11 January 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems call for Ofcom investigation on GB News “bias and misleading” reporting of Post Office scandal
  • Double by-election: Conservative majority being whittled away
  • NHS waiting lists soar by 400,000 since Sunak made pledge to cut them

Lib Dems call for Ofcom investigation on GB News “bias and misleading” reporting of Post Office scandal

  • Deputy Leader slams Farage and Conservative MP presenters for “bias, misleading and at times, frankly absurd news reporting”
  • Conservative politicians lining up to host TV shows in election year whilst refusing to criticise their own party

The Liberal Democrats have written to Ofcom to demand an investigation into the reporting of the Post Office Horizon scandal by Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Lee Anderson.

The party has noted that the Reform Party Chairman Farage and Conservative MP Rees-Mogg both failed to report on the scandal impartially, after they attacked opposition parties without including the Conservative government’s role.

In a letter to the Chief Executive of Ofcom, Daisy Cooper MP also noted that Lee Anderson cannot be trusted to report without bias on the matter, after non-stop attacks on the Leader of the Liberal Democrats on social media and in the House of Commons.

In her letter to Ofcom, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, Daisy Cooper MP said:

I am writing to you to call for an investigation into GB News’s coverage of the Post Office Horizon scandal.

This is a General Election year. British democracy deserves better than bias, misleading and at times, frankly absurd news reporting of important matters.

I have also been shocked to see Conservative MPs, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, take aim at political leaders from other parties about the scandal, whilst not mentioning his own party’s role in this devastating miscarriage of justice.

…these issues must, by law, be presented impartially and cover the whole picture. For those watching GB News evening shows with Conservative and Reform politicians, this is clearly not the case.

Double by-election: Conservative majority being whittled away

Responding to the writ being moved for the Wellingborough and Kingswood by-elections, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

One of these by-elections is a result of a sexual harassment scandal and the other from an MP who didn’t want to be associated with the Conservative Party anymore.

Even Conservative MPs are tired of this Conservative government so it’s no wonder the public is crying out for a general election and an end to this chaos.

Their majority is being whittled away with by-election after by-election as voters are given the opportunity to send a message to out of touch Rishi Sunak.

NHS waiting lists soar by 400,000 since Sunak made pledge to cut them

The Liberal Democrats have slammed Rishi Sunak after figures published today show NHS waiting lists have soared by 400,000 since the Prime Minister pledged to cut them last year.

The latest figures show NHS waiting lists are at 7.61 million, a slight fall on the previous month but up from 7.19 million when Rishi Sunak outlined his pledge to reduce waiting lists last year.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Conservative government to reverse real-terms cuts to NHS spending. Figures in the Autumn Statement show the NHS budget has been cut by £3.5 billion (2.1%) in real terms this year, and is set to fall by another £1.3 billion (0.8%) next year.

Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

Rishi Sunak promised to cut waiting lists when he made his pledge, instead he cut spending on the NHS. Now one year on, millions are left waiting in pain for the treatment they need and the number has only grown over the last year.

“It’s unthinkable that Conservative ministers are now planning to slash funding for the NHS further even after all the damage they have caused. We need a general election now to kick this out-of-touch government out of office, fix the NHS and care and get the change the country deserves.

“Small businesses need our help now more than ever”- Jane Dodds MS

Today, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS has called for more support for small businesses in Wales.

A recent study from Qardus has revealed that Ceredigion is the local authority where small to medium enterprises are thriving the most in the UK.

Commenting, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

I was delighted to hear that, according to a recent study, Ceredigion has been labelled as the best place for small to medium enterprises to thrive in the UK.

If anything, this should highlight the fact that it is possible for small business owners to secure a real financial foothold for both them and their businesses here in Wales.

However, they cannot do this completely on their own.

Whilst these figures do show promising signs, they also highlight just how difficult it is for small businesses across, not just Wales, but also the UK who are facing little to no help in dealing with the Cost-of-Living crisis.

We must support our local businesses by reducing their business rates and providing them with the necessary resources they need to succeed.

Small businesses are very often the heartbeat of communities across Wales, we cannot afford to sit by and watch as they slowly fade away.

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16 Comments

  • GB News seems to be the UK equivalent of US Fux News.

  • nigel hunter 12th Jan '24 - 10:25am

    GB News.Not a nrews programme just a right wing political party platform.It is not even GB owned.Its backers reside in Qatar.It is also asking for its readers to donate funds to keep it going.The Conservative MPs Reform ‘businessman’Farage are costing it dear.How long will it be before The Qatary hedge fund backers drop it?
    Conservatives have always been more interested in big business (they can get ‘bungs’ from contracts lobbyimg) buy share etc to enrich themselves.Small, medium businesses,the lifeblood of a growing successful country, do not give them worthy financial returns in their pockets so are not encouraged.

  • “Conservative MPs lining up to host TV shows”; I was always under the impression that being a Member of Parliament was a full-time job. Perhaps I’m wrong; they do get an awful lot of time off each year and seem to get an awful lot of money for the hours that they do represent their constituents.

    Maybe it’s time that their contracts of employment as MPs were changed to prevent them from taking on these lucrative second jobs.

  • Martin Gray 12th Jan '24 - 1:08pm

    GB news for all its sins does have contributors like Paul Embery & Aaron Bastini …Given that the voting public put Johnson into number ten with an 80+ seat majority & 17 million + voted for Brexit we’d be naive to think that they do not represent the concerns of a significant number of the electorate … Especially as we currently sit at 10% and below …

  • Being an MP is not a full-time job for MPs with safe seats. Archie Hamilton only appeared in his seat (Epsom & Ewell) at election time and was always elected with over 60% of the votes cast. He always supported the Conservative government in Parliament and is now in the House of Lords. The local Conservative party tried once to de-select him but failed. If STV and multi-member constituencies had been in use, we could have helped!

  • Martin Gray 12th Jan '24 - 2:40pm

    @David Goble..A number of MPs – mostly Tories but not all , make eye watering amounts on top of their salaries for various organisations – mostly consultation work + the usual legal work for some…The days are long gone when parliament had 3 militant tendency MPs who only took a workers wage at the time …
    Dave Nellist , Pat Wall , Terry Fields … I’d put my house on it that any of those three would of smelt a rat if confronted with a fawning civil servant with a statement of assurity from a big businesses like Fujitsu…

  • Alex Macfie 12th Jan '24 - 4:23pm

    Martin Gray: “we’d be naive to think that they do not represent the concerns of a significant number of the electorate” but not a part of the electorate that we are targeting or would ever consider voting for us, so irrelevant.

  • Mary Fulton 12th Jan '24 - 4:32pm

    There is a significant difference between GB News and BBC News….GB News doesn’t pretend it is impartial.

  • MP is not a full time job. If it was, then MPs wouldn’t be able to serve as government ministers.

  • Nonconformistradical 12th Jan '24 - 6:32pm

    “MP is not a full time job. If it was, then MPs wouldn’t be able to serve as government ministers.”
    Given the constant chorus of criticism of ministers (of all parties) in the media – perhaps MPs (those trying to do their jobs properly anyway) really don’t have time to do the ministerial job properly – another issue for constitutional reform.

  • Mick Taylor 12th Jan '24 - 6:38pm

    Until the First World War, MPs appointed as ministers had to fight a by-election in their seats before taking office. Some failed. Maybe we should reintroduce this rule. It might mean that ministers actually stayed in their jobs instead of the constant flux we see now. This was because being a minister was an office of profit under the crown.

  • Martin Gray 12th Jan '24 - 7:18pm

    @Alex Macfie…
    “but not a part of the electorate that we are targeting or would ever consider voting for us, so irrelevant”
    Dismissing the concerns of a significant number voters is what brought about Brexit & Johnson’s 80 seat majority .
    The progressive left has fallen into a metropolitan middle class group think mentality that continues to alienate many voters…

  • Chris Moore 12th Jan '24 - 8:11pm

    And what’s more we did use to win support from a percentage of such voters.

  • Alex Macfie 12th Jan '24 - 8:35pm

    Most ministerial by-elections were uncontested, making them pointless. If we did have contested ministerial by-elections, it would simply mean that no PM would ever appoint a minister who was defending a marginal seat. And in the case of a government as unpopular as the present one, it would not dare run the risk of appointing any backbencher to a ministerial role.
    I think the resigning to fight a by-election was only ever a convention, not law. If the ministerial role were an “office of profit under the crown”, then surely it would disqualify the holder from even taking up a seat in Parliament. When David Davis and Zac Goldsmith did their vanity resignations, they were appointed Grand Steward & Bailiff of wherever then immediately released from the post so they could stand again in the by-elections.
    A better idea might be the Dutch system, where ministers don’t sit in Parliament at all. The big advantage of this is no payroll vote.

  • Martin Gray you are right in one sense – a lot of left liberal rhetoric alienates many voters including erstwhile Lib Dems but I wouldn’t include Brexit in the “progressive middle class group think” as most voters including a majority of C2DE voters now seem to think we were wrong to leave the EU.

  • Neil Hickman 13th Jan '24 - 1:26pm

    Alex – the requirement for someone being appointed a Minister for the first time to fight a by-election stemmed from the fact that it was “an office of profit under the Crown” at a time when MPs as such were not paid. It was contained in an Act of Parliament from the time of Queen Anne.
    It only very occasionally resulted in an upset (most famously, perhaps, when Winston Churchill was defeated in 1908), was suspended during the First World War, and abolished by the Re-Election of Ministers Act 1919 (ending the requirement to seek re-election within nine months of a general election), and the Re-Election of Ministers Act (1919) Amendment Act 1926 (in all other cases).

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