Category Archives: News

WATCH: Liberal Democrats Party Election Broadcast – She’s running again

Here is the Lib Dem election broadcast for the General Election.

I will admit to a wee tear at the start where Jo is talking about her Dad, who died last year. He would have been so proud to see her leading an election campaign as leader of the biggest and strongest Remain party.

It’s personal, hopeful, bright and clear about our aims about stopping Brexit and transforming the economy to make it work for people and planet.

And we have added Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston and Siobhan Benita, too.

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Broadcaster John Tusa backs the Lib Dems

The broadcaster and former Newsnight presenter John Tusa has declared his support for the Lib Dems…

I am British by citizenship, Czech by birth, European by culture, history and identity. The Lib Dems are the only party to believe in our continuing membership of the European Union. They are the only party not taken over by the extreme factions in national politics. They are the only non-sectarian party. They are the only party that puts the sovereignty of parliament at the heart of our representative democracy.

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21 November 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems: Labour can’t keep their housing promises without EU workers

Responding to Labour’s council and social housing programme, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government Tim Farron said:

It won’t be councils denying planning permission for new council homes under Labour, it will be Labour denying entry to the EU workers travelling here to build them.

10% of our construction industry workforce is made up of EU citizens, but – just like the Tories – Corbyn’s Labour has failed to back free movement from the EU. Under Labour, the workforce we rely on will no longer be available

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Liberal Democrats join in Transgender Day of Remembrance

One of the saddest days of he year for me is today, the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, when we remember those transgender people who have lost their lives over the past year just for being who they are, who died as a result of anti-transgender violence.

You can read all their names, and the mostly brutal circumstances of their passing here. 

Jo Swinson marked the day by writing an article on the Lib Dem website:

Trans people can’t wait until it’s politically convenient for them to exist.

We need to sort this

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20 November 2019 – today’s other press release

Today’s big story has been, of course, the manifesto. But there was another story today…

Lib Dems will freeze rail fares and fix broken ticketing system

The Liberal Democrats have announced bold plans to freeze rail fares for commuters and season ticket holders for the next five years, while fixing the broken fares and ticketing system.

A Liberal Democrat government would cancel the 2.8% rail fare increase planned for December 2018 and freeze commuter fares and season tickets for the entirety of the next five years.

These proposals would save season ticket holders across the UK thousands of pounds. Projected savings for …

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WATCH: Jo Swinson launching the manifesto

Jo Swinson launched the Lib Dem manifesto today.

Here’s her speech:

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£10 billion for schools and 20,000 more teachers is an investment in our children’s future

Today, the Liberal Democrats will announce plans to spend £10 billion more a year on schools and hire 20,000 more teachers by the end of the next Parliament. This comes ahead of the Liberal Democrat manifesto launch later today.

A Liberal Democrat government will reverse frontline school cuts since 2015 with an emergency cash injection of £4.6 billion next year.

By 2024/25, the party will spend £10.6 billion more on schools than in 2019/20. This is more than the Conservatives have offered in every year of the Parliament.

Liberal Democrats will use this money to boost teaching numbers by 20,000 …

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19 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Johnson offers failed knife crime policies
  • Lib Dems respond to Farage comments on local Tory and Brexit Party deals
  • Swinson: ITV debate proves people at home deserve so much better
  • CCHQ’s Twitter factchecking ploy is straight of Putin’s playbook

Johnson offers failed knife crime policies

Responding to Boris Johnson’s announcement on knife crime, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

The UK is in the grip of an epidemic of serious violence, and we urgently need real solutions. Instead, all the Tories can offer are the same old failed policies.

These Conservative policies are all about seeming tough on crime, but they won’t actually do anything

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Lib Dems will invest £35 billion and stop Brexit to protect NHS

The Liberal Democrats have today set out their plans to protect the NHS, by stopping Brexit and investing an extra £35 billion in the health service and social care over the next five years.

The Liberal Democrats would raise £7 billion a year in additional revenue, ring-fenced for the NHS and social care services, by adding a penny on income tax. On top of this, the party has announced a £10 billion capital fund to upgrade equipment, ambulances, hospitals and other NHS buildings to bring them into the 21st Century.

The Liberal Democrats have also set out plans to tackle the severe …

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18 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Arcuri interview suggests Johnson abused his position as Mayor
  • Umunna: Repressive scenes in Hong Kong are ‘totally unacceptable’
  • Lib Dems: Leadsom shows Tories have no answers to key questions facing businesses
  • Swinson: Liberal Democrats will scrap business rates

Arcuri interview suggests Johnson abused his position as Mayor

Responding to Jennifer Arcuri’s interview on ITV last night, Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture Secretary Layla Moran said:

The evidence is mounting that the Prime Minister, the then mayor of London at the time, absolutely abused his position to forward the business interests of his friend Jennifer Arcuri. This flouts the very rules he was meant to uphold and is

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WATCH: Jo Swinson’s speech to the CBI

Courtesy of the Guardian’s You Tube channel.

Jo talked about the Lib Dems being the party of business and set out our strategy:

The speech went down reasonably well. Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI head said afterwards:

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Sal Brinton: Our democracy should not be in the hands of invisible corporate structures

Tonight the Liberal Democrats and SNP lost their court bid for inclusion in the ITV Leaders’ debate tomorrow night.

Sal Brinton was at the Royal Courts of Justice and had this to say afterwards:

The Liberal Democrats’ position in this election and that of our leader is unique: Jo Swinson is the only leader of a national party fighting to stop brexit.

“Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn should not be allowed to sidestep debating the issue of Brexit with someone who wants to remain, and ITV should not give them the opportunity to do so.

“That is why this is an incredibly disappointing verdict. Not just for the Liberal Democrats but also for democracy in this country, and for every remainer who deserves to have a voice in this debate.

“It is worrying that the Ofcom guidance allows TV Executives, not the voters, to decide whether the biggest issues of the day are debated openly in the ITV Debate.

“This campaign is undeniably dominated by Brexit, the single biggest issue for our country, perhaps in the last 75 years.

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WATCH: Jo Swinson’s LBC interview with Iain Dale

Yesterday, Jo Swinson spoke to Iain Dale about the brighter future that the Liberal Democrats are offering to the British people on December 12th.

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Swinson: The Liberal Democrats are the party of business

Today (18/11/19), Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson will be making a speech to business leaders at the CBI annual conference. She will be making the case that the Liberal Democrats are the natural party of business.

Jo Swinson is expected to say:

In an interview last week, Carolyn asked who the party of business is today.

The answer is clear. The Liberal Democrats are the natural party of business.

With the Conservatives in the pocket of Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn stuck in the 1970s, we are the only ones standing up for you.

Because we believe

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18 November 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems respond to campaign groups’ call to ban fracking

Responding to campaign calls from Friends of the Earth and others for the next government to ban fracking, Liberal Democrat Climate Emergency spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives sold a lie when they announced a ban on fracking. A moratorium is not a ban. The Tories cannot shake off their shocking record on the climate emergency on the eve of an election.

Liberal Democrats are clear that embarking on a whole new front of carbon-based fuels and energy production would do nothing to help meet our climate commitments.

This election gives the

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17 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems commit £6 billion per year to strengthen welfare system
  • Lib Dems: Unholy alliance signs up to Johnson’s disastrous deal
  • Lib Dems: Tory migration policy panders to Farage
  • Swinson: Clueless Corbyn cannot answer the most basic questions on Brexit
  • Labour pursuing Brexit makes their dentist policy ‘undeliverable’
  • Lib Dems: Tory nurse tax ballooning due to immigration health surcharge rise

Lib Dems commit £6 billion per year to strengthen welfare system

The Liberal Democrats will today (Sunday 17 November) announce bold proposals to invest £6 billion per year to strengthen the welfare system over the next Parliament. This forms part of the party’s ambitious plans to build …

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Jo Swinson says her constituents are proud she’s taking on Boris Johnson

Jo Swinson has given two major press interviews in the past two days – one to Scotland on Sunday talking about her fight to retain her East Dunbartonshire seat and one to The Times (£) which is more about what she and the Liberal Democrats offer nationally – an open hearted, open minded outward-looking liberal country.

In the Times piece, she talks about the unique Lib Dem offer:

The 39-year-old leader of the Liberal Democrats is from a different generation to Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn (16 years younger than the prime minister and 31 years younger than the Labour leader) with a baby and a five-year-old to juggle on the campaign trail while her husband is away on business. She brought a bubble machine and popcorn maker to the Lib Dems’ election launch. “I think I am quite different to the other leaders,” she says. “They’ve all got an outlook which is very much harking back to the past, whether that’s the 1870s or the 1970s, and I’m very focused on the future we build, one that is open-hearted, open-minded, outward-looking, internationalist and liberal.”

And she tackles the issue of this week, which has been attacks from Labour for not standing down in their favour:

For those still in the Labour Party, many are conflicted but ultimately they are standing on a platform to get the hard left and Jeremy Corbyn into No 10 . . . Labour is not a party of Remain.” As for the Brexit Party standing down candidates in Tory-held seats, she says: “It sends a very clear message to moderate One Nation Conservatives about where Boris Johnson is — he is at one with Nigel Farage and there are a lot of Conservative voters who are very unhappy at that.”

She also describes the challenges of returning to work as a minister after maternity leave.

In the Scotland on Sunday piece, she talked about how she was on the side of most people in her East Dunbartonshire seat:

“Both are live issues – and that’s different to 2017 when it was much more about the prospect of an indyref. Now, with where the Brexit process has got to, people are much more concerned about that.

“This is a constituency where around two-thirds of people voted to stay in the UK, and are around three-quarters voted to stay in the EU. It’s very clear that people in East Dunbartonshire want Scotland to stay in the UK and the UK to be in the EU. It’s only the Liberal Democrats that are standing up for that position.”

And when she’s going round the doors, her constituents like her new role as leader:

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Meet your new Federal committee members – internal election results declared

Last night, after a long day of hard work by brilliant LDHQ staff, the Federal Committee results were declared.

Party members had been voting for 3 weeks to choose members of the Federal Board, Federal Policy Committee, Federal Conference Committee, Federal International Relations Committee and ALDE Council delegations. Principal councillor reps to Federal Board and Federal Policy Committee, the English rep to the Federal Board and Scottish reps to both Committees were also chosen.

You can see the full results including all the STV tables here.

Those elected were:

Federal Board

Alice Thomas
April Preston
Candy Piercy
Caron Lindsay
Elaine Bagshaw
Gerald Vernon-Jackson
James Gurling
Jo Hayes
Joyce Onstad
Kishan Devani*
Luke Cawley-Harrison
Neil Fawcett
Roisin Miller
Ruby Chow
Simon McGrath

* Note: This candidate was promoted into the list of elected candidates due to gender diversity requirements.

English Rep to Federal Board

Lisa-Maria Bornemann

Scottish Rep to Federal Board

Cllr Kevin Lang

Principal Councillor rep to Federal Board

Cllr Chris White

Federal Policy Committee

Alisdair Calder-McGregor
Alyssa Gilbert
Aria Babu
Belinda Brooks-Gordon
Catherine Royce
Christine Cheng
Duncan Brack
Elizabeth Jewkes
Helen Cross
Jeremy Hargreaves
Mohsin Khan
Richard Cole
Robert Harrison*
Sally Burnell
Tara Copeland
* Note: This candidate was promoted into the list of elected candidates due to gender diversity requirements.

Scottish Rep to Federal Policy Committee

Elinor Anderson

Principal Councillor reps to Federal Policy Committee

Cllr Peter Thornton
Cllr Susan Juned

Federal Conference Committee

Bex Scott
Cara Jenkinson
Chris Adams
Chris Maines
Geoff Payne
Liz Lynne
Joe Otten
John Bridges
Jon Ball
Joe Toovey*
Nick da Costa
Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey
* Note: This candidate was promoted into the list of elected candidates due to ability diversity requirements.

Federal International Relations Committee

Doreen Huddart
Hannah Bettsworth
Jonathan Fryer
Phillipa Leslie-Jones
Phil Bennion
Ruth Coleman Taylor

ALDE Council

Belinda Brooks-Gordon
Hannah Bettsworth
Jonathan Fryer
Joyce Onstad
Merlene Emmerson
Phillip Bennion

Congratulations to everyone who was elected and commiserations to those who missed out this time.

Some quick observations on the results.

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17 November 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems begin legal challenge against BBC for Swinson exclusion

The Liberal Democrats have instructed a legal team to write to the BBC in response to the public service broadcaster excluding Jo Swinson from their election ‘leaders’ debate’.

In the letter, the party’s lawyers warn that the exclusion of one of the leaders of the three main UK-wide national parties is “clearly unlawful”.

President of the Liberal Democrats, Sal Brinton, has said “voters of this country deserve to hear from a Remainer on the debate stage, not just from the two men who want to deliver Brexit.”

The Liberal Democrats have …

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16 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems announce proposals to fix broken immigration system
  • Lib Dems demand internal Tory enquiry amidst electoral fraud allegations
  • Bolton fire shows further action must be taken to ensure building safety

Lib Dems announce proposals to fix broken immigration system

The Liberal Democrats today unveiled their Plan for Immigration and Asylum. The plan sets out the party’s ambitious proposals for a fair, effective immigration system – part of the Liberal Democrats’ broader plan to build a brighter future.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto will outline plans to reform and strengthen our immigration system by:

  • Saving EU free movement and safeguarding the rights of UK and EU

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Luciana: EU staff critical to our NHS

Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Luciana Berger has spoken out about how Brexit would harm our NHS, emphasising how reliant we are on EU doctors and nurses. Analysis done by the Labour Party highlights that NHS staff work a million hours of unpaid overtime every week.

That doesn’t surprise me. When my husband was seriously ill three years ago, in the 51 nights he was in hospital, only once did I see one member of staff actually leave at the end of their shift. And the situation has got much worse since then as we lose thousands of EU nurses every year.

Luciana criticised Labour’s approach to Brexit:

A key reason NHS staff are working overtime is because of the serious shortages in the number of doctors and nurses working in the NHS. Part of that shortage is due to the net loss of 5,000 EU nurses in the last two years alone.

Only yesterday, Labour failed yet again to confirm their position on freedom of movement. With the NHS reliant on 10,000 EU doctors and 20,000 EU nurses, Labour’s support for Brexit is baffling as it will be so damaging for our NHS and hardworking staff.

In the past week we have learnt about the Conservative plan to impose a Nurse Tax on any new EU health professional coming to treat NHS patients. The stakes could not be higher. Labour and the Conservatives must stop being so irresponsible with our NHS.

The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit to protect our NHS. We will build a brighter future by investing an extra £35 billion in our NHS by adding a penny on income tax. In addition we will implement a national recruitment strategy to ensure we never again suffer shortages of nurses, doctors and other health professionals.

If Labour are bad, the Tories are terrible. They would charge nurses who come to this country to use the NHS they work for. This would cost their families thousands of pounds.

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16 November 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems announce plans to plant 60 million trees a year
  • Lib Dems: EU staff crucial to our NHS

Lib Dems announce plans to plant 60 million trees a year

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson will plant a tree in Hampstead today (Saturday 16 November), as the party announces ambitious proposals to undertake the largest tree-planting programme in UK history. A Liberal Democrat government will plant 60 million trees every year, increasing UK forest cover by 1 million hectares by 2045.

Just 13% of the UK is currently covered by woodland, far below the European Union average of 35%. The Conservatives …

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15 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Another unaffordable item on Labour’s wish list
  • Swinson responds to Tommy Robinson backing Boris Johnson

Lib Dems: Another unaffordable item on Labour’s wish list

Responding to Labour’s plans to part-nationalise BT, Sam Gyimah, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:

It might be a Christmas election, but this is getting silly. Another day, another unaffordable item on the wish list.

Wasting billions of taxpayer funds to nationalise BT, won’t solve the connectivity issues faced by so many of our rural communities. The Labour plan is less open-reach, more overreach.

Liberal Democrats recognise the need for every

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In Full: Ed Davey’s speech on the economy

Today, Ed Davey made a keynote speech on the economy.

He talked about his plans here:

Here is his speech in full:

For too long, Britain has not had the economy it deserves.

Under this Conservative Government, too many people can’t live a secure, happy and fulfilling life. Too many businesses face crippling uncertainty over their future. And too many of us feel vulnerable in the face of technological change.

The fact is, the Conservatives have made our economy weaker – much weaker.
People might be in work, but more and more struggle to make ends meet.
Businesses have been hit, with investment down significantly since the 2016 referendum.

Productivity has been grimly weak – with no growth at all in the last 12 months.
The Office of National Statistics confirmed only this week, that Britain’s economic growth in the last year has been the lowest for a decade.

And this Government has ignored all our long-term economic problems. We have alarming skill shortages. A persistent trade deficit. And inequality that’s both socially and economically damaging.

Yet so far, the debate in this election on our economy – on our future – has been a debate between fantasies.

Fantasies born of nostalgia for a British Imperial past. Competing with fantasies from a failed 1970s ideology.

Fantasies competing to bankrupt Britain.

Boris Johnson has snuck into Jeremy Corbyn’s allotment and stolen his magic money tree.

The British people deserve better than fantasy economics.

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Manufacturing exporters count cost of Brexit uncertainty

Responding to reports that many manufacturing exporters are reporting a “stark worsening” in sales and orders, Sam Gyimah, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:

This is yet more bad news for manufacturing exporters in the UK. There can be no doubt that the three and half years of Brexit uncertainty has done untold damage to our economy. Today we continue to count the cost of this ongoing crisis.

Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal promises more insecurity, more delay and more decline. Meanwhile Labour are planning their own disastrous form of Brexit.

A Liberal Democrat government will stop

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15 November 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

  • Tories pushing ‘Trumpian agenda’ on immigration
  • Lib Dems: Record waiting times show Tories “dismal record” on NHS
  • Tusk comments show there is “light at the end of the tunnel” for Remainers
  • Tories pushing ‘Trumpian agenda’ on immigration

    Responding to Priti Patel’s comments regarding cutting overall levels of immigration, Liberal Democrats Shadow Home Affairs spokesperson, Christine Jardine said:

    This country needs people to come here to keep our NHS and so many sectors properly skilled and staffed. The Conservatives’ approach to immigration is an insult to the millions who have come to the UK and made it their home. Immigration brings so much to our

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Two spectacular by-election gains and a frustrating but brilliant near miss

It was another brilliant night on the by-election front for the Lib Dems.

Two years ago we narrowly missed out on gaining the North East Fife parliamentary seat by just two votes. And that was the same margin by which we lost out on gaining Dunfermline Central on Fife Council. Aude Boubaker-Calder had run a passionate and spirited campaign and more than tripled the first preference votes and ran the SNP extremely close. She is in a very good position for the next Council elections in 2022.

In Tunbridge Wells, Justine Rutland gained a seat from the Conservatives with a spectacular swing:

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14 November 2019 – yesterday’s overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems unveil plan for Equalities and Human Rights
  • Lib Dems: Spiralling class sizes shows brutal impact of Conservative cuts
  • Lib Dems: Reforming Gender Recognition Act can’t wait (see here)

Lib Dems unveil plan for Equalities and Human Rights

The Liberal Democrats will today (Thursday 14 November) unveil the party’s Plan for Equalities and Human Rights. The plan is at the heart of the party’s vision to build a brighter future for everyone.

The ambitious policies being revealed at a press conference today by Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna include:

  • tackling the rise in hate crimes by making them all aggravated offences
  • providing funding for protective

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13 November 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Tesla announcement demolishes Johnson’s Brexit fantasy
  • Jane Dodds: Our benefits system is broken
  • Wollaston: Farage voting Tory shows Johnson has drifted to extremes

Lib Dems: Tesla announcement demolishes Johnson’s Brexit fantasy

Responding to the announcement that Tesla will be investing in a new factory in Germany and not the UK due to Brexit uncertainty, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake:

On Boris Johnson’s first day in Downing Street, Dominic Cummings was pictured wearing a T- shirt picturing a company founded by Elon Musk. Now the very entrepreneur Cummings idolises has chosen not to invest

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WATCH: Luciana Berger describe her experience of anti-semitic abuse in the Labour Party

Lib Dem MP Luciana Berger described her experience of anti-semitism in the Labour Party at a campaign event today. Watch here;

This came on the day Jo Swinson signed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition on antisemitism, which all candidates are being asked to sign this Election.

The party published its plan for Equalities and Human Rights  today, which covers everything from protecting civil liberties, banning use of facial recognition technology for police surveillance, protecting the Human Rights Act, a Lovelace Code of ethics to cover use of personal data and ending the snoopers’ charter on communications data to extending equal marriage and abolishing the unfair spousal veto and reinstating marriages which were forced to be dissolved because of the gender recognition process.

Chuka Umunna said we would take on the right wing forces of nationalism:

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