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Letter of the Lords - October 11, 2013

Letter of the Lords - October 11, 2013

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Published by libdemlords
Liberal Democrat Lords newsletter from October 11, 2013
Liberal Democrat Lords newsletter from October 11, 2013

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Published by: libdemlords on Oct 11, 2013
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 Welcome to the latest edition of Letter of the Lords
the weekly newsletter aimed at shining a light
into the work the party‟s peers are doing in the second chamber. Why not let us know what you think?
Email the newsletter onlordsmedia@libdems.org.uk
.And that‟s also the address to give to friends,
colleagues and loved ones to sign up too. Plus don‟t forget to keep up to date with the blog
at libdemlords.org.uk and follow us on Twitter  @LibDemLords. 
 A Private Member‟s Bill granting legal rights to cohabiting couples when they
break up or one partner dies was this week published by
Lord Jonathan Marks
Last month‟s federal party conference in Glasgow voted to adopt a motion calling for the
implementation of the proposals made by the Law Commission in 2007 and 2011, giving cohabiting
couples “fair and reasonable redress”. Lord Marks‟
 Cohabitation Rights Bill would bring in these legal
rights for couples who live together for the first time. The number of couples in the UK cohabitingincreased from less than 3m in 1996 to 5.9m last year. 38% have children.
Lord Marks said: “Increasing numbers of people are choosing to live together rather than getting
married or having a civil partnership and they deserve fair treatment. For far too long nothing hasbeen done to give cohabiting couples fair treatment when they break up or one partner dies.
“There is a widespread belief that couples who live together get some rights in law as so
law spouses‟. But that is a complete myth. My Bill will bring in the
Law Commission‟sproposals made in 2007 and 2011 to give couples who live together some legal rights.”
Under Lord Marks‟ Bill, cohabiting couples would not be treated the same as married couples but
would have some protection against being taken advantage of when their relationships break downand against being left destitute when one partner dies without a will. It received its first reading onWednesday and was published the following day.
“I must admit that when I put all the
papers on my dining room table to try to make head or tail of them, they occupied 10 feet of space, including the so-
called explanatory documents.”
Lord AndrewPhillips
takes his tape measure to the Financial Services Bill.
Things to do in Denver when you're dead hungry”
Baroness LizBarker 
(@LizBarkerLords) takes a break from the Care Bill to join in the hashtag game of the week. 
Boom! Tish!
This week‟s Government reshuffle saw changes to the party‟s team in the Lords,
most notablywith
Baroness Susan Kramer 
being appointed Minister of State at the Department at theDepartment of Transport. The move means she is now the most senior Liberal Democrat woman inthe Government. She made her ministerial debut on Thursday, answering debates on the quality of bus services and investment in the rail network in East Anglia. Another move saw
Baroness JudithJolly
appointed a Government Whip in the Lords. Meanwhile, the size of the Lib Dem Lords groupgrew by three, with
Baroness Olly Grender 
Baroness Zahida Manzoor 
Lord IanWrigglesworth
all being introduced.
East Anglia is a “quiet powerhouse of economic growth” but has seen a woeful lack of investment in
its rail infrastructure,
Baroness Ros Scott
told the Lords as she led 
.She said: “Debates about connecting the English regions rarely focus on places like Norwich,
Cambridge and Chelsmford. Nor is the contribution to the economy of London made by the tens of 
thousands who commute from the south of the region into London each day fully recognised.”
 Lord John Alderdice
used a question on Syria to point out that the US and Turkey had stated that
any settlement on the country would invo
lve the removal of President Assad. He said: “Given the
UNSC decision, does the noble Baroness [Minister Baroness Warsi] accept that if he proceeds todismantle chemical weapons and thus obey the one institution that the UN Security Council hasagreed, it
may be difficult to sustain that position?”. The Minister said she could not anticipate a
situation in which Assad remaining would be acceptable to the Syrian people. And
Lord John Lee
accused successive governments of treating tourism as “a Cinderella
as he asked a question about its importance to the UK economy.Tourism was not mentioned in the
manifestos of any of the parties at the last election, and “as a result of the reshuffle, we are now on
our ninth tourism min
ister in 10 years”, he said. The Minister, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, described it asan “important sector”.
 This week on the Lib Dem Lords blog
Baroness Ros Scott
spoke about the 
 in rail infrastructure in East Anglia,
Lord Jonathan Marks
outlined his 
Lord Roger Roberts
wrote exclusively about changes needed to the
Lord Eric Avebury
will ask the Government what further steps it will take to curb the late-nightpurchasing and consumption of alcohol.
Lord John Sharkey
will ask the Government for its assessment of the exclusion of those living in
northern Cyprus from the benefits of the island‟s EU membership.
Lord Jonathan Marks
leads a debate on the proposed provisions for the supervision of offendersafter 
the Government‟s reorganisation of the probation service.

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