Author Archives: The Voice

Sarah Olney: GDP figures are proof that the Government is missing in action

Lib Dem Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney has demanded that the Government take action  to avoid a recession immediately after the announcement of the fall in GDP

She said:

The warning lights are flashing red but the government is missing in action.

There’s no time to waste, ministers must act now to boost confidence and avoid a recession.

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Shropshire Lib Dems welcome former Labour Mayor Jon Tandy

Our efforts in Shropshire have not gone unnoticed.

This week former Labour Mayor and parliamentary candidate for Shrewsbury joined the Lib Dems and was welcomed by local councillor Alex Wagner.

From Shropshire Live:

Jon Tandy said: “I was a Labour Councillor for 16 years, and served Shrewsbury as Mayor. I even ran to be our Labour MP. Joining another party is not a decision I take lightly, and has played on my mind for some time.

“Ultimately, the Labour Party I joined 35 years ago is gone. The influence of Corbyn and Momentum is still present like a nasty hangover, especially in Shrewsbury and Atcham. I can’t sit by and stick with them when there are other strong alternatives locally.

I’m born and bred in Shrewsbury, I love this town. The Liberal Democrats are providing the community leadership that we need to keep making Shrewsbury a better place to live for everyone. They really care about our town, and I’m going to be backing the Lib Dems all the way to win votes and seats from both the Tories and Labour.”

Posted in News | 2 Comments

Davey: A cosy meeting with energy companies isn’t enough

 

Ed Davey has warned that tomorrow’s meeting between government ministers and energy companies risks becoming “a pointless talking shop” unless a tougher windfall tax is confirmed.

He demanded that the Business Secretary and Chancellor impose a tougher windfall tax on energy companies to fund the scrapping of October’s energy price rise. He wants the rate raised from 25% to 30% and its scope increased to include profits since October 2021.

He thinks this could raise around £20 billion, four times more than the government’s weaker levy is currently expected to generate.

Ed said:

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Ed Davey: Cancel energy price rise to avoid a social catastrophe

Here’s Ed Davey on yesterday’s Good Morning Britain  talking about his radical call for the Government to cancel the energy price cap rise planned for October, paying for it by a windfall tax on energy companies and increased VAT receipts.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Richard Foord: Sunak and Truss have learned nothing from Tiverton and Honiton

It’s just over a month since Richard Foord achieved one of the best results in by-election history. Last night the Conservative leadership candidates continued their race to the bottom at a hustings in Exeter.

Richard reflected on their performance, saying that they had learned nothing from his win:

Tonight’s debate showed that Sunak and Truss have learned absolutely nothing from their Tiverton and Honiton by-election defeat.

This is a dismal contest between the former Chancellor who repeatedly hiked taxes and a Foreign Secretary who sold out West Country farmers with botched trade deals.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

Alex Cole-Hamilton banned from Russia

The Liberal Democrats have long been vocal in their support for Ukraine against Russian aggression. However no Liberal Democrat MPs were included in the 287 MPs banned from entering the Russian Federation in April.

However, Scottish Lib Dem Leader Alex Cole-Hamilton found himself at number 14 on a list of UK politicians and journalists, including Keir Starmer and David Cameron,who were banned yesterday. According to the Russian Foreign Minisry they “contribute to London’s hostile course aimed at the demonization of our country and its international isolation.”

Alex was pretty chuffed by the news that he is no longer allowed to enter the Russian Federation:

He added:

Posted in News | Tagged | 4 Comments

Munira Wilson shortlisted for Ethnicity Awards: Please vote for her

Congratulations to Munira for being shortlisted in the public service or campaigner category of the 2022 Ethnicity Awards. She faces stiff competition. You can vote for her here. The citation reads:

Liberal Democrat MP Munira Wilson has been serving as the Lib Dem Spokesperson for Education since 2021, using her political platform to campaign against violence, advocate for mental health services, and speak out on behalf of refugee rights. Her own mother fled her homeland of Zanzibar during the revolution, becoming stateless. Munira stated that ‘I couldn’t have become an MP without their hard work and I don’t see why I should turn around and deny that opportunity to other people who want to come do that.’

Posted in News | Tagged and | 1 Comment

Nominate someone for this year’s party awards – deadline 8th August

Every Conference, the party honours those who have given excellent service in various capacities.

At Autumn Conference in Brighton in September (register here if you haven’t already) we will be presenting:

The Belinda Eyre Brook Award – for those who work for our elected representatives

The Dadabhai Naoroji Award, – for the local party who has done most to increase ethnic minority participation and representation

The Harriet Smith Award – for those who have never been elected to office but who have served the party with distinction

The Penhaligon Award – for the local party who has done most to increase membership and member engagement

The President’s Award – for those elected to public office who have shown excellence and commitment

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Tomorrow’s Conservative leadership debate has been cancelled…

What am I going to with all of this popcorn?

(with a hat-tip to Jonathan Calder)

Meanwhile, Ed Davey doesn’t share my disappointment…

The Conservatives say they want to lead but they won’t even turn up to debate the issues that matter to our country.

Each of them are treating the nation with utter contempt and they’ve been taking people for granted for long enough.

Conservative candidate’s attempt to duck scrutiny just makes a general election at the end of this campaign even more necessary.

Sky News said that Sunak and Truss “have confirmed to Sky News that they do not want to take part. …

Posted in News | Tagged | 5 Comments

Ruth Coleman-Taylor: The future of the state

Yesterday  we reported  that much loved liberal activist Ruth Coleman-Taylor had died. She will be very much missed. Back in 2014, she wrote this piece for us on the future of the state which is as relevant now as it was then, probably more so. 

The Liberal Democrat pre-manifesto sets out our ambitions to take power from ‘the stifling hand of Whitehall’ and return it to citizens and communities: but does the state have the power it once did? Can we rely on having a strong state to implement our plans?

After the Second World War, the new architecture of the international order was based on bodies like the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union. These have all developed upon states agreeing to share sovereignty, to trade individual power for the achievement of shared objectives. In more recent decades, states have devolved, out-sourced or sold off functions to other agencies or spheres of governance. Some 80% of business transactions now take place in the unregulated space of the transnational domain. How much state is there and how much power does it have?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 3 Comments

Jane Dodds: Conservatives betray Welsh farmers in Australia/New Zealand trade deal

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservatives of allowing themselves to be “trampled over” during trade negotiations with New Zealand and Australia when it comes to agricultural interests.

The Welsh Lib Dems have argued that despite Australia having an economy less than 40 per cent the size of the UK’s and New Zealand’s economy being 30 times smaller than the UK, the Conservatives have capitulated to their demands for agricultural access to the UK market, placing Welsh farmers at significant risk.

The Farmer’s Union for Wales (FUW) reported that the increase in New Zealand’s import quota for sheep meat in year one of new trade agreements signed by the UK and EU is more than 40 times higher per head of population in the UK compared with the European Union. The Union has stated this “demonstrates a failure of the UK Government to protect UK agriculture in trade negotiations.”

The warning comes after it has been reported that Australian food imports to the UK will not be required to meet UK food production standards as part of the trade deal. The move has caused some to accuse the Conservatives of merely offshoring pesticide use that UK farmers are prevented from using.

Welsh Lib Dem Leader Jane Dodds said:

The more we hear about these trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, the more evident it becomes that the UK Conservative Government has been walked over by both countries.

The Australian trade deal is set to provide only a 0.08% boost to our economy, yet due to incompetence by Conservative Ministers it could have a devastating effect on Welsh farming communities and in turn, the Welsh language.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 9 Comments

Ed Davey announces a shuffle of his Commons Parliamentary team

A larger Parliamentary Party means a spreading of the burden of covering the waterfront of Government activity, and Ed Davey has this morning announced a reorganisation of responsibilities amongst our MPs. The new lineup is as follows;

  • Ed Davey – Leader
  • Daisy Cooper – Deputy Leader, Health and Social Care
  • Alistair Carmichael – Home Affairs, Justice and Northern Ireland
  • Wendy Chamberlain – Chief Whip, Work and Pensions
  • Tim Farron – Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Sarah Green – International Trade and Wales
  • Wera Hobhouse – Energy and Climate Change, Transport
  • Christine Jardine – Cabinet Office, Women & Equalities, Scotland
  • Layla Moran – Foreign Affairs and International Development
  • Helen Morgan

Posted in News and Parliament | Tagged and | 20 Comments

Richard Foord’s maiden speech in full (video and text)

You may be forgiven for not noticing that Richard Foord, our newest MP, made his maiden speech yesterday. But that’s exactly what he did at 5.20pm, when the rest of us were watching which Cabinet members were making their way into No 10.

Richard was speaking in the debate on the spending of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on the strategy for international development.

Richard Foord paid tribute to two of his predecessors, Neill Parish and Lord Palmerston. He cited Parish’s campaigning for schools and opposition to importing food produced to lower animal health standards. Foord promised to fight for school provision and the mid-Devon farming community.

Turning to Lord Palmerston, Foord noted he started out a Conservative but later became a Liberal.

I honestly think that is what we are hearing across the country: a groundswell of opinion from people who feel taken for granted.

On Ukraine, Foord said we should defend the country, not least because it voluntarily gave up its nuclear weapons. He said Britain should show similar solidarity to our European neighbours.

Liberal democracy must be defended and preserved, regardless of who Palmerston’s latest successor might be.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 5 Comments

Another day of chaos

A Twitter round up, including a great question to the PM from Munira Wilson and a punchy interview with Christine Jardine.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

Liberal Democrats table amendment to back-date windfall tax on oil & gas by £3bn

The Liberal Democrats have today tabled an amendment to backdate the government’s delayed windfall tax, raising an extra £3 billion from oil and gas giants to help with the cost of living.

The party is pushing for a vote on the amendment in Parliament today, putting pressure on Conservative MPs to back the move.

After months of calls from opposition parties, the Government announced an emergency levy on the super profits of North Sea oil and gas producers with effect from 26 May 2022.

The Liberal Democrats, who were the first party to call for a windfall tax in October 2021 have tabled …

Posted in News and Press releases | Tagged and | 1 Comment

Early Bird Discount for Conference ends tomorrow – Register now

If you are planning on going to Brighton to Conference from 17-20 September, you have just one day left to register at the Early Bird rate of £75. We would strongly recommend that you do it tonight if you can. The screams you can hear faintly in the distance come from those members of the LDV team who are finding that their previous log-in details don’t work and they have to register all over again.

This Conference gives the Lib Dem family its first chance to get together since Bournemouth in 2019 so it’s worth going for that reason alone.

Posted in News | Tagged | 2 Comments

Grenfell 5th anniversary: Lib Dems call for public enquiry

It’s half a decade since we watched in horror as the Grenfell Tower fire took hold. At the time the Government promised that such a tragedy would never happen again, but in England alone, 10,000 buildings are still considered unsafe. Imagine the stress of being trapped in such a building, scared that it could go on fire at any time.

To mark the fifth anniversary, Lib Dem Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper and peer Kath Pinnock had called for a statutory public enquiry with the power to summon witnesses to give evidence under oath and demand disclosure of any relevant evidence.

Daisy Cooper said:

The horrific events which led to the loss of 72 people five years ago today will never be forgotten.

After the tragedy of Grenfell, this Conservative Government said ‘never again’. Yet five years on, tens of thousands of people are still trapped in homes which aren’t safe and they cannot sell, and lessons have not been learned.

Families living in homes with unsafe cladding and other dangerous fire safety defects are facing unimaginable stress and anxiety while the remediation programme stutters along at a glacial pace.

It’s simply shameful that five years down the line from this tragic disaster, the big changes needed to stop it from happening again simply have not happened.

A separate public inquiry into the Government’s handling of this building safety crisis is frankly long overdue and is nothing less than what those still living in unsafe homes deserve.

Kath Pinnock said:

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Layla: Johnson debases the office of PM with NI Protocol Bill

Lib Dem Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran has said that Boris Johnson is debasing the office of Prime Minister by proposing breaching international law in the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill. She said:

It’s astounding that at exactly the moment when we should be standing united with our allies in the face of Russia’s aggression, the Conservative Government has decided to ignite a diplomatic firestorm.

“From breaking his own laws at home to attempting to breach international law abroad, Boris Johnson has debased the office of Prime Minister.

“If the Conservatives enact these proposals, they risk starting a trade war with our closest neighbours

Posted in News | Tagged and | 10 Comments

That Tory memo calling for “Conservative Corbyn” Johnson to go

Over the weekend, a memo circulated among Tory backbenchers setting out the case for Boris Johnson to go. It is striking how scared the Conservatives have become of the Lib Dems, with the memo writers predicting that we could take seats with Conservative majorities of up to 20,000 in the Blue Wall.

The memo writers also suggest that if Johnson survives by a slim majority, he will call an early general election to restore his personal mandate.

We should make the Conservatives paranoia a reality by ensuring we win in Tiverton and Honiton. Please help this weekend if you can. We must ensure that Richard Foord is elected on 25 June and drive home the message that the Tories are not fit to govern. There are both volunteer activities in the constituency and regular Maraphone sessions.

The full Tory memo is below.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Alex Cole-Hamilton’s Platinum Jubilee tribute to the Queen

Today Scottish political leaders paid tribute to the Queen’s 70 year reign. This is what Alex Cole-Hamilton had to say:

During the Queen’s reign she has seen 14 Prime Ministers come and go and has met with 13 out of the last 14 US Presidents. She has represented this country and the Commonwealth around the world with unfaltering poise and distinction.

In a world that can sometimes seem sadly and increasingly defined by shallow self-interest, Her Majesty has long served as an exquisite example of the best of Britishness: humility, service, dedication to duty, dignity, and forbearance.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 11 Comments

Ed Davey’s Platinum Jubilee Message

As the nation gets ready to either throw themselves into bunting and street parties or steadfastly ignore what is going on, Ed Davey paid tribute to the Queen:

I would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s remarkable reign which has been the bedrock of our country for the past 70 years. The Queen has led our country through both good and challenging times, and for that we owe Her Majesty a great gratitude.

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Lib Dems head to Tiverton and Honiton

With just 26 days to go before polling day, Lib Dems are heading to Devon this weekend to support Richard Foord’s campaign to overturn a 24,000 Conservative majority. Activists have come from as far away as Fife, 600 miles away, to help.

The Young Liberals are turning up in force to help, just as they did in Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire. They also produced an excellent guide to campaigning in by-elections which you can find here in the Members’ area of the ALDC website.

It’s looking busy and positive on the campaign trail and voters are well aware that we are the challengers to the Tories:

 

While Richard Foord has been impressing in the media, the Independent reports that the Conservatives are keeping their candidate well out of sight of journalists so she doesn’t have to face questions about Partygate:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 3 Comments

Ed Davey highlights “Sunak Scam” and other Lib Dems respond to Chancellor’s statement

Ed Davey was unimpressed with the package announced by Rishi Sunak aimed at helping people with the soaring cost of living.

He described it as the “Sunak Scam.”

The Chancellor is hammering families with a £800 tax hike this year, more than wiping out what he announced today.

It is the Sunak scam, promising you help but picking your pockets while you’re not looking.

Soaring inflation and devastating tax rises have left proud families who never dreamed they would find themselves in trouble struggling to pay the bills.

The British people need help right now, but instead have been left abandoned again for months on end.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Ed Davey: Call COBRA meeting over further Ofgem cap rise

As if people weren’t already struggling with just about everything going up very steeply in price, Ofgem said today that further pain is on the way. A further rise in the energy price cap means that households could be paying another £900 per year come October. This would be an almost doubling of the cap in 6 months and would be disastrous for people who were finding impossible to afford the basics before April’s rise.

Ed Davey has called on the Government to declare a national emergency and convene a special energy COBRA meeting to chart a way forward.

He said:

It is now or never to save families and pensioners on the brink. The government must declare the cost of living crisis a national emergency.  Boris Johnson has sat on his hands for months, he cannot waste a single second longer.

Posted in News | 3 Comments

Tory source: Tiverton “likely to fall to the Liberal Democrats”

The announcement of Richard Foord as our candidate for the Tiverton and Honiton by-election was a very clever piece of work by the press team at  LDHQ.

An article in the Telegraph not only had many of our key messages about the by-election, but quoted a Conservative source as saying that the seat was likely to fall to us:

The Liberal Democrat campaign in the constituency is expected to focus on policy areas on which the Conservatives are weak in southern seats, including tax increases and protections for “the rural way of life”.

A Conservative Party source told The Telegraph the seat is likely to fall to the Liberal Democrats, piling pressure on Boris Johnson to shore up support in “blue wall” areas rather than focussing solely on red wall” seats in the north of England.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Single progressive challenger to Tories wins seats

This is an independent view from Compass which is a centre-left pressure group, aligned with the Labour Party.

At the local elections, the Lib Dem vote rose by 14.1% in England where the party was the only progressive challenger to the Tories.

Neal Lawson, Director of Compass said:

“When progressives cooperate they win, when they compete they lose. Despite the party machines insisting on unilaterally standing candidates that can only benefit the right, progressives locally are cooperating to win under the radar. Progressives should only stand where they can win.”

An unprecedented number of contests saw only one progressive candidate standing. By accident and by local design, progressive parties not competing had a stunning impact on the Lib Dem vote, and those of Labour and Greens:

  • The Lib Dem vote rose by 14.1% where it was the only progressive challenger to the Tories.
  • The Labour vote rose by 6.1% where it was the only progressive challenger to the Tories.
  • The Greens vote rose by 20.2% where it was the only progressive challenger to the Tories. The Green figures are less robust because of the sample size but the impact of non-competition for the Green Party is very large.
Posted in The Independent View | Tagged | 15 Comments

Tiverton and Honiton by-election to take place on 23rd June

The Writ has been moved for the Tiverton and Honiton by-election to take place on 23rd June.

The by-election was caused by the resignation of Neil Parish after he was discovered watching pornographic videos during  parliamentary meetings on two occasions.

Ed Davey said that the by-election gave voters the chance to send Boris Johnson’s Government a message they cannot ignore and elect a local Lib Dem champion to fight for them:

People in rural communities like Devon have had enough of being neglected by this Conservative government.

Posted in News | Tagged | 3 Comments

LibLink: Wera Hobhouse on green mortgages

Wera Hobhouse has been writing for The House Magazine under the headline “A green mortgage drive could upgrade our leaky homes and slash household bills“.

She writes:

With household bills soaring, those hit the hardest are families living in the leakiest homes. Green mortgages could combat the UK’s leaky homes and bring down household bills in the long-run.

Research shows that households living in homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of D or worse will be paying an average of £470 per year more than homes rated EPC C or better. That’s more than the average annual UK water bill.

It seems many banks now offer various incentives, including lower mortgage rates, to homeowners who either buy energy efficient homes or who borrow to fund upgrades. However they are still only a small proportion of mortgages.

Wera says:

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Ed Davey: Queen’s Speech shows Conservatives are neglecting rural communities

Ed Davey has said that the Queen’s Speech does nothing to help rural communities:

This Queen’s Speech does nothing to help the millions of families and pensioners facing soaring bills and eye watering inflation. The Conservatives have failed to deliver a cut to VAT that would have saved families an average of £600, failed to help pensioners and failed to help the most vulnerable in our society.

“The Conservatives are continuing to neglect rural communities. There was nothing in these plans to support farmers on the brink, to tackle soaring ambulance waiting times and GP shortages, or to stop the dumping of filthy sewage into our river and seas.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

What Bill would you like to see in the Queen’s Speech?

It’s going to be a very strange Queen’s Speech today, delivered by Prince Charles. The Queen was well over everyone else’s retirement age quarter of a century ago and it has been amazing that she was able to continue with this ceremony until last year.

There is no doubt that the words Prince Charles will deliver, written for him by the most illiberal Government of the Queen’s reign, will be utterly vomit inducing for most people reading this site. Protest rights and human rights under threat, absolutely nothing to address rising poverty and hunger in this country.

Alistair Carmichael had this to say on measures to limit the right to protest:

These dangerous and draconian plans aren’t about stopping guerilla protestors – the police already have the powers to stop them. Instead, this is yet another desperate attempt to distract from a failing Government that is running out of steam.

Last week, millions of people across the country sent a signal to the Conservatives that they were fed up with being taken for granted. Yet now we see they have nothing new to offer.

So rather than wasting time recycling discredited plans, which have already been rejected by Parliament, Ministers should be taking real action to tackle the cost of living crisis which is hurting families across the country.

So we thought it might be an idea to ask you what you would like to see? What one piece of legislation would you introduce to make life better for people and why?

It might be a complete overhaul of our immigration system to ensure that people are treated with dignity and compassion with a presumption that people who love each other should be able to live together, it could be securing the electoral reform that protects against a Government having disproportionate power without legitimacy, it could be measures to tackle violence against women and girls, it could be ensuring that everyone has the basics they need to thrive, not just survive. And then of course there is the not inconsequential matter of saving the planet.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 14 Comments
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