Author Archives: Mark Valladares

17 November 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems begin legal challenge against BBC for Swinson exclusion

The Liberal Democrats have instructed a legal team to write to the BBC in response to the public service broadcaster excluding Jo Swinson from their election ‘leaders’ debate’.

In the letter, the party’s lawyers warn that the exclusion of one of the leaders of the three main UK-wide national parties is “clearly unlawful”.

President of the Liberal Democrats, Sal Brinton, has said “voters of this country deserve to hear from a Remainer on the debate stage, not just from the two men who want to deliver Brexit.”

The Liberal Democrats have …

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16 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems announce proposals to fix broken immigration system
  • Lib Dems demand internal Tory enquiry amidst electoral fraud allegations
  • Bolton fire shows further action must be taken to ensure building safety

Lib Dems announce proposals to fix broken immigration system

The Liberal Democrats today unveiled their Plan for Immigration and Asylum. The plan sets out the party’s ambitious proposals for a fair, effective immigration system – part of the Liberal Democrats’ broader plan to build a brighter future.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto will outline plans to reform and strengthen our immigration system by:

  • Saving EU free movement and safeguarding the rights of UK and EU

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16 November 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems announce plans to plant 60 million trees a year
  • Lib Dems: EU staff crucial to our NHS

Lib Dems announce plans to plant 60 million trees a year

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson will plant a tree in Hampstead today (Saturday 16 November), as the party announces ambitious proposals to undertake the largest tree-planting programme in UK history. A Liberal Democrat government will plant 60 million trees every year, increasing UK forest cover by 1 million hectares by 2045.

Just 13% of the UK is currently covered by woodland, far below the European Union average of 35%. The Conservatives …

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15 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Another unaffordable item on Labour’s wish list
  • Swinson responds to Tommy Robinson backing Boris Johnson

Lib Dems: Another unaffordable item on Labour’s wish list

Responding to Labour’s plans to part-nationalise BT, Sam Gyimah, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:

It might be a Christmas election, but this is getting silly. Another day, another unaffordable item on the wish list.

Wasting billions of taxpayer funds to nationalise BT, won’t solve the connectivity issues faced by so many of our rural communities. The Labour plan is less open-reach, more overreach.

Liberal Democrats recognise the need for every

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Manufacturing exporters count cost of Brexit uncertainty

Responding to reports that many manufacturing exporters are reporting a “stark worsening” in sales and orders, Sam Gyimah, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:

This is yet more bad news for manufacturing exporters in the UK. There can be no doubt that the three and half years of Brexit uncertainty has done untold damage to our economy. Today we continue to count the cost of this ongoing crisis.

Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal promises more insecurity, more delay and more decline. Meanwhile Labour are planning their own disastrous form of Brexit.

A Liberal Democrat government will stop

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15 November 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

  • Tories pushing ‘Trumpian agenda’ on immigration
  • Lib Dems: Record waiting times show Tories “dismal record” on NHS
  • Tusk comments show there is “light at the end of the tunnel” for Remainers
  • Tories pushing ‘Trumpian agenda’ on immigration

    Responding to Priti Patel’s comments regarding cutting overall levels of immigration, Liberal Democrats Shadow Home Affairs spokesperson, Christine Jardine said:

    This country needs people to come here to keep our NHS and so many sectors properly skilled and staffed. The Conservatives’ approach to immigration is an insult to the millions who have come to the UK and made it their home. Immigration brings so much to our

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14 November 2019 – yesterday’s overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems unveil plan for Equalities and Human Rights
  • Lib Dems: Spiralling class sizes shows brutal impact of Conservative cuts
  • Lib Dems: Reforming Gender Recognition Act can’t wait (see here)

Lib Dems unveil plan for Equalities and Human Rights

The Liberal Democrats will today (Thursday 14 November) unveil the party’s Plan for Equalities and Human Rights. The plan is at the heart of the party’s vision to build a brighter future for everyone.

The ambitious policies being revealed at a press conference today by Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna include:

  • tackling the rise in hate crimes by making them all aggravated offences
  • providing funding for protective

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13 November 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Tesla announcement demolishes Johnson’s Brexit fantasy
  • Jane Dodds: Our benefits system is broken
  • Wollaston: Farage voting Tory shows Johnson has drifted to extremes

Lib Dems: Tesla announcement demolishes Johnson’s Brexit fantasy

Responding to the announcement that Tesla will be investing in a new factory in Germany and not the UK due to Brexit uncertainty, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake:

On Boris Johnson’s first day in Downing Street, Dominic Cummings was pictured wearing a T- shirt picturing a company founded by Elon Musk. Now the very entrepreneur Cummings idolises has chosen not to invest

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13 November 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Food bank rise the result of brutal Tory cuts to universal credit
  • Lib Dems: We must end Tory erosion of local government
  • Lib Dems to invest £500 million in youth services to help tackle knife crime

Food bank rise the result of brutal Tory cuts to universal credit

Responding to data from the Trussell Trust which shows April to September 2019 to be the busiest half-year period for food banks in their network since the charity opened, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for the Department for Work and Pensions, Tim Farron said:

The UK remains one of the world’s richest countries, yet for six months of

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12 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Refusal to publish Russian interference shows Johnson morphing into Trump
  • Gyimah: Labour plans fail meet the needs of working people
  • Lib Dems set out plans to strengthen support for survivors of violence and abuse
  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s speech shows he is misleading voters again
  • Lib Dems: Selection of Chris Davies shows Tories’ contempt for voters

Refusal to publish Russian interference shows Johnson morphing into Trump

Following the reports that Hillary Clinton has said it is “inexplicable and shameful” that the UK government has not yet published a report on alleged Russian interference in British politics, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Chuka Umunna said:

No-one knows the extent

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12 November 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Liberal Democrats pledge to invest in flood defences
  • Jane Dodds to Unveil Lib Dem Plan for a Brighter Future
  • Corbyn can’t afford lifelong learning if he doesn’t stop Brexit

Liberal Democrats pledge to invest in flood defences

The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to create a £5bn flood prevention and adaptation fund.

As the world grapples with a climate emergency, the Tories are turning their backs on communities most at risk by failing to provide adequate flood defences. The Tory’s Brexit agenda risks the UK losing access to vital EU funds for improving flood defences and flood relief. This would starve local communities of …

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11 November 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Gwynne’s comments reveal Labour’s hand on Brexit
  • British Steel takeover an ‘alarm bell’ for Tories’ Brexit Britain
  • Lib Dems: Brexit to blame for ‘anaemic’ economic growth
  • Davey: Conservatives and Brexit party are now one and the same
  • Lib Dems file proceedings at High Court for judicial review of ITV debate
  • ERG and Brexit Party talks show Farage is now pulling the strings

Lib Dems: Gwynne’s comments reveal Labour’s hand on Brexit

Responding to comments by Labour’s Campaign Coordinator, Andrew Gwynne, that Labour would seek to create “reciprocal agreements with the EU27 that allow British citizens to enjoy some of the freedoms that they will …

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11 November 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems to create ambitious £10,000 Skills Wallet for every adult
  • Lib Dems: Tories making social care crisis even worse

Lib Dems to create ambitious £10,000 Skills Wallet for every adult

The Liberal Democrats have set out their vision for a “new era of learning throughout life” with the creation of an ambitious Skills Wallet. This will give every adult £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives.

A Liberal Democrat Government will put £4,000 into people’s ‘Skills Wallet’ at 25, £3,000 at 40 and another £3,000 at 55. The grants have been designed to encourage saving towards the costs of …

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9-10 November 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

That’s rather embarrassing, in that I managed to fall asleep mid-edit. So, time to catch up…

  • Lib Dems respond to Conservative announcement on GP appointments
  • Lib Dems: Boris Johnson should call Cobra meeting over flooding emergency
  • Labour People’s Vote promise rings hollow – Lib Dems
  • Labour People’s Vote promise rings hollow – Lib Dems
  • Lib Dems: Manifestos must receive OBR scrutiny

Lib Dems respond to Conservative announcement on GP appointments

Responding to the Conservative Party’s announcement today on GP appointments, Luciana Berger, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, said:

This latest Tory announcement isn’t offering any real solutions to the current

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A quick canter through some Taxpayers’ Alliance polling

I’ve spent the last two days being less than warm towards the Taxpayers’ Alliance, but even where I doubt the sincerity of their aims in the generality, the data they produce is nonetheless in that it tells you much about the voters you are trying to convince. And yes, whether or not you can come up with a persuasive argument to reflect their wishes, or if you even want to, you still need to understand their motivation. So, here are some of my personal highlights…

Reducing the basic rate of corporation tax from 19% to 12.5%, the same level as Ireland

Those …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 8 Comments

9 November 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems respond to NEU schools league table

A new NEU league table reveals that Boris Johnson’s funding plans will see 83% of schools receiving less money per pupil in April 2020, in real terms, than they received in 2015.

Responding to the report, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Education Layla Moran said:

These figures reveal how the Conservatives are failing the next generation. Schools are already struggling to cope with catastrophic budget cuts, with headteachers having to ask parents for donations for basic resources like paper and textbooks. This chronic underfunding is only set to get worse, denying children up and down

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8 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: If the PM thinks NI deal is so good – why doesn’t the rest of the UK have it?
  • Lib Dems: BBC now complicit in establishment stitch-up to exclude Remain voice

Lib Dems: If the PM thinks NI deal is so good – why doesn’t the rest of the UK have it?

Responding to comments made by Boris Johnson that Northern Ireland has got a great deal by keeping access to the Single Market and free movement, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

The Single Market and freedom of movement are a great deal – even Boris Johnson

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Some thoughts on taxation, as inspired by the Taxpayers’ Alliance…

Yesterday, I wrote slightly cynically about an approach from those lovely people at the Taxpayers’ Alliance. But, you know, they’re entitled to their view, even if they’re highly unlikely to admit who funds their research and their interest in seeing key tax rates lowered (the answer being, probably not people like you, gentle reader…). But I did promise to take a look at their findings, and thus give you an opportunity to comment.

But, before I do, here are some base statistics from their research;

  • 40% of respondents stated that they were “relatively comfortable financially”
  • 9% stated that they were “very comfortable

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 32 Comments

8 November 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • UK family of nations must work together to stop Brexit
  • Jardine: The Tories visa plan is a tax on nurses

UK family of nations must work together to stop Brexit

Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson will tomorrow make the case to Remain voters in Scotland to back the Liberal Democrats to protect Scotland’s place at the heart of the EU, as she visits North East Fife as part of her Leader’s Tour of the UK.

Jo Swinson will be visiting Crafty Maltsters Farm in Auchtermuchty alongside Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie. Speaking ahead of the visit, Jo Swinson said:

Voters in Scotland who despair

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7 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems are the party of real change, not Labour
  • Davey: OBR pulling public finances forecast “smacks of political interference”
  • Unite to Remain agreement will deliver Remain MPs across England and Wales
  • Davey: Tories and Labour writing promises on cheques that will bounce
  • UK growth prospects suffer as a result of Tory Brexit chaos
  • Brake: Labour offers nothing to the millions of people who voted Remain

Lib Dems are the party of real change, not Labour

Ahead of Labour’s unveiling of the slogan ‘it’s time for real change’ on their campaign bus, Chuka Umunna, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Foreign Affairs, said:

Jeremy Corbyn’s claim to

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We’ve had an e-mail from the Taxpayers’ Alliance…

Naturally, here at Liberal Democrat Voice, we receive a great many approaches from individuals and organisations, inviting us to publish something from them on our site. Many of them are the usual spam, telling us how wonderful the site is, how much they enjoy it and that an article on property renovation is exactly what our readers would most need. Oddly, we tend to ignore most of them so, if you’re one of those people, and you are reading this, please stop.

Yesterday, we had an e-mail from a (presumably) young man at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, headed;

New polling from the TaxPayers’ Alliance shows tax cuts are key to winning working class votes

I can almost hear you thinking, “Well, there’s a surprise!”. But I’m a generous soul, and so I responded, noting that, whilst the polling appeared to quite conclusively demonstrate that voters want to pay less tax, there didn’t seem to have been much effort to spell out the consequences, i.e. more tax in other areas or cuts to public services. The (probably charming) young man replied by saying that their methodology was the same as the NHS spending polling over the summer – and the recent Oxfam/Tax Justice UK poll from September on wealth taxes – i.e. they had tested propositions, not the implications of each proposition.

You may conclude, as I did, that he hadn’t really answered the question. And so, gentle reader, I turned down his offer to write something for us.

However, the polling is, in itself, interesting, if only to know how voters think when the consequences of the offer before them are not signposted. Here are the highlights as suggested by the Taxpayers’ Alliance;

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7 November 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems: Javid has more in common with the Labour party than he thinks

Speaking ahead of Sajid Javid’s speech tomorrow, Liberal Democrat shadow Chancellor and Deputy Leader, Ed Davey said:

The most significant economic policy divide in this election is between Brexit economics and Remain economics. The uncomfortable truth for Javid is that the Conservatives and Corbyn actually agree on Brexit.

Brexit, whether red or blue, will be disastrous for Britain, threatening businesses and livelihoods right across the country.

And the Conservatives and Labour also both want significant shifts in the direction of Britain’s economic policy – one to

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6 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Missed budget shows extent of Tories’ Brexit mess
  • Lib Dems: Swinson visiting businesses, while Johnson’s Brexit damages their prospects
  • Lib Dems enter into historic arrangement to elect Remain MPs

Lib Dems: Missed budget shows extent of Tories’ Brexit mess

Today was the intended date of Sajid Javid’s first Budget as Chancellor. Responding to this, Liberal Democrat shadow Chancellor and Deputy Leader Ed Davey said:

Today should’ve been the Conservative’s budget day, but if anything, the fact it’s not happening shows that the Conservative Party are not fit for office.

The mess they have got us into, with Boris Johnson’s ridiculous do or die promise

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4 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Trump and Johnson are two peas in a pod
  • Lib Dems: Tory Gower candidate should be removed
  • Blocking intelligence report undermines the democratic process

Trump and Johnson are two peas in a pod

Responding to President Trump’s comments that Boris Johnson was “the right man for the time” and he should “come together” with Nigel Farage, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Chuka Umana said:

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are just two peas in a pod. They have the same old right wing, nationalist politics. No wonder the President is falling over himself to find an opportunity to endorse Johnson.

With his desperation to please

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2-3 November 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Lib Dems lodge election debate complaint with ITV
  • Lib Dems: Dithering Labour leadership shows they’re not fit for office
  • Lib Dems: Labour have no plan to tackle the climate emergency
  • Election debates should be set independently – Liberal Democrats

Lib Dems lodge election debate complaint with ITV

The Liberal Democrats have lodged a formal complaint to ITV for excluding Jo Swinson from their election debate and warned “failing to have Liberal Democrats in the debate is misrepresenting the current political reality.”

In a letter to ITV Chief Executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, the President of the Liberal Democrats Sal Brinton said “voters of this country deserve …

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1 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Farage warns Tories of Lib Dem General Election threat
  • Trickett’s comments show Labour are a Brexit party
  • Swinson: Liberal Democrats can win in seats we have never won in before
  • Lib Dems: Johnson and Corbyn running scared of Swinson

Farage warns Tories of Lib Dem General Election threat

Commenting on the Brexit Party’s campaign launch, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Ed Davey said:

Nigel Farage is correct that the Conservative Party should be very worried about the Liberal Democrats in this election. We are the strongest national party of Remain and we are ready to take the fight to Boris Johnson as well as Jeremy Corbyn.

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31 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future.
  • Brexit hinders growth in green, clean cars
  • Davey: Labour’s spending plans “can’t be squared with the cost of Brexit”
  • Self-harm and assaults in prisons preventing rehabilitation
  • Lib Dems: Donald Trump and Boris Johnson both unfit for office

Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future.

Today, Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats are launching their slogan for the General Election campaign: Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future, alongside a campaign poster launch.

This election is a once in a generation opportunity to reshape our politics, and give hope to the millions of people who want a fairer, brighter future.

The Liberal Democrats’ slogan reflects a positive …

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ALDE Party Congress – the Bureau election results

The election results were announced as the final item of business for the Congress, and were as follows;

President

  • Hans van Baalen

Vice-Presidents

  • Ilhan Kyuchyuk (Bulgaria)
  • Annelou van Egmond (D’66, Netherlands)
  • Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (FDP, Germany)
  • Daniel Berg (Momentum, Hungary)
  • Sal Brinton (Liberal Democrats, UK)
  • Timmy Dooley (Fianna Fáil, Ireland)

Congratulations to them all.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged and | 1 Comment

ALDE Party Congress – Margrethe Vestager on the opportunities and threats of the Digital Age

There was serious talk in some quarters of Margrethe Vestager as a credible compromise candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, and whilst that didn’t come to pass, the former Commissioner for Competition, and scourge of monopolists everywhere, gained a key role in the new, incoming Commission, that of coordinating the whole agenda on a Europe fit for the digital age, whilst retaining her former responsibilities for competition.

Her speech here in Athens was an interesting one, and offers a flavour of how she sees her new portfolio…

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ALDE Party Congress – Boris Johnson’s best friend speaks…

Even for those whose interest in, and knowledge of, European politics is limited, the identity of the Prime Minister of Luxembourg recently became rather better known after a recent intervention in the Brexit debate.

Xavier Bettel is here in Athens, and was one of the speakers at the opening of the Congress. Here’s what he had to say…

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , and | 7 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 14th Dec - 9:17pm
    I like what Laura said on Any Questions.
  • User AvatarPeter 14th Dec - 9:15pm
    @Roland, more apologies for not revisiting this thread sooner. Forgive me if I try to give an overview rather than bits and pieces of answers....
  • User AvatarDavid Warren 14th Dec - 9:14pm
    What @TonyGreaves said!
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 14th Dec - 9:04pm
    " Mark Pack is a member of the Federal Board and editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire. He is NOT a candidate for Party President" He...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 14th Dec - 8:48pm
    I think this is the 16th General Election I have been politically involved with. I think our campaign, given the circumstances of them all, has...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 14th Dec - 8:38pm
    So sort of 20%+ turnout. Says something about the way the party does things nowadays.
Tue 7th Jan 2020