Tag Archives: willie rennie

Willie Rennie – the “secret guilty pleasure” of singer and columnist Michelle McManus


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Michelle McManus

Winner of Pop Idol 2003, singer, broadcaster, actress and columnist, Michelle McManus must have brought blushes to the cheeks of Willie Rennie with this passage in her Glasgow Evening Times column:

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Rennie calls on Justice Secretary to end “chilling” Police whistleblower policy

Scotland’s Police force has been beset with difficulties since its 8 Police forces were merged into a single entity five years ago. Some of these difficulties have come to light because police officers have reported their concerns to politicians and the media. So what is the Police management plan to deal with this? Simples. Just make police officers register every single contact with politicians or journalists. If they don’t they could find themselves in big trouble.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has called for the intervention of the Justice Secretary and Scottish Police Authority to ensure that the police hierarchy are not free to silence internal critics after it was revealed that new guidance has been issued within Police Scotland that will crack down on whistle-blowers.

From STV News:

Scotland’s justice secretary has been urged to ensure new Police Scotland guidelines do not have a “chilling effect” on internal critics within the force.

The new rules require officers to declare any associations they have with journalists and politicians, raising concerns they will be used to quash whistleblowing.

The guidance is compulsory for all police officers and special constables, with the prospect of misconduct proceedings for anyone who breaches it.

It is part of the force’s latest anti-corruption strategy and aims to “protect the information, assets and reputation of Police Scotland”.

The General Secretary of the Scottish Police Federation likened it to the sort of policy you would find in a banana republic.

Any policy that equates contact with elected parliamentarians and journalists with contact with criminals is deeply worrying.

It risks being seen as an attempt to silence dissent that would not be out of place in a banana republic.

Willie said:

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Willie, Christine and Jo celebrate Scottish Lib Dem wins

I could cheerfully have swung for Willie Rennie on Friday afternoon when he suggested an event on Sunday morning to celebrate our 4 Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs. I mean, it’s the first Sunday morning in 7 weeks most  of us could have had a lie-in. I thought nobody would want to go and it would be a disaster.

I was wrong. It was well-attended, there were broadcast and print journalists there and the atmosphere was great. There are, however,  two very important lessons to learn from the event, but more of that later. A huge crowd of people turned up at Jo Swinson’s campaign office in Milngavie. One person brought his two gorgeous and friendly  dogs, Caleb and Bella, who looked resplendent in their Jo Swinson rosettes.

Christine Jardine and Alex Cole-Hamilton came across from Edinburgh to join in the celebrations. Christine used to live in Bearsden and told how it was Jo who had inspired her to get involved in politics and stand for Parliament.

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Willie Rennie: SNP must hold parliamentary vote to cancel divisive independence referendum

I managed to get two hours’ sleep this morning. The dog woke me up by deciding to use my stomach as a trampoline after someone let her up the stairs. I checked my phone to see a message inviting lots of us to Party HQ in Edinburgh for an event with Willie.

Ten minutes later I was on a train ready to be a yellow diamond bearer in the background as he made a statement and gave interviews to the media

With Christine Jardine, Edinburgh West’s new MP by his side, he talked about the gains we had made, quadrupling our representation and how the election result across Scotland meant that independence was now off the agenda. He said the First Minister needed to make a big gesture to bring the country together:

The election result was a monumental event with the loss of colossal figures on the Scottish political scene.

The loss of 21 MPs including the former First Minister Alex Salmond and the SNP Deputy Leader Angus Robertson will leave a major hole in Scottish politics and the SNP.

The SNP lost 13 percentage points which is more than any other political party in the United Kingdom. Such major losses require a major political response.

The central issue of the election in Scotland was another independence referendum.  The Scottish people have rejected that proposal. Nicola Sturgeon must respond immediately to this major event.

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Willie Rennie’s final rallying call: Lib Dem MPs will put Scotland at heart of UK & UK at heart of Europe

Willie Rennie holds his last campaign rally in North East Fife where he hopes Elizabeth Riches will take the seat for the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

He will say

In place like East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh West, North East Fife, the North East, Argyll and the Highlands people have a chance to have a MP that will stand strongly against independence and put the local community first.

In this election we have set out a clear and positive message that Scotland is best served when it is at the heart of the UK and the UK is at the heart of Europe. The

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Scottish Liberal Democrats to launch manifesto

Willie Rennie will launch the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ manifesto this morning at an Edinburgh mental health charity.

We will have the details later, but ahead of the launch he said:

Votes for the Liberal Democrats will stop another divisive independence referendum from the nationalists.

With the Scottish economy teetering on the edge of a recession, the performance of Scottish education dropping down the international rankings and mental health services failing to deliver, the last thing our country needs is another divisive and distracting independence referendum.

The Liberal Democrats are setting out a positive plan to invest in mental health and education. A modest penny on tax secures those.

We will protect jobs in Scotland by opposing an extreme Conservative Brexit and giving people the right to reject a bad deal.

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The campaign starts up again

It’s the first day of national campaigning since the Manchester attack on Monday night.

For Tim Farron, it’s not an immediate return to hostilities. Instead, he’s going to Warrington to visit a Jonathan Ball/Tim Parry Peace Foundation in Warrington.

The Foundation was set up by the parents of the two boys who were killed by the Warrington Bomb in 1993.

Tim wants to learn about the charity’s work.

Later he will attend a remembrance service at a Mosque with the Ahmadiyya community in Manchester.

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