Tag Archives: andrew sparrow

The Guardian’s “10 things we’ve learned from the Lib Dem conference”

The Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow has once again collected together his thoughts on the ten main things we have learned from the last few days in Glasgow.

Here are the first three:

1 – The Lib Dems have no desire to give up power. Given that the experience of being in coalition has been so electorally catastrophic, you might expect the party to have some regrets. But they don’t, and there’s no appetite for a spell in opposition. As well as a desire for another try at government, the Lib Dems are also assuming there’s a good chance it will happen. If it doesn’t, the party is in for a psychological shock.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 34 Comments

“Steve Webb has now become one of the most important people in government”

steve webbAccording to The Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow, at any rate, who noted the Lib Dem pensions minister’s fingerprints all over this week’s budget:

The Lib Dem pensions minister, Steve Webb, has now become one of the most important people in government. A rare example of a minister who is an expert in his area, he has been pushing the pension pot liberalisation plan (which is firmly rooted in longstanding Lib Dem party policy) and the legislation on this – which he will almost certainly have to take through the Commons –

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Clegg on the Daily Mail: “Overflowing with bile about modern Britain”

call cleggI noted earlier this week that the Daily Mail’s attacks on Ed Miliband’s father have echoes of the smears the paper has peddled about Nick Clegg and his family over the years.

And on his ‘Call Clegg’ radio phone-in today the Lib Dem leader didn’t shy away from mounting a full-frontal assault on the Mail pointing out that what it represents is utterly opposed to the British values of decency, tolerance and fair play. Here’s how the Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow reports it:

Wow. That was striking. Nick Clegg has got

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++ Lib Dem conference overwhelmingly votes to oppose ‘secret courts’. Again.

You may be forgiven a sense of déjà vu: the Liberal Democrats have voted overwhelmingly to oppose secret courts legislation. Just as we did last September.

Here’s the text of the motion which was just passed:

Conference believes:

1. That the measures in Part II of the Justice and Security Bill will mean the courts system of the United Kingdom will provide neither justice nor security in cases involving

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the week’s campaign news

Mike_ThorntonIt’s only just over a week since the Eastleigh by-election was called. But this first Lib Dem / Tory by-election battle of the parliament has attracted a lot of interest. One aspect that hasn’t been noted much in the media is the level of enthusiasm within the Lib Dems to fight this by-election, and fight it to win.

As the party’s weekly briefing itself noted, Mike Thornton’s campaign has broken the party’s by-election records, with “more volunteers, more money raised and more campaign literature delivered in the opening days of the Eastleigh by-election campaign than any other”.

Here a few of the stats:

  • Well over 1,000 Lib Dem volunteers have visited the by-election HQ since it was officially opened on Saturday morning.
  • On Thursday alone, 2,200 phone calls were made to prospective voters and activists knocked on 1,700 doors.
  • More than 650 individual donations have been received through the party’s website and through email appeals in the last six days.
  • 21 of the party’s 57 MPs have already visited: Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander, Ed Davey, Vince Cable, Sir Malcolm Bruce, Sir Nick Harvey, Tim Farron, Jo Swinson, David Laws, Duncan Hames, Andrew Stunell, Simon Wright, Sir Robert Smith, Stephen Gilbert, Tom Brake, Roger Williams, Don Foster, John Leech, Tessa Munt, Mark Williams, John Pugh and Adrian Sanders.

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 11 Comments

Equal marriage: who voted which way

For those wanting to know the voting breakdown of last night’s historic decision in the Commons to approve equal marriage, here it is courtesy of Andrew Sparrow’s essential Guardian live-blog…

Conservatives

FOR – 127 MPs (42%)
AGAINST – 136 MPs (45%)
ABSTENTIONS – 5 MPs (2%)
ABSENT – 35 MPs (12%)

Labour

FOR – 217 MPs (84%)
AGAINST – 22 MPs (9%)
ABSTENTION – 16 MPs (6%)

Lib Dems

FOR – 45 MPs (80%)
Danny Alexander (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey), Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington), Annette Brooke (Dorset Mid & Poole North), Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane), Malcolm Bruce (Gordon), Paul Burstow (Sutton & Cheam), Lorely Burt (Solihull), Vincent …

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 49 Comments

Lib Dems to move writ for Oldham East and Saddleworth by election tomorrow

From Andrew Sparrow’s PoliticsLive blog:

The Lib Dems are going to move the writ for the Oldham East and Saddleworth byelection tomorrow, a party spokesman has just told me. They want the contest to be held on Thursday 13 January. Normally the party that used to hold the seat moves the writ, but this is a convention, not a rule, and the Lib Dems say the constituency has waited long enough for an MP. If Labour opposes the move, there will be a debate and a vote.

I’m sure there is a precedent for holding a byelection campaign over Christmas, but

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged and | 41 Comments
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