Lord Beith Portrait

Lord Beith

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

Became Member: 19th October 2015


2 APPG memberships (as of 30 May 2024)
Norway, Sweden
5 Former APPG memberships
East Coast Main Line, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, North East
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
19th Jan 2022 - 30th May 2024
Joint Committee on the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act
24th Nov 2020 - 30th May 2024
Justice and Home Affairs Committee
31st Jan 2023 - 31st Jan 2024
Constitution Committee
25th May 2016 - 28th Jan 2021
Liaison Committee (Commons)
21st Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
13th Jan 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Justice Committee
6th Nov 2007 - 30th Mar 2015
Liaison Committee (Commons)
4th Feb 2003 - 30th Mar 2015
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
9th Oct 2006 - 6th May 2010
Committee on Issue of Privilege (Police Searches on Parliamentary Estate)
13th Jul 2009 - 6th May 2010
Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament
30th Jul 2001 - 24th Nov 2008
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
1st Jan 2001 - 24th May 2005
Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
1st Jun 2001 - 1st Jun 2002
Procedure Committee
14th Feb 2000 - 11th May 2001
Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
1st Jan 1994 - 1st Jun 1999
Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
1st Jan 1995 - 1st Jan 1997
Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury)
1st Jan 1987 - 1st Jun 1994
Procedure Committee
1st Nov 1978 - 15th May 1987
Privileges
14th May 1986 - 15th May 1987
Opposition Whip (Commons)
1st Jan 1976 - 1st Jan 1987
Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
1st Jan 1985 - 1st Jan 1987
Liaison Committee (Commons)
9th Jun 1983 - 5th Dec 1985


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Beith has voted in 484 divisions, and 5 times against the majority of their Party.

15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Lord Beith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 72 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 388
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Lord Beith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 74 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 93 Noes - 418
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Lord Beith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 71 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 409
22 Feb 2022 - Procedure and Privileges Committee - View Vote Context
Lord Beith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 29 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 144 Noes - 133
16 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Beith voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 33 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 145 Noes - 179
View All Lord Beith Division Votes

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
Baroness Williams of Trafford (Conservative)
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
(20 debate interactions)
Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
(18 debate interactions)
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative)
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
(17 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(66 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(35 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(21 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(15 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Public Order Act 2023
(4,752 words contributed)
National Security Act 2023
(4,081 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Beith's debates

Lords initiatives

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


1 Bill introduced by Lord Beith


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Secretary of State to make provision requiring the fitting of equipment to heavy goods vehicles to eliminate driver blind spots; to make other provisions relating to the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and other road users; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 18th May 2011

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


Latest 7 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
29th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the withdrawal of copper wire land lines because of the roll out of full fibre does not leave some homes and schools without access to communication, emergency messages or 999 calls in the event of a power cut which disables both their home power and the power supply to local mobile phone masts.

The analogue landline system, also known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is a privately-owned telecoms network and the decision to upgrade it has been taken by the telecoms industry. The industry’s decision to upgrade the PSTN is due to necessity, as the network is increasingly unreliable and prone to failure, with some telecoms companies finding it difficult to source certain spare parts required to maintain or repair connections. Therefore, keeping customers on the ageing PSTN system presents risks in itself.

DSIT officials engage with Communications Providers on a regular basis to understand the plans they have in place for the transition. Ofcom, the UK’s telecommunications regulator, has also issued guidance on how telecoms companies should fulfil their regulatory obligations in the event of a power cut.

This guidance states that providers should have at least one solution available that enables access to emergency organisations for a minimum of one hour in the event of a power outage in the premises. These are minimum standards, and in practice many providers are offering solutions which exceed them, such as longer life battery back-up units, 4G enabled handsets or satellite enabled communication units. The DSIT Secretary of State also asked Ofcom to review the general resilience of telecommunications services in the event of prolonged power outages. In response, in December 2023, Ofcom launched a consultation on the resilience of the sector that includes a separate call for input on power backup for mobile radio access networks. The consultation stated that 65% of power outages lasted for less than 1 hour.

In December 2023, DSIT agreed a Charter of Commitments with the UK’s leading Communications Providers to secure additional commitments to protect vulnerable consumers through the transition process. As part of the Charter, Communication Providers have agreed to work towards going beyond the standard minimum of one hour resilience.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on vulnerable people in remote rural areas of the loss of telephone contact during power cuts; and what plans they have to review their policy of withdrawing telephone land lines from some rural properties given the experience during recent storms.

The telecoms industry is retiring the Public Switched Telephone Network as the old technology reaches the end of its serviceable life, with landlines being replaced by Voice over Internet Protocol services. The decision to upgrade the telephone network has been taken by the telecoms industry and not the Government. Ofcom, the independent telecoms regulator, has issued guidance on how telecoms companies can fulfil their regulatory obligation to ensure that their VoIP customers have access to the emergency services during a power outage. This guidance was prepared following consultation with Ofgem and the industry, looking at data on average power outages among other factors.

This guidance states that providers should have at least one solution available which enables access to emergency organisations for a minimum of one hour in the event of a power outage in the premises, and that the solution should be suitable for customers’ needs and should be offered free of charge to those who are at risk because they are dependent on their landline. This might include relying on the mobile network, which has a high degree of power resilience, or using a battery back-up unit to provide power. Ofcom’s full guidance is available on its website here.

As part of our standard procedure for large incidents, DCMS is working with Ofcom and the telecoms sector to complete a Post-Incident Review on the response to Storm Arwen. Similarly, BEIS as the Lead Government Department for energy is undertaking its own review; both these reports will identify lessons and develop actions to improve responses for future events.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to issue guidance to local authorities about the control of badgers in (1) cemeteries, and (2) burial grounds.

In England, licences - for the purpose of preventing serious damage to land, or any other form of property - to kill or take badgers, or to interfere with a badger sett are granted by Natural England (NE). NE is authorised, on behalf of the Secretary of State, to grant licences for this purpose.

In situations where badgers are causing damage to cemeteries or burial grounds, NE can provide case-specific advice to the local authority if requested, and this may include a site visit where this would be beneficial. If the damage is caused by foraging activities, then advice will normally relate to preventive measures that do not require a licence, such as the use of fencing and other proofing. Where the sett itself is causing damage to graves, then an application for a licence to exclude badgers from the sett may be appropriate.

Licences will only be granted where there are no satisfactory alternatives, the action to be licensed is proportionate to the scale of the problem and the licensed action will contribute to resolving the problem.

General guidance on the protection afforded to badgers and licensing activities impacting badgers is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/badgers-protection-surveys-and-licences.

Defra has no current plans to issue any further guidance to local authorities about the control of badgers in cemeteries or burial grounds.

20th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 15 July (HL Deb, col 1945), what were the principal elements in the estimated £60 million a year in increased revenue from the operation of the proposed new East Coast Mainline timetable.

Under the proposed timetable London North Eastern Railway (LNER) passenger numbers are expected to increase as a result of shorter journey times between key destinations, supporting the Government’s decarbonisation plans. It will also enable the addition of 30 per cent more trains per hour and these additional services would provide a significant increase in capacity creating opportunities for increased revenue.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date and at what time the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (North East of England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1010) (1) were laid before Parliament, (2) came into force, and (3) were published on the legislation.gov.uk website; and if they were not so published by 8am on 18 September, why not.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (North East of England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1010) were laid 5:30pm on 17 September 2020, came into force on 18 September 2020 and published online shortly before 5:41pm on 17 September 2020.

These Regulations were subsequently amended by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Protected Areas) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1019), which came into force on 22 September 2020.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to consult church organisations covered by the Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (England) Order 2010 as part of the Planning for the Future consultation; and what plans they have to change the exemptions under that Order.

Following the Planning for the Future White Paper consultation last year on changes to the planning system, the Government continues to engage with a wide range of stakeholders as we develop our detailed proposals. This includes reforms to the planning framework for listed buildings to ensure their significance is conserved while allowing, where appropriate, sympathetic changes to support their continued use and address climate change.

2nd May 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to bring forward Orders in Council to allow judges from relevant overseas jurisdictions to be appointed to serve on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has a jurisdiction beyond the UK and serves as the final court of appeal for many Commonwealth and other jurisdictions. From time to time, the work of the Judicial Committee has been augmented with the jurisprudence and expertise brought by appellate judges from jurisdictions beyond the UK.

The Lord Chancellor welcomes and approves Lord Reed’s proposal to invite judges outside the UK to sit on the Judicial Committee, and the necessary work is in train.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)