January 2009

Dismay as Government gives go ahead for third runway

Susan Kramer Mike Cox and Sarah Ludford pictured on a protest march against a third runway at Heathrow airport

Susan Kramer Mike Cox and Sarah Ludford pictured on a protest march against a third runway at Heathrow airport

ALDE MEPs Welcome President Obama's order to close Guantanamo Bay

The European Parliament along with international human rights organizations and UN special rapporteurs has been calling for years on the US administration to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay and hold fair trials. The new President of the US Barack Obama has now issued executive orders to halt unfair military commissions and to close Guantanamo before the end of the year. Of the 250 remaining prisoners it is expected that most will not face trial.

Chance for progress as Obama prioritises Middle East

As President Obama pledged to prioritise a resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict and appointed George Mitchell as his Middle East envoy Liberal Democrat London MEP the party's European justice & human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford MEP commented:

"After the missed opportunities of the Bush years this sense of urgency from President Obama comes not a moment too soon. Balanced international pressure on the parties led by the US the EU and the Arab League is vital to resolve this terrible conflict whose ripples spread far and wide."

Disturbing rise in anti-Semitic violence mars Holocaust Day

In the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day a report by the Community Security Trust an organisation which aims to protect Britain's Jewish community has revealed that over 220 incidents of anti-Semitism have been reported since the outbreak of the recent conflict in Gaza. This represents eight times the number of incidents recorded in the same period last year.

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

Data Protection Day means time to end 'Big Brother Britain'

Today marks European Data Protection day and London's Liberal Democrat MEP and European justice & human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford said:

"This celebration of data protection comes as Britain's Labour government's launches its most audacious assault to date on our privacy outrageous even by its own breathtaking standards. In a new Bill before Parliament it proposes to allow ministers to share our personal data with anyone they want to at home or abroad. Liberal Democrats will fight this tooth and nail."

EU begins legal action against UK on air quality

The EU Commission has begun legal action against the UK for failing to comply with EU air pollution standards regarding the level of 'PM10' dangerous airborne particles emitted by industry diesel vehicles and domestic heating that can cause asthma heart problems lung cancer and premature death.

The UK is one in 10 Member States that have received warning letters from the Commission for failing to comply with the limit that should have been met four years ago. This is the first stage in infringement proceedings that could end up with Britain in the dock in the European Court of Justice.