Trade Bill ‘Ping Pong’ – Lords pass a further three amendments after Commons strips out all previous amendments

We have the time and the expertise to scrutinise things, and that is what we should be allowed to get on with. Jenny spoke in the chamber as the government suffered a further three defeats Continue reading “Trade Bill ‘Ping Pong’ – Lords pass a further three amendments after Commons strips out all previous amendments”

Today I wrote to Cressida Dick regarding unlawful sexual relations between undercover police officers and their targets

Dear Commissioner

During the Policing and Security APPG on 14th Dec 2020 I asked you what investigations were happening within the Met on the issue of the historic unlawful sexual relations between undercover police officers and their targets.

You told me that there were no ongoing investigations, yet the HoL Minister has made it clear in the debate on the CHIS Bill that such interactions are now and always have been unlawful. It seems remiss not to examine previous instructions to establish wrongdoing by senior officers.                       

Can you please therefore outline, in full, the Met’s position on whether these sexual relations were lawful. Could you also please explain when and why the Met decided to take no further action on the issue?

The Trade Bill: Report Stage – ISDS

If you wanted to convince the public that international trade agreements are a way to let multinational companies get rich at the expense of ordinary people, this is what you would do: give foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever a government passes a law to, say, discourage smoking, protect the environment or prevent a nuclear catastrophe… a process known as ‘investor-state dispute settlement‘, or ISDS.
(The Economist, October 2014)

This Trade Bill the government has written includes ISDS…

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HS2 Bill Amendment 10

Amendment 10 is a pretty good amendment and something to work towards, even if it is not accepted today. It would require a report every six months rather than annually; “indirect impacts” are explicitly mentioned; and it would require a report to Parliament by the Secretary of State, with a four-week consultation period, rather than no consultation at all.

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Trade Bill Report Stage day 1

The Government have put the Trade and Agriculture Commission on a statutory footing – with Amendments 49 and 50 giving it a degree of permanency – and have even seemed to incorporate what we were pushing for, in that it should have its own staff and facilities, but then government Amendment 36 throws all that out. A Secretary of State can ditch the whole thing with a statutory instrument. How is that sticking to a promise about making this a body that can properly do the job?

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Police Spies – Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) – Bill

The big problem with this Bill is that the legal tests are too wishy-washy. They give the authorising bodies free rein. If we do not contract those processes in some way, there will be mistakes – there are bound to be. It will become very difficult to challenge even the most obviously wrong authorisations.

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Will state authorised spies keep the money they make from crimes?

The CHIS (spycops) Bill is in the Lords at the moment. The Minister couldn’t tell me if criminals who are authorised as police spies will be able to keep the proceeds of any criminal activity during the period when they are immune from prosecution. At the moment criminal proceeds are often confiscated by the state. Will they be taxed instead? I have written asking again…

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