How many councils in Yorkshire & Lincolnshire ban vaping in taxis?

The figures are better than I thought they would be. We sent freedom of information requests to the 28 councils in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire that are responsible for licensing. 27 responded. Out of those 27 councils, 8 ban vaping in one way or another. They are Bradford, City of York (which currently has a ban for private hire vehicles, but not taxis. This is changing soon, though, and there will be an outright ban), East Riding of Yorkshire, Leeds (which is about to implement a ban), North Lincolnshire, Rotherham, Scarborough (which allows passengers to vape, but bans drivers), and Selby.  Continue reading

BBC forced presenters to use personal service companies

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Christa Ackroyd, a former BBC presenter who was paid through her own personal service company (PSC) and who left the BBC very abruptly five years ago. Ms. Ackroyd has since been given a £419,000 tax bill by HMRC because the tax man said that she should have been an employee of the BBC.  Many current and former BBC journalists and presenters accuse the corporation of forcing them to use PSC's. This morning it was the turn of Liz Kershaw, Kirsty Lang, Paul Wise, and Stuart Linnell.  Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE: Two per cent of GDP is not enough to spend on defence

  Two per cent of GDP is not enough to spend on defence. The Freedom Association supports Julian Lewis MP in his call for increased defence spending   For immediate release    After the Prime Minister's statement to the House of Commons regarding Russia, the Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP, chair of the Defence Committee and a member of The Freedom Association, commented during a question that "two per cent of GDP is not enough to spend on defence." The Freedom Association completely agrees with him and supports his call for increased defence spending.  Continue reading

Two per cent of GDP is not enough to spend on defence

After the Prime Minister's statement to the House of Commons regarding Russia, Dr Julian Lewis MP, chair of the Defence Committee and a member of The Freedom Association, asked the following question: "No reasonable person can possibly doubt that the Russian Government have behaved with arrogance, inhumanity and contempt, not least in failing to respond to the Prime Minister’s deadline, which they surely would have done if they had known that they were innocent of this charge. In welcoming the Prime Minister’s expulsion of 23 diplomats who are really intelligence agents, may I ask her to make it clear that any retaliation in kind by the Russian Government will be met by further expulsions, perhaps including even of the ambassador, who spends so much time coming to talk to us in this place, bemoaning the poor state of Anglo-Russian relations? Does she accept that Russia traditionally respects strength and despises weakness, and that the time has come to recognise that 2% of GDP is not enough to spend on defence when we are reverting to the sort of adversarial relationship that we had when we spent a much higher proportion of GDP on ensuring that this country was well defended?" Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE: The Freedom Association fully supports the measures announced in the Prime Minister's statement on Russia

  The Freedom Association fully supports the measures announced in the Prime Minister's statement on Russia   For immediate release    Andrew Allison, Head of Campaigns at The Freedom Association, said: "Anyone who believes in freedom and the rule of law will support the measures announced by the Prime Minister today. Putin's regime cares only for its own freedom to torture, murder, embezzle, and interfere in the affairs of other countries.  "No-one in the UK wants a return to the cold war, however, Russia's actions must have consequences. The security of every country in the world is at risk if we do not take firm action and send a clear message that the use of chemical weapons on the streets of Britain will not be tolerated under any circumstances."   ENDS Continue reading