Author Archives: Caron Lindsay

Layla Moran “in love with a wonderful woman”

A lovely tweet from Lib Dem MP Layla Moran tonight:

She talked to Pink News about her relationship with former Lib Dem Press Officer Rosy Cobb:

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Happy New Year!

Not going to lie, I’m still reeling from the rollercoaster we’ve been on this year. The physical exhaustion of the general election campaign is slowly diminishing, but, for me, the emotional effect is still weighing heavy.

In January 2019, we were starting to make a tiny step forward and were in double figures in the polls most of the time. We had 12 MPs who were doing their damnedest to make sure we didn’t leave the EU on 29th March. Jo Swinson was just about to come back to full time work after her maternity leave.

We had high hopes that we might gain 300 or so seats on a good night in the local elections in May.

We all kind of dreaded Theresa May getting her Withdrawal Agreement through with the help of Labour votes.

And then she didn’t. And a million people at least took to the streets to call for a People’s Vote.

We gained over 700 councillors o that first Thursday in May. Our success was a springboard into a vibrant and uncompromising European election campaign where our Bollocks to Brexit message resonated.  Although the Brexit party won more seats, more votes were cast for remain parties and the Liberal Democrats won an unprecedented 16 MEPs, 20.3% and 3.3 million votes. Between them, the Conservatives and Labour Party didn’t get much more than that.

For a time, we thought sense would  prevail after all and we might be able to stop Brexit.

We had a friendly and uplifting leadership contest between Jo Swinson and Ed Davey and, to our surprise, our poll ratings hovered around the 20% mark.

Our parliamentary ranks swelled as, first, Chuka Umunna joined us in June and Sarah Wollaston, Angela Smith, Phillip Lee, Luciana Berger, Sam Gyimah, Antoinette Sandbach followed suit.

In the Summer, we’d decamped to the gorgeous Welsh constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire where a by-election had been called following a successful recall of the Conservative MP. We were thrilled when, in the early hours of 2nd August, Welsh Leader Jane Dodds triumphed.

We had a brilliant new leader, we had maintained our high poll rating and, in fact, there were four parties in the 20% range.

As we end the year after a brutal general election which saw us one seat down from our 2017 total and minus a brilliant leader, we have to ask where it all went wrong. There will be a formal review of the General Election – this takes place after every election – and all the decisions we took, from deciding to vote for the election to the targeting decisions we made during the campaign will be subject to scrutiny. Did we deliver enough/too many leaflets? Did we sell ourselves well enough?

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Dame Floella Benjamin heads Lib Dems in New Years Honours

The New Year’s Honours have been published and Baroness Floella Benjamin becomes a Dame for services to charity.

The former Play School presenter, now a Lib Dem Peer, spent the weekend after the election on the phone consoling defeated Lib Dem candidates. A friend of mine who received a call from her was absolutely delighted.

Kishan Devani, who joined us from the Conservatives a couple of years ago and was our candidate in Montgomeryshire at the election gets a British Empire Medal. Thanks to Peter Taylor for telling us.

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Sal Brinton on the next steps for the Liberal Democrats

Party president Sal Brinton has emailed party members tonight to let them know what is happening with the general election review and leadership election.

The Federal Board discussed both yesterday.

We decided that everyone was knackered over the election and needed a rest over Christmas. The Federal Board meeting in January will look again at when to hold the leadership election but the feeling was that we aren’t in a massive hurry. The process takes around 9 weeks once it is kicked off.

I think this is a good idea. The 2015 leadership election was conducted when we were all still grieving after the result and was a pretty gruesome affair as a result.

We need to rest and recharge before we do anything.

Here is Sal’s email.

I want to thank you for all your hard work over the last six weeks. Everyone did everything they could in this campaign but the result has been deeply disappointing.

Despite Liberal Democrats gaining 1.2m votes and our share of the vote increasing in every region of the UK, we are now one seat down compared to 2017. Under a proportional system, we would now have 84 MPs.

In many contests, we achieved some of the biggest ever swings in election history. But in six tight races, we lost by just a few hundred votes.

For me, Jo missing out by just 149 votes was heartbreaking. In her time as Leader, she gave us hope about a new progressive politics. If you missed her moving speech you can see it here.

We also lost too many other exceptional MPs: Jane Dodds, Tom Brake, Stephen Lloyd, Luciana Berger, Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston, Sam Gyimah, Philip Lee, Angela Smith and Antoinette Sandbach. Each had made their mark as outstanding MPs standing up for liberal principles. We will miss them all.

And of course, to see the Conservatives win a majority after their disgraceful campaign is appalling. As was Nicola Sturgeon’s awful reaction to Jo’s news.

Our task now is to learn and look ahead.

Under the Party Constitution, if the Leader loses their seat, the Deputy Leader in the Commons and the President jointly take on the role of co-interim Leader. Ed Davey and I are already working closely together.

I am delighted to say that Mark Pack has been elected as Party President from 1 January, and I will hand my share of that role to him then.

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How are you bearing up?

Two days on from the sheer awfulness of Friday morning, how are you bearing up?

I have not yet finished with the crying. I spent much of Friday in tears. I’d got home from the count at about 7:30 after nipping in to Scottish HQ at Clifton Terrace to await the results from Orkney and Shetland.

I then went home and wrote this, almost falling asleep many times as I did so. Then, after three hours’ sleep, spent the afternoon crying and talking to various people. Then Jo spoke and I cried some more. How on earth she managed to come up with something so well thought through after what she had been through is incredible.

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The best way to work out the way forward

Over the next wee while, we’ll have to reflect on what went wrong in the election and how we can avoid some of the mistakes in the future.

We know that our vote share went up more than any other party’s. Our bonkers electoral system ended up giving us one fewer seat. The Tories gained a quarter of what we did and were rewarded with tens of seats. But we thought we were going to end up with many more MPs. We should have ended up with more MPs. The narrow losses in places like Carshalton where we lost Tom Brake by 400, Sheffield Hallam, where the brilliant Laura Gordon didn’t win the seat by 700, Wimbledon where we lost by 600 and, of course, Jo’s seat where fell short by just 149 should have been avoided.

The reasons why it all went wrong are varied and we shouldn’t rush to blame it all on the Revoke policy. Remember that 6 million people signed a petition calling for exactly that just 6 months ago and even in the latter stages of the election, it was still the most popular policy amongst remainers.

We need to look at our targeting strategy, the way in which we asked activists to move around the country and the seats we asked them to move to.  We need to look at our messaging and how we appealed to Labour remainers.  I think we needed to emphasise that our manifesto was the most redistributive of the three main parties. It did more to help the poorest. I think we should have been shouting that much louder. And we had a brilliant policy to provide free childcare that was not mentioned nearly enough.

We need to look at that decision to push for an election in the first place. I was not convinced that the timing was right. I understand that the EU was less than convinced about granting another extension and that the support for the election  provided them with motivation to do so. I understand that the prospect of a People’s Vote was waning with Labour’s refusal to actually vote for it in Parliament. I understand that it looked like the Withdrawal Agreement could go through with Labour votes. But, if we had left it, would we have been any worse off than we are now? 

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Rollercoaster

I’m just in from one of the worst nights of my political life. Don’t get me wrong, at my count, Liberal Democrats in every seat increased their vote share. For election after election, I, as Scottish Party Treasurer, would have to set aside a ridiculous amount of money that could have been spent on campaigning to cover lost deposits. Not many of them this time around.

Any other time we would be celebrating a bigger increase in vote share than any other party.

It is kind of ridiculous that a rise in the Conservative vote of 1.2% was met with 50 extra MPs while a rise in the Liberal Democrat vote share of 4.2% resulted in  one fewer parliamentarian.

And it’s truly bloody awful when that one parliamentarian is your leader of just 4 months. Jo took a courageous stand on Brexit and offered radical, generous spirited, liberal policies on other issues. Yet she lost out to the SNP by just 149 votes. There are no words to describe how heartbroken I feel about her loss from Parliament.

There is a cruel irony that many of the women she encouraged now make up the majority of our  parliamentary party. She’s delivered on one of her key interests to make the party more diverse but won’t be able to work with them in Parliament.

The night ranged from the shock of the exit poll to the relief that our data was more accurate. Christine Jardine eventually won with an increased majority. Yet just an hour’s drive away, our leader lost by 149 votes. Could we have done more to persuade people to go there to shore up our vote? We’ll hever know.

The sickening, stomach churning moment when that exit poll suggested that there would be no Liberal Democrat MPs in Scotland at all  We’d hoped for five – and we got 4 when we gained Wendy Chamberlain in North East Fife. She enters Parliament along with a second term for Sarah Olney.

Other lows included  not winning Sheffield Hallam, both Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger losing their seats. And Tom Brake losing Carshalton after 22 years by approximately 400 votes.

I’ll crunch some more numbers later, but it is worth noting that we might have had several more seats and Boris Johnson might have had some fewer if we had stood aside, say, in Chingford and Wood Green  against Iain Duncan Smith or the Greens had too aside in Sheffield Hallam. For future elections, we’ll need to work to ensure that we minimise the number of Conservatives in Parliament.

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New MRP poll shows Lib Dems can stop Boris Johnson from winning a majority

The latest You Gov MRP poll shows us gaining slightly in both vote share and seats from 2017 but  still gives Boris Johnson a majority. But before we all panic, the figures show that we can stop him and gain more seats.

The headline figures have the Tories on 339, Labour on 231, us on 15, the Greens on 1, Plaid on 4 and the SNP on 41.

The study has us on 12% and with 15 seats. That doesn’t ‘t tell the whole story. Seats like Lewes, Finchley and Golders Green (Luciana Berger) and Cities of London and Westminster (Chuka Umunna) are in reach for us if we can squeeze that Labour vote.

North East Fife has moved from being SNP two weeks ago to a toss up and Caithness has gone from a 1% SNP lead to a 4% Lib Dem  lead.

If these results were replicated, we would gain St Albans, Richmond Park, South Cambridgeshire, Sheffield Hallam and Winchester by significant margins.

Here are the seats when we are in with a shout of a gain:Cheadle

Cheltenham

Esher and Walton,- Monica Harding could unseat Dominic Raab with the race tightening in the two weeks

Finchley and Golders Green, (Luciana Berger)

Guildford,

Hazel Grove,

Lewes

St Ives

Wokingham

Chelsea and Fulham – a longer shot but Labour votes switching to Lib Dem could see Nicola Horlick elected.

Ceredigion

The SNP could gain a few more seats from the Tories, too.

The take home from this poll is that a Tory majority is not inevitable.

Incredibly, Bolsover, one of the safest Labour seats in the country, is predicted to go Conservative. Who would have thought that Dennis Skinner would face electoral defeat at the hands of the Tories?

And on other side, Iain Duncan Smith also faces defeat by Labour in Chingford and Wood Green.

I suspect that this poll underestimates the Lib Dem vote from what I have seen and heard about on the ground in Lib Dem seats.

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Jo’s best bits from the Channel 4 Debate

Channel 4 held an “everything but Brexit” debate last night.

Jo represented us. Labour sent Angela Rayner, the SNP Philippa Whitford and both of them basically decided to gang up on Jo over the coalition rather than defend their own policies. Moderator Cathy Newman seemed to join in the pile-on at times.

The Conservatives and Brexit Party couldn’t even be bothered to turn up. It was quite bizarre when she read out bits of the Conservative and Brexit manifestos when they were not represented and able to be properly scrutinised.

Here are some of Jo’s best bits.

 

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The most frustrating thing about Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson was on Sophy Ridge this morning, setting out very clearly that every single Liberal Democrat MP elected on Thursday would be absolutely focused on stopping Brexit.

She emphasised that Liberal Democrats could stop Boris Johnson getting a majority.

She also defended our policy of revoking Article 50 if the Liberal Democrats won a majority, saying that it was the most popular option amongst remainers, including Labour remainers. She could have mentioned that 6 million people signed a petition to do just that just a few months ago so the idea clearly has support.

Here are her highlights:

Sophy Ridge asked her about …

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Santa Rennie delivers festive lump of coal to SNP

It wouldn’t be an election without Willie Rennie doing something eye-catching.

And today, he took part in a Santa dash in Glasgow.

 

He placed the SNP firmly on the Naughty List for the decline in public services since they have been in government and suggested that they’d be getting a lump of coal on Christmas morning.

The only reason that the SNP want to talk about Brexit is because their domestic agenda is truly abysmal.

Hundreds of children are waiting far too long for mental health treatment, the third Police Authority chair in three years has resigned and we are falling down the international education rankings.

This Christmas the SNP deserve a lump of coal for the way they’ve mishandled these services. Our teachers, nurses and police officers are working hard day in day out but they don’t get the support they deserve from an SNP government which has independence on the brain.

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How YOU can help the Lib Dems get more MPs this week

There’s just five campaigning days left in the General Election. All of a sudden you seem to go from “Oh yikes, how the hell will I survive 5 weeks of this?” to “Oh Yikes, there’s only five days to do all this?”

What matters to us all on Friday morning is the number of Lib Dem MPs we have. Noble third places count for nothing.

If you are not in one of the seats we hope to win on Thursday, please either get to your nearest one, or make phone calls from your own home into it. The party has set up a nice tool to let you know which one you should go to.

I have always done this. Sometimes, my local party where I live has not been happy about this. I remember the horror in the West Lothian local party in my first election when I moved there when I said I was heading to Edinburgh South. We didn’t win there in that election, but we were a top target and laid the groundwork for wining the Scottish Parliament seat two years later.

When I lived in the East Midlands, I worked in the target seat of Chesterfield which we  won in 2001.

At this stage of the campaign, we need to make sure that the target seats win. What you have done already will have helped you build for next time. And it can be hard, when you have put lots of effort into your local campaign to leave it and head elsewhere.

But if you can be part of winning a brighter prospect, that will also help you in more ways than one. Firstly, a good result for the party helps us all. More MPs = more influence in Parliament. For the country that is a good thing because it gives us the chance to stop Brexit.

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Jo Swinson shines in Andrew Neil interview

Jo Swinson was 3 when Jeremy Corbyn became an MP in 1983. That longer experience did not help him when he faced Andrew Neil last week. He was tin-eared, evasive and failed to connect with the audience.

Boris Johnson can’t even be bothered to show up.

In contrast, Jo was amazing tonight. Neil didn’t hold back, asking her some very tough questions. She answered every single one with clarity, competence and candour. She was very clear that she hadn’t got it right on everything  in the coalition and said the word that politicians so rarely use – sorry.

At the same time, she articulated a proper, liberal, internationalist message, showing how we are open, generous spirited and inclusive.

I have known Jo for long enough to know that she never gives up. Our election campaign has not seen the rise in the polls we deserve, given that we have a manifesto that is more redistributive than Labour’s, is the most economically competent and is much better on social justice than anyone else’s. A lesser leader could have turned their face to the wall. That is not Jo’s style. She and we will keep fighting for every single vote right up until 10pm next Thursday night.

Here are her best bits:

And we can stop Brexit We did it twice and we can do it for good:

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Hugh Grant goes canvassing for Luciana today, Chuka tomorrow

It was great to see actor Hugh Grant out canvassing for Luciana Berger today.

In the first of a series of visits to Lib Dem, Labour and Independent remain supporting candidates who could deny Boris Johnson a majority, he canvassed with Luciana then attended a packed rally.

The best tweet has to come from Gabriel Rozenberg, quoting that great line of Andie McDowell’s from that last scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral – still an incredibly funny film, if you haven’t seen it.

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Jo’s best bits from the BBC Debate

Seven leading figures from the various parties competing in the election took part in a televised debate from the National Assembly of Wales.

We are a site made up of Lib Dem supporters. Of course we are going to back our leader. But she surpassed even our expectations.

Her opening statement offered hope, and a country where everyone is valued regardless of religion, who they love or the colour of their skin, working with our closest friends to save the planet, nurturing the bonds in our family of nations, protecting the vulnerable.  A proper liberal vision.

She had the line of the debate.

She didn’t mention that it was a horror show, though…

And here’s her closing statement:

She highlighted why Lib Dem spending plans were not only effective, but added up.

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Conference Early Bird Discount extended until 7th January

Last month, when registration opened for York Conference, I noticed that the discount for booking early finished just one week after the election and before Christmas. I felt that this was unfair:

Now, most of us are knocking ourselves out campaigning for the General Election. We’re out in the cold and dark on a daily basis. Campaigning is not cheap. You have to pay to travel -and many of us are travelling to our nearest target seats. And we’re all getting asked to contribute to local and national campaigns.

This election is an unexpected and added expense just before Christmas. If you add to that the cost of registering for Conference as well, it might mean that some people just can’t afford to go.

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One by-election gain and one hold for the Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have two new councillors this morning.

Cllr Liz Withington held the Sheringham North seat in North Norfolk.

And in Wiltshire, a spectacular gain for Cllr Jo Trigg in Trowbridge Lambrok.

Well done to both Liz and Jo and their teams.

In the third and final contest of the night, there was no Liberal Democrat candidate but the Greens took the seat from an independent.

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What can we take from the MRP seat projections?

13 seats.

That’s what the  You Gov MRP seat projection says we’re going to get.

Not what we wanted to hear.  YouGov only spoke to a small number of people in each seat. Our campaign teams on the ground will have spoken to thousands more people over the last few weeks. They are likely to have a much more accurate idea of what is going on and I think that they will find these projections surprising.

But note the caveat from YouGov

The idea behind MRP is that we use the poll data from the preceding seven days to estimate a model that relates interview date, constituency, voter demographics, past voting behaviour, and other respondent profile variables to their current voting intentions. This model is then used to estimate the probability that a voter with specified characteristics will vote Conservative, Labour, or some other party.

This is a Brexit election though. Brexit is an issue which has split the country into Leave and Remain voters. Traditional patterns of voting for each party may well not apply.

I’m grateful to Morgan Griffith-David for doing this work for me so I don’t have to, but the poll only gives us 13 seats, it puts us in touching distance in another 23. This should concentrate the minds of pro-Remain voters. For example, Brecon and Radnorshire is projected as Conservative 49%, Lib Dem 35%, Labour 14%. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what Labour voters need to do to stop the Tories, whose vote is not split by the Brexit party this time.

These, and others, are the seats where Remainers really need to get behind the Lib Dems to stop Boris Johnson getting a majority which will enable him to inflict Brexit hell on the country.

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Remembering Charles Kennedy on what would have been his 60th birthday

On 25th November 1959, Charles Kennedy was born. He was raised near Fort William and went on to be elected as the SDP MP for Ross, Cromarty and Skye when he was just 23 in 1983.

He went on to become the second leader of the Liberal Democrats and was one of the most popular politicians in the UK. His easy-going public persona and his immense political courage won him many friends across and outside politics.

He was a passionate internationalist and European and totally committed to social justice. He talked about being a voice for the dispossessed who were being ignored by other parties.

He was one of the few to emerge from the deeply divisive referendum on Scottish independence with the respect and admiration of both sides. He argued with wit and wisdom for what he believed in and always showed respect for the other side. He was a great role model in the art of disagreeing well.

He had to show grace in the most vicious of situations. When he led the Liberal Democrats to oppose the war in Iraq in 2005, he was villified for it and treated with utter contempt in the Commons. A decade later, politicians from all sides paid heartfelt tribute to him when he died, too soon.

It was only afterwards that we learned of the close friendship he had built with Alastair Campbell, the chief spin doctor of the Blair years.

Just after he died, Channel 4 news produced this snapshot of his life. It certainly brought a tear to my eye.

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Two things we learned from last night’s Question Time

Jo Swinson had the hardest job out of all the leaders on the BBC Question Time special last night.

First of all, the audience was stacked against her:

While all the leaders took some tough questioning, at least Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn had somewhere in the vicinity of a third of the audience backing them. For some reason UK audiences seem to like Nicola Sturgeon, but they don’t have to live with her chaotic government’s neglect of pubic services. Trust me, the grass is not greener up here.

The audience was never going to back Jo – but people watching would have seen a leader who was absolutely crystal clear about her position. And, uniquely, she was also prepared to admit where we and she had got it wrong in the past. Compare that to Corbyn’s failure to acknowledge that he had failed to tackle anti-semitism in his own party and Johnson’s failure to accept the consequences of the casual racism with which he peppers so much of his writing.

So it’s hardly surprising that much of the right and left wing press are using up their column inches attacking Jo instead of promoting their own candidate.

Jo was very clear that she was the Remain candidate on the ballot paper.

The first thing we learned last night, if we didn’t know it already, is that Labour is not a remain party. Jeremy Corbyn announced he would stay neutral on this deal that he’s going to negotiate. That is an astounding failure of leadership. By refusing to take a position, he lets everybody down.

The second thing we learned is that Jo Swinson shows grace, candour and passion under pressure. She has the hardest job last night and answered with kindness, empathy and clarity.  She made sure that she is the unequivocal voice of remain in this election.

Her performance will go down very well in the seats we hope to gain to deprive Boris Johnson of a majority. Don’t just take my word for it:

Diamonds are formed under pressure. Our Lib Dem diamond did us proud by going into that fire pit and handling the tough questioning much better than anyone else.

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Some interesting features of Lib Dem ad targeting

I have not had one single ad on Facebook encouraging me to vote for the Liberal Democrats. Not one.

But, when you think about it, what a waste of money it would be if I had.

Let’s face it, my vote for the party was never in doubt, and this one will be the proudest I have ever cast for the Liberal Democrats. Not only are we right on the biggest issue of our time, I’ve learned over 15 years’ acquaintance that Jo Swinson is ideally suited to be our Prime Minister. 

Yesterday the BBC’s Rory Cellan Jones offered an insight into how we were targeting our ads in individual seats:

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Council by-elections – 21 November

Three results in so far from last night’s by-elections.

It was disappointing to lose a seat in Chichester. It was a seat that we had held only briefly in a new ward, when we won narrowly in May. Our councillor promptly left us, joined the Greens and resigned from the Council, so the chances are that we were being punished.

Our candidate Alexander Jeffrey and his team had an almost impossible task.

In Aberdeen, the Labour vote dropped like a stone while we advanced slightly and the SNP held on to their seat.

And another rise in vote share in Cardiff.

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Chuka on Question Time – open thread

Chuka Umunna is about to be on Question Time.

I should be going to bed, but I can’t resist staying up and watching.

Who’s with me?

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WATCH: Liberal Democrats Party Election Broadcast – She’s running again

Here is the Lib Dem election broadcast for the General Election.

I will admit to a wee tear at the start where Jo is talking about her Dad, who died last year. He would have been so proud to see her leading an election campaign as leader of the biggest and strongest Remain party.

It’s personal, hopeful, bright and clear about our aims about stopping Brexit and transforming the economy to make it work for people and planet.

And we have added Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston and Siobhan Benita, too.

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Liberal Democrats join in Transgender Day of Remembrance

One of the saddest days of he year for me is today, the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, when we remember those transgender people who have lost their lives over the past year just for being who they are, who died as a result of anti-transgender violence.

You can read all their names, and the mostly brutal circumstances of their passing here. 

Jo Swinson marked the day by writing an article on the Lib Dem website:

Trans people can’t wait until it’s politically convenient for them to exist.

We need to sort this

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Sal Brinton: Our democracy should not be in the hands of invisible corporate structures

Tonight the Liberal Democrats and SNP lost their court bid for inclusion in the ITV Leaders’ debate tomorrow night.

Sal Brinton was at the Royal Courts of Justice and had this to say afterwards:

The Liberal Democrats’ position in this election and that of our leader is unique: Jo Swinson is the only leader of a national party fighting to stop brexit.

“Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn should not be allowed to sidestep debating the issue of Brexit with someone who wants to remain, and ITV should not give them the opportunity to do so.

“That is why this is an incredibly disappointing verdict. Not just for the Liberal Democrats but also for democracy in this country, and for every remainer who deserves to have a voice in this debate.

“It is worrying that the Ofcom guidance allows TV Executives, not the voters, to decide whether the biggest issues of the day are debated openly in the ITV Debate.

“This campaign is undeniably dominated by Brexit, the single biggest issue for our country, perhaps in the last 75 years.

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Meet your new Federal committee members – internal election results declared

Last night, after a long day of hard work by brilliant LDHQ staff, the Federal Committee results were declared.

Party members had been voting for 3 weeks to choose members of the Federal Board, Federal Policy Committee, Federal Conference Committee, Federal International Relations Committee and ALDE Council delegations. Principal councillor reps to Federal Board and Federal Policy Committee, the English rep to the Federal Board and Scottish reps to both Committees were also chosen.

You can see the full results including all the STV tables here.

Those elected were:

Federal Board

Alice Thomas
April Preston
Candy Piercy
Caron Lindsay
Elaine Bagshaw
Gerald Vernon-Jackson
James Gurling
Jo Hayes
Joyce Onstad
Kishan Devani*
Luke Cawley-Harrison
Neil Fawcett
Roisin Miller
Ruby Chow
Simon McGrath

* Note: This candidate was promoted into the list of elected candidates due to gender diversity requirements.

English Rep to Federal Board

Lisa-Maria Bornemann

Scottish Rep to Federal Board

Cllr Kevin Lang

Principal Councillor rep to Federal Board

Cllr Chris White

Federal Policy Committee

Alisdair Calder-McGregor
Alyssa Gilbert
Aria Babu
Belinda Brooks-Gordon
Catherine Royce
Christine Cheng
Duncan Brack
Elizabeth Jewkes
Helen Cross
Jeremy Hargreaves
Mohsin Khan
Richard Cole
Robert Harrison*
Sally Burnell
Tara Copeland
* Note: This candidate was promoted into the list of elected candidates due to gender diversity requirements.

Scottish Rep to Federal Policy Committee

Elinor Anderson

Principal Councillor reps to Federal Policy Committee

Cllr Peter Thornton
Cllr Susan Juned

Federal Conference Committee

Bex Scott
Cara Jenkinson
Chris Adams
Chris Maines
Geoff Payne
Liz Lynne
Joe Otten
John Bridges
Jon Ball
Joe Toovey*
Nick da Costa
Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey
* Note: This candidate was promoted into the list of elected candidates due to ability diversity requirements.

Federal International Relations Committee

Doreen Huddart
Hannah Bettsworth
Jonathan Fryer
Phillipa Leslie-Jones
Phil Bennion
Ruth Coleman Taylor

ALDE Council

Belinda Brooks-Gordon
Hannah Bettsworth
Jonathan Fryer
Joyce Onstad
Merlene Emmerson
Phillip Bennion

Congratulations to everyone who was elected and commiserations to those who missed out this time.

Some quick observations on the results.

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Luciana: EU staff critical to our NHS

Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Luciana Berger has spoken out about how Brexit would harm our NHS, emphasising how reliant we are on EU doctors and nurses. Analysis done by the Labour Party highlights that NHS staff work a million hours of unpaid overtime every week.

That doesn’t surprise me. When my husband was seriously ill three years ago, in the 51 nights he was in hospital, only once did I see one member of staff actually leave at the end of their shift. And the situation has got much worse since then as we lose thousands of EU nurses every year.

Luciana criticised Labour’s approach to Brexit:

A key reason NHS staff are working overtime is because of the serious shortages in the number of doctors and nurses working in the NHS. Part of that shortage is due to the net loss of 5,000 EU nurses in the last two years alone.

Only yesterday, Labour failed yet again to confirm their position on freedom of movement. With the NHS reliant on 10,000 EU doctors and 20,000 EU nurses, Labour’s support for Brexit is baffling as it will be so damaging for our NHS and hardworking staff.

In the past week we have learnt about the Conservative plan to impose a Nurse Tax on any new EU health professional coming to treat NHS patients. The stakes could not be higher. Labour and the Conservatives must stop being so irresponsible with our NHS.

The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit to protect our NHS. We will build a brighter future by investing an extra £35 billion in our NHS by adding a penny on income tax. In addition we will implement a national recruitment strategy to ensure we never again suffer shortages of nurses, doctors and other health professionals.

If Labour are bad, the Tories are terrible. They would charge nurses who come to this country to use the NHS they work for. This would cost their families thousands of pounds.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged , , , , , and | 11 Comments

In Full: Ed Davey’s speech on the economy

Today, Ed Davey made a keynote speech on the economy.

He talked about his plans here:

Here is his speech in full:

For too long, Britain has not had the economy it deserves.

Under this Conservative Government, too many people can’t live a secure, happy and fulfilling life. Too many businesses face crippling uncertainty over their future. And too many of us feel vulnerable in the face of technological change.

The fact is, the Conservatives have made our economy weaker – much weaker.
People might be in work, but more and more struggle to make ends meet.
Businesses have been hit, with investment down significantly since the 2016 referendum.

Productivity has been grimly weak – with no growth at all in the last 12 months.
The Office of National Statistics confirmed only this week, that Britain’s economic growth in the last year has been the lowest for a decade.

And this Government has ignored all our long-term economic problems. We have alarming skill shortages. A persistent trade deficit. And inequality that’s both socially and economically damaging.

Yet so far, the debate in this election on our economy – on our future – has been a debate between fantasies.

Fantasies born of nostalgia for a British Imperial past. Competing with fantasies from a failed 1970s ideology.

Fantasies competing to bankrupt Britain.

Boris Johnson has snuck into Jeremy Corbyn’s allotment and stolen his magic money tree.

The British people deserve better than fantasy economics.

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 43 Comments

Two spectacular by-election gains and a frustrating but brilliant near miss

It was another brilliant night on the by-election front for the Lib Dems.

Two years ago we narrowly missed out on gaining the North East Fife parliamentary seat by just two votes. And that was the same margin by which we lost out on gaining Dunfermline Central on Fife Council. Aude Boubaker-Calder had run a passionate and spirited campaign and more than tripled the first preference votes and ran the SNP extremely close. She is in a very good position for the next Council elections in 2022.

In Tunbridge Wells, Justine Rutland gained a seat from the Conservatives with a spectacular swing:

Posted in News | Tagged | 9 Comments
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  • User AvatarPhilip Moss 20th Jan - 1:39pm
    Regarding Johnson and broken promises. Can someone confirm my memory, it was said that making a trade agreement with the EU would be simple as...
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