31 January 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Suspend Raab, say Lib Dems
  • IMF forecast “damning verdict on Conservative Government”
  • Conservative Record on Businesses ‘in tatters’ as dam bursts on insolvency rates
  • Jane Dodds to Vote to Protect Welsh Farmers
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats Call for Negotiated Solution on Teachers’ Strikes

Suspend Raab, say Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats have called on Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab to be suspended, following reports which have emerged alleging that at least 24 civil servants have complained about his conduct.

In November 2022, Rishi Sunak opened a formal investigation into Dominic Raab after formal complaints were made by officials about his conduct in the workplace. Now, reports have alleged that the number of complainants is potentially as many as 30 individuals.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain has written to the Prime Minister, calling for Raab to be suspended for the duration of the investigation into his conduct, given the reported scale of complaints against him.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain commented:

The reported scale of the allegations against Dominic Raab raises real questions for Rishi Sunak. Why hasn’t the Prime Minister suspended Raab yet, for the duration of this inquiry?

Rishi Sunak promised to govern with integrity but I’m afraid his track record so far is the opposite. Scandal after scandal continues to emerge about various members of the Cabinet, yet Sunak is incapable of doing the right thing and taking decisive action.

From Zahawi to Raab, from Braverman to Williamson, the British public are fed up with Conservative sleaze which sadly appears to have taken root at the very heart of government.

IMF forecast “damning verdict on Conservative Government”

Commenting on the new IMF forecast which shows the UK as the only major economy to shrink, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP:

This is a damning verdict on the Conservative Government. High inflation, high-interest rates and high energy bills have left our country and hardworking families and pensioners suffering as a result.

While Number 10 lurches from one sleaze scandal to another people up and down the country are suffering from their incompetence and mismanagement. People deserve better than this Conservative shambles.

Conservative Record on Businesses ‘in tatters’ as dam bursts on insolvency rates

Responding to the news that insolvency figures in England and Wales have hit their highest level since 2009, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservative Party of having “not an ounce of credibility left” on the economy or business.

Insolvency figures released today show the total number of businesses insolvencies in 2022 rose by 57 per cent, to 22,109, its highest level since 2009 and higher than during the pandemic.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are also calling for statistics to be released separating the data for England and Wales, in order to fully understand the picture across Wales, which has a higher dependency on small and medium-sized businesses for employment than other parts of the UK.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

These figures show that we are in the middle of a full-blown financial crisis and that the Conservative Party is asleep at the wheel.

Each one of the businesses isn’t just another statistic, but a valued part of a local community. It’s your local pub, restaurant or shop.

This Conservative Government has an economic record which can only be described as shambolic. They have not an ounce of credibility left on the economy and business.

Instead of helping businesses, the Conservatives have laden them with red tape and plan to slash energy support in April, a move that will surely lead to more closures.

The Government urgently needs to get a grip and offer businesses with support. Once a local business is gone, the benefit that business brings to the local economy and the employment it generates is hard to replace.

Jane Dodds to Vote to Protect Welsh Farmers

Commenting ahead of a vote tonight in the Senedd, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds has confirmed she will vote against giving legislative consent on the Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill.

Commenting Jane Dodds said:

These botched trade deals by the Conservatives have placed Welsh farmers at significant risk for nothing in return. Despite the fact that most Welsh Conservative MPs and MSs represent rural areas they have utterly failed to use their influence to protect our farmers, showing once again they take rural Wales for granted.

Not only will these trade deals present a significant threat to farmers, but they also threaten the entire system farming underpins including the wider rural economy and the Welsh language.

The Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign for all trade deals to be put to a vote in Parliament and for impact assessments to be produced for all the nations of the UK and English regions. With the possibility of future trade negotiations with countries like the US, Brazil and Argentina, we cannot afford for these mistakes to be repeated.

Welsh Liberal Democrats Call for Negotiated Solution on Teachers’ Strikes

Ahead of teacher’s strikes tomorrow Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

I have sympathy with all those who will be impacted by these strikes. I especially have sympathy with the children who will have been impacted by pandemic, no one wants to see them miss more school or have to have more online lessons.

But I also know that the very last thing teachers want to do is leave their kids and they haven’t taken this decision lightly. The reason they are doing it isn’t just about pay, but it’s also about conditions for both teachers and students.

The Government must continue to negotiate with teachers in order to reach a fair settlement.

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9 Comments

  • Mel Borthwaite 31st Jan '23 - 10:58pm

    Calling for a “fair settlement” to the teacher strikes is a totally bland phrase and, of course, the government argues that the pay offer is fair. Bland statements like this are what puts so many people off listening to what politicians have to say. Why can the Liberal Democrats not take a stronger stance and state that a better offer than 5% is fully justified with inflation at 10%? The party will not attract new voters by being mealy mouthed.

  • Economy shrinking and debt payments going through the roof. But hey ho let’s give everyone a juicy pay rise.

  • Peter Martin 1st Feb '23 - 10:25am

    @ Alex B

    The worse figures I’ve seen show that the Economy might be just about static compared with GDP figures from before the Pandemic. But, just for the sake of argument, let’s say it has fallen by 2%. This would mean, if the burden is shared out equally that we’d all have to make do with 2% less than previously. In such circumstances a pay rise of 8- 9%, which would probably be enough to settle most disputes, when inflation was 10- 11% would seem quite reasonable.

    If debt payments have risen this is entirely down to a decision by the Monetary Committee of the Bank of England. There may be a pretence of BoE independence but as it’s fully nationalised we should be able to see through that. In any case the Government could take back control of monetary policy at any time it likes just like it could give it away to the BoE in the first place.

  • The IMF report this morning has us contracting ATM and in 2023. December tax receipts were a much lower than expected and debt payments sharply up. But everything else was sunny like you say. Unfortunately leaving the EU has been disastrous and the country will have to get used to a considerable reduction in its standard of living.

  • Mick Taylor 1st Feb '23 - 11:42am

    Am I alone in feeling uncomfortable in the party acting as jury, judge and executioner whenever there are allegations against a Tory MP? I fondly imagined that everyone is innocent until proved guilty in our country. Yet we seem to demand resignation before the investigation is even completed.
    Of course, if the investigation concludes that Mr Raab has been bullying civil servants, then he should be sacked, but until then should he not be given a presumption of innocence?

  • Mick Taylor 2nd Feb '23 - 11:52am

    Martin, you can’t pick and choose in a justice system that has a presumption of innocence. Declaring people guilty on the say so of others is not acceptable. That’s what happens in dictatorships and certain theocracies. Mr Raab is NOT actually on trial, there is a fact finding exercise to discover whether he did nor did not bully civil servants. As far as I know there is not, yet, a criminal offence of bullying. All I am arguing is that we should wait until the enquiry reports and not prejudge its conclusions. If Mr Raab, contrary to his protestations, is shown to have bullied his staff, then of course he should go, but surely natural justice suggests that we should await the result of the enquiry before passing judgement.

  • Peter Martin 2nd Feb '23 - 1:29pm

    @ Alex,

    “Unfortunately leaving the EU has been disastrous and the country will have to get used to a considerable reduction in its standard of living.”

    You might like to look at the Graph you see when you Google {GDP UK}

    Conveniently it also shows the GDP of France which is a useful comparison to how well we are doing relatively to another similar sized EU economy.

    The latest figures, for 2021, show that the UK is at $3.131 tr. France is $2.958 trillion
    A difference of $173 billion

    However, if we go back to 2019 the UK was at $2.857 tr France was $2.729 tr. A difference of $128 billion.

    If the difference had been the other way around, many Remainers would be saying that these two years of Brexit had cost us $45 billion.

    So can we say that two years of Brexit has gained us $45 billion? I don’t think so. This would just be cherry picking points on the graph to suit our case and we should never do this. Should we?

    However, we should keep an eye on the graph to see how well we do in comparison over a number of years.

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