7 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Davey: we need a devolution revolution to drive the green revolution
  • Govt decision on arms sales to Saudi Arabia shows lack of humanity
  • Govt green recovery plans do not match ambition of other countries

Davey: we need a devolution revolution to drive the green revolution

Today Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has delivered a keynote speech to the Local Government Association outlining his plan for a devolution revolution to drive a green revolution.

Ed Davey called for the government to make £45bn new funding available to local authorities over three years alongside a range of new powers so that local government can spearhead the green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Even as coronavirus has caused unbearable heartbreak and hardship, it has been truly uplifting to see the great work councils right across the country are doing to support local people.

The sheer cost of failing to prepare for the predicted risk of the pandemic crisis should be a dramatic wake up call to prepare properly, now, for the predicted risk of a climate crisis.

For too long, Government has paid lip service to the vital role local authorities have in tackling the climate emergency – but failed to match their words with action.

Our plan requires local authorities to be fully empowered. With central government giving the funding and the powers needed to bring about a Green Revolution in in local communities.

Lib Dem group leader at the Local Government Association, Howard Sykes said:

I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are the only party to have created a credible, deliverable plan to build a green recovery that will bring jobs to local areas and continue the fight to stop the climate crisis.

The work that has been done by local councils across the nation through this coronavirus crisis has been inspiring. Councillors and officers have worked tirelessly to help residents in unbelievably challenging circumstances, it has proven the importance of local government, and particularly in a national crisis.

I hope Central Government will take our plans seriously and give local authorities the power and funds we need to deliver a green revolution in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Govt decision on arms sales to Saudi Arabia shows lack of humanity

Responding to a written statement from the Secretary of State for International Trade confirming that the UK will resume selling arms to Saudi Arabia, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

The situation in Yemen is horrific, with Saudi Arabia persistently violating human rights and the rule of law. Arms sales to the regime should be banned until further notice.

Last year the Conservative Government breached the Court of Appeal ruling on the licensing of arms for use in Yemen and now they are trying to make out as though Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses are a one off.

The Government need to gain some humanity on this – Saudi Arabia should have been ruled out as an arms trading partner long ago. If they are serious about defending human rights – as Raab stated is the purpose of the new Magnitsky style sanctions – then there should be no question on this.

Govt green recovery plans do not match ambition of other countries

Responding to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement of a package of measures worth £3bn, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Across our country millions face an unprecedented economic and health crisis. We need a radical new direction to meet this challenge. We need a massive green stimulus so we both provide jobs and tackle this crisis and the climate crisis.

The Government’s spending on climate change simply does not match the scale of ambition necessary to reshape our economy, nor does it match the sums other countires have pledged. That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Chancellor to do more and invest £150 billion over three years through a Green Recovery Plan.

We must not forget this pandemic hasn’t affected everyone equally. Amongst the worst hit are self employed workers, many of whom still aren’t receiving any support. This is a gross injustice against some of the most vulnerable workers in the UK. The Chancellor must use his statement to expand support for the self-employed and all vulnerable workers.

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One Comment

  • Peter Hirst 9th Jul '20 - 2:16pm

    This pandemic and its aftermath could be our last chance to position the world to combat climate change. It is a golden opportunity to create a green recovery both here and internationally. If we don’t take advantage of it, we have only ourselves to blame for the consequences.

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