Tag Archives: tim farron

LibLink: Tim Farron – In 2010, we promised to deliver the Pupil Premium. In 2015, I want us to promise to deliver the Student Premium

Tim Farron speaking - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsLib Dem party president Tim Farron has given his personal backing to the Lib Dems promising a Student Premium – modelled on the well-received Pupil Premium – at the next election. First proposed by his colleague Stephen Williams, Tim writes the Student Premium “could potentially change the game in terms of student uptake, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds”. Here’s an excerpt of his article for the April issue of the magazine, Politics First:

The Pupil Premium is being delivered only because the Liberal

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Tim Farron reveals all about the day he impersonated Nigel Farage

NickTimHere’s how Lib Dem party president Tim Farron recounted to his local paper, The Westmoreland Gazette, his assistance to Nick Clegg for the second Nick v Nigel debate:

In an empty central London theatre, the Lakes MP donned the trademark purple tie of the Euro sceptic for a practice debate with the Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister ahead of the real thing.

Aides revealed that to prepare for the role as the UKIP leader, Mr Farron watched recordings of his public speaking with Farage winning plaudits for his man-of-the-world directness.

Mr Farron’s aides

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Tim Farron “will withdraw party’s support for Bedroom Tax”

Bedroom tax demo , all the photos taken with a iphone 5Ok, so we’ll overlook the Guardian’s inaccurate headline. Have they learned nothing from years of watching our policy making process? Tim Farron doesn’t have the power to do what the Guardian says he’s done:

The Liberal Democrat president, Tim Farron, will withdraw his party’s support for the bedroom tax on Wednesday, saying it has caused “huge social problems.”

I think he’s right, of course. It might just about be ok if there were suitable smaller properties for people to move into, or if …

photo by: paul bevan
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It’s #NickvNigel Round 2 and we have bingo and billboards

Nick v Nigel Round 2 poster

Today the second debate on EU membership takes place between our Nick Clegg and UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

The image you see before you will be beaming down on commuters and shoppers in Tottenham Court Road, one of London’s busiest areas from around now. At least I think that’s the case. I’m only from Scotland.

It’s also fair to say that no social media timeline will be safe from the image of Cameron and Miliband missing

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LibLink: Tim Farron – We need to capitalise on our scientific excellence

University of the West of England, laboratory, science. Some rights reserved by JiscTim Farron has been writing for the Adam Smith Institute – there’s a sentence we didn’t expect ever to write – about turning the UK’s universities into entrepreneurial hubs. The Lib Dem party president is familiar with the sector, having worked in higher education at Lancaster University before entering Parliament. Here’s an excerpt:

Britain has a historically poor record of turning our scientists into entrepreneurs. Too often we have favoured the image of the mad professor or boffin, absent-mindedly beavering away in their lab, oblivious to the wider world around them. We must root out this gross caricature and start talking about the scientists of the future, like Dr Judith Spitz, who as well as not being male and grey haired, jumped at the opportunity to take her skills in speech and language therapy into the corporate world to become Chief Information Officer of Verizon.

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Tim Farron and Julian Huppert write: Why we need a Digital Bill of Rights

farron huppertLib Dem MPs Tim Farron and Julian Huppert explain why Britain needs a Digital Bill of Rights…

Momentum is a big force in politics; sometimes an unstoppable force. And this week we’ve seen momentum gathering pace for a change to our surveillance state.

On Tuesday, Nick Clegg set out his plans for change, backed up by a full Obama-style review of our outdated and woefully inadequate surveillance legislation and oversight bodies.

On Wednesday we hosted a lively surveillance discussion in Westminster with Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-chief of the Guardian, MPs, peers, civil …

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Farron: It’s Lib Dems v UKIP in European elections

Last year on the eve of Spring Conference, we reported Tim Farron’s controversial interview in House magazine in which he described activists as cockroaches and said the party was in a critical state. He certainly got into a bit of trouble from Them Indoors, but, as Stephen Tall pointed out:

The language is colourful: that’s Tim for you. He could give dull, measured interviews that are risk-free. But it’s not his way. And I don’t think many activists would want him to be anything other than himself. It is precisely because Tim is un-spun, a straight-talker who takes his role

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Can everyone please just play nice? Briefing against other Liberal Democrats and insulting party activists is never going to help.

carmichael and teddy bearWe’ve had some pretty strange and random articles appearing all over the place about who might replace Nick Clegg. The least strange and random was of course this by my co-editor Stephen Tall.

People who know Graeme Littlejohn have generally been laughing their heads off at the notion that he’s been brought in as Danny Alexander’s Head of Office as some Machiavelli who’s going to win him the leadership. That’s been in a couple of papers now and I’m just wondering who on earth is spreading this stuff. Actually, I do have some ideas, but these are better kept to myself for the time being.

Yesterday, it was the turn of Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael to get the Leadership Speculation Treatment, by Thomas Byrne over at the New Statesman.:

Carmichael has managed to avoid falling prey to the left/right divide emerging more clearly in the party as it gets used to power. “He could be a compromise candidate… post-coalition we need someone to hold the party together. Alistair might be the guy,” one Lib Dem told me. As chief whip for the Lib Dems before becoming Scottish Secretary, he will know where the bodies are buried. Not only did this position make building a relationship with all the MPs in the party compulsory, it also meant he commanded their respect. Don’t mess with Carmichael.

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Tim Farron says Liberal Democrats are likely to oppose “Bedroom Tax” in 2015

Tim Farron has said that he expects that Liberal Democrats will oppose the so-called “Bedroom Tax” in 2015. In an interview with Inside Housing, he has said that in its current form it was causing hardship and depriving housing associations of the money to build much needed new homes. While he praised the Liberal Democrats who had secured more money for discretionary housing payments to mitigate its effects, he acknowledged that reforms were needed.

He said:

I would be disappointed if we did support it in its current form.

I do not expect our party to support this policy unreformed, we must

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Eastleigh one year on: the by-election which secured Nick Clegg’s leadership

A year ago today, Mike Thornton was declared the new Lib Dem MP for Eastleigh.

Clegg Thornton Eastleigh

I’ve just been re-reading my first reflections on the result, written minutes after Mike’s narrow victory over Ukip was confirmed. As I pointed out then, despite the horrendous circumstances surrounding the by-election – Chris Huhne’s resignation, the allegations against Chris Rennard – Eastleigh was a good seat for the Lib Dems to contest owing to our long-standing, entrenched local strength there.

The other night’s victors, I noted, were Ukip: “There must also now be …

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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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A longer read for the weekend: Nick Harvey on how “the whole model of local Government funding is now fundamentally broken”

There was a mini-Lib Dem rebellion this week, when five MPs – Tim Farron, Nick Harvey, Andrew George, Stephen Gilbert and Adrian Sanders – all voted against this year’s funding settlement between the Treasury and local government.

As the New Statesman’s George Eaton points out here, “By the end of 2015-16, the budget of the Department for Communities and Local Government will have been reduced by a remarkable 60.6 per cent, with several years of austerity still ahead.” But Whitehall will have been emboldened by this recent ICM poll highlighted by the BBC showing 60% of the public …

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Farron: “No excuse for David Cameron to block recall of MPs but he has done”

The Guardian reports that the proposal to recall MPs who have committed serious wrongdoing has been blocked by David Cameron against the wishes of Nick Clegg.

A Lib Dem source said news that the legislation had been dropped was broken to the party’s MPs at a meeting on Tuesday. “Tom Brake, the deputy leader of the house, stood up and told MPs it was off the agenda. It seems that the Tories have argued that there is too much to deal with and something had to give. But it didn’t wash: they are pandering to their backbenchers,” he said.

Under the plans,

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Legal action to be launched by Lord Rennard unless Lib Dems lift membership suspension

The BBC reports:

Lib Dem peer Lord Rennard has written to his party giving it until Thursday to lift his suspension, the BBC understands. If it fails to do so Lord Rennard is threatening to seek costs from those involved in his suspension, including party president Tim Farron.

The former Lib Dem chief executive was suspended after four female activists accused him of sexual harassment. He denied the claims, but was asked to apologise by an internal investigation. The investigation, led by senior barrister Alistair Webster QC, concluded the claims against Lord Rennard were credible but could not be proven beyond

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Tim Farron MP writes…No politician should be able to sleep at night while children don’t have access to primary school

Fifty years ago, Lyndon Johnson stood before a joint session of Congress and declared war. “It will not be a short or easy struggle,” he warned the lawmakers. “No single weapon nor strategy will suffice, but we shall not rest until that war is won.” He was talking about a war on poverty – he was saying that a politician can change the world.  That through their words and deeds, they can make a difference and make the world a better place.

President Obama (Number 44 – LBJ was 36) stood up last Wednesday night and gave his annual State of …

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Tim Farron’s email to Lib Dem members explaining the suspension of Lord Rennard

The following message from Lib Dem party president Tim Farron has just been emailed to members:

It has been a difficult few days for the party. Many of you have contacted me directly to express your anger and disappointment at Lord Rennard’s refusal to apologise following the recommendations of the investigation into his behaviour. As President, I wanted you to hear from me.

Along with Nick Clegg, I made my view absolutely clear – Lord Rennard’s refusal to apologise is unacceptable. Most importantly, Lord Rennard is actively rejecting calls to apologise from party members and is refusing to comply with a formal

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LibLink: Tim Farron’s Winning here blog

Party President Tim Farron has taken to writing a monthly blog on the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners’ website. It’s for ALDC members only, but if you have even the slightest link to any election campaign this May, I’d strongly recommend that you join them. People who do what they say have more chance of winning. They have so many good campaigning resources that they really are invaluable.

Back to Tim’s blog. He talks about why councillors and community campaigners are so important:

You have the track record of action, the record of success and the community knowledge to

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LibLink: Tim Farron: European Arrest Warrant is a vital weapon in the fight against crime

Farron the Ubiquitous (he is, but that’s not a complaint) has been writing for the Huffington Post again, this time, as befits the man in charge of the European Election campaign, on the European Arrest Warrant.

First, he reminds us of the high profile cases where the warrant has brought British criminals back to justice.

Hussain Osman fled to Italy after the failed 21 July 2005 London bombings, during which he placed an explosive at Shepherd’s Bush tube station. Just one week later, he was tracked down and arrested by Italian police on a euro-warrant issued by a British court before

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Internal investigation into allegations against Lord Rennard

Statement of Alistair Webster QC’s conclusions
Following allegations made in a Channel 4 documentary early in 2013 I was appointed under Rule 7.6 of the English Party’s membership rules to investigate and determine whether or not it was appropriate to charge Lord Rennard with acting in a way that had brought the party into disrepute. The charge, if proved, might warrant his expulsion from the Liberal Democrats or other sanction under the Party’s rules.

Let me be clear from the outset that the evidence suggests that Lord Rennard’s behaviour has caused distress to a number of women, so much so that they came forward several years after the events in question.

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Farron: Tories are “nimby” over garden cities

From today’s Telegraph:

A secret Whitehall report recommending that two new cities are built in southern England to combat the housing shortage is being suppressed by David Cameron, The Telegraph can disclose.

The document was drawn up after the Prime Minister gave a speech supporting the idea nearly two years ago. It was described this week by Nick Clegg, his deputy, as a “prospectus” for future developments.

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Farron and Huppert submit Lib Dem Conference motion to curb surveillance

Today’s Guardian reports that Tim Farron and Julian Huppert are behind a move to get Liberal Democrat conference to adopt policy which would stop intrusive mass surveillance of personal data.

Judicial oversight of state surveillance and a regular release of the number of data requests made by the security services should be among the issues examined by a government “commission of experts” into all the recent allegations raised by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, theLiberal Democrats are to propose.

They will also call

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The ten most active MPs on Twitter are…

Courtesy of John Rentoul, news reaches us of a list of the ten most active MPs on Twitter in 2013.

top tweeters

Yes, it’s our Tim and our Julian at the top of the list, with an honourable mention for Greg Mulholland.

Tim has managed an incredible fifty tweets a day this year, and probably should avoid piers for a while. And for anyone out there who wonders, it is him, and not a staffer, as those of us who have discovered that, by mentioning Tim in a tweet, you …

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LibLink: Tim Farron – Only a fool could trust in the ‘oversight’ provided by the intelligence committee

Over on Politics.co.uk party president Tim Farron has a piece on the ramifications of the story that has dominated much of the past year: the extent of the powers held by states to snoop on our communications. Tim sets out some thoughts about the oversight of these systems, which he thinks are presently inadequate.

Here’s an excerpt:

Our democratic process is built upon a system of checks and balances. Those who exercise power over the individual are held to account by others. For all the faults of the Westminster bubble (and there are many), the quiet revolution in the way select committees

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LibLink: Tim Farron: European fisheries vote shows that EU can be reformed

Tim Farron has been writing in the Huffington Post about a crucial vote in the EU to reform the way in which fish are caught. This might seem tedious to many of us, but this has positive, practical implications for anyone who catches fish and anyone who likes to eat it.

Tim first set out the issues with the current situation:

The situation right now is drastic. Job losses within the UK fishing sector continue to rise as fish stocks fall, and it tends to be the small-scale fishermen who are hardest hit. The total amount of fish caught in the EU

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Botched deportation of dying man highlights need for humanitarian overhaul of asylum system

On Wednesday, Roger Roberts wrote an extremely moving article about the fate of Isa Muaza, a Nigerian asylum seeker who had been on hunger strike for 90 days in protest at the conditions in which he was being kept at an immigration detention centre. His removal from the UK, even in his frail, close to death condition, was planned for Friday morning.

Through Thursday, many of our readers signed the petition asking for Theresa May to reconsider her decision to deport Muaza. Huge effort was put in by Liberal Democrats including Sarah Teather, Julian Huppert and Tim Farron as well …

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Tim Farron writes…Introducing our new Pastoral Care Officer

Tim and JeanneOne of the key recommendations set out in the Morrissey report was that the Party should seek to appoint a Pastoral Care Officer.

I am delighted to announce that Jeanne Tarrant has been appointed to take on this role.  Jeanne will start work with us on 2nd January.

Jeanne’s career has progressed through nursing, midwifery and into the trade union movement. She has been a practising Midwife since 1994, and at the Royal College of Midwives she was responsible for managing employment relations with Hospital trusts around England. Jeanne has also …

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LibLink: Tim Farron – EU: The Liberal Democrats as the ‘Party of In’

With 6 months to the European elections, the Lib Dems are stepping up the party’s drive to be identified as the most pro-European party – in contrast to previous campaigns when the party has tended to downplay its pro-Europeanism.

There are two reasons. First, the Lib Dems believe we’re better off in. Secondly, the party’s private polling shows that those who aren’t current Lib Dem voters, but would consider voting for us, are generally pro-European and like the party’s stance.

Party president Tim Farron published an article on the Huffington Post yesterday making the Lib Dem case. Here’s an excerpt:

Of course,

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Clegg and Farron champion green issues after Cameron appears to backtrack

Of course he hasn’t said this publicly, but the Telegraph reports that David Cameron has stated privately that he wants to “get rid of all the green crap” from Coalition policies.

Nick Clegg and Tim Farron are both quoted as robustly defending green measures and the jobs they create. Nick says that he doesn’t think the headlines portray David Cameron’s views.

On Call Clegg, Nick said:

Well, if I may use the word, it isn’t all crap, of course. It is worth remembering that a lot of the policies that we’ve got support tens of thousands of people who work in a

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So who has been briefing against Tim Farron, then?

Tim Farron MP. Photo credit: Some rights reserved by David SpenderThe Liberal Democrats’ spell in government has been characterised by very little hostility and disunity on a personal level. Whatever arguments there may have been behind the scenes have not spilled over into the pages of the press very often. That’s actually quite remarkable given the pressure we are under as a party. Sure, we’ve had our disagreements on policy, with more to come, but we’ve kept it civil.

Politicians have been secretly briefing the press about what goes on behind the scenes as long as there has been politics. I remember being shocked when, as a very young and naive political activist, I overheard a very senior figure doing just that. This stuff fills newspaper columns, but when it gets personal, and toxic, it becomes a massive problem.

There have been two recent examples of unpleasant, personal unattributed attacks, and both have come from the establishment side of the party. First of all, we saw the clumsy, inept and inaccurate hatchet job done on Vince which apparently sparked an enquiry in leader’s office. Now, the Independent tells us, “one figure very high up in the party” has crossed a big line with a pretty vicious personal attack on Tim Farron:

Which bit of the sanctimonious, god-bothering, treacherous little shit is there not to like?

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown spent years doing that sort of stuff about each other. So did John Major’s “bastards”. That ended well, didn’t it?

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Tim Farron “set to vote against the “Bedroom Tax” while Swales, Mulholland, R Williams and Sanders table motion against it

From the Guardian‘s live politics blog (3:15)

Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president, is set to vote against the government on the bedroom tax tonight, I’m told. A friend of Farron’s tells me: ”Party conference in Glasgow expressed its will very strongly against the bedroom tax and so Tim is listening to party members and will probably be voting against the government tonight. Tim is the voice of the party members, they have expressed their view and Tim wants to make sure that their voice is heard.”

Here’s the motion on the bedroom tax that the Lib Dems passed at their party

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    Better a proper separation of Church and state. The disestablishment of the Church of England is long overdue. We don't need bishops in the House...
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    Helen. Please re-read my comments carefully and you will observe that I do not make the sweeping conclusions you allege. Nowhere do I imply that...
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    It is a good thing that unemployment has fallen to 6.9% and this means 2.24 million people are out of work looking for employment. However...
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    I agree with those who say that the Student Premium has not been explained very well. However to those who say we can’t afford to...
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