Author Archives: Mark Valladares

Welcome to my day – 23 March 2020

Good morning, everyone, and as the United Kingdom heads towards lockdown, another week starts on Liberal Democrat Voice.

There’s been a lot of debate on this site about the pace of Government action, whether or not various steps are appropriate or not, but my sense from rural Suffolk is that most people are attempting to be sensible – staying indoors for the most part, keeping a sensible distance when meeting each other on the street, that sort of thing. And, whilst the Government might be hesitating about ordering a lockdown, non-essential services are rather leading in shutting up shop so that …

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Not the Spring Conference – F16: Welcoming Child Refugees

So, as promised, here is one of the policy motions scheduled to have been debated in York over the weekend, something that probably isn’t that controversial in Liberal Democrat circles, but I never fail to be surprised by Liberal Democrats, so let’s see what comes in…

Conference believes that:

  • Child refugees who have been forced to flee their homes and separated from their families are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. We must do all we can to protect them.
  • The UK has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those in need, but now the Conservative Government is turning

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

LDV presents… Not the Spring Conference

One of our occasional commenters contacted me before the weekend, and asked if we might publish his prepared debate speech, given that he wouldn’t have a chance to make it “for real”. My first thought was, “it’ll be a bit on the long side”, which he accepted. However, it strikes me that we could do something to enable people to debate the various policy motions after a fashion, and so, today, I’m going to try a little experiment.

I will publish one of the motions due to be debated, and invite you, our readers, to “debate” it. My thoughts on how …

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Who’s going to be the Democratic nominee to take on Donald Trump?

So, as already noted, today sees the first stage in the race to be the Democratic nominee in November’s US Presidential election.

And, because we know how many of our readers take an interest in these things, two questions for our readers to answer in the comments below;

  • Who do you think will win the Democratic nomination, and why?, and, because the answer isn’t necessarily the same;
  • Who do you think is most likely to beat Donald Trump, and why?
Posted in Europe / International | Tagged | 21 Comments

3-7 February – this week in the Lords

Consecutive weeks with a preview… I must be getting a little more reliable. It’s a full five day week in the Lords this week, with one of those occasional sitting Fridays, and there’s a fair bit of Liberal Democrat action, so without further ado…

The Second Reading of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill is the main item of business on Monday, and I have to admit that I hadn’t noticed, or more likely forgotten, that the Games is coming to the West Midlands in 2022. the Bill allows the Government to give …

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The 2020 US Presidential Election – a short statistical preview…

Today sees the beginning of the formal process to select the Presidential nominees for the Democratic and Republican Parties, and here at Liberal Democrat Voice, I thought that I might start with a little context setting and a look back at what happened last time. So, strap yourselves in, and let’s look at some of the numbers from 2016.

We know that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly three million votes, and you might wonder how you can lose under those circumstances, but she did. However, whilst the result was a 304 votes to 227 win for Donald Trump …

Posted in Europe / International | Tagged | 2 Comments

31 January 2020 – today’s press release

Jane Dodds: Conservatives are backtracking on their commitment to end austerity

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on the UK Government to apologise for backtracking on a key election commitment to end austerity just two months after the General Election.

Prior to the election, the Conservatives had proclaimed on a number of occasions that “Austerity is over”.

Their 2019 manifesto, upon which this Government was elected, promised the same as well as pledged numerous increases in public spending.

However, over the past two days, there have been numerous reports that the Government is, in fact, preparing to cut spending by up to 5% per …

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A ray of hope in West Suffolk

It would be fair to say that Suffolk has not been a bright spot for Liberal Democracy for some years, and West Suffolk has been weak even in that context, with no representation on the District Council or its predecessors since 2015.

However, with a recent membership surge, the resignation of the newly elected MP for Aberconwy from both the District and County Councils offered an opportunity to get local members engaged. Our candidate, Jonny Edge, is a local school governor, and with support from some experienced old hands – many thanks to …

Posted in Council by-elections and News | Tagged and | 8 Comments

30 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Davey speech on Brexit – Progressives must fight on

Today, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey will make a keynote speech addressing party members and activists in Manchester ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Ed Davey will make a rallying call to pro-Europeans ahead of our departure from the EU, calling on them to continue to campaign for close association with our allies in the EU and for the progressive values we share.

Ed will call for the end of the Remain/Leave division in our country and for progressives to unite to tackle other serious divisions.

Ed will declare that …

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29 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: PM must not ignore defence concerns about Huawei deal
  • Liberal Democrats: Sacking Northern is just the first step

Liberal Democrats: PM must not ignore defence concerns about Huawei deal

Responding to reports that Boris Johnson has defied his Defence Secretary by allowing Huawei to help to build Britain’s 5G network, Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesperson Jamie Stone MP said:

Boris Johnson must not ignore the Defence Secretary’s concerns. There are legitimate human rights and security issues associated with this move.

Three of our Five Eyes allies, the US, Australia and New Zealand, have already blocked the Chinese firm in full or in part

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29 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Layla Moran: “Make 2020 the year that we finally scrap the Vagrancy Act”

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran will today urge the Government to adopt her legislation this year and “finally scrap the Vagrancy Act” during a homelessness debate in Parliament.

The MP will warn that “even one person sleeping rough in this country in 2020 is a disgrace” as she brings back to Parliament her campaign to scrap the Vagrancy Act.

Layla Moran is also expected to warn against the “out of sight, out of mind mentality’” shown in the installation of a new gate close to MPs’ and peers’ …

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28 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Tory proposals to end free movement will make it harder to recruit teachers, nurses and doctors
  • Liberal Democrats: Huawei decision shows no regard for its human rights record
  • Davey calls for ‘Net Zero’ department to slash UK greenhouse gas emissions
  • Liberal Democrats: Trump’s negotiations a sham

Tory proposals to end free movement will make it harder to recruit teachers, nurses and doctors

Responding to the publication of the Migration Advisory Committee report which has advised against against a full points-based system for UK, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

The Conservative Government wants to impose an entirely new immigration system in less than 12

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28 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Electoral Commission must investigate ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign

Responding to the The National Audit Office’s comments that the “Get ready for Brexit” campaign failed to significantly impact the public’s level of preparedness for Brexit, former Public Accounts Committee member and Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:

What a colossal waste of taxpayers money. This damning report shows what we knew all along: the Conservative government’s ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign was an expensive propaganda stunt designed ahead of the election to help no one but Boris Johnson stay in Number 10.

Once again the Tories are misusing their powers at the expense

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27 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: UK access to crime databases at risk post Brexit
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats welcome landmark for Welsh education
  • Liberal Democrats challenge Minister on Met facial recognition surveillance

Liberal Democrats: UK access to crime databases at risk post Brexit

Following reports that the exchange of key security information is at risk post Brexit, due to concerns over Britain’s record in protecting personal information, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Our police rely heavily on co-operation with our EU partners to identify criminals and bring them to justice. It’s incredibly alarming that these government scandals threaten to undermine that co-operation, making us all less

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27-30 January – this week in the Lords

I’ve been meaning to get back into the swing of this for a while now, and now that the debate over Brexit is over (albeit the consequences will be debated for years to come), perhaps now is a good time to pick up where I erratically left off…

Monday is a relatively gentle opener to the week, with the primary item of business being the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill, whose Second Reading takes place. Think drones. Batting for the Liberal Democrats will be Bill Bradshaw, Tom McNally, and our …

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27 January 2020 – the overnight press release

New visa is nothing more than a Tory gimmick

Responding to the Government’s announcement of a “Global Talent” visa to attract top scientists, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

This announcement is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Boris Johnson is showing that he fundamentally doesn’t understand what makes our science sector so successful. Changing the name of a visa and removing a cap that’s never been hit is not a serious plan.

Science relies on thousands of researchers, and this announcement does nothing for the vast majority of them. If the Government is serious about championing UK science, it must

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24-26 January 2020 – the (long) weekend’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats welcome Citizens’ Assembly
  • Liberal Democrats: Sadiq Khan’s mass surveillance roll-out unacceptable
  • Ministers must explain soaring cost of HS2 to Parliament
  • Government must review assisted dying laws

Liberal Democrats welcome Citizens’ Assembly

Ahead of the first meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, set up by House of Commons Select Committees last year, Liberal Democrat Climate Action Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

The climate crisis is doing irreversible damage to our planet. The UK must cut its emissions to net-zero, be it by improving how we heat our homes or cutting emissions from flying.

This Citizens’ Assembly could help the government take the difficult decisions

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23 January 2020 – the day’s press releases

Time to catch up with the press releases…

  • Tories’ headline-grabbing gestures on knife crime have clearly failed
  • Welsh Lib Dems – NHS Wales waiting times unacceptable

Tories’ headline-grabbing gestures on knife crime have clearly failed

Responding to the new official crime statistics, released today, which show knife crime continuing to rise to a new record high, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

These statistics are heart-breaking. Far too many young people are having their lives destroyed by knives and gangs. We urgently need to break the grip of this epidemic of serious violence.

The Conservatives’ approach has clearly failed. Their huge

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22 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems launch national lobbying campaign urging Tory MPs to back WAB amendments
  • Govt must strip South Western Railway of their franchise

Lib Dems launch national lobbying campaign urging Tory MPs to back WAB amendments

The Liberal Democrats have launched a national lobbying campaign urging Conservative MP’s to “restore public faith in politics” and back amendments in the House of Commons to protect the rights of EU citizens and child refugees in the UK.

The campaign was launched after Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords handed Boris Johnson his first parliamentary defeat since the election by passing three amendments to the …

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21 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Tories’ new counter-terror plans undermine civil liberties
  • Welsh Lib Dems: Every child has a right to RSE
  • Govt must invest to demonstrate it values teachers
  • Welsh Lib Dems: UK Government must rethink Withdrawal Bill
  • Lib Dem peers win vote to protect child refugees

Tories’ new counter-terror plans undermine civil liberties

Responding to the Government’s announcement of new counter-terror legislation, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

If you could stop terrorism by passing illiberal new laws, the Conservatives would have ended it ages ago.

It’s less than a year since the Conservatives passed their last piece of unnecessary, reactionary legislation in the name of combatting

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20 January 2020 – yesterday’s press releases

Apologies for the delay, press release fans! Unfortunately, the Parish Council I chair ran late, so I wasn’t able to get these up last night…

  • Young people deserve a clear, unambiguous commitment to Erasmus
  • Ministers must explain to Parliament why HS2 costs have soared
  • Lib Dems urge Govt to extend provision of free period products
  • PM must put child refugees above politics
  • Lib Dem peers defeat Govt on vote to protect EU citizens’ rights
  • PM negotiating deadline with EU woefully unrealistic
  • Lib Dems inflict another defeat on Govt’s Brexit Bill

Young people deserve a clear, unambiguous commitment to Erasmus

Responding to reports the Government is extending an exchange scheme …

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20 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Draconian changes to immigration rules are utterly unworkable

Responding to reports the Conservative Government could remove a temporary extension of the current immigration rules until 2023 and impose new restrictions on low-skilled migrants moving to the UK after Brexit, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Decisions like this make it loud and clear that this Conservative Government has no intention off ending the hostile environment. It’s a national embarrassment.

For business and our economy, such draconian changes to immigration rules is utterly unworkable. To think the Home Office could implement the changes in the time given is a joke.

The Liberal Democrats

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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 …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

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

Posted in News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

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 …

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments
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    Is it not possible to hold a virtual conference? Even if the number attending individual events was limited, all those registering should be able to...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 29th Mar - 4:39pm
    David Raw: No, it was the invasion of Poland that precipitated the war. But at the time Chamberlain was talking about it being over in...
  • User AvatarChris Cory 29th Mar - 4:37pm
    @Paul. Like Andy, I attended a Vince Cable meeting, this time upstairs at the Slug and Lettuce in Southampton. Packed. Standing room only. At a...
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    "a shift in policy against appeasement (still a popular policy at the time). " Errrrrr, no. Not on 10 May, 1940 eight months into the...
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 29th Mar - 4:14pm
    Hi Mark I did indeed see the report of the Board here on LDV and even commented on it. However, I didn’t take it in...
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    John Marriott: Labour joined the Wartime Coalition in 1940 on condition that Chamberlain be replaced by Winston Churchill as Prime Minister, and a shift in...