• Article: Apr 25, 2018

    Upskirting is the act of taking a photo up a woman's skirt without her consent.

    In 2009 it was made illegal in Scotland but shockingly it remains legal in England and Wales.

    Authorities can ask a perpetrator to delete the photo but under current law no further prosecution is possible.

    Police have managed to prosecute some people for upskirting for outraging public decency. But this is patently absurd as it should not matter how public it was or who else saw it. This also ignores the fact this is a crime with a victim.

  • Palace of Westminster.
    Article: Apr 23, 2018

    In the face of further defeats on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, and following further pressure from Peers across the House of Lords, the government has brought forward amendments to ensure that the UK still has the ability to refer to and apply EU guidance for legal matters in our courts going forwards.

  • The House of Lords. Image: UK Parliament
    Article: Apr 23, 2018

    Liberal Democrats have voted with a majority of cross-party Peers in the House of Lords to inflict another defeat on the government.

    An amendment to retain the Charter of Fundamental Rights in UK law was successfully moved and is the third defeat for the government in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Lords at Report Stage.

    The Charter of Fundamental Rights has been a key component of EU law since 2000 and has set the bar on civil, political, social and economic rights.

    The UK's continued use of this piece of legislation shows the rest of the world that we are still committed to the highest standards on human rights and the principles of the Charter going forward.

  • A pile of leaflets to be delivered in a Liberal Democrat Office
    Article: Apr 20, 2018

    The Liberal Democrats won two of the council by-elections that were held last night (with one still to declare!), gaining two seats from the Conservatives!

    The Liberal Democrats, under Vince Cable, are winning seats up and down the country and against all opposition - because people know when they elect Liberal Democrats, they're electing someone who'll get things done for their community!

  • Vince Cable in Twickenham
    Article: Apr 19, 2018

    He criticised the effective monopolies enjoyed by the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon - comparing their market dominance to that of big oil companies in the past - and suggested ways they could be broken up.

    "Data is the new oil. Data is the raw material which drives these firms and it is control of data which gives them an advantage over competitors. These companies have acquired their pivotal position by providing a service or platform through which data can be extracted, collected and used.

    Just as Standard Oil once cornered 85% of the refined oil market, today Google drives 89% of internet search, 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook product, Amazon accounts for 75% of E-book sales, while Google and Apple combined provide 99% of mobile operating systems.

    National government and, even more so, supranational bodies like the EU can and should look to break up enterprises where size is detrimental to the economic well-being of the country, its citizens and its capacity for innovation.

    There is a case for splitting Amazon into three separate businesses - one offering cloud computing, one acting as a general retailer and one offering a third-party marketplace. Other examples would be Facebook being forced to divest itself of Instagram and WhatsApp as a condition for operating in the EU, creating two new social media networks. Divesting Google of YouTube would be another.

    What is striking that the most effective competition authority in the capitalist world - the European Commission - is probably the only body with the clout to take these decisions. The UK could quite obviously never do it alone.

    Britain commits an act of serious self-harm by doggedly setting itself apart from the power of shared sovereignty with our neighbours.

  • The House of Lords. Image: UK Parliament
    Article: Apr 18, 2018

    Having sat through over 100 hours of debate so far in the House of Lords on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, I have been angered by the combination of arrogance and incompetence which has characterised the Government's response to a very wide range of concerns expressed.

    From how we continue to regulate and licence the supply of over-the-counter medicines to working with our European neighbours on security policy; from how to maintain reciprocal roaming charges to protecting our hard-won rights and freedoms, the Government has displayed indifference and the inability to answer the most basic of questions.

  • Palace of Westminster.
    Article: Apr 18, 2018

    The Government has tonight been defeated in the House of Lords on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.

    An amendment on the customs union supported by the Liberal Democrats, Crossbenchers, Labour, and Conservative peers has passed by 348 votes to 225.

    The defeat forces the government to lay a report before Parliament outlining the steps taken to negotiate a customs union as part of the framework for a future UK-EU relationship, and prevents the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 until these steps have been taken.

    This is a hugely significant moment, the House of Lords has come together to show the government that remaining in a customs union is key to the UK's future prosperity.

    Securing this win on a cross-party basis rams home how out of touch the government have been on this issue and that they drastically need to change tack from the destructive hard Brexit they are pursuing.

  • Palace of Westminster.
    Article: Apr 18, 2018

    An amendment providing enhanced protections for employment, equality, health and safety entitlements, rights and protections, and consumer and environmental standards has been passed in the Lords.

    This is the second defeat today for the government in the EU Withdrawal Bill.

    This defeat is a key step in ensuring that parliament plays the key role in Brexit and not just a handful of Ministers altering standards via the back-door.

    Guaranteeing that standards relating to equality, employment law and many other things can only be altered via primary legislation is extremely significant and essential to the democratic process.

  • Sal Brinton speaking at Lib Dem conference.
    Article: Apr 18, 2018

    April already, so local government election campaigns are getting underway!

    Thanks to all our candidates and their teams, out knocking on doors, putting up poster boards and preparing for getting out postal votes later this month ahead of polling day on 3 May.

    If you haven't got elections near you, please offer to help somewhere nearby - every pair of hands is vital, with plenty of different jobs to be done.

  • Article: Apr 18, 2018

    2016-01-17_Isabelle_Parasram_-_Head_of_Chambers_-_Professional_photo.pngIn November 2017, I was appointed by the Federal Board of the Liberal Democrats as Special Investigation Counsel to conduct an investigation and produce a Report on the handling of sexual impropriety complaints within the Party.

    I am pleased that, after a period of being embargoed, the report has now been published and you can access it here.

A huge thank you to everyone who worked on my campaign in the Meon Valley.

We moved from 4th to 3rd, increased the Lib Dem vote by 913 share of the vote +1.2%pts. Not everything we wanted, but a creditable result given the national trend!

So thank you!

Best wishes

Martin

Martin Tod is Chief Executive of a national health charity, as well as a Hampshire County Councillor and Winchester City Councillor.
On the county council, he specialises in health and social care, and played a leading role in opposing Conservative cuts to support for older people which, as predicted, have led to a sharp increase in bed places lost due to patients being kept on in hospital after they are ready to go home and dramatic growth in the number of cancelled operations in local hospitals. He has also campaigned for improved road safety and for the council to take stronger action on air quality and the environment.
After studying economics at Cambridge, where he was President of the Union, Martin worked in international business for P&G for many years, before joining Vodafone as a senior marketing executive. Following this, he moved to work for Shelter - the housing and homelessness charity - before joining his current charity, the Men's Health Forum in 2013.
His interests outside work and politics include travel, photography, cycling and cooking.

Martin's priorities include:
· Protecting local business and local people's jobs by stopping a damaging hard Brexit
· Better funding for our local NHS
· Stopping the proposed Conservative funding cuts to local schools
· More affordable housing
· Action on air quality and the environment