Minister refuses to guarantee political independence of Intelligence and Security Committee

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for foreign affairs, Alistair Carmichael, has today voiced concern about the political independence of the Intelligence Security Committee after the government refused to answer questions from Julian Lewis MP, and repeated by Mr Carmichael, about allegations of political interference. Mr Carmichael also noted the importance of launching a full investigation of Russian interference to ensure confidence in electoral integrity.

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Carmichael meets US Secretary of State on China human rights issues

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has joined a cross-party meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss human rights issues in China and Hong Kong. Mr Carmichael spoke with Mr Pompeo as part of a panel of MPs and said it was essential that international pressure was not directed at China solely for narrow US interests, but instead had a wider goal of re-establishing the international rules-based order.

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“Blank cheque”: Carmichael condemns Tory rejection of trade deal scrutiny

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has condemned the government’s blocking of amendments designed to allow Parliament to scrutinise and vote on future trade bills. Speaking after votes late last night, in which the government ordered its MPs to reject any amendments which would guarantee oversight of the terms of a future trade deal with the US or other countries, Mr Carmichael warned that this amounted to a “blank cheque” for the government to do as it pleased in a future trade deal with the United States, including cutting food and farming standards and environmental protections.

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Time to recognise Uyghur genocide – Carmichael

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for foreign affairs, Alistair Carmichael MP, has today called on the government to recognise the situation of the Uyghur people in China as genocide. Speaking in Parliament following a statement by the Foreign Secretary, Mr Carmichael noted recent examples of human rights abuses reminiscent of genocide against the Uyghurs, and the importation in the UK of surveillance technology used in Xinjiang province in China.

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Isles representatives call for public views on energy price rises

Northern Isles representatives Alistair Carmichael MP and Beatrice Wishart MSP are asking constituents to get in touch with examples of large energy price increases and difficulties with suppliers. The Parliamentarians are gathering evidence of the situation in Orkney and Shetland to demand action from energy suppliers and government on unfair charges and poor customer service.

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Restart of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia cannot be justified – Carmichael

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for foreign affairs, Alistair Carmichael, has denounced the government’s decision to resume arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Speaking in an urgent debate on the issue Mr Carmichael highlighted ongoing human rights abuses within the country and recent evidence of rule-breaking in international trade. The government reopened arms sales to the Saudi regime last week after declaring that human rights violations in its conflict in Yemen, including indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, were not part of a “pattern” of abuse.

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Carmichael calls for new approach to economic development in Highlands and Islands

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to be replaced with a renewed Highlands and Islands Development Board with greater government and business clout and community accountability. Writing in the Press and Journal, Mr Carmichael highlighted the need for a renewed development structure fit for the challenges of the 21st century and able to deliver on digital infrastructure, green technology and emerging industries in order to avert a second wave of depopulation.

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Government must stop “short-changing” local press – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today written to the Culture Secretary to voice concern about reports that local press organisations are being “short-changed” by the government in their support for public health advertising campaigns. Multiple local press outlets have contacted Mr Carmichael in recent weeks to voice concern that the government has cut their advertising rates after public health campaigns have run, making the adverts a loss-making exercise for local press. The letter follows a cross-party campaign led by Mr Carmichael calling on the government to allocate more advertising spend to local press to support them during the pandemic.

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Carmichael calls for fresh start in economic development

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for a revitalisation of the Highlands and Islands economy following the impact of Covid-19. Mr Carmichael highlighted the weaknesses of the current Highlands and Islands Enterprise as requiring new vision and purpose, with the force of government and the vision of business.

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Carmichael presses government to publish assessment of UK help in Bahraini death sentences

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for foreign affairs, Alistair Carmichael MP, has pressed the government today to publish its assessment of the UK’s assistance to Bahrain in the prosecution of two men now sentenced to death in the Gulf state. The two men’s prosecutions have been criticised due to allegations of the use of torture in their interrogations.

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