4-6 November 2022 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Philp’s refusal to apologise shows contempt for the public
  • Lib Dems call for legal right to see a GP within 7 days as millions of patients face delays
  • Philp’s Manston comments show “shocking and callous complacency”
  • Liberal Democrats to Back Bill to Protect Powers of the Senedd
  • PM must sack Williamson

Philp’s refusal to apologise shows contempt for the public

Responding to Chris Philp’s refusal to apologise for his role in the mini-budget this morning, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

Chris Philp has shown huge arrogance by refusing to recognise his role in crashing the economy while second in command at the treasury. His legacy will be higher taxes and cuts to public services for years to come.

The British public deserve an apology for the pain he and his colleagues put them through. That he refuses to give one shows the contempt with which he holds us all.

Lib Dems call for legal right to see a GP within 7 days as millions of patients face delays

  • Ed Davey announces plans to give patients a legal right to see their GP within a week, or within 24 hours if in urgent need.
  • New figures reveal a stark postcode lottery with one in four people in some areas waiting over two weeks for a GP appointment
  • Lib Dem Leader says the Govt must increase recruitment and retention of GPs, introduce a 24/7 booking line and cut bureaucracy to free up appointments

The Liberal Democrats have set out plans to give patients a legal right to see a GP within seven days, or within 24 hours if in urgent need.

The policy would be enshrined into law in the NHS constitution, putting a duty on the government and health service to make sure it happens. The policy is set to be announced by Ed Davey at a major Autumn speech he is giving this weekend. It would be achieved through increasing training places for GPs, fixing pension rules to prevent so many doctors retiring early, and launching a recruitment drive to encourage those who’ve left the NHS to return.

It comes as research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed a stark postcode lottery in GP appointment times, with over one in four patients in some parts of the country waiting over two weeks to see their doctor.

Analysis commissioned by the party from the House of Commons Library shows that there were five million GP appointments in England with waits of over 14 days in September 2022, making up 17.9% of the total. This is a significant increase from 11.9% of appointments with waits of more than two weeks at the start of the year.

Chorley and South Ribble in Lancashire had the highest proportion of appointments with waits of over two weeks in September at 25.5%. This was followed by Gloucestershire (25.2%), Derbyshire (25.1%), Stafford and the surrounding area (24.9%) and Dorset (24.9%). Every area in the country has seen a rise in waits of over two weeks since January 2022.

At the last election in 2019, the Conservatives promised to recruit 6,000 more GPs – but the number of qualified GPs has actually fallen by more than 500 since then.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Far too many people are struggling to get a GP appointment when they need one, leaving them waiting anxiously for the care they deserve.

This can lead to missed or delayed diagnoses, or people turning in desperation to our overstretched A&E departments instead.

Patients are suffering from years of neglect under the Conservatives, who have repeatedly broken their promise to recruit more GPs.

Liberal Democrats would guarantee people a right to a GP appointment within one week, or within 24 hours if they are in urgent need. This would reduce pressure on our hospitals and paramedics, saving crucial time and money elsewhere in the NHS.

Philp’s Manston comments show “shocking and callous complacency”

Responding to Chris Philp’s comment that migrants have “cheek” for taking issue with conditions at Manston, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

Chris Philp’s comments reveal a shocking and callous complacency over the disaster unfolding at Manston. It is unbelievable that as we hear reports of sexual assualts, disease, and chronic overcrowding, his response is to accuse those who complain of ‘cheek’.

Rather than dismissing the problem he should start to show some leadership. People have had enough of the endless evasion, chaos and incompetence we have seen from the government on this issue.

Liberal Democrats to Back Bill to Protect Powers of the Senedd

The Liberal Democrats have pledged their support to a Bill in the UK Parliament designed to protect the powers of the Senedd.

The Government of Wales (Devolved Powers) Bill [HL], has been proposed by Plaid Cymru Lord and former leader Dafydd Wigley.

The Bill, which just passed its second reading in the House of Lords is expected to go to the House of Commons if it passes its third reading.

The Bill would mean powers devolved to Senedd Cymru must not be amended or withdrawn without a super-majority vote of its elected members.

Speaking at the second reading of the Bill, Baroness Christine Humphreys, the Liberal Democrat’s Wales Spokesperson in the House of Lords said:

This Bill seeks to protect the powers of the Senedd, ensuring that the powers conferred on it by previous Government of Wales Acts and by the people of Wales cannot be unilaterally amended without the consent of the Senedd.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill, the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, the Subsidy Control Bill and the Professional Qualifications Bill are all examples of the UK Government are challenging or usurping the powers of the devolved Parliaments demonstrating why the Bill is needed.

It is clear that the UK Government do not have a mandate from the Welsh people to undermine the powers of the Senedd.

The Liberal Democrats want to see a federal system where safeguards such as this Bill would be enshrined in the constitution. My party has always been in favour of a federal UK, where the different nations have responsibility for their own affairs while working together on common issues.

For a federal system to work, a federal Government should not be able to remove the powers of devolved nations on a whim or to bind the union together, as our present settlement allows.

This Bill will have the support of the Liberal Democrats as it moves forward.

PM must sack Williamson

Responding to Gavin Williamson’s messages to Wendy Morton, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

These shocking revelations raise yet more serious questions about Rishi Sunak’s judgement.

Gavin Williamson should never have been reappointed to cabinet after the damage he did to our children’s education.

Now it emerges that on top that Sunak ignored a complaint about Williamson’s behaviour.

If the Prime Minister was serious about restoring integrity he would sack Gavin Williamson. Instead, once again he is prioritising the interests of the Conservative Party over those of the country.

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2 Comments

  • Again, thanks for posting these regularly Mark. They don’t tend to get a lot of comments but it’s a really good service you provide for members (and others) to see every press release so we know what the party has been saying.

    It’s a shame the party website doesn’t so the same thing. It only posts selected stories – with you we get all of them. So cheers for that.

  • @TonyH – I second your sentiments. I also like Tom Arm’s World Review – the two articles seem to be providing a current affairs cadence to LDV.

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