Author Archives: Helen Duffett

Nick Clegg gives two hoots

Nick Clegg MP reads to Oxford school childrenWhat made Nick Clegg hoot on Friday in Oxford?

Answer: the Pupil Premium – £2.5 billion of extra money to help school pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.

On the latest visit in his regional summmer tour, Nick Clegg visited a primary school in Oxford to read to children and publicise the Pupil Premium.

From ITV Meridian Tonight:

Nick Clegg hooted like an owl today and told a group of children he wished he’d turned up in his pyjamas. All in a day’s work for

Posted in News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

David Shutt steps down as Lib Dem Lords’ Chief Whip

David Shutt, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in the House of Lords, announced last week that after 7 years of service he is standing down from the front bench. David entered the House of Lords in 2000, bringing with him not only the expertise and experience as a chartered accountant, but as a lifelong activist and campaigner for the liberal cause. As well as contesting 6 general elections, David also served as a councilor in Calderdale in his native West Yorkshire.

The Lib Dem leader in the Lords, Tom McNally said,

David has been a great friend to me personally, but a huge

Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Comment

Lib Dems hold Waterside, North Norfolk

From the Norfolk Evening News:

The Liberal Democrats have held on to the Waterside seat on North Norfolk District Council in a by-election caused by the resignation of former council leader Simon Partridge.

His place is taken by Paul Williams, whose 494 votes edged out Conservative Paul Rice who polled 410 in a six-way fight that saw a turnout of 42pc in the ward which covers Catfield, Potter Heigham, Ludham and Hickling.

Labour’s Denise Burke was third with 246 just ahead of UKIP’s Jeffrey Parkes with 233.

Bringing up the rear were the Green Party’s Anne Filgate with 73 and Jean Partridge, Mr

Posted in Council by-elections | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Listen: Baroness Williams on her moral and religious beliefs

There’s still time to listen to Shirley Williams on this week’s edition of Belief on BBC Radio 3:

The new Easter series of Belief opens with a conversation between two baronesses: Joan Bakewell and Shirley Williams.

Shirley Williams was born in 1930. Her father, the philosopher and political scientist George Catlin, was a great influence. He bought young Shirley a copy of TS Eliot’s Four Quartets when she was two years old. He also introduced her to the Roman Catholic Church. She has also been greatly influenced by the moral and political convictions of her mother the feminist and pacifist writer,

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 1 Comment

Autumn Conference 2013 to be held in Glasgow

The Scotsman proudly announces that the Liberal Democrats are taking their Federal Conference to Glasgow in autumn 2013.

Glasgow is in line for a £12 million boost as the Liberal Democrats announced they will hold next year’s autumn party conference in the city.

It will be the first time Scotland has hosted a national Lib Dem conference for over a decade and the event will also be the largest conference to be held in the city since 2004, with around 7,000 delegates expected to attend from across the UK.

The event is in September 2013 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre

Posted in Conference and News | Tagged , and | 20 Comments

Brendan Jameson, Lib Dem leader of South Lakeland District Council, passes away

The Westmorland Gazette has the sad news:

Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has led tributes to South Lakeland District Council leader Brendan Jameson who died suddenly aged 66.

Coun Jameson, who was also a Cumbria County and Kendal Town councillor, is believed to have died in the early hours of Monday morning after a heart attack.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said: “I met Brendan many times as leader of South Lakeland District Council. He was always a true fighter on behalf of his community, making sure they were heard by Government.

“The last time I was in Kendal

Posted in News and Obituaries | Tagged , and | Leave a comment

Jeanette Sunderland selected to fight Bradford West for the Liberal Democrats

David Ward, Jeanette Sunderland and police
Photo: David Ward MP, Jeanette Sunderland and police – Flickr.

Bradford Liberal Democrats have selected Jeanette Sunderland to be their candidate in the Bradford West by-election on 29 March.

The writ was moved yesterday for the by-election after Marsha Singh resigned, for health reasons.

Born and bred in Bradford, Jeanette has been a local councillor for 18 years. In that time she has built up a reputation for being a strong voice for Bradford, and is currently leader …

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged , and | 21 Comments

Erlend Watson replaces James Graham on the Lib Dems’ Federal Executive

James Graham’s resignation from the Liberal Democrats on Sunday created a vacancy on the Liberal Democrats’ Federal Executive committee.

The Electoral Commission has now recounted the votes from the original internal party election in 2010 and named Erlend Watson as the winner. Party President Tim Farron phoned Erlend this morning to formally welcome him back to FE.

Erlend told the Voice:

I regard myself as a critical friend of the party leadership, we agree on our destination although the precise route to get there is up for discussion.

I was previously on the FE from 2006-2010 including the post General Election

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

LibLink: Ed Davey: ‘The night I pulled a woman from the tracks as a train hurtled towards us’

Ed Davey MP, the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary features today in a cracking interview by the Independent’s Matt chorley. Far from being caught in the headlights, Ed is revealed as a man of bravery and resilience, with green and Liberal principles from his youth.

Here’s an excerpt:

Covered in blood and carrying a stranger in his arms, Ed Davey turned to see the lights of a high-speed train hurtling towards him. A split-second decision to help a woman in trouble late one December night was about to cost him his life. “I decided that I had to go across

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Nick Clegg’s speech to Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference

Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference started yesterday in Inverness and runs until tomorrow (Sunday). Nick Clegg addressed Conference yesterday afternoon; here is his speech in full:

Liberals from the Highlands and Islands have always been at the heart of our party. From the late great Jo Grimond and Russell Johnston, great leaders like Bob Maclennan, Charles Kennedy and Jim Wallace in Scotland, to our current team at Westminster, Highland and Island voices have shaped who the Liberal Democrats are.

In Danny Alexander and Alistair Carmichael, I have Liberals from the Highlands and Islands with me right at the heart of British Government. …

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This week’s council by-election results: 1 March 2012

Almost a clean sweep for the Liberal Democrats this week, winning five out of the six local council by-elections. There were three gains and two holds by the party, and in Castle ward, Cumbria, there was actually a swing towards the Lib Dems, although the party lost the seat to Labour.

Notably, Shamblehurst – in Chris Huhne MP’s Eastleigh constituency – was held by a wide margin, as Chris Huhne’s website reports:

The Liberal Democrats have secured an overwhelming vote of confidence from Eastleigh Borough residents in a Hedge End by-election that took place yesterday.

Liberal Democrat candidate Richard Effeny secured the

Posted in Council by-elections | Tagged , , , , and | 9 Comments

LDVideo: Nick Clegg “An extra £60 in your wages each month”

Earlier this week, Tim Farron emailed Lib Dem members with a sneak preview of the latest Party Political Broadcast. Here’s the full version in case you missed it on TV last night:

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Tagged and | 3 Comments

Tim Farron gives party members a sneak preview of tomorrow’s Party Political Broadcast

Party President Tim Farron has emailed Lib Dem members with an exclusive preview of tomorrow night’s Party Political Broadcast, with a reminder to sign the petition to fast track the Lib Dem £10,000 income tax threshold policy:

The Liberal Democrats want to give tax cuts to millions not millionaires – to put more money back in your pockets and take the poorest workers out of tax completely.

Tomorrow night you’ll have the chance to see a party political broadcast about our plans to do this.

In the meantime you can do two things:

Watch an exclusive preview of the broadcast:

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Lib Dem Tom Kiehl wins Parliamentary Researcher of the Year

John Bercow and Tom Kiehl
Photo credit: Sharon Wallace, Federation of Small Businesses.

Tom Kiehl, from the Liberal Democrats Lords Whips Office, scooped two prizes at this week’s Dods Parliamentary Researcher of the Year Awards.

From PoliticsHome:

The Lib Dems have triumphed at the Dods Parliamentary Researcher of the Year Awards for the second year in a row. At last week’s ceremony Tom Kiehl (pictured), who was nominated by Lord Shutt of Greetland, won Lib Dem researcher of the year and overall researcher of

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Danny Alexander “an acknowledged authority on dinosaurs”

A new insight into Danny Alexander MP’s carefree childhood, from the Corncrake*, the hyperlocal website for the Scottish island of Colonsay, where the Chief Secretary to the Treasury grew up –

Ian McAllister attended the primary school with Danny and remembers,

As wee boys, Danny and I used to play on the seaside rocks near Glen Cottage. Danny was very interested in cricket and fishing and we regarded him as the man to ask if we had any questions about dinosaurs, on which he was the acknowledged authority.

Many years later, the schoolmates were unexpectedly reunited:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

Phil Bennion MEP takes up seat in European Parliament

Phil Bennion has been officially confirmed as the new Lib Dem MEP for the West Midlands region at the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg this week.

The Staffordshire farmer and economic policy expert takes over from Liz Lynne who stood down from Parliament earlier in February after more than 12 years due to the extensive travelling required in the job. He was elected to second place on the Lib Dem list of candidates at the last European elections in 2009.

Phillip Bennion said of his new role,

I am determined to fight for the vital interests of the whole of the

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , and | 5 Comments

This week’s council by-election results: Lib Dems GAIN in Towcester

Vote Toaster

From the Independent:

Liberal Democrats made two landslide gains from Tories in the latest council by-elections, suggesting their voting support has not been dented after the resignation from the Government of Chris Huhne.

Their candidate Chris Lofts took Northamptonshire County Council’s Towcester division on a massive swing of more than 30% since the 2009 shire polls.

Party colleague Lisa Samiotis triumphed at Towcester Brook, South Northamptonshire District.

This brings the total of Lib Dem gains this month to three, after a win from Labour last week.

This week’s results, courtesy of ALDC are as follows:

Posted in Council by-elections | 15 Comments

LibLink: Simon Hughes MP – Students are not being put off university by tuition fees

Simon Hughes MP writes at Comment is Free, following the publication of the latest UCAS figures.

He acknowledges the top-line 8% decline in applications and the mass protest that followed the original decision, but points out that applications from students in deprived areas have barely declined at all:

…a more objective analysis of the data shows a clearer picture. Although applications were down by a significant number, the total number of 18-year-olds in England this year is significantly down as well. If you adjust the figures to take account of changes in demographic, the application rate in England – which

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Diana Wallis MEP’s husband will not take over her seat

The Yorkshire Post reports:

The husband of a Euro MP at the centre of a furious “nepotism” row has bowed to pressure and decided not to take over her Yorkshire seat when she quits next week.

Stewart Arnold, husband of Hull-based Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis, has informed officials he will not be taking over his wife’s post at the EU Parliament, despite being eligible to do so as the party’s second-choice candidate at the last Euro elections.

His announcement follows a week of mounting criticism at the possibility of a husband automatically taking over his wife’s seat. Fellow Lib Dem MEP

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , and | 29 Comments

Nick Clegg on the Andrew Marr Show tomorrow

Andrew Marr interviews Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg will be the main guest on tomorrow’s Andrew Marr Show, in the third of Marr’s major party leader New Year’s interviews.

You can watch the show 9am tomorrow on BBC1 or live online at the BBC website. Or catch it afterwards on BBC iPlayer.

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Tagged and | 4 Comments

The LDV Friday Five: 20 January 2012

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

Posted in Friday Five | Leave a comment

Comeback Clegg – the Times’ reasons to be cheerful about the Lib Dems

There’s a great article in today’s Times praising the Liberal Democrats and fancying the party’s prospects between now and 2015.

Rachel Sylvester writes that although the received wisdom says coalition government has ruined the Lib Dems’ chances, it’s too early to write them off:

The Liberal Democrats could end up doing a lot better than most people currently think.

She cites encouraging signs in the polls:

A huge number of people still have no idea how they are going to vote and although only 12 per cent say that they would support Mr Clegg’s party if there were an election

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 25 Comments

Sir Bob Russell MP: “I have spent my entire adult life fighting the establishment but clearly, I have failed.”

Bob Russell MP, who who was first elected when Nick Clegg was only four years old, has received a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list.

Sir Bob, who received the honour for his public service, has described the honour as “A matter of great personal importance and significance to me.”

The BBC reports:

The Liberal Democrat, who’s been involved in local politics for more than 40 years is among the region’s most outspoken MPs, particularly since the formation of the coalition.

This is a significant honour for a man who for decades has been one of the most colourful characters on

Posted in News | Tagged and | 1 Comment

Richard Thomas is Welsh Lib Dems’ new Chief Executive

Richard Thomas started today as the Chief Executive of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

The BBC reports:

The Welsh Liberal Democrats’ former head of communications has been appointed as the party’s chief executive.

Richard Thomas takes up the post as the Lib Dems get ready for local elections in all Welsh councils in May.

He takes over from Joanne Foster who now works for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

As well as his previous job with the party, he has worked for Lib Dem MPs and as a public affairs consultant.

Here’s how Richard shared the news on Twitter:

Posted in Party policy and internal matters and Wales | Tagged and | Leave a comment

Nick Clegg – Europe: Britain is stronger, better, greater when we lead

Nick Clegg has emailed party members this afternoon, following the EU summit last Thursday:

Support for Europe has always been a cornerstone of what our party stands for. Recent days have been tough for pro-Europeans in our country, but I am clear that it is in Britain’s national interest to remain at the heart of Europe.

As I have made clear since Friday, I am bitterly disappointed by the outcome of last weeks summit, which ended with the UK in a minority of one. There is now a real danger that over time the UK will be isolated and marginalised within the

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , and | 22 Comments

LibLink | Starved by the Japanese: the Clegg family’s war

Today’s Sunday Times has an interview with Nick Clegg in which he talks for the first time about his mother’s time in an internment camp during World War II.

As a child, when Nick Clegg heard his mother talk quietly about her time in “the camp”, it conjured up happy images in his mind of a Butlins-style summer vacation. The truth was very different, as he would later find out — a discovery that brought home to him the grim reality of war, he reveals in his first interview about his mother’s wartime experiences.

“My mother Hermance, her two sisters

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Liz Lynne MEP to stand down

Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne has announced she plans to stand down as Euro MP for the West Midlands Region in three months’ time, saying ‘the time is right’ to move on after 12 and a half years representing the region in the European Parliament. She will be succeeded by Phil Bennion, the second candidate on the party’s list at the election in 2009.

The Euro MP revealed her decision in her speech to the regional Lib Dem party conference at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce on Saturday afternoon, saying:

I have decided to stand down as MEP at the beginning of February.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

LDVideo: Nick Clegg visits Sheffield Forgemasters, launches £950m regional growth fund

Posted in Lib Dem TV and News | Tagged , , and | 7 Comments

LibLink: Paddy Ashdown – ‘I used to think the party of Gladstone would end with Ashdown’

Today’s Telegraph has an interview with Paddy Ashdown, timed to promote his new TV documentary The Most Courageous Raid of WWII.

From the BBC:

Lord Ashdown, a former special forces commando, tells the story of the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’, who led one of the most daring and audacious commando raids of World War II… Lord Ashdown recreates parts of the raid and explains how this experience was used in preparing for one of the greatest land invasions in history, D-day.

As well as the documentary, Lord Ashdown’s Telegraph interview covers Europe, the Liberal Democrats and the art of compromise:

When Ashdown became leader

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment

New on Twitter: Deputy Prime Minister’s Office

@DPMoffice Twitter screenshot
Nick Clegg has added another string to his social media bow – this time it’s a new Twitter account.

@DPMoffice will be “Tweeting the official business of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.” It will be run separately from his existing party Twitter account, @nick_clegg, which will still cover Nick’s Liberal Democrat and Government-related activities.

See also the Deputy Prime Minister’s website, his (Cabinet Office) Flickr gallery and the Deputy Prime Minister’s YouTube channel.

Posted in News and Online politics | Tagged , and | Leave a comment
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