Author Archives: The Voice

Statement from Lord Rennard

A spokesman for Lord Rennard issued the following statement last night:

All allegations made about Lord Rennard have now been investigated thoroughly.  This included a seven month investigation by specially trained officers of the Metropolitan Police.  The police decided that there could be no charges and did not even a send a file to the Crown Prosecution Service.

In addition, there was a lengthy investigation by independent QC Alistair Webster.  He also concluded that there was insufficient evidence even to proceed to a disciplinary hearing.

The Liberal Democrat Party has now dealt with all the allegations and the matter is closed.

We must advise anyone against publishing or broadcasting defamatory remarks. Accusations that were rejected by both the Metropolitan Police and an independent QC would be treated as such.

Posted in News | Tagged | 49 Comments

Stephen Williams calls for zero tolerance of homophobia on football terraces

Stephen Williams MPLiberal Democrat Communities Minister has called for the FA, football clubs and the Police to work together to combat homophobia on football terraces.

From Pink News:

He said: “We need to stamp out homophobia on the terraces with the same vigour that we banished racism. It isn’t acceptable that footballers still feel the need to hide their sexuality out of fear of abuse.

“I want homophobia to be treated with zero tolerance just the same as racism and I want clubs, stewards, the police and FA to work even harder to

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 5 Comments

Danny Alexander and David Torrance discuss the Independence Referendum

imageIt is an hour and six minutes of your life you won’t get back, but it is actually worth listening to this conversation between Danny Alexander and political commentator David Torrance as part of Dundee University’s Five Million Questions project.

David has just written a book on Federalism so it was obvious he was going to be quizzing Danny on that subject.

It’s also available on You Tube here. Enjoy. It’s much better than a lot of the hot air around the independence referendum.

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Danny Alexander says Liberal Democrats will continue free museum access

Danny Alexander at 10 Downing StreetAccess to museums and galleries such as the British Museum, the Tate Modern, the Science Museum and the V & A will remain free under new Liberal Democrat proposals according to The Guardian which quotes Danny Alexander as saying:

Our museums and galleries are some of the best in the world. They are a source of inspiration and education for millions across the country. As Liberal Democrats in government we’ve played our full part in making sure they have the funding and operating freedoms to widen access to all parts of society. The fact that attendance is at record levels and that last year was the first time that a majority of people had visited a museum or gallery shows that free access is a policy that works.

“We’re now committing to maintaining that free access in the next parliament so that people from all backgrounds and income groups can make use of these great institutions without concerns about the cost. I see this as another way of helping make sure that as many people as possible have the best chance of getting on in life.

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 12 Comments

Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #386

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 386th weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the seven most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (10th-16th August, 2014), together with a hand-picked quintet, you might otherwise have missed.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

Posted in Best of the blogs | 1 Comment

Ex-MEP Sharon Bowles appointed non-executive director of London Stock Exchange

Sharon BowlesThe London Evening Standard reports the appointment of former Lib Dem MEP, Sharon Bowles, who stood down at the May 2014 European elections, to the board of LSE:

The London Stock Exchange has appointed one of the most senior former Liberal Democrats in Europe to its board as non-executive director. Ex-MEP Sharon Bowles was one of the short-listed candidates to become Governor of the Bank of England before Mark Carney was appointed. Bowles, 61, is widely seen as one of the most influential people involved in shaping EU policy on financial services regulation, including the key second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II).

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Hughes: Lib Dems will extend Freedom of Information to open up public services run by private companies

simon hughesIt’s been a week of Lib Dem policy announcements, foreshadowing the party’s pre-manifesto to be voted on by members at this October’s conference in Glasgow:

Monday: Norman Baker: “The Lib Dems want to restore the public’s trust in the police”
Tuesday: Fairer funding for Wales: “Lib Dems will actually do something about it,” vows Kirsty Williams
Wednesday: Steve Webb: Lib Dems will introduce “fair warning” for job-seekers who break benefit rules before sanctions imposed
Thursday: Lib Dems pledge more tax cuts: after personal allowance raised to £12.5k will also increase National Insurance threshold

And on Friday, ready for the weekend papers, Simon Hughes – the Lib Dem justice minister – highlighted plans to bring housing associations, water companies and the Big Six energy companies within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, opening them up for public accountability.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 12,732 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Posted in Site news | 1 Comment

Gaza: Senior Lib Dems speak out against Hamas, urge continuing ceasefire; and Lib Dem Friends of Israel issue statement

Gaza Burns - photo by Al Jazeera EnglishThis weekend’s Guardian published a letter from five senior Lib Dems – including Sir Alan Beith MP, Lord Dholakia and Baroness Sarah Ludford – condemning Hamas and urging both sides in the conflict to continue their ceasefire in Gaza:

As Liberal Democrats, we are totally committed to the state of Israel being able to live within secure borders, and wish to see the removal of the existential threat to Israel’s security by an internationally recognised terrorist group, and the creation of a viable

photo by:
Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , and | 88 Comments

Pauline Pearce: “Why I am not running for Lib Dem president”

Until yesterday, there were four candidates for the post of Party President, which will become vacant later this year when incumbent Tim Farron’s term of office expires: Sal Brinton, Linda Jack, Liz Lynne and Pauline Pearce. However, Pauline has now withdrawn from the race – as she explains in this five-minute video:

Posted in Party Presidency | Tagged | 48 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:

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Last call: How to enter the LibDemVoice Fantasy Football League

LDV FANTASY FOOTBALLThe English Premier League kicks off tomorrow and LibDemVoice has revived its Fantasy Football League to mark the occasion. So if you fancy pitting your soccer selection skills against 100+ fellow party supporters, here’s your chance.

To enter all you have to do is click on this link.

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Liblink: Paddy Ashdown on IS and Iraq

rally paddy ashdown 3

Three years ago, when the world obsessed about President Assad, some of us warned that Syria was only one frontline in a wider sectarian war between Sunni and Shia; that the spread of militant jihadism among the Sunni community, funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, was a preparation for this. And that before long this movement, like the 30 years’ religious war of 17th-century Europe, would threaten to engulf the entire Muslim world

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 22 Comments

LibLink: Mike Crockart – Police don’t need arms for show of force

Police helmetOver at the Edinburgh Evening News, Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West and former police officer himself, Mike Crockart, has a piece on an issue on which Liberal Democrats in Scotland have been leading the debate in recent weeks.

Here’s an excerpt:

Look up Edinburgh Division on the Police Scotland website and it proudly boasts that the city was ranked recently by YouGov as “one of the top five safest cities in the UK”. In 2013-14, officers in Edinburgh only had cause to present or discharge weapons, including Tasers and baton rounds, 13 times. There are nine such incidents for this year – roughly one per month.

Undoubtedly our police officers face very real dangers, but serious incidents make up a minority of police call outs. Are we really prepared to arm our officers routinely to deal with a tiny proportion of cases? As an officer I didn’t believe that we should and as a MP I certainly don’t.

The far-stronger case is to issue non-lethal options like CS or pepper spray to frontline officers. By doing that we answer the threat they face on our behalf without destroying Peel’s fundamental principle.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 8 Comments

Steve Webb: Lib Dems will introduce “fair warning” for job-seekers who break benefit rules before sanctions imposed

webb 01The Lib Dems are taking advantage of the quiet weeks in August to drip-feed a number of new policies likely to make it into the party’s general election manifesto. Alongside reforms to police stop-and-search and fairer funding for Wales, Lib Dem work and pensions minister Steve Webb has outline plans to introduce a ‘fair warning’ before benefits sanctions are imposed against job-seekers who break the rules. The Guardian reports:

The Liberal Democrats will pledge in their general election manifesto to introduce a new “yellow card” system to give

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 12 Comments

LDVideo: Interview with Ben Fearn, “youngest ever Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate”

Ben Fearn, the 21 year-old Manchester University graduate selected earlier this year as Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Derbyshire Dales – seat of the Tory transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin – has been interviewed by Digital Journal (hat-tip Charlotte Henry). You can watch a 3-minute video below, which includes the announcement of his selection, and read a fuller interview with him here. Incidentally he’s billed as the “youngest ever Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate”, but are there rivals to that title? Let us know below-the-line…

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 10 Comments

A reminder: It’s Party awards time!

key_awards1A quick reminder of this message from Tim Farron, originally posted last month

It’s that time of year again when members decide who should be in line for an award at Conference.

It could be someone who has worked tirelessly in their local area to elect Liberal Democrats or implement our policies or someone who has given years to our cause by working hard as councillors or candidates.

Maybe a political assistant to a councillor or someone who has supported a local MP in the hard work that they do.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged and | 1 Comment

Fairer funding for Wales: “Lib Dems will actually do something about it,” vows Kirsty Williams

rally kirsty williams 1Yesterday we reported plans from Lib Dem home office minister Norman Baker to restore the public’s trust in the police. Another policy within the party’s ‘pre-manifesto’ is reported by BBC News Online – to reform the funding arrangement that has long been criticised for short-changing Wales:

Wales could benefit from hundreds of millions of pounds under Lib Dem plans to change the way funds are allocated to devolved nations, it has been claimed. The current system, known as the Barnett formula, is based on population levels and has long been criticised for short-changing Wales. Suggestions to re-draw the formula have been fiercely resisted in Scotland.

Posted in News and Wales | Tagged | 8 Comments

Norman Baker: “The Lib Dems want to restore the public’s trust in the police”

Norman BakerToday’s London Evening Standard front page splashes on the news that the Lib Dems intend to tighten the laws on stop and search, and require some police officers to wear body cameras when they stop someone:

Armed police, riot squads and officers carrying out some stop-and-search in London would have to wear body cameras under Liberal Democrat proposals unveiled today.

The law and order reform, which will be in the party’s 2015 general election manifesto, will also require police to get a judge’s approval to carry out controversial Section 60 stop-and-searches. The existing law lets a senior officer authorise the stopping and searching of individuals in a certain area without suspicion of wrongdoing if he or she believes violence is about to erupt or that people are carrying weapons without good reason.

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 10 Comments

Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #385

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 385th weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the seven most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (3rd-9th August, 2014), together with a hand-picked quintet, you might otherwise have missed.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

Posted in Best of the blogs | Leave a comment

How to enter the LibDemVoice Fantasy Football League

LDV FANTASY FOOTBALLThe English Premier League kicks off this Saturday and LibDemVoice has revived its Fantasy Football League to mark the occasion. So if you fancy pitting your soccer selection skills against fellow party members, here’s your chance.

To enter all you have to do is click on this link.

Posted in News | Tagged | 4 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 14,050 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Posted in Site news | Leave a comment

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

“Lynne Featherstone ‘horrified’ over homophobic abuse at Lib Dem councillor”

Lynne featherstone by paul walterMany Lib Dems will have read with sadness of the resignation of Sam Phripp from Somerset County Council owing to “hostility, intimidation and bullying” – including “being referred to as ‘that dirty bloody homosexual’” – from activists from other parties. Here’s what the Lib Dems’ international development minister Lynne Featherstone has had to say about it:

“I was horrified to hear of the treatment of the local Lib Dem Councillor in Somerset,” Ms Featherstone, the Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green told PinkNews.co.uk. We’ve come such a long way in this country to achieve equal LGBT rights and I couldn’t be prouder that this government introduced equal marriage.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 21 Comments

Clegg: “I want to see Britain become the world leader in the next breakthrough in mental health research”

lib dem mental illness posterThe Lib Dems have unveiled plans to increase funding spent on mental health research by £50m, by 2020, as the party seeks to ensure it’s are treated as seriously as physical illnesses are. Here’s Nick Clegg:

“Mental health issues have been treated as a sort of Cinderella service compared to physical health issues. I want people who are dealing with depression to be as effectively treated as if they had diabetes. That is why I want to see Britain become the world leader in the next breakthrough

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Catch up with ‘Call Clegg’: on Boris, immigration, Gaza, Europe and the Tories’ electoral srategy

If you missed the latest ‘Call Clegg’ you can catch up with it below. Here are some of the edited highlights…

On Boris:

Do you know I think the thing about Boris Johnson is you know despite all the kind of clumsiness and bumblingness he’s actually a really, really ambitious politician. And you know you don’t need to sort begrudging him that. He treats his political ambition a bit like he treats his hair. He wants everyone to think that he doesn’t really care but he actually really, really does care. And so look he’ll now have to, I think now he’ll come a bit, you know have to come clean a bit more about the fact that he is in many ways a much more conventional politician than he likes to appear. … At some point he’s actually going to have to say, I’m going to be responsible for stuff, I have to take difficult decisions. Boy have I got the t-shirt on this, I know this. You sometimes just have to take a choice between a lot of invidious difficult decisions all of which you know are not going to be wildly popular and you’re going to have to stick with them. And he’s going to have to do that at some point if he really does want to see through his political ambitions and then we will see.

On immigration:

Posted in YouTube | Tagged | 2 Comments

Maajid Nawaz speaks out against Baroness Warsi’s “selective principle” against Israel

maajid-navazWhile Paddy Ashdown has praised Conservative peer Baroness Warsi for quitting the foreign office, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Maajid Nawaz is less keen. Here’s his letter in today’s London Evening Standard:

Over the past couple of weeks, Pakistan — my country of origin — has been shelling positions in North Waziristan to kill Pakistani Taliban terrorists, leading to more than 870,000 displaced refugees and an unreported number of civilian deaths.

Baroness Warsi claims she resigned out of principled opposition to Government policy towards Israel’s actions. Few have called her out for presiding over an increase in this year’s aid to Pakistan by nearly £200 million.

Posted in News | 45 Comments

Gaza: Clegg demands UK suspends arms export licences to Israel, Ashdown writes to Warsi to discuss next steps

With the truce in Gaza in its second day, and indirect talks between Israeli and Palestinian representatives taking place today, Nick Clegg has stepped up the pressure for the UK government to work more actively to secure peace in the area. The BBC reports:

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the suspension of arms export licences to Israel, adding to the pressure David Cameron is facing over Gaza. … Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the Israeli military operation in Gaza had “overstepped the mark” and called for the suspension of arms export licences to Israel. He said he

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , , and | 12 Comments

Jo Swinson on shared parental leave: “It means mums might go back to work earlier and dads might get to spend more time with their children”

swinson and hamesThere was an in-depth interview with Jo Swinson, Lib Dem business minister, in Tuesday’s London Evening Standard – her first interview since returning from maternity leave, having given birth. You can read the full feature here, but snippets below…

Jo Swinson on her (and Duncan Hames’) baby being the first carried through the voting lobby of the Commons:

“Given that we’re still voting until 10pm on a Monday, that makes our lives slightly easier. It saves you having to leave the baby with a stranger.” Is Swinson pleased it was a male MP who was the first to do this? “Yes. Having a baby has an impact on dads too — and people don’t always recognise that.”

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

In full: Nick Clegg’s immigration speech – “Successful immigration systems have to be managed”

Nick Clegg York Q&A Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsHere’s the full text of Nick Clegg’s speech today on the Lib Dem approach to immigration…

It should come as no surprise that I’m a believer in the benefits of well-managed immigration.

I lead, in my view, Britain’s only real internationalist party. For the Liberal Democrats this nation is always at its best when we are open and outward-facing. We draw immense pride from living in a country which, throughout its history, has always said: if you come here, if you contribute, if you play your part, Britain will give you a chance.

So I am never going to advocate pulling up the drawbridge because I think it’s what people want to hear. The Liberal Democrats are never going to mimic the likes of UKIP and others – the scaremongering, the immigrant-bashing, the seductive promise that all our problems will disappear if only we shut up shop and stick a ‘closed’ sign on the door.

We don’t meet every visitor with automatic suspicion. We believe everyone, no matter where they come from, should be treated with respect.

It wasn’t the Liberal Democrats who arranged for vans emblazoned with the words ‘Go Home’ to prowl around the streets of London. Had Jeremy Browne – the Liberal Democrat in the Home Office at the time – been consulted we would have put a stop to it then and there.

Posted in News | 29 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarsimon F 23rd Aug - 10:16am
    Wow, those Labour lot must be busy running Channel 4, The Guardian, and every other news outlet that is apparently in some vast conspiracy to...
  • User AvatarJohn Broggio 23rd Aug - 10:16am
    From a left (but not Labour sympathising) position, it's incredible to read the old tropes about how NuLab presided over a global crash. Did the...
  • User AvatarDouglas McLellan 23rd Aug - 10:13am
    I think that for a number of people, like myself, the risk of independence (and it is a risk) is far outweighed by the hope...
  • User AvatarStuart 23rd Aug - 9:42am
    @Richard Dean The Dummies article is fascinating. But however uneducated these men may be on matters of religion, one thing that cannot be questioned is...
  • User AvatarStuart 23rd Aug - 9:29am
    @David-1 "(1) Crimea was not and is not a country or a nation, but part of the territory of another independent nation, Ukraine" Crimea was...
  • User AvatarMBoy 23rd Aug - 9:27am
    I am astonished that this could be proposed to be aired during a General Election campaign. Basing a drama on a piece of Labour propaganda...