Author Archives: Mark Valladares

22 May 2019 – today’s press releases

It’s not easy being in a political party’s Press Team when the governing party is in meltdown. After all, Theresa May is seemingly holed up in 10 Downing Street, a chair wedged under the door handle to prevent anyone from getting in. The Leader of the House is gone, and who knows if she’s merely the first of many?

And all this on the eve of European Parliamentary elections in which the Conservatives are expected to take a kicking not dissimilar to that the Liberal Democrats took in 2015…

  • Lib Dems: Botched Apprenticeship Levy implementation hurting most disadvantaged
  • Gove clutching at straws with

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

21 May 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Moran: Let’s hope more Universities follow Oxford’s diversity drive
  • Hobhouse: End short prison sentences to cut crime
  • Cable: Stop Brexit altogether to end turmoil for British business
  • Chancellor’s warning must trigger No Deal U-turn
  • Cable: Lib Dems “now indisputably the strongest remain party”
  • Lamb: Govt must end abuse of our most vulnerable
  • With no guarantee of a People’s Vote the PM will get no support from the Lib Dems
  • Jenny Randerson: Brexit endangers devolution settlement

Moran: Let’s hope more Universities follow Oxford’s diversity drive

Responding to the news that Oxford University is set to overhaul its recruitment processes, and will commit that at least 25% of students will be …

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

21 May 2019 – the overnight press release

No-Deal Brexit will cause continental travel chaos

Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Jenny Randerson has warned that a no-deal Brexit will cause travel misery for thousands of motorists following the publication of a damning report from the Lords’ Committee on the EU internal market.

The report “Brexit: road, rail and maritime transport report” warns that private motorists will be required to apply for an International Driving Permit and Green Card if they wish to drive on the continent if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in place. The IDP and Green Card can only be applied for at a Post Office, …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | Leave a comment

20 May 2019 – today’s press release

  • Prime Minister’s Deal is dead – Tom Brake
  • Further Gender Identity Clinic delays unacceptable
  • Davey: Govt is failing in its duty to protect the public
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats only chance for 2nd remain seat

Prime Minister’s Deal is dead – Tom Brake

Responding to comments made by Matthew Hancock, the Health Secretary, on the Today Programme, that the Government will bring forward its bill on exiting the EU, Tom Brake, Lib Dem Brexit Spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister’s deal is dead. They can bring forward votes on that deal and a speculative bill every week, for the rest of the year – it will still fail

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

18-19 May 2019 – the weekend’s press release

Cable: We are the stop Brexit party

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this morning, ahead of this weeks European elections, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

I think it is now quite likely we will get the People’s Vote that we are fighting for and it can be done by October.

We are talking about having a referendum on the terms of Brexit, now knowing what it entails.

It’s absolutely clear that no Brexit at all is the best option and that is what a vote for the Liberal Democrats is for.

We are the stop Brexit party.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

17 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Vince Cable visits Gibraltar ahead of EU Elections

Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, is visiting Gibraltar today as part of the Liberal Democrats’ EU Election campaign.

Mr Cable will be meeting trade unions and businesses from both sides of the border as well as Gibraltarian politicians, including the Chief Minister of Gibraltar.

Ahead of the visit, Vince Cable said:

The folly of Brexit could hardly be more starkly obvious or more keenly felt than in Gibraltar. By leaving the European Union, we enable Spain to make ever more outrageous demands about Gibraltar with no British voice at the table to speak for

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 3 Comments

17 May 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems demand same-sex marriage for Northern Ireland on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

Today on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Liberal Democrats have demanded that the Government legislate for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

Responding to reports that the Conservative Government, propped up by the anti-equal marriage party the DUP, is considering legislating to allow longer licensing hours for the Open Golf Championship taking place in Northern Ireland this July, Alistair Carmichael said:

It is ridiculous that the Conservatives would even consider legislating for the British Open to have slightly longer licensing hours while they are

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 5 Comments

16 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Another slightly startling day, with today’s BMG Research poll showing the Liberal Democrats with 18% if a General Election were to take place today, up ten percentage points in just five weeks… Don’t get vertigo, everyone…

  • Lib Dems call for EU-wide fracking ban
  • Lib Dems call for creation of youth council
  • Chris Grayling botched his probation reforms just like he botches everything
  • Brexit threatens UK’s ability to monitor climate change
  • Welsh Lib Dems condemn praise for Tommy Robinson

Lib Dems call for EU-wide fracking ban

The Liberal Democrats have today committed to campaigning for an EU-wide ban on fracking because of its negative impacts on climate …

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

15 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: Brexit vote shows Tory and Labour talks are pointless

Responding to the announcement from Downing Street that MPs will vote on Brexit legislation in June, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

It is now clear that nothing whatsoever has come of the Tory and Labour Brexit talks. These negotiations are yet another example of pointless and irresponsible time-wasting by both the government and the official opposition.

The Liberal Democrats have been fighting Brexit for nearly three years and are the strongest party who support remaining in the EU.

To get our country out of this mess, orchestrated by Theresa May

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 4 Comments

What European liberals have done over the past five years – EU budget and defence

Having taken a day off, I’m back with more ALDE achievements…

Reform of the European Union’s system of own resources

ALDE has sought to increase the transparency of the current financing system of the EU budget, in order to reduce national contributions by EU Member States, by introducing new own resources income streams and ending rebates and corrections, without increasing tax burden on the citizens.

Following the Parliament’s position and the recommendations of the High Level Group on Own Resources, the Commission proposed a basket of new own resources, structured around European public goods linked to EU’s strategic policy objectives. This basket thus includes new resources based on the EU Emission Trading System and on plastic waste, reinforcing the climate action priority, and a simplified VAT based resource as well as new corporate tax-based resource, consolidating the Single Market and reducing financial speculation.

A greener, modernised and more flexible EU budget

ALDE were successful in focusing the 2019 EU budget on resources for research, innovation, competitiveness and SMEs. ALDE initiated the Parliament’s call for doubling the budget of Erasmus+ to enhance opportunities for young people, which was an instrumental step in obtaining a substantial partial increase in the 2019 budget. ALDE also pushed for substantial allocation to climate spending to meet the EU’s long-term climate goals of 20% climate spending target in the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020. Specifically, ALDE increased the ambition for EU-funded cross-border projects in the field of renewable energy within the MFF Connecting Europe Facility. Our Group made a distinctive contribution especially in the areas of internal security and investment in managing borders, fighting terrorism, radicalisation and organised crime and called on Member States to take responsibility for the management of migration in accordance with the principle of burden-sharing and the Geneva Conventions. On the initiative of our shadow rapporteur, the relevant Parliament’s budgetary reports call on the Commission to present a proposal, which would provide for the expression of financial solidarity at EU level to victims of acts of terrorism and their families.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , , and | 2 Comments

14 May 2019 – today’s press release

Corbyn a friend to Tories, not to Remainers

The Liberal Democrats today unveiled an election poster slamming Jeremy Corbyn for spending time helping the Tories deliver Brexit rather than doing anything to Stop Brexit.

According to analysis of the parliamentary record by the Liberal Democrats, the Labour party whipped either to abstain or to vote with the Conservative Government on a total of 29 key Brexit votes.

The poster, launched by Liberal Democrat MPs Jo Swinson and Ed Davey, comes as the Labour party descended into another row over its Brexit position.

Liberal Democrat …

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 11 Comments

13 May 2019 – today’s press release

No denying Brexit made Honda factory vulnerable

Responding to Honda’s announcement that its plant in Swindon is set to close with a loss of 3,500 jobs, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

No matter how hard the Conservatives try to spin this news, there’s no denying that Brexit made Honda’s factory in Swindon more vulnerable to closure.

This decision is a body-blow for the thousands of workers who now face redundancy, not to mention the huge risk posed to the rest of the car industry, for which there is no Brexit ‘dividend’.

People deserve better than this. They deserve an opportunity to reject

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 5 Comments

What European liberals have achieved over the past five years – consumer protection

Ensuring that consumers are protected is at the heart of the Single Market, and ALDE have played a central role in building upon it during the last Parliament.

Roaming Charges consigned to the history books

ALDE played a key role in ending wholesale roaming charges in the European Union. Legislation adopted in 2015 provided for the abolition of retail roaming charges on voice calls, data and SMS as of 15 June 2017, a victory for mobility and consumer rights.

Safer food for EU consumers

ALDE has supported efforts to harmonise the EU’s legal framework for official hygiene controls. We also strongly supported new laws, …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment

What European liberals have achieved over the past five years – the environment (part 2)

Environmental protection is one of those fields where international collaboration is key, and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see so much being done at a European level…

Tackling single use plastics

ALDE successfully steered legislation through the European Parliament to limit the negative effects of single-use plastics, in particular marine litter. Single-use plastic products for which alternatives are readily available, such as cutlery, cotton bud sticks, plates, straws and beverage stirrers, will be banned from the EU market from 2021 so that they can be replaced by more sustainable alternatives. The consumption of several other items, for which no …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , , , and | Leave a comment

What European liberals have achieved over the past five years – the environment (part 1)

You would expect liberals to take a key role in fighting climate change and protecting our environment, and here are some of the highlights in that field…

Climate action to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement

ALDE was a driving force in strengthening the system for national greenhouse gas emission reductions to meet the EU’s target under the Paris Agreement. ALDE steered the legislation that determines the binding national 2030 climate targets through Parliament and introduced changes to make sure that the Member States’ annual emissions ceilings are set in a way that does not overshoot the EU’s ‘carbon …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , , and | Leave a comment

What European liberals have achieved over the past five years – the economy

Given how little coverage there has been in the British media of the work of the European Parliament, it comes as no surprise that few voters know what it does. Luckily, the ALDE Group in the Parliament have produced a guide to their achievements since the last European election in 2014, and I’m going to take the opportunity to highlight some of them today.

More stable financial markets

Scandals around the manipulation of the LIBOR and foreign exchange benchmarks, as well as the alleged manipulation of other indices, has highlighted the importance of benchmarks and their vulnerabilities. ALDE led negotiations …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , , , , and | 28 Comments

11-12 May 2019 – the weekend’s press release

Farage tantrum shows he hasn’t got the answers

Responding to Nigel Farage losing his cool on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Be it the 2016 or 2019 incarnation of Nigel Farage, he is still shamefully looking to point the finger rather than take responsibility. Just scratch beneath the surface and it is clear he doesn’t have the answers on Brexit, never mind a manifesto.

A vote for Farage, the Tories, UKIP, or Labour at the European elections is just a vote for Brexit and the years of damaging uncertainty that comes with it. If

Posted in News | Tagged and | 6 Comments

10 May 2019 – today’s press release

Change UK MEP backs Lib Dems as ‘strongest Remain party’

Julie Girling, who has served as a South West Member of the European Parliament for the last 10 years, is calling on Remain voters to back the Liberal Democrats in the European elections.

Ms Girling was elected twice to the European Parliament for the Conservatives, before leaving them over Brexit. Ms Girling is widely respected across parties and recently announced that she was not going to be a Change UK candidate for the European Elections.

Julie Girling said:

The Liberal Democrats scored a huge success in last week’s local elections,

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

9 May 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dem manifesto sets out vision for the UK in the EU
  • Swinson: We need to give our economy a new purpose
  • Corbyn has trashed the hopes of Remainers
  • Lib Dems are strongest Remain voice for Peterborough (covered here)

Lib Dem manifesto sets out vision for the UK in the EU

The Liberal Democrats will today launch their manifesto for the European elections, setting out a vision for the UK inside the EU.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable, who will be joined by colleagues at the launch in London this evening, said the manifesto is a “blueprint for what the UK …

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

A country gentleman attends Federal International Relations Committee…

I’d spent the afternoon attending a pension seminar (about my own, not about selling them) and there is little to beat a consideration of your post-retirement finances for reminding you that you’re beginning to get on a bit. And so it was a somewhat more thoughtful than usual rural bureaucrat who turned up at Great George Street, the Party’s London HQ, for the year’s second meeting of FIRC.

The meeting started with a presentation from Gordon Mackay, the rather dashing Secretary General of Liberal International, who outlined his plans for reinvigorating this august organisation. Talk of individual memberships, of providing added …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged | 3 Comments

8 May 2019 – today’s press releases (or not, as the case may be)

Given that this column has been somewhat erratic of late, there was a danger that you might have thought, “Ah, Mark’s forgotten to do this again.”. But I haven’t. I understand that the Press Team have been pretty busy today, but that hasn’t manifested itself in a press release.

However, we do have one story that might be of interest to you given what’s coming up…

The ALDE Party has rather subverted the contest to be the President of the European Commission, the so-called Spitzenkandidate process, by announcing a team of prominent European liberals, rather than just one person, to lead the …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged and | 8 Comments

7 May 2019 – today’s press releases

Rise in school exclusions is the symptom of broken schools system

Responding to today’s publication of Edward Timpson’s report into school exclusions, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

Exclusion, whether temporary or permanent, should always be a last resort. And it should never be done under the radar.

But this report does nothing to address the reasons why headteachers consider excluding the pupils they find difficult. Off-rolling pupils is not the cause of our problems. It’s the symptom. The result of the perverse incentive to secure a better Ofsted grade or climb up the league tables.

This problem can’t be dealt with

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

29 March 2019 – today’s press releases

It’s been a slightly hectic day today, but I’ve got my nomination papers in – I’m running for re-election to my Parish Council in mid-Suffolk. Have you got yours in yet? Time’s running out…

Cable: Only route out of this crisis is a People’s Vote

Responding to the vote on the Government’s withdrawal agreement losing by 58 votes, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Today’s outcome was entirely predictable.

No amount of parliamentary trickery can breathe life back into May’s deal. The only route to resolve the crisis is a final say with the option to Remain in the EU.

A

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

28 March 2019 – today’s press releases

My apologies for lateness this evening, as I’ve been distracted by the Opening Day of the 2019 baseball season. And, as my beloved Cincinnati Reds won, I’m in a good mood…

Tories have pushed 200,000 children into poverty

The number of children living in absolute poverty across the UK has risen by 200,000 in a year, to a total of 3.7 million.

Responding to the government data release, Liberal Democrat DWP Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

This government should be absolutely ashamed of itself for presiding over the first increase in absolute child poverty in six years.

The main culprits – the benefits freeze, the arbitrary

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 8 Comments

28 March 2019 – today’s press releases (overnight)

Good morning, gentle readers! As part of our experimentation with the press releases feature, we’re going to try something old, and something new. We’ll revert to catching up with the day’s releases at the end of the day, but instead of leaving the overnight embargoed releases until the end of the day, I’m going to try to get them to you first thing, whilst they’re still fresh, so to speak…

Lib Dems lead debate to end fracking

The Liberal Democrats will today lead a debate in the House of Commons calling for an end to fracking because of its adverse impact …

Posted in News | Tagged and | 1 Comment

UPDATED: Bercow rules out a third attempt by Theresa May to get her Brexit deal passed – how should the Liberal Democrats respond?

In dramatic scenes in the House of Commons, The Speaker, John Bercow, has ruled that Theresa May can’t hold a third vote on her Brexit deal without major changes to it. This appears to leave only five options;

  • No deal;
  • No Brexit;
  • Seek a long extension to allow time to negotiate a new deal;
  • Prorogue Parliament to allow a new session in which the deal can be brought back, and;
  • A General Election

Here’s some early reaction from the Party…

UPDATE – we’ve now received the official press comment…

Responding to the decision by Commons Speaker John Bercow to rule out the Conservative Government holding another vote on …

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 72 Comments

14 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

It’s another trying day, with the ghastly news from New Zealand overnight, and one does despair at the ability of human beings to do inhuman things, but politics rolls inevitably onwards. So, here are yesterday’s releases…

Lib Dems: Short prison sentences for knives don’t work

Responding to the figures showing the number of crimes related to knives and other offensive weapons dealt with by the courts has reached a nine year high, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse:

Both the Justice Secretary and the Prisons Minister have admitted that short prison sentences don’t work and actually increase the risk of re-offending. So why

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

Time to drag party policy making into the 21st century?

Before we start, let me make something clear. I’m not a policy wonk. It’s not that I’m disinterested in policy, far from it. It’s just that, as a bureaucracy geek, I’m interested in how things work.

When the recent governance review took place, I found myself wondering if it was going to look at how we could engage more members in what interests many of them – policy. And, in truth, I was disappointed. It was mostly about reordering the committee structures and, whilst I have my views on that, it didn’t really do anything that would engage ordinary members.

Our policy …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Tagged and | 15 Comments

8 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

Govt decision on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe a step in the right direction

Responding to news that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been offered diplomatic protection, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Jo Swinson said:

This is a promising step in the right direction.

I welcome this action by the Government, which contrasts the reckless incompetence displayed by the previous Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.

Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s plight should give us all pause for thought. We must all do what we can to bring her home as soon as possible.

Moran: Fox wastes £2.6m on another vanity project

A Parliamentary Question from Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has revealed that …

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

7 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases (part 2)

And now, as promised, the rest of the press releases…

  • Figures highlight extremely difficult time for high streets
  • Swinson: Employers must be held to account over gender pay gap
  • Chancellor must end the freeze on benefits and tax credits
  • Davey: Strip Home Office of immigration powers

Figures highlight extremely difficult time for high streets

Responding as the BDO High Streets Tracker reveals that sales declined by 3.7%, the worst February for lifestyle in-store sales since November 2008, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Our high streets are clearly going through an extremely difficult time, thanks to a combination of long-term structural challenges and the damaging

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



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 23rd May - 8:27am
    The PM's statement on her Brexit bill did not include publication of the details. She intends to bring it to the Commons after the recess....
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 23rd May - 8:12am
    Interesting that most of the glitterati, who intend to desert their normal parties, Heseltine, Parris, Callow, Cashman, to name just a few, appear to be...
  • User AvatarChristian 23rd May - 8:05am
    I’d be amazed if Change UK carry on after this election. There simply isn’t room in our political system to accommodate them and surely MPs...
  • User AvatarYeovil Yokel 23rd May - 8:02am
    For me it's been a bloody awful 5 years, not 3 - it was the surge by UKIP and the loss of our LD MEP...
  • User AvatarBill le Breton 23rd May - 7:38am
    TonyH - that is a very helpful and politically wise statement by Behr. There are good tactical reasons in many regions/nations to vote Lib Dem....
  • User AvatarThomas 23rd May - 6:16am
    John Marriott - this is not about competing with China for global steel market leadership, which is a pipe dream. This is about protecting *what...