Responding to reports of recent crackdowns on the LGBT community in Azerbaijan, Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, said,
“The recent reports that members of the LGBT community in Azerbaijan are being targeted by the police and are facing arrest and torture is deeply worrying. This development is part of a much wider trend of systemic human rights abuses including imprisonment of political opponents and activists. Having met Azerbaijani political prisoners like Leyla Yunus I know how important it is for the international community to shine a light on these human rights violations. Right now, Azerbaijani activists are telling anyone who will listen that people are increasingly frightened as the number of arrests and reported cases of physical abuse have continued to increase in the last few weeks.
“This week the LGBT charity Stonewall reported cases of beatings, verbal abuse, forced medical examinations and of trans women having their heads forcibly shaved. This is deplorable. Today I stand in solidarity with all those who understand that love is a human right, that the state has no role in policing a person’s sexuality and that such violence and disregard for human rights is never an acceptable response. Equally, I reiterate civil society’s call on the British Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson, to urge the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately end the reported human rights abuses against the LGBT community.”
Azerbaijan is notorious for its poor treatment of LGBT people and has been ranked the worst country in Europe for LGBT rights violations.
Councillors propose planning policy to protect music venues
In response to a spate of local music venues raising the alarm about being faced with closure, Green Party Councillors in Bristol have called on the city’s elected Labour Mayor to adopt a planning policy known as the ‘agent of change’ principle. This principle, recently adopted by London Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan,(1) puts the onus for soundproofing on new residential developments, which must shoulder responsibility for compliance when situated near an existing music venue. Similarly, if a music venue opens in a residential area, it too would be responsible for complying with residential requirements. According to the London Mayor, “developers building flats near existing venues will need to ensure that residents are not unduly affected by sound from the venue, and that may include paying for soundproofing.”
Brexit ‘breakthrough’: Comment from Bristol's MEP
Commenting on news of an apparent breakthrough in negotiations between the UK and EU and that Brexit discussions will now move on to the next phase, Molly Scott Cato MEP, Green Party speaker on Brexit, said: “Brexit should not be about winners and losers but about ensuring that all citizens currently in the EU, including the British ones, are safe and secure after March 2019.
Bristol MEP and QC launch legal proceedings against government over Brexit sectoral studies
Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's Green MEP and Jolyon Maugham QC of the Good Law Society, have today applied for judicial review in the High Court over the government’s refusal to release sectoral studies carried out by DExEU into the impacts of Brexit, and a Treasury study into the effects of leaving the customs union.
Bristol's MEP respopnds to David Davis claims that Brexit impact studies do not exist
Responding to this morning's evidence session of the DExEU committee and David Davis's comment that the Brexit impact studies do not in fact exist, Molly Scott Cato, and MEP who is about to launch judicial review proceedings to force the publication of the studies, said: "I have been seeking to know the content of these studies since April and in September Brexit minister Steve Baker responded to my letter demanding release explicitly on behalf of the Secretary of State and acknowledging that the Department had 'conducted analysis of over 50 sectors of the economy'. Now David Davis claims these studies do not in fact exist.
Job Advert: Local Party Organiser in Bristol
The Local Party Organiser will be responsible for supporting Bristol Green Party officers and volunteers in the implementation of Bristol Green Party strategies, plans and day to day operations. The role will support the officers and volunteers to coordinate their work, check on progress and achievements.
Bristol Mayor scraps cross-party cabinet - Green Group Statement
Today, Bristol’s Labour Mayor has decided out of the blue to end the cross-party cabinet, effectively firing Green Cabinet Member Fi Hance and Tory Cabinet Member Claire Hiscott.
Bristol's MEPs unite to challenge Commission over allegations of Russian influence in referendum campaign
Three of the city's MEPs are raising concerns with the European Commission about Russian interference in the EU referendum in an ‘unprecedented display of unity’. Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has teamed up with Labour’s Clare Moody MEP and former Conservative MEP, Julie Girling, to write to the Commission about their concerns.
Bristol and South Gloucestershire Students debate Climate Change in City Hall
Over eighty students from Bristol and South Gloucestershire secondary schools are taking the lead in debating the landmark Paris Climate Change Agreement, and discussing with local leaders what more can be done in their area to reduce carbon emissions.
Challenge to Bristol's MPs to unite against the folly of Hinkley
Bristol's Green MEP has accused government ministers of saddling consumers with higher energy bills because they have had their ‘heads stuck in the radioactive sand’ over Hinkley and has issued a challenge to Bristol's MPs to unite against the folly of Hinkley and back a renewable energy revolution.
Bristol MEP begins legal proceedings to release Brexit studies
Lawyers representing Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's Green MEP, and Jolyon Maugham of the Good Law Project have written again to David Davis and Philip Hammond giving them 14 days to release in full government studies into the economic impacts of Brexit. If they refuse to make the documents publicly available, they will start judicial review proceedings in the High Court.
Green Party Cabinet Member represents Bristol at COP23 climate conference
Councillor Fi Hance today attended the annual COP23 climate conference in Bonn and spoke on behalf of Bristol. As Cabinet member for Energy, Cllr Hance was there to represent Bristol at the Climate event and was asked what action the city is taking on climate change.
Greens call on Council to support ‘Robin Hood Tax’ to fund public services
On the same week that Bristol hosts its annual Festival of Economics, Green Councillors in Bristol have put forward a motion for Tuesday’s Full Council supporting a Financial Transactions Tax, also known as a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ or ‘Tobin Tax’.
Greens challenge Mayor to protect Council Tax support until 2020 -- administration won’t commit
At Cabinet today Green Councillors challenged the Labour administration to commit to protecting the Council Tax support scheme for the remainder of the Mayor’s term to 2020.
Council must call in external auditor to shed light on CEO’s departure
In an unprecedented step, Bristol’s three opposition parties have united in calling on the Council’s External Auditor to step in and investigate the circumstances surrounding the controversial departure of the former Chief Executive, Anna Klonowski.
Bristol's Green MEP responds to #ParadisePapers leak
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, who is also a member of the European Parliament’s Panama Papers committee, comments on the latest big tax leak, the Paradise Papers saying: "These leaks offer another disturbing glimpse into the murky world of offshore finance, used by wealthy individuals and big business for tax evasion and tax avoidance".
Investigate Bristol links to alleged illegal spending by Leave.EU campaign says MEP
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset should investigate alleged illegal spending in the lead up to the 2016 EU referendum, claims Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's Green MEP.
Going green: Bristol City Council smashes carbon targets
Green Councillor and Bristol City Cabinet member responsible for energy policy, Fi Hance, has today welcomed the news that Bristol City Council is ahead of its targets for reducing its carbon emissions.
Opinion: Why we need an 'Ad Free Bristol'
Writing in Bristol 24/7, Cllr Stephen Clarke explains why he thinks we need an 'Ad Free Bristol' arguing he "prefers a visual environment which reflects the unique identity of our city, the values of local communities, and the local economy".
Bristol's MEP demands to see official findings of investigation into Brexit Leave campaign
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, is demanding the Electoral Commission reveal the extent to which they have investigated alleged illegal spending intended to influence the 2016 EU referendum result. She has written to the Commission asking if their enquiries are now complete and, if so, asking it to publish the findings.
Green MEP to Theresa May "support an EU-wide suspension of arms exports to Saudi Arabia"
Following calls from leaders of four political groups in the European Parliament urging the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, for an EU-wide ban of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Green parliamentarians including Bristol's Green MEP Molly Scott Cato have written to the UK Prime Minister urging her to “immediately suspend all arms exports to Saudi Arabia until the human rights of the people of Yemen can be fully guaranteed”.
Green MEP defends Bristol's universities against ‘challenge to academic freedom’
Molly Scott Cato MEP, has made clear she will stand by universities in Bristol that refuse to respond to the request made by Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris, asking them for details of names of those ‘teaching European Affairs, with particular reference to Brexit’. The letter also asks for ‘the syllabus and links to the online lectures which relate to this area’.
Green councillor presses Mayor over continued payout secrecy
Green Councillor Paula O’Rourke has twice pressed the Mayor to establish the full truth behind the payment made to departed CEO Anna Klonowski.
Green Councillor asks Mayor to justify payment to former Chief Exec
Councillor Paula O'Rourke, Green Party Councillor for Clifton and member of the Council's HR Committee, has contacted the Mayor to raise concerns and request more information over a payment made to the former Chief Executive Anna Klonowski following her resignation.
Greens successfully lobby for transparent planning
After successful lobbying by Green councillors, Bristol City Council is to make its planning process more transparent.
Video: Caroline Lucas on Mayor Marvin Rees u-turn on Council Tax Reduction Scheme
In a short video Caroline Lucas MP, responds to the news that the Mayor will not cut the Council Tax Reduction Scheme in Bristol, for this year. Caroline she says she is "delighted" the Mayor backed down on his plans but it "beggars belief that a Labour administration was even contemplating hitting the poorest families hardest".
Greens welcome Mayor's u-turn on council tax scheme
Greens welcome Mayor's u-turn on council tax scheme
Green MEP challenges Bristol & South West MPs; "back a ban on Nuclear Weapons"
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has today thrown down a challenge to the region’s sitting MPs to back a ban on Nuclear Weapons. The challenge comes after none of the regions MPs backed an Early Day Motion (EDM) tabled by Green Party Co-Leader, Caroline Lucas MP .
We must "Stop Brexit" says Bristol's Green MEP
Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's Green MEP and Green Party speaker on Brexit, has reaffirmed a commitment to a ratification referendum at the Party’s conference in Harrogate and has told members it is the best way to reverse the decision to leave the EU.
New figures show unsafe and illegal air pollution “getting worse” in Bristol
New official government figures submitted to the European Commission, show that the government has failed to make any significant progress in tackling air pollution since a court ordered it to 18 months ago.
Council refusing to explain legal basis for its council tax consultation
Bristol’s Green councillors today called on the council to provide evidence to support its decision to continue with a controversial consultation on cuts to council tax support.