March 2012

Lib Dem ‘Think Small First’ campaign will benefit London businesses

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford is pressing to get rid of outdated EU business laws and simplify accounting rules in order to promote the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and create more jobs. Europe has approximately 23 million SMEs (4.5 million in the UK) which provide two-thirds of all jobs in the private sector.

Update from Sarah Ludford MEP

Welcome to my London LibDem members’ update, where I let you know what I have been doing in the European Parliament and across the London region recently.

I’ve had the great privilege of being London’s Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for a good while now, but the job continues to fascinate me. I still work a great deal on issues of justice and fighting crime, but the role of an MEP stretches to a great many other topics of concern to London and my constituents.

Helmer’s gay marriage slurs show UKIP’s true colours

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has expressed outrage at UKIP MEP Roger Helmer's comments on same-sex marriage.

Sarah Ludford who is also Vice President of the LGBT+ LibDems and an active member of the European Parliament lesbian & gay rights intergroup said:

"Mr Helmer's backward comments are a disgrace. To link gay marriage to incest and polygamy typically scrapes the barrel of prejudice without any foundation whatsoever."

Gay marriage slurs will not keep us from equality

In recent days the debate over equality in marriage for same-sex couples has been marked by inflammatory and derogatory remarks by vocal opponents the Catholic Cardinal Keith O'Brien and his apparent echo the newly UKIP MEP Roger Helmer.

Lib Dems vote for the UK to play a constructive role at the heart of Europe

Liberal Democrats today strongly condemned the obstructive Conservative approach at an EU level towards tackling the economic and financial challenges facing the Eurozone saying it would threaten the economic recovery of theUK.

Calling on the Coalition Government to play a constructive role as a major EU player Liberal Democrat members at their Spring Conference in Gateshead voted in favour of the fiscal compact as a concrete way of leading the Eurozone and theUKtowards the road of economic recovery.

Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff who led the argument that theUK should support its EU partners in restoring financial stability as the basis for economic recovery by taking decisive steps towards fiscal union within the Eurozone said:

Bosnia must step up reforms for EU readiness

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford is urging Bosnia & Herzegovina to make the necessary reforms to put them on the path to EU membership.

These reforms need to cover political and constitutional matters as well as economic and social issues. Until last month the country had not had a stable government for 16 months because of deadlock between Serb Croat and Muslim leaders.

Speaking ahead of a European Parliament debate and resolution tomorrow Sarah Ludford commented:

MEPs demand urgent EU action on diabetes

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has strongly welcomed today's European Parliament resolution on diabetes that she played a large part in securing.

This calls on the European Commission and member states to adopt an EU strategy to combat the steep rise in diabetes through prevention (of Type 2) to improve treatment and boost research. 32 million people across Europe have the disease - predicted to be 50 million in 2025 - with 325000 deaths a year attributed to it.

Kettling judgement does not end questions on police methods

The European Court of Human Rights has today ruled that police 'kettling' during a demonstration a decade ago did not constitute a deprivation of liberty and breach of human rights.

The case was brought to the Strasbourg court by a demonstrator and some London passers-by who were kettled at an anti-globalisation demo at Oxford Circus in May 2001 which became known as the May Day riots. They claimed they were deprived of liberty in breach of Article 5 the right to liberty of the European Convention of Human Rights. Such a claim was rejected in British courts up to and including the House of Lords.

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

EU threatens London crime gangs with asset-stripping

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has welcomed new proposals from the European Commission to tighten laws across Europe on seizing illegal assets from organised criminal gangs.

This will improve cross-border cooperation by establishing tougher common rules such as asset seizure even without a conviction or linkage to a particular crime or when the suspect is dead or has transferred assets to a third person.

Sarah Ludford commented:

Sarah's bulletin: 16th March

LibDems in action

I had a great time meeting activists, campaigners and our other parliamentarians at the LibDem Spring Conference in NewcastleGateshead. What a great place, even for a died-in-the-wool Londoner! I so enjoyed our brief time in the city that I wrote to Liberal Democrat News to say so.