Democratic Lords campaign is ‘silly business’, says Ann Widdecombe

Guy Aitchison
12 April 2010
And Mr Howard said:

"I am in favour of an elected House of Lords and it was part of my manifesto at the last election.

But since we don't have an elected House of Lords, I can't see any justification for freezing appointments to the present House

Asked if he is indeed about to become a lord, Mr Howard replied: "I have no idea. I have not been approached and I have not been offered a seat in the House of Lords, and I don't know if I will be or not." Asked if he would accept a seat if offered, he said: "I would think about it at the time."

So while Ms Widdecombe think it's "silly busines" to demand an end to political cronyism and unelected law-makers, Mr Howard's position seems to be to support reform of the Lords. But not just yet. And perhaps only after he's been given a seat in there first.

Power2010 campaigners also visited John Prescott's constituency in Hull.

As the Hull Daily Mail reports, Prescott used to be firmly opposed to the Lords and said he would not accept a seat there but he has been coming round to the idea since his wife declared she liked the idea of being called "Lady P".

Mr Prescott's constituent Tom Foster, of North Bransholme, signed our petition calling for No More Lords and expressed a sentiment I suspect many people feel when he said:

'I would hate for Prescott to become a lord'

Cross-posted from the Power2010 blog.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

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