Tag Archives: tim farron

LibLink: If I’m Lib Dem leader, we’ll oppose fracking

Tim Farron has been writing for Politics.co.uk about his desire to see the party change its policy on fracking. The headline is entirely misleading, because what he actually does is show respect to the party’s processes by saying he’ll ask the Federal Policy Committee and Conference to reconsider the issue. But why?

The UK should not be pursuing another fossil fuel source, when there is so much potential for renewable generation from tidal and hydro that is still untapped. I would like the party, through the federal policy committee and the conference, to think again about our existing policy on fracking.

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It’s so easy, when you are live-tweeting an event, to give the wrong impression

Last night, Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats held a hustings for the two leadership candidates, Tim Farron and Norman Lamb. They covered the event  brilliantly on Twitter.

Covering an event like that is really challenging – things move on so quickly and you can easily make a mistake. I know that. I once tweeted that Vince Cable was in favour of low pay when he had very clearly said the opposite.

So it was good to see that they corrected a very similar error that they had made last night. They had tweeted that Tim had said that equality was immoral and stupid. Well done to them for sorting it out quickly.

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Green Liberal Democrats question Tim Farron and Norman Lamb

 

We have published a number of posts in which the two candidates have answered questions on specific policy areas or for particular audiences posed by our readers:

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Russia, ISIS, globalisation and the EU – Norman and Tim answer foreign affairs questions

LDV recently put some questions on foreign affairs to the two leadership contenders. Here are their responses.

1. Can you summarise in around 100 words what a liberal foreign policy looks like in your view?

Tim Farron:

Liberals are proud and passionate internationalists because we believe in the rights of all people – no matter what they look like, what they believe or where they are – to live in peace, free from poverty, ignorance and conformity. We understand that only by working with other countries through strong international institutions can we make that a reality and build a fairer, greener, freer world.

It is in neither Britain’s interests nor the world’s to close ourselves off, but also that intervention abroad must be rooted in international law, decided through international institutions and clearly justified on humanitarian grounds.

Norman Lamb:

Our Party is proudly internationalist. Our leaders have often been lone voices, Paddy demanding rights for British citizens from Hong Kong, Charles opposing the Iraq War, Nick in taking on Nigel Farage‎

I share these courageous liberal values‎. Liberal values are universal – they do not respect borders.

For me Britain should play a global role and prompt Europe to do more for peace, in tackling poverty and climate change, and in standing up to oppression.

We must also be able to defend those who need our protection, our allies, and ourselves. Enduring adequate funding for our armed forces means debating Trident’s future when our world is far more threatened by terrorists and cyber attacks than by nuclear war, and pursuing reform to make sure our forces are effective and efficient.

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Farron and Lamb: The ALDC Hustings

Last Saturday Tim Farron and Norman Lamb took part in a hustings at the ALDC Conference in Manchester. Here it is in full:

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Lamb and Farron reply to Lib Dems for Seekers of Sanctuary

The Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary (which you can join here) has put some detailed questions on asylum, immigration and humanitarian matters to the leadership candidates. Here are their answers.

 We appreciate that there are now far less parliamentarians, but will you ensure when organising teams that there is a spokesperson that covers asylum related issues?

Norman’s reply:

Absolutely, yes.  I want our party to rebuild the reputation we won under Paddy for speaking out clearly and consistently on the difficult international issues we face as a country.

We must lead the way in challenging the appalling humanitarian disaster across the Mediterranean, with thousands of desperate North African migrants drowning in their attempts to flee civil war and famine, crossing the sea in tiny boats.

We must also keep up pressure to improve our system for handling asylum applications, ending long delays that can leave people’s lives on hold for many months while they wait for a decision.

We have a fantastic team of peers, and I know they are determined to play their part in speaking out for our party on these important issues.

I would also want to work with members of Lib Dem Seekers of Sanctuary to support the group in speaking out itself on behalf of the many members who feel strongly about Britain’s asylum policies.  And as leader I would take a close personal interest, adding my own voice to make sure our party is heard and – most importantly – in working to achieve real change and make sure Britain fulfils its responsibilities to those threatened by violence and conflict around the world.

Tim’s reply:

Yes, absolutely. The Liberal Democrats must make the case for a compassionate, open United Kingdom when it comes to asylum seekers – if we don’t, no one else will

I have frequently raised these issues in Parliament, including as the party’s Foreign Affairs spokesman in the run-up to the election. For example, I wrote an article for the New Statesman about the horrors of hundreds of people dying in the Mediterranean, and the urgent need for Britain to work with our European partners to save lives rather than turning our backs. You can read it here:

So yes, if I am leader I will make sure that a consistent, compassionate Lib Dem voice is heard loud and clear on these issues.

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Farron and Lamb send third all member emails

The leadership candidates have sent their third official emails. You can read the first two here and here. 

First of all, the Returning Officer’s information:

Below are the top lines and links in the third of four emails from the candidates that I am distributing on their behalf.  I do this in my role as the Acting Returning Officer for this election.

Also please find below contact details for how you can find out more about each of the candidates.

Ballot papers are being dispatched today so you should receive your ballot paper by post within the next week.   With your ballot there will also be a copy of both candidates’ manifestos.

Our ballot counters must receive your complete ballot paper by 2pm on July 15th for it to count.

Many thanks for participating in this important election.

Tim Farron’s letter

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Opinion: Why I am backing Tim Farron

Politics is not a sterile intellectual exercise where the best policy wins and people applaud the cerebral magnificence of the victor.  It is a messy dirty business, where people’s lives are changed, hopefully for the better but far too often for the worse.

My parents divorced while I was a teenager and I spent time being brought up by a single parent.  I got lucky.  I was never cold, I never went hungry and I always had a roof over my head but I do remember making sure to keep 50p coins so that we had some for Mum’s electricity meter and I didn’t have a room of my own for a number of my teenage years.  I slept in the living room under the stairs.  As I say, I got lucky, I ended up with four parents and was the first person in my family to go to University.

People who lived near me and who I grew up and went to school with were not so lucky.  I saw people who had their potential wasted because they got to school hungry, or with a cough caused by damp in their home or who moved from school to school as their parents moved from house to house.  As a councillor in central Liverpool I saw the reality that hits people who cannot get a decent home, the damage to their families and the narrowing of their life choices.

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Tim Farron’s speech to the IPPR: Liberalism: an optimistic confidence in the capacity of people to make the most of their lives

Both Liberal Democrat leadership candidates are giving speeches to the IPPR think tank over the next few days. Here is Tim Farron’s in full. 

IPPR has always been one of the leading think tanks on the progressive wing of British politics. I welcome the interest you’ve shown in Liberalism, and I hope that in the next few years you will further develop the arguments in your 2007 book on Liberalism, Beyond Liberty.

Now let me be frank. The election on May 7th was an utter disaster for the Liberal Democrats. In terms of our vote and number of MPs we are back to the level of the 1970 general election, when the Liberal Party won six seats on 7.5 per cent of the vote, compared to this year’s eight seats and 7.9 per cent.

Compared to the last election, in 2010, we lost almost two-thirds of our vote and over 85 per cent of our MPs. There is no other occasion in the entire history of the Liberal Democrats or the Liberal Party, stretching back to the early nineteenth century, on which we have lost such a high proportion of our vote or our seats.

It’s therefore entirely reasonable to ask the question: what is the point of the Liberal Democrats? Do we have a role to play in a country which appears to have rejected us so comprehensively?

It won’t come as a surprise to you that I think we do! And I’m not alone. Since the election Party membership has surged by more than 30 percent, we are the fastest growing political party in the UK – that 18,000 people have, without being prompted, had the same thought, at the same time, and then done something about it… well that’s a phenomenon, indeed it is a movement.  That’s more than just encouraging – it’s a signal that there are so many people out there who are Liberals at heart, who understand the threat that Liberalism faces, who think Liberalism’s worth fighting for and who see the Liberal Democrats as their vehicle and their voice.

Even The Guardian has now reached that conclusion. Having compared us during the campaign to ‘rinse aid in a dishwasher … probably useful, surely not essential’ – they decided after the election just three weeks later that, ‘in the absence of a liberal party, one would have to be invented – and indeed … one will now have to be reinvented and rebuilt’.

The result on May 7th might have been a rejection of the Liberal Democrats, but it was not a rejection of Liberalism. Rather, it was a consequence of our decision in 2010 to enter into coalition with our historic political enemies. We did the right thing by our country, and I am proud of Nick and all that we achieved, but our party was hugely damaged by the perceived submerging of our identity and by the tuition fees issue which undermined the electorate’s trust in us.  Our election campaign did not help too much either: a campaign which seemed to say  that we were desperate to get back into government and didn’t much mind with whom, while wholly failing to communicate what we stood for and what we believed.  We said something about what we would do, but we did not tell people who we are.

I want to be very clear, though: I am not repudiating the coalition. We were right to enter into coalition in 2010 and can be proud of what we achieved. Indeed, we proved that coalition government can be stable and successful and that people should not fear coalition in the future.  But I spoke about all this at length to the Gladstone Club a couple of weeks back, so you’ll forgive me for not repeating myself here.

In fact we achieved a lot for Liberalism in the coalition. The Agreement included: a rise in the income tax threshold to £10,000; the pupil premium to give extra resources for children from disadvantaged backgrounds; restoration of the earnings links for the state pension; a banking levy and reform of the banking system; investment in renewable energy; the immediate cancellation of plans for a third runway at Heathrow; an end to the detention of children for immigration purposes; the dropping of plans for identity cards; agreement to reach the UN target of 0.7 per cent of GNP for overseas aid by 2013; the introduction of a fixed-term parliament of five years; and reform of the House of Lords.

With the exception of Lords reform, every single one of those objectives was achieved. And we managed more in the five years that followed: same-sex marriage, the world’s first Green Investment Bank, the triple lock for pensions, two million apprenticeships, free schools meals for the youngest pupils, and much more. I don’t believe any of that would have happened without Liberal Democrats.

And that’s just the positive things we achieved; I don’t have time to list all the Tory commitments we blocked. Over the next five years people will see exactly what a difference we made. In fact, the last six weeks have shown pretty clearly what an outstanding job Nick Clegg and his team did.

So why did we do so badly in the election? Ask random members of the public what they remember about the coalition, and will they list any of those achievements? While we were sweating over our best policies, people weren’t listening. Tuition fees created a barrier – like those force fields in Science Fiction films. We fired our best policies and achievements – and they were brilliant policies and achievements – and they just glanced off the electorate because the tuition fees barrier – that lack of trust – was too strong.

So we need a fresh start. We have to prove, from first principles, why Liberalism in Britain still matters. So I’ll start by defining what I mean by Liberalism – what are the underlying beliefs and values that underpin our approach.

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Guardian revelations about Clegg, Cable and the Lib Dem election catastrophe

Well, as the ballot papers get sent out in the leadership election, the Guardian publishes a series of revelations tonight about the last year of the coalition and the aftermath of the European elections.

Apparently Nick Clegg was ready to resign in the wake of the European elections and was talked out of it by, among others, Paddy Ashdown and Tim Farron. Certainly at the time, the feedback that Federal Executive members gave at our post Euro disaster meeting was that there was no appetite in the wider party for a leadership election, but they did want things to change.

Vince Cable, it transpires, did know about the Oakeshott polls.

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Liberal Democrat leadership: So what happens at a Lib Dem hustings meeting?

newcastle bridges by ratherbewalking
I was peeved when I saw that the Scottish leadership hustings were taking place this coming Saturday as I knew I had to be in London for a Federal Executive away day. In a moment of madness, though, I decided that I would make a trip to Newcastle for the hustings last Friday night. I am, after all, the FE liaison person for the North East region so it would be good to meet people there.

After a 90 minute train journey, a delicious Chicken Fajita in a place called Zapatista and a quick look at the Centurion pub next to the station to see the amazing Victorian tile work (honest), I headed to the Station Hotel a full hour before the hustings started. It was already buzzing with people. They were expecting so many to turn up that they had had to arrange a bigger room.

I managed to get one of the last seats in the room even though I’d got there so early. Strictly speaking, I might have spent too long drinking gin in the bar with my friend of two decades, Jo, where I also found out something about Tim Farron’s past that I didn’t know. I am now hunting down the evidence and when I find it, you will be the first to know. It’s not scandal, unless you count crimes against fashion in that category. 

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Lib Dem Leadership: Big name endorsements for each camp as ballots are posted to members

Ballots for the Liberal Democrat leadership hit members’ doorsteps from tomorrow.

With that in mind, both camps have unveiled big name endorsements. From the Lamb campaign, he kind of unveiled it himself in his inimitable style:

It isn’t the biggest surprise in the whole world. During our Spring conference, he was pretty critical of Tim. Paddy becomes the latest party establishment figure to support Norman Lamb.

At the start of the campaign, Tim Farron unveiled a list of over 100 parliamentary candidates who had supported him. On Monday he announced the support of over 200 councillors, council group leaders and elected mayors like Dorothy Thornhill and Dave Hodgson. The Westminster Bubble may have gravitated towards Norman, but Tim has significant grassroots support.

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Tim Farron and Norman Lamb face a live audience on Victoria Derbyshire

This morning leadership candidates Tim Farron and Norman Lamb appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC2. They were quizzed by Victoria and a live audience. See how they got on below:

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Greg Mulholland MP writes…Free on Friday evening? Join Tim Farron’s online Q & A

Tim Farron and Greg MulhollandThis Friday will mark three weeks until the Liberal Democrats have a new leader. Other than the many visits and hustings he’s doing to meet as many party members as possible, this Friday evening, 6.30pm-8pm, Tim’s also doing an online Q&A live via webcam. I’d highly recommend signing up, and you can do so via this link.

In this election, I am proud to back Tim Farron to take the party forward and get us back to our winning ways. Why do I trust Tim to do that? Simply, because it’s what he’s always done. It takes a solid campaigner to end 95 years of Tory hold on a constituency- that’s what Tim did when he won Westmorland & Lonsdale for us in 2005, the same year I was elected for Leeds North West.

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Tim Farron’s campaign video

Tim Farron has launched his Leadership campaign video today.

 
 

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Norman Lamb’s campaign removes two volunteers for alleged misuse of personal data for negative push-polling

So just over 24 hours ago, I was sitting in a packed room with hundreds of Liberal Democrats from all over the North East Region. We had all been treated to an excellent two hours of debate between leadership candidates Tim Farron and Norman Lamb. They had each shown the best of themselves. Norman’s thoughtful, intelligent analysis and ideas, his determination to give a voice to the voiceless, Tim’s tub-thumping, barnstorming adrenaline rush of a speech underpinned with good ideas and things that would make Quentin Letts from the Daily Mail hyperventilate. It was great. We truly do have two hugely talented contenders.

Tonight, though, a shadow has been cast over the contest as Norman Lamb has had to suspend two volunteers for misuse of the membership data. The Telegraph has the story:

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Opinion: It’s time to rock and roll – with Tim Farron

I watched the Tower Hamlets Leadership Hustings video last night and it compelled me to reflect on my more than 40 years’ experience of studying leadership. By studying I mean both academically and through observation, and then using this knowledge when teaching leadership in numerous public and private sector organisations throughout the UK and Europe, as well as in many well-known Business Schools, and also acting as leadership coach to countless senior managers. I am not bragging but simply ‘setting out my stall’ before making the following comments about leadership in relation to Tim Farron.

Great leaders understand, and make use of, a raft of very specific skills and characteristics. They are exceptional communicators who are able to make use of all communication channels open to them. They not only write in a language that everyone can understand, but they are also able to speak directly to people and encourage them to buy-in to what they are saying and take action as a result. Great leaders not only have a very clear vision of where they want to lead their organisation in the future but also understand how the vision links to the past, as well as knowing what needs to be done now to make the vision become a reality. Great leaders have a well balanced mix of charm, humour and wit. They take their role as leader very, very seriously but not themselves. They are usually very humble, use the ‘we’ word rather than ‘I’, and are quite happy to use themselves as the butt of their own jokes, not other people. Great leaders understand the idea that ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’. They are very bright yet have a common touch – they can do verbal battle with the best of them but are also able to touch the soul of the woman or man on the street.  I could go on!

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Opinion: The Tim I know and why I am backing him

It seems a long time since I sat in a Kendal pub and talked with a young 32 year old parliamentary candidate who had dreams of being our local MP. The Tories had been in power here for just short of 100 years and we thought that was enough. The District Council had a Tory leader and I was there to see if I could be persuaded to stand as a Liberal Democrat for my local Ward, to bring us a little nearer towards taking control.

It’s 13 years since that meeting, Tim’s now our MP and we run the Council. We’re building homes for local families, who previously were being forced out of South Lakeland, and we’re helping create jobs by having a strong local plan. Our targets are 1,000 new affordable homes to rent and 1,000 new jobs. We came into politics to change lives for the better and we’re doing that in South Lakeland.

We used to run many more councils across the UK, all with a good story to tell, and if we are to rebuild our party we need to take these councils back! That’s why I’m writing to ask you to join me in backing Tim Farron as our new party leader.

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Opinion: A moment of acceptance

In the election campaign I was touched, but not surprised, to see Sal Brinton post a link on facebook to an interview with Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett where he spoke of his experiences growing up gay, and self-identifying as an HIV+ parliamentary candidate. My suspicion was that many would encourage someone in Adrian’s position to “be discreet”: but seeing him being so open and the party President support him so clearly made me proud to be a liberal democrat.

From a gay perspective, it’s been encouraging in the present leadership election to see doubts over Tim’s support for LGBT people raised as a cause for concern, and to see him act quickly to counter them.

Recently I had a very positive surprise when I read an article picking up on Norman Lamb’s piece in Pink News where he moved the whole debate on a stage by saying:

until every young person is proud of who they are, who they find attractive and who they love, our fight will continue.

The shift feels significant: from accepting a minority (which keeps them as a minority whose acceptance is to be fought for) and something genuine. It calls to mind the slogan of the LGBT-majority Free Community Church in Singapore: “welcome home”

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For new and infrequent commenters only: What do you think of the leadership election so far?

This is one of our occasional posts where we reserve the comments for those who don’t comment very often. Anyone who has made five or fewer comments in the past month is welcome to take part.

The subject for debate today is the leadership election. Liberal Democrat Voice is taking an entirely neutral stance and are doing our best to give equal and balanced coverage of the contest.

We just wondered what you thought of it all so far.  Have you seen the candidates in action? Are they talking about the things that you want to hear about? What do you think of their campaign websites, videos and themes? Do you have any questions for them?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

If you haven’t seen the two in action so far, you can always have a look at the New Members’ Hustings. A big thank yo to James Wright, too, for pointing me in the direction of these videos shot  by his Dad Andrew Cambridge hustings last week. They are really good quality.  Here they are:

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Lamb and Farron make their second email pitches

Tim Gordon as Returning Officer in the Leadership election is sending out a series of emails to party members on behalf of each candidate.

We covered last week’s here.
There is information in the official email about when the ballot papers will be sent out:

You should receive your ballot paper by post around the last weekend in June. There will also be a copy of both candidates’ manifestos included with it.

Our ballot counters must receive your complete ballot paper by 2pm on July 15th for it to count.

To help you make your decision a number of hustings events are being held around the country further details can be found on our website.

Many thanks for participating in this important election.

Here are this week’s:

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Video: Watch Farron and Lamb in action at leadership hustings

A few weeks ago, Tim Farron and Norman Lamb took part in a hustings in London for several hundred new members of the party. The video footage has finally been put online. It’s two hours long, so get yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up and enjoy. It’s particularly useful for those of you who can’t get to a hustings meeting. I’m particularly thinking of those in the Highlands who would have to travel to either Aberdeen or Edinburgh. The full list of official hustings events is here and there are other unofficial events where both candidates will be appearing.

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Opinion: Let’s write our new leader a two-year contract – and get rid of him if it doesn’t work out

NormanLambTim FarronThere’s been a lot of focus on the Labour Party’s new Leader being given a 2017 ‘break clause’, to ensure the freshness and efficacy of the Leader come 2020. Meanwhile, I saw a comment from a Lib Dem the other day to the effect of “we must give Farron or Lamb a good ten years, it’ll be a slow climb, etc.” I began thinking about the issue, and I have a proposal: why not give the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats a two-year contract, with rigidly-defined goals to meet, and either applaud them for meeting them, or get rid of them for not, on those criteria?

For too long, leadership challenges have been bloody, opportunistic, or subjectively triggered. Or, worse still, they haven’t happened, when they almost certainly should have done. We have recently seen the unreliability of opinion polls in measuring future performance. Will it be enough if, in 2017, we are polling back at, say, 20%? No. It will be success sculpted in the air, and prone to disassembly at a moment’s notice. What matters are solid, progressive results.

Here’s my proposal. We present the new Lib Dem Leader with a five-point contract, to cover the term August 2015 to July 2017. If they fulfil four or five criteria, astounding! If they fulfil three, that’s still a majority, they could carry on and improve. If they only manage two, one, or even none, they’re gone. We would have an automatic Leadership election.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 79 Comments

Tim Farron talks about Asylum and Immigration

Last week Elizabeth Needham recorded some video footage of leadership candidate Tim Farron talking about asylum and immigration.

She’s happy for it to be shared, so, enjoy!

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Building a diverse party: the Leadership Candidates respond to Daisy Cooper’s questions

Tim Farron MPNormanLambOn 17 May, I set out my challenge to the Leadership candidates in an LDV blog, asking each of them whether and to what extent they would commit to some achievable measures to build a more diverse party. Here are their answers – presented without comment.

1)   Will you promise to take a zero tolerance approach to inappropriate behaviour, insisting that all elected representatives and everyone in your team has a “responsibility to act” on any and all anecdotal and substantive evidence that reaches them?

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Leadership contest: Who are parliamentarians past and present and key party figures backing?

As the leadership contest gets under way in earnest, we thought it was time to have a look at how key party figures are lining up behind each of the candidates. This is bound to change as time goes on, so we will update it from time to time.

Tim Farron

MPs

Greg Mulholland
John Pugh
Mark Williams

Former MPs

Jo Swinson
Duncan Hames
Simon Hughes
Sir Alan Beith
John Leech
David Howarth
Sarah Teather
Martin Horwood
Paul Keetch
Brian Cotter
Mark Oaten
Steve Webb
Dan Rogerson
Ian Swales
Lembit Opik

MSPs

Willie Rennie
Jim Hume
Liam McArthur

Former MSPs

Euan Robson

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Williams, Farron and Lamb condemn Welsh Government’s plan to ban on e-cigarettes in public places

The Welsh government has put forward plans to ban the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public spaces. The BBC reports:

People will be banned from using e-cigarettes in enclosed places such as restaurants, pubs and at work in Wales, under a new public health law.

The plan, likely to come into force in 2017 and the first in the UK, has already divided opinion among health and medical groups, including some anti-smoking campaigners.

But ministers say it is a “balance of risk” and will stop children smoking.

This does not seem to be in any way evidence based.

Liberals really don’t like banning things unless there is a very good reason to do so. It’s therefore not really a surprise to see that Welsh Liberal Democrat leader and both federal leadership candidates have totally condemned the government’s plans:

Kirsty said:

The evidence for this decision is wafer thin.  Banning things just for the sake of it isn’t a position any Government should take.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe all decisions should be evidence based, which is why we are opposed to this ban.  There is very little evidence to date that e-cigs emit anything more harmful than water vapour. Therefore any ban on e-cigs is completely unjustifiable.

We often hear how people are using e-cigarettes to help them give up smoking.  There is a high chance this heavy handed approach from the Welsh Labour Government could actually be counter-productive.

And here’s what the leadership candidates had to say:

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The leadership contenders send out their first all-member emails

Lib Dem Chief Executive Tim Gordon, in his capacity as Acting Returning Officer for the Leadership Election, has sent out the following email to members today:

As you will have seen Nick Clegg resigned as Party Leader after the General Election and nominations closed last Wednesday for the election of his successor.  Two candidates have been duly nominated, Norman Lamb and Tim Farron.

Below are the top lines and links in the first of three emails from the candidates that I am distributing on their behalf.  I do this in my role as the Acting Returning Officer for this election.

Also please find below contact details for how you can find out more about each of the candidates.

You should receive your ballot paper by post around the last weekend in June. There will also be a copy of both candidates’ manifestos included with it.

Our ballot counters must receive your complete ballot paper by first post on July 15th for it to count.

To help you make your decision a number of hustings events are being held around the country further details can be found at http://www.libdems.org.uk/leadership_events

Many thanks for participating in this important election.

All 61456 (correct at time of writing but increasing all the time) members of the party will get a ballot paper. These will be despatched on 24th June and the result will be announced on 16th July. Hustings meetings are taking place all over the country, so do take the opportunity to see the candidates in action. Already 1200 people have signed up for the London hustings alone! The New Members’ hustings which took place a couple of weeks ago will be put on the party website at some point.

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Opinion: Why I would follow Tim

 

I joined the Liberal Democrats a couple of weeks ago. For the most part I joined because of Nick Clegg, whose eloquence and calmness intrigued me and piqued my interest in the moderate course. I had decided before the general election that I was going to join after my exams and I was distraught when I realised I would never be following Nick.

I wanted to follow Nick because he was genuine, he could be funny, and he was gracious. I could also tell he was a very smart man who understood his party’s policies and was dedicated to the principles of liberalism. From watching Tim on ‘Question Time’, I could tell he was genuine, funny and gracious, possibly more so than Nick. What I was worried about was the second part of what I admired in Nick.

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In full: Lib Dem MPs’ Commons tributes to Kennedy

We’ve already posted the video of the tributes to Charles Kennedy from the Commons on Wednesday and we’ve also posted Nick’s in full. We thought it might be useful to put the text of all five of the Lib Dem tributes, including Nick’s, in one post for ease of reference and posterity. They all did Charles proud. Greg and Mark talked about the way he really connected with ordinary people and about his concern for others. Norman spoke about his unfailing courtesy in his dealings with people, highlighting the need to tackle the stigma around mental ill health and emphasising Charles’ passions for internationalism and social justice. Tim’s emotional tribute spoke about Charles the persuader, how he could change minds and really tug on the heartstrings. Nick’s was just beautiful, and I particularly liked the memory he shared about their fly smoke outside the National Liberal Club where they discussed the Coalition. In years to come, I hope that Charles’ son and those who were close to him find great comfort and pride. To be universally admired in our tribal politics takes some doing.

I guess I should advise that if you are going to read all five of them in one sitting, you will need a cup of tea and a box of tissues.

So, here they all are, starting with:

Greg Mulholland

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    The euro works just fine — as a common French-German-Benelux currency.
  • User AvatarPhyllis 1st Jul - 1:19pm
    Paul Walter 1st Jul '15 - 12:32pm "Phyllis Of course I take the issue of trust seriously. I am just not sure how many times...
  • User AvatarBill le Breton 1st Jul - 1:14pm
    I'm confused. I don't mind uncomfortable policies. Change is always an uncomfortable process. But if Liberalism fits our age and most people already support liberal...
  • User AvatarAlex marsh 1st Jul - 1:13pm
    More negative campaigning from Lamb. In light of all these digs towards Farron I really do wonder how much Lamb actually knew about the push...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 1st Jul - 1:03pm
    Simon Foster I have secondary school colleagues who still don’t know what all of the Russell Group approved subjects are (Maths is one of them,...
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