General Election campaigning has been suspended

An email from the Chair of the Federal Campaigns and Elections Committee James Gurling has been sent  explaining what the suspension of campaigning in respect for the victims of the Manchester attack means:

By now you will all have seen and heard about the terrible events of yesterday. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the tragic attack in Manchester.

We, along with the other political parties have agreed to suspend our campaigns until further notice.

That means until further notice, please do not carry out any public campaigning activity – that includes canvassing, campaigning online, leaflet delivery and any street stalls.

This site …

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Liberal Democrats react to Manchester bombing

Last night people would have dropped their kids off at Manchester Arena for the Ariana Grande concert. The kids would have been so excited. In the normal course of events, they’d have come out afterwards completely buzzing about the whole thing and would have spent hours reliving it and singing the songs.

They will certainly never forget the awful events of last night.

It is utterly impossible to comprehend what goes through the mind of someone who targets children and young people in this way.

One of my friends wrote on Facebook that we should think about what the terrorists want us to do – and then do the exact opposite.

They want us to turn on each other and change our lives to pander to them or fear of them. We can’t let them diminish us like that.

And in fact, we can see from the acts of kindness and solidarity from the people of Manchester that the generous, open-hearted spirit of that wonderful city will prevail.

Our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones, or who are going through the raw anxiety of not being able to track someone down, or who are waiting for news of an injured friend or relative.

All of us need to think about what we can do to make the world kinder, more open and gentle – and then go and do it.

Senior Liberal Democrats have been reacting to last night’s attack. Tim Farron said:

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The SNP and the Tories are using the same playbook to delegitimise opposition and checks on their power

There has been a very unfortunate trend in recent years of those in power condemning anyone who stands in their way. We all remember the failure of the Conservative Justice Secretary Liz Truss to stand up for the Supreme Court judges who upheld the law after the “enemies of the people” headline. However, that wasn’t the first time the judiciary had come under such attack. Back in 2011, Alex Salmond insulted Lord Hope, a judge who had found the Scottish Government to be wanting on human rights. As I wrote at the time:

Peter Cadder, whose case sparked the SNP’s casual quadrupling of pre-charge detention time in an afternoon last year, won his human rights case because, then a teenager, he had not had access to a lawyer before a police interrogation that led to his conviction for assault.  Now, to me, it seems eminently reasonable that people should have access to lawyers. A system that does not allow that is flawed. Rather than slag off judges and court judgements, surely the Scottish Justice Department would be better off comparing Scots law with European human rights law and sorting out where there could be problems. You could argue this should have been done years ago.

Alex Salmond is pandering to a Daily Fail type agenda with is comments and he needs to catch himself on.

The Tories and the right wing press are playing from the same playbook with their “saboteurs” and “enemies of the people” narrative as if they alone are the true diviners of the will of the people as if that is as immovable as Mount Everest. There’s a certain irony about those who claim to be all about enacting the will of the people zealously ensuring that the people don’t get a chance to mark their homework.

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This election is about protecting our democracy

Remember the Brexit “Battle Bus” with this slogan, “We send the EU £350 million a week lets fund our NHS instead Vote Leave”? It was powerful and “misleading” according to the UK Statistics Authority. Mr Farage referred to it as a “mistake”.

No! “The number plastered on the side of the Brexit bus was a big fat lie.” 

It was not a mistake because it affected the “Brexit” result the way Mr Farage wanted.

In short, we were misled and those who subverted our democracy with this deception have gone unpunished. Therefore it will happen again to further diminish democracy.

Last month the CPS announced that there would be no criminal charges brought against 14 MPs over their expenses in the 2015 election. In March 2017, The Electoral Commission fined the Conservative Party a record £70,000 for “numerous failures” in reporting expenses for the 2015 General Election. For that election the Conservatives raised some £38, 000,000. 

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A tale of two buses

 

Apparently that bus now looks like this:

 

Which might explain why Boris Johnson got a bit confused yesterday on Peston on Sunday.

Would you like to see him claiming that the Conservative manifesto promises £350m a week for the NHS? Of course you would.

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Business leaders: Only Lib Dems are speaking for business and the people

In a letter, more than 50 business leaders, including Nicola Horlick and the founders of EBookers and Innocent Drinks, have said that they will be voting Liberal Democrat because of our stance on Brexit.

From the Times (£)

The 53 signatories who say they intend to vote Lib Dem include senior players in the investment and IT sectors, two industries that could be hit by a poor Brexit deal. They represent small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) rather than FTSE 100 companies.

“The Conservatives’ failure to even mention a transitional deal threatens Britain’s status as one of the best countries in the world with which to do business,” the letter reads. “While we may not have voted Liberal Democrat in the past and we may not agree with the party on all issues, they are now the only party speaking for business and the majority of Britons on the key issue at this election.”

Richard Reed, the co-founder of Innocent Drinks and board member of Britain Stronger in Europe, Dinesh Dhamija, the founder of the Ebookers travel site and the businesswoman Nicola Horlick are among the signatories.

In response, Vince Cable said:

The Liberal Democrats now have support from a large number of serious figures in the business community, showing that we are rapidly emerging as the party of business, both big and small.

Theresa May’s determination to take us out of the single market would devastate the financial sector, while taking us out of the customs union would cause incalculable disruption to manufacturing .

Theresa May herself warned of the Brexit dangers to our exports in a speech at Goldman Sachs. Since then she has taken on the agenda of Nigel Farage, who has understandably declared himself delighted with her.

That is scary. It is vital that the next parliament contains enough Liberal Democrat voices to argue for Britain’s future in the world’s most lucrative single market. The more Liberal Democrat MPs, the better the deal we can secure on Europe.

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‘Fiery Farron’ will fight false Mayism – but so may leading Tories

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron was given a new title by the Mail on Sunday. Under the striking large-caps headline, THE WRATH OF FIERY FARRON, Tim was reported as  fired up to denounce the Tory manifesto declaration that the value of people’s homes will be taken into account in future to help pay for extensive home care. People will only be able to safeguard £100,000 of their total assets, including their home. ‘If you have dementia’, Tim is said to have told the Mail journalist Simon Walters, ‘Theresa May is coming for you. Your house is up for grabs.’ He said it showed the hardness of May and her party. ‘She’s making the Tories nastier than ever.’

This is the Prime Minister who pledged herself when taking office last July to ‘a vision of a country that works not for the privileged few but that works for every one of us.’ Here is a May policy which seems likely to dismay every modest home-owner in England and Wales who contemplates retirement without much other wealth, in fear now that the lottery of life may make them or their partner housebound with long-term illness.

Mayism in practice already seems far from the Prime Minister’s vision. Inflation has reached its highest level in almost four years, with consumer prices at 2.7% now rising faster than earnings at 2.3%. As always, it will be the poorest families who suffer most, with the greater part of their income going on necessities including food and energy. And there is no relief proposed in the Tory manifesto for families on frozen or reduced benefits, already suffering from the government’s austerity programme. Instead, pensioners will lose the present guarantee of a 2.5% annual rise in their pensions, and primary-school children are to be denied their nutritious free school lunches, reversing policies initiated by the Liberal Democrat ministers in the Coalition government.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 23rd May - 12:30pm
    What is the rationale for cancelling the general election?
  • User AvatarAngrySteve 23rd May - 12:00pm
    A moving piece. Thank you for writing.
  • User AvatarAngrySteve 23rd May - 11:59am
    Whilst it is absolutely right that campaigning has stopped today, it must resume tomorrow. To delay the election, or to suspend campaigning further, would lead...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 23rd May - 11:58am
    I agree with Louise and Mark. By all means suspend campaigning for today as a mark of respect but anything more is letting the anti-democratic...
  • User AvatarLouise 23rd May - 11:46am
    I have to agree with Mark Seaman. Suspending all campaigning 'until further notice,' simply plays into the hands of those who want to undermine and...
  • User AvatarCllr Fran Oborski 23rd May - 11:44am
    Tend to agree that if Campaigning is suspended for more than a couple of days then the GE should, if legally possible, be cancelled!