

National Security Bill Committee Stage Day 1

This Bill is the National Security Bill and, therefore, it ought to be about national security. The offences should not be able to be translated to other areas. These offences are drawn so badly and broadly that they will criminalise a huge range of conduct which might only vaguely affect the interests of the UK. It is a dangerous piece of legislation, because it is so broad that the police and security services will be able to turn it into something they can use against far too many people. Continue reading “National Security Bill Committee Stage Day 1”

Overcrowding at the Manston processing site

The government’s minister said yesterday: if these people were not crossing the Channel illegally, the situation would not have occurred. This ignores the cuts in staffing, the impact of privatisation and the general collpase of the immigration processing system. Rather than addressing these issues and the complete lack of legal routes, the Minister just ignored my question and showed no remorse or sense of shame. Continue reading “Overcrowding at the Manston processing site”

Is your British citizenship in the public interest?

We now have a two tier system of British citizenship and if the Nationality and Borders Bill is published then millions are under threat of having their rights removed “without notice” by a Minister acting “in the public interest”. You can then appeal against deportation retrospectively, i.e. once you are out the country.

A lot of people will be surprised to learn that the Government already can—and do—remove people’s right to British citizenship. That is not new, but it means there is a two-tier system of British citizenship. The change is that the Government will now be able to remove people’s citizenship without any notice or warning whatever. The term “otherwise in the public interest” is so broad a discretion as to be almost meaningless. The Secretary of State can basically choose not to give notice on a whim. Of course, because citizenship will have been revoked without any notice, any judicial review or other legal challenge will only be able to be brought retrospectively.

In summary, the Bill is a continuation of the trend by this Government to remove individuals’ rights, undermine legal safeguards and view the legal profession as the enemy within.

Police Bill – Day 5 of Committee Stage in the Lords

I had to laugh when I saw the amendments on duty of candour, because you sort of assume you can expect a duty of candour for the police; it really should not have to be emphasised in the way that it has been here.

As regards the criminalisation of trespass, it is wonderful to see such a huge coalition of Peers tabling amendments and speaking on this issue. I imagine that Gypsy and Roma Travellers, peaceful protesters, van-lifers, wild campers and anyone else threatened by this proposed legislation will be glad to see the opposition that is coalescing in this House. Far from criminalising trespass, we should be opening up more land for access to the public and enhancing our enjoyment of our magnificent countryside. This is a nasty section of the Bill, it is discriminatory and dangerous, we should remove these clauses completely.

Continue reading “Police Bill – Day 5 of Committee Stage in the Lords”