Lord Alderdice Portrait

Lord Alderdice

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Became Member: 8th October 1996


Procedure and Privileges Committee
4th Feb 2021 - 31st Jan 2024
COVID-19 Committee
11th Jun 2020 - 28th Apr 2022
Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lords)
21st Apr 2020 - 22nd Jul 2021
EU International Agreements Sub-Committee
23rd Apr 2020 - 11th Jun 2020
International Agreements Committee
23rd Apr 2020 - 11th Jun 2020
EU External Affairs Sub-Committee
2nd Jul 2019 - 23rd Apr 2020
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)
1st Jun 2015 - 28th Oct 2016
Administration and Works Committee (Lords)
8th Jun 2015 - 31st Aug 2016
Liaison Committee (Lords)
15th Jun 2010 - 25th Feb 2014
Mental Capacity Act 2005 Committee
16th May 2013 - 25th Feb 2014
House Committee (Lords)
15th Jun 2010 - 25th Feb 2014
Science and Technology: Sub-Committee I
22nd Jun 2010 - 13th Oct 2011
Procedure and Privileges Committee
19th Nov 2002 - 7th Apr 2005


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Alderdice has voted in 347 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(16 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(9 debate interactions)
Viscount Younger of Leckie (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(8 debate interactions)
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View all Lord Alderdice's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Alderdice, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


Lord Alderdice has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Alderdice has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 23 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in delivering on the commitments made in the Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forests and Land Use.

Since its announcement on 2 November, the Government has received additional endorsements of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, taking the number of countries to 142 (responsible for over 90% of the world’s forest estate).

The Government is continuing to engage with countries to convert this political commitment into strong action. This will include through meetings of the G7 and G20, and at COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Trees are at the forefront of the Government’s plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. For example, under the England Trees Action Plan, supported by an intended £500m from the Nature for Climate Fund, an unprecedented number of trees will be planted and protected.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why NHS dental practices have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic; and what assessment they have made of adequacy of the operation of such practices that have now reopened.

On 25 March NHS England and NHS Improvement issued guidance advising National Health Service dental practices to suspend all routine dentistry to meet the Government’s social distancing measures and to contain the spread of COVID-19. All NHS practices were required to offer telephone advice, triage and if required, painkillers or antibiotics. Practices then triaged patients who needed urgent face to face care into over 600 urgent dental centres set up across England.

All practices were able to open for face to face care from 8 June. Dentists have been free to restart the full range of face to face dentistry as far as they believe they can safely deliver this following Public Health England guidance on infection protection control procedures and appropriate levels of personal protective equipment. The letter offering guidance on this and a subsequent standard operating procedure guidance are attached.

25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Joint Declaration of Intent between Colombia, Germany, Norway and the UK, signed at COP25 and reaffirmed at COP27, what support they will provide to Colombia to (1) develop their national development plan, and (2) fulfil the COP27 commitments to tackle deforestation and address biodiversity loss.

Through our bilateral 'Partnership for Sustainable Growth' with Colombia, the UK supports a large portfolio of projects to tackle deforestation and protect Colombia's biodiversity. This includes the flagship £64 million programme "Sustainable Forest Territories" (TEFOS) which seeks to protect Colombia's forests in high-deforestation, conflict-affected areas. Under the Joint Declaration of Intent, the UK is also working with Germany and Norway to promote forest conservation, sustainable livelihoods, peacebuilding and Supporting Indigenous People and Local Communities (IPLC) governance. These align with our countries' COP27 commitments, under the Forests and Climate Leaders' Partnership (FCLP), to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.

25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they will monitor the implementation of the commitments made in the Joint Declaration of Intent, signed at COP25, to support the government of Colombia in (1) conserving fragile ecosystems, and (2) safeguarding the rights and safety of indigenous peoples.

The Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) includes a series of mechanisms to monitor implementation and to keep track of policy milestones that the Colombian Government has agreed to. These mechanisms include a yearly report prepared by the Colombian Government and approved following public consultations. The UK will closely monitor this report, which includes information on forest change, policy delivery and coordination progress, lessons learned and future opportunities. Through the JDI and our bilateral 'Partnership for Sustainable Growth', the UK will continue to support the conservation of fragile ecosystems and help safeguard the rights and safety of indigenous peoples in Colombia.

25th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent steps they have taken to provide assistance to the government of Colombia to implement the Constitutional Court of Colombia's 2016 T622 ruling relating to the Atrato River Case.

Through our Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), the UK continues to support the implementation of the Peace Agreement in Colombia and improve stability and security. This includes assistance to help deliver Chocó's rural development plan (PDET), which was designed in accord with the local population and specifically mentions the T-6222 ruling judgement. Additionally, UK Research and Innovation, via the UK Government ODA Newton-Caldas Fund, has funded a project in which an international consortium of researchers supported the communities along the Atrato River through improving scientific data on the state of the river. This included building capacity amongst riverine communities enabling them to carry out environmental monitoring activity, and making data accessible to communities, advocacy groups, and policy makers.

19th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Peru about reports of (1) the deaths of civilians in that country following recent protests against the President, and (2) the alleged involvement of Peruvian security services in these deaths.

The UK supports the Peruvian Government and constitutional order. We welcome dialogue to calm the ongoing protests. In light of reports of abuses and the deaths of protestors, it is important that the Peruvian Government does all it can to protect lives, and that there is greater transparency of how the Peruvian Government is ensuring the protection of rights. Our Embassy to Lima has raised this regularly in recent days with senior Peruvian Government politicians and security officials. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Americas & Caribbean) also raised his concerns in his meeting with the Peruvian ambassador recently on the 25 January 2023, as did our trade minister in his recent meeting with the Peruvian Minister of Finance.

29th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with the government of Israel about policing in the Old City of Jerusalem; and in particular, whether they have recommended co-operation with any UK police forces.

The UK has repeatedly made clear to Israel our longstanding opposition to the manner in which the Israel Defence Forces police non-violent protests and the border areas. We also regularly raise the importance of the Israeli security force's adherence to the principles of necessity and proportionality when defending its legitimate security interest. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, which includes Palestinian medics attempting to provide services.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to support the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement in Colombia since the election of President Gustavo Petro.

The UK has been a leading international advocate of Colombia's peace process. Supporting the Colombian Government in its commitment to implement the 2016 Peace Accords remains a top priority. We are proud to lead on the peace process at the UN Security Council, and are the second largest UN Trust Fund donor.

24th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support President Gustavo Petro of Colombia in his attempts to negotiate with the remaining armed groups who were not part of the 2016 agreement.

The UK Government has spent over £69 million to support the implementation of the peace agreement in Colombia. We are committed to continuing to offer firm and active support for peace in Colombia, both the implementation of the 2016 Peace Agreement and the current administration's ambition to achieve a more comprehensive and lasting peace across the whole of Colombia.

Our funding is supporting the Colombian Government's rural development and reintegration programmes, transitional justice mechanisms, and strengthening the security and participation of the communities in conflict-affected areas. Significant progress has been made on peace and security in Colombia. Through our Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund programme, we will continue to support programmes that help to protect former FARC combatants and other groups affected by violence.

24th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the view espoused by President Gustavo Petro of Colombia that the 'war on drugs' has failed and that a new strategy, potentially involving legalisation, is required.

It is estimated that the drugs trade costs the UK £22 billion per year. The UK's ten-year plan to combat illicit drugs recognises that the effective control of these substances is a crucial tool in mitigating the harm that they cause, alongside preventing their misuse and supporting people with drug addiction in finding a route to recovery. We are committed to working bilaterally with international partners, including Colombia, to disrupt the supply chains that feed European and UK markets and we are firmly committed to our international obligations under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

24th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking as penholder for Colombia in the United Nations Security Council to monitor and support the progress of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia.

The UK has been working with Mexico as co-penholder to renew the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia. I am pleased to confirm that this new mandate was adopted on 27 October 2022. I would also refer colleagues to the press statement we negotiated last week: https://colombia.unmissions.org/en/security-council-press-statement-colombia-11. The UK will continue to be one of the strongest supporters and promoters of the implementation of the 2016 Peace Agreement.

8th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made, if any, to the government of Peru about the threats from illegal loggers to (1) leaders, and (2) members, of the Wampis community; and what plans, if any, they have to press for them to be protected.

The UK Government monitors human rights in Peru closely. We hold regular discussions on them with the Peruvian Government, including raising prominent cases with the authorities and with civil society stakeholders.

The safety of environmental defenders in the Peruvian Amazon region is a particular priority for our human rights work in Peru. Officials in our Embassy to Lima met with the Peruvian Ministry of Justice and Human Rights on 13 July to raise concerns about threats to the Wampis community and human rights defenders, as well as the problem of illegal logging. We are monitoring the Peruvian Government's response and will continue to hold an active dialogue with them on these issues. Our Ambassador to Lima has travelled within Peru to meet environmental defenders and indigenous peoples, and Embassy representatives are in close contact with organisations representing human rights defenders.

8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to protect the human rights of local communities in which UK companies trading at the London Stock Exchange carry out extractive activities.

In relation to the extractives sector, the UK Government works through a number of international mechanisms including support to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains which enables businesses to operate responsibly in conflict affected and high risk areas and as a member of the Kimberley Process to help stem the flow of conflict diamonds. The UK is also a member of the Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights which promote a set of principles to guide companies in the extractives sector to maintain the safety and security of their operations in a manner that reduces the risk of human rights abuses including in local communities.

More broadly, the Government expects all UK businesses to respect human rights throughout their operations, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UK is signatory to the 1976 OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multi-National Enterprises, which adopted the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that UK companies carrying out extractive activities in Colombia support (1) smallholder farmers, (2) indigenous peoples, and (3) local communities.

As set out in the FCDO Annual Human Rights Report, we expect British businesses to respect local and international law wherever they operate. The UK was the first country to create a National Action Plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This plan sets out the expected conduct of UK businesses, including compliance with relevant laws and respect for human rights; treating the risk of causing human rights abuses as a legal compliance issue; adopting appropriate due diligence policies; and consulting those who could potentially be affected. The UK also supports multilateral mechanisms, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, which sets out recommendations to help ensure companies respect the human rights of local communities.

Colombia is an FCDO Human Rights Priority Country and since 2020, UK funding has supported engagement between small-scale and large-scale mining companies in Antioquia to address security and human rights risks, and supported the development of guides for joint risk assessments between extractive companies, public security forces and communities to help prevent community-corporate conflicts.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement between the government of Colombia and Farc rebels.

The United Kingdom is committed to the full implementation of the Peace Accords of 2016, and to supporting the Colombian Government as they work to ensure sustainable peace across the country. We are proud to be the penholder on the issue at the United Nations Security Council. Most recently, our Permanent Representative to the United Nations spoke on this issue at the Security Council on 14 July, and stated the importance of pressing ahead with work to consolidate peace for all, and build stability. We are working with stakeholders to help refine the mandate of the UN Verification Mission as it comes up for renewal later this year.

We also regularly raise our commitment to the peace process directly with the Colombian Government, most recently when Minister Wendy Morton spoke to the Colombian Foreign Minister Claudia Blum on 2 June.

The UK has committed almost £53 million over 5 years through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund for Colombia to support the implementation of the peace process, and we are the largest donor to the multilateral UN Trust Fund. We will continue to work closely with the Colombian Government and civil society on the peace process and related matters.

20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group's recent offer of a 90-day ceasefire, what steps they are taking to help achieve a negotiated end to the conflict in Colombia.

The UK remains extremely concerned about the continued activity of illegal armed groups in Colombia, including that of the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the impact that their violence has on ordinary Colombians.

At a UN Security Council meeting on 14 April, we noted the unilateral ceasefire declared by the ELN on 30 March, and hoped it would facilitate efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic as well as potentially representing a positive step towards peace. We regret that this ceasefire was not renewed by the ELN.

We are aware of the request for a bilateral 90-day ceasefire made by the ELN in a statement on 7 July, and the Colombian Government's response. In our Permanent Representative's statement at the UN Security Council on 14 July, we encouraged all conflict parties in Colombia to create the conditions necessary for a cessation of hostilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK, alongside international partners, has continued to urge the ELN to end its campaign of violence, free all the hostages that it holds, and play a part in bringing an end to this conflict.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that Polish citizens living in the UK are able to vote in the Polish Presidential election on 10 May; what steps they are taking to ensure voting at the Polish Embassy is considered a legitimate essential duty; and what discussions they have had with the government of Poland about the steps being taken to ensure that adequate social distancing measures are in place at the Embassy when the election is held. [T]

On 3 April, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued guidance to all missions in the United Kingdom setting out our expectation that countries intending to conduct Out of Country Voting should enable citizens to vote in a way compatible with current social distancing guidelines, for instance through postal voting or in-country representatives. The Polish parliament is currently considering draft legislation to allow for universal postal voting in the Polish presidential elections on 10 May. Senior FCO officials have received assurances from the Polish authorities that the proposed elections will be organised as a postal vote and that Polish citizens in the United Kingdom are not expected to vote in person. The Polish authorities have confirmed that consular and electoral commission staff organising the postal vote will respect social distancing guidelines at all times.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the current political situation in Malaysia, and (2) the protection of freedom of religion or belief by the government of Malaysia; and what representations they have made to that government about the protection of religious minorities in that country.

We continue to follow the political developments in Malaysia closely. We look forward to working with the new Prime Minister and his government on institutional reforms and to tackle important global challenges such as climate change.

The Foreign Secretary's visit to Kuala Lumpur on 11 February underlined the strong, historic ties between the UK and Malaysia and set out our vision for a dynamic future relationship.

The British Government is firmly committed to standing up for freedom of religion, and for individuals to practise their beliefs free from fear. These views are well known in Malaysia, and our longstanding relationship allows us to raise concerns at senior levels with the Malaysian government.

I discussed freedom of religion or belief with the then Malaysian Minister for National Unity, Waytha Morthy, in January. Our High Commission in Kuala Lumpur regularly raise the issue of freedom of religion or belief with their Malaysian counterparts.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many military armoured vehicle 'rollovers' have taken place which resulted in (1) death, or (2) serious injury, in each of the last 10 years.

In the last 10 years there have been 18 separate military armoured vehicle ‘rollover incidents resulting in two deaths and 31 serious injuries.

1st Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Northern Ireland Planning Appeals Commission Annual Review 2021/22, published on 26 August, and the impact its findings are having on the Levelling Up agenda.

Planning policy is a transferred matter in Northern Ireland and the Department for Infrastructure has responsibility for regional planning policy and legislation.

We note the findings in the Northern Ireland Planning Appeals Commission Annual Review 2021/22. This highlights the need for functioning devolved institutions as envisaged and enabled by the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, with local decision-makers taking the action needed to ensure Northern Ireland has a planning appeals process that meets the needs of businesses and the public.

The UK Government is committed to growing and levelling up the Northern Ireland economy, which is why more than £3.5bn has been provided in recent years, in addition to the Northern Ireland Executive’s block grant, through the New Deal for Northern Ireland, City and Growth Deals, PEACE PLUS and the New Decade, New Approach financial package.

Furthermore, following the 2021 Spending Review the Government is providing the largest funding settlement to the Northern Ireland Executive since devolution in 1998, totalling £15 billion on average per year, for the next 3 years.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
1st Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address the Northern Ireland Audit Office's comments in February that "Northern Ireland's planning system is not working efficiently and, in many aspects, is failing to deliver for the economy, communities or the environment"; and what impact this is having on the Levelling Up agenda.

As the Noble Lord is aware, planning policy is a transferred matter in Northern Ireland and the Department for Infrastructure has responsibility for regional planning policy and legislation.

We note the concerns raised about the performance of the planning system in Northern Ireland in the Northern Ireland Audit Office report. The concerns raised in the report highlight the need for functioning devolved institutions as envisaged and enabled by the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, delivering on key issues like ensuring Northern Ireland has an effective planning system that meets the needs of businesses and the public.

The UK Government is committed to growing and levelling up the Northern Ireland economy, which is why more than £3.5bn has been provided in recent years, in addition to the Northern Ireland Executive’s block grant, through the New Deal for Northern Ireland, City and Growth Deals, PEACE PLUS and the New Decade, New Approach financial package. Furthermore, following the 2021 Spending Review the Government is providing the largest funding settlement to the Northern Ireland Executive since devolution in 1998, totalling £15 billion on average per year, for the next 3 years. This means that public spending is able to be maintained at some 21% higher per capita than the UK average.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
1st Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how the powers, responsibility, and accountability of the Northern Ireland Planning Appeals Commission compare to similar bodies in the other countries of the UK; and what impact any difference is having on the Levelling Up agenda.

As the Noble Lord is aware, planning policy is a transferred matter in Northern Ireland and the Department for Infrastructure has responsibility for regional planning policy and legislation. The Northern Ireland Planning Appeals Commission is an independent body that deals with a wide range of land use and planning issues.

Reviewing the powers and performance of the Planning Appeals Commission is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Assembly and that's why it is important that an Assembly Speaker is elected and the Northern Ireland Executive is reformed in order for these decisions to be made locally, where they should be.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has responsibility for planning policy in England. The other devolved administrations take responsibility for planning policy in their respective nations.


Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)