Author Archives: Ian Swales

So what’s the evidence?


Can anyone think of a worse time to deliberately put weaker candidates into our winnable parliamentary seats? I refer to the All Women Shortlists (AWS) proposal being put to the York conference. Now I can hear the howls of protest, “women are NOT weaker candidates”. Indeed, that’s why this measure is totally unnecessary.

We all want to see more women in the parliamentary party and agree that there is a real problem. However AWS are only a solution if women are not being selected by Local Parties.

So what’s the evidence? Ten MPs stood down in 2015 (including nine men). Six women and four men were selected to replace them. The men included Redcar where no women applied. When the man dropped out in Brent Central he too was replaced by a woman. Looking at the next tranche of target, or recently held, seats the list was dominated by excellent female candidates; Oxford East, Chesterfield, Camborne, Guildford, Winchester, Harrogate, Hereford, Watford, Hull East etc.

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Ian Swales MP writes…The crucial role of education in a manufacturing revival

The Lib Dem Spring Conference will debate the motion: Creating a strong manufacturing sector in a stronger economy. Part 3 of the motion calls for: ‘Government to continue its commitment to apprenticeships, and, additionally, to promote science education in schools and science and engineering degrees at universities – these are essential for building the skills sets necessary to support a strong manufacturing sector.’

Science and engineering education is an issue close to my heart as I actually graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from Manchester University.  My science based degree opened up many doors to me, leading to a career …

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Ian Swales MP writes… Making the industrial strategy work on Teesside

The chemical industry is vital to the UK.  It is already the biggest export business in the UK at £43 bn. However imports have risen after various shut downs, and the amount we are importing is, in my view, unnecessarily high.  There are major opportunities for new investment to bring production of key materials back into the UK and bring jobs, growth and expertise with it.

My constituency of Redcar is part of an area which has traditionally been a hub of the UK chemical industry. Chemicals are key

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Ian Swales MP writes: 12 CUTS Labour don’t talk about

The Labour party think they can win the economic argument by just wailing about cuts on behalf of their public sector union paymasters. They give no credible alternatives for what they would do about Britain’s economic crisis.

What they also like to ignore is some of the changes that are being made towards making this country fairer. Here is a list of cuts WE should be talking about because they are mostly happening through Lib Dem action and pressure.

  • The CUT from £250,000 to £50,000 in the maximum annual pension contribution to receive tax relief – clawing back a staggering £4,000,000,000 (£4bn) that Labour was giving to the rich.
  • The

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Ian Swales MP’s maiden speech

This is the last of four maiden speeches presented here this weekend for the interest and comments of our readers.

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for calling me to make my first speech to the House. I congratulate all those who have also made their first speeches today. I am very struck, and a bit awestruck, by the erudition that they have all displayed. As the Member for Redcar, I am proud to be the first Liberal to represent the area since 1923 and also very pleased to hear this afternoon’s debate about potential voting system changes, which might do …

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    @John Peters "Sovereignty has always resided with the people, not Parliament." That's a lovely sounding phrase, but how does it work exactly? In terms of...
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    Pat 23rd Oct '16 - 9:27am............When a region of a country (Wallonia, Belgium) can hold the rest of the EU to ransom and ransack an...
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    Paul, It's not a vague notion of sovereignty. It's about the nation state v the big vision of a super-state. Youth unemployment in Greece is...
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    @Paul Walter Sovereignty has always resided with the people, not Parliament. For day to day purposes we are happy for Parliament to exercise that sovereignty...