Sort of. Liberal Democrats at the party’s spring conference in Gateshead have just supported the motion put forward by Shirley Williams by 314 votes to 270.
Whilst the motion was passed, the following lines were deleted from the bill:
Calls on Liberal Democrat peers to support the Third Reading of the Bill provided such further amendments are achieved.
This means that the LibDem peers in the House of Lords DO NOT have to support the bill when it goes for its third reading. What this also means is that LibDem MP’s have a difficult decision to make when they return to parliament next week. Do they support the bill in its reading and send the bill to the Lords to see if it gets voted down there, or do they reflect the will of the grass roots members of the party and the electorate at large and vote against the bill in the House of Commons? We’ll have to wait and see.
One thing is for certain. The next week politically is going to be very interesting for the Liberal Democrats and could have serious ramifications for us as a party in the short term and long term future.