Julian Huppert’s Recent Parliamentary Votes


Monday, November 1st, 2010. 2:59am


Houses of Parliament, Claude MONET, c.1904

Image: Houses of Parliament, London, Monet c.1904

Since I wrote my last article on Cambridge MP Julian Huppert’s Parliamentry voting record, which I published on the 9th of September 2010, there have been 44 more votes in the House of Commons.

On the day I published that previous article Mr Huppert rebelled against the coalition government for only the second time so far in his Parliamentary career when he voted against the motion:

“That this House supports the continued deployment of UK armed forces in Afghanistan.”

Julian Huppert was on the losing side of that vote (More…). During another vote on the same day, also on the war in Afghanistan, Mr Huppert was absent or abstained. The result of that vote was that majority of MPs voted against making support for the continued deployment of UK armed forces in Afghanistan conditional on a change to military strategy designed to reduce loss of life, injuries, and costs (More…). That was one of six (out of the 44) votes which Mr Huppert had been absent or was abstaining from. Four of the other votes were held on the 13-15th of September; Mr Huppert spent around a week in China and was back in the country on the 17th of September so Mr Huppert appears to have missed those as he was away.

Mr Huppert was also absent, or abstained, from a vote on the law relating to strikes. He did not vote on a Bill that had been introduced which is intended to prevent strikes being declared illegal on minor technicalities (More…).

I was surprised to see Mr Huppert voting against a proposal to get the Electoral Registers up to date before using the data on them to re-draw parliamentary constituencies. That appeared to be a common sense suggestion to me yet on the 20th of October Mr Huppert voted against making the Electoral Commission certify sufficient measures have been taken to register voters a pre-requisite for the next review of Parliamentary constituency boundaries (More…). Another interesting vote saw Mr Huppert oppose allowing those in a queue at a polling station before closing time being allowed to vote (More…

Given Mr Huppert’s membership of a party with “Liberal” in its name I thought it was notable that on the 13th of October 2010 he voted not to relax the smoking ban and allow smoking in pubs and private members clubs where no food is being served (More…)
(Some Liberal Democrats in Cambridge appear to think liberty should even extend to the right to vandalise the grass on the city’s parks by carelessly using BBQs.)

Those who voted for Mr Huppert thinking that he and his party supported proportional representation in the House of Commons might be surprised to see that Mr Huppert voted against including systems which would lead to proportional representation on the ballot paper for the referendum on the way MPs are elected:

  • On the 12th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted not to include an option allowing people to express a preference for voting systems expected to result in proportional representation during the referendum on the system used to elect MPs. (Further details via PublicWhip)

In this case, as perhaps in others, Mr Huppert appears to be ditching his principles in the interests of maintaining the unity of the coalition Government.

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert’s Full Voting Record 9th September 2010 – 31st October 2010

Presented in reverse date order

  • On the 27th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to prepare Royal Mail for privatisation; to change the law to enable the Secretary of State for Business to sell the nation’s interest in the company; to change the rules relating to Post Office’s shares enabling the establishment of an employee share scheme and possible mutualisation; and to change the regulation of postal services, particularly to protect the UK’s universal postal service. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 26th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to abolish child trust funds, the saving gateway scheme and health in pregnancy grants. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 25th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against reducing the maximum number of Ministers permitted in proportion with a proposed reduction in the size of the House of Commons. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 25th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against a provision intended to prevent the referendum on the system for electing MPs, Assembly Elections and local elections all being held on the same day in Northern Ireland. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 25th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against a measure intended to prevent local referendums and mayoral elections in England being held at the same time as the referendum on the system for electing MPs to the House of Commons. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 25th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert agreed to allow the referendum on the system for electing MPs to be combined with other elections and referendums being held on the same day. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 25th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert agreed to allow the referendum on the system for electing MPs to be combined with other elections and referendums being held on the same day. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 22nd of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert was absent when the majority of MPs voted to give a second reading to the Lawful Industrial Action (Minor Errors) Bill ie. to allow it to continue on its path to become law. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 20th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to keep the current Welsh Assembly constituencies unchanged by future boundary reviews which will affect UK Parliamentary constituencies. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 20th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to reduce the number of MPs to 600 and to equalise the number of electors in each UK Parliamentary constituency with some exceptions for hard to access areas. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 20th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to require publicity and consultation on changes to Parliamentary constituency boundaries recommended by a Boundary Commission. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 20th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against making the Electoral Commission certifying sufficient measures have been taken to register voters a pre-requisite for the next review of Parliamentary constituency boundaries. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 20th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to accept the clause in the The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill containing provisions relating to reports of the Boundary Commissions (Clause 8). (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 20th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 20th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted not to give the Boundary Commissions a veto on any modifications Parliament might want to make to their recommendations before acting on them. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 20th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to require a report by Boundary Commissions on Parliamentary constituency boundaries every five years, and not to increase the period to every ten years as was proposed. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 20th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against requiring a Boundary Commission report within a year of agreeing a referendum on the devolution of more powers to the Welsh Assembly. The purpose would be to report on how additional devolution ought effect, if at all, the size and number of Parliamentary constituencies in Wales. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 19th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to accept rules for voting in an election run under the “Alternative Vote” system which allow votes to rank as many candidates as they like. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 19th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted in favour of varying the rules governing the progress of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill through the House of Commons. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 18th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted not to exclude citizens of Commonwealth countries or of the Republic of Ireland from voting in the referendum on the system for electing UK MPs. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 18th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against allowing British citizens living outside the United Kingdom to vote in the referendum on the electoral system for the house of commons. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 18th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against making the Electoral Commission’s work to promote public awareness of the referendum subject to the agreement of the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 18th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against requiring independent schools to house polling stations if counting officers wished to use them. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 18th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against including a specific provision in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill expressly permitting Chief Counting Officers to give Regional Counting Officers or counting officers responsible for running the referendum directions about the discharge of their functions specifically in relation to voters with disabilities. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 18th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted not to allow registered voters in the polling station queue when the polls close at 10pm to be allowed to vote. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 18th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted not to require a recount if the Regional Counting Officer of Chief Counting officer running the referendum on the election system for the house of commons thinks there is a reason to doubt the accuracy of the count. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 14th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against calling on the Government to implement the recommendations of the Archer Report into contaminated blood and blood products. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 13th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against saying it would be wrong to increase Britain’s contribution to the European Union budget; but supported the Government’s efforts to maintain the 2011 EU budget at the cash levels equivalent to the 2010 budget. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 13th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted not to relax the smoking ban and allow smoking in pubs and private members clubs where no food is being served. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 13th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to give more powers to local authorities in London. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 13th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert agreed to remove provisions contained within section 2(3) of the Superannuation Act 1972 which required the agreement of the civil servants affected before their severance payments could be reduced. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 13th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to cap civil service redundancy payments at a maximum of 12 months’ pay for compulsory redundancy and 15 months’ for voluntary exits. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 13th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to cap civil service redundancy payments at a maximum of 12 months’ pay for compulsory redundancy and 15 months’ for voluntary exits. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 12th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted not to include an option allowing people to express a preference for voting systems expected to result in proportional representation during the referendum on the system used to elect MPs. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 12th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted to allow the referendum on introducing the alternative vote system for electing MPs to be held on the same day as elections to the Welsh Assembly or Scottish Parliament. The proposal, which was voted down, would have left to the Electoral Commission to set the date of the referendum subject to avoiding the clash and holding the referendum within 18 months of the act becoming law. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 12th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted in favour of setting the following rules to govern the progress of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill through the House of Commons: (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 12th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted in favour of tweaking the grammar and phrasing of the question for the referendum on the voting system. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 12th of October 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against a proposal to allow a minister to set the date of the referendum on introducing the alternative vote system for electing MPs so long as the date doesn’t coincide with elections for “any parliamentary assembly or regularly held local government election”. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 15th of September 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert was absent when the majority of MPs voted not to transfer data from the National Identity Register to the passport database so that existing ID cards could continue to be used as passports. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 15th of September 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert was absent when the majority of MPs voted against adding a new clause to the Identity Documents Bill which would have given a discount on the cost of a new passport to those who bought ID cards. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 13th of September 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert was absent when the majority of MPs voted for the Fixed Term Parliaments Bill to be read a second time; ie. for it to continue its progress to becoming law. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 13th of September 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert was absent when the majority of MPs voted to approve a timetable for the House of Commons’ consideration of the Fixed Term Parliaments Bill. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 9th of September 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert was absent when the majority of MPs voted against making support for the continued deployment of UK armed forces in Afghanistan conditional on a change to military strategy designed to reduce loss of life, injuries, and costs. (Further details via PublicWhip)
  • On the 9th of September 2010 Cambridge MP Julian Huppert voted against the motion: “That this House supports the continued deployment of UK armed forces in Afghanistan.” Julian Huppert was on the losing side of this vote. (Further details via PublicWhip)

One thing I think is particularly surprising about this set of votes is their subjects. MPs have spent huge amounts of time discussing changing the electoral system; and within that they’ve not found time to properly debate the effects of the changes on parts of the UK which are going to be most affected like Wales. I would have thought that there are more pressing matters facing the country such as maintaining standards of Health and Education in an economy where there is less money to be spent on public services and focusing on the huge problems this country has with people struggling to find affordable and appropriate places to live, yet our politicians appear most interested in being introspective and discussing changes to the political system.

Why?

It’s easy to be distracted by news of all the latest campaign groups and bandwagons Mr Huppert is jumping on; but in my view the most important way he wields the power Cambridge residents have given him is through the use of his vote in Parliament.

I have explained why I have been researching all these votes in my previous article on this subject.

7 comments/updates on “Julian Huppert’s Recent Parliamentary Votes

  1. Phil Rodgers

    “Some Liberal Democrats in Cambridge appear to think liberty should even extend to the right to vandalise the grass on the city’s parks by carelessly using BBQs”

    Nothing in the article you link to supports this nonsensical contention. As so often, your attitude to the Lib Dems seems to be informed primarily by prejudice.

  2. Richard Taylor Article author

    The problem of BBQs on the grass has also been discussed at Full Council this year, the reason for the equivocation on the matter is certainly a conflict between a desire for liberty and the duty to look after the city’s parks.

  3. Phil Rodgers

    It is a grotesque misrepresentation of the linked article to claim that it says anyone is in favour of people being allowed to vandalise the grass on the city’s parks by carelessly using BBQs. That is simply not what the article says, and you are misleading people by saying that it is.

  4. Richard Taylor Article author

    Mr Rodgers is a Liberal Democrat activist.

    My comments are not just based on the linked article; it is true that the LibDem run city council did not support tackling those damaging the city’s parks this year. But in any case the article linked shows Cllr Cantrill equivocating rather than condemning the vandals. The article is accurately reporting the LibDem’s failure to enforce the BBQ ban. Not enforcing the ban clearly amounts in my view to allowing people to vandalise the grass.

    The point I am making is that this is the same conflict between liberty and preservation of life/property/taxpayer’s money as the one I suspect Mr Huppert, had to deal with when deciding how to vote on the proposal to lift the smoking ban from certain premises.

    On the smoking ban vote:

    * 35 Lib Dems abstained or were absent
    * 17 Voted with Mr Huppert not to relax the ban
    * 3 Voted to partially lift the ban and allow smoking in pubs and private members clubs where no food is being served.

    (Vote Details)

    I suspect that Mr Huppert is a liberal, and doesn’t think the state ought interfere in people’s personal lives and decisions; yet he has voted to continue to restrict personal choice.

    I think it is commendable that Mr Huppert at least voted and didn’t walk away from making a decision like the majority of his Lib Dem MP colleagues.

    I think smoking is bonkers; and we need to encourage people not to do it though education and giving people easy access to help to give up. Smoking results in a huge cost to society, and a huge cost to people’s health. I approve of the ban in general, but think it has been applied slightly too widely.

    The bill Mr Huppert voted against would have allowed smoking in a separate room in a pub or private club, provided that appropriate and effective air extraction equipment was fitted. One argument for the bill is one I would expect a LibDem to support: Localism. Members of a private club, not the government ought decide its policy. I think the bill ought to have contained provisions requiring education / warning for example requiring the display of a pair of real smoker’s lungs in every such smoking room; or if that wasn’t deemed practical at least poster sized versions of the photo-warnings which appear on cigarette packets.

  5. Julian Huppert

    Hi Richard,

    Another comprehensive list, and there are stories behind pretty much every one of those votes!

    Just to comment on a few things.

    Afghanistan vote: I abstained on the amendment, but didn’t get there fast enough to vote both ways! I agreed with the text of the proposal, but not what the proposed suggested, which was more bombing. I’d proposed my own amendment, but it wasn’t accepted for debate or vote.

    I was sadly away for the report stage and 3rd reading of the ID Bill, which was a shame given how involved I’d been in it. However, I still managed to get an amendment I wanted; clause 10 was rewritten after I objected to it.

    Lastly as regards the AV etc Bill. This is a constitutional bill, so is debated in full in the Chamber, not in committee as would be normal. Many of the votes were on things which are already happening and don’t need primary legislation, or attempts at wrecking amendments (eg STV, which would not have passed either as a bill or in the referendum).

    Julian

  6. Kevin

    >Given Mr Huppert’s membership of a party with “Liberal” in its name<

    So you’d expect David Cameron to be Conservative in cuts and for Gordon Brown to have Laboured for the country? ;)

    I think smoking is bonkers as well. The problem is it is legal. What I hate is the wagon jumping on ‘legal highs’ (such as the story on the cover of the Cambridge News last week) when legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco cause many more problems every single day and I can go out and buy them no problem.

    I see the evidence of the BBQ’s all the time down near Llammas land and near the Granta. Is this a ranger/council or police enforcement issue? I’m all for citizen enforcement. I’d love to go up to them and use a fire extinguisher ;)

  7. Richard Taylor Article author

    A big thanks to Julian for commenting here! He’s proving a very communicative MP, especially with his tweeting letting all interested know what he’s doing on our behalf.

    If I’ve interpreted what Julian Huppert has said correctly it sounds as if he is saying he meant to actively abstain by voting “both” but realised he didn’t have time to get through the queues in both lobbies when he turned up to vote, didn’t vote at all.

    We really need a better way of letting our MPs abstain. I’ve suggested they should shout “I abstain” when the vote is called, getting that recorded in Hansard, and through that forcing the change.

    On the AV / constituency boundaries point; Julian Huppert has told me, and the world, via Twitter that the effect on Wales did get a good debate before the final vote on the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.
Please consider saying where you are from eg. "Cambridge".
Required fields are marked *

*

Powered by WP Hashcash