Lib Dems consider clash with Birmingham over tough response to looters
Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council and leader of the city's Lib Dem group, is busy representing Birmingham at various receptions and fringe events during the party's annual conference at the ICC.
But Lib Dem delegates are heading for a collision course with one of his Tory colleagues, Councillor John Lines, the city council's Cabinet Member for Housing.
Coun Lines is determined to make looters who ransacked properties in Birmingham last month pay a hefty price - by evicting them.
As he said in August: "We have 65,000 council houses and hundreds of these looters will be going before the courts, so I am quite positive that many of these criminals will be council tenants.
"I have thousands of decent law-abiding families queuing up for council houses and will waste no time getting rid of these scum of the Earth."
But Liberal Democrats have chosen to discuss an emergency motion tomorrow, Monday, condemning this policy, wherever it is carried out.
It states: "This would not only be unfair to innocent family members but would also discriminate against social housing tenants compared with private housing tenants or owner occupiers."
The motion also calls for rioters to receive prison sentences "only where no other sentence is justified but encourages, wherever justice permits, the use of non-custodial measures that allow the offender to carry out productive work, retain their livelihoods, homes and family ties, and therefore not be driven to future reliance on the state."
Although the party chose to discuss the motion in a vote today, they'll have another vote tomorrow to accept or reject it.