24 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems move to scrap Section 60 Stop and Search
  • Evidence for reopening schools must be published amidst fears of Covid-19 spike
  • Nominations for Lib Dem leader open
  • Lib Dems back health leaders’ push for review into lockdown easing
  • Bank of America criticism of pound performance shows need to extend transition period

Lib Dems move to scrap Section 60 Stop and Search

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to back a new Bill to scrap suspicion-less stop and search in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, which have exposed ingrained institutional racism and discrimination in the UK.

Given the disproportionate impact of current Stop and Search laws on black people in particular, and BAME communities more widely, the Liberal Democrats will today (Wednesday 24 June) introduce a Bill to outlaw suspicion-less Stop and Search, highlighting that the current law “undermines” community trust in police.

The Party is demanding the Government back their proposal. If passed, the law would prohibit Section 60, suspicion-less stop and search, which currently leaves a black person almost 50 times more likely to be stopped than a white person. The party is further calling for a Race Equality Strategy and an end to the Hostile Environment.

Ahead of introducing the Bill, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

No one here in the UK or anywhere else in the world should have their life blighted by racist discrimination, inequality or injustice. It is unacceptable and must be tackled head on.

Suspicion-less stop and search not only doesn’t work, but the disproportionate impact of these laws undermines police officers’ relationships with the communities they serve – the very relationships needed to prevent crime. The Liberal Democrats have long called for this fundamentally flawed law to be scrapped, and today I am introducing a Bill to do just that.

The Conservative Government must get behind this Bill and make sure it becomes law. Of course, this has to be part of a broader Race Equality Strategy. We need the UK to move further and faster to redress institutional racism, not least by scrapping the policies at the core of the Tories’ discriminatory Hostile Environment.

Evidence for reopening schools must be published amidst fears of Covid-19 spike

The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to publish the scientific advice underpinning the decision to reopen schools following reports the move could increase the rate of Covid-19 infections.

Calculations for Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) show that if schools are fully reopened, a “surprisingly small” chain of infection could quickly carry the virus across the country.

Sources close to SAGE also told The Times that scientists are uncertain schools will be able to reopen to all pupils in September without closing down other parts of the economy again.

Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:

We all want to be able to have pupils back at school in order to give them the education they need, but not until it is made safe.

These reports are exactly why parents and teachers are so worried about being kept in the dark. The Government must urgently publish this evidence in full so we can properly scrutinise these decisions.

We also need to know what is being done to ensure any future outbreaks in schools are contained, including by putting in place a comprehensive test, trace and isolate strategy.

Nominations for Lib Dem leader open

Nominations for the next leader of the Liberal Democrats have opened today, the Party has confirmed.

Candidates must be an MP and be proposed by at least 10% of other members of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons. They must also be supported by at least 200 individual members from 20 local parties.

In order to vote in the contest, you must be a Party member at the close of nominations on the 9th July. The ballot will then open on the 30th July and close on the 26th August, after which the Party will announce the next leader.

Liberal Democrat Party President Mark Pack said:

The sad state of our Government today shows how desperately the country needs a vision of an outward-looking, caring country that celebrates diversity and benefits from high-quality public services.

With Liberal Democrat membership at record levels, I urge everyone else who shares our values to join us in the coming days and vote in the leadership election.

Lib Dems back health leaders’ push for review into lockdown easing

Responding to an open letter published in the British Medical Journal from health leaders calling for an urgent review to determine whether the UK is properly prepared for the “real risk” of a second wave of coronavirus, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

We agree with the health leaders’ request for a review on lifting lockdown. Yesterday Boris Johnson announced a dramatic shift away from lockdown, despite the fact that we still lack an effective system to test, trace and isolate that is essential to keep people safe.

With no cure and no vaccine for COVID-19, the risk of a second wave is very real. Given that the Conservative Government failed to secure adequate protective equipment or ramp up testing capacity at the start of this crisis, Ministers must act now to guarantee that we are ready to meet new surges.

The Government must be absolutely clear about what action is being taken and how lockdown measures will be reimposed to contain local flare ups. The Prime Minister must also commit to an independent inquiry to ensure we learn the lessons from the first phase of this crisis.

Bank of America criticism of pound performance shows need to extend transition period

Responding to news that analysts at Bank of America have suggested pound sterling has behaved more like the currency of an emerging market since the Brexit referendum vote, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Boris Johnson’s reckless pursuit of Brexit at all costs risks diminishing the UK’s global status in both economic and political terms.

Instead of acting in the national interest, Conservative Ministers have been content to drive the UK towards a disastrous no deal Brexit cliff-edge. It’s no surprise the pound has suffered as a direct result.

The Prime Minister must do the responsible thing and ensure some stability by extending the transition period. We are already struggling with a global crisis. Adding Brexit uncertainty to this is utterly reckless and will harm our chance of a rapid recovery.

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This entry was posted in News and Press releases.


  • Lorenzo Cherin 25th Jun '20 - 3:26am

    terrific from our party on the absurd easing of lockdown too quickly, even Starmer flat on this, go for it Ed, Layla, Munira, we need your voices heard, and the many saying this unheard, against, herd…immunity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Peter Martin 25th Jun '20 - 8:31am

    “It’s no surprise the pound has suffered as a direct result.”

    The pound hasn’t suffered. Inflation is around 0.5% p.a. and that is the only figure that should matter to the UK govt. We shouldn’t take too much notice of what overseas traders value our currency at relative to others. We’ve always made the mistake of wanting the pound to be as high as possible. Whereas other countries hold down their currencies to boost their export markets.

    If the pound is low it helps our exporters too. If the pound is high then we can afford imports. Both have their benefits. If we allow the pound to float there’s not a lot we can do, or should do, to artificially influence its level. We’ve tried that before and just ended up lining the pockets of currency speculators. I’m thinking of George Soros and Black Wednesday.

    Take care of the economy and the pound’s exchange value will take care of itself.

  • Peter Hirst 25th Jun '20 - 2:24pm

    Can we look at the criteria for nomination of candidates for our leadership as having only two accentuates the adversarial culture in our politics that we are here to tackle.

  • Nonconformistradical 25th Jun '20 - 3:35pm

    @Peter Hirst
    On https://www.libdems.org.uk/leadership it states:-

    “In order to be nominated, candidates require a nomination from another MP and 200 members from at least 20 local parties (for nominations this includes Young Liberals).”

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