Tag Archives: Lords

Lords defeat Johnson over food standards because they don’t want chlorinated chicken

Chicken: if this one was of the US chlorine-washed variety, do you think Boris Johnson would be soiling his hands with it?

Boris Johnson’s hopes of a trade deal with the United States are looking increasingly like a house of straw… built on sand.

Already leading figures in Congress have said they will block a trade deal if Johnson pushes his Internal Markets Bill into UK law, as it would break international law and – particularly – threaten the peace in Northern Ireland.

(Did Johnson really dream up this Bill because his Russian donors demanded it?)

Now the House of Lords has amended his Agriculture Bill, so that food products imported under any future trade deals must meet or exceed current standards in the UK – to prevent farmers in this country from being undermined.

For the opposition, Lord Grantchester warned: “Low-quality food cannot be allowed to jeopardise rural communities by undercutting UK farmers with products using methods that would be illegal here.”

Consumers did not want chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef to be imported from the US, he said.

It was only by supporting the Labour-led move that peers could be sure the Government was “bound to its commitment not to import food of lower standards than our own domestic products”, Lord Krebs said.

Baroness Boycott, a crossbench peer, said chlorinated chicken was the “tip of the iceberg” of “bad food” which could come into the country.

The amendment is a rejection of the Tory government’s claims, as summarised by Baroness Noakes:

“The government’s policy is clear. They are committed to higher food and welfare standards.

“We do not need to write into law what the Government is committed to.”

Clearly the majority of the Lords disagree – and who can blame them?

The whole point of not writing such a commitment into legislation is to ensure that a government can U-turn on it, once it has been enacted, and we all know it. That’s why the amendment has been brought in.

Unfortunately, it is well within Boris Johnson’s power to throw out the Lords’ amendment, so that the eventual law will undermine UK farmers, and will allow diseased meat onto our plates.

It is possible that MPs will stop and think for a moment before blithely voting it away, though; debate in the House of Lords is of a higher standard than that in the Commons and their reasons for changing a Bill deserve careful consideration.

Many Tories represent rural constituencies full of farmers.

How will those people take it if one of the earliest actions of these MPs in the new Parliament is to stab their voters in the back?

Source: Government defeated in Lords over post-Brexit food standards | The Independent

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Johnson’s hypocrisy: before attacking Starmer over IRA sympathy, he gave a GENUINE IRA sympathiser a peerage

Sympathy: this is a Labour Party image so the support for Keir Starmer may be overstated – but the fact about Boris Johnson is accurate enough. What a shame he didn’t remember it in PMQs.

Two-faced Boris Johnson accused Keir Starmer of supporting an IRA sympathiser – but it turns out he himself is more guilty of that.

Johnson’s ill-advised outburst during Prime Minister’s Questions on September 3 was nothing more than a “dead cat” to distract attention from his inability to explain the algorithm that downgraded millions of ‘A’ level students just because they didn’t go to private schools.

But it seems he spoke without considering his own actions.

Thanks are due to Evolve Politics for researching the background of one Claire Fox, most recently a Brexit Party MEP but previously of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and the Irish Freedom Movement (IFM):

Fox was involved with both groups during The Troubles – a time in which they overtly supported violence carried out by the IRA.

Following the 1993 Warrington bombing – which killed two children, Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball – the RCP responded by condoning the killings, writing in their newsletter that it was “the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom“.

Shortly before the European Elections in May 2019 – in which she was elected as an MEP – Fox was asked in an interview whether she still agreed with the RCP’s stance on the Warrington bombing

However, not only did Fox again refuse to condemn the bombing, she also refused to apologise to the father of one of those killed, stating:

“I’m not going to apologise. I didn’t do anything. […] I think that there was a war going on at that time, and you have to accept that I think that is long since gone and […] move on with it.”

So not only did she sympathise with the IRA, but she remains unrepentant about it.

And Boris Johnson put her in the House of Lords.

What a hypocrite.

He is the UK political leader who supports and IRA sympathiser.

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Johnson’s new lords: BLATANT corruption?

Boris Johnson and Evgeny Lebedev: 10 days after saying he saw no evidence that Russians were influencing UK politics, Johnson has elevated a Russian to the House of Lords.

Boris Johnson has started packing the House of Lords with his cronies in what seems an example of blatant political corruption.

First, look at the number of new peerages he has announced – 36 – at a time when all the debate has been about reducing numbers in the Upper House of Parliament.

Every lord receives an allowance of £305 per day, simply for attending debates – which is why so much television coverage seems to show decrepit members of the gentry snoring on their red benches rather than doing any actual work.

With the number of peers approaching 830, if they all attended sessions, the public would be spending nearly a quarter of a million pounds subsidising their sleep, every day.

And look at the candidates Johnson has chosen!

At a time when concern over Russian intervention in politics is at a height, he has given a peerage to Russian-born newspaper magnate Evgeny Lebedev, who owns both The Independent and the Evening Standard. Lebedev is a personal friend of the prime minister who threw a party for him after Johnson’s election victory last December.

Other appointments show similar cronyism:

Johnson’s brother Jo, who quit a ministerial role – and then stepped down from the Commons – last year saying he did not believe supporting the then-new prime minister was in the national interest, gets booted up to the Lords.

It means he’ll have access to public cash (the £305 per day) for life, and if he opposes his brother’s policies it won’t matter – because brother Boris’s 80-strong majority in the Commons will reverse any major changes to legislation that the Lords try to impose.

Former Chancellors Kenneth Clarke and Philip Hammond, who both lost the Tory whip last year because they rebelled against Johnson’s threat of a no-deal Brexit, also get booted up to the Lords, where they can rant all they like without doing him any harm.

From the Labour Party, prominent Brexiteers Kate Hoey and Gisela Stuart are rewarded for their betrayal of the nation with seats on the red benches.

And so is former Work and Pensions Committee chair Frank Field, who gave himself a bad name in his own party by joining in with accusations of anti-Semitism, while supporting the Tory government in Brexit votes.

Ruth Davidson will get to take up a peerage after she stands down from the Scottish Parliament next year – but is it in gratitude after she led the Scottish Tories to become the second most popular party north of the border behind the SNP? Or is it to neutralise an influential Tory who had once been tipped as a possible UK party leader, who openly criticised Johnson’s Brexit plans and decision to suspend 21 Tory MPs who didn’t agree with him?

Also getting a peerage in what seems a straight reward for services rendered is Sir Edward Lister, who was Johnson’s chief strategic advisor.

So far I have mentioned only nine of the 36 people Johnson has nominated.

Notable absences from the list include former governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, who was perceived as hostile to Brexit, and former Commons Speaker John Bercow, whose hostility to Johnson’s attempts to corrupt Parliamentary process were plain to everybody. Convention dictated that both should be elevated – but Johnson had no room for them, despite drawing up a much longer list than anybody expected.

Do you honestly believe those he has chosen will use their new positions in the interest of the people of the United Kingdom? I don’t.

I think Johson is baking his corruption into the fabric of the UK’s Parliamentary system – deliberately wrecking our democracy.

Oh, and he’s giving a knighthood to former PM Theresa May’s husband Philip – presumably in gratitude for selling all those missiles that the Saudis have been using to annihilate Yemen and its people. Did I get that right?

Now brace yourself – because it could have been worse.

According to the Daily Telegraph – the Torygraph, for crying out loud – Johnson is now threatening “reform” of the House of Lords after the House of Lords Appointments Commission objected to his plan to reward Tory donors with peerages.

It seems he is absolutely furious at being blocked from stuffing the Upper House with fatcats. Presumably he was planning to let them take back from the national Treasury what they gave to the Tories’ private funds.

But his plan has only been delayed – a new list of peerages for Tory supporters including businessmen Johnny Leavesley and Peter Cruddas, due to be published in the autumn

Nobody can do anything about this scandal apart from comment – and the outrage has come thick and fast on Twitter:

Sadly, the new New Labour Party is too deep in its own hypocrisy to do anything about the situation.

The UK’s democracy could have been saved from all this if right-wing factionalists in Labour had taken their heads out of their own rectums and supported Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign in 2017, instead of sabotaging it. They managed to do just enough harm to give Theresa May leadership of a hung Parliament, we’re told.

So it is unsurprising that criticism of Johnson’s nominations by Labour centrists like Chris Bryant has been treated with the contempt it deserves:

Source: Botham and PM’s brother to join House of Lords – BBC News

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Lords send Johnson down to a fourth defeat over his Brexit bill

Lords: They’ve just shown up Boris Johnson for a fourth time.

The House of Lords has delivered yet another amendment to Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill.

They insisted that measures be introduced to allow unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with their parents – in the UK.

Boris Johnson has claimed he’ll reverse all the Lords’ amendments – because he’s a blind, bigoted fool.

But charities including the British Red Cross and Safe Passage have urged him not to strike out this provision.

It will be interesting to see what he does.

This Site said yesterday that someone should monitor times when Peers defeat Johnson’s government, to demonstrate how wrong-headed his ideas are.

Well, this is a great example of such a thing.

And if he really does reverse it, we’ll have even more evidence to throw against him.

Source: Brexit: Boris Johnson suffers new Lords defeat over bid to scrap protections for child refugees | The Independent

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Lords defeat the government in three votes on Brexit

The House of Lords: Peers can’t stop the Tories from wreaking injustices on the nation – but they can highlight them.

The Tories have lost three votes on their Brexit plans – in the House of Lords.

Peers passed an amendment giving EU citizens in the UK the automatic right to stay, rather than having to apply to the Home Office, and to ensure they can get physical proof of their rights.

They voted to remove ministers’ power to pick and choose which EU Court of Justice rulings should be honoured by UK courts and tribunals.

And they removed proposals for the courts to ignore EU case law after Brexit.

It means nothing in the short term – the Tories will simply reverse the moves when the legislation returns to the Commons.

But it highlights injustices that the Tories wished to enshrine in UK law.

Let’s hope someone is keeping a record of them.

And that enough democracy is left to hold the Tories to account, at some point in the future.

Source: Brexit: Government loses first parliamentary votes since election – BBC News

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Labour lords’ ‘no confidence’ threat to Corbyn is shooting themselves in the foot

Anti-Semitic: Lady Hayter.

Whoever thought it would be a good idea for Labour lords to hold a vote of ‘no confidence’ (VONC) in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership over his handling of anti-Semitism – after he sacked one of them for a blatantly anti-Semitic comment – needs to think again, sharpish.

Lady Dianne Hayter (phonetically-speaking, she is well-named), lost her shadow cabinet post after she compared Mr Corbyn’s leadership to the “bunker mentality” in the “last days of Hitler”.

This clearly an anti-Semitic attack on Jewish members who work for the Labour leadership.

A Labour spokesman said: “To compare the Labour leader and Labour party staff working to elect a Labour government to the Nazi regime is truly contemptible, and grossly insensitive to Jewish staff in particular.” Quite right.

It seems Lady Hayter made her comments in a meeting of Corbyn-hating right-wing subgroup Labour First, on Tuesday.

Now it seems the Labour lords may hold a VONC in Mr Corbyn. It would be nothing more than a statement of opinion – there could be no pressure on Mr Corbyn to resign.

But it seems the ringleaders haven’t considered what they are really saying in supporting an anti-Semite and attacking a move against her.

They’re effectively saying: “We, the Labour lords supporting a ‘no confidence’ vote, are all anti-Semites and we are attacking Mr Corbyn in bad faith.”

In Westminster-speak, the “optics” of this are terrible.

Mr Corbyn is unlikely to take immediate action. But some of us will expect plans for any future Labour government to change the second chamber of Parliament radically.

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Lords bid to block ‘no-deal’ Brexit as OBR raises recession fears

An anti-Brexit demonstration outside Parliament on June 12 last year.

The possibility of a Tory prime minister trying to prorogue Parliament – discontinuing it without dissolving it – in order to pass a “no-deal” Brexit has been pushed back by the House of Lords.

Peers voted by a majority of 103 to ensure Parliament will sit in the weeks leading up to the October 31 deadline, making it impossible for Boris Johnson (or, indeed, Jeremy Hunt) to ensure the deadline can pass without MPs interfering.

The vote happened the day before the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned that a “no-deal” Brexit could trigger a recession, shrinking the economy by two per cent by 2020.

The organisation said increased uncertainty and falling confidence would deter investment and hit trade.

The decision was an amendment to the Northern Ireland (executive formation) Bill which returns to the Commons today (July 18).

Voting by MPs is likely to be tight.

Supporters of Mr Johnson are saying that concerns over the economy are fear-mongering, and that it is buoyant at the moment.

That may be, but the OBR is saying leaving without a deal would add £30bn a year to borrowing from 2020-21 onwards and 12 per cent of GDP to net debt by 2023-24.

Watch how your MP votes – and take note of the effect on the economy. There will be an election soon, and you should judge your MP on whether they are reckless about your well-being.

Source: House of Lords passes amendment to help prevent no-deal Brexit | Politics | The Guardian

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Lords say pensioners should lose extra benefits because they aren’t in poverty. Really?

According to a House of Lords committee, extra benefits for pensioners are no longer necessary because hardly any pensioners are in poverty any more.

But is that really true?

Poverty is a relative measure. In the UK, the poverty line is set at 60 per cent of average earnings – and average earnings have been plummeting because of Tory policies that funnel money to people who are already very rich.

So, for example, the proposal to remove the triple lock for State Pensions and instead uprate the State Pension in line with average earnings is in fact an attempt to plunge pensioners back into poverty.

And the claim that cash being spent on pensioner benefits would be better-used on helping young people is a false argument. There is plenty of money available to do both; all the government has to do is tax the super-rich a little more.

Pensioner benefits for over-75’s should be cut or axed to help restore fairness in the system between older and younger people, the House of Lords Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision has said.

The Committee argues that social security payments and passported benefits are no longer required because the issue of pensioner poverty has been all but resolved.

Source: Cut pensioner benefits to improve fairness, says Lords committee


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The revolving door – between PARTIES – that keeps the privileged in power

Nicola Blackwood: It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know that counts.

It’s hard to tell what’s worse about this:

The fact that Nicola Blackwood, rejected by the voters of Oxford West and Abingdon, has been given a free peerage so she can return to the government?

The fact that she has been given this despite (due to?) a Commons record that includes voting against gay marriage (why does she think she should have a right to meddle in other people’s affairs?) and supporting fox hunting (does she enjoy cruelty to animals?) among her support for other abhorrent Tory policies?

The fact that the tax-paying public is having to fork out an extra £300 for every day she spends in this occupation?

Or the fact that she has spent the time between being voted out of the Commons and nominated into the Lords, working for New Labour grandee Peter Mandelson?

Some might say he can employ anybody he wants, and political leanings should not get in the way of professional suitability.

But it looks like more evidence that New Labour was too similar to the Conservative Party, by far.

You see, if one is willing to employ a person because of their political views, it doesn’t seem logical to belong to an opposing political party.

It isn’t an age since a Labour cabinet minister described the Conservatives as “lower than vermin” yet we find another, former, Labour cabinet minister giving one a job.

We should thank our lucky stars the Party of the People has gone back to its roots.

The government has used a loophole to make unelected Nicola Blackwood a health minister.

Blackwood was the Tory MP for Oxford West and Abdingdon before being defeated by Liberal Democrat Layla Moran in the 2017 general election.

As an MP, she was criticised for voting against gay marriage and supporting fox hunting.

After losing her election, she went to Peter Mandelson’s lobbying agency Global Counsel, advising its clients on political risks.

Now the government is giving her a peerage so that she can re-join the government as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department of Health.

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The arrogance of Theresa May – a public servant who thinks she can sideline the Queen

Buckingham Palace is said to have been irritated by the Prime Minister’s ‘lack of courtesy’ [Image: AFP/Getty].

No wonder Buckingham Palace was furious – Theresa May displayed utterly inappropriate arrogance in claiming that she had formed a government, when it is the Queen’s prerogative to ask a prospective prime minister to do so.

Furthermore, Mrs May initially had no right to claim that she even had the ability to form a government, as there was no deal with the DUP until 17 days after she claimed it had been sealed.

It looks like a stitch-up – and a surprisingly successful one, considering the Tory prime minister’s ineptitude at everything else.

And what about a “Royal source” and their claim that the DUP “buggered Mrs May about”? What does that say about the Palace’s attitude to the government Mrs May has created.

It seems she cannot rely on her party’s support in the House of Lords – and, considering her treatment of the monarch, nobody should be surprised.

Buckingham Palace was infuriated with Theresa May after she misled the Queen about the progress of negotiations as she sought to form a government, it has been reported.

Tensions are said to have arisen between senior courtiers and Downing Street after the Prime Minister said she had secured the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), only for it to take another 17 days before a deal was finalised.

The palace was reportedly further irritated by Ms May breaching protocol as she announced her intention to form a government on the steps of Downing Street, The Sunday Times reported.

A Tory peer told the newspaper: “She said, ‘I’ve formed a government’, not ‘The Queen has asked me to form a government’. The palace was alarmed by her formulation of words.”

The Queen’s private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, is said to have repeatedly made his frustrations clear.

“It is certainly true the palace was being given a greater sense of certainty about the deal than was accurate, because the truth is that the DUP buggered Mrs May about longer than she thought,” said a royal source.

A Conservative adviser… said Ms May did not intentionally misled the Queen, because her chief whip, Gavin Williamson, “thought he had assurances he didn’t have” from the DUP.

Source: Queen ‘furious at being misled by Theresa May over DUP deal’


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