3 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Bank of England rate rise: Chancellor must address the country
  • Asylum seekers abandoned – Braverman failing in her duty as Home Secretary
  • Elin Jones Wrong to Defend Mark Drakeford’s Qatar Trip Say Lib Dems
  • Number of GPs and GP Practices in Wales Fall
  • Interest rates: Chancellor must address the country with a plan to save homeowners
  • Davey: Recession warning a “badge of shame” for Rishi Sunak and Conservative government

Bank of England rate rise: Chancellor must address the country

Commenting ahead of today’s interest rate decision from the Bank of England, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

The Chancellor must address the country immediately after the rate rise decision to spell out a plan to save homeowners on the brink. He should either come to Parliament or hold a press conference to announce support for families facing mortgage bill rises worth hundreds of pounds a month.

Hardworking families are being left to pay the price for weeks of Conservative chaos. People are desperately worried about how they are going to pay these frightening mortgage payments after tomorrow.

The Government cannot hide away, especially after their long list of economic failures.

Asylum seekers abandoned – Braverman failing in her duty as Home Secretary

The Liberal Democrats have warned that Home Secretary Suella Braverman is “failing in her duty” as Home Secretary, after reports asylum seekers have been left stranded in central London by the Home Office.

It comes after Robert Jenrick emphasised last night on ITV’s Peston that the Home Secretary has a duty not to release asylum seekers into destitution.

Suella Braverman also assured Parliament on Monday that she had refused to release people into local communities “without having anywhere for them to stay”.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

Asylum seekers being abandoned with no place to stay in central London is the most blatant sign that the system is completely broken.

Suella Braverman is failing in her basic duty as Home Secretary. She needs to urgently explain how this has been allowed to happen, despite the assurances given to Parliament earlier this week.

It’s intolerable that vulnerable people are being left without help because of the endless chaos and incompetence of this government.

Elin Jones Wrong to Defend Mark Drakeford’s Qatar Trip Say Lib Dems

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have hit back at Ceredigion’s Plaid Cymru Senedd Member Elin Jones after she defended a planned trip by Mark Drakeford to Qatar.

Mark Drakeford is planning to travel to Qatar during the World Cup to “promote Wales”, but his planned visit has attracted criticism, including from the Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds and UK Liberal Democrats Leader Ed Davey.

The Liberal Democrats have stated that Mark Drakeford risks contributing to the whitewashing of Qatar’s abysmal human rights record and while there shouldn’t be a boycott from national teams, politicians have a duty to stay away.

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 its 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 slavery”. Some of these workers later died.

Elin Jones sought to defend Mark Drakeford’s visit on Twitter stating:

It’s absolutely the right thing for @PrifWeinidog to go to Qatar. Our football team is there, so should he be. None of us wanted Qatar to host. Cheap shot by Ed Davey. If he wants impact, let him call on his own national team to boycott, not another nation’s representation.

Responding to Elin Jones, former Liberal Democrat MP for Ceredigion Mark Williams said:

It is disappointing the politicians of all parties cannot come together on this issue.

Ceredigion is home to Aberystwyth University and its International Relations department and many people locally care deeply about human rights.

Not only were Elin Jones’ comments incorrect – no one has called for team Wales to boycott the event only a diplomatic boycott by politicians – but focusing on where Ed Davey lives is a cheap nationalist point.

The Liberal Democrats will always stand up for human rights, freedom and liberty and do so without shame. It is unfortunate Plaid Cymru don’t feel like they could do the same on this occasion in the case of Qatar.

Number of GPs and GP Practices in Wales Fall

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have raised concerns that the number of GPs and GP practices in Wales fell between March and June this year.

Figures released by the Welsh Government today show that as of June there were:

  • 386 active GP practices compared to 389 in March 2022 (a decrease of three)
  • 2,301 fully qualified GPs active compared to 2,324 in March (a decrease of 23)
  • Of these GPs there was a Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) of 1,562 GPs in June compared to 1,581 in March (a decrease of 19)
  • The number of trainee GPs also decreased by four

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have stated that the numbers show things are heading in the wrong direction and that the key to solving problems within A&E services and reducing waiting lists for surgeries starts with ensuring people have easy access to their local GP.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

These figures released today show us things still aren’t heading in the right direction, Labour really needs to get a handle on this.

GPs are our first line of defense when we get ill and are absolutely critical for solving the crisis we have in our accident and emergency departments as well on waiting lists for surgeries.

Spotting illnesses early is critical in preventing patients from reaching a crisis point where they need either emergency treatment or more advanced treatment.

Right now too many people across Wales are unable to access a GP within a reasonable time, many of which then have to go to A&E to be treated.

We must ensure the number of GPs in Wales is rising to bring waiting times down. Labour urgently needs to bring forward an action plan to recruit and retain more GPs across Wales.

Interest rates: Chancellor must address the country with a plan to save homeowners

Responding to the Bank of England raising interest rates to 3%, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

The Chancellor must address the country immediately to spell out a plan to save homeowners on the brink.

The blame for today’s rate rise lies squarely with the Government. They shamelessly crashed the market and left mortgage borrowers to pick up the tab.

Hardworking families are being left to pay the price for weeks of Conservative chaos. The public will never forgive the Conservative party for this economic scandal.

Davey: Recession warning a “badge of shame” for Rishi Sunak and Conservative government

Responding to the Bank of England’s warning today that the UK is facing the longest recession on record, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

This is a badge of shame for Rishi Sunak and this Conservative government.

Months of chaos and incompetence have played havoc with our economy and people are suffering as a result.

Ordinary families and pensioners should not have to pay the price for the Conservative Party’s mistakes. It’s time for a proper windfall tax on oil and gas companies, and for benefits and pensions to be uprated in line with inflation.

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One Comment

  • Alistair Carmichael said:..Asylum seekers being abandoned with no place to stay in central London is the most blatant sign that the system is completely broken……

    This morning Chris Philp (phlop) was on TV claiming, in defence of the Home Office, that those asylum seekers abandoned in central London ‘had told the authorities that they had friends in London and so were taken there in good faith’…

    Of course, the interviewer didn’t ask the obvious question i.e.”If they are here illegally (as you claim) what sort of system allows them to disappear, based on an unchecked claim, into our capital city without supervision”?

    This government has only one answer to a complex problem and that is ‘trying to put in place more and more Draconian ‘deterrents’..As each such deterrent fails they continue to ‘double down’; yet again proving Einstein’s definition of insanity..

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