9 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Transport Secretary needs to sack Northern
  • A&E waiting times will be worse with Tories’ extreme Brexit
  • Jardine secures Govt commitment to introduce Domestic Abuse Bill by Easter
  • Lib Dems continue to oppose dangerous Withdrawal Bill

Transport Secretary needs to sack Northern

The Liberal Democrats have called for the Transport Secretary to “sack Northern” following the announcement that the Government is considering awarding Northern a short-term contract.

Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Tim Farron said:

The Conservative Government’s big announcement on Northern is just more delay, something that rail passengers in the North are all too familiar with.

It’s completely unthinkable that the Secretary of State is prepared to award Northern a short-term contract, despite their complete failure to actually run trains on train lines.

What more evidence does he need that this company are utterly incapable of running a half-decent train service?

The Transport Secretary needs to stop shilly-shallying, pluck up the courage and sack Northern.

A&E waiting times will be worse with Tories’ extreme Brexit

Responding to NHS England figures which have today revealed A&E waiting times hit their worst-ever level in December, amid growing pressures on the NHS, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

The crisis in A&E is worsening month on month under the Conservatives. Patients are suffering with the worst-ever A&E waiting times but the Conservatives are determined to make the situation worse.

The Tories’ extreme Brexit including ending freedom of movement, will deprive the NHS of the vital EU nurses and doctors hospitals and A&E’s rely on.

Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to stop a no-deal Brexit at the end of 2020 to protect the NHS. It is essential that the transition period can be extended to ensure freedom of movement is maintained.

Jardine secures Govt commitment to introduce Domestic Abuse Bill by Easter

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine has secured a commitment from the Conservative Government to bring forward its Domestic Abuse Bill before Easter.

In response to a question from Christine Jardine in the House of Commons this morning, Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg promised that the Government’s Domestic Abuse Bill “will certainly be introduced before Easter.”

The Conservative Government promised the Bill in the Queen’s Speech of June 2017, but only introduced it for the first time in July 2019. The Bill passed 2nd Reading in the Commons and began its Committee Stage in October, but fell when Parliament was dissolved for the General Election.

Following her question, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

I welcome the Government’s promise to bring forward the Domestic Abuse Bill before Easter and will hold Ministers to account for the commitment they’ve given me today.

More than 2 million people experience domestic abuse each year, and they have been left waiting far too long for this badly-needed legislation.

Liberal Democrats are calling for the Bill to include proper funding for refuges and Rape Crisis centres and to address the specific barriers to support facing migrant women who experience domestic abuse.

Lib Dems continue to oppose dangerous Withdrawal Bill

Responding to the news that the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has received its Third Reading in the Commons, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael said:

Today, the Tories have voted for a Bill that will deny rights to children. They have voted for a Bill that will slash the rights of future generations to live and work across 27 other countries. They have voted for a Bill that strips away our guaranteed environmental protections, despite the fact that we are facing a climate emergency.

These are the actions of an inhumane and insular government, driven by toxic rhetoric rather than the national interest. That is why the Liberal Democrats voted against this Bill today.

As this damaging Bill progresses through Parliament, the Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to hold the government to account and to secure the rights that the Tories are determined to erase.

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  • “A&E waiting times will be worse with Tories’ extreme Brexit”

    Surely there is something wrong with our national attitude in assuming that we need incomers from overseas to provide us with a sufficiency of doctors and nurses? Is it a subconscious relic of imperial assumptions — one that needs revising, for everyone’s sake?

    Any just and self-respecting prosperous nation ought to recognise an obligation to provide its own vital workforce. There are doubtless within the medical professions reciprocal advantages in working for some years in another country, to gain experience and insight into other ways of doing things, and there can be no objection to that. But for us to assume that we are entitled to fill vacancies with comers-in, because we cannot fill them from among ourselves is, it seems to me, pretty discreditable. My affluent schoolfellows used to boast about it, when their elder sisters were taken on as nurses in the top hospitals in the fifties. We know what has changed, of course: “higher education” and the professions have rightly become much more accessible to women.

    But medicine remains potentially a satisfying and rewarding kind of work, a manifest benefit to all (unlike many we can think of!). How can it be that this nation accepts that it cannot be properly rewarded, and therefore cannot be properly staffed and managed without crudely buying professionals probably needed in their own countries?

    Or is it that other countries deliberately breed and train medics with a calculated intention of exporting their services to unscrupulous nations like ours? Are we conniving in medic-trafficking, to nearly everyone’s detriment?

  • nigel hunter 10th Jan '20 - 11:14am

    The trouble with being a doctor or nurse, training takes years. The NHS needs them NOW.Therefore bringing them from abroad is ok. HOWEVER, it is the responsibility of Govnt to provide the resources to train our own.It has been reported that a medical training school in NI has been ‘delayed’from entering service. Tory Govnts wishing to ‘conserve’ !? resources are happy to bring ‘forinners’ in to plug the gaps cos it means they do not have to train our own,cheaper. Equally by allowing the NHS to slide into chaos allows the Tories to weaken it for US style private enterprise.
    DOMESTIC ABUSE BILL. Johnson promises things then detracts from them and finds a way to wriggle out of the original commitment. Be aware of holding them to account on promises made.
    The national interest is not the Tory way, ONLY if it serves their interests.

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