4-5 March 2023 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Rail fare rise: Betrayal of commuters and families
  • Lockdown files: Matt Hancock’s attempt to fire SAGE scientist ‘shocking’
  • Small boat ban will punish victims of human trafficking

Rail fare rise: Betrayal of commuters and families

Responding to a rail fare increase of 5.9% due on Sunday, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP said:

Liberal Democrats are fighting for a fair deal for commuters and families who will be left forking out even more for train journeys in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

Ministers cannot keep turning a blind eye to these problems, especially given people are paying more for less on our rail network with more delays, cancellations and their failure to deal with the strikes.

If this Government had even a shred of decency they would freeze rail fares immediately to help families struggling under the cost of living crisis the Conservatives created.

Lockdown files: Matt Hancock’s attempt to fire SAGE scientist ‘shocking’

Responding to reports in the Telegraph that Matt Hancock tried to fire a SAGE scientist for publicly criticising the Government during the coronavirus pandemic, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

It’s one thing to reject expert advice, but actively trying to fire SAGE experts for raising concerns over how the pandemic was being handled is shocking.

Holding this Conservative Government to account for their decision making during the pandemic is crucial. The public trusted them to get this right.

The more leaks there are, the more we can see the chaos and contempt that engulfed the government as countless lives were needlessly lost.

Small boat ban will punish victims of human trafficking

Responding to the Government’s new plan to “detain and swiftly remove” asylum seekers who arrive on small boats, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

This is another half baked plan that will punish the victims of human trafficking instead of the evil gangs who profit from these crossings.

We all want to see these dangerous crossings stop, but there are currently no safe and legal routes for asylum seekers. Creating these needs to be the priority.

Just like their botched Rwanda asylum scheme, this is immoral, ineffective and incredibly costly for taxpayers while doing nothing to stop small boat crossings.

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3 Comments

  • George Thomas 6th Mar '23 - 9:16pm

    I think it’s a mistake to treat the content of Matt Hancock’s stage-managed whatsapp leaks as such a serious story. Some of the quotes might be interesting, but Telegraph is barely a serious newspaper, the journalist involved barely is a serious journalist and it all adds up to information with such little credibility that you could be encouraging people to pay attention to misleading information.

  • I couldn’t agree more with George Thomas. Oakshott deserves the contempt in which she is widely held. Her attempts to claim she acted in the public interest are excruciating to watch. The Telegraph is as George describes it. WhatsApp is a useful tool, but message chains move on fast, so quick gut reactions are necessary. I doubt if any who uses it extensively has never later regretted something they wrote. We should all be entitled to have private messages remain private, especially so in the case of the early days of the pandemic, when politicians were grappling with horrifying scenarios and having to make such difficult decisions.

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