Author Archives: The Voice

Victoria Derbyshire Lib Dem Leadership hustings open thread

Stay with us as Jo and Ed take part in a live head to head tv debate on BBC2 and BBC News Channel in a few minutes. This is particularly important as ballot papers are despatched tomorrow.

The BBC have actually been promoting this well, too.

The pair will take questions by a studio audience comprised of Lib Dem members and voters.

And we’re off.

(UPDATE: Watch the whole thing here.

The budget doesn’t seem to have stretched to stools, thankfully.

First up – each gets a minute’s pitch

Jo says she says country is crying out for a liberal movement to stand up against the narrow nationalism Farage and Johnson. Our country deserves better, a vision of hope. We need to build an economy that puts people and planet first.

Ed says he wants to end Brexit quickly by a people’s vote. If we stay we’ll have a lot of money to tackle problems like inequality and building public services. He says that we need to green our economy and that his experience and vision are what we need. He reveals that he turned down the chance to be “double oh davey”. He chose to work for Paddy Ashdown rather than MI6.

Derbyshire challenges them that there is no time for a People’s Vote. It can’t be done by October 31st.

Jo Swinson says that we will get an extension from the EU for a People’s Vote. The prospect of a No Deal exit focuses the mind of MPs who have not yet backed a people’s vote.

Ed Davey says that MPs need to grab the order paper to require a vote by MPs before we leave.

He describes the nuclear option of a vote of no confidence in the government which could lead to a general election. He would prefer a government of national unity headed by a backbench Labour MP which will pass legislation for a People’s Vote.

Ex Lib Dem Member Luke to join Renew asks what they would do to work on a Remain Alliance.

Jo says we should do whatever it takes to stop Brexit as the threat to our country is so huge. Lib Dems are biggest, most consistent remain party. In a general election, we need to be smarter about working together. In Peterborough all of the practicalities were put in place for a Remain candidate before he pulled out at the last minute. She says that local members are important.

Ed says he agrees with Jo. We have to get the Remain vote together in a general election. He advocates tactical voting as in 1997 and 2001. He says he’d be up for going further  if we are faced by the horror of a Leave alliance between Farage and Johnson. Lib Dems have been least tribal – standing down for Caroline Lucas.

Torrin Wilkins from Liberal Leave (Victoria Derbyshire observes this must be a lonely life) says if we end up with a Norway style deal after another referendum, would Lib Dems deliver that.

Jo says People’s Vote needs to have a specific Brexit on the ballot paper. In 2016, Brexit meant whatever you want it to say.

She says that now we know what Brexit means, people will be able to vote on that specific proposal.

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Two important Lib Dem leadership debates

Ballot papers in the leadership election will land in people’s letterboxes and inboxes from 1st July.

The 105,000 Lib Dem members will have two opportunities before then to see the two candidates, Ed Davey and Jo Swinson, go head to head on live tv. The first is on Victoria Derbyshire at 10 am on Thursday 27th July. The second is on Adam Boulton’s All out Politics on Sky at 9am on Monday 1st July.

We’ll catch up with Ed and Jo properly tomorrow but today has seen the first direct conflict of the leadership campaign.

In an article in the Times (£) this morning, Ed would have wanted the discussion to be around his plan to stop Brexit. People actually picked up on a quite violent turn of phrase:

So I hereby float the idea of a Remain alliance to decapitate that blond head in Uxbridge and South Ruislip if Johnson calls a snap election to deliver Brexit.

Quite obviously not meant literally, but still more violent than many people felt comfortable with.

Jo was uncomfortable with the way Ed expressed the view of Boris being a total disaster:

The language we use is important. We have to be able to have robust debate in our politics without resorting to graphic, violent imagery. We have to rediscover the ability to disagree well with each other.

This is not language I would use, and in the current climate I don’t think we should speak in those terms.

Boris will be a disaster for this country, but we can make that case without resorting to violent language.

Later in the day, Ed recognised that a less violent metaphor would have been more appropriate:

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Winchester Liberal Democrats choose Paula Ferguson to be their PPC for Winchester & Chandler’s Ford

The Liberal Democrats are delighted to announce that local resident Paula Ferguson has been selected as their Parliamentary candidate for the Winchester & Chandler’s Ford Constituency.

Paula has lived in Winchester with her family for twenty years.

She currently works as a psychologist in education helping children who need support. Earlier in her career, she worked in banking and management consultancy.

She has always been actively involved in the local community and has set up a number of community groups.

In May she was elected to Winchester City Council for St Bartholomew Ward with 61% …

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Ed’s Day – 24 June 2019

Ed started the week by having a good go at Boris on Politics LIve

And then on to the New Statesman hustings tonight.

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Jo’s Day – 24 June 2019

Monday started with Bollocks to Boris as well as Brexit- an article in The Times (£)

How much hardship will now be endured to satisfy Boris Johnson’s ego? How many families will find life harder for the sake of his ambition? How many patients will wait, propped up on plastic chairs in hospital corridors, for that £350 million a week he promised on the side of a bus?

One thing is for certain, Boris doesn’t care. Consequences are for other people. Just ask Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

And what do the Lib Dems offer?

Britain needs leaders who are up front and honest about the choices facing our country. I make no apology for wanting to stop Brexit — whatever version we end up getting will be a national disaster. And I’m not afraid to make that case to the British people.

The Liberal Democrats were the first to call for a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal and I am proud to have been the party’s lead in that campaign, working alongside people of all parties and none in pursuit of a common goal. The European elections have now proved that we are UK’s biggest and strongest party of Remain.

And tonight, she and Ed took part in the New Statesman hustings.

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Jo’s Weekend – 21-23 June 2019

Jo’s interview with the New European came out:

I ask Jo Swinson why she should lead the Liberal Democrats and she takes a deep breath and manages to get it out in all of three sentences. “I’m the best person to lead the movement because I can reach out to new voters, through traditional broadcast media, where I have a high profile, and through social media, where I have a high following.

I also think I can reach out across the generations and across the country. I have cross-party relationships and a non-tribal style, which I think is exactly what we need at the moment.”

And she talks about the need for a more diverse country:

I recognise that ours is still a racist country. We have not dealt with those issues as much as we would have liked to, even if there has been progress in some areas. I would hope that one day soon we could have a black leader of a political party.

Ours should be a country where every individual has an opportunity to thrive. That is not currently the case – partly on the basis of race, gender, disability, socio-economic background, sexual orientation or whatever – and, as it is, we are probably in line for another Etonian prime minister. Quite frankly, a large number of people are still not achieving their potential in our country, and, as a liberal, I am not happy with that and want to change it.

In Wales, she met Welsh Leader and Brecon and Radnorshire by-election candidate Jane Dodds.

 

And in Cornwall she was helping campaign for fairer NHS funding for the county:

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Ed’s weekend – 21-23 June 2019

We last left Ed about to go on Question Time on Thursday night.  You can, and should, watch the whole thing here. He answered very effectively questions about Boris (which sparked his lengthy and brilliant Twitter rant of many of the worst things Boris has done), Brexit and knife crime and the importance of winning the arguments on vaccinating children.

On Friday, it was time for his Politics Home interview:

He talked about his idea for a government of national unity:

Davey is clear he would like to be Prime Minister. However, in the current Brexit deadlock, he is also advocating a Government of National Unity.

“I think there are just about enough MPs from a plethora of parties who are so alarmed at a no deal prospect, who are so alarmed at the way our politics has been polluted by these hard-right Brexiteers, that they will come together. It will not be easy, but I could see a backbench Labour MP, I wouldn’t name them but you can guess who they might be, being given support from enough people from enough parties that we could send a message to the Palace that if they send for that member of Parliament they will be able to command a majority of the House of Commons.”

He says that this “Government of National Unity” would not be a coalition. “It would be a temporary phenomenon in order to stop no-deal. In order pass the paving legislation for a people’s vote and then be a caretaker government to oversee the process until that vote happened.”

He talks about the Lib Dems being the party of business:

“I’m pro-competition. I’m pro-entrepreneur. I’m pro-free trade. It is in our liberal economic agenda, but we do not think markets are there to tell us what to do, we’re there, through democratic means, to shape those markets.”

Davey says there are lots of examples of this in action, but “the one I’m focussing on is climate change”. “It is absolutely outrageous that people in our country are allowed to not take account of climate change risks in their decisions. We are facing a climate emergency.”

The former Environment Secretary wants to make sure “all these institutions and corporates have to disclose both their investments in fossil fuels”.

He wrote a blistering article in the Independent about how the Tories have learned nothing from their Windrush Scandal failure:
A year on from the first Windrush Day, the hostile environment is as hostile as ever.

These policies, which turn teachers, doctors, police officers and bank clerks into border guards, are exactly the policies that led members of the Windrush generation to be deprived their rights, detained and even deported. The Windrush scandal should have been the end of them. And yet, for all the Conservatives’ apologising and hand-wringing, they remain in force

Most outrageous is the Conservatives’ refusal to scrap their “right to rent” law. This requires landlords to check the immigration status of tenants or prospective tenants, with the threat of a criminal conviction if they rent to someone they shouldn’t.

When the Conservatives first tried to introduce this law in 2014, the Liberal Democrats in government blocked it. We argued that making landlords criminally responsible for immigration enforcement would lead to racial discrimination.

He highlighted the story of the man who had to sleep in a shed because he had no way of proving he had the right to stay here.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has shown clearly, through a “mystery shopper” exercise, that the Liberal Democrats’ fears were well-founded. On the basis of that and other supporting evidence, the High Court ruled in March that the Conservatives’ “right to rent” policy breaches fundamental human rights because it essentially forces private landlords to discriminate against prospective tenants who are Bame or who don’t have a British passport.

What would we do about it?

That’s why the Liberal Democrats would take responsibility for immigration away from the Home Office altogether.

The Departments for Business, Education and International Development should make policy on work permits, student visas and asylum respectively. And we would set up a new, arms-length, non-political agency to take over the actual processing of visa and asylum applications, with the training and resources to process applications quickly, decide cases fairly, and get them right the first time.

He also wrote for the Huffington Post about why we need a Boris-busting Remain Alliance:

Anyone who hopes Johnson won’t commit a Brexit calamity is basing that on his dishonesty. And he is indeed capable of yanking up the handbrake on the Brexit bus and committing a massive, shameless u-turn. But we cannot rely on him for that or indeed anything else.

Which is why a Remain Alliance is needed in Parliament, anchored around the Liberal Democrats – the only major national party to call for a People’s Vote from the get go and now with the democratic legitimacy of having beaten every other party in Parliament in last month’s European elections.

This Remain Alliance must first stop a no-deal Brexit. From a Humble Address to Her Majesty to passing a new law requiring a vote of MPs before the UK could leave the EU, we must examine every option to stop Boris. And we must be ready to use Parliament’s ultimate weapon – a vote of no confidence in a Johnson government.

There were hustings this weekend in Wales – good coincidence on the day that we find out that there’s going to be a by-election in a seat that we used to hold following the recall of the MP who was convicted of submitting a fraudulent invoice.

 

And he cleaned the beach in Bude ahead of the Cornwall hustings:

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Jane Dodds: Choose a better future for Brecon and Radnorshire with the Lib Dems

Welsh Lib Dem Leader Jane Dodds will be the candidate in a by-election in the seat of Brecon and Radnosrhire after the recall petition for former Conservative MP Chris Davies received almost double the required number of signatures. The by-election date has not yet been announced but it may well be before the end of July.

Thousands of residents across Brecon and Radnorshire have taken the chance to demand better than a Westminster politics that fails to take their concerns seriously.

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Ed’s Day – 20 June 2019

Ed is on Question Time tonight at 10:35 pm along with the ultra Brexity Weatherspoons owner Tim Martin.More on that tomorrow.

Earlier, he had a right go at the Home Office for tweeting about Pride when it treats LGBT+ people so disgracefully.

And a message for Clean Air Day..

And I don’t know about you, but I get the feeling that he’s not a fan of Boris. This is a very long thread but you really should read the whole thing.

Both candidates had the chance to have an email sent out by Lib Dem HQ. Here’s Ed’s:

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Jo’s Day – 20 June 2019

We had gone to bed before Jo last night so we missed her interview on Peston:

And a few hours later she was on Sky:

Then a message for World Refugee Day

Both candidates have had their second emails sent out through the party. Jo’s comes from one of our new MEPs, Antony Hook:

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Jo Swinson: Arms sales to Saudi Arabia must be suspended immediately

Today the Campaign Against the Arms Trade won its legal challenge to the Conservative Government’s decision to sell arms to Saudi Arabia.

Jo Swinson called on the Government to suspend arms sales immediately.

Saudi Arabia is an enemy of British values, including human rights and the rule of law. Their repeated violation and disregard for human rights should have ruled them out as an arms trading partner long ago.

Instead the Conservative government have continued to export arms and equipment to this brutal regime. The situation is inexcusable and cannot continue.

This court ruling is monumental.

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Chuka: Make large businesses pay promptly

The novelty of Chuka Umunna as a new Lib Dem MP hasn’t quite worn off yet. For the second day running our new Treasury Spokesperon tackled the Government, this time on measures to deal with late business payments, trying to nail their jelly to the wall.

I thank the Minister for advance sight of her statement. She talked about the challenges facing small businesses. Brexit, of course, will cause huge disruption to small businesses’ supply chains given the added bureaucracy and tariffs.

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Jo’s Day – 19 June 2019

Jo’s day started by tackling the Secretary of State for Scotland about the impact of Brexit and the prospect of No Deal on her constituency:

Brexit is already having an impact on East Dunbartonshire’s major employers. Aviva has announced that there will be job losses in the coming years, and a major engineering firm—an award-winning exporter—has told me about the negative impact Brexit is having on its business. Knowing what he does about the devastating impact on Scotland, how can the Secretary of State possibly countenance the no-deal or hard Brexit being offered by his colleagues in his party’s leadership election?

She was, with Ed, on the Jeremy Vine Show. Listen here from around 42:56.

On coalition, she said that we made the right decision to go in and we got a lot of things right but if we take the credit for successes we need to be honest about where we got it wrong – like the Bedroom Tax.

She attacked David Cameron for framing our relationship with the EU as a transactional relationship about benefits for Polish plumbers rather than a strategic necessity for our country.

She talked about a more pluralist politics where you work together with people in other parties.

And she was challenged on local Lib Dems fighting onshore wind farms which we are supposed to be in favour of.

She talked about targeting support for people who are impacted by particular policies.

Later,  she did a Facebook Q & A of her own:

An interview with the Press Association was reported in the Belfast Telegraph:

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Ed’s Day – 19 June 2019

It’s Wednesday, it’s eve of poll, and there’s a by-election in Merton

Earlier, Ed and Jo were on the Jeremy Vine Show talking about the coalition.  He said he was proud of our record in the coalition, that we put country before party and did so many good things, quadrupling nuclear power, raising the state pension and taking many people out of income tax. He highlighted Norman Lamb’s work on mental health.

He talked about the compromises we had to make go give the country stable government. He contrasted with this “appalling” government. Apart from Brexit, he said that austerity has got worse under the Tories.

He highlighted recent gains to say that Lib Dems are on the up.

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Press release: Cross-party legal claim against Met Police for stalling on Leave campaign investigations

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake has joined a cross-party group of MPs in taking crowdfunded legal action against the Metropolitan Police in regards to electoral offences committed during the June 2016 EU referendum.

Following revelations by whistleblowers, the Electoral Commission found three individuals and three campaign groups had committed electoral offences for which the highest fines permitted by statute were imposed.

In line with its Enforcement Policy, the Electoral Commission referred the matter to the Metropolitan Police Service. In September of last year, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that it had received over 2,000 documents and a full explanation from the Electoral Commission on the offences that had been committed.

The Metropolitan Police have been in possession of this information for over 11 months. To date, no decision has been reached as to whether any of these individuals and organisations should be charged.

Tom Brake MP said:

The public are entitled to know without delay the extent of any criminal law-breaking that took place in the run-up, during and after the EU Referendum campaign. Foot-dragging is not an option for the police when investigating claimsrelating to the integrity of our democracy.

The Electoral Commission report can be found here. The group of MPs include Ben Bradshaw MP, Tom Brake MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Baroness Jenny Jones of Mouslecoomb, and ex-MP Fiona Mactaggart.

The group has instructed Bindmans LLP and have a legal team, led by Saimo Chahal QC (Hon). The legal team has drafted a letter before claim, which they are today sending to the Metropolitan Police challenging their delay in investigation and seeking an explanation as to their failure to reach a charging decision.

The crowdfunding page can be found here.

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Chuka’s first parliamentary question as a Lib Dem

Chuka Umunna is no stranger to holding the government to account. He spent four years opposing the Business Secretary, one Vincent Cable. The effect of that seems to have been the formation of a close friendship.

Today he asked his first question as a Lib Dem on a touchstone liberal issue – the benefits of immigration and the awfulness of the Tory Government’s policies:

The King’s Fund says that the earnings threshold in the Government’s immigration proposals, which was mentioned earlier, will definitely impact on the ability to retain and attract NHS staff. The proposals for a transition period during which many social care workers would only be allowed to come here for a limited time with no entitlement to bring dependants will, again, negatively impact on the ability to retain staff. When will this Government realise that immigration is good for our public services and good for our country, and that badly thought out policy in this area that impacts on the retention of NHS staff is wrong and nonsensical?

It’s nice to see him down as a Lib Dem in Hansard, too.

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Ed’s Day – 18 June 2019

It’s been a very busy day for Ed Davey too.

From tackling transphobia on Mumsnet

And answering the Radical Association’s questions:

Liberal Democrats believe the market is our servant not our master. We want a mixed economy, and a diverse set of ownership models. We want to make sure markets don’t mistreat workers or the planet. Decarbonising capitalism is a profoundly radical approach to reforming the City, banks, stock exchanges, pension funds and debt markets – and is entirely in line with an approach of “responsible capitalism” promoted by Vince Cable, with new stronger regulations for better Environmental, Social and Governance policies for business. The reforms I introduced as Energy and Climate Change Secretary to reform the electricity market and to promote energy efficiency showed what can be achieved, by smart government intervention – as we saw renewable energy boom and I brought in minimum energy efficiency regulations for the rented sector.

I certainly don’t see the traditional shareholder corporate model as the only one. When I was a junior minister in BIS I worked closely with Co-op UK to push collective purchasing by consumers and then introduced this to the energy market through collective switching. I insisted that there should be a significant employee ownership of Royal Mail and am only sorry that after I left BIS the Tories scaled back the ambitious scale of employee ownership which we had. I introduced legislation which will allow a future government to mutualise the Post Office. At DECC I pushed for and published the UK’s first ever community energy strategy for renewables to provide a challenge to incumbent energy operators and after leaving government chaired a community energy company, helping many communities get into solar and even wind power. So I am passionately committed to delivering much wider forms of ownership than the traditional forms of corporate ownership.

And on rebuilding the party:

The inspiring thing is how a relatively small number of people can make a massive impact. Whether that was in past Lynne Featherstone in Hornsey and Wood Green to more recently Hannah Kitching in Barnsley and Adam Carter in Rotherham, big breakthroughs can be made. Often stronger nearby parties have helped in providing advice and support such as the Sheffield party in Rotherham but we can perhaps make this rather more structured.

And we also need to recognise that strong national messages appealing to people who share our values can have a massive impact. Who would have thought that in the European elections that we we would win boroughs such as Wandsworth and Westminster where we have no Councillors currently? As Leader my role will be to ensure that we put those supportive structures in place and that we have those clear national messages.

To be honest, there’s also the issue of raising money for the party. We have failed to hit fundraising targets in recent years – so we need to do much better. I believe I can go to businesses and individuals interested in our European ideas and our decarbonisation ideas, and get them to back us – and if we can raise significant extra funding, we can support less well-off areas, and support the rebuilding of the party in different parts of the country.

And talking to Liberal Reform:

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Jo’s Day – 18 June 2019

A busy day for Jo today.

Backing Stella Creasy on parental leave for MPs.

And appearing on Channel 4 News to talk about how important it was to do this in 2019.

Realising who Boris is really scared of…

Tackling the health secretary on protecting our NHS data in future post Brexit talks

And talking to the Times (£) about possible Remain pacts:

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WATCH: The online leadership hustings

You’ve seen a few comments on Ed’s Day and Jo’s Day. Now see the whole online hustings which took place tonight.

500 questions were submitted in advance of the event, chaired by party President Sal Brinton. It was the first of its type for a UK political party.

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Jo’s Day – 17th June 2019

Funnily enough, the big thing in Jo’s day was the online hustings too.

Here are some of her highlights.

Earlier in the day, Jo had been questioning the Government about the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf.

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Ed’s Day – June 2019

Today was mostly about the online hustings – as Sal Brinton said, the first to be held online by a political party in the UK to choose its leader.

Here are some of his highlights:

 

Earlier, he had visited a project in his constituency as part of Learning Disabilities Week:

And he had a wide-ranging interview with the New Statesman:

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Ed’s weekend – 16 June 2019

For Ed, the Nottingham hustings were a return to the place of his birth.

He spoke to the local newspaper.

I’ve always been very fond of Nottingham and I’m actually a Notts County supporter. It’s been a very difficult year for us but hopefully we’ll bounce back.”

He faced a challenging time aged 12 when his mother developed secondary bone cancer, and he became her carer for the next three years, before her death.

He was then brought up by his grandparents.

He added: “I was extremely fortunate to earn a scholarship to study at the Nottingham High School for 10 years, before I moved on to university.”

There’s a barrier between him and Ken Clarke, though:

“I am an admirer of Ken Clarke as a Conservative who has stood by his beliefs with Europe. Only problem is, he’s a Forest fan.”

Ed remembered Jo Cox on the third anniversary of her murder:

And he’s not impressed that some funders of the Johnson and Hunt campaigns are climate change deniers.

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Jo’s Weekend – 15-16 June 2019

It’s the third weekend of the campaign and that means hustings. From the north west on Friday night, the hustings train moved to Leeds on Saturday morning and Nottingham in the evening.

She took time to remember Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was murdered 3 years ago today.

This Radio 4 profile featured some familiar voices and you can find out which band she liked as a teenager, listen to a  fascinating excerpt from a school essay and find out the first song at her wedding – as well as some anecdotes from her first election campaign.

And there’s always room for a Douglas Adams reference:

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Jo’s Day – 13 and 14 June 2019

She took Boris to task on how he had put a British woman in peril and separated her from her young daughter.

In a Politics Home interview, she said that she wanted to be Prime Minister.

I’d love to be Prime Minister,” she says. “I’m not underestimating the scale of the challenge but equally politics is more volatile than I’ve known it, so who knows?”

She also took apart the double standards over drug use:

“Not particularly Earth-shattering, lots of people did and still do,” she says. “We ought to change our drugs laws because they don’t work. We don’t treat drug abuse like a public health issue and we should.”

She hits out at what she sees as the hypocrisy from Conservative leadership candidates on drugs. She does not name Environment Secretary Michael Gove, but seems to have him in mind: “You’ve got people who get criminalised and the full weight of the law comes down on them and yet for cabinet ministers it’s just like ‘okay, fine then’. That double standard is really troubling. They pursue these drugs policies, the so-called war on drugs, trying to act tough even though they don’t work.”

On Friday, Jo remembered those who died at Grenfell:

And standing up for trans rights at the North West hustings:

And finally, on a more light-hearted note…

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Ed’s Day – 13 and 14 June 2019

So, Mr Umunna’s arrival, welcome though it was, kind of put paid to our scheduling plans. So we’ll be catching up with the leadership campaign over the next two nights.

Thursday seems such a long time ago now.

It started for Ed with local success:

Before he expressed that he was, shall we say, less than impressed with  the man who looks like he is going to be our Prime Minister.

On Friday, he remembered those who lost their lives in Grenfell Tower:

And then up north to the hustings in Manchester

And then he wrote for the New Statesman (£) reprising a catchphrase from Blair, Tough on Brexit, tough on the causes of Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats actually have myriad policies to tackle regional, racial, class and generational inequality. The pupil premium, free school dinners and the national apprenticeship scheme were landmark Lib Dem achievements that have helped profoundly. But we need fresh ways of fighting structural inequality, and then proclaim them.

That must mean (no ifs, no buts) an end to austerity now.

It should be no surprise that so many voted Leave – successive governments, of all persuasions, have often felt powerless in the face of vast global and historic forces. This has left an underclass further cut adrift from the rest of society than at any point since the Rowntree report more than a century ago inspired the New Liberalism of Asquith and Lloyd George to found the Welfare State. Progressive politics needs a re-boot every bit as radical today to give a stake in society to everyone who lives in it. If that were not challenge enough, we must tackle the calamity of climate change and the racist nationalism of Farage and Johnson that fires hate.

And he talked to the New European about putting a stop to some really scary stuff going on with the Russians and the Tories back in the days of the coalition:

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Ed’s Day – 12 June 2019

Ed’s first email to party members was published.

Climate change’s devastation won’t respect borders – you have to work internationally, with other countries, if you want to save our planet.

That’s what I did, as Energy and Climate Change Minister. At the European table and at the UN, I fought for tougher targets to cut carbon emissions.

And I won.

Now – just as we are leading the campaign to Stop Brexit – I want us to lead the fight to solve the Climate Change Emergency. With my radical economic plan, for carbon-free capitalism.

Then he took the Business Secretary to task over the Government’s record on the environment, dismantling a lot of what he did as Energy and Climate Change Secretary:

In wholeheartedly welcoming this statement, may I ask the Secretary of State to do two things? First, will he reverse the Government’s decisions to abolish the zero-carbon homes regulations, to ban onshore wind, and to proceed with a third runway at Heathrow? Secondly, will he agree to meet me to discuss how we can decarbonise capitalism, particularly in the City of London? Given that the City funds 15% of global fossil fuel investment, if we can decarbonise the City, that can have a massive impact on the whole world.

And in an article for the Times (£), he said he’d take Lib Dems into a Government of National Unity to stop Brexit.

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Jo’s Day – 12 June 2019

The candidates did their first emails to party members. Read Jo’s in full here.

My aim as Leader is to build on our 700+ gains in the local elections and our fantastic success in the European Elections to change Britain’s politics.

As Leader, I will win us the cut through we need to get our strong liberal message across.

As Leader I will reach out to the next generation, bringing new and vibrant talent into our party.

And as Leader I will ensure that the Liberal Democrats lead the liberal revival that our politics so desperately needs.

On BBC Politics Live, she was pretty robust on Boris’ lack of suitability for the top job:

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Jo’s Day – 11 June 2019

In an interview with Businesss Insider, Jo says that she can reach out to new voters:

She said that one of her key qualities was that she’s “not a tribal politician” and had an advantage over Davey in being in a stronger position to win voters from the Conservatives, Labour and elsewhere.

I was down at the Donald Trump protest last week and several people came up to me and said they had joined the Lib Dems as a result of seeing me on Question Time,” she told Business Insider. “It is working.”

She added: “In this election, it is about who can break through and take the Lib Dems above 20%. It’s a big ask and a big challenge but I believe the opportunity is for us to do that.”

She ruled out making a coalition deal with either the incoming leader of the Conservatives or Jeremy Corbyn:

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Ed’s Day – 11 June 2019

Today, Ed has expressed his concern over MI5’s inappropriate handling of data:

These revelations represent a shocking breach of civil liberties by one of the agencies tasked with safeguarding them.

The Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed giving MI5 powers to collect bulk communications data, and the serious issues raised by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner show that we were right to do so.

“Parliament needs to look again at the surveillance powers we give MI5 and other agencies, and roll back laws that unnecessarily erode privacy and liberty.

In an interview with i, he suggested that Conservative and Labour MPs were thinking about joining us.

Sir Ed, who is battling Jo Swinson to become leader of the party, told iconversations were taking place with opposition MPs to join the Lib Dems as the UK’s exit from the European Union had redrawn the political divide.

“There are some Conservative MPs who are thinking the unthinkable and there are some liberal Labour people who are thinking the unthinkable,” Sir Ed said.

But, as he said to the Huffington Post, they would have to win over party members.

In an interview with HuffPost UK, the Lib Dem leadership candidate said Chuka Umunna, Heidi Allen and others would be “welcome” to join his party.

But he made clear they would have to work hard to win over of local party activists who had spent years fighting them.

“Every election we have to get my local party members to reselect me,” Davey said.

“Anyone coming over would go through that process. They would need to win the trust of the local party members.”

 

He also outlined his plan to stop Brexit:

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Ed’s Day – 10 June 2019

Ed reacted to the worrying economic statistics this morning:

This is a really worrying indicator of the fragile state of our economy and should shame any Tory leadership candidate continuing to push for a no-deal Brexit. If just uncertainty can cause this shrink in manufacturing and our GDP, then it doesn’t bear thinking about what crashing out of Europe with no-deal could do.

These aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet, this is having an impact on the lives of people up and down the country employed in industries like car manufacturing who are already losing their jobs. Enough is enough. Things have changed since June 2016 – we have got to give the people the final say on Brexit with the option to stay.

He also supported a campaign to introduce same sex marriage in Northern Ireland:

And in an article in the Independent, he ripped into Boris and other Brexiteers.

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