Author Archives: Helen Duffett

Helen is the Liberal Democrats' Internal Communications Manager. As well as being part of the Lib Dem Voice team, she blogs at www.helenduffett.blogspot.com and is on Twitter as @helenduffett. Helen loves Underground trains and transport history.

Spring 2014 Conference Agenda now online

The Conference Agenda has been finalised and is now available online.

The agenda features a variety of debates including one on a Digital Bill of Rights on Making Migration Work for Britain.

There will also be speeches by Jenny Willott MP and Danny Alexander MP. Nick Clegg will do a Leader’s Q&A on Saturday 8 March at 15:05 and you can submit concise questions (up to 25 words) on any topic up until 12:40 on 8 March at the Speakers’ Table in the auditorium or by email ([email protected]) before 17:00 on Thursday 6 March.

Every motion in the agenda is open to …

Posted in Conference | Tagged , , , and | 13 Comments

FOUND: David Cameron’s Little Black Book

So David Cameron’s keeping a little black book of the things Lib Dems have stopped him doing in Government – things he wants to put in the next Tory manifesto.

A copy has been found, and it’s scary reading:

Liberal Democrats think these policies are unfair. Do you want schools to be run for profit? Or a record of all your emails and texts to be kept? Or do you want your boss to be allowed to fire you at will?

Click here to help us stop David Cameron’s Little Black Book

Posted in News | 17 Comments

Sir Robert Smith MP “receiving appropriate treatment” for Parkinson’s disease

sir Robert SmithThe BBC reports:

Sir Robert Smith, the MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, has been diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

The 55-year-old Liberal Democrat politician was said to be receiving the “appropriate treatment”.

He has represented the constituency since 1997, and intends to continue.

Sir Robert said: “This was not easy news to receive, but it is a condition that can be managed and I plan to make the best I can of it.”

He added: “I would like to thank the medical staff at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for the

Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Comment

Manifesto 2015: Join the debate

Following David Laws’ call for proposals for the Liberal Democrats’ 2015 Manifesto, the first submissions from members are now up on the Manifesto Website.

Watch this space for more members’ ideas to be discussed. Or submit your own idea and maybe you’ll see it up there soon!

Posted in General Election and Online politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

Jim Wallace new leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords

Lord Wallace of Tankerness was today elected as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords.

The former Deputy First Minister of Scotland replaces Tom McNally, who stepped down earlier this month after nine years at the helm.

Lord Wallace was the only candidate to have put his name forward when nominations for the leadership contest closed at 12pm today.

Lord Wallace said:

It is a great privilege as well as an exciting challenge to have been elected as Leader of the Liberal Democrat peers.

As someone who has already led a parliamentary group in coalition

Posted in News and Parliament | Tagged , and | Leave a comment

Tom McNally to stand down as Leader of the Lib Dem Lords

Tom McNally has today written to Dick Newby (Lib Dem Deputy Chief Whip) to say that he intends to stand down as Leader of the Lib Dem group in the House of Lords.

Lord McNally’s letter is as follows:

1 October 2013
Dear Dick,

I will shortly be coming to the end of my ninth year as Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords. Before that I served as deputy to Shirley Williams for three years. It seems to me that now would be an ideal time for the Group to select a new leader to serve out

Posted in News and Parliament | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

FREE: Extract of Paddy

Aurum Press, the publishers of Paddy Ashdown’s bestselling autobiography A Fortunate Life, have released a chapter of the book for free download.

It’s called 1983 – The Winning of Yeovil, and as I wrote in 2009:

MP also stands for Military Precision, so it’s no surprise that Paddy Ashdown’s campaign to become MP for Yeovil was long on discipline and short on creature comforts.

If you haven’t packed a book for the train to Conference yet, 1983 – The Winning of Yeovil is vital reading for all Liberal Democrat campaigners. And as is typical of the Chair of the Party’s …

Posted in Books and News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

A Record of Delivery: Lib Dems’ new Achievements in Government booklet

This morning Nick Clegg launched the Party’s new booklet: “A Record of Delivery: What the Liberal Democrats have achieved in Government.

As Nick says in his foreword to the booklet,

The Liberal Democrats have always been able to campaign on a strong record of local delivery. Now – for the first time in our party’s history – we can combine that with our record in national government too.

That’s what we did in the Eastleigh by-election – and it works. But no one is going to tell our story for us. We need to use every opportunity between now and the

Posted in News | Tagged and | 16 Comments

Polling Day for the 2014 local elections set for May 22nd

From the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors:

Well we all knew it was coming but now it’s confirmed. A statement in the House of Commons… confirms that the 2014 local elections will be on the same day as the European elections in the UK – Thursday 22nd May 2014. We’ll send out a draft timetable shortly.

The full statement:

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Brandon Lewis): As I informed the House on 26 March, Official Report, column 84WS, we published a consultation document inviting views on whether or not we should, subject

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 2 Comments

The LDV Friday Five: 14 June 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Ashcroft’s latest poll: a couple of interesting findings about the Lib Dems (39 comments) by Stephen Tall
  2. Unpaid internships: Tim Farron replies (23 comments) by Tim Farron MP
  3. The Lib Dem narrative dilemma: forget about 2010, start looking forward to 2015 (47 comments) by Stephen Tall
Posted in Friday Five | 1 Comment

The LDV Friday Five: 7 June 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. The “affair” is none of our business – but how did it get in the papers anyway? (53 comments) by Caron Lindsay
  2. Mercer affair can only help Nick Clegg’s quest for lobbying transparency and recalling MPs (9 comments) by The Voice
  3. Would PR spell the end of the Liberal Democrats? (32 comments) by The Voice
Posted in Friday Five | Leave a comment

The LDV Friday Five: 17 May 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Vince Cable: we will force a referendum vote in Parliament (30 comments) by Vince Cable MP
  2. Clegg leadership plot: Gove’s ‘crazy grenade’ detonates, briefly, before Tories revert to arguing about Europe (31 comments) by Stephen Tall
  3. Ukip surge to 18% in latest ICM poll: Lib Dems at 11% (38 comments) by Stephen Tall
Posted in Friday Five | 1 Comment

The LDV Friday Five: 10 May 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Local elections 2013: Summary of overnight Council results (25 comments) by Caron Lindsay
  2. What the 2013 local elections mean – for the Lib Dems and the next election (and beyond) (79 comments) by Stephen Tall
  3. Local elections 2013 live blog….. (19 comments) by The Voice
Posted in Friday Five | Leave a comment

The LDV Friday Five: 3 May 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Nick Clegg MP writes… The Labour and Tory exodus (79 comments) by Nick Clegg MP
  2. While David Cameron and Owen Jones unite in favour of universal benefits, I want us to get explicit about why redistribution matters to society (27 comments) by Stephen Tall
  3. What will happen to the Lib Dems in Thursday’s local elections? (25 comments) by Stephen Tall
Posted in Friday Five | Leave a comment

The LDV Friday Five: 26 April 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. The Economist’s political map of the UK: the north/south divide revealed (35 comments) by Stephen Tall
  2. How a spreadsheet error has wrecked the world economy… or not (74 comments) by Joe Otten
  3. How Thatcherite are you? (27 comments) by Stephen Tall
Posted in Friday Five | Leave a comment

Fairer Taxes – Preview tonight’s Lib Dem Party Political Broadcast

Tonight’s Party Political Broadcast by the Liberal Democrats repeats the message that we have delivered a rise in the tax threshold, showing how people will benefit from this.

Nick Clegg says,

If you earn the minimum wage we have halved your Income Tax bill. And if you work tirelessly in a low-paid job, you’ll no longer pay any Income Tax at all.

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Tagged and | 11 Comments

The LDV Friday Five: 19 April 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Rebecca Taylor MEP writes…Electronic Cigarettes: No smoke, but lots of fiery debate (24 comments) by Rebecca Taylor MEP
  2. Julian Huppert writes…Update on the Defamation Bill (15 comments) by Julian Huppert MP
  3. Ding Dong & Mrs T. It’s simple: don’t buy it and don’t ban it (47 comments) by Stephen Tall
Posted in Friday Five | Leave a comment

AD LIB digital edition – teething problems solved

Hopefully all of you have had the chance to have a play with the new AD LIB interactive digital edition which was launched this month.

If not, why not have a play now?

Remember, this issue is free to all party members.

As well as all the good stuff you get with the paper copy, the digital edition has a number of interactive elements. If you want to listen to Paddy’s conference speech while reading his cover interview, you can. If you’re intrigued about Eluned Parrott’s ‘On the Record’ music choices, you can click straight to the music videos. And if you …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

The LDV Friday Five: 12 April 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Opinion: Dr Strangelove: or how I got utterly fed up with the Left (118 comments) by Jack Williams
  2. RIP Margaret Thatcher (42 comments) by The Voice
  3. Paddy Ashdown pays tribute to Margaret Thatcher (and shows Nick how it’s done) (66 comments) by Stephen Tall
Posted in Friday Five | 1 Comment

The LDV Friday Five: 5 April 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Secret Lib Dem-UKIP talks revealed (16 comments) by The Voice
  2. A reply to Dan Hodges: why it’s not surprising some Tories aren’t bothered about winning in 2015 (9 comments) by Stephen Tall
Posted in Friday Five | Leave a comment

AD LIB: Digital edition on its way

Paddy Ashdown cover of Ad Lib magazineWhen AD LIB launched last December one message we got back loud and clear, not least from Lib Dem Voice readers, was that you want a digital version.

Well, we’ve only gone and done it. And, what’s more, it will be available next week.

We’ve been working hard with the good people of PageSuite to get the digital edition ready to launch alongside the publication of April’s magazine, which will land through letterboxes next Tuesday (after the Bank Holiday).

And we’re making it a truly interactive experience …

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , and | 7 Comments

The LDV Friday Five: 22 March 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. I’m a liberal and I’m against this sort of thing. Leveson-style press regulation, that is (as well as secret courts) (67 comments) by Stephen Tall
  2. Opinion: The ‘Bedroom Tax’ does not pass the Fairer Society test (47 comments) by John Coburn
  3. Opinion: Time for Liberal Democrats to consider new claims about climate change (72 comments) by Michael Taylor
Posted in Friday Five | 1 Comment

Candy Piercy replaces Jo Shaw on the Lib Dems’ Federal Executive

Jo Shaw’s resignation from the Liberal Democrats on Sunday created a vacancy on the Liberal Democrats’ Federal Executive committee.

The votes from the original internal party election in 2012 have now been recounted and Candy Piercy has been elected.

Candy told Lib Dem Voice:

Although I am very glad to be on the FE again, I am very sad that the reason for this is the resignation of Jo Shaw. Jo was a fierce campaigner on the FE who always spoke up loud and clear for her principles.

I will do my best to carry on that approach. I will stand up

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Mike Thornton MP’s maiden speech

The newest Liberal Democrat MP spoke for the first time in Parliament yesterday in a debate on the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill, paying tribute to the work of his predecessors David Chidgey and Chris Huhne. As is traditional, he praised his constituency and described its history as a bustling industrial and railway town.

Mike Thornton began by thanking all those who campaigned with him during last month’s by-election, and the voters of Eastleigh for putting their faith in him.

Mike’s full speech, as recorded in Hansard:

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to make my maiden speech during this important

Posted in Parliament | Tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Vince Cable on Labour’s opposition day debate on Mansion tax

This evening, the Liberal Democrats have confirmed they won’t vote for Labour’s mischievous Opposition Day debate on mansion tax, instead tabling a Coalition amendment stating our support for the mansion tax and the Conservatives’ opposition to it. Vince Cable, architect of the mansion tax, has issued a statement explaining why:

This amendment allows Liberal Democrats in Parliament to back our long-held policy of the mansion tax. We created it and will continue to champion it.

The amendment also makes it clear that although we are in coalition with the Conservatives, we have different views on the desirability of a mansion tax.

Posted in News and Parliament | Tagged , , and | 66 Comments

The LDV Friday Five: 8 March 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Eastleigh by-election: my first thoughts (80 comments) by Stephen Tall
  2. Three things the Liberal Democrats must learn from Eastleigh (50 comments) by Caron Lindsay
  3. Nick Clegg’s son to go to state secondary school (204 comments) by Caron Lindsay
Posted in Friday Five | 1 Comment

Mike Thornton MP takes his seat in the Commons

By-election winning Lib Dems Alan Beith, Simon Hughes, Mike Thornton, Sarah Teather, Mark Hunter and David Chidgey
By-election winning Lib Dems. Photo by Helen Duffett, on Flickr.

From the BBC:

The newly elected Liberal Democrat MP Mike Thornton has taken his seat in the House of Commons after winning the Eastleigh by-election.

He took his oath of allegiance to the Crown earlier.

New MPs are not allowed to speak in debates, vote, or get paid,

Posted in News and Parliament | Tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

The LDV Friday Five: 22 February 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. What Google reveals about the current state of play in Eastleigh (7 comments) by Mark Pack
  2. Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (19 Feb) (6 comments) by Stephen Tall
  3. Half a defence of John O’Farrell’s comments on Margaret Thatcher (64 comments) by Stephen Tall
Posted in Friday Five | Leave a comment

Eastleigh Tory candidate “running scared” from hustings

Missing Tory candidateThe Conservative candidate has pulled out of the BBC Radio 5 Live hustings this morning, and is facing accusations of running scared of voters.

From The Guardian:

There is growing concern within the party that with a week to go before polling day her no-nonsense and frequently off-message approach is damaging its chances of seizing the seat from the Liberal Democrats.

Candidates from the other major parties were attending the debate – chaired by Victoria Derbyshire – on Thursday morning for 5 Live, a major set-piece of the week. But Conservative

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged , , , , , and | 8 Comments

The LDV Friday Five: 15 February 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Mike Thornton selected for Lib Dems in Eastleigh (37 comments) by Helen Duffett
  2. +++ Neck and neck: first Eastleigh constituency poll (47 comments) by Mark Pack
  3. Three things we’ve learned from today’s opinion polls (115 comments) by Stephen Tall
Posted in Friday Five | 1 Comment



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