19 March 2024 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • London Lib Dem Launch – Blackie slams Khan record on crime
  • Cole-Hamilton: Patients deserve better than the SNP’s new normal
  • “Our Welsh workers are not collateral damage”-Welsh Lib Dems call for clarification on jobs following Tata Steel oven closure
  • Cole-Hamilton attacks SNP ministers as opioids continue to blight Scotland

London Lib Dem Launch – Blackie slams Khan record on crime

Mayoral Candidate, Rob Blackie, has launched the London Liberal Democrat today with a pledge to ‘fix the Met’.

The party launched its campaign at Pop Brixton, located in the neighbourhood Rob has spent much of the past 20 years raising his family.

Blackie told the media and a group of close supporters that Sadiq Khan does “not deserve” a third term due to his record on crime. He also dismissed the Conservative chances, accusing the party of giving up on London after selecting a Trump-backing candidate.

Blackie said Sadiq Khan’s failure on crime is the reason he is standing as mayor.

Seasoned campaigner, Blackie, 50, described how he became a victim of crime himself. His neck was broken in a vicious gang mugging in Vauxhall, and he now has a titanium neck.

Speaking to journalists in Brixton this morning (Tuesday), Blackie said:

My top priority is crime and policing.

Sadiq Khan’s failure on those issues is the main reason I am standing against him.

Violent crime has risen by 30 percent in London since Mr Khan has been in office.

Sexual offence clear-up rates have halved in the last eight years.

Let me just read one shocking sentence from Baroness Casey’s report on the Met Police, published last year – the account of a serving police officer, who said: ‘If you look at our performance around rape, serious sexual offences, the detection rate is so low you may as well say it’s legal in London.’

Just let that sink in… ‘You may as well say it’s legal in London.’

It is just shameful.

Sadiq Khan blames everyone else for this but himself. The buck stops with him and we will call him out in this campaign.

In his speech, Blackie described how he grew up in London playing on the street with neighbouring children from all over the world. He added:

I love living and working in the most cosmopolitan city on the planet.

That is the London I love, and the London we want to ‘get back’.

He also took a swipe at the London Conservatives, describing Susan Hall as “beyond the pale”. He said:

Far from embracing London, she attacks it. Liking tweets that call our city Londonistan and venerate Enoch Powell.

Does she even like London? She certainly doesn’t love our great city. When the Conservatives chose her as their candidate, they gave up on this election.

Cole-Hamilton: Patients deserve better than the SNP’s new normal

Responding to new figures showing only 65.2% of people attending A&E were seen within the 4 hour target in the week ending 10th March, while 2,943 people waited over 8 hours, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

It seems that the current level of long waits in Scotland’s A&E departments has become the new normal under the SNP.

Patients and staff alike deserve better than this, so we urgently need to see action from the new Health Secretary to reverse this situation.

Scottish Liberal Democrats would overhaul the NHS Recovery Plan, bring forward an urgent inquiry into the hundreds of avoidable deaths linked to the emergency care crisis and implement measures which will meaningfully tackle burnout among staff.

“Our Welsh workers are not collateral damage”-Welsh Lib Dems call for clarification on jobs following Tata Steel oven closure

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have urged Tata Steel to clarify that no further job losses will be announced following the decision to close the coke ovens at their plant in Port Talbot.

The ovens, used in the process of fuelling the blast furnaces, have been closed due to safety concerns.

Around 200 workers are likely to be affected by this closure, but uncertainty remains about their immediate future.

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

The decision to close deteriorating coke ovens at the Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot, whilst inevitable, is still a significant blow to the site’s future. However, above all else the safety of workers must be prioritised.

We need urgent clarification on the future of those workers who are likely to be impacted by this decision, with immediate reassurance that there will be no further job losses at the plant.

Our Welsh workers are not collateral damage, they are people with families who now more than ever need our support and backing.

Cole-Hamilton attacks SNP ministers as opioids continue to blight Scotland

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today accused the SNP of allowing high levels of opioid dependence to blight communities across Scotland.

A report from Public Health Scotland published today reveals that:

  • As of 2019/20, 47,100 Scots had an opioid addiction.
  • Scotland has a higher rate of opioid dependence than England.
  • The rate of opioid dependence has been stable between 2014/15 and 2019/20.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

We already knew that progress on tackling Scotland’s drugs deaths rate, the highest in Europe, has been truly woeful. Today’s figures show that efforts to drive down dependence are failing too.

Ministers are continuing to allow opioids to blight communities. This is especially troubling because we are now seeing the rise of synthetic opioids 50 times strong than heroin which are responsible for a growing number of deaths.

When I challenged the First Minister over these substances and his government’s real terms cuts to drug services in January, I was not impressed with the answer he gave.

I want ministers to protect and strengthen the drug and alcohol budget so that everyone can access care when they need it.

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This entry was posted in London, News, Press releases, Scotland and Wales.
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