Parliament Roundup

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 3/10/14-10/10/14

Government commits further £330K to stop practice of FGM

The government is to put forward an additional £330,000 towards the battle against female genital mutilation (FGM). This plan was announced on the UN’s International day of the girl (11/10). The announcement came after campaigners had complained that while £35m was promised by the government to eradicate FGM abroad, just £1m has been allocated to tackling the problem in the UK. The new funds from the government equalities office will be used for projects that offer expertise and support to vulnerable groups, with £100,000 for work to support victims and survivors of forced marriage, and £150,000 for community engagement in the highest risk areas for FGM and forced marriage.

Red Ed under pressure to toughen immigration policies

After a very slim by-election win of of 617 votes in Heywood and Middleton, Labour has put Ed Miliband under pressure to toughen its immigration policies. The small victory has led Labour to have a sense of unease towards the fact that UKIP’s growing influence could deprive them of northern marginal seats at next year’s general election. Labour officials have acknowledged that Miliband would do more to highlight the party’s policies on immigration in the future. Miliband admitted that disillusionment with Westminster politics, building for a long time, had led some traditional Labour communities to choose Ukip, adding in a direct message to Ukip supporters: “It is not prejudiced to worry about immigration.” But he said he would not make any false promises and resisted any immediate changes to a policy that he said had already been changed in 2010.

Voters trust Cameron and Osborne most with the economy

According to a recent ICM poll, 39% of voters say the prime minister and the chancellor, George Osborne, are the team they would most trust “to manage the economy properly”, and compared with just 19% who say they would trust the opposition Labour leader, Ed Miliband and his shadow chancellor, Ed Balls. These results come after David Cameron announced his proposals to impose more income tax cuts, amongst other factors. Within the poll, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, got his most negative rating ever in a measure of whether he was doing a good job or not. Despite being trusted with the economy, 46% of those who participated said that Cameron was doing a ‘bad job’, further illustrating the public’s distrust in politicians. When it comes to Miliband, only 20% say that he’s doing a ‘good job’.

Lord Hill already stirring up fury among Tory Euro sceptics

Lord Jonathan Hill has sparked fury by predicting that the UK will still be part of the EU after the promised 2017 referendum. Lord Hill suggested that the result of the vote was a foregone conclusion. Ukip claimed the Tory peer had ‘let the cat out of the bag’, saying the comments proved that the Prime Minister’s real plan was to keep us in the EU no matter what. Lord Hill made his prediction as he was grilled for a second time by MEPs, who had to ratify his appointment as EU commissioner for financial services. He set out his vision for Europe in 2019 to show how he would work to beef up the EU.He said: ‘Big picture for 2019: the European Union is stronger and more cohesive – and more responsive to the economic and political concerns of its citizens. And our Union, by the way, remains a family of 28 member states – including the United Kingdom.’

By Gloria Ganda