28 May 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt have “moral duty” to act given Beijing’s contempt for Joint Declaration
  • Govt must look closely at conflicting guidance on risks of schools reopening
  • Davey: Either PM and Ministers lied or have no understanding of lockdown rules
  • Govt must now give all Hong Kongers BNO Passport
  • Lib Dems: PM reaches new low in attempt to keep Cummings

Govt have “moral duty” to act given Beijing’s contempt for Joint Declaration

Responding to reports that China’s legislature has approved a new security law for Hong Kong, which would make it a crime to undermine Beijing’s authority in the territory, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

This vote demonstrates Beijing’s contempt for the Joint Declaration. It is an unforgivable move that threatens the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.

The UK Government must take immediate action. We have a legal and moral duty.

It is time to urgently reopen the BNO Passport offer and extend it to give the people of Hong Kong the right to live in the UK.

Govt must look closely at conflicting guidance on risks of schools reopening

Responding to the Independent Sage Group report suggesting that reopening schools risks pushing the COVID-19 ‘R’ rate above one, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

We all want to see children back in schools as an urgent priority. But not if this risks a new COVID-19 spike. The Government must guarantee that public health will not be put at risk as a result of a premature or rushed effort to get children back into classrooms.

Boris Johnson’s Government has repeatedly claimed to be guided by science. Ministers must now look closely at this Independent report to ascertain why those involved have reached a dramatically different conclusion about the risk of reopening schools next week.

The Government is asking a lot of parents and teachers during this crisis, and parents and teachers deserve clear, honest answers in return. Ministers must provide real clarity around the reasons for their decision in order to ensure that parents and teachers alike can have confidence in their plans.

Any easing of the lockdown – including reopening schools – can only happen once the Government delivers a comprehensive strategy to test, trace and isolate to prevent a new surge.

Davey: Either PM and Ministers lied or have no understanding of lockdown rules

Responding to reports that the Durham Police investigation has concluded that Dominic Cummings might have broken the Government’s lockdown rules, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

The Durham Police have now confirmed what the public already knew – Dominic Cummings should not have done what he did. The fact that Minister after Minister have tried to pretend otherwise has been an insult to each and every one of us following the rules to keep each other safe from the virus.

Either the Prime Minister and his Ministers lied or they have no understanding of the rules they have written.

This behaviour over the past few days has entirely eroded the public’s trust in the Government. The Prime Minister has said he wants to move on so that all efforts can be focused on the UK’s response to the pandemic, but the only way to do that would be for him to ask for Dominic Cumming’s resignation.

Over the past two months the British public have made huge sacrifices – losing their freedom, their livelihoods, and in many tragic instances – someone they loved.

The longer Dominic Cumming stays in post, the more people will feel that there is one rule for him and one for everyone else, seriously threatening public health. Unless he resigns, the sacrifices everyone has made are at risk of being entirely undermined.

Govt must now give all Hong Kongers BNO Passport

Responding to news that the Foreign Secretary has committed to extend the visa rights for British National (Overseas) passport holders unless China suspends plans for new security laws in Hong Kong, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

This move would be a welcome step in the right direction.

Beijing has repeatedly shown contempt for the Sino-British Declaration. Under that Declaration, the UK has a duty to the people of Hong Kong.

The Government must now ensure the passport is not an empty promise. Relatively few people have a BNO Passport as the scheme was closed years ago.

The cross-party Hong Kong Bill, would reopen the passport offer to also give young Hong Kongers the right to live in the UK. I am urging the Government to do this as a priority.

Lib Dems: PM reaches new low in attempt to keep Cummings

Following today’s daily coronavirus press conference, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

The press conference today saw the Prime Minister reach a new, sordid low in his defence of Dominic Cummings. By refusing to allow the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer to answer questions, and denying journalists a follow-up question, it became clear that there is little Boris Johnson will not do to try and keep Dominic Cummings in post.

The fact that the police have confirmed what the public already knew – that Dominic Cummings should not have done what he did – emphasises how Ministers are willing to risk public health at a time when it is crucial, considering this press conference also announced further steps to relax lockdown.

The measures announced will be a huge comfort to many, but meeting friends, family and loved ones again will be a risk if the Government doesn’t ensure the test, trace and isolate strategy is comprehensively in place. The fact the tracing plan has been rushed forward to try and distract from the Cummings saga simply shows what little regard the Government is paying to public health.

It is time the Government stopped playing politics when so much is at stake.

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5 Comments

  • Philip Moss 29th May '20 - 1:06pm

    Please clarify is our Foreign Affairs Spokesperson advocating the granting of BNO passports to more Hong Kong residents? How many is he talking about? How many will wish to come to the UK? Can we accommodate them all? There was the chance to apply for the passport, that time is now over. We must not get into the habit of empty promises following the Johnson route. I would rather we concentrated on injustices that we can and should deal with. Such as the Windrush scandal, still not dealted with, still elderly people left in limbo even though they have been here for 60 years. We must find our place in the world, which is not pretending that we can do much for Hong Kong residents.What about illegal emmigrants, no longer employed , cash only, but starving on our streets, what is our view about that? Johnson thought that they could apply for Government aid, illigal immigrants !! what a twerp.

  • Tony Greaves 29th May '20 - 8:42pm

    Johnson may be a twerp but he may not be the only one. The people with NRPF (No Recourse to Public funds) stamped in their passports are people with Leave to Remain here so not illegal in any way.

  • Any easing of the lockdown – including reopening schools – can only happen once the Government delivers a comprehensive strategy to test, trace and isolate to prevent a new surge.
    Logically, allowing anything other than local commuting, such as permitting people to travel from far and wide into London everyday is going to be a bigger issue in the immediate future.

    I suggest the failure of the UK to lockdown London and shut the rail network down is one of the main reasons why CoViD19 so rapidly spread across the entire country. In the coming months, I anticipate we will see London infection rates to remain low, whilst infection rates in the commuter belts will remain high.

  • Philip Moss
    No one is going to grant more BNO passports to anyone. There are only existing holders.
    Under the Joint Declaration the British government upheld the rights of Hong Kong people. Mainland China is undermining these rights.Why shouldn’t Hong Kong people seek liberty?

  • Concerning your last issue, Mark one item whoever is considering our messaging might want to consider is broadening it to include what sort of politics the British public want. Do they want the gamesmanship of BJ or a more straightforward one based on trust, truth and accountability? This could be where it is when we embark on the next General Election campaign.

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