Author Archives: Mark Valladares

17 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Welsh Lib Dems: Brexit deal must be put to the people
  • Record high knife crime offences shows Tories failure to act
  • Lib Dems: Brexit deal must be put to the people

Welsh Lib Dems: Brexit deal must be put to the people

Commenting on reports that a deal has been agreed between the EU and the UK Government, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds, said:

It is remarkably clear that Boris Johnson’s deal would be bad for our economy, bad for our public services, and bad for our environment.

His deal will create a hard border down the Irish Sea, hurting Welsh farmers

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17 October 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems: Brexit will limit the horizons of college students

The Association of Colleges has today published a survey revealing that 94% of colleges would be unable to fund student and staff mobility programmes outside of the EU’s Erasmus+ programme.

Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran MP said:

Brexit shuts the door on students and staff studying, training and working across Europe. This survey shows that colleges simply can’t afford their student exchange programmes without the funding that the EU provides through Erasmus+.

Colleges are wary about replacing Erasmus+ with a British-led alternative because they know

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16 October 2019 – today’s press release

MP launches “Save Our Rural Banks” Campaign

Jane Dodds MP has launched a new campaign aimed at protecting existing rural banking services and restoring banking services to communities across Brecon & Radnorshire.

Over the past few years, many communities across Brecon and Radnorshire have seen bank branches in their towns close. Recent announcements by Barclays also reveal plans to reduce banking services available through the Post Office.

At present towns like Knighton, Crickhowell and Hay-on-Wye both do not have any bank branches in the towns, while towns like Ystradgynlais are reliant upon a single branch.

Jane Dodds, Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, …

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15 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Car firm job losses show Johnson’s disregard for British business
  • Welsh Lib Dems: Poll shows we are now third party for Westminster
  • Lib Dems call for urgent action to tackle rising hate crimes
  • Lib Dems table People’s Vote amendment to Queen’s speech

Car firm job losses show Johnson’s disregard for British business

Responding to the reports that one in three car firms are cutting jobs, Liberal Democrat shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

It is time Boris Johnson woke up to the fact that the manufacturing sector, and the automotive industries in particular, are suffering badly from Brexit-related uncertainty. Jobs are being lost, investment is down

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15 October 2019 – the overnight press release

Urgent action needed in mental health and learning disability services – Lib Dems

Today the publication of CQC’s ‘State of Care 2018/19’ report reveals a rise of inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and/or autism that were rated inadequate.

The report also shows a rise of child and adolescent mental health inpatient services rated inadequate.

Responding to the report, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Vince Cable said:

It is rare for a public body such as the Care Quality Commission to be so scathing of the effects of Government policy. Their honesty is to be

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14 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Jane Dodds: TV License changes detrimental to dementia sufferers
  • Swinson: Queen’s speech is a charade
  • Fifa and UEFA must take action against racist abuse of players

Jane Dodds: TV License changes detrimental to dementia sufferers

Jane Dodds, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, is calling on the Government to restore BBC funding in order to protect free TV licenses.

The BBC recently announced that, due to budget cuts from the UK Government, they are moving to scrap the blanket free TV licenses for over-75s and instead only offering them to people claiming Pension Credit.

These licenses have been provided by the BBC since 2000 and approximately 4.5 …

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14 October 2019 – the overnight press release

Labour’s renationalisition plans set to cost billions

Responding to the analysis by the CBI that the cost of Labour’s renationalisation plans is estimated to be £196 billion, Liberal Democrat MP Chuka Umunna said:

The Tories are pursuing an ideological hard Brexit, depriving the Exchequer of much needed revenue, whilst Labour plans to do the same with a Labour Brexit in addition to spending billions of pounds with no idea how they will pay for it.

The only sensible alternative to these two broken parties is to stop Brexit and use the resulting Remain bonus to invest in people and public services – the

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12-13 October 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Compulsory voter ID is an attempt to rig our elections
  • Lib Dems: Govt must ban arms sales to Turkey

Lib Dems: Compulsory voter ID is an attempt to rig our elections

Responding to the reports that the Government are set to announce it will be compulsory for voters to show identification at the next election, Liberal Democrat shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, Tom Brake said:

The move by the Government to make voter ID compulsory is a thinly-veiled attempt to rig the results of future elections. We know from the pilot back in 2018 that voter fraud was inconsequential, whilst what

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11 October 2019 – today’s press release

New figures show prison overcrowding crisis getting worse

The Liberal Democrats are calling for an end to short prison sentences, as new figures show the number of overcrowded prisons is rising.

The latest prison population statistics, published today by the Ministry of Justice, show that 73 of the 117 prisons in England and Wales were overcapacity at the end of September – up from 69 at the end of August. Nine prisons are overcapacity by more than 50%.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Christine Jardine said:

Prisons are in crisis. They are stuffed full of people on short sentences, which we know don’t work

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10 October 2019 – today’s press release

Govt threats to deport EU citizens are appalling – Jardine

Responding to comments by Branden Lewis that EU citizens living in the UK could face deportation, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Christine Jardine said:

I am absolutely appalled. I have just been at a school where a Hungarian-born pupil told me she was scared about Brexit, and now I learn that the Conservative Government is threatening to deport people like her.

Brandon Lewis has finally confirmed what we’ve known all along: Boris Johnson has no intention of keeping his promise to automatically guarantee the rights of EU citizens living

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9 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • New figures show 2.7 million EU citizens without Settled Status
  • Swinson: Millions in Britain value our place in the EU

New figures show 2.7 million EU citizens without Settled Status

The Liberal Democrats have warned that the Government is failing to guarantee the rights of all 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK, as new official figures show that fewer than 1 million people had been given Settled Status by the end of September.

The latest EU Settlement Scheme Statistics, published today by the Home Office, show that 929,600 people had been granted Settled Status by the end of September 2019 – meaning …

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8 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Davey: Brexit would mortgage our children’s future
  • Jane Dodds Calls for Pledge to Maintain Last-in-Town Banks
  • Blame for the Brexit mess sits with the Tory Govt

Davey: Brexit would mortgage our children’s future

Following reports from the IFS that a no-deal Brexit will push UK debt to the highest levels since the 1960s, Lib Dem Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

This new analysis is a body blow to Boris Johnson’s election spending plans – as it shows the cost of Brexit is much higher than thought.

Brexit would mortgage our children’s future, plunging Britain into the red and threatening years of new austerity.

There is simply no

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7 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Govt grovelling over food standards to try and secure US trade deal
  • Swinson: Corbyn could be the block to stopping a No Deal
  • Heidi Allen joins the Liberal Democrats (see here)

Lib Dems: Govt grovelling over food standards to try and secure US trade deal

Responding to the reports from a leaked document stating that the Department for International Trade will try to lower the UK’s food standards to secure a trade deal with the United States, Liberal Democrat shadow Foreign Secretary Chuka Umunna said:

The promises made by Boris Johnson and the Conservative Government that the UK would have a whole

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7 October 2019 – the overnight press release

Cable: Psychiatric vacancies demand annual workforce plan

Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Vince Cable has called for the Secretary of State for Health to produce an annual workforce plan following a report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists which reveals one in ten consultant psychiatric roles are unfilled.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Vince Cable said:

With children not accessing treatment and with psychiatrists under huge amounts of pressure due to staff shortages, the Conservative Government does not have a grip on the serious situation in mental health services.

Today’s survey is another example of how the Conservatives plans for the NHS are fundamentally

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4 October 2019 – today’s press release

Commonwealth Games organisers fears over Brexit impact revealed by Lib Dems

For the first time the Commonwealth Games organisers deepest fears about the impact of Brexit have been laid bare as a result of a Liberal Democrat investigation.

The Games’ organisers state that there is a risk that the UK’s EU Exit will negatively affect Games deliverables, by changes to Government policy, economic impacts across markets and industries. This could result in potential workforce attrition and cost inflation. They count this risk as the highest possible, 20 out of 20.

In another document, marked ‘sensitive’ from February, the organisers in a meeting …

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3 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Jane Dodds: Politicians must right WASPI Injustice
  • Jane Dodds: Irish border plan designed to fail

Jane Dodds: Politicians must right WASPI Injustice

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds has responded to the WASPI campaign’s defeat in the High Court, claiming it is the responsibility of politicians to right the injustice suffered by WASPI Women.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MP commented:

This ruling will undoubtedly be disappointing for all those women affected. Women who have campaigned tirelessly to reverse the unfair change to their pensions. My thoughts are with all these women today.

This ruling must remind us politicians that it is our responsibility to

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2 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Jane Dodds: Mid Wales Growth Deal funding insulting
  • Swinson: ‘Getting Brexit done’ puts lives and jobs at risk
  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s plans to create two borders ‘ludicrous’

Jane Dodds: Mid Wales Growth Deal funding insulting

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and MP for Brecon and Radnorshire Jane Dodds has called the UK Government’s £55m funding for the Mid Wales Growth Deal insulting.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns used his speech to Conservative Party Conference in Manchester to announce £55m of funding for the Mid Wales Growth Deal over 15 years.

The UK Government are contributing £500m to the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal and £241m …

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1 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Rise in homeless deaths demands end of Vagrancy Act
  • UK govt must not be silent on situation in Hong Kong
  • Tories cannot call themselves the law and order party
  • Cable: End ‘weaponising’ of social care

Rise in homeless deaths demands end of Vagrancy Act

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has renewed her call for the Vagrancy Act to be scrapped following the publication of new ONS statistics revealing a rise in the deaths of homeless people in 2018.

The ONS data shows that there were an estimated 726 deaths in 2018, an increase of over 20% on the previous year. The highest numbers of deaths were …

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30 September 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

I allowed myself to be distracted yesterday… you know how it can be sometimes, so it’s time to catch up…

  • ‘Out of touch’ Tories plough money into roads despite people and planet crying out for public transport investment
  • Brexit renders spending promises impossible – Davey

‘Out of touch’ Tories plough money into roads despite people and planet crying out for public transport investment

Following Sajid Javids announcement of £25bn investment in roads, Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport, said:

Just as people are starting to become aware of the damage we’re doing to our planet, the Conservatives have committed to spending £25

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Party President, internal elections update

Today is the deadline for nominations for the Party Presidential contest, for the various Federal committees and for the ALDE Party Council delegation so, if you haven’t got your forms and artwork in, time is running out (the deadline is 5 p.m., just to save you looking it up).

As far as we know, there remain six candidates for the Party Presidency, and you can click on each name to see their initial statement.

And, for a view on what the Party Presidency entails, here are my thoughts from

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30 September 2019 – the overnight press release

It’s been very quiet over the past few days, but I tend to put that down to the convention not to distract from other political conferences. However, our Press team are still working away…

Lib Dems: ‘School Cuts’ data shows funding still an emergency

Responding to the relaunch of the National Education Union’s ‘School Cuts’ website, which reveals that more than 15,000 schools will have less money per pupil in real terms in 2020 than they did in 2015, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran said:

The Conservatives continue to fail our children. This data removes the wool that Boris Johnson

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Party Presidential election update – Prue Bray and Richard Kemp withdraw

Liberal Democrat Voice has been advised by Prue Bray and Richard Kemp that they are withdrawing from the contest to succeed Sal Brinton as Party President. Prue writes;

This is confirmation that, with regret, I am withdrawing from the election for Party President, despite having been successfully nominated. Unfortunately, the amount of work I am having to do as English Candidates Chair to prepare for the coming General Election simply does not allow enough time for me to simultaneously commit to campaign to become Party President.

Richard has sent us a statement as well;

I have announced that I am no

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27 September 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • No-deal prep for health supplies shows Brexit must stop
  • Boris Johnson is the champion of the well-off, not the people – Davey

No-deal prep for health supplies shows Brexit must stop

Responding to the National Audit Office’s report on the Government’s preparations on health and social care supplies under a no deal Brexit, Liberal Democrats Health and Social Care Secretary, Sir Vince Cable MP, said:

This report reinforces what we already knew from the Yellowhammer documents. We know that a no-deal Brexit would have a devastating impact on the UK’s health and social care supplies.

The risk is very real that traders may not

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26 September 2019 – today’s press releases

I’d like to start by thanking TonyH for his comment. I’ve generally provided a list at the beginning of these pieces when there are three or more press releases, but he’s right to note that, given how pieces are prevented on our “front page”, it’s better if I do it if there’s more than one. So, I will going forward. We’ve only got one today though…

Lib Dems welcome NHS England’s Cross-Party Plans for Reform

The Liberal Democrats have today welcomed NHS England’s plans to reform the NHS and significantly curb the privatisation of NHS care.

The plans, agreed on a consensus …

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25 September 2019 – today’s press releases

Lib Dems: Johnson rides roughshod with the law again

Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture Secretary Layla Moran today questioned Ministers on payments made by the Government to Hacker House, a company owned by Jennifer Arcuri.

The Sunday Times alleged that the company was incorrectly registered in the UK.

The paper also alleges that Ms Arcuri, a friend of Boris Johnson, benefitted from preferential treatment for public money and access to overseas trade missions when the Prime Minister was Mayor of London. These are now subject to an investigation by the London Assembly’s Oversight Committee.

Speaking after her Urgent Questionn in the House …

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24 September 2019 – today’s press releases

Chancellor must answer for black hole in the country’s finances

Responding to news that part of Corporation Tax revenue has been double-counted by HMRC, revising down the take for 2018-2019 by more than £4bn, Liberal Democrat shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

Today’s data from HMRC reveals a concerning black hole in the country’s public finances. Since this Conservative Government took office, an astounding £12.86 billion was mistakenly accounted for in the exchequer’s books – money that was never actually there. This is a potentially dangerous oversight for which the Conservative Chancellor is responsible.

Moreover, this highlights the Government’s irresponsibility in slashing corporation tax

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23 September 2019 – today’s press release

Swinson: Corbyn is a Brexiteer at heart

Responding to the news from Labour Party conference that it would not back Remain in a People’s Vote, under the guidance of Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:

Jeremy Corbyn has again shown a total lack of leadership on Brexit and settled on yet another fudge on the biggest issue facing our country. Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly had the opportunity to put the full force of the Labour behind a Remain position, but he has once again shown today that he is a Brexiteer at heart.

He is determined to negotiate a Brexit deal if Labour win an election, despite all the evidence that there is no Brexit deal that is good for our economy, our NHS and our security. By refusing to say how the Labour Party would campaign in a second referendum, Jeremy Corbyn is letting down the millions of people who want to see the UK remain in the EU.

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22 September 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

Well, I’m not sure what happened there, as I thought that I’d set this for 10.30 yesterday evening. Nevertheless, here are yesterday’s official press releases…

Scrapping Ofsted must be the beginning of the end of teaching to the test – Lib Dems

Responding to today’s announcement by the Labour Party that they will campaign to abolish Ofsted, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran MP said:

It is always good to see the Labour Party copying another key Lib Dem education promise, just as they followed us in calling for SATs to be scrapped, here they are trailing in behind again.

The

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Riding the enthusiasm wave, some thoughts going forward and a Presidential race update…

Well, that was a pretty good Conference, wasn’t it? Passion, enthusiasm, and a whole bunch of people I’d never met before. I have to admit that I left Bournemouth rather more enthusiastic than I was when I arrived.

And so, what to do with all of that enthusiasm? Well, I’d like to try a few things.

Firstly, our new members are still feeling their way into the Party, and that offers an opportunity for the various groups withing the Party – Specified Associated Organisations, Associated Organisations, thinktanks, pressure groups and the like, to reach out to new people. So, if you are …

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21 September 2019 – today’s press release

Labour must come clean about their Brexit plan – Lib Dems

Responding to reports that Labour will only decide which way to vote in a People’s Vote after a general election, Liberal Democrat shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

It is totally unfair of Labour not to be clear about their plan in government.

Through choosing whether to support leave or remain after the election, millions of remain Labour supporters could help elect a leave government.

Instead remain supporters must back the Liberal Democrats in a general election. Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit.

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  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 22nd Oct - 1:40am
    Sorry for typos, it is one forty am!
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 22nd Oct - 1:37am
    Can I say this. Despite being involved on a more cross party trajectory in recent years post coalition and referendum, despite regarding cross party involvement...
  • User AvatarPatrick 22nd Oct - 12:00am
    Also, I'm thinking that now that Dr Phillip Lee has been given the justice brief, he has a great opportunity to prove his liberal credentials,...
  • User AvatarPatrick 21st Oct - 11:53pm
    Till otherwise proven with appropriate references, I'm willing to give Dr Phillip Lee the benefit of the doubt. And if someone will issue references that...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Oct - 10:25pm
    Adding to Expats comment, in his latest twitter comment (and in a letter to The Times) two days ago, Dr Lee stated, Dr Phillip Lee...
  • User Avatarexpats 21st Oct - 9:54pm
    George Potter, I have no brief for Dr. Lee but everything I've read shows him IN FAVOUR of rehabilitation for prisoners rather than 'hard labour'......