March 2011

Insurers must not profiteer from Euro court ban on gender bias

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg the EU's supreme court has banned insurers from discriminating between customers on the basis of gender.

At present young women who have far fewer car accidents than young men are in general charged less for their car insurance. On the other hand men who tend to die before women get more per year from private pensions. Because these differences are based only on statistical relationships or probabilities and not on any actual biological difference they will no longer be allowed.

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford said:

100th International Women’s Day: progress but too slow

The European Parliament will mark the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day tomorrow by reporting on gender equality and female poverty in the EU.

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford said:

"Achievement in liberation of women over the last hundred years is impressive at least in the developed world. While there are still glass ceilings to be broken in politics and employment and an unacceptable gender pay gap persists there is much to celebrate."

Europe must respond to Libyan help plea

On the eve of meetings of NATO defence ministers and EU leaders to discuss what help to give the Libyan rebels against the Gaddafi regime the Liberal (ALDE) group in the European Parliament invited 2 senior members of the Libyan rebel opposition leadership the National Transitional Council to Strasbourg to give a briefing on the situation.

Victory for Lib Dem backed campaign on lorry blind spots

Lethal blind spots in lorries which are the cause of so many cyclist deaths could soon be a thing of the past after the success of a long-running campaign strongly supported by LibDem MEPs on lorry and truck road safety.

Campaign victory against European Parliament Strasbourg seat

The campaign to abolish the European Parliament's hugely unpopular seat in Strasbourg has just got a new boost thanks to MEPs passing an amendment to the European Parliament's work calendar for 2012 and 2013 to merge the 2 currently separate October Strasbourg session weeks into one single week. This would reduce from 12 to 11 times a year the expensive and wasteful 250-mile trek from Brussels.

MEPs call for scrapping of Hungarian press freedom threats

The European Parliament has voted decisively - though with opposition from its biggest centre-right grouping - to call on the Hungarian parliament to repeal aspects of its controversial new media law that contravene European press freedom standards. This law threatens such freedom by requiring 'balanced information' making it illegal to 'cause offence' and by enabling the new media authority to be dominated by government party loyalists.

London MEP criticises Symeou trial fiasco

The trial of young Londoner Andrew Symeou extradited to Greece in July 2009 under a European Arrest Warrant on a charge of manslaughter of Jonathan Hiles that he vehemently denies has been postponed for the 3rd time this time because the court-appointed interpreter was unable to properly translate the proceedings

Sarah Ludford protesting against Andrew Symeou's incarceration outside the Greek embassy in London

London MEP: remember terrorism victims by learning lessons of 7/7

To mark the European day for the remembrance of the victims of terrorism tomorrow Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford said:

"March 11th is a day to pay tribute to victims of terrorism across Europe and the world: these people have lost their lives and bear the scars of attacks because they took the brunt of atrocities which were in fact targeted at our entire society.

EU grants UK more time to clean up London's air

The European Commission has granted the UK a deadline extension until June to meet EU standards on dangerous air pollutants in London but on the condition that the Mayor of London and the UK government put in place a short-term action plan to tackle dangerous airborne particulate matter (PM10) pollution in London.

The UK applied for this deadline or 'time' extension in May 2010 after a previous Labour time extension application having been rejected by the European Commission back in 2009.

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford a long time campaigner for cleaner air in the capital said: