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John Hemming
John HemmingJohn Hemming o/s Parliament
Parliamentary Candidate for Birmingham Yardley
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John in the News - 2010

John Hemming is regularly in the national and local news.
A representative selection of his news coverage is shown here:

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- December -
23/12/2010: Birmingham children’s services department to axe hundreds of jobs

Plans to axe almost 900 jobs and save £62 million have been drawn up at Birmingham City Council’s children, young people and families department. [.. ..]

Mr Hemming said remodelling would not prevent social workers from making "stupid decisions" by inappropriately taking children into care.

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17/12/2010: Lib Dems will be thanked for tuition fees rise, says MP John Hemming

Students attacking the Government’s university funding plans don’t understand the proposals, Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming has insisted. [.. ..]

At the heart of his argument is the fact that most graduates will never be asked to pay the full £27,000 that they might be charged for a three-year course.

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8/12/2010: Birmingham students put pressure on Lib Dem MPs ahead of crucial vote

Dozens of protesters ramped up the pressure on Midland Liberal Democrat MPs by staging a demonstration against student tuition fee increases. [.. ..]

Mr Hemming revealed on Monday that he would vote for the increase after students staged a three-hour sit-in at his city office that day.

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6/12/2010: Backlash over Cadbury’s move to Switzerland that will see company deprive British treasury of £60m tax per year

The American owners of Cadbury’s are facing a political backlash after announcing they will switch control of the company to Switzerland - a move likely to slash the tax they pay in this country. [.. ..]

Lib Dem MP John Hemming said: ‘This raises great questions about how you have an equitable sharing of the burden of the costs of running society. They want to make profits in England but they do not want to pay tax on them. That cannot be right.’

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6/12/2010: Students’ fees protest at Lib Dem John Hemming’s office

The office of a Liberal Democrat MP was taken over by several protesters urging him to vote against a rise in tuition fees later this week. [.. ..]

"I talked to them and I’d be happy to meet them at any stage... but to shut down my office? It’s completely the wrong way to do it," [John] said.

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3/12/2010: Millionaire MP John Hemming says he pays £30,000 to carry out his work

The MP said he was helping to fund support for constituents from his own pocket as he defended a controversial expenses claim.

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- November -
27/11/2010: Sir Albert Bore to Run for Birmingham’s Elected Mayor

The race has begun for Birmingham’s first elected mayor with Sir Albert Bore, a Labour veteran declaring he intends to run for the position [.. ..]

The Lib Dem’s John Hemming has also expressed interested in running for mayor if the position is created.

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26/11/2010: Jersey abuse trial ends problem-hit criminal inquiry

The conclusion of criminal proceedings against Morag and Tony Jordan brings to a close a shameful episode in Jersey history.

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18/11/2010: MPs condemn decision to send Stuart Syvret to prison

Three MPs are condemning the decision by Jersey’s magistrates’ court to send former senator Stuart Syvret to prison.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming tabled a Commons motion claiming Mr Syvret was the victim of "political persecution".

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12/11/2010: Millionaire Birmingham MP defends paying off office mortgage with expenses

Millionaire Birmingham MP John Hemming said he had done nothing wrong after it emerged he used the Parliamentary expenses system to pay off a mortgage on an office in the city. [.. ..]

Mr Hemming said: "You have to look at whether it is a good deal for the taxpayer. Did it cost the taxpayer more than would otherwise have been the case? Look at how my expenses compared to other MPs in Birmingham."

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11/11/2010: John Hemming MP writes… The Rent’s too damn high

Why the housing benefit changes are not about social cleansing, but instead about getting rents reduced for all tenants.

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9/11/2010: TB jabs must be offered to children in Birmingham

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has been urged to ensure tuberculosis jabs are offered to more youngsters across Birmingham, in a bid to halt the spread of the disease.

City MP John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley) has written to Mr Lansley demanding action after Birmingham’s public health director, Dr Jim McManus, warned more vaccinations were needed.

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- October -
30/10/2010: Child protection: MPs must act on the scandal of seized children

Britain’s child protection system is off the rails, and only the politicians who built it can fix it, says Christopher Booker [.. ..]

Still largely hidden from view, however, is that other scandal, [.. ..] the seizure of thousands of children a year from loving homes, for no good reason.

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13/10/2010: Birmingham Lib Dem MP John Hemming in U-turn over tuition fees

[.. ..] But the Liberal Democrat MP for Yardley insisted he was not breaking his promise, after Ministers announced plans to let universities increase tuition fees from the current limit of £3,290 a year up to £7,000.

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12/10/2010: Birmingham to get an elected mayor, whether it wants one or not

Whitehall is to impose an elected mayor on Birmingham without asking residents whether they want one, ministers have confirmed. [.. ..]

[John Hemming] said: "It doesn't sound very sensible to me. And it raises the possibility of somebody standing for the post of mayor on a platform of abolishing the post."

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12/10/2010: Cameron urges Lib Dems to compromise over university funding

David Cameron has urged Liberal Democrat MPs to "compromise" over university funding, as the Government prepared to announce a dramatic rise in university fees. [.. ..]

Mr Hemming said: "If you have a progressive scheme in which people on high incomes pay more than those on low incomes then it is moving towards a graduate tax. [.. ..]

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10/10/2010: 500 parents in legal action to win back ‘stolen’ children taken into care

Hundreds of heartbroken parents who claim social services "stole" their children have launched a legal bid to win them back. [.. ..]

Lib Dem MP John Hemming, backing the legal action, said: "We are challenging a system where simply believing a child is at risk can see them taken into care - or being adopted and lost for ever."

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1/10/2010: Revealed: The FOUR electorates at the centre of ‘voter fraud that cost Tories election’

Police are investigating more than 20 cases of electoral fraud in four constituencies relating to results in the General Election, it has been revealed. [.. ..]

John Hemming: ‘It happens in all communities, all parties are involved in political fraud but the Labour party is involved far more than any of the other parties and the Labour Party tends to benefit from it.

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- September -
23/9/2010: Yardley MP John Hemming warns of voter backlash over spending cuts

The Government risks getting "a kicking" from voters because it is failing to explain why cuts are needed, according to Birmingham’s Liberal Democrat MP.

John Hemming (Lib Dem, Yardley) said spending cuts would lead to public sector workers "being sacked for reasons that are no fault of their own".

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20/9/2010: Tax avoidance action is ‘a drop in the ocean’

A former adviser to the Thatcher government has warned that official action to tackle tax avoidance and fraud is "a drop in the ocean" in light of the amount of tax revenue lost to the Treasury [.. ..]

John Hemming, who represents Birmingham Yardley, said he had no idea this loophole existed and agreed the government "should not allow that to happen".

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17/9/2010: Labour’s denialism

I have just opened my Labour Leadership ballot paper. As a Trade Union member I am one of the few non-Labour MPs to be offered a vote in the Labour Leadership election.

With the unions committing themselves to opposing any cuts or job losses it is interesting to read the manifestos of the Labour Leadership Candidates.

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16/9/2010: Disillusioned Lib Dems won’t stop schools plan

Liberal Democrat activists opposed to the coalition’s flagship education policy will not be allowed to threaten the deal with the Conservatives, senior MPs have insisted.

Delegates at the Lib Dem conference are to debate a motion condemning high-profile Government's plans for "free schools", including two planned in Birmingham.

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12/9/2010: Number of ‘forced adoptions’ rocket as more children taken into care

The number of parents having their children taken off them and put up for adoption has rocketed in the last three years. [.. ..]

John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP and chairman of the campaign group target="_new" title="Justice for Families Campaign group">Justice for Families, said kids can be seized when there’s no evidence they’re in danger.

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11/9/2010: Another child adoption scandal is being covered up, says Christopher Booker

Last Monday, I was alerted in quick succession by John Hemming MP and Ian Josephs, who runs the Forced Adoption website, to a shocking new case in which social workers were about to seize a newly born baby for no more reason than their claim that it might be "at risk of emotional abuse".

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9/9/2010: Hemming demands answers over Tesco’s plans for Yardley site

Yardley MP John Hemming (Lib Dem) said he could not understand why nothing was happening on the site, which has planning permission for an 80,000 sq ft superstore and 70,000 sq ft of other shopping space.

He has been championing the Tesco proposal for more than ten years, claiming that the store will dramatically improve the local area.

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3/9/2010: How the IFS got it wrong in calling the budget regressive

The Institute for Fiscal Studies made a number of mistakes in its analysis of the coalition’s plans

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3/9/2010: How could couple who went on run with four-year-old be allowed to foster any child?

A foster mother who went on the run with a four-year-old boy she hoped to adopt was being questioned by police yesterday. [.. ..]

They are still looking for her 40-year-old husband Darren, who is awaiting trial for an alleged attack on a neighbour.

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- August -
26/8/2010: Adopted, then handed to abusers: Convicted of neglect, cruel couple who loaned girls to paedophiles after duping social workers

A couple who adopted two young girls and let two paedophiles subject them to horrific sexual abuse were yesterday convicted of child neglect. [.. ..]

Now Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who is campaigning for changes in Britain’s adoption system, has written to Children’s Minister Tim Loughton calling for an independent serious case review.

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14/8/2010: Fury over litter left behind at Yardley traveller camp

Gypsies have finally left the park they have plagued for more than a week - but taxpayers now face a huge bill for the clean-up operation. [.. ..]

Local MP John Hemming accused police of dragging their feet and failing to use powers available to them to evict the gypsies for causing damage to the park.

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11/8/2010: MP claims police should clear travellers from Yardley site

John Hemming (Lib Dem, Yardley) has demanded talks with senior officers over their response to the arrival of more than 20 caravans on Old Yardley Park.

p>The MP said that West Midlands Police should have used powers under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act to evict the gypsies.

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8/8/2010: David Cameron’s council housing plans opposed by majority of Lib Dem MPs

More than half of Liberal Democrat MPs, including two cabinet members and eight junior ministers, are on record as opposing plans by David Cameron to water down security of tenure for new social housing tenants.

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- July -
17/7/2010: It's time to bring family law to book

It is high time the veils of secrecy were ripped from this national outrage; that politicians intervened to call the system to order; and that the press was free to bring properly to light family tragedies [.. ..]

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13/7/2010: Motorists should be able to enjoy a pint and drive, says Birmingham MP

Proposals to reform Britain’s drink-driving laws have been drawn up by Mr Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley).

He spoke out against plans currently being considered by the Government to prosecute drivers for drinking less than a pint of beer.

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2/7/2010: Birmingham City Council held back on spending to prepare for cuts, claims Hemming

A Birmingham MP has defended plans to slash city council spending by £300 million and said councils should have seen the economic crisis coming - and started to make savings in advance.

The drastic cuts were needed to help prevent Britain going bankrupt, said John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley).

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- June -
30/6/2010: Director of human rights organisation Liberty to speak at rally

A public rally will be held this weekend in protest about a ring of "Big Brother" surveillance cameras in parts of Birmingham. [.. ..]

Birmingham’s Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming will also speak.

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23/6/2010: Liberal Democrats deny they are to rebel over Budget

Liberal Democrat MPs have defied claims that they are ready to rebel over the Government’s hard-hitting Budget by giving it their backing. [.. ..]

Mr Hemming said the budget had shared the cost of cutting borrowing, with increases in capital gains tax that would be paid for by the most wealthy.

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22/6/2010: Chancellor to unveil four-year pledge of painful tax increases

Shoppers are to pay the price of Britain’s runaway debts as George Osborne announces a hike in the rate of VAT in today’s emergency budget. [.. ..]

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming (Yardley) said: "What I’m looking for is a Budget which is fair in terms of taxing the rich to a greater extent than Labour, and which is fair in terms of protecting people on lower incomes."

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17/6/2010: Twin babies case reopens debate over when social workers should act

A Nottingham County Court judge made an interim care order in favour of Nottingham City Council authorising [the twins] transfer to temporary foster care.

But in a hearing at the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Thorpe said there had been "no welfare concerns" brought up about the parents’ ability to raise the boys "on a day-to-day basis". [.. ..]

John Hemming, a Birmingham MP and chairman of the Justice For Families Campaign Group, welcomed the Court of Appeal’s verdict.

But he said social workers were still focusing too much on "minor cases" [.. ..]

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14/6/2010: Government urged to intervene in Birmingham surveillance row

Surveillance cameras installed to spy on Muslim communities in Birmingham are &wuot;a grave infringement of civil liberties" and should not be turned on until residents are consulted, an MP has warned.

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11/6/2010: Government cuts £20m funding to West Midlands councils

Birmingham has been hit by a £12.5 million funding cut as the Government continues to make savings in an effort to reduce the budget deficit.

[John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley).] said: "Labour took no action to fix the country’s finances and that is why we have to make cuts now.

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11/6/2010: Legal fight over spy cameras in Muslim suburbs

A counterterrorism surveillance project targeted at two Muslim neighbourhoods in Birmingham could be halted after human rights lawyers pledged to seek a judicial review.

John Hemming, Birmingham Yardley’s Liberal Democrat MP, said he could "only see negatives" in the scheme, [.. ..]

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4/6/2010: Farron backed to be new deputy leader of Lib Dems

Senior politicians have backed South Lakes MP Tim Farron to be the new deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats [.. ..]

Other MPs who have pledged their vote for Mr Farron are Tessa Munt, Mark Williams, Martin Horwood, Dan Rogerson, John Leech and John Hemming

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2/6/2010: Birmingham MPs back calls for probe into Israeli attack on Gaza aid convoy

Birmingham MPs have backed calls for an inquiry into the Israeli attack on an aid convoy to Gaza.

John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley) said the raid, which led to the deaths of at least nine civilians, should be seen as an act of "piracy".

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1/6/2010: How the race to be elected mayor for Birmingham might shape up

[.. ..] Mr Hemming has positioned himself rather cleverly, opposing, along with Mike Whitby, the elected mayor system on principle - but adding that he would be interested in the position should it ever arise [.. ..]

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- May -
17/5/2010: Liberal Democrats show support for coalition at Birmingham conference

[.. ..] John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP for Yardley, said: "The estimate was that 95 per cent of delegates supported the coalition [.. ..]

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14/5/2010: Birmingham's ‘progressive partnership’ on how to run a coalition

It’s all about trust and seeing the bigger picture, say city’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaders

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13/5/2010: Yardley voters express their views on coalition

Voters in a Birmingham constituency held by the Liberal Democrats since 2005 expressed mixed views after their party jumped into bed with the Conservatives.

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13/5/2010: Birmingham Liberal Democrat John Hemming ‘would refuse’ government role

Birmingham’s only Liberal Democrat MP said he would pass up the chance of a government job to preserve his independence.

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10/5/2010: Liberal Democrats may take pragmatic view of Conservative coalition

[.. ..] The bulk of the party would probably take a pragmatic view of a coalition with either of the other two parties and may not be as ideologically opposed to the Tories as it would have been over the last parliament, because Lib Dem leftwingers lost their seats in the election.

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10/5/2010: Labour should stop trying to tell us how we voted

I asked Birmingham’s Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming whether he thought Gordon Brown’s announcement that he plans to resign would make a coalition between the Lib Dems and Labour more likely.

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6/5/2010: Labour chasing every seat in Birmingham - Harriet Harman

Labour’s Harriet Harman said her party was fighting for every seat it held in Birmingham and hoped to make gains.

As the election went to the wire, the Labour Deputy Leader said she hoped to win Yardley, where high-profile Liberal Democrat John Hemming is defending a majority of 2,672.

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6/5/2010: Police called to polling stations in Birmingham

Polling stations in Birmingham were bursting at the seams as unprecedented last-minute queues formed at the General and local elections.

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5/5/2010: Labour accused of misleading leaflet to win backing of Sikh community

Defending Labour MP Khalid Mahmood has been accused of distributing a misleading General Election leaflet in an attempt to win backing from the Sikh community in Perry Barr.

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5/5/2010: David Southall: ‘I will not apologise for what I did’

John Hemming, the Lib Dem MP and critic of the family courts, has compared David Southall to the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.

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- April -
30/4/2010: Liberal Democrats predicting landslide election victory in Birmingham

Liberal Democrats believe they could win just under half of Birmingham’s inner city parliamentary seats if the Nick Clegg surge continues to May 6.

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24/4/2010: Lib Dems pledge on homes plans

Liberal Democrats have vowed to join with the Conservatives in scrapping plans to build up to 25,500 new homes if their party is in an influential position post general election.

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24/4/2010: How will the Lib Dems jump? Look to their councils

With Hurricane Clegg still maintaining its wind-speed, and all the polls suggesting a hung parliament, the talk is turning to another C-word. Which way would the Lib Dems jump in the event of a coalition? [.. ..]

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23/4/2010: In hiding, the mother accused of abuse for cuddling her child

A mother alleged to have ‘emotionally abused’ her daughter by telling her she was born by caesarean has fled to Ireland with the child. [.. ..]

[John Hemming] said: ‘This whole case is madness. There is no reason for the state to be involved in this little girl’s life in this way.’

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18/4/2010: Council tried to seize ‘veggie’ child

A couple have won a legal battle to prevent social workers taking their five-year-old son into care after the authorities claimed that his health had been damaged by a meat-and-dairy-free diet.

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15/4/2010: School lesson from the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg

[.. ..]The Liberal Democrat leader wanted party activists and journalists to examine the detailed sums explaining how the Lib Dems would cut the national deficit, carefully explained at the back of the manifesto.

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8/4/2010: Digital economy bill rushed through wash-up in late night session

The government forced through the controversial digital economy bill with the aid of the Conservative party last night, attaining a crucial third reading - which means it will get royal assent and become law - after just two hours of debate in the Commons.

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4/4/2010: NHS sends confidential patients’ records to India despite pledges it would not

In the latest privacy scandal to hit the Health Service, Indian data entry staff will have access to the names, addresses and NHS numbers of patients - along with private information about medical appointments.

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- March -
30/3/2010: Blood bosses in row with Birmingham MP John Hemming

John Hemming (Lib Dem, Yardley) told the House of Commons he had been approached by a lobbyist who offered to pay him if he made a speech backing job cuts at the NHS Blood and Transplant Service (NHSBT).

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28/3/2010: ‘Unfit’ single mother of 10 costs taxpayer £2.5m

Rachael’s case illustrates the dilemma facing social services. Inadequate parents who have had their children removed often go on to have more children to fill the void in their lives - thus multiplying the human and financial cost.

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23/3/2010: Baby deaths as a result of abuse rise since Baby P

The number of babies not in care who have died as a result of serious neglect or abuse has risen significantly in the wake of the Baby Peter case, CYP Now has learned.

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17/3/2010: U.K. Lawmakers Denounce Malawi Gay Trial

Sixty-five British Members of Parliament (MPs) have signed a House of Commons Early Day Motion (EDM 564), which condemns Malawi’s arrest and trial of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who are accused of a homosexual relationship.

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16/3/2010: Why do we fail some of our children so badly?

Last week we were subjected to the dreadful details of two children raped and abused by their father and let down again and again by the child protection system.

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13/3/2010: Birmingham to be made tourism centre under the Tories

Tourists will be encouraged to swap the canals of Venice for Birmingham’s world famous waterways, and ignore the attractions of shopping in Milan for the city’s Bullring, under new plans.

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8/3/2010: Mother accused of ‘emotional abuse’ for telling daughter of caesarean

Shahnaz Malik was accused of "emotional abuse" following allegations that also included cuddling her daughter, Amaani, for too long when dropping her off at nursery.

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4/3/2010: Lembit and the Green underwear model

Hosted at the Intercontinental Hotel by Hyde Park, the annual "Palace of Varieties" show in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support is a chance for parliamentarians to impress and make fools of themselves in equal measure while raising money for charity.

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4/3/2010: Spanish authorities seize two-week-old son from British parents who fled UK to stop social services ‘kidnap’

A couple who fled the UK to ensure their unborn child would not be taken away by social services have had their two-week-old son removed by Spanish authorities.

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- February -
27/2/2010: Women try to stop babies being taken into care by fleeing to Spain

John Hemming, a Lib Dem MP and chairman of Justice for Families, believes [this] is a growing phenomenon. "It is clear that nothing is being done to sort the family courts out and so more people are thinking of simply emigrating," he said

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25/2/2010: Law firm ‘in contempt’ over MP legal threat

A leading law firm has been found "in contempt" of the Commons after threatening an MP with legal proceedings if he made allegations about one of its clients in the House.

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18/2/2010: Battle for Yardley’s Swan Centre ends with victory for Tesco

An attempt to compulsorily purchase land needed to allow a former rundown shopping centre in Birmingham to be replaced by a giant Tesco store has been approved by Local Government Secretary John Denham and Transport Secretary Lord Adonis.

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12/2/2010: Birmingham’s general election votes might be counted a day late

Traditional election night drama could be consigned to the dustbin of history as Birmingham draws up plans to publish General Election results a full day after votes are cast.

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9/2/2010: Commodities Are Poor Inflation and Currency Hedges

John Hemming, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas, said Birol’s "conversion" was significant. "The penny has finally dropped - geological issues matter as well as political and economic.

The IEA - unlike our government - appears to be leaving cloud cuckoo land finally," he added.

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4/2/2010: West Midlands MPs told to pay back over £50,000 after expenses scandal

MPs across the West Midlands have been ordered to repay almost £50,000 in cash they received from the taxpayer to pay for mortgages, gardening and mobile phone bills.

The following MPs have been told there is no need for them to repay money: [.. ..] John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley), [.. ..]

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3/2/2010: PMQs - John Hemming asks about a local bus cancellation

He says it is symptomatic of a national problem.

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2/2/2010: The Alex Jones Show - ARCHIVE - February 2nd With John Hemming

Alex talks with British politician John Hemming, a Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley and Group Chair of the Liberal Democrats on the city council of Birmingham.

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1/2/2010: Battle for Swan Centre in Yardley hots up

A war of words over the future of a Birmingham shopping centre has heated up as the businessman accused of forcing residents to live "on a building site" defended himself.

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- January -
31/1/2010: Child abuse deaths still rising despite action after Baby P

Almost four children a week died or suffered a serious injury at home last year through neglect or abuse despite tougher child protection rules after the death of Baby P.

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28/1/2010: British Parliamentarians endorse call for Kashmir Conference

A number of British Parliamentarians have endorsed the suggestions of former Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry to hold a moot on Kashmir similar to Afghanistan Conference for bringing peace and stability in South Asia. [.. ..]

The British Parliamentarians who spoke on the occasion included Meg Munn, Dr.Brian Iddon, Rob Fiello, Adrian Bailey, Janet Dean, Sion Simon, Fiona Mactaggat, Liam Byrne and John Hemming.

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25/1/2010: Couple who fled to Ireland hope to get baby back shortly

A couple who fled from social services in their native Scotland only to have their newborn baby taken into care in Ireland said they are confident of being reunited with their child this week.

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23/1/2010: British MPs Condemn Malawi Gay Arrests

The EDM, tabled by Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, also urges the dropping of all charges and the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Malawi.

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22/1/2010: Mother ‘Not clever enough to raise child’ has baby snatched by social workers after running away to Ireland to give birth

A couple who fled to Ireland after social workers threatened to remove their baby at birth have had the newborn snatched after all.

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17/1/2010: Lib Dems ‘should say no deal’ to coalition - John Hemming

Liberal Democrats should refuse to do a deal with any party if there is a hung Parliament after the next election, according to the party’s only Birmingham MP.

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13/1/2010: Russia comes to the rescue as Norwegian gas supplies to Britain falter

Russia rescued British energy consumers by ensuring a steady flow of gas into the power network as supplies from Norway faltered during the cold weather, industry customers users said today.

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13/1/2010: MPs to debate claims a law firm tried to ‘intimidate’ Liberal Democrat John Hemming into silence

MPs will stage an emergency debate on Thursday after allegations that Withers LLP tried to gag Lib Dem MP John Hemming from discussing a local planning dispute in the Commons chamber.

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7/1/2010: 1970s-style rationing as National Grid cuts off gas to factories

Factories in the north-west of England and east Midlands are today having their energy supplies cut off for the first time in years as the severe weather and creaking power infrastructure lead to 1970s-style rationing.

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Page last updated: 23 December 2010