Category Archives: Leadership Election

Dispatch of Leadership Election Ballots

Postal Votes

Postal votes have gone to print on the 27th July 2020. The initial run was around 5,000 voters. These will be sent to Royal Mail on the 29th July 2020.

We expect paper ballots to land between the 30th July and the 2nd August in the UK. We expect this to take up to the 14th August for non-UK postal ballots.

People who haven’t received a postal ballot by 2nd August can request a replacement by emailing [email protected]

Postal votes have been assigned based on the following criteria:

  • No email present on file
  • Has been requested by member
  • Has an @libdems.org.uk email address
  • Has a role-based email address ([email protected] [email protected] etc)
  • Has a shared email address (ie 2 members using the same email)

In addition, any email addresses that cannot be uploaded to the email platform, or that hard bounce will be sent a postal vote in a second batch that will go to print on the 3rd August and we expect to arrive between the 6th and 11th August.

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Layla Moran, cutting through the media

Lib Dem Voice invites each candidate for the leadership to submit one post in support of their campaign per week. This is the post from Layla Moran’s team for this week.  

While we’re all caught up in the policy nuances of our summer leadership debate there is something to me that seems to have been overlooked – a leader’s ability to make the Liberal Democrats part of the national conversation in the media. This for me is one of the main reasons I’m backing Layla to be our next leader.

Layla has the media nouse to make the Liberal Democrat’s voice heard in the national conversation. Throughout this campaign, she has secured front-page stories across the spectrum, from traditionally Labour-supporting newspapers like the Mirror to staunch Tory backing papers like the Telegraph where she helped expose historic slavery links to some of the UK’s top firms leading to them donating to BAME community groups and charities.

She even led a campaign with the Daily Express on an incredible (and in the end successful) campaign to force the Government to introduce a Coronavirus Compensation Scheme for bereaved families. This shows how working with the media isn’t just about raising the party’s visibility, it can change policy and change lives.

Since I joined this party in 2015, I’ve never seen a Liberal Democrat MP so good at making us a relevant part of the national conversation. Layla is a refreshing voice in the media, in many cases providing the only clear opposition to this shambolic Tory Government. Just in the past few weeks, she made the front page of The i newspaper on opposing the Conservative’s heartless choice to reinstate car parking charges for NHS staff.

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Move Forward Together

In the aftermath of this crisis, our country has an opportunity to change.

Watch video here

And we must change. Going back to normal means continuing to damage our planet. It means entrenching educational inequalities before a child even steps foot in a classroom. Treating people differently because of the colour of their skin, and prioritising GDP over wellbeing.

Change is in the air; no matter where you go, you can feel it. Communities are coming together to help those in need. More and more young people making their voices heard on climate change. And when you turn on the news, you see statues of slave owners and supremacists finally coming down.

This is a once in a generation chance. We must be brave and use this energy to be better; to build the society that we want to see. The Liberal Democrats, and progressive ideas must be at the forefront of this.

At the heart of my leadership campaign is a vision to make this happen.

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Ed Davey launches his leadership campaign

Ed Davey has today launched his bid to be Leader of the Liberal Democrats with this video:

Nominations close on 9th July and voting will take place in August with the result expected on 27th August.

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The starting pistol is fired on the leadership election!

Last week, we published the frank independent review into the 2019 general election. It rightly received plaudits in the media for its candour.

This review challenges us to change as a party and to change the country for the better.

We now need to get on with that work – and that’s what we’ve done with a set of key decisions by your Federal Board.

We’ve set a timetable for electing our next party leader – running from June through to August. With the widespread use of online hustings and online voting, we …

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We fight or we die; contest now

Delay?!

No. We press our advantage. Be mercenary. We have nothing left to lose. 6% by the latest polls. For nothing.

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Jo Swinson…for leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats?

Embed from Getty Images

A few days after the general election, in a state of numbness I’m sure you are all familiar with, my thoughts were on our former leader, Jo Swinson.

I admit, I was not a full-throated supporter of Swinson’s. I believed she would have problems building the relationships and alliances essential to stopping Brexit, so backed Ed in the contest. In my opinion, she had an opportunity to set Scotland on a more positive course against independence. The real north, as I described it last week, could have begun to work more closely to tackle our unique crises. We would have been better able to hold the SNP’s feet to the iron, somewhat ironically, had we spent less time engaging in running point-scoring battles. We had the same aim. Those failings I find hard to set aside.

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Layla Moran stands for the leadership of the party

Layla Moran has announced she is running to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

On her website Layla said:

It’s time for our Party to move forwards and build a positive vision for our future. I want to fight to ensure education and equality of opportunity. To properly tackle the climate crisis, and to better engage in cooperative, progressive politics. I’m listening to members and voters, and I want to work with them to build a vision for the future of our party and country. With your support, I can lead this change.

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Ed’s Days – 1-2 July 2019

Ed and Jo spent a lot of the day togeher.

Here they are at Sky News

And then together at Channel 4 News:

And it was Ed’s turn to have a Facebook Live with Chuka:

Visiting the Pride pop up shop

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Jo’s Days – 1-2 July 2019

Yesterday was the all important voting day. As ballots were being dispatched, Jo and Ed were on Sky News.

And on to Channel 4

And an hour with Iain Dale…..

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Ed’s Weekend – 29-30 June 2019

The final weekend of Ed’s campaign was as hectic as the previous month.

Talking to Nick Robinson on the BBC Political Thinking podcast.

Backing Hong Kong citizens:

Thanking forces on their day

And on to that Stratford hustings:

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Jo’s weekend – 29-30 June 2019

The final weekend of the campaign saw a massive push for votes by both leadership candidates.

But for Jo, Saturday was a special day. Her son Gabriel’s first birthday.  In a Twitter thread, she described the events of 29 June 2018.

But before any birthday cake could be consumed, it was the final hustings of the campaign  at ALDC’s Kickstart event in Stratford-upon-Avon.

An interesting graphic from the Sunday People for an article by Jo on Boris:

There’s plenty of evidence of Boris Johnson’s character in the public domain already.

We know he’s a liar. He’s been sacked for it twice – once by a newspaper and then by Michael Howard.

And that was long before he toured the country with a big fat lie emblazoned on the side of his bus.

We know he has no hesitation using hurtful, divisive language – calling black people picaninnies with water melon smiles or Muslim women letterboxes.

We know that he is irresponsible.

As Foreign Secretary his blunders were used as evidence by Iran against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

As London Mayor, he wasted public money on a series of vanity projects like a Garden Bridge to Nowhere and an airport in the Thames Estuary that never took off.

And she appeared on Ridge on Sunday:

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Jo’s Day – 28 June 2019

Friday started with an endorsement for Jo (£) from the Independent:

Sir Ed trumpets his greater experience, which would serve the party well in such troubled times for the country. But we think Ms Swinson’s instincts on the critical issue of relations with other parties make her the right choice for Lib Dem members.

And a message on the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

The G20 needs to fix the world’s broken social contract, argued Jo in a piece for Wired:

We need a hopeful vision for the future, powered by a strong, liberal voice that understands that the new economy can neither be left to its own devices or be overly-managed by the state. Rather, it must be harnessed for the benefit of everyone. And it must take the public with us, building trust by placing liberal values of privacy, accountability, and transparency at its core.

The UK can and must be at the forefront of this change, leading the G20 and the world in creating an ethical tech-led economy centred on social well-being and environmental sustainability. That means overhauling how our society works, valuing the strengths of empathy, passion, and resilience that make us human, while embracing technology as an indispensable ally in meeting our biggest challenges.

In fairness to Ed, we do have to put a massive health warning before the next item. YouGov did a poll to determine the outcome of the next election around various scenarios of potential Labour Party policies.

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Ed’s Day – 28 June 2019

Our Netflix style binge through the last week of the leadership campaign before the ballots come out tomorrow nears its conclusion.

For Ed, Friday started with a reflection on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Challenging Putin on the end of liberalism

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Ed’s Day – 27 June 2019

Victoria Derbyshire’s live tv hustings has been covered here, but here’s Ed’s take.

Here’s his opening pitch.

And talking again about climate change:

Slamming Boris on immigration:

Immigration has been a great thing for our country. But politicians like Johnson have vilified those coming to help build and contribute to our great country for their own political gain in the Brexit debate.

Yet businesses across the country are already having to deal with acute shortages of staff thanks to the Brexit uncertainty, and this proposal from our potential next PM does nothing to solve that. If implemented, an Australian-style visa cap would only make it worse.

Johnson is only pandering to the likes of Farage, who has long pushed for this kind of unfair system. Nigel Farage ought to be the last person a potential Prime Minister should be looking to for inspiration on how to run a fair and effective immigration system.

Then off to the Gatwick hustings;

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Jo’s Day – 26 June 2019

On Wednesday, the world was incredulously amused at Boris’s revelation that he liked to make model buses.

Jo got it, though:

Jo was also at the Climate Lobby

Onto the Lobby Hustings

And then a Facebook Live with our newest MP, Chuka Umunna.

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Ed’s Day – 26 June 2019

Wednesday saw a mass lobby of Parliament on the climate emergency. Ed was there:

Then thee was a hustings with Parliament’s journalists:

He elaborated on his Government of National Unity to stop Brexit idea as Politics Home reported:

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Jo’s Day – 25 June 2019

Continuing our catch-up for the two leadership candidates.

On Tuesday, Jo’s interview with our former editors Mark Pack and Stephen Tall came out.

And sharing photos of constituency visits.

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Ed’s Day – 25 June 2019

Our campaign diaries have fallen a bit by the wayside this week due to life and illness getting in the way. But we decided to catch up now so we have a full record of the campaign and so that you can binge watch, Netflix style, in the couple of days before the ballot papers arrive.

So, let’s go back to Tuesday.

Boris and Jeremy are getting the Iain Dale treatment at Conservative hustings around the country. He interviewed Ed on his radio show on Tuesday night.

Watch the whole thing here:

Earlier, he had been working cross party to challenge the impact of privatising the visa application process was having on people, forcing them to travel long distances to make applications.

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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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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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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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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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