Author Archives: The Voice

Hitachi trains: Government failing to address impact on passengers and regions

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Jenny Randerson has asked the Government to explain what assessment they have made of the social and economic impacts of disruption to services following the withdrawal of some Hitachi high speed trains from service after defects were discovered.

Following the response by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Baroness Randerson commented:

The Government has underestimated the impact of Hitachi on long suffering passengers and totally failed to address the impact of this disruption on individual passengers and regions.

There was no answer at all to my suggestion that the Govt should fund a season of promotional cheap fares

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Ed Davey slams “illiberal, catastrophic, sickeningly cruel” Queen’s Speech

Ed Davey condemned many of the measures outlined in the Queen’s Speech yesterday, particularly the measures to make it harder for people to seek asylum in the UK – “sickeningly cruel” he called it.

He slammed the Government for failing to bring forward proposals on social care again.

He also described the voter suppression measures as being straight out of the Donald Trump playbook “the actions of despots.”

He did not hold back.

Enjoy.

The Queen’s Speech comes at a time like no other—after a year in which so many families have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one, when we have all experienced isolation from friends and family, and when so many have lost businesses, jobs and hard-earned savings. That is why we are all so grateful to the scientists, NHS staff, care workers and community volunteers who have delivered the vaccine roll-out and given us all hope. We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.

Before I move on to the Gracious Speech, let me join in the tributes to the people this Parliament has lost in the past year. I shall focus on two remarkable women. The first is our friend Dame Cheryl Gillan, who sadly passed away last month. She was a truly dedicated public servant, warm, friendly, and liked and respected in all parts of the House. My thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.

The second is Shirley—Shirley Williams. The Liberal Democrat family are not alone in mourning the loss of Shirley. Shirley was a giant of British politics for over half a century. She combined a remarkable intellect and a wholehearted compassion with fierce determination like no one else I have known. Shirley was at once a wonderful human being and an unstoppable force of nature. We already miss her wise counsel, forceful arguments and boundless energy.

I pay tribute to the hon. Members for North West Cambridgeshire (Shailesh Vara) and for South Ribble (Katherine Fletcher). The proposer’s speech was mostly excellent, although I was slightly disappointed by two omissions. First, the hon. Gentleman omitted to tell the House how the Liberal Democrats have removed the Conservatives from power in his county of Cambridgeshire. Secondly, he was a distinguished Northern Ireland Minister, resigning on principle against the withdrawal agreement negotiated by the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May). He argued—I quote his resignation letter—that her withdrawal agreement would mean Northern Ireland being

“subject to a different relationship with the EU from the rest of the UK”.

I was hoping to hear an analysis of how the EU trade deal and the Brexit deal was impacting Northern Ireland, because he voted for that despite the fact that its impact on Northern Ireland is worse than that of the withdrawal agreement.

The speech by the hon. Member for South Ribble was entertaining, but, given her stated passion for a beer, I wish she had told us more about her time as a biology student at the University of Nottingham—my hometown, where there is a great night-time economy, which I am sure she enjoyed. Wikipedia tells us that during her student days she worked as a nursing assistant in an elderly care home, so I hope we can look forward to her support as Liberal Democrats press the Government to deliver on their promises on long-delayed social care reform.

The Government’s programme needed to heal the nation, learn the lessons from the pandemic and prepare our country for the enormous economic, social and environmental challenges ahead. I regret to say that, with this programme, the Conservative Government have failed on every single account. To heal the nation, we first needed to look after people who have been bereaved, especially children. I have been campaigning for a better deal for bereaved families for many years, drawing on my own experience of losing my father at the age of four, when my mother was widowed in her 30s with three boys under 10.

With this pandemic, the need to help bereaved children in our country has never been greater, especially those whose mums and dads were unmarried and who currently get no help at all after losing a parent. The Childhood Bereavement Network estimates that about 3,000 children have lost an unmarried mum or dad during covid. A caring Government would give them support now, yet I have to tell the House that this Government are dragging their feet on even basic help for such children who have lost their mums and dads. They have even fought two court cases to prevent bereavement support from going to families, just because their parents were unmarried—as if the parents’ marital status was the fault of the grieving children. Fortunately the Government lost twice in the courts, thanks to the Human Rights Act—the Act that they ominously want to undermine with their threat in the Queen’s Speech to judicial review.

Even though the Government lost in the courts, Ministers have still tried to escape the rule of law, dragging their feet on obeying the court ruling, so that many children who lost their mum or dad to covid have gone without. That is a scandal. I have raised it with the Prime Minister himself time and again, most recently in a face-to-face meeting last month. He promised me action, but there is nothing in the Queen’s Speech for bereaved families or children. So, I am working on a cross-party basis to amend the Queen’s Speech so that the Prime Minister is forced to obey the rule of law—forced by the courts and this House to help children whose mum or dad has died during covid.

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Lib Dems gain control of St Albans with 5 gains

Good news from Hertfordshire. We have taken control of St Albans District Council.

Chris White has been leading a minority administration since 2019 but we have now made 5 gains to take total control.

Chris was re-elected with 62% of the vote in  Clarence ward.

Here are some of the delighted victors:

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England results: Saturday open thread

We will update this thread with Saturday’s results from England.

A heartbreaking result from Morecombe – we gained a swing of 32%, then lost by 3 votes.

But better news in Cheltenham:

And a whopping 43% swing to us in Shropshire:

We seem to be gaining seats in a number of local councils – Wokingham (+3), Tunbridge Wells (+4), Gloucester (+3), Devon (+2) – and we held all our seats in Watford.

And here’s a cheering result. Well done to colleagues in Wiltshire.

And on Surrey County Council our representation from Waverley has increased from 1 to 4. Congratulations to Penny Rivers, John Robini, Liz Townsend and Paul Follows.

And what about this …

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Good luck everyone!

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Jonathan Davies (1962-2021)

It is with deep sadness, the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI) announce the passing of our dear friend and long-time LDFI Vice-Chairman and Treasurer Jonathan Davies, after a year-long illness.

Jonathan, an Oxford graduate and former Partner and Head of the Financial Services team at a large City law firm, was a Liberal Democrat stalwart. On a local level, Jonathan was a phenomenal activist in the London Borough of Barnet. He represented Childs Hill as a councillor from 1994-1998, stood for Parliament in Finchley and Golders Green on three occasions and was appointed the ward’s election agent in the very high profile 2019 election, as well as being elected as Chair of the English Party of the Liberal Democrats in 2010. His talents, dedication and calming influence spanned decades, and he devoted countless hours to campaigning for and supporting the Party.

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Tories backtracking over new Powys Hospitals shows lack of honesty with voters

The admission by the Conservatives that their manifesto pledge to build two new hospitals in Powys won’t be fulfilled has been described as a disappointing breach of trust by the Liberal Democrats.

The Conservative manifesto pledges on both the inside cover and on page two that they will build “five new hospitals.” However Welsh Conservatives have now admitted that only two new hospitals will be built, neither of which will be in Powys and instead that existing hospitals in Newtown and Llandrindod will be upgraded.

Posted in News, Press releases and Wales | Tagged and | 18 Comments

Welsh Liberal Democrat Manifesto puts recovery first

This afternoon, Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds launched the party’s Welsh Manifesto ahead of the Senedd elections on 6 May. Writing in the foreword to Put Recovery First, Jane said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on all of us, and we have much to do. We understand how you feel: frustration, exhaustion, loss, disappointment, anxiety, relief, hope.

Like you, we want to focus on the things that are most important to you and your family after a tough year. To do that, we first have to get Wales back on its feet…

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will put recovery first.”

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London Liberal Democrats launch manifesto to Take London Forward

Luisa Porritt has launched her manifesto for the London mayoral elections on 6 May saying:

“London is a liberal city. I’ll offer the progressive alternative to Sadiq Khan’s poor record our city needs. What would have been ten years of steady change has been accelerated in a year by the pandemic.”

Luisa is pledging to introduce a flexible travel card, block the Silvertown Tunnel and make the streets safer.

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Liberal Democrat Voice pays tribute to Shirley Williams

Members of the Liberal Democrat Voice team pay tribute to Shirley Williams

Paul Walter:
I took the (rather fuzzy) photo of Shirley (above) at the Spring Conference in Brighton in 2013.

My mother is not “Political” although she has a great political understanding, with a small “p”.

Back in the late 1960s, she saw Shirley Williams as her favourite politician. Simply because she was, in my mother’s words, “so sensible”,

I knew what she meant. There was always something about how Shirley spoke.

In debates she would never get heated or involved in “argy-bargy”. She would listen carefully to the opposing views, with her head slightly leaning to one side, and take notes. (In fact, reviewing photos of Shirley over the years, I see that she often had her head leaning slightly to one side as if to emphasise that she was listening). When it came to her turn to speak, she would be absolutely devastating (to the opposition) because she would be composed, informed, “as sharp as a tack” and take down the opposing view with extreme precision. In doing so, she always appeared to be totally calm but absolutely precise.

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Tributes to Shirley Williams

Many warm tributes have been paid to Shirley Williams, who sadly passed away yesterday.

Here are a selection of the tributes:

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Tributes as Duke of Edinburgh dies at 99

Here is the full statement released by Buckingham Palace following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99 today:

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will made in due course.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

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Ed Davey’s Easter message

Here is Ed Davey’s just-released Easter message!

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Ed Davey’s message for Passover – Chag Sameach!

Here is Ed Davey’s message for Passover, published last night. Our best wishes to all celebrating today.

At sundown tonight, Jewish communities in the UK and around the world will mark the beginning of Passover, the eight-day festival commemorating the liberation of the Israelites after 400 years of slavery in ancient Egypt.

The story of the Exodus has inspired generations; it’s a story of hope and triumph. It shows us what’s possible when we hold tight to faith in the midst of darkness and uncertainty. This is a message that’s relevant, even today.

Usually, Passover is a large celebratory affair, marked by generations of families gathering around the Seder table to share a festive meal. However, this year celebrations will be smaller. Many will look around the table and think of loved ones who cannot be there and some traditions may even be modified in an attempt to adapt to these unprecedented times.

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Carmichael: Alex Salmond is not the answer to Scotland’s future

Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has announced he will lead the pro-impendence Alba party, which was registered just four months ago. He told a press conference today: “We expect to field a minimum of four candidates in each regional list and we’re hoping to elect Alba MSPs from every area of Scotland.”

Scottish Lib Dem leaders responded: “There are no questions about Scotland’s future to which Alex Salmond is the answer.”

Posted in News and Scotland | Tagged and | 35 Comments

Why have there been no women of colour in Holyrood?

The Scottish Parliament is 22 years old this year, but it hasn’t yet had a woman MSP of colour.

This failure was explored by a Disclosure Scotland programme broadcast last night. In it women of colour from all parties talked about the barriers they faced in getting selected and elected.

The Liberal Democrat representative was the brilliant Aisha Mir who stood for us in Edinburgh South West in 2017 and is on our Mid Scotland and Fife list for the forthcoming election.

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Willie Rennie: Independence would be like Brexit on a rocket to Mars

Willie Rennie compared the SNP’s plans for Scottish independence as like “Brexit on a rocket to Mars” – ie

It would take a lot of energy, the journey is very long and there is no way back.

In his keynote speech to Liberal Democrat Conference, Willie set out the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ plan to deprive the independence supporting parties of a majority with our plan to put recovery first by investing in mental health, jobs and education.

He also highlighted our idea for a Commission to look at ways of preventing violence against women and girls in all its forms.  We hope that other parties will back it.

Watch here. The text is below:

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Jane Dodds: Welsh Lib Dems will create a Wales where everyone is equal and nobody is enslaved by poverty

Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds gave her keynote speech to Federal Conference yesterday. She talked about the need to tackle poverty and isolation in Wales and for action to save the planet from climate change. Here is her speech in full.

 

These have been hard times for us all.

Covid has dominated our lives over the past year; Personally, professionally, politically.

We have all needed to find extra resilience, additional emotional resources, extra bandwidth in our efforts to get through these times. A year when we lost people. When people lost jobs and livelihoods. When loneliness became an even bigger killer and when Welsh small businesses were brought to their knees.

But Wales is aa resilient nation. Welshness through the centuries has been more than just a political or legal identity. It has been a way of life, a state of mind. Our community spirit has inspired the greatest social reformers who have transformed Britain.

That Welsh community spirit extends an unqualified thank you to our delivery drivers, our shop workers, our pharmacists, refuse collectors, teachers, and social workers who have worked on through the pandemic.

That spirit is what drives us to action as Welsh Liberal Democrats. It also inspires us to set out a progressive and inspiring vision for the Wales we want to see.

That spirit is what drives us to action as Welsh Liberal Democrats.

That is why the Welsh Liberal Democrats will be putting Wales’ Recovery First. At the heart of our recovery will be:
🧠Mental Health;
💷The economy;
🌿 The environment;
👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 and your family.

We will create a Wales where everyone is equal, where no one is enslaved by poverty, ill health or circumstance. We will not tolerate poverty and we will push hard for positive change in all we do – particularly when it comes to saving our planet.

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Wera Hobhouse MP: “Women will not be silenced. We have had enough.”

The appalling murder of Sarah Everard and the inappropriate Police action in response to the vigil last Saturday night came too late for the Conference motions deadline, so the Federal Conference Committee used its power under the standing orders to allow our Westminster Women and Equalities spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse, to make a statement on the events and the issues they raised. Here it is in full:

The killing of Sarah Everard horrified a whole nation.
That sickening feeling when we heard she was missing.
The wait. The search. As we all tried to hold on to hope, even as we feared the worst.
And then it came.
The heart-breaking news
This is every woman’s nightmare, every parent’s nightmare, every sibling’s nightmare, every friend’s nightmare. It could have been us – no, this is us. It is our fear, it is our reality.
I think Sarah’s death hit us all so hard because we know it could really have been any woman.
Sarah, a thirty-three-year-old marketing executive who grew up in York, studied in Durham, and then moved to London.
Who lived in Brixton Hill and had just started a new job.
A young woman who her family described as “bright and beautiful”, “kind and thoughtful”, “caring and dependable”.
Who “always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour.”

Our thoughts have been with Sarah’s family ever since we heard Sarah was missing.
And our hearts go out to them still.
We grieve with them.
And we are angry.

Because – while the killing of a woman by a stranger is particularly awful and relatively rare – violence against women and girls is not.
On average, a woman is killed by a man in the UK every three days.
Every three days.
Most of them killed by their partner or their ex.
Their lives viciously snatched away. The lives of their family and friends destroyed.
Why does it keep happening?
Because beneath these evil killings lies a culture of normalising sexual harassment, abuse and violence.
This culture doesn’t only target women, men are victims too. But 99% of the perpetrators are men.

This is what we need to talk about. Let’s start changing our language. Not ‘violence against women’ as if there were no active perpetrators. Let’s call it violence by men.
More than six hundred thousand women are sexually assaulted each year,
And only one in six report it to the police.
More than fifty-thousand women reported being raped last year,
Only fourteen-hundred rapists were convicted. Why?
Because our culture, our language and our criminal justice system still works around the assumption that rape was to some extent the woman’s own fault. She asked for it, she provoked it. She consented.
99% of perpetrators of sexual violence are men. They are all too often missing from the discussion.
Rape continues to be normalised by the absence of talking about the perpetrators.
Many women experience harassment and discrimination in the workplace on a daily basis.
Many women receive appalling abuse online – threats and intimidation, for daring to have an opinion.
Too many women never feel safe on our streets.
Everything has to change.
Women are speaking up. More men should do the same.

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Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic education report welcomed by Welsh Minister

The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has accepted all the recommendations of a report on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the new school Curriculum.

The Minister has also confirmed £500,000 will be provided to support the implementation of the report’s recommendations, as part of the delivery of the new Curriculum for Wales.

Posted in News and Wales | Tagged and | 2 Comments

WATCH NOW: Luisa Porritt launches her campaign for Mayor of London and her plan to Take London Forward

Live on Facebook, Luisa Porritt is launching her campaign for Mayor of London at 11am.

Click on Luisa’s Facebook page here to see the launch live.

In addition, here below is Luisa’s video to accompany her launch today:

In her speech at 11am, Lusia will launch the Liberal Democrat plan to Take London Forward.

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Slow progress in women’s access to politics in Europe, ALDE Party study finds

Following the launch of The Alliance Of Her on 8 March, a new research report published by the ALDE Party in collaboration with the European Liberal Forum and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation highlights the experiences of European liberal women in politics.

In Europe, women’s political representation has increased significantly in the last decade. Currently, the region accounts for the highest number of women in elected office worldwide. However, while some progress has been made, achieving gender equality seems to be going forward at a snail’s pace. Men continue to outnumber women in elected positions and those measures which perhaps have made a difference when it comes to parity, have done little to improve how women are valued as political leaders and actors.

In other words, while we celebrate the increase in number of women elected to political office in Europe, women are still more likely to be undermined in every stage of their political journey as compared to their male counterparts.

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Welsh Lib Dem Minister announces £30 million boost to Welsh-medium education

Kirsty Williams the Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Minister yesterday announced an additional £30 million to develop new Welsh-medium education.

The capital investment aims to help reach the longstanding target of 1 Million Welsh speakers by 2050, by supporting young learners to become Welsh speakers by the time they leave school.

This announcement follows hot on the heels of the new Welsh Curriculum approved by Senedd members this week which will be introduced after an extensive consultation and is the first complete reform of the curriculum in a generation.

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Welsh Liberal Democrats party broadcast

Yesterday the Welsh Liberal Democrats published a party broadcast featuring their Leader, Jane Dodds. Enjoy!

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Scottish Liberal Democrats secure hundreds of millions for mental health and education in budget deal

The Scottish Liberal Democrats backed the SNP Government’s budget today. The minority administration needs the support of opposition parties to get its budget through.

Leader Willie Rennie negotiated with SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and, as you would expect, asked for more money for mental health, education, local government, environment, training and business support. He also asked for assurances that specialist eye treatments would be available in Lothian.

The full list of the Lib Dem gains in the budget are:

 

  • An extra £120million for mental health services to pay for new services in communities.
  • An extra £60million to help education bounce back with smaller class sizes.
  • Additional support for businesses and the release of money for local authorities.
  • Fair funding for the internal ferries in Orkney and Shetland.
  • An extra £20million to provide more in-class support to children who need it by topping up the Pupil Equity Fund. This is money paid directly to headteachers to provide additional support to pupils from less well-off backgrounds. This represents a rough 16% increase on the current year.
  • £15million in special allocations to the North East to pay for skills training, upskilling and business support in a region particularly under pressure given its reliance on fossil fuel industries.
  • The addition of compensation for the council tax freeze into the baseline of local government funding, worth around £90million, which will remove the risk that councils would face a cliff edge on funding next year.
  • £5million more for agriculture transition funding, which rewards farmers for environmental stewardship and helps our climate change priorities.
  • A clear commitment that specialised eye services in Lothian will be protected.

Willie said:

Scottish Liberal Democrats have been engaged with SNP ministers since the draft budget was published in January. We think that people expect parties to work together in the middle of a pandemic. Our focus has been to put recovery first.

“We have highlighted the need for business support, an education bounce back plan, and better mental health services, given the pressure we know that the virus crisis has put on people.

“As a result of those constructive discussions, the Budget Bill was substantially amended. Those changes were announced by the Finance Secretary in the stage one debate ten days ago and put onto the face of the Budget Bill at the parliamentary committee this morning.

“As a result of discussions since then, further changes have been agreed which allow Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs to support the budget at its final stage tomorrow. This includes additional money for supporting pupils, training fund for the North East to support the just transition, a further £90m for local authorities and money to support farmers engaged in environmental stewardship.

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WATCH: Jane Dodds’ speech to Welsh Lib Dem Conference

Welsh Liberal Democrats have been holding their Conference this weekend, also online.

In her leader’s speech, Jane Dodds talked about making Wales the green economic power house of a reformed UK, of the need for greater mental health support and investment in housing and tackling poverty with a Universal Basic Income trial. She talked of the importance of both people and planet to Wales’ recovery.

Watch it here:

The text is below:

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Ed Davey’s speech to Scottish Lib Dem Conference – Independence is Brexit 2.0

Ed Davey spoke to Scottish Lib Dem Conference on Friday. Here is his speech in full:

One of the things that gives me great hope for our Party is seeing so many brilliant rising stars like Joe.

In the year of COP26, Glasgow will be in the global spotlight, and I hope that talented young activists like Joe can be at the forefront of making liberal voices heard. In the crucial debate of our generation – the climate.

I had hoped that by now the Government would be on top of this pandemic. That I would be speaking in person and with you able to knock on doors to get as many Liberal Democrat MSPs elected as possible.

Instead, I was delighted to join some of you for the recent Maraphone event that took place on Six Nations weekend.

You may not have beaten Wales on the pitch, but on the phones Scotland reigns supreme. And please don’t mention the Calcutta Cup.

But seriously, if you haven’t yet had a chance to join one of those Maraphone events, I would highly recommend it. It feels pretty good to connect with voters again.

When I spoke to you last, I was in the middle of my listening tour, travelling up and down the UK.

I talked of our internationalist values and our unwavering pro-European commitment.

And Brexit is already the disaster we said it would be – with huge costs for business.

From the record increase in red tape hitting our exporters to the loss of the Erasmus scheme, Boris Johnson’s Conservative Government’s response to the worst economic downturn in 300 years is – to make it more difficult to trade. More difficult to do business. More difficult to keep your job. The Tories seem determined to make us smaller, poorer and more isolated.

They didn’t write that on the side of their bus.

To take just one example: Scottish seafood exporters are losing £1m every day – when the Government could have followed Christine Jardine’s advice and secured a grace period for their trading arrangements.

The UK deserves better than this. I have never been more convinced that being part of the European Union must be part of our country’s destiny.

Sadly Brexit is not the only challenge facing the Scottish economy.

The UK Government has been no more successful at selling the best of Scotland across the Atlantic than it has at keeping the free flow of goods to the continent.

Scotch Whisky exports are now at their lowest levels for 10 years — a product in which Scotland is the utterly undisputed world leader. The Conservatives spent years cosying up to Donald Trump and now we are paying the price.

As we come out of the pandemic, I want to see a green recovery with high skilled, high wage jobs for people in every corner of the UK. I want to see our world leading industries flourishing with hundreds of thousands of good jobs.

That will never happen under Boris Johnson’s cruel and incompetent Conservative Government, whose budget this week threatens to cut off the recovery before it has even got started, letting down small businesses and allowing far too many people to fall through the cracks.

Nor will it happen under a hapless SNP government who would impose independence – Brexit 2.0.

Liberal Democrats want to put recovery first. The SNP want to break-up first.

Liberal Democrats have plans to recover the health and jobs of the Scottish people, SNP plans would harm the NHS and hit jobs across Scotland.

We Liberal Democrats want to see a society richer in more than just material terms. I want to see a society that is fairer, greener and more caring.

That’s why last year I pledged to be the voice of the 9 million carers in our country.

If you’ve heard my story before you will know that this is a deeply personal subject to me. I’ve been a carer throughout my life – for my mum during my teens, then for my wonderful Nanna, and now for my disabled son.

Our Stand up for Carers campaign aims to make sure that carers are no longer forgotten or left behind by those in power.

I have been inspired by Willie Rennie, who has pressed the Scottish Government for months over carers and the situation in care homes.

From exposing the lack of tests and PPE, to pushing for safe visiting to be allowed once more. The people in these homes have spent months apart from their families.

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Spring Conference is next weekend. Got something to say? Let everyone know through LDV

Our Spring Conference begins next Friday and continues across the weekend. There is, as always, a busy agenda. Among the topics on Friday are local government, Covid-19, lifting barriers to work for disabled people and a speech from Jane Dodds. Saturday there will a Q&A with Ed Davey, debates on utilities, the Russia Report, Covid-19, Brexit and a speech from Willie Rennie. Sunday will see the leader’s speech and debates on autism, international development, accessibility in education and on refugees.

If you have views on these topics why not write an article for Lib Dem Voice? We expect to publish several articles towards the end of next week.

Posted in Conference | Tagged | 7 Comments

Event: Liam MacArthur MSP to take part in Question Time on tackling global poverty and climate justice

Voters in Scotland are being given the chance to quiz politicians – including Scottish LibDem MSP Liam McArthur – and make their voices heard on Scotland’s role in building a greener, fairer world.

Scotland’s International Development Alliance (The Alliance), which represents over 200 diverse organisations operating in over 100 countries, is hosting an online Question Time event to encourage Scottish political parties to include commitments to global sustainable development in their manifestos ahead of the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections in May.

Scotland for a Fairer World: Question Time will be held on Thursday 11 March from 6.30 to 8pm, chaired by campaigner and writer Talat Yaqoob. The politicians taking part are the SNP’s Jenny Gilruth MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie, the Liberal Democrats’ environment spokesperson Liam McArthur, Scottish Conservative Shadow Economy Secretary Maurice Golden, along with a representative from Scottish Labour.

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Jackie Charlton selected as Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Rhondda

Rhondda Liberal Democrats have selected Jackie Charlton as their candidate to contest the Rhondda seat at this year’s Senedd Election.

Jackie Charlton is a county councillor and community activist who has campaigned on disability rights, health and social care and on preventing a climate emergency.

Jackie is registered deaf and easily recognised by Lucie, her Hearing Dog.

Commenting on her selection, Jackie Charlton said:

It is a real pleasure to have been selected to contest Rhondda on behalf of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. On so many issues Rhondda has been overlooked and this has never been

Posted in News and Selection news | Tagged and | 2 Comments
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