Author Archives: Paul Walter

Was the diplomatic leak part of a plot to make Nigel Farage UK ambassador to the US?


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There was a very interesting discussion on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, last night, concerning the leaking of memos from the UK ambassador to the USA, Sir Kim Darroch.

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Highlighting the need for better broadband connectivity across Powys

If you haven’t already been to Brecon and Radnorshire to help, please do so as soon as you can. Details are the foot of this post.

Jane Dodds and team have been out in the sun in Presteigne. It’s very good to see some distinguished members of the House of Lords in Jane’s coterie:


We can win this by-election, but we need your help! Please come to this lovely constituency NOW!

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Jane Dodds gives perfect response to Boris on British languages

Yesterday Boris Johnson said:

…too often there are parts of our country and parts of London still and other cities as well where English is not spoken by some people as their first language, and that needs to be changed…

Jane Dodds responded brilliantly:

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+++The six candidates standing at the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election

The River Wye near Builth Wells in the Brecon and Radnorshire Counsituency

The BBC reports that there are six candidates standing at the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.

As expected, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Green Party have, admirably, agreed not to stand candidates in order to have a united “Remain” candidate in the shape of Jane Dodds.

The six candidates are:

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged and | 3 Comments

If you’re not at Brecon and Radnorshire today, this is what you are missing….


And this:

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged | 6 Comments

+++August 1st is date of Brecon and Radnorshire by-election – LDV video from the constituency

The government have just moved the writ for the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election – to occur on August 1st.

As I say in the video above, please come and help here as soon as you can! We can win this and it is a beautiful area to campaign in!

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged | 7 Comments

“Sorry. I’m not a biker, I’m a Liberal” – Brecon campaign diary

Brecon and Radnorshire is an enormous constituency. By my reckoning it takes up about a seventh of Wales. Geographically, it is the largest constituency in Wales and England.

There are two HQs for the Brecon and Radnorshire campaign. The Brecon HQ is perhaps most accessible for those coming from the south of England. The HQ in Llandrindod Wells is probably a better bet for those coming from the north.

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged | 6 Comments

Brecon campaign: Mountaineers welcome!


I knew I’d walked into a very geographically distinctive campaign this morning. The Brecon HQ gurus showed me the position of my delivery rounds using a large “Mountain Map” on the wall.

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VIDEO: The LDV team is helping now at Brecon and Radnorshire – please join us asap!

As you can see from the above video, I am Brecon and Radnorshire, busy helping Jane Dodds and her team over the next few days.

We can win this one. Please get yourself down here as soon as possible. We need help now. Help given early in the campaign is inordinately important.

There are two HQs – one in the south at Brecon and one in the north at Llandrindod Wells. They are both open every day from 10am until 7pm:

Brecon HQ: 26 High Street, Brecon, LD3 7LE

Llandrindod HQ: Haslemere, Park Crescent, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 6AB

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged | 4 Comments

+++Lib Dem vote quadruples at Peterborough. Labour wins while dumbstruck Farage leaves hastily by back door

Many congratulations to Beki Sellick and her team on nearly quadrupling the Lib Dem vote share at Peterborough. We won 12.3% of the vote – up from 3.3% at the 2017 by-election.

Here’s the full result from yesterday’s parliamentary by-election, following the recall of Labour’s Fiona Onasanya:

There was much campaign hoo-haa from the Brexit party about them gaining their first MP at this election. They failed, despite all the publicity surrounding their European election performance.

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged | 47 Comments

+++Change UK loses six of its 11 MPs – defections to Lib Dems “expected”

From The Guardian:

Six of Change UK’s 11 MPs, including its spokesman, Chuka Umunna, and interim leader Heidi Allen, have abandoned the fledgling party after its dire performance at the European elections.

Change UK issued a press release saying it now had just five MPs, who will be led by the former Conservative business minister and anti-Brexit campaigner Anna Soubry.

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Has this Tory leadership hopeful nailed the format needed for a People’s Vote ballot paper?


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We’re beginning to hear some voices saying that “No deal” should not be on the ballot paper in the event of a People’s Vote/3rd referendum.

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Many congratulations to Naomi Long and the Alliance party in Northern Ireland – elected by STV!


Many congratulations to Naomi Long on a stunning win in Northern Ireland for our sister party, the Alliance. Naomi, who is the leader of the Alliance party, a former MP and Lord Mayor of Belfast, becomes the Alliance party’s first MEP.

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Voting Liberal Democrat tomorrow: Lord Michael Cashman, former Labour MEP and actor in first British soap opera gay kiss

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Lord Michael Cashman CBE, former Labour MEP who has been very active for decades in the Labour party, Stonewall and Equity, has said he will be voting Lib Dem tomorrow because of our “absolute consistency”. As an actor, he played Colin Russell in EastEnders, a character who was a particpant in the first gay kiss on a British soap opera.

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Guy Verhofstadt’s glorious private rant in BBC4’s “Brexit: Behind closed doors”


Snapshot from BBC4’s “Storyville – Brexit: Behind Closed Doors

If you haven’t already watched it, it’s very much worth watching BBC 4’s “Storyville – Brexit: Behind closed doors” made by Belgian filmmaker Lode Desmet. He had behind-the-scenes access to Guy Verhofstadt and his family and team during the two years of the Brexit negotiations. (Guy Verhofstadt is the Brexit co-ordinator for the European Parliament). Part 1 is available for the next 20 days on BBC iPlayer here. Part 2 is available for 21 days here.

Posted in TV and film | Tagged , and | 27 Comments

After last week’s success, thinking of absent friends…

Richard Gadsden tweeted last Friday:


That’s a sentiment most of us can agree with.

Posted in Op-eds | 6 Comments

Thank you everyone – a great idea

I like this. A handy line in makeshift poster adjustment from a Liberal Democrat who now finds that they are on three councils…

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Labour’s mess – now even Baldrick has run out of cunning plans…

Posted in Humour | Tagged | 9 Comments

+++Final results – Lib Dems gain a stonking 703 councillors, 11 councils and 19% of the national vote, amid 1334 losses for the Tories and 82 losses for Labour


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Here are the final May 2nd council election results, now that all the results are in.

The Lib Dems are UP by a stonking 703 (net) seats, with 688 holds, 683 gains and 7 losses. We’ve gained control of 11 councils. We have become the largest party in a “no overall control” situation in 5 further councils.

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++Lib Dems win Teignbridge

The Lib Dems have just won Teignbridge District Council from no overall council.

We gained 10 seats, while the Tories lost 11 seats. An independent gained one seat.

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++3pm update – Lib Dems win control of Mole Valley District council



The news has just come in that the Liberal Democrats have won control of Mole Valley District Council. We gained 8 seats, while the Tories lost 9. There was one gain for an Independent.

So, the status is currently:

With 162 out of 248 councils declared:

The BBC say we are on 19% of the national vote with the Tories and Labour tied on 28%.

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First successful recall petition means there will be a parliamentary by-election in Peterborough

Official portrait of Fiona Onasanya crop 1
Former MP Fiona Onasanya

For the first time, a recall petition under the Recall of MPs Act 2015 has been successful. There will be a parliamentary by-election in Peterborough.

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Ann Widdecombe: “I’m truculent, I’m succulent, I am a star”

With Ann Widdecombe’s adoption as a candidate for the European Parliament by the Brexit party, it seems timely to give another outing for this wonderful sketch by Victoria Wood from her Christmas 2000 one-off “Victoria Wood and all the trimmings”. This was well before Ann Widdecombe left politics for a career in celebrity television, most notably sweeping the floor (literally) on Strictly Come Dancing. So this was quite a prophetic work, and a piece of typically gentle genius by the much-missed Victoria Wood.

Posted in Humour | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Panic amongst Conservative councillors up for election next Thursday: ‘We’re an endangered species…We’re doomed…It’s extraordinarily bad’

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There are some signs of panic in the ranks of Conservative councillors who are up for election next Thursday.

Councillor Alan Law of West Berkshire Council wrote to the Telegraph on 23rd April:

SIR – I am a member of an endangered species: a Conservative councillor standing for re-election on May 2.

Harry Phibbs on Conservative Home has been regularly talking to Conservative candidates on the ground, finding considerable disquiet:

…among most of the councillors and candidates I spoke to the prevailing mood was still downcast. Seasoned campaigners were shocked by the level of anger they encountered on the nation doorsteps – invariably from Brexiteers who felt betrayed.

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Conservatives do badly in last by-election before May 2nd – UPDATED

There was one council by-election yesterday, in the Belle Vue ward for Shropshire Council. This is a long-standing Labour-held ward.

The Liberal Democrats were represented by James McLeod:

Posted in Local government | 6 Comments

Change UK plan to grab the Lib Dems’ money, members and policies – leaked memo

The Mail has published a leaked memo from Change UK which sets out its current strategy in relation to the Lib Dems.

It is a bit of a shock.

We were hoping that there would be co-operation between Change UK and our party.

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Greta Thunberg to Parliament: “Is my microphone on?”

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Here is the full text of Greta Thunberg’s speech to Parliament today, via the Guardian:

My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 16 years old. I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations.

I know many of you don’t want to listen to us – you say we are just children. But we’re only repeating the message of the united climate science.

Many of you appear concerned that we are wasting valuable lesson time, but I assure you we will go back to school the moment you start listening to science and give us a future. Is that really too much to ask?

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In praise of The Gambia and the Economic Community of West African States

A fishing boat is unloaded at the Gambian fishing town of Tanji

Three years ago I wrote about a visit to The Gambia in West Africa which was bitter sweet. As always the country itself, and the people of The Gambia, were charming. However, the country was in the last days of a dictatorship which lasted for 23 years. Indeed, I left out the name of the country in my article to avoid any problems with future entry.

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Sending thoughts of sympathy and support to all those affected by the Sri Lankan horrors


The photo above shows the view from the Sri Lankan Independence Memorial Hall in Colombo. The flag flying is the Buddhist flag. I took the photo last November. The Memorial Hall is very much a centre of national events in Sri Lanka. Annual Independence celebrations are held there. It is a very peaceful place. When I visited, children played in the hall while families sat admiring the sunset.

That peacefulness is very much a keynote of Sri Lanka. The majority Buddhist religion is pervasive in its emphasis on meditation and spiritual development. The people of Sri Lanka are generally very peaceful, easy-going and welcoming to strangers. While I was there, there was a full blown constitutional crisis ongoing, with the President and Prime Minister involved in a stand-off which was eventually settled (in the Prime Minister’s favour) by the Supreme Court. If you weren’t reading the news, you wouldn’t have known that anything was awry – life went on peacefully and cheerfully as usual across the country.

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Ruby Wax is appointed Chancellor of Southampton University – with a focus on mental health

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This is very refreshing news. American actress, comedian, mental health campaigner, lecturer and author, Ruby Wax has been appointed Chancellor of Southampton University.

Southampton University is a research-intensive establishment with around 25,000 students. It is a founding member of the leading Russell Group of British Universities. Its notable alumni have included Chris Packham, Jon Sopel, Justine Greening, Brian Eno and Dame Wendy Hall. Previous Chancellors have included the 4th and 7th Dukes of Wellington.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Jul - 4:37pm
    Well said, John. Like my old friend I'd love to know what experience Mr Pugh and Michael 1 have of being candidates, of fighting and...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 21st Jul - 4:27pm
    Michael BG, Why do you ask such extremely loaded questions? David and John are talking about local government by-elections where no leaflets and little effort...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 21st Jul - 4:13pm
    Laurence Cox, Bearing in mind that equality is one of our three fundamental values, I can't understand why you are suggesting a version of local...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 21st Jul - 3:59pm
    John Marriott, I am surprised that in North Kestevan it was possible to get someone elected for us without putting out any leaflets. In 1994...
  • User AvatarRob Bird 21st Jul - 3:56pm
    Brecon and Radnorshire is a beautiful area with lots of friendly people. I hope lots more Lib Dem’s will come down to help get Jane...
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 21st Jul - 3:55pm
    Some people have the timing the wrong way round, our date of the 23rd was announced Months ago, The Tories then announced that there's would...
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