Last Friday we headed to Glasgow for Liberty’s final event of the party conference season. Journalist Libby Brooks hosted a panel discussion between our Director Martha Spurrier and a number of SNP representatives from Westminster and Holyrood – Joanna Cherry MP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and MSP Michael Matheson and Anne McLaughlin MP.
Our annual Human Rights Awards are a mere two weeks away, and today we are delighted to announce the 2016 shortlist. As ever, it gives us reasons to be hopeful - bringing together fearless young activists, ground-breaking lawyers and pioneering grassroots campaigners.
“So this is how liberty dies – with thunderous applause.”
So read a tweet from one of our members – channelling Padmé Amidala of Star Wars fame – in the midst of a dark period in British politics, which has contributed to a shocking and enduring spike in hate crime in our communities.
At a Tory Party conference where ministerial speeches were dominated by well-choreographed xenophobic vitriol, our fringe event on Tuesday – co-hosted with Bright Blue – provided an oasis where liberal conservatism could find expression.
The Directors of both organisations were joined on our panel by three influential committee chairs – Dominic Grieve QC of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Maria Miller of the Women and Equalities Committee and Crispin Blunt of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
As the annual party conference season gets under way, Liberty will be busy hosting a number of fringe events. We kicked off on Monday evening with a packed agenda at the Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton.
The Government’s original ‘right to rent’ scheme was a flagship component of the drive to turn the UK into a ‘hostile environment’. Piloted in 2015, it saw landlords tasked with performing immigration checks on tenants.