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Commons Diary 6th - 8th October

October 8, 2008 4:35 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

MPs questioned Alistair Darling on the economic crisis, Ed Davey criticised the government and Tories for their responses to the South Ossetia conflict, Nick Clegg challenged Gordon Brown over cooperation on the economic crisis at PMQs.

Monday October 6th

MPs returned from the summer recess to question Alistair Darling on the economic crisis. Vince Cable urged the Chancellor make it clear that, in these emergency conditions, "the mandate of the Bank of England must include responsibility for averting a meltdown in the financial and economic system". Malcolm Bruce also spoke about the importance of getting a cut in interest rates, and said this should be accompanied by a cut in taxes to help people deal with rising costs. Susan Kramer made a similar point, saying that the inflation target should be put into abeyance for a period, to allow the Bank to take the steps necessary to prevent the present crisis from spilling over into the rest of the economy.

Later, Jeremy Browne welcomed the second reading of the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill, but said there was an important discussion to be had on the degree to which individual banks and building societies should be able to take a more local approach to projects that they have supported for a considerable period. Martin Horwood also spoke in the debate, making a robust defence of mutual building societies, noting that they were all still healthy while all those that demutualised had either crashed, been swallowed or been nationalised.

Earlier, at DCMS questions, Don Foster challenged the government over the rules of ownership for football clubs. Bob Russell called for "a royal commission, or some other inquiry, into the whole stewardship and future of the national sport".

Tuesday October 7th

At foreign affairs questions Edward Davey accused the Government and the Conservatives of a 'deeply flawed' response to the summer crisis in South Ossetia, in proposing fast-track membership of NATO for Georgia and Ukraine. Lorely Burt asked about claims by a former CIA officer that the British territory of Diego Garcia had been used by the US to hold and interrogate terror suspects.

In Westminster Hall, Steve Webb obtained a debate on the regional spatial strategy for the south-west. He attacked the strategy for being undemocratic and "incredibly top-down". Annette Brooke said the strategy would mean "the destruction of beautiful areas forever". Dan Rogerson said he hoped that, at some point in the future, there would be "a far more transparent, grass-roots-led programme that... gives communities control over their future." Matthew Taylor, Jeremy Browne, Julia Goldworthy, Stephen Williams, David Heath, Andrew George, Martin Horwood and Don Foster all contributed to the debate too.

John Pugh obtained a debate on the Local Government Standards Board, in which he warned that the Board was presiding over a "grotesque failure of natural justice" in some cases. Tom Brake spoke in a debate on anti-drug awareness, calling on the minister to set out an action plan to address the patchy drugs and alcohol education in schools and prisons.

Wednesday October 8th

At PMQs, Nick Clegg challenged Gordon Brown over cooperation on the economic crisis at cross-party and international levels. He demanded the Prime Minister give more detail on plans for coherent EU and international action, and "recognise struggling families need money in their pockets now" while closing tax loopholes exploited by the rich.