From The Guardian: The Liberal Democrats were wrong to agree harsh immigration measures such as minimum income thresholds for families, one of the party’s former cabinet ministers has admitted, as the party sets out reforms to “detoxify” the debate.
Ed Davey, the party’s home affairs spokesman who was energy secretary during part of the 2010-2015 coalition, said imposing a minimum income level for British citizens to bring spouses or family from non-EU countries had been devastating for many people and had split up families.
Davey said it had been one of the “trade-offs” of coalition which the party would now campaign to reverse.
“It was one of the worst coalition decisions, one of the toughest for me personally and for many Liberal Democrats,” he told the Guardian. “We didn’t want to give in on some issues, like green energy, the pupil premium, income tax thresholds, and they didn’t want to give in on immigration.
“There were things we did have to go along with which I thought were wrong. This was an uncomfortable compromise, absolutely, and it’s one of the reasons why I would love to get rid of this as quickly as possible – it is nasty and unfair.”
From ITV News: Former health minister Norman Lamb has called for the complete legalisation of cannabis – after alleging that “probably half the Cabinet” have used the class B drug.
The Liberal Democrat MP said the Government’s policy towards cannabis represented a “dreadful hypocrisy” and echoed calls from former Tory leader Lord Hague to bring in a regulated market for the drug.
Mr Lamb, speaking after Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a review into medicinal cannabis use, said: “Isn’t there a dreadful hypocrisy in Government policy in drugs more generally.
“Probably most of the Cabinet drink alcohol, the most dangerous drug of all, probably half of the cabinet has used cannabis, possibly even the Home Secretary — unless they’re a group of very odd people.
“Shouldn’t the Home Secretary actually follow the advice of the former Conservative leader Lord Hague, who makes the case for a regulated legalised market and that that is the best way to protect people from harm who at the moment buy from criminals who have no interest in their welfare at all.”
Mr Javid responded, saying that on this occasion he did not agree with Lord Hague.
[Read full article on ITV News website…]
Vince Cable, leader of the Lib Dems, writes in The Times: “The Budget contained news that badly damaged the Conservatives’ reputation for economic competence. For a start, it was confirmed that we have slipped from the fifth to the sixth biggest economy in the world, behind France, and worse could follow.”
[Read column on The Times website…] (paywall, but free registration allows access to two free articles per month)