2-3 November 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Lib Dems lodge election debate complaint with ITV
  • Lib Dems: Dithering Labour leadership shows they’re not fit for office
  • Lib Dems: Labour have no plan to tackle the climate emergency
  • Election debates should be set independently – Liberal Democrats

Lib Dems lodge election debate complaint with ITV

The Liberal Democrats have lodged a formal complaint to ITV for excluding Jo Swinson from their election debate and warned “failing to have Liberal Democrats in the debate is misrepresenting the current political reality.”

In a letter to ITV Chief Executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, the President of the Liberal Democrats Sal Brinton said “voters of this country deserve to hear from a Remainer on the debate stage, not just from the two men who want to deliver Brexit.”

The letter goes on to raise section 6.2 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code which states that ‘due weight must be given to the coverage of parties and independent candidates during the election period’ and ‘broadcasters must take into account evidence of past electoral support and/or current support’.

The letter follows the Liberal Democrats launching a petition with the hashtag ‘Debate Her’ calling for Jo Swinson to be in the debate. The petition states “Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are running scared of debating the woman leader of the strongest party of Remain.”

Lib Dems: Dithering Labour leadership shows they’re not fit for office

Following Rebecca Long-Bailey’s appearance on Sky’s Sophie Ridge show, Liberal Democrat shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

The fact Rebecca Long-Bailey refused to say where Labour would stand in a people’s vote this morning only goes to show the Labour leadership are not fit for office.

It is beyond outrageous that almost three and a half years on from the referendum the Labour Party leadership will not be honest with the British public about where they stand. Time and time again Labour have tried to pull the wool over the electorate’s eyes as they dither as a result of the schisms within their party.

The Liberal Democrats couldn’t be clearer: we want to stop Brexit as we believe the best deal we can get is the one we already have a members of the EU. In this election the Liberal Democrats will give the public the opportunity to stop Brexit and build a brighter future.

If the Labour Party cannot be clear with the public about what they’re offering, they should make way for those who can.

Lib Dems: Labour have no plan to tackle the climate emergency

Responding to Labour’s promise to make all new-build homes “zero carbon” by 2022, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the Climate Emergency and the Environment Wera Hobhouse said:

This Labour policy is nothing more than a vague aspiration. With no specific commitments and no mention of the 4 million non-domestic buildings that need upgrading too, this is nothing more than a superficial attempt to appear serious about tackling the climate emergency.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party with a clear and realistic plan to solve the climate crisis. It is already Liberal Democrat policy to make new homes zero carbon by 2021, cut almost all emissions by 2030 and ensure the UK is net zero by 2045.

It is time the Labour Party were held to account on their failure to set out to the British public exactly how they would achieve what they are calling for. Announcements with no plan behind them are unacceptable and the British public deserve better.

This election is a once in a generation opportunity; the Liberal Democrat’s have a radical plan to build a brighter future for our planet by solving the climate emergency.

Election debates should be set independently – Liberal Democrats

The staging of leaders debates for general elections should be written into law, with the format and inclusion based on independent rules, the Liberal Democrats have said.

The party is calling for existing rules to be overhauled to wrestle control away from the two old parties who have shown time and again that, whilst they will claim to oppose everything the other says, they are very happy to do backroom deals to shut out other voices.

Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

It should not be in the gift of any political party to decide whether the public deserve the opportunity to scrutinise those who seek to lead this country. That is why TV debates should be mandatory, and the format should be decided by an independent commission.

The current situation in which the Labour and Conservative parties stitch up how debates work is utterly intolerable.

Jo Swinson is the only women candidate to be Prime Minister, the only one campaigning to stop Brexit and the only one who has the plan to build a brighter future.

Jo must be part of the debate, and a Liberal Democrat government will ensure that an independent commission is tasked with creating the format for future mandatory debates.

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  • Despite all this the media are largely ignoring us and it is showing in the significant drop in the opinion polls. However I am aware our targetted digital campaigning is going well, although I can proudly claim never to have received one item of digital advertising from any of the political parties, must have offended someone, no really.

  • David Allen 4th Nov '19 - 11:04am

    So – Continuing whinge that the media are not fair, two anti-Labour attacks, silence about the Tories. Where’s equidistance?

  • I can’t find any costings in the LibDem aspiration whereas Labour has put figures on their’s.
    As for details,,,
    LibDem… new homes zero carbon by 2021 and a long-term ambition for every home in England to reach at least an energy rating of Band C.
    Labour….new-build homes “zero carbon” by 2022 and insulation upgrades for every home in UK

    LibDem…Banning new sales of petrol and diesel cars and small vans in the UK by 2030.
    Labour…Labour party pledges to ban sale of non-electric cars by 2030.

    LibDem… ensure the UK is net zero by 2045.
    Labour… UK net-zero carbon economy by 2030.

    And so on …….

    Not a lot to argue about on the environment but I doubt if that will stop the nit picking.

  • @expats –
    Given the Resolution Foundation’s research, reported here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50283719
    I anticipate the LibDems spending commitments to be in the same ballpark.

    We had a doorstep visit by our Conservative Borough Councillor and MP on Saturday – answering your questions. Given one of the ‘achievements’on their leaflet was “Council tax not increased since 2010”, it is going to be interesting to see how they will spin the massive increase in public spending and taxation that is just around the corner…

  • Good to see we are threatening legal action over the “debate” issue with ITV. Just needs an ITV investor to threaten to withdraw support.

  • See Sky have invted Jo to their debats together with the other two “old men”. Brilliant getting there.
    Suggestion go to the ITV web page , click on Leaders Debate
    and fill in their questionairre asking for a question, and ask why is it a two party stitch up etc?.

  • theakes 4th Nov ’19 – 5:11pm………………See Sky have invted Jo to their debats together with the other two “old men”. Brilliant getting there……………

    Sturgeon says Sky plan to exclude SNP from three-way leaders’ debate is ‘outrageous’.

    And why not? She could then ‘put to bed’ Jo Swinson’s claim that LibDems are the largest ‘Remain’ party in the UK.

    Sauce for the goose, etc.

  • Alex Macfie 4th Nov '19 - 6:37pm

    David Allen: It’s not “whinging”, it’s a legitimate complaint. ITV has decided to invite only Johnson and Corbyn for a quasi-Presidential hustings, and exclude the Lib Dems when we start the campaign at more than double where we were at the beginning of the last election campaign. What is Jo suppoesd to do? Take it on the chin? That’s the failed Cleggite approach. It’s clear that the two big parties are working together to try to stitch up the campaign to exclude Jo, because she is a threat to both. And we cannot allow them to get away with it. This is an example of how we cannot afford to act as if our opponents are playing fair when they clearly are not.

  • Richard Underhill. 4th Nov '19 - 6:55pm

    I remember when Rupert Murdoch and Son were invited to attend a House of Commons committee they declined. Was it the Sergeant of Arms who went to see them and arrange for their attendance?
    Please correct me if this is factually wrong, but I have read that the witness refused to attend the Liaison Committee. Perhaps he was too busy to be scrutinised and held to account. Perhaps he deserves an empty chair in a televised debate?

  • David Allen 4th Nov '19 - 7:42pm

    Alex Macfie – Yes, it’s a legitimate complaint, but if it is the main thing we talk about, then we do run the risk that people will think we have nothing worthwhile to say about policy.

    Alongside that, have a look at expats’ post above. Yes, I know he is a Labour supporter, but, he shows that Labour and the Lib Dems aren’t very far apart on climate change. And yet the Lib Dems wasted a whole press release on some woolly claims that Labour’s climate change policy is inferior, without actually explaining in what way it might be inferior. Look, the problem is, this just isn’t going to sway votes!

    Meanwhile on another planet, Johnson hides the evidence on Russian help for Leave, Johnson mounts a special programme to make the NHS look as if it isn’t failing before December 12th. Corbyn seems too wrapped up in his own plans to bother calling out Johnson. So why don’t we do that, and win some support for a change?

  • Alex Macfie 4th Nov '19 - 9:43pm

    David Allen: The danger is that if we do not make sure we get on those debates then no-one will get to hear what our policies are.
    Also the news that Johnson was shelving the Russian interference dossier broke today, while this thread is about last weekend’s press releases. A bit unfair to accuse us of ignoring it in that context.

  • Plenty of press releases about Labour. How about one about the awfulness of the Tories.

    See today’s Guardian :

    “Tories back candidate who said benefits claimants should be ‘put down’…. Work and pensions secretary says electing Francesca O’Brien a ‘matter for people of Gower’ “.

  • Alex Macfie 5th Nov '19 - 6:12am

    Trump and Johnson are two peas in a pod
    Lib Dems: Tory Gower candidate should be removed
    Blocking intelligence report undermines the democratic process

  • David Allen 5th Nov '19 - 10:01am

    Alex Macfie – Noted! Good! The power of postings on Lib Dem Voice (??)!

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