By Danny Simm
Lib Dems move to scrap Section 60 Stop and Search
The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to back a new Bill to scrap suspicion-less stop and search in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, which have exposed ingrained institutional racism and discrimination in the UK. If passed, the law would prohibit Section 60, suspicion-less stop and search, which currently leaves a black person almost 50 times more likely to be stopped than a white person.
- No one here in the UK or anywhere else in the world should have their life blighted by racist discrimination, inequality or injustice. It is unacceptable and must be tackled head on.
- Suspicion-less stop and search not only doesn't work, but the disproportionate impact of these laws undermines police officers' relationships with the communities they serve - the very relationships needed to prevent crime.
- The Conservative Government must get behind this Bill and make sure it becomes law. Of course, this has to be part of a broader Race Equality Strategy. We need the UK to move further and faster to redress institutional racism, not least by scrapping the policies at the core of the Tories' discriminatory Hostile Environment.
Govt must be transparent on guidance behind decision to relax lockdown
Pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers can open from 4 July in England and social distancing rules will be eased, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
- People up and down the country will be relieved to know they can soon spend more time with loved ones, and that businesses at the heart of our communities may soon be able to reopen.
- However, we still lack the fully-functioning test and trace system we urgently need to keep people safe. Ministers must guarantee this will be sorted before 4 July, and must be completely transparent about the science behind the decision to ease the two metre guidance. Until we have a vaccine or a cure for COVID-19, the risks to public health remain all-too-real.
- It is vital that Ministers are frank with the public about what will happen if transmission of the virus increases again. The Government must also be ready to provide ongoing support to business as they look to reopen.
- The Prime Minister has outlined plans for the future, but he must now commit to an independent inquiry into the Government's handling of every aspects of the ongoing crisis.
Govt must guarantee scrutiny in Parliament as daily COVID-19 updates cease
The Government confirmed that yesterday's daily conference will be the last of the daily updates.
- The Government must stand by their commitment to communicate important public health messages in this way as the need arises, to ensure no one misses out on information essential to protecting their health.
- Scrutiny must also continue. Ministers must ensure that COVID-19 announcements are made in Parliament first to ensure that they can be scrutinised fully.
- Liberal Democrats have called for transparency throughout this crisis. Many questions, not least on protective equipment, testing capacity, and deaths in care homes, remain unanswered. The Prime Minister must take the opportunity today to publicly commit to an independent inquiry into his Government's handling of this crisis.