Author Archives: The Voice

Stephen Lloyd on the Eastbourne pier fire: “I am as shocked and heartbroken as everyone”

Eastbourne pier on fireStephen Lloyd, Lib Dem MP for Eastbourne, has posted the following message on his Facebook page to update people on what action is being after the fire which ravaged the town’s pier:

Dear all,

Thanks for the support posted here after the tragic fire at the pier yesterday. I am as shocked and heartbroken as everyone. The important thing now is to get this fixed; keep pushing out that Eastbourne is well and truly open for business and to do what we can to help the Pier owners and the folk who had concessions on the Pier. Some of the kiosk owners have lost their livelihood and it’s important we rally around.

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Michael Moore MP to trek Tweed to raise funds for children and rescue charities

At the Voice, we are always keen to support our parliamentarians in their fund raising activities, whether it’s giving up booze for a month like Alistair Carmichael did last year or scale an Ecuadorian volcano like Greg Mulholland did in May.

Michael Moore has announced that he and Borders Council Leader David Parker will be undertaking a 97 mile fundraising walk along the River Tweed at the end of August. From the Borders Telegraph:

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Liberal Democrat scientists tell Juncker to keep Scientific Adviser amid pressure from environmental groups to drop the post

New EI Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has had lots of conflicting advice about what to do about the post of the Commission’s Chief Scientific Officer. Environmental NGO’s seem to want to get rid of the post while research organisations want to keep it. The Guardian reports:

The NGOs called the role, which was introduced in 2012 by current EC president José Manuel Barroso and has been occupied since then by a biologist at the University of Aberdeen, Prof Anne Glover, “fundamentally problematic”. Their letter argued that the non-elected role concentrated too much influence in one person, undermining research by the

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Nick Clegg’s Message for Eid-al-Fitr

We join Nick Clegg in wishing those of you who are celebrating today a very happy Eid-al-Fitr.

Here is his video message, with transcript underneath:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Some reminders about commenting on Liberal Democrat Voice

One of the joys of a site like this is the lively, good-natured and well-informed discussion that can be found under perhaps not quite all of the posts.

A vital part of this is the respect that is shown for our comments policy which can be summarised as: be polite, be on-topic, and be who you say you are. We have this policy because we have to take some responsibility for what appears on the site, and because this is our place to talk, not our place to indulge the most abusive people on the internet. (They have many more sites than we do.) If you disagree with the comments policy, you can comment on a post like this one, but it would off-topic on the rest.

Posted in Op-eds and Site news | Tagged | 48 Comments

LDV’s Sunday Best: our 7 most-read articles this week

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 13,600 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

David Ward: “If I lived in Gaza would I fire a rocket? Probably yes” (75 comments) by Stephen Tall

Tim Farron’s Beveridge Lecture in full (37 comments) by The Voice

Opinion: Beware conflating offence with racism – don’t demand David Ward’s expulsion (39 comments) by Jonathan Brown

Good news: Voters places themselves and the Lib Dems in the centre. Bad news: that doesn’t mean they’re liberals (52 comments) by Stephen …

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What’s being debated in our members’ forum this week?

members forum wordleLibDemVoice has two parallel sites. The first is our public blog, the thing you’re reading now. The second is our private members’ forum, which only current Lib Dem members can access.

If you’re a member and want to chat with fellow party members about any issue that’s on your mind, then why not sign up? In addition, you’ll be included in our regular surveys’ of party members’ views.

Here’s some of the most active discussions this past 7 days:

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RIP Cllr Jo Stephenson, Lib Dem leader in Cumbria

jo stephensonJo Stephenson, Deputy Leader of Cumbria County Council and Lib Dem group leader, has died. The Westmoreland Gazette reports:

A LEADING Lake District politician who fell 30ft out of a window three weeks ago died in hospital last night, Cumbria County Council said today.

Liberal Democrat Coun Jo Stephenson suffered serious injuries including a broken pelvis, punctured lung and chest injuries following the incident in Windermere on July 4.

A statement released by Cumbria County Council this morning confirmed Coun Stephenson, who was the deputy leader of the authority, died in Royal Preston Hospital last night.

Posted in News and Obituaries | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Lord Rennard: Lib Dems continue investigation into peer while party official apologises for lapse

Chris RennardThe Guardian reports today on the latest developments in the Lord Rennard case, specifically:

  • A senior Lib Dem official has personally apologised to Lord Rennard “over the fact the party told the media an appeal against his suspension had been rejected before the peer himself was informed of the ruling.” (See LDV’s brief report, ‘Lord Rennard remains suspended’ (15th July).)
  • The party has abandoned its investigation into Lord Rennard for not apologising to the four women, who maintain he touched them inappropriately, as recommended by Alistair Webster QC’s inquiry,
  • Posted in News | Tagged , and | 29 Comments

    Ayoub Khan selected as Liberal Democrat candidate for West Midlands Police and Crime Commisioner by-election

    Police helmetA by-election is to take place on 21st August for the post of West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner after the sad death of the incumbent, Labour’s Bob Jones, on July 1st.

    The Liberal Democrat candidate will be Ayoub Khan, the 41 year old barrister and former councillor who fought the election in 2012.

    From the Birmingham Mail:

    The 41-year-old from Aston, who administered first aid to a gun-shot victim fifty yards from his house in 2002, was called to the bar in 2005.

    He was a Birmingham City

    Posted in News | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

    LDV’s Sunday Best: our 7 most-read articles this week

    7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 17,000 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

    Posted in Site news | 1 Comment

    Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland becomes first MP to play rugby for GB

    Greg GB 3Greg Mulholland, Lib Dem MP for Leeds North, made a little bit of history last week:

    On Saturday 12th July I had the huge honour of becoming the first MP to pull on the famous Great Britain white shirt with the red and blue ‘V’, and play for his country at rugby league. I was selected as part of the 20 man GB side who defeated Australia in the over 35s international in Warrington.

    How did he get on? Well, you can find out over at the party’s Ad Lib

    Posted in News | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

    Clegg refused to speak to Gove “for months”, told Cameron “life is too short” to continue rowing

    Nick Clegg Q&A 19That’s the claim in today’s Independent:

    Nick Clegg has refused to speak to Michael Gove “for months”, according to a source close to the Deputy Prime Minister, revealing the extent of the breakdown at the heart of the coalition.

    Mr Clegg was involved in a number of vicious stand-offs with Mr Gove over his unpopular, reformist agenda before his shock demotion from Education Secretary to Chief Whip in last week’s reshuffle. The row escalated after the Lib Dems forced through a free school meals policy for five- and

    Posted in News | Tagged , and | 10 Comments

    Jo Swinson launches Lib Dem campaign to deliver equal pay in the workplace

    jo swinson Alex Folkes/Fishnik PhotographyIn an email to party members, Jo Swinson, Lib Dem Minister for Consumer Affairs & Equalities, has launched a new campaign to deliver equal pay in the workplace:

    Shockingly, in 2012 women were paid nearly 20% less than their male colleagues. It is an unacceptable difference and one the Liberal Democrats are determined to tackle.

    Today we’re announcing plans to require large companies to publish the difference in pay between male and female workers. This will create pressure from staff and customers to close any pay gap and

    Posted in News | Tagged and | 40 Comments

    Tim Farron’s Beveridge Lecture in full: “Let’s say a huge yes to active, ambitious, liberal government and build a new consensus”

    Tim Farron MP speaks at the rallyLib Dem party president Tim Farron delivered the Beveridge Lecture at this weekend’s Social Liberal Forum conference. Here’s what he said…

    William Beveridge never led our country or our party. But he changed both in a spectacular way.

    He was a humble man, a good man and so I am going to make an assumption that he’d want to know what social Liberals plan to do next, rather than hear us eulogise about him.

    It’s a massive honour to be asked to give this …

    Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 37 Comments

    Nick Clegg on Sunday Brunch this week

    According to Channel 4′s Sunday Brunch, Nick Clegg will be appearing on their programme on Sunday at 10 am.

    The programme tweeted about it today:

    Our slight worry is that they generally ask the guests to cook on this programme and we know that, shall we say, cooking isn’t Nick’s strong point. Not only that, but one of the other guests, Millie Mackintosh, was on Celebrity Masterchef recently and, in the opinion of some, …

    Posted in News | Tagged and | 3 Comments

    Duncan and Andrew Hames make history

    Last week Harriet Harman said a rumour had been put round that she’d - shock horror- taken a baby through the voting lobby:

    When I came back after having my first baby I was reported to the serjeant-at-arms for breaking the rules by taking my baby through the division lobby under my jacket.

    What a difference 30 years makes.

    Tonight, Jo Swinson tweeted:

    At least, we’re assuming that it …

    Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

    Lord Rennard remains suspended

    According to the BBC, Chris Rennard’s challenge against his suspension from the party has been rejected.

    The former chief executive of the Lib Dems had been suspended amid claims that he had brought the party into disrepute by failing to apologise over sexual harassment allegations.

    Lord Rennard challenged his suspension from the Lib Dems, saying it was against party rules.

    A Lib Dem source said: “His appeal against his suspension has been rejected. He remains suspended while the investigation continues.”


    Please note that all comments will be moderated on this post.



    Posted in News | Tagged | 8 Comments

    In the next month 28 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

    Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications.

    The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

    Posted in Selection news | Tagged | Leave a comment

    Julian Huppert: This is not Snoopers’ Charter. It’s what we had already plus additional safeguards

    Data CenterWe’ve been asked to reproduce Julian Huppert’s email with the details of the new legislation in a separate post so that people don’t have to go through the mammoth post to find it, so here it is. Now, because people are clearly wanting the debate to stay in one place, we’ve closed off comments. If you have a point to make, please do it on this post here.  We’re not doing it to be evil and awkward but because people have criticised us for having too many threads going

    photo by:
    Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | Comments Off

    Alistair Carmichael to co-host Scottish Fashion Awards

    AlistairCarmichaelSomeone must have heard of Alistair Carmichael’s excellent skills at Ed Fordham and Russell Eagling’s wedding last Saturday. He’s only gone and got himself another hosting gig, at the Scottish Fashion Awards in September, just 17 days before the Referendum on independence.

    Fibre 2 Fashion has the story:

    The Scottish Fashion Awards have announced an impressive list of nominees and honourees for the 9th annual fashion extravaganza, which will take place in 8 Northumberland, London on 1st September 2014. The event will be co-hosted by The Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael

    Posted in News | Tagged , and | 8 Comments

    Check out Centre Forum’s Atlas of Variation on Mental Health

    Phrenology head - mental health - Some rights reserved by evansvilleYesterday, Paul Burstow told us about the report published by the Mental Health Commission he chaired.

    A few days earlier, Centre Forum produced a detailed and significant accompanying piece of work, an Atlas of Variation showing differences in prevalence, treatment and recovery from mental health conditions across England. The research, which you can read in full here,  shows huge variations in services in different parts of the country. Have a look and see where it’s a good place to have a mental illness and where you have to suffer unnecessarily as a result of poor provision.

    Its conclusion shows that despite the Government’s strategy to improve mental health treatment and services, this isn t yet being felt on the ground in many places:

    Posted in News | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

    Kirsty Williams condemns sacked Welsh Labour environment minister’s “smear campaign”

    Kirsty WilliamsKirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Lib Dems, has condemned Labour’s environment minister Alun Davies – sacked today by First Minister Carwyn Jones – for mounting a smear campaign. Mr Davies had asked for details of farm subsidies paid to five opposition AMs: Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies and Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams, Conservative AM Antoinette Sandbach, Liberal Democrat William Powell and Plaid Cymru’s Llyr Gruffydd.

    Here’s Kirsty Williams’ response:

    The actions of Alun Davies as a Minister are atrocious and completely unacceptable for anyone serving in public

    Posted in News and Wales | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

    What’s on in our Parliaments this week?

    Senedd - Photo by Laurence EdmondsonA quick look at what’s going on in our Parliaments this week.


    The Scottish Parliament is in recess. MSPs return in early August for 3 weeks before breaking again before the Referendum.

    The Senedd

    Some interesting events this week, not least a motion to create an independent investigator into breaches of the Ministerial Code. This is something that Liberal Democrats have been calling for for years but the rest of the opposition parties have finally caught up in the wake of the scandal over Alun Davies. He breached the …

    photo by:
    Posted in Parliament | Leave a comment

    Mike Bell resigns as candidate for Weston Super-Mare for family and work reasons and Welsh Liberal Democrat councillor joins Labour

    Libby - Some rghts reserved by David SpenderThe Liberal Democrat PPC for Weston-Super-Mare, Mike Bell, has resigned from that role, although he will continue as a councillor. The Bristol Post reports:

    Dad of two Mr Bell, who lives in the town, posted on social networking sites his decision to stand down as parliamentary candidate for the seaside resort with immediate effect.

    Mr Bell thanked his supporters said: “I have resigned as Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Weston super Mare due to work and family commitments.”

    Mike was the party’s candidate at the last

    Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 33 Comments

    LDV’s Sunday Best: our 7 most-read articles this week

    7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 12,700 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

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    Congratulations Ed and Russell! AKA The Lib Dem Wedding of the Year

    ConffetiCongratulations from all at Lib Dem Voice to Ed Fordham and Russell Eagling, who were married yesterday, Saturday 5th July. Their happy day made the local paper:

    Campaigner Ed Fordham, a beaten candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn at the 2010 General Election, married his partner of 17 years, the former Fortune Green councillor Russell Eagling. The ceremony took place at the Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel in Hampstead.

    The pair got engaged in Parliament Square after Ed Fordham went down on one knee in front of a crowd of more than 1,000

    photo by:
    Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 8 Comments

    What’s being debated in our members’ forum this week?

    members forum wordleLibDemVoice has two parallel sites. The first is our public blog, the thing you’re reading now. The second is our private members’ forum, which only current Lib Dem members can access.

    If you’re a member and want to chat with fellow party members about any issue that’s on your mind, then why not sign up? In addition, you’ll be included in our regular surveys’ of party members’ views.

    Here’s some of the most active discussions this past 7 days:

    Posted in Site news | Leave a comment

    Stephen Williams on Quentin Letts: “I’m gay, Welsh, bald, slightly disabled – he’s been a s**t, a b*****d”

    Stephen Williams MPIt’s safe to say Quentin Letts is not on Bristol West MP Stephen Williams’ Christmas card list. Speaking to Total Politics, he talks candidly about his experiences on the campaign trail and the hurt of being ridiculed by the Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts about the effects of his neurological disability.

    Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 15 Comments

    Paddy: Clegg “has had 17 buckets of s**t dumped over his head by the right-wing press”

    Paddy Ashdown talks on "The global power shift" in Brussels March 1st 2012 -  Some rights reserved by PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE That’s the rather striking quote from Paddy Ashdown in an interview with Iain Dale on LBC radio. Here’s how the Herald reported it:

    Speaking to LBC radio’s Iain Dale, Lord Ashdown insisted the party’s dismal poll ratings would recover as the “true Nick Clegg” was revealed to voters.

    “The right-wing press in this country detest the coalition – detest it,” he said.

    “If they want to destroy the coalition, what they do is

    Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 22 Comments

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