Blog archive

The Government’s oppressive “rape clause” is inhuman and degrading – it must be scrapped

The Government has unveiled regulations requiring women to prove they have been raped in order to claim child tax credits for more than two children.

The so-called “rape exemption” is among regulations that will come into force tomorrow.

If the exemption does not apply, a family will only be able to claim tax credit for up to two children.

The new rules were laid before Parliament on 15 March 2017 – just three weeks ago. They have not been subjected to any scrutiny.

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Home Office to trial pioneering new Border Schools

This week – beneath the Brexit headlines –  the Home Office and Department for Education (DfE) quietly announced that the first of their pioneering ‘Border Schools’ will be up and running for the summer term.

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Sacrificing our rights is a surrender of the values terrorists seek to destroy

Last week’s terrorist attack was horrifying. From our office in Westminster, the sudden sound of sirens, racing police cars and then helicopters was chilling. As news came in of the lives lost, London was stunned to a sort of silence.

But the aftermath is characterised by the solidarity and British resilience we rely on for national healing.

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Brexit’s begun – and so has the fight to keep our rights

So Article 50 has been triggered – Brexit has officially begun.

I recently joined Liberty as an expert in EU law to conduct in-depth research into what Brexit could mean for human rights. With the white paper on the Great Repeal Bill landing tomorrow, I’ve got my work cut out.

This is the biggest shake-up of our laws in generations, and everyone from business leaders and environmentalists to local councils and hospitals quite rightly want to have their say.

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Where there is division, we build bridges

It is the end of a shocking and sad week. Wednesday’s senseless attack has left us all bereft, and our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones.

The assault on our Parliament comes so soon after the murder of Jo Cox MP. These attacks are not about politics or faith. They are about fear and violence.

But – as the selfless actions of so many people showed on Wednesday – where we see one man’s cruelty, we remember our kindness.

When we are fearful, we find our courage. When we face injustice, we reach for fairness. Where there is division, we build bridges. 

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Millions of photos may be held unlawfully by the police and the Home Office wants it to stay that way

The Home Office’s recent review into the police’s retention of photographs of people in custody estimated there were over 19 million such images on the Police National Database as of July 2016. Many will be of people who’ve never been convicted of any offence. Some won’t even have been charged.

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A week of backtracking and concessions at the Department for Education

It’s been a busy week at the Department for Education (DfE).

Today we heard the news – yet to be confirmed by the DfE – that it has bowed to campaigning by Liberty and others and will drop plans to allow local authorities to opt out of complying with their legal obligations to children.

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Lords must take their chance to protect EU citizens' rights

Today the House of Lords gets to debate the Government’s Brexit Bill, which breezed through the Commons without a single amendment.

Even on issues with cross-party support, like the need to provide EU migrants with certainty over their right to stay in the UK, those who believe rights should be off the negotiating table were defeated.

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PSPO Watch: Join the fightback

Scrapping plans for Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) was never likely to be high on the list of local councils’ New Year’s resolutions.

Although more and more people have become aware of the absurd – and often cruel – ways PSPOs are being misused, it unfortunately looks like we’ll continue to see our freedoms chipped away in 2017.

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Smoke and mirrors at the MoD

Liberty's Emma Norton on why the Ministry of Defence's proposed compensation scheme is about protecting itself, not soldiers.

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