Tag Archives: tim farron

Photos: Tim Farron meeting our two sensational Kingston and Richmond by-election victors today

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Here’s a couple of photos of Tim Farron today meeting Geraldine Locke and Jon Tolley at Banquet Records in Kingston upon Thames.

Both Geraldine and Jon have scored sensational by-election victories since the general election in May.

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Today – Tim meets two new councillors in Kingston and urges members to get involved in by-elections

Today Lib Dem leader Tim Farron visited Kingston to meet two councillors who won their seats since the General Election as the party’s fightback gathers pace.

Tim stressed the importance of members getting involved and campaigning at every by-election.

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Tim Farron talks to his local newspaper on becoming Lib Dem Leader:

The first people Tim Farron called on becoming Liberal Democrat leader were his local paper, the Westmorland Gazette. Here are some highlights of his first in-depth interview as leader:

Turning his local success into a national phenomenon

This is a big deal. It will be a great responsibility and I will work tirelessly to fight for Liberal values.

There are real challenges ahead but we have shown in Westmorland how we can succeed and we want to make a difference all over the country.

“A fairer, greener, freer Britain”

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Breaking the Establishment

House of Commons. Crown Copyright applies to this photo - http://www.flickr.com/photos/uk_parliament/4642915654/“We stand up for the outsider instead of the establishment.”, Tim Farron said during the leadership rally last week. For party members who were rather discouraged by our missteps in coalition, that line gives us hope.

Our failings in the Coalition can be traced to one key fault: after speaking out against the establishment, we were seen to be now a part of it. There are so many bills that we extracted key concessions on, but we were not able to communicate that. How could we, after all? We were bound by Cabinet collective responsibility. But it was never designed to operate the way it did in coalition.

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On Farron’s lurch to the left…

If you read some commentators, you’d think that in less than a week of leadership, Tim Farron had virtually turned us all into revolutionary socialists.

Matt Dahan wrote a story for the Independent which suggested that Nick Clegg would be “shaking his head” in “uncomfortable dismay” at Tim Farron’s bid to “form a Lib/Lab pact” to oppose welfare cuts.

The former deputy prime minister has been left sitting on the backbenches in the House of Commons, where he is forced to choose between toeing the party line or causing what would be a major rebellion in a party of just eight MPs.

It seems Mr Farron is leading the Lib Dems further to the left than Labour, even sending a letter to interim Labour leader Harriet Harman telling her to form a Lib-Lab alliance to fight the Government’s spending cuts.

Except Tim’s stance on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill is entirely consistent with the stance Nick Clegg took in Government. He stopped all this nonsense about taking Housing Benefit off young people and limiting tax credits to two children and further reducing the benefits cap. If Tim had supported them, it would have been a massive story.

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Tim Farron writes to Harriet Harman asking her to oppose Welfare Bill

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has written to Labour’s interim leader Harriet Harman to ask her to ensure that her party opposes the Government’s Welfare Bill.

Here is the text of his letter:

Dear Harriet
The Conservative Government last night brought forward plans for £12bn of cuts to welfare that will directly impact millions of people across the country including the poorest families in our constituencies.

The Conservatives do not need to make these cuts, especially at the same time as giving tax breaks to millionaires.

The people who will be hit by these changes need someone to give them a voice in Parliament and fight their corner, and last night Labour failed to stand up for them.

You have said that you do not want to oppose absolutely every saving that the Government suggests, but these cuts will hurt the poorest in our communities.

Cuts to employment support allowance, lowering the benefit cap and slashing tax credits for those in low paid work are not policies that any progressive should support.

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Opinion: The reason I was nodding so much behind Tim Farron on Thursday

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 16.25.58I’ve always been a massive fan of Tim Farron. Like many, it started off watching his 2014 Conference Speech as Lib Dem President and only grew as I saw him being awarded Lib Dem MP of the year by the PatchWork foundationand fighting along side Caroline Lucas to improve mandatory PSHE in Schools over that year. It’s for that reason that, when I saw all these articles titling Tim as the ‘Bookies Favourite of next LD Leader’, I knew I would support his leadership campaign, whenever …

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Opinion: Tim Farron’s Gut Liberalism

 

Last week I was on the train heading up to Guildford for a special opportunity to meet Tim Farron, potential leader of the Lib Dems. As I travelled I was nervous as any young party member would be. I was about to meet my first real big name in politics, someone who had taken his place in Parliament, someone who had sat on BBC Question Time, someone who had played the political game against numerous reds and blues. But what I did not expect was the passion I was going to feel after this meeting.

Tim spoke as he did a few days later after winning the candidacy about a new type of liberalism he wanted to introduce. This new type of liberalism was less a theoretical frame work but more an emotion and rejuvenation of what being Liberal meant. He coined this new experience, Gut Liberalism.

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Farron’s first Sunday media marathon

Tim is doing the media rounds this morning with interviews on Marr, Murnaghan (at 10:20) and John Pienaar (at 10:35).

Here are some tweets from his Marr appearance:

adding that he wanted them to join the Liberal Democrats to fight the Tories on the appalling things that they are planning on doing.

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The men who bankrolled the Liberal Democrat Leadership campaigns

So, I went looking for the Register of MPs’ Interests earlier today. My intent was not particularly noble. My heart was bleeding to such an extent over Tobias Ellwood’s penury that I just wanted to check if there was anything in there that might help help him out. Bless him, he only had the £3.5k for being in the Territorial Army to help supplement his £90k ministerial salary. His wife is only a corporate lawyer, too. I really don’t know how they manage. And, of course, Tobias is so full of empathy for his fellow poor people that he’s more than happy to walk through a voting lobby and freeze their benefits for four years while he picks up a £7000 pay rise.  Can you hear those violins? But at least he will get more of his money taxed at the lower rate this year, as George Osborne has taken pity on him and made sure that he’s increased the amount he can earn before he pays higher rate tax.

It turns out there’s a brand new Register out, released on Wednesday, so I thought I’d look our lot up. Nothing terribly exciting, except that at least some of the donations to the leadership campaigns have now been registered.

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Talking Tim on Radio Scotland

Yesterday, I went on the Stephen Jardine show on Radio Scotland to spill all Tim Farron’s secrets and discuss his prospects with Stephen and John Crace from the Guardian. Sadly, I didn’t quite get through all of them, but that at least means I have them for another time.

You can listen to it all here from about 1 hour 18 minutes in. Do feel free to laugh at me criticising the party’s election messages for use of too many body parts and then using two myself in fairly quick succession.

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LibLink: David Steel: Tim Farron is a man of conviction and a risk taker – that’s why he got my vote

David Steel has written in the Guardian about why he backed Tim Farron and what he thinks he’ll bring to the party:

That level of deep commitment which Farron obviously has, combined with his organisational skills and northern public persona, has all the ingredients of a successful leadership. I speak as one who sat in a gloomy Commons party of six after the 1970 election debacle, three of us clinging to majorities under 1000. It took time, but we turned that round, and went on both to increase our numbers and form the significant Alliance with the SDP and eventually the new united party, which at elections under Paddy Ashdown, Charles Kennedy and Clegg reached new heights of public support. The same can happen again.

A colleague said to me during this contest: “But isn’t Farron a bit risky?” I responded that that may be so, but what the party needs at this time is a risk-taker, not afraid to revisit more traditional Liberal policies – on Trident, on Europe, on industrial democracy, on land value taxation, on the pursuit of a more just society, and on the need for a federal constitution including a new upper house.

It will be a long and at times painful journey, but with Tim Farron inspiring and leading it I see grounds for real hope and optimism.

 You can read the whole article here. 
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The Independent View: Tim Farron’s election as leader provides hope that the party will embrace and enhance the green roots held dear by members and activists.

Congratulations to Tim Farron, an MP who has long championed environmental causes. His voting record, especially during the coalition years, was consistently green. In 2013 Farron was one of 16 Lib Dems to rebel and back a 2030 decarbonisation target. How different the energy politics landscape would look had more Lib Dem MPs (and later peers) joined him and ensured there was now a decarb target in the statute books to provide long term certainty for investors in the face of growing short term uncertainty.*

But that was then. With Tim Farron at the helm we look forward to the party adopting stronger green positions, such as Farron’s repeated pledge to oppose fracking. Most importantly – and in a move that puts clear water between him and Andy Burnham, the leading candidate for the Labour leadership – Farron’s opposition is on the grounds that burning shale gas is incompatible with tackling climate change:

Shale gas will only have a future in the UK if we abandon, or significantly scale back, our climate targets – and that’s something that I hope every Liberal Democrat would oppose

This is the sort of clear leadership sorely needed in the fight against climate change and the pressing need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Only the Greens and Plaid Cymru have made so clear the climate change rationale for opposing fracking (in addition to the more widely accepted risks to communities’ air, water and peace).

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LibLink: Simon Hughes: A message to Tim Farron: Unite, inspire and enthuse

Simon Hughes was one of the first people to endorse Tim Farron for leader. He’s written an article for today’s Independent in which he outlines what he thinks Tim should do next:

The new leader knows what to do. He must and will unite, inspire, and enthuse the party, involving supporters of both candidates in one big campaign for liberalism, determined to rebuild – and quickly. The clarion calls dreadfully muffled in the last year must be heard in all our communities: freedom, democracy, respect for our planet, a decent quality of life for all, and much greater equality in our still horribly unequal country. We must turn our policy and philosophy into practice where we govern and into campaigns where we do not. We need a massive housing programme of council, social rent, and other affordable housing, and help for the mentally ill. We must champion political reform to restore the link between voters’ views and election results. We must be the party of internationalism and of Europe, and a movement which values those who have chosen to live here.

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LDVideo: Tim Farron’s first speech as Liberal Democrat leader

Here it is in full, courtesy of Sky News – Tim’s first speech, delivered to a packed Islington Assembly Hall. I followed it on Twitter while I was on a train and it was giving me goosebumps so you might need to sit down with a cup of tea to watch the whole thing. Full of passion and energy and purpose and articulating an practical, relevant, optimistic, joyful liberalism.

A member of the audience fainted at one point and was incredibly apologetic but Tim was quick to reassure him and make sure he was ok.

There is a transcript on the party website, reproduced below for ease.

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Tim Farron is the new Liberal Democrat leader

BBC News announcement of Tim as leader

Congratulations, Tim, on being elected leader of a party that doesn’t often want to be led at one of  the most challenging times in its history.

And here’s the official tweet:

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Have you got a first class stamp?

tim farron norman lamb squarish by paul walterYou’d be wise to get one if you haven’t yet voted in the Leadership election. The deadline for ballots to be returned in this Wednesday, so put it in an envelope NOW and get along to the postbox.

No … wait … we have some final LibLinks to share with you to help you make up your mind. Huffington Post published articles by both candidates on Friday.

First, Tim Farron wrote under the headline: The Time for Britain’s ‘New Federalism’.

I love the unitedness of our kingdom. Ours is a rich tapestry that is unrivalled in the world, a union of histories and rituals and oddities, stronger together than our individual parts. But our unity should never come at the cost of these individual streaks. We should never confuse togetherness for conformity; never seek to leak the colours away from our towns and cities and shores, for some bland notion of oneness. Union does not mean uniformity.

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Opinion: Ideas or leaflets?

Something that stays with me from Monday’s East Midlands leadership hustings was Tim Farron saying that under him, our arms would ache with the quantity of leaflets we have delivered, while Norman Lamb pointed out that our pounding at the polls was not through any lack of leaflets, and that he wanted us to do more to stimulate liberal ideas, as the party had done in Jo Grimond’s time.

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Two ways to find out more about the Ethnic Minorities Liberal Democrats Leadership Hustings

cropped EMLD logo
Last week, Ethnic Minorities Liberal Democrats held a very good hustings event in London where Tim Farron and Norman Lamb were put through their paces.

You can listen to the whole thing here on Soundcloud.

You can also read Lester Holloway’s report of for The Voice here.

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Tim Farron as many of us have never seen him before

A tweet from the Labour leader of Newcastle City Council won the internet yesterday. It shows the candidates for North West Durham in the 1992 election. Labour’s Hilary Armstrong represented the seat from 1987-2010, but her opponents in 1992 were interesting. There was one Theresa May for the Conservatives looking like she was about to leap out of the photograph and eat you if you disagreed with her and a very youthful Tim Farron.

He was just a month shy of his 22nd birthday when he stood in that election.

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Liberal Democrat Leadership: Farron and Lamb answer questions on engineering and science

One of the great things about the leadership contest is that every party organisation has submitted questions to the candidates on their area of interest.

The Association of Liberal Democrat Engineers and Scientists is no exception and you can see all Tim’s and Norman’s answers to a series of questions about science.

You can read them all here, but here’s a flavour of one question:

Both of you signed an EDM in 2007 supporting provision of homeopathic medicines through the NHS but then revised your support after a Commons STC report questioned the evidence in favour of homeopathic treatments. What resources would you call on personally as leader in order to obtain expert advice and how could the parliamentary party make better use of evidence?

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Liberal Democrat Leadership: Young activists’ letters of support for Farron and Lamb – and a bit of controversy too

Liberal Youth at Eastleigh - Some rights reserved by Helen Duffett

Young activists have written open letters in support of the respective candidates in  the Liberal Democrat leadership contest.

Earlier this week, 50 young activists, including Sam Bennett, the chair of IR Cymru, Liberal Youth Executive members and members from Scotland, England and Wales, wrote an open letter of support for Tim, saying:

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New Leader to be announced on social media ahead of members’ rally

tim farron norman lamb square5 by Paul Walter

Historically leaders have been announced very formally, with an audience of party grandees listening to the party president read the results.

Not this time. Next Thursday, about this time, we’ll all be refreshing our Twitter like idiots waiting for news for this time the result will be announced on social media at some point in the “late afternoon.”

Then, at 6pm, there will be a members’ rally at a Central London venue where the new leader will make his first speech. As I write, members are being emailed details of how to register.

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Senior Lib Dems react to Budget

This post will be updated during the day as more people respond.

First of all, what did the leadership candidates make of the budget?

Norman Lamb:

Update: 5:35: He has released a fuller statement:

In government under the Coalition, the Liberal Democrats took difficult decisions to tackle our deficit and get our public finances in order. Our financial discipline over five years means that under Coalition spending plans, national debt is set to start falling next year as a proportion of our economy.

But today the Chancellor has set out a wave of new cuts that are ideologically driven, and unnecessary. The idea that you would slash £12bn from support for the poorest working families and in the same breath cut inheritance tax bills for millionaires is beyond belief, and morally reprehensible. This will impact on some of the most disadvantaged people in our society, affecting millions of children and reinforcing disadvantage.

And we have seen vividly how David Cameron’s Conservative government has failed to grasp the existential threat we face as a society from global climate change. Plans to scrap the tariff exemptions that support our investment in tackling climate change and securing the future of our planet are depressingly short-sighted. If the Conservatives are worried about mass migration and instability in the Middle East and North Africa, they need to get serious about action against climate change.”

Finally, this Budget failed to mention mental health once. In government the Liberal Democrats made equality for mental health one of our top priorities, working to rectify the historic discrimination and under-funding suffered by mental health services in the NHS. The Conservatives have discarded equality for mental health along with tackling climate change, supporting working families, and helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds go to university in an ideological mission to cut the size of the state.

Tim Farron:

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Social Liberal Forum holds hustings for Farron and Lamb

The Social Liberal Forum Conference ended yesterday with a 90 minute hustings between Tim Farron and Norman Lamb. Both men turned up dressed in very similar clothes. As I tweeted at the time, if they had been women, we’d never have heard the end of it.

It was a lively event, not least because they did allow questions from the floor that hadn’t been submitted in advance – and they allowed supplementaries. The candidates were both put under more pressure than they had been at any other event I’d seen so far. There is nothing wrong with vanilla ice cream, but if the other hustings were that, then this one was Chilli and Dark Chocolate ice cream – rich with flavour and full of warmth. When I say warmth, I am not referring to the temperature in the room. The air-conditioning was broken, leading Nick Barlow to make one observation:

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The leadership candidates in the Sunday papers: Compassion for migrants to ageing hippies and winning back the South West

sundaypapsThere’s quite a bit from Norman Lamb and Tim Farron in the Sunday papers today, all of which shows off our two leadership contenders at the best, challenging orthodoxy with fresh liberal thinking based on principles. The Labour leadership candidates (with the exception of Comrade Corbyn) might like to try that sort of  thing sometimes. It really can be quite invigorating.

The Observer highlights Tim Farron’s call for the UK to take 60,000 migrants as part of an EU arrangement to help these desperate people who have been fleeing horrible circumstances.

“We should support this because we are decent people. Our party should not have a mixed message about this. We should not turn people away,” he said.

The former Lib Dem president has written to David Cameron to say the UK should be proud of its record on taking in refugees, citing the admission of many thousands of Ugandan Asians who were expelled by President Idi Amin in 1972.

The policy had benefited all parties, and proved to be in the country’s economic interest. “First and foremost it is about compassion, but also there is enlightened self-interest,” Farron said.

The article also quotes Norman Lamb, who spoke very movingly on Any Questions last week, urging compassion for children who had been stuck for weeks in a refugee camp. He said:

Lamb said he had invited former party leader Paddy Ashdown and Baroness Williams to take part in a new foreign policy commission to address issues such as migration flows and climate change, that were now among the most serious facing political leaders across the world.

On migration, Lamb said: “The truth is that no one has a clear idea about how to address this challenge. We have to map out a way forward, otherwise there is a risk we as a society take a wrong turn with disastrous consequences.

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ALTER Questions the Leadership Candidates
 on the Land Value Tax and Economic Reform

ALTER is an Associated Organisation within the Liberal Democrats dedicated to advancing the causes of the Land Value Tax and other economic reforms. We chose to use the leadership contest as an opportunity.

We are aware that party policy is not determined by the leader, it is instead determined democratically by members at federal conferences. However, it is our experience that the leader has a large amount of influence in terms of which policies are given priority. So although motions and amendments on the Land Value Tax have been regularly passed at conference with near unanimity, the party has largely been quite shy about the policy, leaving it hidden within the small print of our manifesto rather than properly campaign on it.

For this reason we wished to challenge both leadership candidates as to whether they’d be willing to grasp the nettle and get seriously behind LVT, and also take their view on other areas of economic reform including workplace democracy and monetary policy.
We sent our questions and their responses are below.

Land Value Tax

Whenever the Land Value Tax has been debated at a Liberal Democrat conference, support for it is almost unanimous. While the party has consistently supported introducing the Land Value Tax, it has in recent years been highly shy about it. ALTER had to fight for it to even make the small print in our manifesto.

As leader, would you be willing to grasp the nettle and make it a front and centre policy?

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Farron and Lamb respond to questions from Liberal Democrat Lawyers

The Lib Dem Lawyers’ Association asked our leadership candidates Tim Farron and Norman Lamb a number of questions to probe their positions on key legal issue debates. First off we asked about the rule of law as a liberal principle and as you might expect received positive responses. On all our questions both candidates gave good responses, though sometimes with a different emphasis – you can read the responses in full here. There were a number of themes:-

On Access to Justice both took anti-LASPO (the legislation which cut back the scope of civil legal aid) positions – although both at the time voted for the legislation, Norman said “We were wrong…. this was quite possibly our biggest mistake in the last government” whilst Tim said “I don’t think anyone could now defend the LASPO Act’s reforms and we need to think again.” As someone who lobbied all our MPs incessantly on this issue, I’m pleased to hear that, although much damage to free legal advice sector has already been done. On criminal legal aid, Norman also spoke about “modernising the criminal justice system” whist Tim spoke about “ending the deserts in provision.”

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Fourth emails from Leadership Candidates

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

First of all, the Returning Officer’s information including what to do if you haven’t received your ballot:

Below are the top lines and links in the fourth 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 have already been dispatched so you should receive your ballot paper by post in the next day or so if you haven’t received it already.   If you have not received your ballot paper by Thursday 2nd July please go to  http://www.libdems.org.uk/replacement-ballot-paper to request a replacement.  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.

Regards,

TimGordon
Chief Executive & Acting Returning Officer
Liberal Democrats

PS Replacement ballot papers are issued on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Returning Officer.

Tim Farron’s Email

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Report shows how extensively this country fails vulnerable children

Yesterday the UK’s Children’s Commissioners published a joint report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. It makes very grim reading. If a child is poor, bullied, suffers mental ill health, gets involved with the criminal or immigration systems or suffers the effects of domestic violence, this country simply does not provide them with what they need. I seriously recommend that you read the whole thing because a few headlines from the press doesn’t quite give the flavour of the extent to which we should be ashamed of ourselves.

We can have all the arguments we like about austerity measures and to what extent they were necessary but this report provides an extensive list of the sorts of problems that we liberals should be putting all our energies into solving. Top of my list would be access to justice and reversing the cuts to legal aid that prevent children being properly represented in cases that affect them. Second would be mental health. The range of things that affect young people’s mental health is huge and we need to look at prevention as well as treatment when things do go wrong.

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Recent Comments

  • User Avataradrian sanders 30th Jul - 3:09pm
    Now Tim's leader I'm expecting a cockroach but would prefer a Phonix.
  • User Avatarrita giannini 30th Jul - 2:50pm
    No Europe? With the referendum? There must be something we don't know......
  • User Avatarjohnmc 30th Jul - 2:44pm
    A penguin?
  • User AvatarATF 30th Jul - 2:32pm
    @John Tilley How about a Duck a l'orange Book?
  • User AvatarATF 30th Jul - 2:31pm
    (I'm not much of a Libby fan...)
  • User AvatarJohn Tilley 30th Jul - 2:22pm
    So long as it is not a small Orange Book or a Dead Duck, most of us will probably be happy with a replacement.