Category Archives: News

Naomi Long is on the BBC’s 100 Women list for 2022


Alliance party leader, Naomi Long, has been named as one of the BBC’s 100 Women list for 2022.

The list “celebrates the achievements of women internationally, from grassroots volunteers to global leaders”. It includes women from a wide variety of backgrounds including sports, culture, human rights activism, politics, sports, arts etc. It is accompanied by a series of documentaries and intervews across the BBC internationally.

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5 December 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems Slam Unacceptable Delay in Support for Off-Grid Homes
  • Gordon Brown Review Shows a Lack of Ambition for Wales
  • Michelle Mone: Lib Dems demand publication of PPE contract

Lib Dems Slam Unacceptable Delay in Support for Off-Grid Homes

Government delays support for off-grid homes until 2023

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have slammed delays by the UK Government in rolling out a scheme designed to support people living in off-grid homes.

The Conservative minister responsible for energy bill support has announced that off-grid households will not receive any help with their spiraling bills until at least 2023, despite MPs from all parties calling for urgent action throughout 2022.

The UK Government is also yet to establish the full details of how hard-hit residents will be able to access the help they need due to taking months to develop what has been described as an “over-complicated and under-generous” scheme.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for a price cap on heating oil and LPG to ease the pressure on the many families in rural Wales living off the national gas grid.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS represents Mid & West Wales which contains areas such as Ceredigion where 74% of properties are estimated to not be connected to the gas grid. In Powys the figure is 55% while in Pembrokeshire it is 41%.

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ALDE Party Council – so many thoughts, so little time…

It was grey and dank as I strode briskly through the quiet morning streets of Bratislava en route to one of those modern, efficient hotels that are so much a feature of European city centres these days. I was a man on a mission, eager to contribute my knowledge and wisdom to the cause of European liberalism. And then I arrived at the ALDE Party Council meeting…

In fairness, the meeting started with a tribute to our fallen colleague, Robert Woodthorpe Browne, with contributions from the co-Presidents, Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Timmy Dooley, Phil Bennion (Chair of our Federal International Relations Committee) and Manfred Eisenbach, who likened his friendship with Robert to that of Stadler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show.

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Lib Dems can make gains if we stand up for closer relations with the EU

Last week I had a chance conversation with a leading national ‘expert’ on Brexit. There was much talk about the state of UK-European Union (EU) relations including the Northern Ireland Protocol. I enjoy discussing wonkery, but in light of public support for Brexit reaching an all time low and increasingly articulated public anger, I raised public opinion. “Forget public opinion” came the answer. I was taken aback.

The remark reinforces suspicions about the conspiracy of public silence amongst political leaders, and seemingly some opinion formers, about Brexit. With the tide of public opinion turning and some journalists still discussing Brexit, politicians are missing a political opportunity if they do not reflect the growing breadth and depth of public anger.

Although politicians have been right to focus on the pandemic and the tragic implications of Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine in recent years, downplaying or staying silent about the European Union (EU) is increasingly misplaced. To advocate closer EU relations is not to refight old Brexit battles, but to address the ever present need to promote our security and prosperity and manage our most important international relationship with our European neighbours.

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Welcome to my day: 5 December 2022 – “would the last Tory to leave the building…”

It’s shaping up to be a pretty miserable winter, with key groups across the economy either already intending, or considering, strike action in an attempt to maintain living standards in the face of inflation rates above 10%. I’ve written here before about the effect of real terms pay decreases in the public sector over more than a decade, but whilst opposition politicians can, and do, call for the Government to do better, there seems to be little long-term thinking about its future.

Our politics is so often about change, about big ideas for reform, yet government is, ironically, underpinned by the ability to manage what is already there. It isn’t “sexy” or exciting, it is unlikely to cause voters to rush to their polling stations overwhelmed with enthusiasm, but the concept of competence in government should be at the core of any political party’s offering. For Conservative supporters, the events of the past year have been a salutary reminder of the need to demonstrate that virtue.

Whilst Labour are attempting to recreate the conditions that led to the 1997 landslide, treading carefully in order to avoid offending anyone, there is an opportunity to talk about how you maintain a healthy, efficient public sector in the face of the challenges that now exist. And, just as in 1997, it seems that the public agree that greater investment in those services is necessary. But new, shiny buildings are only part of that reinvention – establishing a conveyor belt of new recruits into teaching, nursing and the rest of the services that underpin civil society is a long-term, slow burn primary task for any incoming government.

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Chester sends a message to Rishi

Labour held on to Chester in the Parliamentary by-election yesterday. That was, of course, no surprise; even the swing of 12% could have been predicted. But the Tories vote share was down not by 12% but by 16%, with support haemorrhaging in all directions.

Lib Dems put up a candidate and benefitted from that in a small way, with their vote share up 1.5%. So thank you to Rob Herd for flying the flag for the party.

Meanwhile something interesting is happening in the Tory held seat of Totnes. There is a call for the three main opposition parties to agree to put forward just one opposition candidate. Voters would select which of three opposition candidates they want to stand through the South Devon Primary process.

The idea of using a primary to select a candidate is not new to the constituency. Sarah Wollaston was selected for the Conservatives in an open primary and she subsequently won the seat in 2010, which she retained comfortably in the 2015 and 2017 elections. In 2019 she left the Conservatives and joined the Change UK group, then the Liberal Democrats.

Later that year Wollaston was defending the seat again but this time as a Liberal Democrat. The Green candidate stood aside, but the Tory still won. But the combined votes for our candidate and for the Labour candidate were pretty close to the Conservative vote. With the current collapse of Tory support this makes the seat winnable by someone other than a Tory. It remains to be seen whether the proposed South Devon Primary will find favour with local Lib Dems as well as with Labour.

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Christine Jardine: Donald Trump is a warning, not an inspiration

Christine Jardine has been sharing her dream in her Scotsman column this week. And it isn’t pretty:

In this sleep-induced scenario, some Donald Trump sound-alike was holding court in Edinburgh, draped in tartan, surrounded by saltires and spouting endless meaningless slogans. Fortunately, they had stopped short of wearing a bright blue Tam O’Shanter bearing the motif “Make Alba Great Again”.

And people in the crowd which had gathered were not all there to cheer and applaud the separatist dream being espoused at the flag-laden centre of events. No. Many of those in the imaginary demonstration were instead calling for help for the nurses and other health workers who have to cope with long shifts looking after wards with too many patients and too few staff.

This echoes the feeling of many Scots that the Scottish Government needs to sort out the crisis in its public services instead of looking to populism to stoke up division over the constitution.

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Sal Brinton and Paul Scriven defeat Government in Lords over NHS procurement

Lib Dem Peers Sal Brinton and Paul Scriven helped inflict a defeat on the Government in the House of Lords last night.

Their amendment to the Procurement Bill would ensure that the NHS came under the provisions of the Bill and would not give the Health Secretary the power to make up their own rules at their whim.

Sal told Peers:

The Health and Care Act adds new Section 12ZB to the National Health Service Act, which says:

“Regulations may make provision in relation to the processes to be followed and objectives to be pursued … in the procurement of (a) health care services … and (b) other goods or services”.

The problem is that the new section goes on to say:

“Regulations under subsection (1) must, in relation to the procurement of all health care services … make provision for the purposes of ensuring transparency; ensuring fairness; ensuring that compliance can be verified; managing conflicts of interest”.

That is a very different bar of compliance than the Government want to see for every other part of the public sector covered by the Bill.

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29 November 2022 – the overnight press release

Sunak China speech is remarkably tone deaf

Responding to Rishi Sunak’s speech on China, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Layla Moran said:

In the summer, Sunak talked tough on China – now he’s U-turned at the first possible opportunity. Rowing back on his previous stance is remarkably tone deaf given it comes just days after a British journalist was subject to disturbing treatment at the hands of the Chinese authorities.

The British public will be rightly concerned that the Conservative Government looks set to continue its record of failure when it comes to holding China accountable on everything from

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Sewage dumped on Wales’ Blue Flag beaches 579 times, lasting 6,757 hours

A new analysis of Environment Agency data by the Welsh Liberal Democrats have revealed that Welsh Water has dumped sewage onto our Blue Flag beaches 579 times, lasting an astonishing 6,757 hours

The worst incident was on Poppit Sands Beach near Cardigan with sewage dumped 79 times lasting 1,518 hours. South Beach in Aberystwyth had the highest number of incidents at 142.

Preseli Pembrokeshire ranks as the constituency with the highest number of sewage dumps in the whole of England and Wales with 6754 dumps in 2021 (79,501 hours). Carmarthen East and Dinefwr and Dwyfor Meirionnydd come a close second and third.

The …

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Liberal Democrat Disability Association elects new leadership

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Liberal Democrat Disability Association (LDDA) on Saturday afternoon.

Guest speaker Wendy Chamberlain spoke about her Private Members’ Bill, the Carer’s Leave Bill, which has passed through its Committee Stage in the House of Commons. The Bill, if passed, would give employed carers the right to a week’s unpaid leave each year to provide or arrange care for a dependent suffering from a long-term condition. She noted that, whilst it didn’t go as far as she would like, this was a change consistent with the manifesto …

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26-27 November 2022 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Manston diphtheria scandal: Braverman must resign
  • Stealth Tax: Lib Dems propose law forcing Government to write to every taxpayer facing a tax rise

Manston diphtheria scandal: Braverman must resign

Responding to the Sunday Times report of 70 suspected cases of diphtheria among asylum seekers moved from the Manston facility as well as a suspected untreated gunshot wound, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Daisy Cooper MP, said:

Liberal Democrats in the Commons and Lords have been questioning Ministers and repeatedly received assurances on the quality of healthcare for asylum seekers.



The UK is better than this. The Conservative Government should be ashamed of their callous complacency over

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Wera Hobhouse’s bill to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace passes Committee stage

We’re now into the annual 16 days of activism against gender based violence which runs from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November through to International Human Rights Day on 10th December.

We will be bringing you a series of articles to mark this important annual event, including a horrific story of the death of a young woman in Scotland after she was let own by all of the services who should have been there to protect her.

Today we report on the Committee Stage of Wera Hobhouse’s Bill to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace, which took place on Wednesday. It would make employers liable for sexual harassment of their employers by third parties, eg contractors, as well as their co-workers.

Introducing the Bill, Wera said:

Workplace sexual harassment is a blight on our society. It remains widespread and vastly under-reported. Half of British women and a fifth of men have been sexually harassed at work or a place of study. Too many people have been left to suffer for too long. The question of whether employers have taken adequate steps to prevent sexual harassment arises only as a defence if an incident of sexual harassment has already occurred. Employers are therefore not required to take actions to prevent sexual harassment. That leaves individuals with the burden of challenging it.

The Bill, which passed its Second Reading last month, introduces two new measures to strengthen protections for employees against harassment. The first is the introduction of explicit protections for employees from workplace harassment by third parties, such as customers and clients. The second is the introduction of a duty on employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent their employees from experiencing sexual harassment.

Fellow Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine emphasised why the Bill was needed:

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Vince Cable destroys Braverman’s anti international students rhetoric

This week’s net migration figures have driven the Government to set their sights on reducing the numbers of international students. Suella Braverman has had them in her sights for a while, saying last month:

“We’ve also got a very high number of students coming into this country and we’ve got a really high number of dependents. So students are coming on their student visa, but they’re bringing in family members who can piggyback onto their student visa. Those people are coming here, they’re not necessarily working or they’re working in low-skilled jobs, and they’re not contributing to growing our economy.”

As Business Secretary during the coalition years, former Lib Dem Leader Vince Cable was in charge of international student numbers and had numerous battles with then Home Secretary Theresa May about them.

Writing on Medium, he has taken Braverman to task about her anti student rhetoric.

Preoccupied by the headline numbers, she has promised a ‘crack down’. This is to take the form of cutting visas for dependents — that is, married students — and for those seeking ‘low quality’ degrees. I recall the same pejorative language being used to dismiss any university not in the Russell Group. Other than sheer academic snobbery, it is difficult to see the substance behind this distinction. In ‘left behind’ parts of Britain it is often the less fashionable and less prestigious, but good quality, new universities which are a mainstay of the local economy. It is reassuring to hear that the Chancellor is warning that the proposed ‘crackdown’ will ‘harm the economy’ and that the Education Secretary is committed to defending British universities.

He highlights the benefits that international students bring:

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25 November 2022 – today’s press releases

Apologies, press release fans, but broadband to my village was lost due to a BT fault this evening. It’s supposed to be restored in a fortnight’s time, so I’m reduced to the internet equivalent of two tin cans and a length of string temporarily.

  • Sunak reappoints controversial Trade Minister he sacked last month
  • Raab allegations can’t be swept under the carpet

Sunak reappoints controversial Trade Minister he sacked last month

The Liberal Democrats have demanded that reappointed Trade Minister Dominic Johnson urgently publishes his Register of Interests, warning that he has a duty to be “open, transparent and accountable” and avoid a conflict of …

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A marriage made in Portsmouth

One of our readers came across this BBC Parliament documentary about the merger of the Liberals and the Social Democrat Party in 1987-88. It was first broadcast in 2008 to mark the 20th Anniversary.

Enjoy!

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24 November 2022 – today’s press release

  • Government ‘must get a grip’ as asylum backlog soars to 143,000
  • Raab emails: Lib Dems write to Cabinet Secretary demanding investigation
  • Michelle Mone: Lib Dems table amendment to scrap VIP lanes
  • Richard Foord MP raises sewage report in Parliament after his son fell sick swimming in Devon river
  • Full Review in Social Services in Wales Needed After Logan Mwangi Report

Government ‘must get a grip’ as asylum backlog soars to 143,000

Responding to new official figures showing that the asylum backlog has risen to 143,377, with 97,717 waiting more than six months, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

The Home Office is a disaster zone, and it’s clear who is to blame. By their own admission, the Conservatives have broken our asylum system and shattered public trust in it.

Tens of thousands of refugees have been waiting months for a decision, banned from working or renting their own home. The Conservative chaos at the Home Office is wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money every day.

The Government must finally get a grip. It should take asylum cases away from the discredited Home Office and set up a new independent unit to make decisions quickly and correctly.

We need a fair, effective asylum system that treats everyone with dignity, and that everyone can have confidence in.

Raab emails: Lib Dems write to Cabinet Secretary demanding investigation

The Liberal Democrats have written to the Cabinet Secretary asking for an investigation into reports that Dominic Raab has been using his personal email for Government business.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain, who wrote the letter, commented:

The public deserve answers, not more cover-ups.

The drumbeat of allegations against Dominic Raab is relentless. From reports of bullying to allegations he has followed in the footsteps of Suella Braverman by using his personal email for government business, it is obvious that investigations are needed.

The Deputy Prime Minister cannot be relaxed about national security, especially at a time when Britain’s enemies are stepping up their cyber attacks. It is only right and proper the Cabinet Office investigate these reports and determine immediately if overseas enemies could have seen national secrets sent by Dominic Raab.

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The Party in England Responds to the Change in the Party’s Definition of Transphobia

No regular visitor to LDV can have missed the growing debate over trans gender issues. Here we publish the response from the English Party to recent events in full. Given the sensitivity of the subject we will be pre-moderating all comments in line with our editorial policies.

The English Council Executive, meeting last weekend, have agreed two motions in support of trans rights and in response to the Federal Board changing the Party’s definition of transphobia.

  1. A motion of censure for the appalling communications calling for an apology and a plan to make sure nothing like this happens again.
  2. A motion calling on the Board to seek further advice, in consultation with LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, and suspend changing the definition until that advice is received and/or Federal Conference can vote.

The motions were passed with strong support from everyone who spoke, and no one spoke or voted against. This represents a wide consensus from regional chairs and members across the country.

Just under two weeks ago, the Federal Board met for the last time and, with Federal elections still under way, chose to amend the Party’s definition of Transphobia.

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23 November 2022 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Senedd Member Calls for Action on the Cambrian Line
  • Raab bullying inquiry: Sunak must sack him if allegations upheld
  • Debate on Nurses Pay – Liberal Democrats Back Calls for Higher Nurses Pay Offer
  • Conservative MPs break manifesto pledge by voting against business rates review

Senedd Member Calls for Action on the Cambrian Line

Concerns have been raised today in the Senedd over the rail service on the Cambrian Line which runs through Mid Wales.

Speaking in the Senedd, Welsh Liberal Democrat Member for Mid & West Wales Jane Dodds raised delays in the much anticipated hourly service between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury, stating that the delays were just another sign of Mid Wales being forgotten about by the Labour-Plaid Cymru partnership in Cardiff Bay.

An hourly service between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury was announced in 2014, but has faced repeated delays since, with the latest delaying the introduction from 2022 to 2024.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have stated that an hourly service stopping at all stations along the Cambrian Line is essential to encourage more passengers to use the railway instead of cars and for businesses given it will also play an important role in making connections from Shrewsbury easier.

The Party has called on the Welsh Government to prioritise the introduction of the service and tackle delays head-on.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

We really need the Labour-Plaid Cymru partnership in Cardiff Bay to prioritise this route, it is essential for businesses and the public in Mid Wales.

The fact it has been continuously delayed for almost a decade shows that once again Mid Wales is being forgotten about by Labour.

With Transport for Wales now fully nationalized and owned by the Welsh Government, there is no excuse.

If Labour wants to put a ban on all new roadbuilding the least they can do is ensure we have well-functioning public transport networks.

I am calling for the Welsh Government to prioritise the rollout of this service and put an end to repeated delays once and for all.

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23 November 2022 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • Full Inquiry Needed into Gwent Police
  • Supreme Court decision: First year law student could have predicted this
  • Gambling: Conservative Inaction Leaving More People Vulnerable
  • Braverman is out of her depth

Full Inquiry Needed into Gwent Police

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for a full inquiry into misconduct in Gwent Police stating that the evidence that has come to light warrants a full independent investigation if trust in the Force is to be restored.

The Party has also questioned whether Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jeff Cuthbert, should still be in place.

Calls for a full inquiry come following an investigation by the Times that revealed a culture of misogyny, corruption, abuse and racism in the force.

Wiltshire Police Force is currently set to investigate the claims.

The latest scandal comes after three officers were dismissed from the Force over summer due to inappropriate behaviour. The Welsh Liberal Democrats had previously criticised how long this process took.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and the only female party leader in Wales, Jane Dodds MS said:

Trust in the Force has clearly been undermined to a point where a full independent inquiry is required.

The failure to tackle this appalling behaviour on the part of some officers is failing the public and the majority of brave police who put their lives at risk to keep us all safe.

What has been revealed over the course of the last few weeks is deeply disturbing.

It has also not yet been made clear whether Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jeff Cuthbert was aware of any of these allegations before the story broke in the Times. If not, how was he able to oversee a Force with such serious problems without being aware?

It is difficult to see how he should remain in post.

With allegations of serious misconduct in a multitude of police forces, including the Met, I do not believe an investigation by another police force is sufficient.

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Warm spaces in Watford

The Lib Dem directly elected Mayor of Watford stars in this video about warm spaces in his borough:

Note, if you can’t see the embedded tweet click here.

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22 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Debt figures: Conservative Chancellors have blown black hole in Britain’s finances
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats to Vote to Withhold Legislative Consent on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill
  • OECD forecast: Damning verdict of the Government’s economic record
  • Sewage: Budget means almost £500 million less to tackle the sewage crisis
  • Levelling Up Bill: Conservative chaos to blame for cancellation of vote

Debt figures: Conservative Chancellors have blown black hole in Britain’s finances

Responding to new ONS figures showing the scale of UK government borrowing in October, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

These figures reveal just how badly the long list of Conservative Chancellors have trashed our economy. This Government has blown a massive black hole in Britain’s finances and is now expecting hardworking families to pick up the bill.

It is a national scandal that big banks are getting massive tax cuts whilst the squeezed-middle gets clobbered with endless tax rises.

The sensible way to solve this is surely to tax the richest companies making bumper profits. We can’t trust this Conservative Government to clean up their own mess. They should never be trusted to run our country’s economy.

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21 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Mortgage ticking time bomb: Homeowners facing biggest interest payment hike on record
  • Jane Dodds Responds to FIFA’s Decision to Force Team Wales not to wear LGBT+ One Love armbands

Mortgage ticking time bomb: Homeowners facing biggest interest payment hike on record

  • True cost of the mortgage ticking time bomb revealed by Liberal Democrat analysis of OBR figures
  • Homeowners are paying the price for the Conservative Government crashing the economy

British mortgage owners will face the biggest hike in interest payments on record, the Liberal Democrats can reveal.

Buried in the OBR Budget documents is the stark forecast detailing that mortgage interest payments will double over …

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19-20 November 2022 – the weekend’s press release

Barclay interview: Jumble of jargon can’t hide Conservative failures

Responding to Health Secretary Steve Barclay’s interview on the Laura Kuenssberg show this morning, Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

This Conservative Government cannot continue to blame the coronavirus pandemic for years of neglect and mismanagement of our NHS.

Patients are being failed as waiting times skyrocket and hospitals crumble. Health workers are on their knees struggling to keep up with growing pressures and shrinking budgets.

Social care is in dire need of drastic reform and consecutive Conservative Governments have proved time and time again that they will not deliver it.

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Registration opens for Scottish and Federal Spring Conferences

It was lovely to wake up to an email from Federal Conference Committee Chair Nick Da Costa announcing that registration was open for Spring Conference which takes place from 17-19 March in York.

It will be the first time the federal party has gathered in person since September 2019 in Bournemouth. Back then, Wendy Chamberlain was the PPC for North East Fife and Jo Swinson had just taken over as leader.

Federal Conference is simply the most fun you can ever have as a Liberal Democrat. It’s intense, passionate, exhilarating and this time will have the added joy of seeing everyone again. We’ll have lots to debate in a beautiful Lib Dem run city.

If you can’t go, you can register to watch and vote online.

All the information you could possibly want about registration is here – and note that there is a hefty discount if you are a first timer.

And the relevant deadlines for submitting items for debate follow.

Drafting advice deadline (motions): 16 December at 13.00

Motions deadline: 11 January at 13.00

Amendments drafting advice deadline (emergency motions and amendments): 14 February at 13.00

Amendments and Emergency Motions deadline and deadline for Appeals against non-selection of motions: 6 March at 13.00

Appeals deadline for Amendments and Emergency Motions: 16 March at 13.00

Yesterday, the Scottish Party announced that Scottish Spring Conference would take place the week before, on 10-11 March in the lovely city of Dundee. You can register here.

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18 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Squeezed middled pushed to the brink by Conservative’s Cost of Chaos budget
  • IFS analysis: Conservative ministers are economic vandals

Squeezed middled pushed to the brink by Conservative’s Cost of Chaos budget

In response to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s morning round following yesterday’s Autumn Statement, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

Struggling families who have worked hard for years have had their security stolen by this Conservative Government. While non-doms and big banks got off lightly, the already squeezed middle are being pushed to the brink.

Those working day-in, day-out are having to choose between food or heating, mortgage payments or fuel for

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17 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Wales Ambulance Waiting Times – Emergency Lights Should be Flashing for Labour
  • Budget: Everyone being forced to pay the price for Conservative chaos
  • Cancer Treatment Waiting Times Intolerable
  • Conservative giveaway to big banks set to cost taxpayers £18 billion
  • 5 Hidden Horrors in the Autumn Statement

Wales Ambulance Waiting Times – Emergency Lights Should be Flashing for Labour

Responding to the news that Welsh ambulance response times have hit their slowest on record ever for red calls Jane Dodds MS said:

When someone is in a moment of crisis and chooses to call 999, they want to know that there will be someone at the other

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Lib Dems warn on education funding ahead of this morning’s budget

The i reported that figures obtained by Lib Dems from the Commons Library show that due to inflation eating into Whitehall budgets, schools and hospitals will receive £10.7bn less than they were expecting in 2024-25.

Ed Davey, Munira Wilson and Sarah Olney have written to Jeremy Hunt highlighting how current budgetary pressures are affecting schools in their constituencies.

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Families face near £5,000 bombshell from Autumn Statement

A typical family could face an eye-watering £4,900 triple whammy hit from today’s Autumn Statement, analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The research shows the combined impact of expected stealth taxes, energy bill rises and mortgage bill hikes next year. In the year 2022/23, a typical family of two basic rate taxpayers with a mortgage will face a total hit of nearly £5,000.

The party’s research has shown that there would be an additional £680 a year in income tax, due to the freeze of the personal allowance. Households could also face an increase of £1,200 a year in their energy bill, once the energy price cap is unfrozen in April.

Finally, due to Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-budget, a typical family will see an annual increase of around £3,000 in their mortgage payments, due to soaring interest rates in the aftermath of the mini-budget.

Ahead of the Autumn Statement on Thursday, the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to put a proper windfall tax on the profits of the fossil fuel giants. They are also calling for the Introduction of a new Mortgage Protection Fund and to increase pensions and benefits at least in line with inflation.

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16 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Inflation stats: Families struggling to get by because of Government’s inaction and incompetence
  • Raab: Ethics advisor must be appointed to stop a whitewash report
  • Raab investigation: “another Conservative stitch up”

Inflation stats: Families struggling to get by because of Government’s inaction and incompetence

Responding to the latest ONS figures showing inflation has reached 11.1%, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

This Government’s biggest economic failure has been their disastrous attempts to get inflation down. Families are now struggling to get by because of this Government’s inaction and incompetence on spiraling prices.

After inflicting so much chaos, the latest Conservative Chancellor is now expecting the public to clean up their mess with grossly unfair tax rises. Our crumbling hospitals and run down classrooms are on the brink of savage cuts all because the Conservative party crashed the economy to fund tax cuts for the richest companies. The country will never forgive them for this.

This week Jeremy Hunt should target the oil firms and banks making bumper profits to fill the blackhole in Britain’s finances, rather than inflicting more pain and misery on struggling households.

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