Elaine Bagshaw

party: Liberal Democrats
constituency: Poplar and Limehouse

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How would you reform surveillance law, oversight and practice to respect the rights of law-abiding people?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

The Liberal Democrats want to introduce a “Digital Bill of Rights” after the 2015 election to give people more power over their data too. This will protect us against blanket surveillance without affecting our ability to tackle emerging threats or target criminals. Our online behaviour should be treated with the same respect as our offline behaviour, and that is why I am glad that my party supports a “Digital Bill of Rights”.

The internet has revolutionised the way that we learn things, share new ideas and communicate with people we know. Our intelligence and security services must always keep up with technological change, but we need a reasonable level of oversight to protect the privacy of UK citizens.

To what degree should access to information on the internet be restricted by the state or private companies?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

Our Digital Bill of Rights would include prison sentences for public and private companies conducting large-scale data theft. We would also introduce legal rights to compensation for consumers when companies make people sign up online to deliberately misleading and illegible terms & conditions, and create a
Code of Practice for online services who would by law have to correct information about members of the public where it is inaccurate or defamatory

The right of parents to remain with their children in hospital has been established for over forty years. How would you ensure carers of people with dementia are equally welcome in hospital?

organisation: John's Campaign

I'd work with Liberal Democrat colleagues to give the NHS a legal duty to identify carers and develop a Carer’s Passport scheme to inform carers of their rights in the NHS, like more flexible visiting hours, assert their role as expert partners in care and gain access to support.

Should people in Scotland and Northern Ireland have the same free speech protections from libel bullies as their neighbours in England and Wales?

organisation: English PEN

Yes they should, and if elected I would work with the devolved Governments in those areas to look into extending the provisions we have in England and Wales

Recent polling show that people support rent control by a margin of nine to one. Do you support a rent control that limits rent rises between tenancies as well as during tenancies?

organisation: Generation Rent

Rent control doesn't address the fundamental issue which is that we aren't building enough homes for what our population needs. Lib Dems would build 300,000 more homes every year during the next Government to address this issue.

The standards of goods and services that are essential, such as food and water, are generally highly regulated. Do you support enforced minimum standards in housing as a precondition of a renting?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes. In our manifesto we have committed to banning landlords from renting out properties that tenants cannot reasonably afford to heat. I personally want to see this extended to cover issues such as standard of repair in homes.

Britain spends £24 billion on housing benefit and less than £1.5 billion on building homes. Do you support an increase in the social housebuilding grant to £5 billion a year to build homes?

organisation: Generation Rent

As a Liberal Democrat I would work to set up a new government-backed Housing Investment Bank to provide long-term capital for major new settlements and help attract finance for major house building projects.

Governments implement policies that directly and indirectly impact on house prices. Do you think house prices are too high?

organisation: Generation Rent

In many areas property prices mean that homes are now out of reach for working families. We would build 300,000 new homes each year to increase the housing supply and start reducing prices.

Private sector landlords receive over £27bn a year in housing benefit and tax breaks. Would you support a rent tax that recouped up to a third of this to fund new housing supply?

organisation: Generation Rent

No, I would instead encourage landlords to reduce their rent rates by paying housing benefit to them directly if they reduce the level of rent they charge their tenants.

Would you support the creation of a Royal Commission to review Britain’s drug laws?

organisation: CISTA

I'm a support of drug law reform so as well as the Royal Commission I am fighting for:

1) Adopt the approach used in Portugal where those arrested for possession of drugs for personal use are diverted into treatment,
education or civil penalties that do not attract a criminal record.
2) As a first step towards reforming the system, legislate to end the use of imprisonment for possession of drugs for personal use, diverting resources towards tackling organised drug crime instead.
3) Continue to apply severe penalties to those who manufacture, import or deal in illegal drugs, and clamp down on those who
produce and sell unregulated chemical highs.
4) Establish a review to assess the effectiveness of the cannabis legalisation experiments in the United States and Uruguay in
relation to public health and criminal activity.
5) Legislate to make the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs independent in setting the classification of drugs, while remaining
accountable to Parliament and the wider public.
6) Enable doctors to prescribe cannabis for medicinal use.
7) Put the Department of Health rather than the Home Office in charge of drug policy.