July 2010

Letter to the Daily Telegraph: security measures on board aeroplanes

SIR - You report (June 28) that the EU is funding research at Reading University on development of cameras and microphones designed to detect suspicious on-board behaviour by airline passengers.

Automated CCTV looking for "unusual" behaviour would alarm civil liberties campaigners. I am unimpressed by the record in the last decade of the European Commission in championing the protection of privacy. This is despite copious European law on the subject.

Letter to the Guardian: Europe & human rights

SIR - Your report of the remarks of the president of the European Court of Human Rights and Afua Hirsch's pertinent column (June 28th: 'UK plan for bill of rights a poor idea warns head of European court' and 'Council of Europe is obscure but powerful') both emphasise the importance of safeguarding the UK's system for human rights implementation.

'Illegal' stop search powers must be reformed

Sarah having her fingerprint taken during during the January 2010 Trafalgar Square flashmob.

Sarah having her fingerprint taken during during the January 2010 Trafalgar Square flashmob.

Commenting on the confirmation of a European human rights court condemnation of UK stop & search laws Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford said:

EU discrimination law must cover gender identity issues

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford has asked the European Commission to explore what action can be taken at European level to prevent discrimination against both transgender and non-gendered people.

Commenting on the reply from the Commissioner for justice fundamental rights & citizenship Viviane Reding Sarah Ludford said:

"I am encouraged that the Commission's response signals an encouraging willingness to examine what legal and policy action it could take to improve the situation of transgender and non-gendered people."

Torture inquiry pledges no cover-up

Commenting on the Prime Minister's official announcement of an independent inquiry led by former Appeal Court judge Sir Peter Gibson into allegations of British complicity in torture Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford who was vice chair of the European Parliament's inquiry into European involvement in 'extraordinary rendition' said:

"The Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment to hold this inquiry is reflected in this coalition government pledge of determination to get to the bottom of what happened and not like Labour allow a cover-up."

"The assurances of the inquiry's wide remit including rendition flights and Diego Garcia and freedom to 'follow the evidence wherever it leads' are extremely welcome."

London remembers 7/7 five years on

On the 5th anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford said:

"Today is a sombre day for London five years on from the most deadly terrorist attack our city has ever experienced. Londoners' thoughts are with the victims our enduring sympathy with the brave survivors and families and our gratitude recalled to emergency service workers."

"London really came together that day across communities race and creed; the sense of 'One London' was palpable. We also had massive solidarity from our European neighbours and allies."

London Euro-MP hails bonus and casino banking curbs

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has hailed the approval by MEPs in the European Parliament of tough new EU laws to rein in bankers´ bonuses and slammed extremist and racist MEPs from UKIP and BNP who opposed the curbs.

The reforms will be implemented in time for this year's bonus payout and will stop bank directors like 'Fred the Shred' Goodwin walking away from failing banks with huge pensions.

The new laws will not only reform the way bonuses are paid to top bankers but also remove incentives for 'casino' banking by imposing a big increase in the capital banks will be forced to hold when they engage in risky trading.

Sarah Ludford said:

Euro-MPs axe illegal timber trade

MEPs have taken an axe to the illegal logging trade today by banning the sale of illegal timber in Europe and setting up strict penalties for rogue traders.

Illegal logging is estimated to represent 20-40% of global industrial wood production and contributes heavily to carbon emissions and the destruction of biodiversity.

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford commented:

"Illegal logging causes environmental economic and human devastation right across the world. By saying "no" to these timber cowboys in Europe we can do our bit to support developing countries and protect forests ravaged by illegal logging."

Revised bank data deal illustrates Liberal MEPs' influence

Sarah has led insistence that our bank data should be subject to privacy safeguards.

Sarah has led insistence that our bank data should be subject to privacy safeguards.

The European Parliament has today approved a reworked EU-US agreement on access to Europeans' banking data for tracking of terrorist finance after rejecting an interim deal in February on grounds that it insufficiently safeguarded privacy.

Labour causes two byelections

Sarah Ludford campaigning with Barking byelection candidate Felicia Taiwo.

Sarah Ludford campaigning with Barking byelection candidate Felicia Taiwo.

Two byelections in London have been caused by Labour originally putting up candidates who were not qualified to run for council so they were later dismissed and the elections rerun at great expense to the taxpayer.

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