Author Archives: the founding editor

Ditch the pigeon? – from our archive

Libby - Some rghts reserved by David SpenderLiberal Democrat Voice has a fantastic archive of posts going back to our establishment in 2006. Here’s an interesting article from our founding editor, Rob Fenwick, which was published in September 2006. You can read the post in its original form, with comments, here:

Iain Dale has seen the Tory logo future, and it’s… scribbled.

Some months ago I was sat in a pub in Bath, with a friend who was hovering on the brink of becoming a Liberal Democrat party member.

Posted in From the LDV Archive | Tagged | 26 Comments

Today’s leadership news links

The only thing I could find this morning was this Q&A between Chris Huhne and the readers of the Independent which includes questions on the nature of liberalism. drug use, whether Chris should be ashamed to be wealthy, and a couple of good policy questions.

If you know of more news web links, do post them in the comments.

Posted in Leadership Election and News | 11 Comments

Shameless plug for my other gaff

I’m blogging the leadership contest from the perspective of a floating voter over on my personal blog where you’ll find:

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Your Sunday papers

The Sunday Telegraph says:

In an article for this newspaper, Chris Huhne aims the first personal shot at Nick Clegg – claiming that his rival risks being seen as little more than a “Tory twin”.

You can read the article here and make your own mind up. While in the Observer a saccharine, though at times revealing, interview with Nick Clegg brings such revelations as:

He wields politics’ deadliest weapon, charm. There is also a sprinkling of stardust. Next week he will meet Halle Berry at a film premiere of his mate Sam Mendes’s Things We Lost In The Fire

And you’ll find that …

Posted in Leadership Election and News | 15 Comments

Leadership contenders go head-to-head

Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne will go head-to-head at the South Central Regional Conference in Newbury, Berkshire today.

I’m sure it will be carried on News24, so if anyone can enlighten us in the comments as to when the hustings is due to start (for some reason News Online systematically deny their readers information like this) then we’d be very grateful!

Posted in Conference, Leadership Election and News | 9 Comments

Acting leader says entire Northern Rock management board should have been “cleared out on day one”

Vincent CableThis story appears in the Guardian and other places:

Commenting on the resignation of Northern Rock’s chairman Matt Ridley, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader and Shadow Chancellor, Vince Cable MP said: “The Government should have made Mr Ridley’s departure a condition of its loan, rather than waiting for him to go.

“Furthermore there are other directors, including Derek Wanless, who are equally culpable. All of the senior management of the company led by Mr Applegarth should have been cleared out on day one.

“I nonetheless welcome this step as belated recognition that somebody in Northern Rock should be

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Nick Clegg launches campaign, pledging to take Liberal Democrats “beyond our comfort zone”

You can find an introduction to Nick’s leadership bid on the web site of his local paper (thanks to Andrea for pointing out) – no campaign web site yet.

He began by sending condolences to the friends and family of Jonathan Matondo. He then paid tribute to Menzies Campbell.

He said the party would have to be “bold” and “move “outside our comfort zone” as “three party politics was in the balance.”

He said “we cannot test the patience of the British people” and that a long term commitment must be made to liberalism.

Clegg said the party should “extend our reach” and …

Posted in Leadership Election and News | Tagged | 39 Comments

Campaign Clegg launches today

Hello, me again. Your regular Lib Dem Voice team are away for the weekend running leadership campaigns or “having a life” and have asked me to stand in. Apparently there’s only so much havoc one can wreak in four days.

Today will see the launch of Nick Clegg’s leadership campaign. Here’s what we’re expecting so far:

  • It will be in Sheffield
  • Former Sheffield Hallam MP Richard Allan is Clegg’s campaign manager
  • Weather permitting, it may be outdoors
  • The web site will be at

As the launch is in Sheffield, I’ll bet you a big slice of cake that an allusion to Nick’s Parliamentary majority …

Posted in Leadership Election and News | Tagged and | 6 Comments

David Cameron to reshuffle Tory Shadow Cabinet today…

…according to those ever-present “Sky Sources”

UPDATE: David Cameron has appointed non-elected Conservatives to his shadow cabinet, including Sayeeda Warsi (Community Cohesion) and Pauline Neville-Jones (Shadow Secretary of State for Security). Both will take up seats in the House of Lords.

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Liberal Democrats select Nigel Bakhai for Ealing Southall

Nigel BakhaiLocal choice Nigel Bakhai is set to challenge Labour once more in Ealing Southall, after being selected by Ealing Southall Liberal Democrats. Nigel Bakhai doubled the Lib Dem vote at the 2005 General Election.

The Liberal Democrats are the main challengers to Labour in the seat. They were second at the last General Election.

Local Liberal Democrat Nigel Bakhai said:

“Living in the heart of the constituency I know the issues that local people face. Labour has taken our area for granted for too long.

“This election is about local people electing …

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Party releases ‘holding statement’ from Shirley Williams

“I met Gordon Brown at 6:30pm on Wednesday evening. We had a friendly and constructive discussion. I was not offered a Ministerial position and would not have accepted one.

“The Prime Minister and I talked briefly about the dangers of unsecured nuclear materials and nuclear proliferation, subjects I have worked on as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Threat Initiative in Washington DC.

“NTI is a private organisation established by Senator Sam Nunn of the Democratic Party, former chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, and Ted Turner, founder of CNN. Senator Richard Lugar of the Republican Party, …

Posted in News | Tagged | 9 Comments

By-election machine hits the ground running

With a double by-election likely on July 19, the Liberal Democrat by-election machine is now gearing up for action.

The Ealing Southall HQ will open on Saturday morning, near Southall station.  You’ll find it at Unit 5, Urban Hive, Grand Union way, Bridge Road, Southall, UB2 4EX

The agent will be Chris Leaman, London Campaigns Officer and agent for Sarah Teather at the last General Election. The agent in Sedgefield will be Campaigns Officer Ruth Millburn.  Chris Rennard told MPs this evening that both campaigns would be very hard fought and that we would make every possible effort over the next three …

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged and | 18 Comments

Baroness Williams ‘to join’ government of all the talents

According to the 24 hour news channels some of the papers will report tomorrow that Shirley Williams is to  join Gordon Brown’s government – not in ministerial office but in a position that will place her “close” to Gordon Brown.  No more detail yet, but we’ll not have long to wait to find out for certain.

Posted in News | 11 Comments

Mandelson’s ‘homoerotic admiration’ for Tony Blair

The promotional vehicle for Andrew Rawnsley’s Channel 4 documentary on Tony Blair’s premiereship trundles on, today with a quote on the Guardian arts blog:

“Of course Peter Mandelson had an almost homoerotic admiration for Tony – it was embarrassing,” opined Bazza in one of his gloriously unguarded off-piste moments.”

Greater love hath no man than one who didn’t know he’d be sacked twice in the next ten years.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Ask the leader: Menzies Campbell takes questions at 5pm on News 24

Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, will be talking to Emily Maitlis on BBC News 24 on Tuesday, 19 June at 1700BST.

You can submit a question here.

Posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Tory’s Speaker spanking

A small, simple pleasure – but click to watch David Heathcoat-Amory being given a verbal spanking by Mr Speaker Martin, from last week’s business questions. No wonder the Tories hate him.

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Future of Lib Dem Voice

Over the last couple of months I’ve been advertising for someone to take over the running of Lib Dem Voice, as unfortunately I’m unable to continue for various reasons – not least of which the amount of time running a site of this nature takes up (Iain Dale may well pop up now and tell me he warned me… and he did!).

I had discussions with a couple of people, and after some investigation it’s been decided that the Lib Dem Voice blog will close to new contributions and comments on June 19th, and the forum will close on …

Posted in News | Tagged | 55 Comments

Welsh Lib Dem special conference votes to resurrect coalition talks with Tories and Plaid

Welsh Liberal Democrats have agreed to try to revive plans for a coalition assembly government with Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives.

A special Lib Dem conference in Llandrindod Wells voted 125 to 77 to resume talks with the other parties.

It comes days after the “rainbow alliance” collapsed when the party executive failed to back the plans.


Posted in News | 6 Comments

Lib Dems in Wales pull out of coalition talks, irritate Plaid

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have rejected coalition talks with Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives to form a government in Wales. They have also said they will not reopen coalition talks with Labour and will abstain from voting for a First Minister next week.

Story here.

Posted in News | 12 Comments

ACPO PR Director hired to replace Mark Littlewood as Head of Media

(I appear somehow to have botched up the publishing of this story yesterday, so it didn’t appear – apologies)

Association of Chief Police Officers’ Director of Communications, Hannah Gardiner, has been appointed as Head of Media for the Liberal Democrats. Gardiner will head up the Liberal Democrats’ Press Office and is expected to take up her post in July.

Hannah Gardiner will play a key role in the Party’s strategic communications team working hand in hand with Director of Policy and Communications, Jon Oates, Head of Policy, Greg Simpson, Leader’s Senior Spokesperson, Mark Webster and Press Secretary, Puja Darbari.

Chief …

Posted in News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Öpik calls for creation of “department of the nations”

Party press release:

The Liberal Democrats today called for the Department of Communities and Local Government to be merged with the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland offices into a single government department.

The call comes following the successful reinstatement of devolution to Northern Ireland. The move could save taxpayers millions of pounds.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Wales and Northern Ireland Secretary, Lembit Öpik MP said:

“With devolution now successfully up and running in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there is absolutely no need to keep wasting taxpayers’ money running four separate departments in London.

“The Government should now recognise that the devolved Parliament in Scotland …

Posted in News | 4 Comments

Potential oddness

LDV was down overnight due to something going screwy with a file on the server (there’s technical for you) which required an upgrade of the blog software.  This shouldn’t make any difference to you, but if you notice anything acting oddly, please say.

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Can editors EDIT comments from users?

A certain blogger and I have been having another spat. I know. I know. But she started it, really mother.

Take a look at the comments:

Lamido comments

Now, comments one and three are from me. They’re written in my usual ‘style’ – punctuation and all (whether it’s right or not).  When I ask a question, in comment one, there’s a question mark.

Comments two and four are written by someone else.

Comment five is not written by me, even though if you click my name it goes through to my blogger profile.  It’s written by the author of …

Posted in News | 22 Comments

Selection news: Brentford & Isleworth and Feltham & Heston

On Tuesday Cllr Andrew Dakers was selected as the PPC for Brentford & Isleworth. On Thursday Cllr Munira Hassam was selected as the PPC for Feltham & Heston.

Thanks to Michael Wilson for letting us know.

Posted in Selection news | Leave a comment

Welsh Lib Dems suspend coalition talks with Labour, investigate rainbow coalition of other parties instead

More from Peter Black.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Second time round, Lib Dems scuppered in bid to block third reading of Parliament FoI exemption bill

Commenting on today’s debate on the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill in the House of Commons, Liberal Democrat Shadow Justice Secretary, Simon Hughes MP said:

“This has been a shameful day for the House of Commons – MPs should set an example of open government, not apply it to everybody but ourselves.

“David Maclean’s Bill and the way it has got through the Commons will clearly diminish respect for Parliament. But the battle will go on and hopefully the Lords will deliver us from this terrible mistake. 

“I hope the public will make their views very clear to the MPs who supported the …

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Electoral Reform Society backs STV for Holyrood

From BBC News:

The Electoral Reform Society has hailed Scotland’s council election as a resounding success.
The organisation has suggested that there were “major inadequacies” in the vote for the Scottish Parliament, which saw more than 140,000 rejected ballots.

However, a report from the society will say that the single transferable vote (STV) system used in the council election worked well.

It wants Holyrood to adopt the STV method, a call backed by the Lib Dems.

Research carried out by the BBC has shown that the proportion of spoilt ballot papers was far lower for the council election on 3 May.


Posted in News | 1 Comment

Phil Willis: a career in pictures

Or rather, a picture in a career.

Phil Willis’s career has been occasionally colourful! I will give, oh I don’t know, a shake of the hand to the first person (not pictured in the photograph) to come up with a plausible explanation for what Sarah Ludford is doing with that shark and what Phil Willis is doing with Will Howells’s foot.

Phil Willis and co

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Selection news: Matthew Green steps down as Ludlow PPC

Former Liberal Democrat MP for Ludlow, Matthew Green is stepping down as Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Ludlow to concentrate on his planning consultancy business Green Planning Solutions LLP.

Matthew Green said “When I started my planning consultancy in 2005, I could not have anticipated the growth of the business. Although I am in the process of recruiting additional staff much of the business is dependent on my time. I am regularly working 16 hour days, I also need to spend time with my family and eventually something has to give”.

Matthew Green added “It’s a frustrating decision to come to as …

Posted in News and Selection news | 3 Comments

Curious goings on in Local government

First, as has been reported all over the Lib Dem blogosphere, Oxford is to have two Conservative cllrs – formerly Lib Dems.  Two councillors do constitute a group, though who’ll be leader and who’ll be deputy, who can say?

“The pair said they did not quit the council and call a by-election because of the cost to the taxpayer.”

B***cks. The pair thought they would not quit the council because they’d lose their seats and their cosy income.

And curious events at North Devon District Council yesterday afternoon. The Tories, despite a notional majority of one Councillor, failed to take control of the Council  as …

Posted in News and Op-eds | 3 Comments

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