24 October 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems table Bill calling for general election by December
  • Sunak: Another out of touch Conservative PM with no plan
  • Sunak statement: Keeping public in the dark while celebrating behind closed doors
  • First Minister Must Not Contribute to the Whitewashing of Qatar

Lib Dems table Bill calling for general election by December

The Liberal Democrats have tabled a Bill in Parliament today calling for an early general election by 1st December 2022.

The Bill will be tabled in Parliament today (Monday 24th October) and will be given its First Reading on Wednesday after Prime Minister’s Questions.

The Liberal Democrats are urging Conservative MPs to back the Bill, which if it gets support in Parliament would see an election being required by no later than 1st December 2022. It comes as several Conservative MPs today have said an election will be needed.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

The Conservatives have caused calamity and chaos and they must be held to account. Their incompetence has led to our economy being trashed, our health services destroyed and hundreds of pounds being added to people’s mortgages.

Conservative MPs must put the country ahead of their party by backing our calls for an immediate general election.

The future of our country cannot be left to another Conservative stitch-up. It must be in the hands of voters who deserve a say through a general election now.

Sunak: Another out of touch Conservative PM with no plan

Responding to Rishi Sunak being appointed the third Conservative Prime Minister in three months, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

The Conservative Party has trashed the British economy, pushed local health services to the brink, and added hundreds of pounds to people’s monthly mortgage payments. Now Conservative MPs have installed another out-of-touch Prime Minister with no plan to repair the damage and without giving the British people a say.

Rishi Sunak has shown time and time again that he doesn’t understand the challenges facing struggling families and pensioners – whether it’s paying their heating bills this winter or waiting weeks to see a GP or dentist.

We will now see more of the same, as Conservative MPs plot and squabble amongst themselves while completely ignoring the huge challenges facing the country. The only way to end the chaos is a General Election now.

Sunak statement: Keeping public in the dark while celebrating behind closed doors

Responding to Rishi Sunak’s short public statement outside Conservative HQ just now, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

Rishi Sunak’s statement will do nothing to reassure people worried sick about their bills and local health services this winter.

He said nothing about his plans for the country, leaving the public in the dark while he celebrates behind closed doors with Conservative MPs.

It shows the Conservative Party is taking people across the country for granted.

They have installed someone in Number 10 who nobody voted for, is totally out of touch with struggling families and pensioners and can’t even tell us what he’ll do next.

First Minister Must Not Contribute to the Whitewashing of Qatar

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on First Minster Mark Drakeford to cancel his plans to visit Qatar during this year’s World Cup alongside Economy Minister Vaughan Gething and Arts and Sports Minister Dawn Bowden.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have previously called on the Welsh Government to shut its office in Qatar over its poor human rights record and have stated that the First Minister visiting sends the wrong message about what priority the Welsh Government gives to human rights.

UK Labour has agreed to a boycott of the games, following concerns over the treatment of construction workers and the criminalisation of same-sex relationships in the country.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds had first called on the Welsh Government to close its office in Qatar in October 2021 and reiterated her call just last month after a British national was found hanged in the country and an investigation by the Times showed he was tortured by Qatari security forces.

The Welsh Government have continually rejected calls to close the office.

Qatar ranks extremely poorly on several human rights metrics. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s World Democracy Index, Qatar ranks 126/167 nations making the country an “authoritarian regime”. The country also performs poorly on woman’s rights, with a male guardianship system still in place which means most women still need the permission of a male guardian to carry out everyday tasks.

Qatar has also hit headlines in recent years over their alleged use of foreign migrants for slave labour, including in the construction of stadiums for the World Cup in Qatar, which was billed by Amnesty International as a form of “modern serfdom”.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

Mark Drakeford and his colleagues must not contribute to the whitewashing of Qatar’s human rights record.

UK Labour have rightfully set out a very clear line that visiting Qatar in an official capacity during the World Cup would be the wrong thing to do.

There is a clear and concerted effort by the Qatari Government to try and use this tournament to distract from their notorious human rights record. The Welsh Government did not send delegations to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, it would be equally wrong of them to do so now and unless they plan to raise human rights concerns publicly, they would be contributing to the PR exercise by the regime.

Throughout the duration of our calls for the Welsh Government to shut its Qatar Office, the Welsh Government has insisted that ‘it believed in engaging with countries that don’t share values on human rights in order to influence change’, yet we have seen no material evidence of the Welsh Government calling for greater human rights in the country.

Mark Drakeford should urgently cancel his plans to visit Qatar if he really cares about human rights.

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This entry was posted in News and Press releases.
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3 Comments

  • Jenny Barnes 25th Oct '22 - 7:41am

    Qatar is a major supplier of LNG.

  • Matthew Genn 25th Oct '22 - 12:26pm

    The party appears to have learnt nothing from 2019. Calling an early GE when I don’t think the party has a relevant and credible policy platform for 2022 is foolish. As is this token Parliamentary Bill which will go nowhere as it’s now in Rishi Sunaks gift to call a GE, not Parliaments. I also doubt whether Labour really is a government in waiting and has a vision to be a credible alternative.

  • GWYN Williams 26th Oct '22 - 1:17pm

    @JennyBarnes You are right about Qatar. But Wales is a net exporter of electricity. The Welsh Labour Government is prioritising inward investment over human rights. It is a clear defining difference between Liberal and Labour.

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