Tag Archives: jenny willott

Jenny Willott on action to get more girls into science and technology based careers

Teen scientist Alexa Dantzler in the labToday is the first National Women in Engineering Day. This BBC story tells of both the success of apprenticeships (the expansion of which was personally championed by Nick Clegg, and how women are establishing successful engineering careers. Earlier this month, Equalities Minister Jenny Willott launched a project, Opening Doors, aimed at getting more girls into science based careers. The aim is to get women with successful careers into schools to inspire girls to take science subjects and follow them through into university and, …

photo by: IntelFreePress
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Jenny Willott to become the first female Liberal Democrat minister to attend Cabinet

jenny willottThere are many people in the party who would like to see the Liberal Democrats with at least one female Cabinet Minister on a permanent basis. There are plenty strong candidates, not least Jenny Willott and Jo Swinson.

We will have to wait a little longer for that, but this week, Jenny Willott will be there to make a presentation on Coalition efforts to close the gender pay gap. She will also attend future meetings when issues affecting women are discussed.  The Independent has the story:

In her new role secured

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Jenny Willott writes… How Lib Dems are giving families choice through shared parental leave and flexible working

Parents and child - Some rights reserved by Ed YourtonAs a mother with two small children myself, I know how hard it can be to balance work and family life. And as a Lib Dem, I firmly believe in equal opportunities for all and tackling discrimination, whatever form it takes.

So I am really excited that with Lib Dems in Government, we are shaking up the status quo to make it easier for parents with young children to arrange their work/life balance however best suits them.

We need to challenge the old-fashioned …

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Jenny Willott on free childcare from 12 months

jenny willottJenny Willott is the Minister for Women, covering for Jo Swinson while she is on maternity leave. In an interview with the Independent on Sunday she said that extending childcare to babies would be expensive but “it may well be that it’s the right thing to do”.

The article points out that there is a “maternity gap” between the end of maternity leave and the point when free childcare kicks in for three year olds. In response Jenny said:

It may well be that that’s something the Government needs to look at. The issue is that it is extremely expensive. It may well be that it’s the right thing to do. But it’s as with every big public spending commitment, it’s a toss-up between if you’ve got the money is that the best thing to put it into or is something else the best thing to put it into.

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Jenny Willott: Gender stereotyping of toys harms the economy

I’ve been an auntie for 21 years and a mother for almost 15. In that time, it’s safe to say that a large part of my disposable income has gone on toys. I find nothing more frustrating than going to a toy shop and finding that the wares are segregated into boys’ and girls’ stuff. Often the girls’ stuff is all pink and glittery and sparkly and involves dollies or little dogs or animals to put in houses. Anything remotely interesting that you can build or make rather than look after is over in the boys’ section.

Now, I don’t have …

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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 …

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Should MPs be allowed to take their babies into the voting lobby?

There’s been a bit of controversy over the issue of breastfeeding in the House of Commons and taking babies into the voting lobby sparked by comments by Jo Swinson, who gave birth to her son Andrew on 22 December. The argument goes that you can take a sword into the Commons voting lobby, but not a baby. On face value, it sounds like yet another way in which Westminster needs to be dragged into the 21st century.

Jo said to the Guardian:

“I think it’s been lovely the way people have been really supportive in parliament of my pregnancy,” she said. ” I think some of the structures of the institutions of the House of Commons probably don’t make it as easy as it could be, in particular that you don’t get maternity cover. As a minister, I get cover for my work … but nobody else will be being the MP for East Dunbartonshire.”

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++ Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes replaces Lord McNally as Justice Minister

Simon HughesNews just in:

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes has replaced Lord (Tom) McNally as the Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Justice.

Lord McNally has been appointed as the new Chair of the Youth Justice Board, a post which he will take up in mid-March 2014. Simon Hughes will take over as Justice Minister with immediate effect.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“Tom McNally has been a fantastic minister who has pushed through a Liberal agenda in the Ministry of Justice. He will now bring the same

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Jo Swinson talks to Cosmopolitan about the gender pay gap and equality in the workplace

We’ve heard a lot from Nick Clegg and Jo Swinson over the past week on one great inequality in the workplace – the rules around leave after a baby is born. Thanks to the Liberal Democrats in government, parents will soon be able to share all but the first two weeks of a year of parental leave. For me, that policy sums up what we are about. It’s liberal, it’s about allowing people to make choices that are right for them and it does sing to both stronger economy and fairer society mantras.

However, that’s not the only issue of equality …

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AD LIB preview – August 2013: bringing communities together, campaigning success and bringing up children in Parliament

AD LiB August 2013It’s been a few months since I’ve reviewed an AD LIB. Partly that’s because I’ve never got round to doing it, although there was one month, June, I think it was, when I almost spontaneously combusted while reading it on a train. If the dominance of articles about men wasn’t bad enough, the photographs were even worse. I counted something like 26 photographs of men to 10 containing any women at all.

And then there was the recipe. A whole crayfish and a whole lobster? Do they think we’re …

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Jenny Willott MP “thrilled” at equal marriage vote

Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, has confirmed in a statement on her website  that she would have voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill had she been able to be in Parliament yesterday. She is currently on maternity leave.

She said:

I am currently on maternity leave so was unable to vote yesterday, but I feel that it is important for my constituents to know how I would have voted, given the significance of this legislation. Equal marriage is central to the Liberal Democrat belief in a fair, free and open society, and I would

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Liberal Democrat MPs fight for blind people hit by welfare changes

The Independent reports that Liberal Democrat MPs are trying to change the new assessment process for the Personal Independence Payments  which will replace Disability Living Allowance. They believe that they may lead to blind people being denied the help that they need. This is a measure introduced by the Welfare Reform Act. The MPs are concerned that the new assessment process focuses on mobility  and does not sufficiently take into account the ways in which being blind or partially sighted can affect everyday life.

People who have sight loss need the extra help to, for example, help with cleaning, ironing …

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LDVideo: Jenny Willott joins Platform 51′s Glad Rags campaign

Jenny Willott MP talks about her wedding jewellery as part of Platform 51′s campaign to raise awareness of the widespread use of depressants by women.

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The fallout from Chris Huhne’s resignation

I’ve been busy with the media yesterday and today giving my take on Chris Huhne’s resignation, so here are the two main highlights if you missed them:

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New Lib Dem appointments to government

According to the No. 10 website, Ed Davey MP will replace Chris Huhne as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with Norman Lamb to replace Davey in his role at the Department for Business.

Completing the changes, Jenny Willott becomes an Assisstant Government Whip, and Jo Swinson replaces Norman Lamb as Nick Clegg’s PPS.

Congratulations to those Lib Dem MPs taking up new positions in government.

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Opinion: Our Parliamentarians must fight for our benefits policies

It was rather disappointing last week reading Jenny Willot MP’s article on LDV last week about the Harrington report and about the motion on the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) which was unanimously passed at autumn conference.

The article seems to imply that, by accepting the Harrington recommendations, the government is complying with the ESA motion and that a big round of applause is in order. We spotted a problem, passed a motion about it and then our ministers and MPs fixed it. Job done right?

Well, no. Despite that being what the article seems to imply, the situation is far from resolved.

By fully …

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Stephen Williams MP writes: Backbench committees and the louder Lib Dem voice

There has been much talk in recent weeks about how Liberal Democrats show our distinctiveness and make the party’s voice heard more loudly in government.

A key part of this is the role of the Lib Dem parliamentary committees, one of which I co-chair.

These committees are not simply talking shops. They perform two important functions: making our influence felt within government and preparing the ground for party policy in the future.

Increasingly, the fruits of these committees are being seen.

The Coalition Agreement is the contract that underwrites this government. It sets out the policy agenda agreed between ourselves and our Coalition …

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The Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Private Secretaries

The appointments of various LibDem MPs to be PPS to ministers have been rather low-profile, so in case you have missed any here is the complete list:

Gordon Birtwistle – PPS to Danny Alexander
Mike Crockart – PPS to Michael Moore
Duncan Hames – PPS to Sarah Teather
Jo Swinson – PPS to Vince Cable
Jenny Willott – PPS to Chris Huhne

and in addition Norman Lamb as Chief Parliamentary and Political Adviser to Nick Clegg is also his PPS.

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What the papers say…

Ministers are trying to get their hands on hospital charity-cash … Labour kick up over calls for an immediate by-election … a quarter of all MPs now  plan to quit … and there are 20,0000 council officers with the powers to search your home.

Tories trying to buy power, says Straw – The Independent, 30.12.09

David Cameron is today accused by a senior Cabinet minister of attempting to “buy” victory at the general election with a US-style campaign dominated by advertising. Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, predicts the Tory campaign will the most lavish in political history and …

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Daily View 2×2: 5 November 2009

Good morning and welcome to the Voice’s early morning roundup of news and views. It’s 5th November, an anniversary we can all remember, when Guy Fawkes didn’t quite manage to get his suggestions for MPs’ expense reform through Parliament. It’s also Art Garfunkel’s birthday – he’s 68 today.

2 Big Stories

Bloody betrayal raises fresh doubts about Britain’s campaign in Afghanistan

The Times carries the story most papers are leading with this morning.

The killing of five British soldiers by an Afghan policeman raised fresh doubts yesterday about Britain’s mission in Helmand.

Senior political, diplomatic and military figures warned that public support for the British presence was in danger of collapse without a clear and freshly defined strategy.

Meanwhile, the Guardian has one of the more startling headlines I’ve read recently:

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Is John Thurso the sexiest man in the Liberal Democrats?

Thurso and Willott - the beautiful peopleAll round love walrus John Thurso MP is currently heading a poll to be crowned sexiest man in the Liberal Democrats on the blogger of the year’s site. It’s the ‘tache that does it. Lib Dem Voice unsucessfully lobbied for Jeremy Purvis MSP to be included on the list.

Jenny Willott is currently leading the field for the ladies and… look, I’m just not sure how much more I can say on this whole article without offending anyone, OK?  So …

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Holmes re-elected parliamentary party chair

Chesterfield MP Paul Holmes has been re-elected by Liberal Democrat MPs as chair of the parliamentary party. He was challenged by Cardiff Central MP Jenny Willott but won by 43 votes to 16.

Evan Harris defeated Chris Huhne to be elected as the English MPs’ representative on the Federal Policy Committee.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMike Ward 2nd Sep - 10:05am
    " These feelings can be particularly acute in London, especially around Heathrow, where residents endure noise and dread the prospect of more flights." Not just...
  • User AvatarDavid Bertram 2nd Sep - 10:04am
    Expected, but still very sad, news. We have lost a thinker, a humourist, a connoisseur of life's finer things and an all round nice bloke....
  • User AvatarTony Rowan-Wicks 2nd Sep - 10:04am
    Perhaps the awaited email was too complex for the team to handle. Actually, I thought the piece above was about the maximum we could expect...
  • User AvatarLinda Jack 2nd Sep - 10:01am
    Thanks Caron - whenever things like this happen and I throw up my hands in despair - your piece and most of the subsequent comments...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 2nd Sep - 9:33am
    Can we do the same for defence?
  • User AvatarMark 2nd Sep - 9:11am
    Welcome back!