Author Archives: Mark Valladares

20 September 2019 – yesterday’s press release

Umunna: Thornberry must withdraw Taliban remarks

Responding to the comments made by Emily Thornberry comparing the Liberal Democrats to the Taliban, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Chuka Umunna said:

Emily Thornberry should withdraw her inappropriate remarks. Language counts – comparing the Liberal Democrats to a murderous organisation is no laughing matter.

It is also grossly insulting to the 6 million people who signed the revoke Article 50 petition launched earlier this year, including many of the Shadow Cabinet’s constituents.

The Liberal Democrats are clear that every vote for us is a vote to stop Brexit.

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19 September 2019 – today’s press releases

Further education funding squeeze set to continue

Responding to today’s report published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, revealing that further education spending per student remains 7% lower than in 2010 in real terms, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran MP said:

Further education and sixth-form colleges have been left underfunded and unloved. Today’s report shows that the Conservatives’ one-off handout is far short of what is need to reverse historic cuts. Colleges teach more specialist subjects in smaller classes, so why do we pay them less per pupil than secondary schools?

Liberal Democrats demand better for our young people. That’s why,

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Musings on the Cinderella part of “tax and spend”

Unlike a lot of you, I was in the conference hall on Saturday morning for the debate on business tax. It was nice to see this issue being debated, but it is a reflection of political debate in general that the Hall was pretty quiet and that speakers cards were few in number. It seems that, for Liberal Democrats, as for politicians of other stripes, spending money is much more politically sexy than raising it.

The motion itself was relatively anodyne. Could anybody seriously contest the proposal that corporate taxation would benefit from simplification? Of course not. Would greater transparency of …

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10 September 2019 – the overnight press release

Parliament shutdown will not silence Lib Dem campaign to stop Brexit

Responding to Boris Johnson shutting down parliament, Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson said:

The Liberal Democrats, along with other opposition parties, voted against the Prime Minister’s election this evening. We will not allow him to use an election to sneak through a dangerous No Deal Brexit, for which he has no mandate.

We relish the chance to take on Boris Johnson in an election, but only once Article 50 has been extended. And thanks to cross-party legislation, the Prime Minister must request an extension to Article 50 rather than crash us

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9 September 2019 – today’s press release

Lib Dem Lords Leader boycotts Parliament shutdown

Today, Lib Dem Leader in the Lords, Dick Newby, and the Labour Lords Leader, Angela Smith, have refused to participate in the Royal Commission that will prorogue Parliament.

In addition to this, Liberal Democrat peers will boycott the House during the ceremony which shuts down Parliament.

Speaking ahead of the shutdown, Liberal Democrat Leader in the Lords, Dick Newby, said:

The attempt to shut down Parliament by Boris Johnson is authoritarian and anti-democratic. The fact that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom wants to silence the people and their representatives shows that Boris Johnson will pursue

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7-8 September 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

Swinson: Rudd resignation another blow to Boris Johnson

Responding to the news that Amber Rudd has quit both the cabinet and the Conservative Party, Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson said:

Amber Rudd’s resignation is yet another blow to Boris Johnson and his reckless plans to crash the country out of Europe without a deal. His disregard for the country’s interest and those who are meant to be his colleagues is symbolic of how broken our politics has become.

As this Government continues to decay, the need and urgency to stop Brexit cannot be clearer – we need a people’s vote with the option

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5-6 September 2019 – two days of press releases

Gosh, that’s embarrassing. Yesterday evening, I came home from a meeting of my County Association of Local Councils and felt the urge to both write it up for my blog and produce a report for my Parish Council and clean forgot about Liberal Democrat Voice. And so, you get a bumper(ish) edition at the end of what has been an utterly bewildering week…

  • Luciana Berger MP joins the Liberal Democrats (covered here)
  • Lib Dem membership rises to over 120,000
  • Bill to stop no-deal passes through the Lords
  • Lib Dem membership rises to over 120,000

    The Liberal Democrats have today announced that there are

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4 September 2019 – today’s press releases

Time to put Liberal Democrat Voice to bed for the night, unlike our Parliamentary Party in the Lords, who are preparing for a long night of voting to stop Conservatives filibustering.

It’s been a dramatic day in Westminster, although there seem to be no shortage of those these days. But the media operations continues regardless…

  • Kicking the can down the road will not prevent Windrush-style scandal for EU citizens
  • Lib Dems: We have a duty to stand with the people of Hong Kong
  • Davey slams Spending Review as “fantasy figures”
  • Jane Dodds delivers maiden speech in Parliament
  • PM cannot be allowed to use an election to

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3 September 2019 – today’s (other) press releases

Readers may have noticed that the news of Phillip Lee’s defection was fast-tracked onto our front page earlier this afternoon, but his dramatic move to the Liberal Democrat benches shouldn’t overshadow the good news story that was Jane Dodds’s arrival on our benches, especially given how many Liberal Democrat Voice readers lent a hand in Brecon and Radnorshire…

HS2 Should not be funded with a ‘blank cheque’

In response to reports that HS2 could be delayed for up to seven years, with an additional estimated cost of over £20bn, former Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:

It is shameful that the Conservative Government

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2 September 2019 – today’s (other) press releases

Leaked doc shows Govt has no answer to the Irish border question

Responding to the leaked civil service document showing the Government’s failure to come up with a viable alternative to the backstop, Liberal Democrat shadow Brexit secretary Tom Brake said:

As we continue to get closer to October 31st, with Boris Johnson attempting to shutdown our democracy, this leaked document rings alarm bells. It proves the Government has no deliverable solution to the Irish border, let alone being able to find one within the next few weeks.

The fact that in this document there is not a single option that can be

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Lib Dems sign cross-party Bill to stop no-deal

Today Liberal Democrat shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake has signed the cross-party Bill which, if passed, will force Boris Johnson to request a 3 month extension if Parliament has either not agreed a deal or agreed to no-deal by October 19th.

Following this, Tom Brake said:

This Bill provides the means to rule out a catastrophic no-deal Brexit. If passed, it will ensure that Boris Johnson has to seek an extension so that he cannot drag the country off the cliff edge.

The Liberal Democrats have been working with others to ensure that this Tory-created mess does not lead to us falling out

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3-6 September 2019 – next week in the Lords

Parliament resumes its Westminster based work this week after the Summer Recess, and whilst most people will be focusing on the drama at the Commons end of the building (and why wouldn’t they?), the Lords continues to exist on fairly slim pickings.

Tuesday sees one of those possibly unhelpful Oral Questions, from Conservative Peer, Lord Cormack, who will be asking about the powers available to recall Parliament during a prorogation in the event of a national or international crisis. It’s a good question, and it falls to either the Leader of the House, …

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31 August – 1 September 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

Good morning, readers, and welcome to the start of another week here at Liberal Democrat Voice! Some of you may have been wondering where this feature got to over August, and the simple answer is that I’ve been away visiting family and looking at glaciers (but not at the same time). And now I’m back…

Stop chasing unicorn Brexit deal

Responding to Michel Barnier rejecting Boris Johnson’s demands for the Irish backstop to be scrapped, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said;

Boris Johnson’s Brexit chaos is a national embarrassment. With just 60 days to go until we crash out of the

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3-4 August 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

Police should reduce fear, not create terror

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey has criticised Home Secretary Priti Patel as “out of touch” for her comments about the police making people “literally feel terror”.

Responding to Priti Patel’s interview with the Daily Mail, Ed Davey said:

The Liberal Democrats want many more police so they can catch criminals, prevent crime in the first place and work in our communities to help people feel safer – and it’s a shame Priti Patel didn’t back our campaign for more police these last four years.

Yet Priti Patel’s notion that making people terrified of the

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30 July 2019 – today’s press releases

Boris’ no-deal spells disaster for farmers

Commenting on Boris Johnson’s visit to Wales today, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:

It would appear that Conservative aides have finally dusted off a map, given Boris Johnson the nametag for their candidate and pointed him to Brecon and Radnorshire.

This last minute quickdash visit is symbolic of just how much the Conservatives have taken local people for granted.

People deserve better than the Tories’ half baked plan to crash the UK out of the EU without a deal and thereby lumping farmers with an eye watering 40% tariff on Welsh lamb.

By voting Liberal Democrat on

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29 July 2019 – today’s press release

Swinson: Sturgeon and Johnson have more in common than they realise

Commenting on Boris Johnson’s visit to Glasgow today, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson warned against the divisions profered by the new PM and SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon.

Jo said:

The best way to strengthen the United Kingdom is to stop Brexit.

Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson have more in common than they realise. Both are failing to listen to Scotland with their respective ideological pursuits of independence and Brexit.

When it comes to working with our closest neighbours, we have been clear: our future is best served with a

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27-28 July 2019 – the weekend’s press release

The people of Sheffield Hallam can send a powerful message for change

Responding to the news that Jared O’Mara will resign as the MP for Sheffield Hallam, Liberal Democrat PPC for Sheffield Hallam Laura Gordon said:

By resigning Jared is doing the right thing – both for himself and his constituents.

People in Sheffield will now get their chance to have their say, both on Boris Johnson’s dangerous Conservative Government and on Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to provide effective opposition at a time of national crisis.

This by-election can send a powerful message for change and the Lib Dems ready for the challenge.

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20-21 July 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

Conservative Party reminded of Brexit realities

Commenting on Simon Coveney’s interview on the Andrew Marr Show, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

The Irish Deputy Prime Minister has reminded the Conservative party of the realities of Brexit today.

There will be no changes to the backstop and the fantasy of GATT 24 has been expunged once again.

The Conservatives must not be allowed to waste any more time to push the country ever closer to No Deal Brexit. Parliament must show that the only real way forward is a People’s Vote with an option to remain in the EU.

Hammond must join fight

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19 July 2019 – live from Brecon, today’s press releases…

  • Lib Dems bring forward legislation to protect EU citizens
  • Lib Dems: Govt must provide urgent clarity on teachers’ pay
  • Lib Dem legislation to protect victims of crime passes second reading
  • Davey: Govt must fund police pay rise
  • Umunna slams economically incompetent Tories
  • Swinson: This is a time for cool heads in the Gulf

Lib Dems bring forward legislation to protect EU citizens

Today, the Liberal Democrats have brought forward a bill to safeguard EU citizens’ rights.

The Bill brought forward by Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates would provide a guarantee that, regardless of the outcome of Brexit, the rights of EU citizens and other EEA nationals living in …

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19 July 2019 – the overnight press releases

Lib Dems: Funding uncertainty for schools and colleges must stop

Responding to the publication of today’s report by the Education Select Committee, which calls on the Government to commit to a 10-year, multi-billion cash injection for schools and colleges, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

Over the past few years, our schools and colleges have been cut to the bone, as funding levels failed to keep up with spiralling costs and increased pupil numbers.

Teachers have been forced to buy resources out of their own pockets, teaching assistants have been let go, and tens of schools have been shutting their

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18 July 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

There was a bit of a glitch yesterday, as the press releases ended up in my spam folder for some reason. Things seem to be back to normal, so the usual service resumes here…

  • Welsh Lib Dems – time to embrace zero-carbon housing
  • Lib Dems: EU resolution a vital step in UK’s duty to stand up for people of Hong Kong
  • Davey demands urgent action as knife crime epidemic continues to spread
  • Umunna: OBR report shows No Deal Brexit would be unforgivable
  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s ‘fishy tales’ have no plaice in Number Ten
  • Lib Dems: Milestone victory to block no-deal
  • Gauke talks the talk but can’t walk

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17 July 2019 – today’s press releases

May’s Govt has treated victims of child trafficking appallingly

Following reports that hundreds of child trafficking victims have been refused the right to stay in the UK, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

Theresa May said that modern slavery is the greatest human rights issue of our time, but these revelations show that her government has treated victims appallingly.

The Government has a clear moral obligation to support children who have been trafficked to this country and held in slavery. The Conservatives’ failure shames our whole country.

The Liberal Democrats demand better protections for vulnerable people. Anyone who has

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16 July 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Umunna: Ministers asleep at the wheel in the face of online shopping time bomb
  • New Lib Dem leader to hold Brexit talks with Barnier
  • Lib Dems: New PM must not delay Domestic Abuse Bill

Umunna: Ministers asleep at the wheel in the face of online shopping time bomb

The introduction of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) will lead to two-factor authentication for all online purchases. The aim of this is to cut down on fraud and improve digital security, however the Government have failed to both support retailers or inform consumers about this change.

Furthermore, it is estimated that around 2 million people do not have …

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16 July 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems: Govt must stop inaction to protect British farmers and the planet

Responding to the RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission report outlining a transition to a more sustainable food system and a new deal for the rural economy, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael, said:

Farming has a vital role to play in tackling the climate emergency and reversing the tragic loss of biodiversity. This report presents tangible steps to help transform our farming industry to one that works with the environment to produce sustainable, healthy food for the future.

Farmers must be placed at the heart of

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15 July 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Law Centre closures show legal aid cuts have gone too far
  • Lib Dems: Honouring Turing ‘a painful reminder’
  • US trade deal delay more evidence of Brexit false promises
  • Home Office accused of deliberately lying to deport slavery victims

Law Centre closures show legal aid cuts have gone too far

Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Jonathan Marks QC has called on the Conservative Government to reverse £500 million of legal aid cuts, as new figures showing that the number of legal advice centres has halved since 2014.

The figures, reported by the Guardian today, show that the number of Law Centres in England and Wales has fallen …

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13-14 July 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

FSB no-deal warning reinforces Tory irresponsibility

Responding to the warning this morning on Sky from the Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Mike Cherry, that a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous for small businesses in the UK, Liberal Democrat Business and Treasury spokesperson Chuka Umunna MP said:

The uncertainty of Brexit hangs over all businesses in the UK. Small businesses spent millions preparing for the UK’s exit from the EU on the 29th March this year, but they do not have the resources to do so again.

The Conservatives have failed to put the interests of the country ahead of the

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12 July 2019 – today’s press release

Pro-Trump PM could damage relations with Iran

Commenting on the escalating situation in the Gulf, Liberal Democrat Defence Spokesperson Jamie Stone MP said:

We must not allow the next Prime Minister to blindly follow Trump into a volatile anti-Iranian coalition.

It has become increasingly clear that Boris Johnson’s plans for a “global Britain” are just for the UK to be the lapdog of the US.

The EU have been principled and clear in standing firm on the Iranian nuclear deal, which Trump so petulantly tore up. Liberal Democrats will continue to urge the Conservative government, regardless of who the next PM is,

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11 July 2019 – today’s press release

Lib Dems: Appoint more female and BAME judges

The Liberal Democrats have called for clear “targets with teeth” for improving judicial diversity, as new figures show that just 7% of court judges are BAME and 32% are women.

The statistics, published today by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and the Senior President of Tribunals, show that:

Of the 39 Court of Appeal judges, only 9 (23%) are women and just 2 (6%) are BAME.
Of the 97 High Court judges, only 26 (27%) are women and just 3 (3%) are BAME.
Of all 3,210 court judges, only 1,013 (32%) are …

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10 July 2019 – today’s press releases

Tories must follow Welsh govt in gender neutral school uniforms move

Welcoming the decision by the Welsh government to make school uniforms accessible and gender neutral, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said:

It is great news that children in Wales will be able to wear affordable, gender neutral school uniforms. I am proud of the role my colleague Liberal Democrat Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams has played in securing this progressive change.

The Conservative government must now take this step into the twenty-first century. Dictating what children wear because of their gender is outdated and harmful.

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10 July 2019 – the overnight press releases

Lib Dems: Govt squandering progress on climate change

Responding to the Climate Change Committee’s 2019 Progress Report to Parliament – detailing how the UK Government is “lagging far behind, what is needed” to meet the old climate change targets, let alone the new net-zero emissions target for 2050 – Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

This report shows that this Conservative Government is all talk and no action when it comes to climate change. They’re off-track, but instead of reversing their most damaging decisions such as effectively banning on-shore wind, slashing subsidies to solar power and scrapping the zero-carbon

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  • User AvatarDennis Wake 18th Oct - 1:09pm
    nigel hunter: Most farmers voted for Brexit so if farms go out of business whose fault is that ? There might be a lot of...
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    Great to see so many people coming out in support of Mark. Couldn't agree more, especially on the issue of focus. We deserve a full-time...
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    John Marriott, any successful democracy makes not only good use of - it also maximises - its solution space. Brexiters have convinced you that only...
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    It's becoming clearer by the minute that Boris Johnson's deal is just a steam roller approach to deliver on his mandate to those who elected...
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    BBC tv Brexitcast reported on the Financial Times (£) findings 318 MPs in favour Belfast Newsletter headline "A Great Betrayal"
  • User AvatarNasser Butt 18th Oct - 11:58am
    Jo, Ed & Team Above all else, remember to focus on our core objective in the next few days.... Turn down the deal; Brexit Extention;...