Lord Alex Carlile quits Liberal Democrats over civil liberties

The former MP turned peer Alex Carlile has often been a controversial figure in the party, especially (although not only) over his views on civil liberties and freedom of information, which have often been at odds with the bulk of the party.

He has now quit the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords over those differences on civil liberties:

Lord Carlile resigned the party whip and will sit as a non-affiliated peer after long finding himself “at odds” with senior figures on security issues.

The former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation and Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesman has clashed with colleagues in the past over his support for the so-called Snooper’s Charter. [PoliticsHome]

At times in his career, Alex Carlile has been a very powerful and effective voice for liberalism on issues such as penal reform. He was also the first MP to campaign for the civil liberties of transsexuals.

But more recently he’s been so much at odds with the rest of the party on civil liberties, that it’s fair to say his departure from the party is both unsurprising and sensible given that he’s disagreed fundamentally with the party on an issue at the heart of our philosophy.

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