Author Archives: News Meerkat

Alex Cole-Hamilton calls for Scottish election

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Responding to the resignation of Humza Yousaf as First Minister, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

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Another chief constable makes a formal apology to the LGBT+ community #ApologiseNow

The Peter Tatchell Foundation, a registered charity, is running a campaign called “#ApologiseNow” which has this petition statement:

Demand all UK police services apologise for their past persecution of the LGBT+ community: raiding bars, clubs, saunas and even private birthday parties. Plus, officers arrested same-sex couples for mere kissing, cuddling and holding hands, and they abused LGBTs as ‘poofs’ & ‘queers’.

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Daisy Cooper’s speech in the Tobacco and Vapes Bill debate

Here is the full speech from Daisy Cooper this afternoon, in the debate on the Tobacco and Vapes Bill in the House of Commons. Daisy is Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health and Social Care and our Deputy Leader:

First, I want to put on record my thanks to the public health Minister the right hon. Member for South Northamptonshire (Dame Andrea Leadsom) and the chief medical officer Sir Chris Whitty, who spent time answering my questions and those of some of my colleagues. It was a very collegiate exercise and I am grateful to the right hon. Lady. It would be good to see more of that.

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Westminster ‘Honeytrapper’ targetted MPs at LibDem conference in Bournemouth – via Grindr

Politico reports that the “honeytrapper” implicated in the Westminster scandal actually tried to target LibDem MPs at our last Bournemouth conflict. No, this is not an April Fool’s joke.

“I was at the bar at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott ,” recalls an attendee at Lib Dem conference. He saw a message on gay dating app Grindr from a handsome man in a Levi’s T-shirt. “M – xl” said he was 28 — and that his name was Charlie.

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Ed Davey: “The Lib Dems and Labour aren’t fighting each other”

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There’s a very interesting article over on the New Statesman website. George Eaton writes on his interview with Ed Davey.

The article covers a variety of fascinating topics – how many seats the LibDems will win the general election, working with other parties, the chances of Reform UK, Keir Starmer, John Rawls, the Orange Book, the Post Office scandal, and where the LibDems sit on the political spectrum:

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Scottish cancer waiting times amongst some of the worst ever

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today warned the SNP Government that its new cancer strategy risks “becoming meaningless” as new figures show that waiting times for cancer treatment are amongst some of the worst ever.

Public Health Scotland figures reveal that in the quarter ending 31st December 2023, only 71.1% of patients were treated within the target of 62 days from referral. This is a mere 2% increase from when figures were at their worst ever level in the quarter ending 31st March 2023, when just 69.4% were seen within the standard.

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Layla Moran urges Cleverly to think again ahead of China visit

This week’s Government meeting with China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs will be the first visit of any UK Foreign Secretary to China in five years.

Commenting on James Cleverly’s planned visit to Beijing on Wednesday, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Layla Moran said:

James Cleverly should think again about whether this is the signal the UK should be sending out.

At this very moment China is perpetrating genocidal crimes against the Uyghurs, increasing aggressive activity towards Taiwan, and pursuing illegal bounties against Hong Kong pro-democracy activists in our country.

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IPCC on Climate Change: Act now or it’s too late

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The Synthesis report of Sixth Assessment of the International Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was published yesterday.

This is a open thread for you to give your views on this report, which you can read in full here.

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Northern Ireland deal – it shouldn’t have taken the Tories years to get to this point

As the Prime Minister “sells” the Northern Ireland protocol deal, promising to tough out DUP criticism, the Liberal Democrats have responded:

There is this interesting comment from columnist Will Hutton:

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‘Rishi Sunak has failed the people by ignoring calls for a windfall tax’

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Attribution: Stan ShebsThe Guardian reports:

BP has scaled back its climate ambitions as it announced that annual profits more than doubled to $28bn (£23bn) in 2022 after a sharp increase in gas prices linked to the Ukraine war boosted its earnings.

In a move that will anger campaigners, the oil and gas giant cut its emissions pledge and plans a greater production of oil and gas over the next seven years compared with previous targets.

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Borrowing figures: The Government have no economic competence left

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The Office for National Statistics has announced that “Public sector borrowing in December 2022 was £27.4 billion, the highest December figure since monthly records began in January 1993”.

Responding to the new, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

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Lib Dem analysis shows 350,000 patients waiting over 12 hours for a hospital bed in 2022

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A record 350,000 patients, equivalent to the population of Leicester, waited more than 12 hours to be admitted to hospital from A&E in 2022.

The figures were uncovered in new analysis by the Liberal Democrats showing a staggering rise in 12 hour delays at A&E since 2015.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has set out an NHS rescue plan to reduce the shocking A&E delays which he warned are “needlessly costing lives”. This includes recruiting 8,000 more GPs, giving pharmacists more powers to prescribe medicines and boosting funding to get eligible patients out of hospital and into social care. The proposals would mean fewer desperate people turning to A&E after struggling to get a GP appointment.

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“Cynical” move to block Scotland’s Gender Recognition Bill

The Guardian reports:

Rishi Sunak’s government has blocked legislation passed by the Scottish parliament that would make Scotland the first part of the UK to introduce a self-identification system for people who want to change gender.

The Scottish secretary, Alister Jack, announced that he would use section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998 for the first time to halt the gender recognition bill after a review by UK government lawyers.

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London ambulances to stop waiting: Major incident must be declared

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Responding to a leaked email revealing London Ambulance Service crews will now only wait 45 minutes at hospitals before handing over patients due to the current NHS crisis, the Liberal Democrats have called for a major incident to be declared across London.

Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

“This move shows the shocking reality of the NHS crisis and is yet further proof that a major incident must now be declared across London.

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LibDems highlight people turning to DIY healthcare in NHS crisis

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The LibDems have received widespread media coverage, including in the Guardian and Times, after highlighting that people are turning to DIY medicine because they can’t get a GP appointment.

The Guardian report says:

Almost one in four people have bought medicine online or at a pharmacy to treat their illness after failing to see a GP face to face, according to a UK survey underlining the rise of do-it-yourself treatment.

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Daisy Cooper on the “Zoom parliament”

Daisy Cooper features prominently in a Guardian article about four new MPs and parliament during the Covid restrictions.

Daisy comments:

For a long time we were a Zoom parliament, which means you don’t bump into people in the corridors, or in the tea room or in the voting lobbies. But that is starting to develop now.

Fellow MP Amy Callaghan says:

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Ed Davey – Clean up our air to save lives

On a recent visit to Watford, Ed Davey unveiled the Liberal Democrats’ proposals for a £20billion Community Clean Air fund – part of the party’s £150 billion Green Economic Recovery Plan.

With air pollution causing 40,000 early deaths a year and transport now the country’s biggest source of carbon emissions, the Fund would enable Councils and communities to tackle this and spearhead a local transport revolution

New light rail and tram projects, conversion of bus fleets to hydrogen energy and new council-led clean air zones are three key parts of the plan.

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Despite Covid, the Guardian predicts “no escape” from the Lib Dem disco

The Guardian sketch writer, John Crace, gives a witty mention to our beloved disco in his parliamentary sketch this morning:

A return to normal: 21 June. There would be no escape for those hoping to avoid the disco night at the Lib Dem party conference.

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Jamie Stone MP on the biggest trouble he has ever been in

This is worth a view:

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Siobhan Benita slams London Mayor’s mass surveillance roll-out as a real risk to civil liberties

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Responding to the Metropolitan Police’s announcement on Thursday that it will begin to use automated facial recognition surveillance operationally, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London Siobhan Benita said:

It is unacceptable for a new form of mass surveillance like this to be rolled out onto London’s streets without proper consultation, regulation or oversight.

Facial recognition technology is hopelessly inaccurate. It is biased against women and ethnic minorities. The evidence that it will make us safer is patchy at best, but there is a real risk that it will erode civil liberties and increase distrust and discrimination.

To make London safer we must restore effective community policing, starting with the re-opening of local police stations, which the current Mayor has shut down.

Liberal Democrats do not want London to become a city where innocent people feel as though their every movement is being watched. The fact that Sadiq Khan has given the go-ahead for this undermines his recent claim to share our liberal values.

If Londoners want a liberal mayor with a positive vision for a safer, greener, kinder capital, their best option is me.

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Tim Pickstone named Mayor of Bury

Bury Town Hall
Many congratulations to Tim Pickstone on being named as the next Mayor of Bury, in Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Tim leads Bury Council’s four Lib Dem councillors. There are 29 Labour, 16 Conservative and two Independent councillors. So Tim’s election is a sign of the respect in which councillors of other parties hold him.

Bury Times reports:

HOLYROOD ward councillor Tim Pickstone has been named as the next Mayor of Bury.

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Ed Davey announces new Liberal Democrat front bench team in the House of Commons

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, has today announced the new Lib Dem team in the House of Commons.

The new team will speak up for the millions of people who voted for the party in the recent general election and the millions more who are dismayed with the current Conservative government.

Speaking on the announcement, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

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+++Heidi Allen MP to stand down at the election, citing “nastiness and intimidation”

The Guardian reports:

The Liberal Democrat MP Heidi Allen will not stand at the next general election, citing the “nastiness and intimidation” she has endured as a politician as being behind her decision to quit.

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More from Jo Swinson on this morning’s cross party talks

Speaking after this morning’s meeting of opposition leaders to discuss stopping a no-deal Brexit, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:

“This was a positive meeting with a clear objective to stop the nightmare that is no-deal Brexit, which the Government have admitted will lead to medicine and food shortages.

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LibDem council chief: Government ‘must not crucify Portsmouth’ over Brexit

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The BBC reports:

The leader of Portsmouth City Council says he can not allow government inaction to “crucify Portsmouth” in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the authority and Hampshire County Council had already spent £4m on preparations to avoid gridlock near the city’s port.

The government has just announced port towns in England will receive an extra £9m to pay for preparations.

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Jo tables motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson’s government

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Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson MP has tabled a motion calling for a vote of no confidence in the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. She has also written to Jeremy Corbyn urging him to move an official motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson.

Speaking having tabled the motion, Jo Swinson said:

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Breaking news: Welsh Lib Dems select Chris Twells as lead candidate for North Wales

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have selected local campaigner Chris Twells as the party’s lead candidate for the North Wales region at the next National Assembly for Wales election.

North Wales elected a Welsh Liberal Democrat AM at every election until 2016, when UKIP won two seats.

Chris was selected by Welsh Liberal Democrat members living in Ynys Mon, Arfon, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham in an all-member ballot.

Chris was born in St Asaph and brought up in Rhosesmor, Flintshire, attending the Alun School in Mold before going on to study Law at the University of York. He has been an active Liberal Democrat member since joining the party as a student because of its strong pro-European stance and support for human rights.

Caradog Steffan John, a fluent Welsh speaker and former researcher at the Assembly was chosen as the second candidate for the North Wales list and Wrexham Councillor Rob Walsh secured third place. Donna Lalek, a Community Councillor from Flintshire and the second-placed candidate at the recent European election, will be the fourth candidate.

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Vince Cable declines invitation to State Banquet for Trump

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Vince Cable has today declined an invitation to a state banquet with Donald Trump.

In a letter to Palace staff organising the impending state visit in June, Mr Cable said:

I have taken the view that as a party leader I should not support state visits where the government of the day has issued invitations inappropriately.

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Greta Thunberg speech in Parliament today should help everyone to take notice of protecting our planet – Cable

Today, schoolgirl Climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at the Houses of Parliament. Vince Cable has said that he hopes that this event will greatly increase the profile to our climate emergency.

He remarked:

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Posters: Always be careful where you put yours…

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Recent Comments

  • Peter Martin
    @ Paul Barker, There may only be a very small chance but that's literally infinitely greater than "no chance"! There would be an even greater chance if th...
  • Paul Barker
    Again, a pointless article - perhaps The Voice Team could think about rejecting pieces that are just nonsense ? Short of War, there is no chance of any result ...
  • David Allen
    "Unfair to say we ‘re saying nothing" Up to a point, yes. However, being against sewage dumping isn 't exactly sticking your head above the parapet and br...
  • Ruth Bright
    Caron, sorry to display my ignorance here but could you tell members like me outside Scotland more about the National care service stuff? Genuinely interested....
  • David Garlick
    Where is a JFK when you need someone to draw the line. No line ,no stopping Putin. rearming is essential. Is the current long away target sufficient? I think ...