Tag Archives: Jo Swinson

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

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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 …

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Lessons must be learned from the Jo Swinson speculation

jo swinson by paul walterOn Thursday, George Eaton of the New Statesman blogged that Jo Swinson was about to replace Ed Davey in the forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

Today, the Guardian’s Nick Watt says that this is not the case and Jo is expected to become Secretary of State for Scotland in September after the independence referendum.

Nick Clegg, acutely conscious that the five Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers are all men, is expected to promote the business minister Jo Swinson to the cabinet. But she is expected to succeed Alistair Carmichael as Scotland secretary after September’s independence referendum in September if, as expected, the pro-Union side prevails. Carmichael would be praised for his role in the victory as Swinson took charge on introducing greater devolution to the Scottish parliament.

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Jo Swinson tipped to replace Ed Davey in Cabinet reshuffle…

Jo Swinson Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer AffairsInteresting speculation from George Eaton in the New Statesman that Nick Clegg may have been listening to Stephen Tall and is about to reshuffle the Cabinet, replacing Ed Davey with Jo Swinson. Jenny Willott would take over Jo’s job at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The report says:

A senior party source suggests that Jo Swinson could replace Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, in the party’s top team. Swinson, who recently returned from maternity leave (she is married to fellow Lib Dem MP Duncan Hames), has long been regarded as the strongest female candidate to enter the cabinet. She is a Clegg loyalist, a strong media performer, and has impressed during her time as a business minister.

photo by:
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5 things Nick Clegg could do next

Nick Clegg Q&A 8My last piece of advice to Nick Clegg was to stand down as Lib Dem leader. He didn’t, and it’s pretty clear now that Nick will lead us into the next general election.

Two problems remain, though, and we need to find ways of addressing them. First, morale in the party has dipped since the May elections. Secondly, support for the party has also dipped in the polls. Yes, Lib Dem MPs benefit from the incumbency effect but that only stretches so far – we also need to start winning the air war, or at the very least avoid being ignored. As it stands, what Nick says just isn’t getting a listening. However unfair, it’s a reality we need to deal with.

Here are five suggestions from me for ways in which Nick Clegg could help restore party morale and maybe get himself a hearing from the media and public…

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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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Après Nick: which Lib Dem MPs are best-placed to become the next Lib Dem leader?

Today’s Independent has an interesting story speculating on the Lib Dem leadership contest to come if the 2015 election result triggers Nick Clegg’s resignation. It’s one of the features of this parliament – perhaps linked to it being a fixed-term in which we know the dates are all known – that there hasn’t been nearly as much gossip about future leadership bids in any of the three main parties.

Anyway, the Indy story seeks to make up a little for that absence: Nick Clegg’s rivals for the Lib Dems leadership told to rev up. The premise of the article …

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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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Andrew Lennox Marshall Hames: The first picture

Well, not the first actual picture, of course, but the first that the likes of you and I are allowed to see.

And, the undeniable fact is that the firstborn son of Jo Swinson and Duncan Hames is incredibly, snuggliciously cute.

Andrew Hames

 

In addition to the gorgeousness of the baby, I love the obvious besottedness of his parents, And the Lib Dem yellow pram.

Congratulations to Jo and Duncan.

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Duncan Hames steps down as PPS to Nick Clegg and Simon Wright takes over

Following this afternoon’s wonderful news about the safe arrival of Andrew Lennox Marshall Hames,  the Belfast Telegraph reports that his dad, Duncan Hames, has decided to step down from his position as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Nick Clegg so that he has “more time to spend with our new baby”:

Mr Hames said: “When I told Nick that I would be wanting more time to spend with our new baby, I knew he would understand.

“Now that our son, Andrew, is with us, I am stepping down as the Deputy Prime Minister’s PPS.

“I truly appreciated the opportunity to see the coalition

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++Jo Swinson and Duncan Hames welcome son Andrew

When Jo Swinson and Duncan Hames got engaged, they announced it by a co-ordinated tweets.

They carried on that tradition to announce the birth of their son Andrew. He was born on Sunday, but they’ve just announced his arrival in the last few minutes.

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Jo Swinson on lives blighted by poor body confidence

jo swinson Alex Folkes/Fishnik PhotographyI wish Jo Swinson had been around when I was a teenager. My self-loathing teenage self could have done with a friendly looking government minister, a shining example of healthy living, telling me that the images society measured me against were unattainable and I should just concentrate on enjoying life and living healthily, taking loads of exercise and not being obsessed with weight and crash dieting.

Last week, someone posted a photo on a Facebook group about Inverness which had a 12 year old me in it. It took me quite aback to realise that, actually, I didn’t really look that bad. At that age, I thought I was hideous. Too fat, too hairy, too spotty. No way would I ever be able to be as pretty and, by extension, likeable as the girls in Blue Jeans and Jackie’s photo stories. My teenage story was one of intense anxiety, depression  which has undoubtedly cast a long shadow on my life. There were times when I didn’t believe I had the right to leave the house, let alone participate in anything at school. It wasn’t all to do with body image, but it seemed that everything I saw and everybody I came across in my life reinforced that image. There was no respite and no escape.

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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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Jo Swinson takes on Daily Mail’s Liz Jones, who thinks she shouldn’t be “procreating”

In the faux 1950s rose tinted world of the Daily Mail, lives a columnist called Liz Jones. Her job appears to be to offend as many people as possible on a weekly basis. she’s remarkably good at it.

Today, she’s cast her net particularly wide by writing a column about shared parental leave that is guaranteed to offend all women and any man who isn’t a sexist idiot. As a sub-plot, she’s also creating division between those in society who think that tea towels should be ironed (like former Liberal Democrat co-editor and regular contributor Mark Pack who admits to …

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Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: Good news for Mums and Dads

“Liberal Democrats will allow parents to share the allocation of maternity and paternity leave between them in whatever way suits them best.” That’s what the party’s 2010 manifesto said would happen – and this week it actually did happen. Here’s what Nick Clegg had to say about the party’s policy success…

libdem letter from nick clegg

A short one this week: just to say a huge well done to all Liberal Democrats. We’ve finally landed our flagship policy on shared parental leave.

Help us share the news about our shared parental leave!

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Opinion: Jo Swinson’s latest campaign is certainly more than average

I love shopping. I’m not afraid to admit it and frankly if I had to say I were addicted to one thing, it would be buying dresses; daytime dresses, smart dresses, dresses I know I’ll never wear because they’re just plain weird but I justified them as ‘individual’ at the time. I reckon there are many women in Britain who could admit to the same sort of love for clothes shopping. What draws me in though isn’t the colour or the number of sequins (well sometimes it’s because of the sequins), but the whole shopping experience in general. A good …

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Swinson argues against unpaid internships, Leech advertises for unpaid interns. Who’s right?

On the face of it, Liberal Democrats are sending out mixed messages on internships at the moment.

Jo Swinson, as employment minister, has been promoting the Government’s Pay and Rights helpline (0800 917 2368) and talking about it being appropriate to pay interns while John Leech’s office in Manchester is offering an unpaid internship proramme. This is in contrast to the party’s internship programme which is offering the National Minimum Wage.

Jo on Good Morning Scotland (from around 1:52 in) that she wanted to ensure that employers were not unwittingly or unintentionally doing the wrong thing and making sure that people …

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How Liberal Democrats around the country are marking Remembrance Sunday

Here’s a flavour of how  Liberal Democrats are marking Remembrance Sunday, some in an official capacity, others on their blogs. I suggest you put on Elgar’s Cello concerto as recommended by Armour Plated Liberalism and have a look at the following:

Tim Farron spent yesterday selling poppies in bad weather:

Jo Swinson tweeted from a service in Bearsden

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Jo Swinson launches size 16 mannequins

Jo Swinson today went along to Debenhams to welcome their size 16 mannequins which have been brought in to reflect the average women. It has been intensely annoying to hear these discussed across various media, including the BBC and the Independent, as “plus size” mannequins. If your view of what a woman should look like comes from airbrushed magazines and porn rather than opening your eyes and looking at the real women around you, then, yes, you might think that size 16 was plus, but you would be wrong.

Women come in all shapes and sizes and girls should be …

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Caron Lindsay defends Jo Swinson’s right to stand

Jo Swinson GlasgowThe government has been introducing a lots of “rights to” of late. Communities have rights to bid and to build. Individual have rights to buy and to personal budgets. After the last 48 hours of media coverage, it may be that we need to bring in a “right to stand.”

The story runs like this. Jo Swinson arrives for Prime Ministers Questions at a point when the house is already crammed out. She stands for a while and she’s happy with that. The political editor of the Spectator, James Forsyth however was horrified and tweeted.

Quite remarkable that no MP has offered Jo Swinson, who is seven months pregnant, a seat. Really shocking lack of manners and decency

The Daily Mail then took up the case. Caron Lindsay took that newspaper to task last night, concluding:

I find the Mail’s attitude to women much more offensive and harmful to society than anything that happened in the House of Commons yesterday.

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Jo Swinson: “About to get on tube. Seat offers welcome….but I was happier standing yesterday”

The febrile world of Twitter has been a little obsessed with the fact that Liberal Democrat minister Jo Swinson, who is 7 months’ pregnant, was standing throughout Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, with concerned political correspondents expressing outrage that nobody had offered her a seat.

Then the Daily Mail got in on the act.  Their attitude to women generally can be summed up as patriarchal nonsense. That’s not the word, I confess, I used earlier in a private LDV team discussion, but this is a family site.  I’ve written before about that awful phrase they tend to use about any pregnant …

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Lib Dem equalities minister Jo Swinson backs Elle magazine’s ‘Make Them Pay’ campaign

jo swinson by paul walterJo Swinson is not only the government minister responsible for employment relations, consumer and postal affairs – she’s also the Lib Dems’ equalities minister. And she appears in November’s issue of Elle magazine backing its ‘Make Them Pay‘ campaign:

Today, we are proud to announce, the government has gotten behind us too. Women and Equalities minister Jo Swinson is urging all women to follow the advice in The Feminist Times and Mother campaign: ‘If he does the same job as you, ask him his salary.’

Praising our initiative,

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Jo Swinson answers your questions, 2-3pm today

Jo Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire and a minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is taking part in a live Q&A this afternoon from 2-3pm over at the Guardian.

Here’s how the site introduces Jo:

When she took her seat in parliament in 2005, Jo Swinson was the first MP to have been born in the 1980s. In 2012 she became a government minister after the Lib Dems formed a coalition with the Conservative party.

As minister for women and equalities, Swinson has made it her mission to bring about a change in culture around women in the workplace.

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Liberal Democrat double as Swinson and Ece win Women in Public Life Awards

Meral H EceWhile we were all getting ready for Conference, it emerged that Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson and Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece had won Women in Public Life Awards for MP and Peer of the Year.

Meral was delighted to have won and said:

I am honoured and delighted to have been voted Peer of the Year (House of Lords) in the Women in Public Life Leadership Awards for this year. This is a prestigious award, and its a privilege to be in the company of other women who have achieved so much.

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How should the Liberal Democrats deal with everyday sexism?

Today’s Daily Mail has an article making various allegations of sexist attitudes towards women within the Liberal Democrats. They’ve been running similar stories all week following the Rock the Boat fringe meeting earlier. One particular woman candidate says that she was told by someone in her local party not to get pregnant because “we don’t want a baby hanging of your t**s.”

The Daily Mail is an unlikely feminist champion, but that shouldn’t detract from the need to tackle such behaviour, which includes inappropriate questions to female candidates during the selection process about their relationships or their plans to have …

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Liberal Democrat Voice Awards: The Shortlists (1): The Tim Garden Award

The Liberal Democrat Voice Awards are only a week away. At 10 pm on Saturday 14 September, in Castle 2 of the Crowne Plaza, with cash bar on hand, and an imaginative dress code, the best in blogging, campaigning, social media and politics in general will be feted in a ceremony filled with razzmatazz, glitz and glamour.

In years past, all the shortlists have been released at once. That’s because the Divine Ms Duffett is kind to you. I on the other hand, am happy to mess with your heads a bit more. So, in the style of the announcement of …

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Jo Swinson to name and shame rogue employers who fail to pay minimum wage

Jo Swinson was featured widely in the media yesterday talking about her plan to tackle employers who fail to pay the National Minimum Wage.

The BIS website outlines the plan:

Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson said:

Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal. If employers break this law they need to know that we will take tough action.

This is why I’m making changes so it is easier to name and shame employers who break the law. This gives a clear warning to rogue employers who ignore the rules, that they will face reputational consequences as well as a fine if they

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LibLink: Jo Swinson on payday loans and meeting the Archbishop today

jo swinson by paul walterYesterday Jo Swinson spoke about payday loans on camera to The International Business Times. We cannot embed the video on Lib Dem Voice, but you can watch it here.

She said that she and Vince Cable would be meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev Justin Welby, today to discuss  new  guidelines for credit unions. She stated:

My colleague and I, business secretary Vince Cable, are meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury on this issue. We are very keen that credit unions are expanded as they are important way of lending to a community that benefits local people.

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LibLink… Jo Swinson: Our children shouldn’t grow up thinking looks are the most important thing in life

I remember the genuine distress suffered by a teenage friend of ours. Her hair straighteners had broken and we don’t possess such implements. She was actually frightened and anxious at the thought of leaving the house and being seen by her peers with unstraightened, but perfectly tidy, hair. I had to source another set of straighteners before I could get her to school.

That, sadly, is the tip of the iceberg. The pressure on particularly girls to conform to a very narrow standard of beauty, dictated by the likes of Heat magazine and the pornography industry, is excruciating and can lead …

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