Yesterday I received a very nice thank you email from Mike Thornton, the newest Liberal Democrat MP, after his victory in Eastleigh on Thursday.
One of Mike’s first jobs as MP is likely to be voting on the Justice and Security Bill Report stage which has been rushed into the Commons to start on Monday (4th March) and finish on Thursday 7th. Astonishingly I’ve been told the rush is to avoid a potentially difficult Lib Dem Conference motion getting in the way of the government’s plans!
This is my reply to Mike Thornton’s thank you email:
Congratulations on your well-deserved victory. I know you will make an excellent MP for the people of Eastleigh. I was delighted to be able to campaign for you. I hope to see you at Conference.
Before Conference the Justice and Security Bill enters Report stage in the Commons on Monday 4th March (this week) which I presume will be your first day in your new job! You may know that at our Conference in September the party overwhelmingly voted to reject Part II of this Bill which introduces secret courts into ordinary civil claims. It undermines centuries of fair trial protections. It is unnecessary, unfair and unbalanced. It is neither liberal nor democratic. It is a toolkit for coverups. It means that rotten apples in our security services will be able to break the law and not be found out by the courts.
Mike, please let one of your first acts as MP for Eastleigh to stand up for our party’s values and vote against this Bill. It will be a disaster for our country if this becomes law.
On Monday please vote against Part II of the Justice and Security Bill, in line with the many hundreds of Liberal Democrats who voted on this at our last Conference, and who campaigned for your election.
Congratulations once again, and best wishes,