Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Peer hails Gordon Brown for 'keeping UK out of euro'

The government should give credit to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown for keeping the UK out of the euro, a Labour peer has said.

Lord Dubs made his remarks during question time in the Lords on 14 November 2012 - but Conservative peer Lord Cormack countered that John Major, former Conservative PM, deserved the credit.

Lord Dubs told Minister without Portfolio Baroness Warsi: "While it is very advantageous for us to be members of the European Union it is a positive advantage that we are not members of the euro.

"And isn't it time the government acknowledged that Gordon Brown deserves a lot of credit for having kept us out of the euro? Credit where credit is due."

Baroness Warsi said Lord Dubs's understanding of history was "very different" to hers, arguing that former Conservative leader William Hague, now foreign secretary, had fought the "great campaign" against joining the single currency.

Opposition Lord Hunt of Kings Heath asked her to reflect on her remarks, asking: "Was it the last Labour government which took the decision in relation to the euro?"

Lady Warsi responded: "They took the right decision."

Wind farm row

Later, Conservative peer Lord Fowler welcomed the "inordinate delay" in bringing the Energy Bill before Parliament.

He said scrutiny of the draft legislation had shown it to be a "complete nonsense", claiming it would give the energy secretary "arbitrary powers" without proper scrutiny, and raise energy costs for businesses and consumers.

The government should abandon the present form of the bill, he told Energy Minister Baroness Verma.

Lady Verma responded that the government had taken on board the committee's recommendations, but added: "We will come to the House with a bill date when it has reached the stages it needs to reach."

Lady Verma insisted the government's policy on wind farms remained the same, after several peers remarked on Energy Secretary John Hayes's comments that the UK had "enough" onshore wind farms.

Abuse inquiry 'justified'

Lord Lloyd of Berwick asked the government to reconsider the inquiry into the terms of the Waterhouse Inquiry into child abuse allegations in North Wales, which began in 1996.

The crossbench peer said that "in view of Mr Steven Messham's withdrawal of any allegation against [Conservative peer] Lord McAlpine" there was "no longer any need" for a high court judge to go over Sir Ronald Waterhouse's work.

"On the contrary, we should all be grateful for his impeccable conduct of that inquiry and the thoroughness of his report."

Mr Messham has apologised after making false allegations against Lord McAlpine who he wrongly believed to have sexually abused him as a child.

Justice Minister Lord McNally said a "large amount" of accusations had been made, not just by one individual, adding that the "strength" of public feeling "justifies us going through with the Macur review".


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