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Simon Hughes said the Conservative party needed “to get its act together” to focus on encouraging growth and development. “Can I make it clear when I talk to my constituents they do not say to me ‘Simon are you today going to give us a r... Continue to article
LibDem President Simon Hughes I cannot support PM going to CHOGM in Sri Lanka because of human rights violations.
William Hague gave Nick Clegg a fairly lengthy briefing in his left ear during Simon Hughes' question on human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
Ahead of the Queen's Speech, Simon Hughes said there was “clearly an issue” across Europe about when EU citizens qualified for government help from other member states. “There’s an immigration issue. It’s no good any party including mine... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said the Liberal Democrats have been forced to take UKIP seriously following the local elections. "Firstly, what is has done is forced us to take UKIP seriously.They have serious messages which we should be concerned about, ... Continue to article
The Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes says the party has held all their seats 'where it matters' despite its performance in the South Shields byelection Continue to article
Simon Hughes said that UKIP were a threat to Labour, as well as the Conservatives, but that it was too soon to say whether Britain had a four party system. “Let’s see [about four party system]. I mean this is county elections, not urban ... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said that though the Liberal Democrats traditionally have fewer candidates than Labour and the Conservatives, they are running a full slate of candidates in all key electoral battlegrounds of the county council elections. “W... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said that an end to universal benefits was on the Government's agenda. “Well at the moment, pensioners have done very well in this Parliament, they've been completely protected, protected against any housing and benefit change... Continue to article
Simon Hughes has indicated a split in the Coalition in the event of Britain leaving the European Convention on Human Rights to deport Abu Qatada. The Home Secretary said she had signed a treaty with Jordon to make sure the radical cleric... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said he was prepared to ask ministers about the decision to hold the FA Cup semi-final in the late afternoon after a dozen fans were arrested following violence at the Millwall end. “Yes, people had gathered at noon, at lunc... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said the immigration system did not have the "confidence of the British people". “The big issue that we’ve all got to face is the immigration system doesn’t have the confidence of the British people because although we belie... Continue to article
Simon Hughes stressed that tax relief for the poorest was the priority for the Lib Dems. “Yes I accept that [people are struggling], and yes Liberal Democrats accept that, and yes the Government accepts that. People are struggling and we... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said that the Liberal Democrats had secured press reform in which a “charter will be protected” by a legislative ringfence. “We had five points of significant difference for the Conservatives or with the PM as of Thursday ni... Continue to article
Mr Hughes said the Liberal Democrats had been pushing for change in the media industry since the 1990s. “My party has actually agreed to go to a Royal Commission since the 90s we thought that the public wanted a less close relationship b... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said he sympathised with Vicky Pryce. "It’s very sad, it’s sad for her personally, it’s sad for the family, for the children, obviously the court heard all the evidence, and the jury heard the evidence and the system in Brit... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said scrapping the Human Rights Act pandered to anti-European feelings. "It's very clear in this Parliament there can be no reduction in all the rights because that's what the coalition agreement says; there's been a committ... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said that he never received any complaints about Lord Rennard whilst party president of the Liberal Democrats. “I was party president for four years when Lord Rennard was chief executive and I know that not a single complain... Continue to article
Simon Hughes said there should be no "witch-hunt" against Lord Rennard and said due process had to be followed with an investigation. "I can independently attest to the fact there were no allegations which came specifically about the the... Continue to article
The Liberal Democrats, at their annual party conference in Gateshead, voted against discussing the Health and Social Care Bill in an emergency motion tomorrow, which would have aimed to get it withdrawn. Under the party's alternative voting system Baroness Williams's rival motion to support the bill was instead accepted and will be debated tomorrow, rather than a motion to "kill the bill".
Nick Clegg had urged his party to get behind the NHS reforms, saying the Health and Social Care Bill had "changed considerably" and "deserves the support of the whole party".
Deputy leader Simon Hughes earlier defended the Liberal Democrats' record in Government, and insisted he was "not worried" about the future of the party.
Speaking to the BBC's Today programme, Mr Hughes said: "Of course I am worried when people are concerned in the community that we are not doing the right thing, and I have concerns about that, but I am not worried about the future of the party and our ability to achieve in government the sort of changes that would not have been delivered if the Tories were there on their own."
Nick Clegg yesterday stressed the Health and Social Care Bill had been changed beyond "all recognition" since its first publication thanks to Liberal Democrat amendments.
He insisted that Liberal Democrat peers had mad "absolutely sure" competition would always be the servant of the NHS and "not its master".
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, echoed the words of his party leader and welcomed th news that Shirley Williams's motion had been chosen instead of discussing whether to drop the bill.
Speaking to Sky News he said: "Shirley has played a key role along with other Liberal Democrat peers in the House of Lords in terms of improving the bill, improving the bill with a view to passing it into law. I think that’s the right thing for the NHS, I think it’s the right thing for the country and so if that’s the debate we’re going to have tomorrow then I welcome that."
Baroness Williams added that after the changes made she is now prepared to support the bill.
Speaking on Sky News she said: "We’ve done everything we can to support the NHS including dealing with health inequalities and therefore I’m prepared to stand up for those reforms but not the original bill which I think was very ill-judged and very ill-conceived.”
The Liberal Democrats are expected to intensify the divisions within the Coalition over housing benefit caps when deputy leader Simon Hughes makes a speech expressing his concerns over the caps.
Mr Hughes is expected to say that the limits will "break up families" and ask: "Is this really how we want to treat now the adults of the next generation?"
Liberal Democrat sources insist that Mr Hughes supports the idea of a cap in principle, but has been left "deeply concerned" about the consequences of the reforms in central London.
The fourth day of the Liberal Democrat party conference in Liverpool was marked by pleadges of loyalty to the coalition by senior party figures and disquiet over cuts by MPs and party members. Simon Hughes said he backed the government, while MP Bob Russell said cuts could not be fair.
David Laws has put the pressure on George Osborne to raise personal tax allowances in next month's Budget, saying such a move could “end the austerity on household budgets”.
In an interview with Newsnight, the Lib Dem MP followed Simon Hughes and Ed Balls in calling for the tax cuts:
“We have to distinguish between the period of austerity for public spending and for public services, which is clearly going to go on for a period of time, from the austerity that we’ve seen in household budgets… now that we have completed most of the tax increases, now that we’re seeing inflation this year on a firm downward track, that gives us the opportunity, if we can make these other reductions in taxation by increasing the income tax thresholds - as Nick Clegg has suggested - that gives us the opportunity of ending the austerity on households budgets.”
Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes has said in an interview with the Guardian that he hoped the spending review would delay the decision to replace Trident, axe tutition fees and allow councils to build more housing.
John Pugh has accused Andrew Lansley of taking Labour's "NHS experiment" to "its logical, ultimate and slightly disturbing conclusion".
Speaking during an emergency motion discussion at the Lib Dem conference, he said: "Some thanks are due to Andrew Lansley, and you may ask why.
"I have a very simple reason for this: he has woken the country to the ultimate absurdity of a 20-year experiment with the NHS. Because what he has endeavoured to do is take the Blairite model for the NHS to its logical, ultimate and slightly disturbing conclusion."
Mr Pugh was supported by Andrew George, who said: "The NHS is more important to the public than the fate of any political party. Yes, Labour paved the way, with Tory support, but this is primarily a Tory plan with our grudging support or possible acquiescence. It’s often said ‘it’s the economy, stupid’.
"Well, I think that the future fate of both this party and this Coalition Government needs to take heed of the concept that actually: ‘it’s the NHS, stupid’."
Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes admitted that the party did not “have a procedure” in place to effectively scrutinise the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill in its initial form.
15/05/2013 on World at One, BBC Radio 4
08/05/2013 on BBC News
05/05/2013 on Murnaghan, Sky News
03/05/2013 on Daybreak, ITV
01/05/2013 on Today, BBC Radio 4
28/04/2013 on The Andrew Marr Show, BBC One
14/04/2013 on Sky News
22/03/2013 on Breakfast, BBC Radio 5live
20/03/2013 on BBC News
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
Today on World at One, BBC Radio 4
Today on Sky News
Today on Today, BBC Radio 4