Author Archives: Helen Duffett

How would you use an extra £600? Preview tonight’s Lib Dem Party Political Broadcast

The latest Lib Dem Party Political Broadcast is airing tonight, with a variety of people telling how they’d use an extra £600 per year, thanks to Liberal Democrats cutting income tax:

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Tagged , , and | 30 Comments

Spring 2013 Conference agenda now online

The Conference Agenda has been finalised and is now available online, along with policy and consultation papers.

The agenda features a variety of debates including one on education (“Every Child Taught by an Excellent Teacher”) and another on corporate tax avoidance.

There are also Q&A sessions with Ministers on International Affairs, Green Jobs and Health and Social Care. Nick Clegg will do a Leader’s Q&A on Saturday 9 March at 15:50 and Paddy Ashdown’s sure-to-be-barnstorming speech as Chair of the 2015 General Election campaign is at 11am on Saturday 9 March.

Every motion in the agenda is open to amendment, and the …

Posted in Conference | 4 Comments

The LDV Friday Five: 1 February 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Has it all gone Jenny Tonge for David Ward? (87 comments) by Mark Valladares
  2. Labour party ‘gerrymandering’: recalling the only occasion in a century when a party has interfered with electoral boundaries (54 comments) by Simon McGrath
  3. Nick Clegg’s son’s schooling is none of your business (130 comments) by Nick Thornsby
Posted in Friday Five | 1 Comment

The LDV Friday Five: 25 January 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Opinion: it’s no good counting on those rose-tinted spectacles (138 comments) by Richard Morris
  2. Sheffield Labour councillor opposes own decision (12 comments) by Joe Otten
  3. Northern council cuts are Labour’s choice – it’s that straightforward! (28 comments) by David Hennigan
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The LDV Friday Five: 18 January 2013

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. And the winner of our Liberal Voice of the Year award is… Sam Bowman (64 comments) by Stephen Tall
  2. Opinion: Liberals must learn the lessons of Thatcher (63 comments) by David Thorpe
  3. Jessops – is administration a euphemism for obliteration? (14 comments) by Mark Blackburn
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Nick Clegg to join LBC for weekly radio phone-in

LBC announced this morning:

Starting on Thursday 10th January at 9.00am, Call Clegg will be the first time a senior member of Government has agreed to be challenged by listeners every week about the big decisions being made in Downing Street.

Every Thursday morning for half-an-hour, the Deputy Prime Minister will go head-to-head with LBC 97.3 breakfast host Nick Ferrari and his listeners, who will be able to call, email, text or tweet Nick Clegg directly with their questions.

Mr Clegg said: “I’m doing this because I don’t think politicians get to hear enough from people directly. You can’t do the right

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 31 Comments

“It was a tough battle” – Shirley Williams on the birth of the SDP

Shirley Williams tells the story of the 1981 Gang of Four breakaway, which eventually led to the formation of the Liberal Democrats, in the first issue of AD LIB magazine, out next week.

“…we said, if we haven’t got anywhere else to go, we’ll create one.”

Those nascent views crystallised after the party’s 1981 Wembley conference which committed it to unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the EEC and NATO. Within hours Williams, Owen and Rodgers were drawing up the plans which would lead to the creation of the SDP.

“The three of us met – not Roy, at that point –

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Nick Clegg: “Let Leveson speak”

The Leveson Report on the culture, practice and ethics of the press will be published today at 1:30pm.

Speaking to the BBC this morning Nick Clegg said,

I think we should leave Lord Leveson to speak for himself. But my views on this subject are well known.

I believe in a vigorous free press that holds the powerful to account and isn’t subject to political interference. But a free press does not and cannot mean a press that is free to bully innocent people, or free to abuse grieving families.

I hope when Lord Justice Leveson gives his full statement later today, we will

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AD LIB: A new magazine for Liberal Democrats

Cover of AdLib issue 1

Last month I asked for your views on the new members’ magazine to replace Liberal Democrat News.

We got loads of really good feedback and we’ve tried to get as much of it into the magazine as possible.

Of course, no one has ever made 100 per cent of Liberal Democrats happy 100 per cent of the time, but we sincerely hope AD LIB lives up to most (if not all of) your expectations.

We’re not giving away too much about the content yet, but Twitter and Facebook profiles for AD LIB are up and running and for a teaser we’ve released the front cover (above right).

I know, I know, as defenders of transparency in public life how can we justify keeping the contents secret?

Posted in News | Tagged and | 18 Comments

Joe Biden appreciates Nick Clegg’s friendship

From a White House press release this week:

Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Nick Clegg

Vice President Biden spoke to Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Nick Clegg today to thank him for his congratulatory message following last week’s U.S. election. The Vice President expressed appreciation for Deputy

Posted in LDVUSA and News | Tagged and | 3 Comments

Tim Farron MP emails party members: Thanking our candidates on this tough day

Party President Tim Farron MP has just emailed Liberal Democrat members with a message of thanks and encouragement on this day of election results.

I wanted to put on record the party’s thanks to our candidates in yesterday’s PCC elections, by-elections and Bristol mayoral election.
We had many excellent candidates and teams who worked very hard to fly the flag for our party. I thank them all and I’m sure you would like to do the same.

It was a tough day, and whilst we may not have gained anything the hard work we’ve put in lays the foundations for the challenge ahead.

However

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged and | 4 Comments

The other local elections: Lib Dems gain five and hold three

The Liberal Democrats have gained five council seats and retained all three of their previously-held seats in the raft of council by-elections they were contesting yesterday.

In Wallsend, North Tyneside, Michael Huscroft gained from Labour with 58.2%, or 1158 votes.

David Siddans won in Rossett, Harrogate Borough Council, with 48.9% of the vote (897), in a 25.6% swing from the Tories.

From the Harrogate Advertiser:

Councillor John Fox, Constituency Chairman, Harrogate and Knaresborough Liberal Democrats said: “This is the first Liberal Democrat gain from the Conservatives in the north of England this year. We are absolutely delighted to have overturned a

Posted in Council by-elections | Tagged , , , , , , , and | 29 Comments

Federal Committee Election results 2012

Postal ballot paper being postedLiberal Democrat Federal Conference reps have voted for members of party committees for 2013-2014; the results are as follows:

Federal Executive committee
Places: 15
Candidates elected:

Qassim Afzal
Elaine Bagshaw

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , , , , and | 20 Comments

George Selmer selected for Lib Dems in Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough Liberal Democrats have selected a local jobs expert as their candidate for the upcoming Parliamentary by-election in the constituency.

George Selmer, who grew up and went to school in Middlesbrough, has outlined his plan for the town – focusing on jobs, housing and safeguarding local facilities under threat from Labour cuts.

Commenting on his selection, George said:

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections and Selection news | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

A new magazine for Lib Dems – tell us what you want

Lib Dem News is changing. After 14 years at the helm, editor Deirdre Razzall is retiring and the time has come for us to take a fresh look at one of the key ways members can get information about what’s going on in the party.

First of all we’re going to change the format. In the age of news websites, blogs and social media there’s less of a need for a weekly publication to supply members with news.

By switching to a monthly magazine format we can do a whole lot more – features, interviews, long form journalism, debates.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 17 Comments

Lynne Featherstone MP wins Attitude magazine’s Politician of the Year Award

At the inaugural Attitude Awards, former Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister and current Minister for International Development, Lynne Featherstone received the Politician of the Year Award for her work to secure equal marriage for same-sex couples.

From the Attitude website:

As much of the debate over the issue has descended into hysterical farce, we salute Lynne Featherstone for her clear and concise defence of the reforms. The minister has refused to be sidetracked, stating in March: ‘The

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Marisha Ray selected for Lib Dems in Croydon North

The Liberal Democrats have tonight selected Marisha Ray as Parliamentary Candidate for the Croydon North by-election, caused by the death of Malcolm Wicks MP.

Marisha, a married mother of one, is a former IT professional. She spent much of her childhood with close family friends in Croydon. Marisha served as a councillor in Islington between 2002 and 2010, and was an executive member with special responsibility for tackling crime (2006-08), implementing a groundbreaking gang prevention strategy.

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections and Selection news | Tagged , , and | 10 Comments

Nick Clegg’s autotuned apology viewed 1.8 million times

Not only has the charity single version of Nick Clegg’s tuition fees pledge apology been the surprise hit of the year, entering the Top 40 download chart, but The Poke‘s video has now been viewed more than 1.8 million times on YouTube.

From The Wall blog:

James Herring, of PR firm Taylor Herring which worked with the The Poke on the autotuned story (and has done since The Poke launched two years ago), says that Clegg was such an easy target that the opportunity was simply too good to miss.

“We worked through the night to create the mash up

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Liberal Democrat Party Awards 2012: The winners

Each year at Autumn Conference, the Party President presents awards for outstanding service to the Liberal Democrats.

Tim Farron appealed for nominations back in May, and presented the awards on the final afternoon of Conference in Brighton last week.

Tim Farron also took a moment to thank all those who work hard in their local areas and for their local parties, everyone who campaigned in the council elections in May, and those who will play a part in this autumn’s elections for Police Commissioners, the Bristol Mayor and Parliamentary by-elections.

The winners of the 2012 Party Awards are as follows:

Patsy Calton Award

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Blog of the Year Awards 2012: The Winners #LDBOTY

What’s loosely termed the awards “ceremony” for the 2012 Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year Awards has just drawn to a glittering close. As the last firework fades in Brighton’s night sky, I’m delighted to announce the winners:

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Blog of the Year Awards 2012: The Shortlists

Nominations for the Liberal Democrats’ Blog of the Year Awards 2012 closed on 14 September. Since then, the judges, Kirsty Williams (Assembly Member for Brecon and Radnorshire and Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats), Nick Thornsby (Lib Dem Blogger of the Year 2011), Tim Gatt (ITV News Digital Output Editor), Stephen Tall (Co-Editor, Lib Dem Voice), Alan Muhammed (Lib Dem Voice’s social media manager), & Helen Duffett (that’s me – Co-Editor (Associate) Lib Dem Voice) have been poring over the entries for the five categories.

It’s been a big task, and a fun one, to distil so many excellent examples of Lib Dem blogging and e-campaigning into lists of the best.

Congratulations if you’ve been shortlisted, but if you haven’t: remember that the shortlists are based on the judges’ subjective opinions. The awards are intended to be a fun way to celebrate the talent in the Lib Dem blogosphere, whilst introducing you to some blogs you might not have read before.

Next, a plug for the awards ceremony itself. If you’re at party conference in Brighton, do come along to the Pavilion Room, Grand Hotel, Brighton, from 9.45pm tonight, Saturday 22nd September.

Now, without further ado, here are the shortlists: (Drumroll, please)

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Posted in Best of the blogs and Conference | Tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

Blog of the Year Awards 2012: Vote for Best non-Lib Dem politics blog

It’s time to cast your votes (by STV) in the category for Best non-Lib Dem politics blog in the Lib Dem Voice Blog of the Year Awards 2012.

Simply use the app below and vote by 5:30 tomorrow.

The results will be announced at the BOTYs ceremony at Conference tomorrow night (10pm, Pavilion Room at the Grand Hotel, Brighton) and will appear online shortly afterwards. Follow the ceremony on Twitter using the hashtag #LDBOTY.

Poll closed, results tonight



Poll for LibDemVoice Blog of the Year Awards brought to you

Posted in Best of the blogs and Conference | Tagged | 1 Comment

Martin Horwood MP to chair Lib Dems’ 2013 local election campaign

From a Party news release:

Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, Martin Horwood has been appointed as the Chair of the Liberal Democrat 2013 Local Election Campaign.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

I am delighted that Martin will be heading our 2013 local election campaign.

With Martin’s wealth of local government and campaigning experience, I know he will do an excellent job.

I look forward to working with him to deliver the results our hard-working councillors and activists deserve.

Commenting further, Martin Horwood said:

I’m honoured and a little daunted to be asked to take on this role. It’s no secret

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , and | 8 Comments

Nick Clegg: “We made a pledge. We didn’t stick to it – and for that I’m sorry”

Nick Clegg has just emailed Liberal Democrat party members:

I’ve been travelling the country talking to party members over the summer. I’ve heard a lot of you say you think it’s important for the party and me personally to address, head on, the many concerns raised about the decisions I took in recent years about higher education funding and tuition fees.

I agree. Where we get it wrong we must hold our hands up, but when we get it right, we can hold our heads up too.

That is why I’ve made this video which will be our next Party Political Broadcast and which we are sharing with the media this evening:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 127 Comments

Lib Dems’ former HQ on the market for £11 million

Liberal Democrats HQ, Cowley Street
Photo credit: Loz Flowers on Flickr.

The Liberal Democrats used to call it home. Now 4 Cowley Street (vacated by the party in summer 2011) is up for sale as a 6-bedroom house for £11 million.

Estate agents Hathaways describe “Cowley House” as:

…an architecturally astounding property.

Hidden in the heart of Old Westminster the property was purpose-built as offices in the early 20th century, but the layout is such that it will make a particularly grand and spacious London home.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged | 8 Comments

Lib Dem Blog of the Year Awards 2012 – nominations now open

BOTY 2
The Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year Awards, run by Lib Dem Voice, are back for their seventh year. As usual, they’ll be awarded in a budget lavish ceremony at the party’s autumn conference in Brighton.

Click on the following links to see last year’s Shortlist and the Winners.

This year’s awards are as follows:

Posted in Best of the blogs | Tagged , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Autumn 2012 Conference agenda: online now

Simon Hughes MP emails party members:

We’re now just a few weeks away from our main annual conference.

If you’re already heading to Brighton this year, that’s great. I look forward to seeing you there.

The agenda is now online.

As well as the opportunity to debate with, quiz and meet the Deputy Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Parties, we have a packed programme including speeches from Sarah Teather, Tim Farron and Vince Cable, and policy debates on growth, housing and green jobs.

If you’ve not yet signed up to come to conference, please do so here.

It is a

Posted in Conference | Tagged | 3 Comments

LibLink: We can’t sit in our golden chamber resisting democracy – Paddy Ashdown responds to attack on reform

In the Mail on Sunday this week, Lord Ashdown responded to Lord Carlile’s article from the previous week, which had opposed Nick Clegg’s plans for Lords reform:

If ever there was a time for a strong democratically based second chamber to buttress our democracy, it is now. Whatever view you take of the Cameron/Clegg proposals, nobody can seriously call them ‘ill-considered’. They were preceded by a Royal commission, four white papers and three joint committees. Every party called for it in their manifestos at the last Election.

The Cameron/Clegg reform Bill does not ‘trash’ the Lords, as some claim

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Welsh Lib Dems select Dr Bablin Molik to fight the Cardiff South & Penarth by-election

Dr Bablin Molik  selected for Cardiff South and Penarth

Cardiff South and Penarth Liberal Democrats have selected Dr Bablin Molik as their candidate for the Cardiff South and Penarth by-election at a hustings with local party members.

Dr Bablin Molik, a researcher and mother of two, plays an active part in the community. She has helped set up a Saturday school in the area and she had worked with organisations helping women gain confidence and skills to be able to take an active role at every level in their communities.

Bablin …

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | 3 Comments

Paddy Ashdown meets his younger self

Broadcast on Saturday, a Radio 4 interview with Lord Ashdown, featuring clips from the BBC archive from throughout his career:

From rookie MP to Liberal Democrats leader, from the Royal Marines to high office in Bosnia, Paddy Ashdown relives his life from the archives in a frank and sometimes emotional conversation with John Wilson.

From his early days in the army to his leadership of the Liberal

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 2 Comments
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  • User AvatarRossMcL 20th Nov - 12:18am
    I agree that Jo did well here. She is at her best in these kind of face-to-face situations, I think. It will be interesting to...
  • User Avatarnigel hunter 20th Nov - 12:16am
    Same old same old of a failed Tory policy. It is not Democracy when only one viewpoint is discussed. Fact Check UK reminds me of...
  • User AvatarJohn Barrett 19th Nov - 11:53pm
    Jo was lucky not to be in the earlier debate with the 2 so called "main party" leaders. She did very well in a much...
  • User Avatarnigel hunter 19th Nov - 11:35pm
    Neither of the 2 main parties are worth a penny.Equally some of the questions asked were pathetic when we have the most monumental period in...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill. 19th Nov - 11:29pm
    Jo Swinson was asked about the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson resigning. Boris Johnson has purged the Conservative Parliamentary Party of Remainers and...
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    Hywel, The Chair of the Federal Appeals Panel and the Returning Officer are one and the same, Alan Masters... and he may well have ruled...