Author Archives: Mark Valladares

I’m a veteran Party bureaucrat, having joined the old Liberal Party at university. And, perhaps not entirely surprisingly, I’ve held a range of positions since then - everything from Secretary-General of the Young Liberals to being a member of the ALDE Party‘s Financial Advisory Committee. Returning Officer, Presidential consort, committee secretary, you name it, I’ve probably done it. These days, I’m a parish councillor in a (very) small rural village in Suffolk’s Gipping Valley, and a member of the Party’s Federal International Relations Committee. Never let it be said that life is dull…

1 July 2022 – today’s press releases

  • VAT cut: Ministers need to stop dithering and act now
  • Suspending Chris Pincher should never have taken this long
  • Concern Over Cardiff Council Plans to Tackle Begging
  • Southwark Liberal Democrats Demand More Ambition in Plans to Tackle Air Pollution

VAT cut: Ministers need to stop dithering and act now

Responding to reports the government is considering cutting VAT, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Families across the UK are facing a cost-of-living emergency. Ministers need to stop dithering and act now.

Liberal Democrats have been calling for an emergency VAT cut for months. It was a key part of our successful by-election campaign in Tiverton and Honiton. Families need it, businesses need it, and voters clearly support it. So why haven’t Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak done it already?

The sad truth is that we have a Government has no plan and a Prime Minister too busy fighting with his own party to help the British people.

Suspending Chris Pincher should never have taken this long

Responding to the news Chris Pincher has had the Conservative whip suspended, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

It should never have taken Boris Johnson this long to act and withdraw the whip.

Once again it seems Johnson has had to be forced into doing the right thing

There can be no more cover ups or excuses. If this investigation confirms these serious allegations, Chris Pincher will surely have to resign.

The Liberal Democrat Voice team have recently started to receive more press releases from Council Groups around the country, perhaps a sign of greater confidence and ambition, and we’ll try to publish some of them going forward…

Posted in Local government, News and Press releases | Tagged , , , , , , and | 14 Comments

30 June 2022 – the overnight press release

Government neglect shown as quarter of GP posts could be vacant in ten years

Responding to analysis published today by the Health Foundation that says a quarter of GP posts could be vacant in a decade, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Daisy Cooper MP, said:

The Conservatives have been running our NHS and our health services into the ground for years. They have taken our health service for granted and that needs to change.

People are struggling to get appointments and GPs are under more pressure than ever, no one wins from this Conservative Government’s neglect.

GP surgeries are

Posted in News and Press releases | Tagged and | 2 Comments

29 June 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Fraud industry booming on the Conservatives’ watch
  • Independence Isn’t the Answer to Westminster Overreach
  • Defence spending facing £1.7 billion cut by 2025

Fraud industry booming on the Conservatives’ watch

Responding to UK Finance’s Annual Fraud Report, showing total fraud losses up 8% to £1.3bn in 2021, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

On the Conservatives’ watch, the fraud industry is booming. Criminal gangs are lining their pockets at the expense of innocent, often vulnerable people.

People need far better protection from these vile fraudsters, but the Government is leaving them to fend for themselves. Boris Johnson and Priti Patel want to simply pretend

Posted in News and Press releases | Tagged , , , , , and | 2 Comments

If you want a strong public sector, you’re going to have to compete on pay and conditions eventually…

There is no way in which one can buck the market. – Margaret Thatcher, 10 March 1988

And yet, Governments, especially Conservative ones, keep doing just that when it comes to public sector pay. Even more ironically, there seems to be a belief that, contrary to the notion that there is no such thing as society, people will take an altruistic view when it comes to their own salary prospects in order to work in the public sector.

There may have been a time when the public sector was grossly overpaid in comparison with the private sector. Personally, as a civil servant for well over thirty years, I don’t remember it, but I’m sure that there’s someone out there willing to make the argument.

But, as shortages of nurses, doctors and dentists become ever more noticeable – my own county of Suffolk is increasingly a desert for NHS dentistry, and the issue was a contributory factor in the Tiverton & Honiton by-election – the question of market forces kicks in.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 20 Comments

Welcome to my day: 27 June 2022 – shuffling into the limelight again?

It’s been another good week to be a Liberal Democrat, I’d suggest. An astonishing victory in Tiverton & Honiton, and polling numbers in the low teens indicates that, whilst the Party is not at the levels we saw prior to 2010, we’re certainly relevant again.

It certainly helps that the Conservative government looks to be in an utter shambles, led by a man they don’t really believe in any more, and apparently without any policies designed to address the critical issue of the day – the cost of living crisis. The inability of ministers to take any medium or long term decisions other than to treat minorities and potential enemies as brutally as possible doesn’t much help either.

And there’s little doubt that most of the nation’s problems require some serious long-term thinking – the NHS is not going to be restored overnight, regardless of how much money is thrown at it, nor are public services to be improved without some serious thought as to what is needed and who will supply it.

Posted in Op-eds | 29 Comments

Welcome to my day: 13 June 2022 – take a deep breath (and a glass of Sekt) and carry on…

Dobré ráno! Liberal Democrat Voice is brought to you today from Starý Smokovec, in the Slovak Tatras, where your intrepid Day Editor is spending the day. As befits a member of the Party’s Federal International Relations Committee, I’m on a rail odyssey across the continent, from Stowmarket to here and back (the pretty way). And I’m drinking beer in half-litres…

Slovakia has benefited from its accession to the European Union, with the average Slovak worker earning 70% more than they did twenty years ago. Inward investment has been consistently high, and GDP has risen significantly over that period. This was rather what was envisaged as a result of the 2004 expansion of the European Union into Eastern and Central Europe, with everyone benefiting from a larger single market. It’s galling to hear various Brexiteers suddenly rediscovering their enthusiasm for free trade with our neighbours but think of it as the first baby steps towards a rather better relationship with the European Union.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Johnson survives… for now… Liberal Democrats respond

211-148 does not make for a secure mandate, especially given the scale of the payroll vote. But, at least for the time being, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson continues as Prime Minister.

Liberal Democrat President Mark Pack probably best sums up the outcome from a Liberal Democrat perspective;

Deputy Leader, Daisy Cooper, expresses what many will be thinking;

Tim Farron makes the point that Boris doesn’t believe in the same rules that the rest of us do;

But whilst there is almost certainly political advantage to be had, the country will continue to suffer under his chaotic, dishonest leadership. Anyone who believes in good …

Posted in News | 16 Comments

Universal Credit – reform, repeal or revolution?

I ought to start off with what might be described as a confession. I rather welcomed the concept of Universal Credit when it was first mooted – the notion that you might combine a number of different benefits, with different application processes and eligibility criteria, into one benefit, struck me as a bit of a no-brainer. I am, after all, a bureaucrat. And, from a user perspective, simplifying what was necessary to establish a claim could only help more people to get the support that they were due.

But what happened next was the inevitable result of deliberate underfunding and a failure to ensure that the systems were in place and fully tested before being rolled out. What followed was a slowly unfolding nightmare for everyone involved but mostly for those who needed a working system most, the claimants. Higher taper levels for earned income destroyed the incentive to seek work, maladministration and a punitive sanctions system meant that claimants suffered from a complete lack of support when they were at their most vulnerable. And sadly, little has changed. The temporary £20 per week increase during the pandemic made a sizeable difference to many, but reversion to the previously existing arrangements, combined with the surge in inflation and energy costs, has thrown hundreds of thousands of households into crisis.

So, what is to be done? Can you fix the Universal Credit system, or should it just be burned to the ground and a new start made?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 22 Comments

It’s on! Conservative MPs to vote on Boris’s future this evening

Well, that didn’t take long…

So, what is a good result for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, how much of a margin does he need to feel safe? And what does it mean for the Opposition parties?

Here’s what Ed Davey has to say;

Every Conservative MP must do the right thing and kick out this dishonest Prime Minister from Number 10.

There is simply no excuse for backing Boris Johnson. He broke the law and partied while millions of people did the right thing and followed the rules during the pandemic, even when it meant being unable to see their loved ones.

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Welcome to my day: 6 June 2022 – waiting for Sir Graham Brady…

It looks a bit like a Samuel Beckett sort of a week ahead. Have fifty-four Conservative MPs concluded that;

      a. Their principles cannot bear the behaviour of the Prime Minister; or
      b. Their majorities cannot bear the behaviour of the Prime Minister?

Or, perhaps, that they can get a vote but not win it… yet.

Whatever the truth, like Vladimir and Estragon, we are fated to spend too much time talking around the fate of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson than of the issues that so badly need fixing. On the other hand, if you’re an opposition party looking to embarrass the Government in a by-election, the prospect of the Conservatives spending the next three weeks fighting like rats in a sack is a thing to warm the soul.

The polling data from Wakefield;

      Labour 48%
      Conservatives 28%
      Greens 8%
      Liberal Democrats 7%
      Reform UK 3%

if accurate, suggests a 13.7% swing from Conservatives to Labour, which would overwhelm vast swathes of the Red Wall. The swing from Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats is noticeable too, albeit not as dramatic in impact, but shows that there is a move towards us which, in seats such as Harrogate and Knaresborough, or Cheadle, might be very welcome indeed.

Posted in Site news | Tagged and | 1 Comment

Welcome to my day: 30 May 2022 – “what do you mean, it’s not a bank holiday?”

Not much tends to happen here on a Bank Holiday, which makes the job of a Day Editor a mite easier. And then the Queen has a platinum jubilee and the usual schedule gets disrupted…

And I ought to wish Her Majesty the very best on her big day – it really is remarkable that she has reigned for seventy years, demonstrating her sense of duty and adherence to a code of behaviour and decorum alien to her Prime Minister. She’ll be a difficult act to follow and I do wonder what role a new monarch will have in a post-Elizabethan age.

Mind you, you have to wonder what will be left of ethical governance by the time Johnson has left office. The Gray Report hardly demonstrated any sense of adherence to a moral or ethical code and the reports that, far from being a true reflection of events, it was doctored in order to prevent exposure of the failings and misdeeds of key players at the heart of this administration, suggests that there is no level to which they will not stoop.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Welcome to my day: 23 May 2022 – g’day everyone!

An unpopular right-wing administration against a rather bland Labour leader results in a collapse of the Government’s vote and, potentially, a change in direction… for Australia. Is it a portent for what might come to pass here at some point between now and 2024? Ah, well that’s the 64,000 dollar question, isn’t it?

Mind you, at the rate at which Conservative MPs are being accused, or in some cases found guilty, of illegal or unwise behaviour, the Government may run out of supporters. And who could have predicted that, in a week in which the Prime Minister focussed on crime at a Cabinet away day, that most of the news would be about him not being fined despite being at parties for which others were fined. Or that a Conservative MP would be arrested over claims of rape, indecent assault, sexual assault, abuse of a position of trust and misconduct in public office and another accused of the use of date rape drugs in Parliament? And what is the Government response to these stories? Silence.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

17 May 2022- today’s press releases

  • The Liberal Democrats are the main challengers to the Conservatives in Tiverton and Honiton
  • NI Protocol Changes: Risks starting a trade war with our largest trading partner
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats call for 24/7 mental health service

The Liberal Democrats are the main challengers to the Conservatives in Tiverton and Honiton

Responding to the announcement that the Tiverton & Honiton by-election will take place on Thursday 23rd June, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said:

People in rural communities like Devon have had enough of being neglected by this Conservative government.

The Conservatives’ failure to tackle the cost of living crisis has left millions struggling to pay their bills, while people wait hours for an ambulance and weeks for a GP or dentist appointment.

The Liberal Democrats are the main challengers to the Conservatives in Tiverton and Honiton. On the 23rd June voters can send Boris Johnson’s government a message they cannot ignore – and elect a strong local champion who will stand up for them.

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

Welcome to my day: 16 May 2022 – the cat is, so to speak, out of the bag…

I spent part of my weekend in strangely familiar territory, with leaflets in hand. Honiton feels a bit like Stowmarket, my neighbouring town here in mid-Suffolk. For, whilst the surrounding countryside is agricultural, the town itself is not obviously prosperous – we’re not talking “touristy” here. Indeed, a bit like mid-Suffolk, any tourists are likely to heading onwards.

And, whilst the Guardian has discovered that a campaign has already broken out – really, guys, was that a surprise? – Liberal Democrat social media is abuzz with people either in Tiverton and Honiton or working out how to get there and when.

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East of England – let joy be somewhat unconfined…

Greetings from an election-free Gipping Valley, where it gives me great pleasure to report on events in the East of England. In truth, you can pretty much divide the region into two halves today. In Norfolk and Suffolk, only the county towns saw election action, and Bedfordshire sat this one out altogether. That left Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire to fight, and the results have been pretty good.

We’ll start with Essex, which saw gains in Brentwood (2), Colchester (2), Rochford (2), Epping Forest and Southend-on-Sea, as half of the councils were up, which indicates that progress is being made. The Conservative/Independent coalition running Colchester is expected to be replaced with a Liberal Democrat/Labour coalition of partners, with the Liberal Democrats holding one more seat than Labour. Will Quince, no replacement for Bob Russell in truth, should be looking over his shoulder for next time, although the split opposition might be his salvation.

Posted in Local government and News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Welcome to my day: 2 May 2022 – “take the last train to Honiton, and I’ll meet you at the station…”

I’m old enough to remember the 1992-97 Major administration, which fell apart amidst scandal, misfortune and incompetence. Admittedly, it was incompetence which paled in comparison to that of the current mob, but many are beginning to draw the same conclusion, i.e. that this is a rotten government, simply needing a hard enough push to fall apart.

Unfortunately, I’m also old enough to remember 1992, when it looked like the Conservatives would lose, only for the electorate to conclude that they weren’t quite ready to do the deed.

Posted in News | Tagged | 16 Comments

Welcome to my day: 25 April 2022 – perhaps it doesn’t need to be so bad?

It’s always nice to see some positive news, and the re-election of Emmanuel Macron to the French Presidency yesterday was reassuringly clear cut. Mind you, given that 42% of those who voted chose such an overt friend who of Vladimir Putin, one should remain alert in terms of what happens after Macron’s second term ends, especially given the current weakness of France’s traditional “big two” political parties. But that’s a problem for another day.

Slovenia also had elections yesterday, and a political party formed only a year ago, the Freedom Movement has swept to power, defeating the outgoing Prime Minister, Janez Janša and his Social Democrats. The Party names might give the impression that this is not good news, but whilst the Social Democrats lean very much towards a Victor Orban style of politics, the Freedom Movement are social/Green liberals.

So, not a bad night for liberals across Europe.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 9 Comments

Welcome to my day: 18 April 2022 – in search of serenity…

Liberal Democrat Voice comes to you today from what is claimed to be the world’s oldest extant sovereign state, the Most Serene Republic of San Marino. For those who might not know, San Marino is about one-three hundred and fortieth the size of Wales and sits about ten miles inland from Rimini, on Italy’s Adriatic coast.

But we’re still talking about Rwanda, aren’t we? I wrote about the emerging plans to send asylum seekers to the East African country on Thursday, and as the proposals become clearer, they get worse. The idea that we’re going to pay the Rwandan Government to accept legitimate asylum seekers so that we don’t have to is a stain upon our nation’s reputation. And, of course, the proposals do nothing to address the people smugglers and criminal gangs who will continue to prey on desperate people.

What I was reminded about by the debate which followed was that there are some who callously and deliberately conflate seekers of asylum with economic migrants, and others who either deliberately or through a lack of knowledge, exaggerate the number of refugees reaching our shores. So, here’s the definition of refugee, courtesy of the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees;

Posted in News | Tagged and | 27 Comments

Priti Patel’s new asylum strategy – wrong in every sense

The announcement that the Home Secretary has finalised an “economic development and migration agreement” with Rwanda, whilst not necessarily a surprise, is a reminder that Government policy is now to make the seeking of asylum in the United Kingdom as difficult and unpleasant as possible, regardless of the cost.

The idea is that asylum seekers will be initially processed at a base in the United Kingdom, before being flown to Rwanda and “warehoused” there whilst their application is considered. That is, perhaps not everybody, as The Times is suggesting that only male asylum seekers would be sent. But the devil is not in the details.

There is a precedent for such treatment – the Australian Government took a similar approach, offshoring asylum processing to Nauru and Christmas Island. It was a disaster, with horror stories of abuse, suicide and, at the end of it all, most applicants were approved. The cost? £5,277… per day.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 70 Comments

Welcome to my day: 11 April 2022 – they seek him here, they seek him there, that damned elusive Rishi Sunak…

So, who leaked the information that Rishi Sunak had retained a US Green Card up until last year? Or that his wife, Akshata Murty, was non-domiciled for tax purposes? Was it a Labour supporter within Downing Street, as originally suggested (unlikely but not impossible, I guess), or someone from the Number 10 dirty tricks team?

However the information has reached the public domain, it’s certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons. Conservative Home readers have put him in their bottom three in terms of approval ratings (+7.4%) which, given that he was second in August, with a net approval rating of +74.5%, is either a sign of how fickle Conservatives are, or that he’s a fairweather Chancellor, capable of looking generous when there’s little choice to be anything else, but poor when hard political choices are necessary. Actually, I’d suggest that it’s both.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 9 Comments

5 April 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Sunak to cash in £40 billion VAT windfall as families face cost of living crisis
  • Brand Putin’s armies and mercenaries as terrorists in response to atrocities

Sunak to cash in £40 billion VAT windfall as families face cost of living crisis

  • Rishi Sunak set to rake in an extra £38.6 billion in VAT over next four years due to soaring prices
  • Typical family to pay £430 more in VAT next year, on top of National Insurance rise coming into force today
  • Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey launches local election campaign with call to slash VAT and save struggling families £600

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to rake in an extra £38.6 billion in VAT over the next four years, as skyrocketing inflation leads to higher prices in the shops, official forecasts have revealed.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats shows this means a typical family will pay an estimated £430 more in VAT next year, compared to what they paid in 2021-22. The figures are taken from the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Posted in News and Press releases | Tagged , , , and | 6 Comments

4 April 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Conservative MPs must rediscover their moral compass and get rid of the PM
  • Conversion Therapy: Chaotic u-turns shredding UK’s reputation
  • Channel 4 privatisation is “trashing a uniquely British legacy”

Conservative MPs must rediscover their moral compass and get rid of the PM

Responding to government minister Simon Hart’s comments this morning that “the world has moved on” from partygate, Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine MP said:

These comments are an insult to every family that suffered in lockdown while Downing Street partied.

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have got something else coming if they think the public has moved on from this shameful scandal.

Boris Johnson broke the rules he asked us all to obey then repeatedly lied about it. Conservative MPs must rediscover their moral compass and get rid of him.

Posted in News and Press releases | Tagged , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Welcome (belatedly) to my day: 28 March 2022 – Let the People Sing?

I’m on my way back from an event at the University of Bradford, which might explain today’s very slow start today. And, for those of you who know Bradford, you’ll have recognised the picture. For those of you who don’t, the statue of J B Priestly stands in front of the National Science and Media Museum.

Universities have suffered rather badly under recent Conservative administrations. Brexit has impacted on students coming here via the Erasmus programme, and research has been impacted by arguments over our participation in the Horizon 2020 programme. Throw in the impact of culture warriors with blue rosettes, and it’s been difficult to balance budgets and attract talent from beyond our shores.

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Use bumper energy profits to scrap ‘grossly unfair’ energy bill postcode lottery

The Liberal Democrats have called for the scrapping of the regional differences in electricity and gas bills, which is seeing some households paying £124 more for their gas and electricity just because of where they live.

The UK is broken up into fourteen different pricing regions where it costs different amounts to get electricity and gas to people’s homes. This leads to people in the North of Scotland, Wales and South West England paying more for their gas and electricity bills than other parts of the country.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats shows that households in North Wales and Merseyside pay …

Posted in News and Press releases | Tagged and | 13 Comments

22 March 2022 – today’s press releases

  • HMICFRS report: Met police needs new leadership not stitch up by Johnson and Patel
  • Oligarch ditches UK mansions after government sanctions delay
  • Nationality and Borders Bill: A traffickers’ charter that will cause deaths in the Channel
  • Patel must stop her assault on British rights and freedoms

HMICFRS report: Met police needs new leadership not stitch up by Johnson and Patel

Responding to the report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) into corruption in the Met Police and the case of Daniel Morgan, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

This shocking report lays bare the ingrained culture of corruption and cover-up at the top of the Met. Police officers put themselves at risk every day to keep us safe, but they are being let down by poor leadership.

The Met urgently needs strong new leadership. Choosing the new Commissioner is too important to be a stitch up between Priti Patel and Boris Johnson – especially when Johnson is under criminal investigation by the Met himself.

The next Commissioner must be someone who will shake things up and stand up to government ministers – and that’s someone Johnson and Patel will never choose.

That’s why Liberal Democrats are calling for a cross-party confirmation vote by both Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee and London’s Police and Crime Committee, to stop the Government stitching up this crucial appointment.

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

Welcome to my day: 21 March 2022 – knee deep in broken crockery…

It is sometimes hard to appreciate just how broken our politics is. With a Government determined to remove or destroy all of the guard rails that protect us – independent supervision of our elections, an unbiased state broadcaster, limits on campaign spending that prevent the wealthy from buying their way to power – and seemingly able to lie without restraint or conscience about anything and everything, it is perhaps unsurprising that they seem capable of defying what we traditionally thought of as political gravity.

It is as though Wilkins Micawber was not only justified in his belief that “something would come along” but that it always did.

And now, a war somewhere far enough away to not risk our direct involvement but close enough to justify an effort to look relevant has come along just when the Conservative Party was breaking into mutually hostile factions over the lies and evasions of the Prime Minister over events at 10 Downing Street. It is an excuse to persuade us that a man who has had more chances than an English slip cordon puts down in an average year should be given another.

Posted in News | 19 Comments

17 March 2022 – today’s (other) press release

P&O Ferries: Govt must step in

Responding to the announcement of P&O Ferries laying off 800 workers with immediate effect, Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

Today’s underhanded action by P&O is an attack on workers. It is an absolute outrage.

This is simply not an acceptable way to treat employees and the government must step in urgently to help reduce tensions and bring people back to the table.

If the current owners cannot manage this company properly then the government needs to consider how a more responsible owner can be brought in.

Clearly the Conservatives also need to tighten up

Posted in News and Press releases | Tagged and | 17 Comments

16 March 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from Iran: At a dark time, this is joyful news
  • Jane Dodds: Aberpergwm Coal Mine Expansion Must be Stopped

Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from Iran: At a dark time, this is joyful news

Responding to the news that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman detained in Iran has now been released and is on her way back to the UK, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

At a dark time, this is joyful news for us all to celebrate. Members of the public, NGOs, Parliamentarians and, of course, Nazanin and Anoosheh’s families have campaigned tirelessly for their release – it now looks like they are finally coming home.

But it should not have taken years to reach this day – nearly six years in the case of Nazanin. We should never have been in the situation where UK nationals are being used as political bargaining chips. The UK Government has questions to answer for whether their actions, including those of the current Prime Minister, have prolonged this ordeal. I hope the Foreign Secretary will commit to an independent inquiry.

I’m sure many tears are set to be cried in the next twenty-four hours. But for once I hope they are tears of joy.

Jane Dodds: Aberpergwm Coal Mine Expansion Must be Stopped

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their opposition to the expansion of Aberpergwm Coal Mine in Neath Port Talbot Council. Addressing a protest in front of the Senedd Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds stated that if we are to stand any hope of tackling climate change before it’s too late, the coal must be left in the ground.

The protest in front of the Senedd in Cardiff saw multiple Welsh climate groups attend.

Posted in News and Press releases | Tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

15 March 2022 – today’s press release

New sanctions list: Shutting the door after the private jet has bolted

Responding to the government’s new expanded sanctions list of Russian individuals, coming almost three weeks since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

This is shutting the door after the private jet has bolted. The Government has finally got their act together – but we should have been in this position weeks ago. This delay has given Putin’s cronies a priceless window to firesale their assets.

Now we need to go further. There are still too many associates of Putin getting away with it

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

14 March 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Ministers losing track on Ukrainian refugee visa u-turns
  • Homes for Ukraine: Refugees still trapped in bureaucratic limbo
  • Economic Crime Bill: Lib Dems close ‘Oligarch Loophole’

Ministers losing track on Ukrainian refugee visa u-turns

Responding to Sajid Javid’s confusion this morning over a family reunion route for Ukrainian refugees, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

The Government has u-turned so many times over visas for Ukrainian refugees, it seems even its own Cabinet Ministers have lost track.

Three weeks on, it is unacceptable that the Home Office is still turning away desperate families fleeing Putin’s war, and snaring them in red tape at the border. It is shameful that even Ukrainians working in our NHS cannot bring family members to join them.

The Government must make one more u-turn, and allow any Ukrainian refugee to come to the UK without having to apply for a visa first.

Posted in News and Press releases | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments
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