21 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Pay rises without cash mean more cuts to schools and the police – Davey
  • Government must be clear higher debt won’t mean cuts to vital public services
  • Delyn MP must end ‘saga of scandals’
  • PM must announce a full investigation into potential Russian interference of our democracy
  • Braverman must apologise for endorsing Cummings

Pay rises without cash mean more cuts to schools and the police – Davey

Responding to reports that nearly 900,000 public sector workers will receive a pay rise out of existing departmental budgets, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

Accepting the independent review body’s pay recommendations was the very least the Chancellor could do. Yet, as overall budgets remain unchanged, the reality is our schools, police and wider public services will struggle to meet this award without significant cuts elsewhere in their budgets, including redundancies.

And utterly failing to recognise the outstanding effort of social care staff during the COVID-19 crisis is simply not acceptable. Councils and the wider care sector must be properly funded.

Since the early days of this pandemic, Liberal Democrats have been the first to argue for a better deal for NHS and care staff, yet Ministers seem to think that warm words and hand claps are sufficient. Boris Johnson should be ashamed for neglecting NHS and care staff again.

Government must be clear higher debt won’t mean cuts to vital public services

Responding to ONS statistics showing that Government borrowing for June was £35.5 billion – around five times more than the same month last year – Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

In an unprecedented economic challenge like the coronavirus pandemic people must come before the numbers. Any Chancellor should go beyond normal borrowing to help protect peoples’ health and livelihoods.

What the Government must now make clear is that, after Covid, higher debt will not and must not mean cuts to vital public services or less investment for our crumbling infrastructure – especially in the parts of the UK that need it most.

Liberal Democrats stand firm that we must grow our way out of this crisis with a Green Recovery Plan that will invest billions to transform our economy, fight climate change and create millions of good-quality jobs.

Delyn MP must end ‘saga of scandals’

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds has called for Rob Roberts MP to resign following yet more reports inappropriate behaviour towards staff.

Jane said:

MPs are meant to operate with integrity and respect for others, not use their position of power to proposition employees – particularly when they are in a vulnerable state.

I hope Parliament has already reached out to offer support to those employees affected.

This kind of behaviour is not, and should never be, excusable. Rob Roberts needs to resign so we can put an end to this saga of scandals.

Failing that, the Welsh Conservatives must act and show they will not tolerate this kind of behaviour.

PM must announce a full investigation into potential Russian interference of our democracy

Responding to Intelligence and Security Committee’s long-delayed Russia report which has concluded the Government failed to prepare or conduct any proper assessment of Russian interference with the 2016 Brexit referendum, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

This watershed report confirms an alarming truth: this Conservative Government has failed to take the Russian threat to our democracy seriously, even despite the clear evidence they interfered to help Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016.

The first duty of government is to protect its citizens. However, the Conservatives have been found asleep at their post with their failure to conduct an assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The protection of our democracy should never come second to the Tories covering their embarrassing connections to Russian oligarchs before an election. Given what has come to light, Boris Johnson should think again about who his party takes money from and gives influence to.

Without delay, the Prime Minister must now announce a wide-ranging and properly funded investigation of potential Russian interference in our democracy, including the EU referendum and independence referendum.

Braverman must apologise for endorsing Cummings

Responding to Suella Braverman’s appearance in front of the Justice Select Committee, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

The public must be able to have confidence that the Attorney General is providing honest and impartial legal advice to the Government.

The Attorney General undermined public confidence by wading into the Cummings scandal for no reason other than to please No 10. It’s appalling that she still doesn’t seem to understand why what she did was wrong.

When Suella Braverman was appointed, there were concerns that she would not stand up to No 10 and would put political interests ahead of the rule of law. Sadly, her craven endorsement of Dominic Cummings’ incoherent excuses for breaking the lockdown – and her refusal to apologise for it now – confirms those fears.

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9 Comments

  • Geoff Walker 22nd Jul '20 - 8:51am

    The change org petition site has 1,201,877 signatures on the petition Cummings must be sacked. Can anyone explain why this is not on the UK Government and Parliament petition site? If it had been it would have triggered a parliamentary debate.

  • Have the security services ever been tasked to find out where the £8 million that Aaron Banks donated to vote leave came from? Given that he was reputedly in financial difficulties not long before. Doesn’t seem a massive assignment.

  • @Alex B

    Footnote 50 on page 13 of the report.

    “Arron Banks became the biggest donor in British political history when he gave £8m to the Leave.EU campaign. In October 2018, the Electoral Commission – which had been investigating the source of this donation – referred the case to the National Crime Agency, which investigated it ***. In September 2019, the National Crime Agency announced that it had concluded the investigation, having found no evidence that any criminal offences had been committed under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 or company law by any of the individuals or organisations referred to it by the Electoral Commission.”

  • Peter Martin 22nd Jul '20 - 10:24am

    Foreign intervention in elections is nothing new. According to this Wiki entry we even had a hand in trying to influence the 1940 US elections. Well, we would wouldn’t we? We wanted the USA to enter WW2.

    Everyone’s been at it apparently. Even the Vatican! The story of 1952 US intervention in Iranian elections has only come about as crucial evidence has been declassified. I’d expect they had more involvement in attempts to destabilse the Wilson govt in the 60s than they were letting on about at the time.

    They would, wouldn’t they? They wanted the UK’s direct involvement in the Vietnam war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_electoral_intervention

  • We assume that the security services live on a world map. So if they have noticed threats to democratic processes in other countries, they could usefully talk to the Electoral Commission – or at least read their reports.

  • Reading between the lines is it possible that M16 cannot act without the Foriegn Secretaries permission? If so, the time specified Johnson was the foriegn secretary.
    Did he not act cos it was in his direct interest not to act?

  • I believe there is much more to be found out about the Russian influence in many aspects of our democratic process, the opposition parties must not let anything be swept under the carpet or allow the Tory propaganda machine to find another story to hide behind!

  • Social Care workers are not included in the pay rises, presumably because most of that sector is run by private companies, some of whom do not perform well; many also rely on tax havens for their finances.

  • I’d be surprised if Aaron Banks had committed a crminal offence. But that doesn’t answer the whole question of where his money came from.

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