Author Archives: Mark Valladares

18-19 January 2020 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Lib Dems launch campaign to scrap cash machine fees
  • Chancellor must take blinkers off and pay attention to industry
  • Johnson cannot be trusted to fix broken politics

Lib Dems launch campaign to scrap cash machine fees

The Brecon & Radnorshire Liberal Democrats have launched a campaign calling on the UK Government to provide the funding necessary to scrap transaction fees at local cash machines. With the number of bank branches across Powys dwindling, a growing number of residents are forced to reply upon Post Offices and local cash machines to access their money.

Last year Jane Dodds, then MP for Brecon & Radnorshire, led …

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17 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems oppose Johnson’s Parliamentary agenda
  • Fall in retail sales demands a radical rethink
  • PM should seek to bring the country together

Lib Dems oppose Johnson’s Parliamentary agenda

The Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment to the Queen’s Speech for debate on Monday 19 January. The amendment details the key reasons why Liberal Democrat MPs will oppose Boris Johnson’s agenda for government, including:

  • failure to introduce ambitious plans to tackle the climate emergency;
  • failure to set out measures to tackle poverty and inequality;
  • failure to protect human rights or to strengthen the voice of citizens.

The amendment also urges Government to introduce a system of proportional representation. …

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Is being bullied by Donald Trump the future for British foreign policy?

The news, as broken by the Washington Post, that the Trump Administration threatened to levy a 25% tariff on British car exports to the US unless Britain warned Iran of violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a deal in which Iran would accept strict rules and oversight of its nuclear activity in exchange for being allowed back into the international community, should concern us all.

Of course, it wasn’t just Britain – the French and Germans were threatened too.

But the difference between us and them is that the French and Germans are part of a bigger group, and …

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16 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems call on PM to back automatic rights for EU citizens
  • Lib Dems: Tories have failed on knife crime
  • Lib Dems demand more action on gambling addiction

Lib Dems call on PM to back automatic rights for EU citizens

The Liberal Democrats have called on the Conservative Government to back legislation to guarantee automatic rights for EU citizens, as new official statistics show the number not granted permanent Settled Status has risen to more than 1 million.

Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates this week tabled amendments to the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill to automatically guarantee EU citizens’ rights in law.

The latest EU …

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15 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems question FlyBe bailout
  • Tory minister wrong to promote flying in the face of climate emergency
  • Ed Davey calls for better support for bereaved families at PMQs
  • Government must repeal unlawful Snoopers’ Charter
  • Lib Dems: Prime Minister must now keep his promise to protect Erasmus
  • Lib Dems: PM agrees to work with Lib Dems on human rights abuses in Syria

Lib Dems question FlyBe bailout

Responding to news that the Government intends to bail out Flybe, Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson, Munira Wilson MP, said:

Flybe provides a vital service in connecting many regions of the UK which are otherwise hard to travel between, not least

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14 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Tories should be cutting emissions, not air passenger duty
  • Lib Dems call out Johnson duplicity on Iran Nuclear Deal
  • Home Office cover up slammed by Lib Dems

Tories should be cutting emissions, not air passenger duty

Following the reports that the Conservative government is considering cutting air passenger duty on domestic flights as part of a plan to save regional airline Flybe from collapse, Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

Flybe looks set to follow Thomas Cook, despite only being “rescued” last year. The way to ensure our businesses stay afloat is to provide certainty, rather than the chaos the Conservatives have presided over

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14 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Tories failing to keep people safe

Responding to the HM Inspectorate of Probation report, which has found that the National Probation Service (NPS) is hampered by staff shortages, stretched middle managers and poor facilities, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

This Conservative Government is failing in its most important duty: keeping people safe. Staff shortages in the Probation Service mean that high-risk individuals in our communities are not being properly supervised.

This alarming report shows that ending private probation contracts and unifying the system, while clearly necessary, will not be nearly enough to fix the major problems in probation.

Liberal Democrats are calling

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13 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Treasury must act on rural ATM charges
  • UK facing worst slowdown since aftermath of financial crisis

Treasury must act on rural ATM charges

Jane Dodds has joined Kirsty Williams AM and Cllr James Gibson-Watt in calling for the UK Treasury to take action to abolish transaction charges at rural ATMs.

Transactional charges are becoming increasingly common across Wales as more and more banks cut back on support to ATM providers, meaning the running costs are being passed onto the customers. The ATM at Hay Post Office is the most recent local example of this, with customers now being charged 99p per transaction.

Jane Dodds, Leader …

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13 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Welsh Lib Dems reducing infant class sizes

The Welsh Liberal Democrats’ Infant Class Sizes Fund has been found to be ‘making a real difference’ a new report published today has shown.

The £36m Infant Class Sizes Fund is a Welsh Lib Dem policy that was implemented as part of the Progressive Agreement between Kirsty Williams and the First Minister. The policy targets schools that would most benefit from smaller classes, such as those with high levels of deprivation.

The report shows that the percentage of all infant classes and learners in classes over 30 has reduced since the introduction of the grant, with …

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11-12 January 2020 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Govt must back Lib Dem bill for family reunion rights for child refugees
  • Lib Dems demand statement on arrest of British ambassador to Iran
  • Lib Dems demand reform to protect High Street retailers

Govt must back Lib Dem bill for family reunion rights for child refugees

Responding to an NGO report calling for child refugees to be given the right to sponsor close family members to join them, the Liberal Democrats have urged the Government to support their bill that would do just that.

Without My Family, a report published today by Amnesty International, the Refugee Council and Save the Children, criticises the …

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10 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Fight against upskirting is far from over
  • Nine prisons overcapacity by more than 50%

Lib Dems: Fight against upskirting is far from over

Responding to data revealing that incidents of upskirting have been reported to the police at a rate of almost one a day since it became a specific sexual offence, Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, who originally proposed the Bill, said:

This horrifying statistic serves to show how necessary a change in the law was. Victims across the UK were failing to get justice and perpetrators of the crime were walking free.

The change to make upskirting a specific sexual offence

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10 January 2020 – the overnight press releases

  • Govt must stop young people falling prey to ‘county lines’ gangs
  • Tories failing children’s mental health

Govt must stop young people falling prey to ‘county lines’ gangs

Responding to a report released today by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services into ‘county lines’ gangs, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

When children as young as 12 are being exploited by drug gangs, the Government’s approach clearly needs to change. We need to stop both the supply and demand of illegal hard drugs.

Unnecessary Tory cuts to the police have made it easier for organised criminal networks to spread. Cuts to

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9 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Transport Secretary needs to sack Northern
  • A&E waiting times will be worse with Tories’ extreme Brexit
  • Jardine secures Govt commitment to introduce Domestic Abuse Bill by Easter
  • Lib Dems continue to oppose dangerous Withdrawal Bill

Transport Secretary needs to sack Northern

The Liberal Democrats have called for the Transport Secretary to “sack Northern” following the announcement that the Government is considering awarding Northern a short-term contract.

Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Tim Farron said:

The Conservative Government’s big announcement on Northern is just more delay, something that rail passengers in the North are all too familiar with.

It’s completely unthinkable that the Secretary of State is prepared to award

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9 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Moran: Govt must invest to end crisis in children’s social care

Responding to analysis by the Local Government Association, revealing that the number of children in care has risen by 28% in the last 10 years, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

While councils struggle, hundreds of children are missing out on on a suitable children’s home near to their family and friends. The more councils’ budgets are squeezed, the less is being invested to prevent young people getting into crisis in the first place.

Every child, no matter their circumstances, deserves the best start in life. Conservative Ministers

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8 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Iran’s actions on US airbases “unacceptable”
  • Johnson’s hard negotiation deadline is unrealistic
  • Farron: Child refugees vote reveals Tory MPs’ true colours
  • Johnson’s govt must stand up to use of death penalty abroad
  • UK Govt must not abandon Iran Nuclear Treaty

Iran’s actions on US airbases “unacceptable”

Responding to Iran’s missile strikes on US airbases in Iraq, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Iran’s actions against US airbases last night were unacceptable and should be unequivocally condemned.

It is vital Boris Johnson does all he can to ensure dialogue and a de-escalation of this intensifying situation.

The Prime Minister must also take every step

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3 January 2020 – today’s press release

Lib Dems respond to Iran Crisis

Responding to reports of the death of General Qasem Soleimani by a US Air Strike, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

Iran is governed by a brutal regime which has been openly hostile to the west.

Donald Trump has yet again radically and recklessly escalated tensions in an area where peace-keeping was already on a knife edge.

There is a real danger this will stoke further conflict, undermining peace and stability in the region. Given the severity of the crisis, the Prime Minister must make a statement about the UK’s position immediately.

The UK should

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Boris offers us a petrol station bouquet as a peace offering…

I’ve watched the Boris Johnson New Year greeting to the nation – feel free to take a look if you’re so inclined – and am as unimpressed as I am unsurprised.

We are promised a decade of growth and innovation, a better NHS, safer streets, an improved environment, and so on and so forth. All very nice, after all, how could anyone disagree with any of that? But, despite the suggestion that we are being invited to pull together, that we now have “a People’s Government, delivering the People’s priorities” (yes, he really did say that… again), he said little that …

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17 December 2019 – today’s press releases

We’re back, or at least, the Press Team are back, and thus this feature returns…

  • Reckless Johnson risking sending the UK straight off the no-deal cliff
  • Brexit jeopardises pigs in blankets
  • New figures show 2.3 million EU citizens without Settled Status
  • Boris Johnson set to crash UK economy
  • Lib Dems: Whirlpool’s stained reputation on the line

Reckless Johnson risking sending the UK straight off the no-deal cliff

Responding to reports the Government is to add a new clause to the Withdrawal Agreement to make it illegal for Parliament to extend the transition period beyond December 2020, interim leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

This Tory Government’s

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A member of the Editorial Team responds…

Dear Reader,

It’s been an “interesting” few days. As promised, we’ve let a “hundred flowers blossom”, and, for the most part it’s been interesting. But, and you probably guessed that there would be a “but”, there have been a few disappointments along the way.

So, for the benefit of some of you, might I offer the thoughts of Liberal Democrat Voice’s former Readers’ Editor, i.e. me.

Firstly, quoting from my piece a few days ago;

As you may guess from today’s content, Liberal Democrat Voice aims to be a safe place for some of that discussion. We’ll try to offer anyone with a constructive

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Brexit – it’s time to accept that we’ve lost. There’s a new battle to fight…

I’m a pro-European. I’ve been involved in European politics as an active ALDE Party member for some years now. And it grieves me to say this but… we’ve lost. Complain about the voting system, about the lies, the sheer injustice of the thing, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Conservatives got their majority and will end the debate about our membership of the European Union in seven weeks. They’ve got a mandate, like the one we would have claimed had we won.

I’ve received a number of invitations to join a group seeking to campaign to rejoin the European Union, and there may be a case to be made for that in the years ahead. But looking backwards gives you neckache, and liberals have a new task ahead, to make the case for liberal values and persuade the British public that our outward looking, inclusive stance isn’t just good in itself, but can actually being benefits to those who have felt failed by the political system.

And yes, that means making the case for a stronger, more secure relationship with our neighbours, holding the Conservatives to account when their choices are bad for our country, its people and the economy. It means having a vision for how that relationship will look, and a willingness to argue for it. What are the benefits to voters in Sunderland, or Lowestoft, or Truro, of a closer trading relationship with Europe? And what are the concessions we might have to make?

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At the end of the day, it’s the end of the day…

I’ve rather left the rest of the LDV team to their own devices today. Without a campaign of my own to worry about (we were stood down for the Greens, here in Bury St Edmunds), and with the nearest target seat fifty miles away, I’ve been slightly adrift from the experiences of the rest of you, and thus free to mind the shop, so to speak. Here are some thoughts…

It wasn’t a great night. Losing four sitting MPs, including Jo, and all of the newcomers is hardly something to celebrate. But, our share of the vote was up by more …

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11 December 2019 – today’s press releases

It’s the final batch before polling day… Good luck to everyone tomorrow, and thank you for everything that you’ve done for the cause…

  • Lib Dems: Disgraced Brexit Party founder backing Johnson shows how far the Tories have sunk
  • Welsh Lib Dems: We can secure a brighter future for Wales
  • Lib Dems: Barnier’s comments show Johnson’s campaign slogan is just another Tory fib

Lib Dems: Disgraced Brexit Party founder backing Johnson shows how far the Tories have sunk

Responding to the news that Catherine Blaiklock, the disgraced Brexit Party founder who quit over her Islamophobic public statements, is backing Boris Johnson, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Ed …

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11 December 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Swinson: One day left to stop Boris Johnson and stop Brexit
  • Welsh Lib Dems: Put a penny on income tax to transform mental healthcare

Swinson: One day left to stop Boris Johnson and stop Brexit

Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson will today (Wednesday 11th December) deliver her final speech of the election campaign in Esher and Walton, urging voters to back the Liberal Democrats to stop Boris Johnson getting a majority and stop Brexit.

Jo will be attending a series of rallies with activists throughout to the day including in the Conservative-held seats of Esher and Walton, Guildford and Wimbledon.

Jo Swinson is expected …

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10 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Tories’ plans on health tourism enforcement unit is the latest example of dog-whistle politics
  • Lib Dems: GDP figures show economy is grinding to a halt under the Tories
  • Lib Dem launch poster urging Remainers to stop Boris Johnson
  • Lib Dems: Boris Johnson is lying on a bulldozer instead of in front of one
  • Lib Dems: Johnson attack on international aid will destroy our global credibility

Tories’ plans on health tourism enforcement unit is the latest example of dog-whistle politics

The Liberal Democrats have today branded the Tories pledge to double the budget of the ‘health tourism enforcement unit’ as dog-whistle politics.

The Conservative manifesto states that …

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10 December 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems: Brexit is already costing our public services more than £350 million a week
  • Swinson warns of Johnson threat to human rights
  • Business backs the Liberal Democrats
  • Lib Dems are listening to Gen Z’s climate emergency fears

Lib Dems: Brexit is already costing our public services more than £350 million a week

The Liberal Democrats have revealed that Brexit is already costing the government £380–470 million a week – money that could have been spent on the NHS instead.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has estimated that GDP is £55–66 billion lower this year than it would have been without Brexit, mainly …

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9 December 2019 – today’s press releases

Apologies to our regular readers for the temporary disappearance of this regular feature – I was away and had some surprisingly poor internet access. Anyway, on with the show…

  • Liberal Democrats set out ambitious spending plans to tackle the climate emergency
  • Lib Dems: Brexit leak on Northern Ireland checks shows Johnson is lying to the public
  • Lib Dems: Johnson refusing to look at picture of sick child shows mask has slipped
  • Question Time debate shows Jo Swinson is a next generation leader

Liberal Democrats set out ambitious spending plans to tackle the climate emergency

The Liberal Democrats have …

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1 December 2019 – the weekend’s press releases (part 2)

  • Jo Swinson: Boris Johnson is running scared of scrutiny
  • Lib Dems: Tory no deal Brexit would increase national debt by £220 billion
  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s comments show that he despises the poor and vulnerable in our society
  • Swinson outperforms Johnson cheerleaders
  • Farage, Trump and Johnson singing from same misogynistic hymn sheet

Jo Swinson: Boris Johnson is running scared of scrutiny

Responding to Boris Johnson’s interview with Andrew Marr, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, said:

Given Boris Johnson’s dismal performance this morning on Marr it is no wonder he is running scared of Andrew Neil and refusing to be held to account in debates.

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30 November 2019 – the weekend’s press releases (part 1)

  • Ed Davey: Only the Conservatives would think it is the right policy to put rail fares up now
  • Swinson statement ahead of World AIDS Day

Ed Davey: Only the Conservatives would think it is the right policy to put rail fares up now

Responding to the news that rail fares will increase by 2.7% for millions of commuters on the 2nd January next year, Liberal Democrats Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

With the railways in crisis and passengers continuing to suffer delays and cancellations on a daily basis, only the Conservatives would think it is the right policy to put fares up now.

It’s time

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30 November 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems respond to Tory announcement on free movement and schools

Responding to the Conservative Party’s claim that continued free movement would lead to 363,000 more children in state schools, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran said:

After demonising EU citizens as benefit tourists two days ago, Boris Johnson has now shamefully turned his attack on their children.

This attack is straight out of the Farage-Trump playbook. Not only is it cruel, it’s completely absurd.

The Government’s own Migration Advisory Committee has shown that there is ‘no evidence that migration has reduced school choice or the educational attainment of

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29 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Boris Johnson admits no deal still on the table
  • Chuka Umunna: Boris Johnson continues to let down Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
  • Statement on Lib Dem campaign following London Bridge attack
  • Lib Dems are the only party that can stop the Conservatives

Boris Johnson admits no deal still on the table

Responding to this morning’s joint press conference with Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Gisela Stuart, in which Johnson admitted that no deal preparations will continue, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

Seeing Johnson, Stuart and Gove back on stage together will give people flashbacks to the lies of the 2016 Vote Leave campaign. But, after

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndrew 19th Jan - 10:06pm
    If Richard North's analysis is correct (http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=87491) our continued membership of UNECE is probably just as important: http://www.unece.org/info/ece-homepage.html The basic argument is that the EU...
  • User AvatarBrian Ellis 19th Jan - 10:04pm
    Any review of the 2019 election result should also consider the 2015 and 2017 results. The major collapse occurred in 2015 we start with that....
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 19th Jan - 8:33pm
    Talking about changing voter behaviour, I just loved this James Cleverly comment today linking democracy with the unelected Upper Chamber. "The government is examining whether...
  • User AvatarDavid Warren 19th Jan - 8:22pm
    Thanks for this Alex. I am hoping Elizabeth Warren wins the nomination and goes onto be elected President.
  • User AvatarMichael Beckett 19th Jan - 8:13pm
    So no cheap sock puppet manipulating public perception and no automated bots or those that don't care enough about their digital identity to reveal it....
  • User AvatarSteve Trevethan 19th Jan - 8:11pm
    Don't despair! Analyse! Might it also be of help to also analyse the attitudes and behaviours of the corporate or mainstream media around the election?...