September 2010

Bid to turn MEPs into Communist apparatchiks

It is understood that the powers-that-be in the European Parliament are seeking to enforce attendance at European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's first ever 'State of the Union' address next week by punishing absentee MEPs with a docking of their daily subsistence allowance for meals and accommodation.

Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford protesting against this move said:

"We are supposed to be a democratic parliament one in which MEPs are inspired to attend a debate through its intrinsic interest and relevance. To enforce attendance through the use of disciplinary measures is reminiscent of Stalinist and Maoist stage-management at its worst."

Note to Editors

Other views by Sarah on the same topic can be read here:

Sarah's message of support to the 'No to Domestic Flights' demonstration at London City Airport

Message of support from Sarah Ludford MEP to the 'No to Domestic Flights' demonstration outside London City Airport organised by London City Airport Fight the Flights and the Campaign Against Climate Change on Saturday 4 September 2010:

Dear friends

I'm sorry I can't be with you here in person today to help call for an end to domestic flights in the UK a cause I strongly support. Domestic flights are unnecessary completely contrary to our commitments to reduce CO2 emissions and only worsen London's air and noise pollution.

EU should stop Sarkozy playing Roma 'race card'

The European Parliament has debated the recent actions of the French government removing Roma from France and will tomorrow vote on a resolution sponsored by the liberal ALDE group condemning the discriminatory nature of the Sarkozy government's policies and rhetoric.

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford who has long campaigned on Roma issues said:

"Sarkozy is clearly playing the race card for electoral reasons in his 'voluntary expulsion' policy of bribes for Roma to leave. Targetting and stigmatising Roma people as an ethnic group and scapegoating them as criminals is totally against EU law."

Sarah's speech to the European Parliament about Roma discrimination

Sarah Ludford (ALDE). - Mr President Vice-President Reding has certainly convinced me that she will take this question seriously and that she is working hard on it with her colleagues.

However like others I am impatient to hear what the Commission's judgment is on whether France has broken EU law or not. I hope we will hear that very soon and whether the Commission intends to take infringement proceedings against France - and indeed any other Member States that deserve it - for breach of the Free Movement Directive.

Sarah speaks to the European Parliament about cross-EU recognition of same-sex partnerships

Sarah Ludford on behalf of the ALDE Group. - Madam President some of the same features are in this debate as were in our earlier debate today on the expulsion of the Roma from France and previously from Italy. We have splendid principles in the Treaties and legal instruments of the EU - non-discrimination equality rights of minorities human dignity the right to family life and the right of free movement - but their implementation in the Member States leaves much to be desired and falls short of these values and commitments. The problem is that the Commission which is the watchdog and guardian of the Treaties all too often hesitates to pursue Member States for even quite serious and very serious breaches.

Sarah visits Lilly insulin pen plant in Strasbourg

Sarah and other MEPs at the factory dressed in white suits due to the cleanliness required in the plant!

Sarah and other MEPs at the factory dressed in white suits due to the cleanliness required in the plant!

Sarah Ludford Co-chair of the European Diabetes Working Group took part in a visit of a Lilly plant in Strasbourg where insulin pens are made.

She said:

MEPs make a difference as Iran cancels stoning sentence

L to R: Gianni Vattimo MEP Luigi De Magistris MEP Giommaria Uggias MEP Sarah Ludford Niccolò Uggias MEP Sylvie Goulard MEP Barandica Izaskun Bilbao MEP

Sarah Ludford and other Liberal MEPs gathered in a candle-lit protest on Tuesday 7 September 2010 for Sakineh's case.

Animal testing on great apes banned across EU

The European Parliament has passed landmark legislation to ban animal testing on great apes and wild-caught primates. This will pass into law as it has been agreed with EU governments.

Animal experiments in science and research will be greatly scaled back: only tests that cause the least pain will be allowed and thanks to the Liberal group the most severe and prolonged tests will be completely outlawed.

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford said:

"Back in 2003 the EU banned all animal testing for cosmetics. But Europe has waited for 2 decades for a modern set of rules on animal testing which respect both animals and science. I believe we have now achieved this."

Sarah sends message of support to Ahmaddiya community's '9/11 Day of Unity and Respect'

Sarah with Rafiq Hayat on a visit to the Baitul Futuh mosque in Morden in July 2010.

Sarah with Rafiq Hayat on a visit to the Baitul Futuh mosque in Morden in July 2010.

Sarah Ludford MEP sent the following message to the '9/11 Day of Unity and Respect' held at the Baitul Futuh mosque in Morden on Friday 10 September 2010:

Dear friends