19 October 2022 – today’s press releases (part 2)

And here are the rest (at the time of writing)…

  • Liberal Democrats Press Conservatives on HS2 Funding for Wales
  • Braverman departure: a “carousel of Conservative chaos”
  • Fracking vote: The Conservatives will not be forgiven
  • This Conservative soap opera needs to end now
  • Conservatives Cannot be Trusted to Maintain Fracking Ban if they Came to Power in Wales

Liberal Democrats Press Conservatives on HS2 Funding for Wales

During today’s Wales Office questions in Westminster, the Liberal Democrats continued to press the UK Conservative Government to release the £5 billion of consequential funding owed to Wales from HS2.

The HS2 rail line is currently classed by the UK Government as an “England and Wales project” despite not a single metre of the track being located in Wales and economic impact assessments showing that the rail line will result in a slight net loss to the Welsh economy. As a result, the UK Government is avoiding paying out over £5 billion in consequential funding to the Welsh Government, which could be spent on rail transport in Wales itself.

Scotland by comparison has received £10 billion in consequential funding.

According to the Wales Governance Centre, from 2011-2019, Wales had already received a total of £514 million less than it should have received under a population-based share of the UK’s rail infrastructure spending.

Responding to a question by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Green asking why Wales was not receiving its fair share of funding, Conservative Wales office Minister David TC Davies reiterated that HS2 is a UK-wide project, going against the wishes of the Welsh Conservative Party who have called for the funding to be released to spend in Wales.

Commenting, the Liberal Democrats Wales spokesperson Sarah Green MP said:

The Conservative government continues to deny Wales its fair share of funding from HS2.

The project is not an ‘England and Wales’ project.

£5 billion of transport funding to spend on the rail network in Wales would be revolutionary. To put it into context, reopening the Aberystwyth-Carmarthenshire rail line would cost £620 million while electrifying the rail line between Swansea and Cardiff would cost £433 million.

The UK Conservative Government must give Welsh taxpayers their fair share of funding, it is not acceptable that they should continue to put up with poorer transport infrastructure for no reason and the Liberal Democrats will continue to fight against this injustice.

Braverman departure: a “carousel of Conservative chaos”

Responding to the news that Suella Braverman is no longer Home Secretary, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael said:

This is a Government in chaos. People should not be forced to watch the Conservative party implode day after day while real people suffer.

There is a of cost of living catastrophe, health service crisis and now a rudderless home office.

The only solution now is a General Election so the public can get off this carousel of Conservative chaos.

Fracking vote: The Conservatives will not be forgiven

Responding to the fracking vote where 230 MPs voted for the ban and 326 MPs voted against, Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse said:

Conservative MPs will not be forgiven for this. England’s countryside is now at risk of pointless drilling which won’t even bring down energy bills.

The public wants renewable energy, not fracking. Renewables are the cheapest and most popular form of energy and are vital in reaching net-zero targets. Conservative MPs are backing a Government of climate-deniers who are hellbent on ripping up green land for pointless fracking.

This Conservative soap opera needs to end now

Responding to the events in Parliament this evening during the fracking vote, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

It’s time for Liz Truss to accept that the game is up.

This chaotic government no longer even has control over its own MPs, let alone our economy.

Families around the country are worried about putting food on the table while the Conservatives are fighting each other like rats in a sack.

It’s time to end this daily Conservative soap opera and call a general election so we can get rid of this collapsing and failing government.

Conservatives Cannot be Trusted to Maintain Fracking Ban if they Came to Power in Wales

Commenting on tonight’s vote in the House of Commons, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said the ordeal has shown not only is our precious Welsh countryside unsafe if the Conservatives ever come to power in Wales, but that the Conservatives are completely unfit to be in power.

The comments come after reports Conservative MPs were manhandled to vote the way the Government wanted them to.

All 13 Welsh Conservative MPs voted to oppose a ban on fracking. Liz Truss herself did not record a vote.

Fracking is currently banned in Wales by the Welsh Government, but the Liberal Democrats have argued that the vote raises serious questions over whether the Conservatives would legalize it if they gained power in Wales and shows a wider disregard for farming, nature and the countryside across the UK.

Last month the British Geological Society refused to endorse fracking as safe in their report for the government. The House of Commons Environment Committee has previously warned that fracking poses a “risk to groundwater and a risk of polluting surface water”. They warned too that the need for “considerable quantities of water” for fracking “could pose localised risks to water supplies”.

New research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has also revealed that fracking caused 192 earthquakes in 182 days at the one active site in the UK, equivalent to more than one a day.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

The scenes reported in Westminster tonight are not acceptable and accusations of bullying must be investigated fully.

It’s time for Liz Truss to accept that the game is up. She clearly has no control over her party, let alone our economy.

Families around the country are worried about putting food on the table while the Conservatives are fighting each other like rats in a sack.

It’s time to end this daily Conservative soap opera and call a general election so we can get rid of this collapsing and failing government.

On the motion itself, if the Conservatives had backed it we would have been one step closer to banning this dangerous and unnecessary practice for good.

While fracking is still currently banned in Wales thanks to the Welsh Government, this vote raises serious concerns about the intentions of the Conservatives if they were to gain power in Wales. Despite Andrew RT Davies having disowned the practice, Welsh Conservative MPs seem to disagree.

It also paints a wider picture of a Conservative party that treats rural areas with contempt and shows a disregard for farming, nature and the countryside.

13 Welsh Conservative MPs have also gone against another direct manifesto commitment when they stood in 2019 on a commitment not to support fracking.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats will always champion the environment and we will fight tooth and nail to stop oil and gas giants from tearing up our countryside on both sides of the Welsh border.

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2 Comments

  • Liz Truss said ‘she’s a fighter’..From the scenes in the division lobby last night it looks like the rest of her party are, too!

  • The resignation of the former Home Secretary on the purported grounds of a breach of the ministerial code on the back of the sacking of the former Chancellor looks reminiscent of that of Hugh Dalton in 1947.
    The immediate cause of his resignation was that Dalton had leaked details of the Budget to a journalist who published them minutes before the Chancellor announced them to the House of Commons.
    However, according to his biographer Ben Pimlott, Hugh Dalton’s resignation was as much the result of his frustration and physical exhaustion over the deteriorating state of the economy as the immediate circumstances of the leak.
    1947 saw the collapse of the Labour Government’s economic strategy. The dream of post-war prosperity was replaced by the reality of a sterling convertibility crisis, the winter freeze-up, and the continuation of rationing for the foreseeable future.
    Dalton’s 1947 Budget represented a return to austerity, with cuts in public spending and tax increases.
    Although it curbed some of the inflationary pressures in the economy, it was not enough to prevent the ultimate devaluation of sterling in 1949, and the disillusionment with Labour that set in by 1950.

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