The government was attacked last week for its failure to consult
adequately on the Antisocial Behaviour Bill.
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Simon Hughes accused the
government of breaking Cabinet Office guidelines, which specify
that every government bill should have a minimum of 12 weeks’
“There is a series of checks and balances that are meant to be
built into the House before we legislate to ensure that we get
legislation right,” Hughes said. “None of these procedures have
Hughes said it was “sad” that the bill barely mentioned social
services, despite them being the most likely to be working with
young people in dysfunctional families who were liable to commit
“We should make sure that social services and education departments
have the resources that they need to do what they know works,” he
Making teachers, local education authorities and education welfare
officers behave like police officers would not work, he added,
calling for those responsible for supporting young people to be
separated from those who will criminalise them.
Shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin said the Conservatives had
similar concerns about teachers issuing fixed penalty notices to
parents of truants.