Impacts of corruption debate and report launched by Baroness Jenny Jones

A debate on the impacts of corruption is being held in the House of Lords today at 3pm, in the Grand Committee. Baroness Jenny Jones will use it to launch her new report on corruption in the UK.

Her speech and the report aim to highlight three aspects of corruption:

·       It impacts upon government policy, regulations and priorities and not just individual contracts or licences

·       It’s often about corporate interests, as well as personal greed;

·      There is rarely a visible trail of evidence as it facilitated by a tight network of interpersonal relationships;

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The Subsidy Control Bill Committee Stage Day One: Net Zero

The Government keep bringing us these thin Bills that ought to include things such as the ecological crisis and climate change, but do not. The subsidy principle should ensure that all our environmental and climate targets are met. Ecologically damaging, polluting industries should be weaned off public money completely and, ultimately, binned. My Amendment 8 would ensure that subsidies contribute towards limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees centigrade of warming. My Amendment 33 would prohibit subsidies for fossil fuels and extend the definition of fossil fuel subsidies to include any government policy that makes fossil fuels cheaper than their true cost. Continue reading “The Subsidy Control Bill Committee Stage Day One: Net Zero”

Lord’s debate Freedom of Speech

This debate comes after a few years of increasing suppression of civil liberties and human rights here in the UK. Freedom of speech is about engaging with all sorts of ideas, biases and creeds to make up the public discourse. As a Green, I am well aware of how important it is to talk and try to convince people about the environmental crisis—especially those in power who can actually do something about it, however little. I might regard this Government as political enemies, and as arrogant and repressive, but I think it is worth engaging and very much hope they feel it is worth engaging with Greens.

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Pregnant prisoners shouldn’t be treated this way

The government is failing to increase the number of Mother and Baby Units, despite a planned increase of 500 places in women’s prisons. In answer to my written question I discovered that they keep no records of how many women and trans men are pregnant in Britain’s jails, nor do they have any idea of how many pregnant prisoners in individual facilities.

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My amendment 109 addressing governance gaps in environmental law

Several requirements for the Secretary of State to report information to the European Commission in relation to environmental law have been lost because of the UK’s departure from the EU and the subsequent adoption of new statutory instruments. This poses a serious threat to the effective application of environmental law in the UK and the Government’s ability to achieve their stated aim and manifesto promise of leaving the environment in a better state than that in which it was found. The reporting of information relating to environmental law is absolutely vital to ensure transparency and accountability in environmental policy-making and ensure that government and stakeholders can identify and address environmental impacts. Continuity over time in the information being recorded and reported can also help to reveal trends and increase transparency.

My Amendment 109 would introduce a new clause into the Bill that is intended to address some extensive governance gaps in environmental law that have arisen because of the UK’s departure from the EU. Continue reading “My amendment 109 addressing governance gaps in environmental law”

‘Due Regard’ is a get out clause

My Amendment 75 to the Environment Bill would flesh out the environmental principles so that they reflect a much broader set of principles, written in simple, understandable language. For example, the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle would actually be explained and defined. It would also add things such as using the “best available scientific knowledge”, the principles of public participation and the principle of “sustainability” to take into account the health of present generations and the needs of future generations.

Taken together, these amendments would create an accessible blueprint for our country and for the planet. They would set out the clear environmental principles on which our future would be founded, and require—not simply invite—the Government to implement those principles in all areas of policy. This is the type of legislation that a Green Government would implement, these are the principles that we would apply and these are the ways in which we would make ourselves accountable to Parliament, to the courts, and to future generations. Continue reading “‘Due Regard’ is a get out clause”

Law Enforcement Agencies: Duty of Candour

The Report of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (HC 11), published on 15 June, recommended that there should be “a statutory duty of candour, to be owed by all law enforcement agencies to those whom they serve, subject to protection of national security and relevant data protection legislation”. The independent panel highlighted obstruction and a lack of co-operation by the Metropolitan Police that “placed its concern for its own reputation above the public interest.” Who do the Government believe should be held accountable for that misconduct? Continue reading “Law Enforcement Agencies: Duty of Candour”

Police must be open as well as honest

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.

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