• Lib Dem Participants
    Article: Feb 13, 2013

    On Tuesday, I took part in the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race. The annual contest, now in its sixteenth year, involves teams of MPs, Peers and members of the Press Gallery racing (and flipping) their way around Victoria Tower Gardens in aid of the disability charity, Rehab.

    Despite allegations of some unparliamentary behaviour, the MPs' team managed to hold on to the title they won last year. In spite of an inspiring effort from the Lords Addington, Dubs, Kennedy, Redesdale, St John and Baroness Kramer, we were (just) pipped to the post by our parliamentary colleagues, (pushing the Press' team into third place).

  • Chris Rennard
    Article: Mar 5, 2012

    Today, I challenged the Government to improve upon the unpopular 'closed list' system for electing Britain's MEPs. The debate was foreshadowed by a piece I wrote for Politics home:

    There was a fierce row about this issue in the House of Lords in 1999 when Labour carried out their Manifesto commitment (and a legal obligation) to introduce Proportional Representation for the European Parliament elections.

  • Speaking in the House of Lords
    Article: Nov 1, 2011

    Today, Lord Collins of Highbury asked a question about how the Government was responding to the rapidly growing number of people with diabetes. I used the question to draw attention to the report that I launched today on "Keeping people with diabetes out of hospital."

    The report was drawn up through a series of meetings convened by the Primary Care Diabetes Society that I chaired in the House of Lords. Earl Howe, the Minister for Health in the House of Lords confirmed that he would look at the report and study the evidence on which it was based.

  • In Tahrir Square
    Article: Jul 31, 2011

    Last week I spent a few days in Cairo encouraging some of the parties now preparing for elections. I first met members of the Lib Dem sister party, the Democratic Front, a few years ago when democracy in Egypt seemed to be a far off aim. None of them would have predicted the speed of change earlier this year when the protests in Tahrir Square led to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak.

  • Chris Rennard
    Article: Jul 14, 2011

    When I first came to the Lords (1999) the library was inaccessible for me because it was very heavy smoking area. Some of the dining areas were also unpleasant and dominated by cigar smoke. I remember Charles Kennedy coming to an afternoon tea in the Peers Dining Room that I hosted for all of us involved in his diary planning team. Charles was told off by the waiters as he arrived smoking a cigarette and taking off his jacket (it was July). He removed the cigarette and was apologising for smoking when they explained that he was certainly allowed to smoke, but not to take off his jacket.