Category Archives: News

20 October 2020 – the overnight press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: Government inaction failing survivors of sexual violence
  • Reversing Liberal Democrat Immigration Bill amendments risks “new Windrush-style Scandal”

Liberal Democrats: Government inaction failing survivors of sexual violence

Responding to the Victims Commissioner’s report on rape survivors and the criminal justice system, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

Survivors deserve justice. They must be properly supported to come forward and be listened to when they do.

However, as this report shows, far too many survivors are put off reporting the crime for fear of being disbelieved, and far too many who do come forward find the whole process traumatic. Government inaction is failing survivors of sexual violence and allowing too many criminals to walk free.

It is incomprehensible that the Government’s review of rape cases is doing so little to engage with survivors – especially given the clear evidence that the system simply isn’t working for them.

Ministers must listen to survivors, complete the review as soon as possible, and urgently make improvements across the whole justice system. Survivors mustn’t be left waiting any longer for the justice they need.

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19 October 2020 – today’s press release

Liberal Democrats: PM must get a grip of coronavirus spread in the North

Today, Liberal Democrats from across the North of England, including four council leaders, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, and Liberal Democrat Leader in the Lords Dick Newby, have written to the Prime Minister stating that the North has been “overlooked by a London-centric government”.

The letter calls for a raft measures to be implemented urgently to help stop the spread of the virus across vast swathes of the country.

Some of the measures include:

  • Rapidly funding local authorities to enable a local scale-up of the failing test, trace and isolate system
  • Increasing

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Reminder: What does it mean to be black in Britain in 2020?

Our Vice President Isabelle Parasram invites you to join her for a free event “What does it mean to be black in Britain in 2020?” on Thursday 22nd October from 7pm-8.30pm.

Christopher Jackson, Professor of Geology at Imperial College and soon to be the first black scientist to jointly present the 2020 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, will be speaking and answering your questions. He will be joined by Former CEO of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and Co-Founder of The Centre for Inclusive Leadership, Paul Anderson-Walsh, as we ask about their experiences and insights during this Black History Month event.

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Interpreting confusion

Can people insist on being confused? I am no behavioural scientist but I have been struck by the way many people in the UK respond to the rules/advice for combatting Covid-19 with “I am confused” or “I don’t understand”. These may be British/English euphemisms for “I disagree” or even “I don’t trust you”. The latter is particularly important because in a representative democracy the deal is that politicians are given decision-making powers and have time and resources to exercise them that are largely unavailable to most people. So if trust goes then there is a high risk of non-compliance. The blurring of the lines between law and guidance has probably been a genuine source of confusion.

Meanwhile the very notion of different rules applying in different areas is difficult for people to get their heads round in this highly centralised state. We have been brought up to see disproportionate power for central government as part of the natural order of things – something Liberals have fought against for many decades. Even in the non-English nations of the UK devolution has proceeded very slowly and current schemes for devolution in England look more like an enhanced rate support grant than a serious shift of power to the regions. Thus in our political culture closing the Welsh border for legitimate reasons seems truly shocking. So whatever slogans the Government comes up with (reflecting the Prime Minister’s own confusion between fighting an election and running the country) people will continue to say that they don’t understand.

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Our party must do more to tackle the digital divide

Whether it’s canvassing apps like MiniVAN or our fully-fledged – and fully functioning – virtual conference, Liberal Democrats have never shied away from digital innovation. Our current platform champions the roll-out of technologies like gigabit broadband and 5G, whilst also highlighting the frustrations of those in rural areas with limited access. By no means are we wrong to support these policies.

However, they do little to help those who don’t have the digital skills necessary to make the most of the internet. And what good is gigabit to you if you can’t even afford basic broadband? There are millions of people who are ‘digitally excluded’ in this country, and we need to do more to support them.

According to Lloyds, there are 9 million people in the UK who are unable to use the internet independently, and millions more who only use the internet for limited purposes, like social media. Meanwhile, roughly 23% of children in the poorest families do not have access to a desktop, laptop, or tablet. This had drastic impacts on children’s learning throughout lockdown and will likely have long-lasting consequences.

I was encouraged to hear Alistair Carmichael raising this very issue in Parliament on Monday. Children’s access to technology is paramount to ensure they aren’t left behind. Even when schools are open, access to tech at home helps children learn new skills and excel in the classroom.

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Wendy Chamberlain reminds Boris about the Scottish border

Wendy Chamberlain got to question the Prime Minister this week. She asked him to sort out the issue that means that she and other Scots travelling between Scotland and England, and everyone living in the Borders, who may cross from Scotland to England several times a day, to sort out a problem with the respective English and Scottish test and trace apps.

Anyone crossing the border has to manually switch between apps. It doesn’t happen automatically. So you might think that your app is working, but it isn’t if you haven’t made the change between them.

See Wendy in action here:

Boris Johnson sounded pretty clueless in response, as you would expect. He did say he’d sort it, though.

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16 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • PM’s no deal comments further reveal his incompetence
  • Davey: PM must bring back a deal that protects jobs and livelihoods

PM’s no deal comments further reveal his incompetence

Responding to reports that the Prime Minister has said it’s time to ‘get ready’ for no deal, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Boris Johnson’s handling of Brexit has been disastrous and these reckless comments are just further evidence of the Prime Minister’s incompetence. It has been more than four years since the referendum and yet here we are with a potential no deal and less than three months until the transition period ends.

At a time when the UK is already facing the biggest crisis in generations as a result of coronavirus, we cannot afford to crash out of the EU without a deal in place or to accept a rushed, bad deal. The Government cannot allow people’s livelihoods to be put further at risk, when so many are already struggling to get by.

The Liberal Democrats will continue to hold the Conservative Government to account as Ministers fail to deliver what they promised, and try and ensure we get the best deal available.

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Kirsty Williams leads the way

I have been very heartened by the news from Wales, and not just because a bit of my heart always lives there. Unlike her English counterparts Kirsty Williams, the Lib Dem Education Minister for Wales, hasn’t had to be challenged by celebrity footballers to remember those children whose needs are greater than others – she had already worked up schemes to support them.

In the very early days of lockdown, Wales was the first country in the UK to announce that children eligible for free school meals would continue to get them through the Easter and summer school holidays, supported by substantial funding.

Kirsty has now taken a further ambitious step by announcing an £11million fund to provide free school meals during term-time and holidays right up to Easter 2021. Special arrangements are in place for children who are quarantining or shielding at home.

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15 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: London lockdown further evidence Govt have lost control
  • Liberal Democrats vote against “dangerous” Government crimes Bill

Liberal Democrats: London lockdown further evidence Govt have lost control

Responding to reports that London will face Tier 2 Covid restrictions from Saturday, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

The Government have completely lost control of coronavirus across vast swathes of the country, and the situation in London is looking very difficult.

In the north of England, and now in London, the sacrifices of millions of people have been squandered by this Government. Because of Boris Johnson’s failure to ensure our test, trace and isolate system worked, millions of people will have to make those sacrifices again.

We need to understand the science behind the tier system immediately, otherwise there will be fears that this fresh wave of restrictions will do very little to help stop the spread of the virus. We need a circuit-breaker introduced now, on the condition that government overhaul the failing test and trace system – otherwise restrictions will need to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

The government must do much more to protect jobs and livelihoods and keep people safe.

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What does it mean to be black in Britain in 2020?

I’m so excited to announce the launch of my Share, Plan, Act programme.

Through it, I plan to link community/faith/charity groups and key influencers with the Liberal Democrats to catalyse positive social change via the media, lobbying, education and micro action.

It will co-ordinate with Ed’s National Listening Programme to enable us, as a Party, to reach communities and individuals who might not have interacted much with us before. And – crucially – will help us to listen to what voters want, so we can better serve them.

I’ve been working hard with my phenomenal team over the past few months in figuring out the practicalities, gauging interest from non-Lib Dems and building up networks external to the Party. Having gained support in many ways, we are now ready to go.

It’s Black History Month this October and we’re so pleased to be launching our first event entitled: “What Does it Mean to be Black in Britain in 2020?” on Thursday 22nd October, 2020 from 7pm-8:30pm.

Our guest speakers will be:

  • Professor Christopher Jackson – the first black scientist to be giving the Royal Institution Christmas lectures, Equinor Professor of Basin Analysis, Imperial College and winner of the 2016 Geological Society of America Thompson Distinguished Lecturer Award
  • Paul Anderson-Walsh – the former CEO of The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, co-founder of The Centre for Inclusive Leadership, ITN Productions resident leadership expert, BBC contributor and show host on Premier Radio.
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15 October 2020 – the overnight press release

Government must follow Wales and guarantee free schools meals over holidays

Responding to the announcement that the Welsh Government has guaranteed free school meal provision for all school holidays up to and including Easter 2021, thanks to £11m confirmed today by Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:

This decision by Liberal Democrat Kirsty Williams is wonderful news and will really ease the worries of thousands of parents in Wales as they look ahead to the uncertainty of the next six months.

It is essential that Conservative Ministers in Westminster follow the Liberal Democrats lead in Wales,

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John Leech shortlisted for Lifetime Achievement award

The Liberal Democrats are delighted to announce, alongside the LGIU, that John Leech has been shortlisted for their Lifetime Achievement in public service for his dedication to the LGBTQ+ community.

John Leech, who has dedicated nearly three decades of his life to public service, has been shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement award from more than 200 nominations.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey MP, praised the “relentless and fierce public servant.”

Whilst working at McDonald’s as a student, John Leech began getting involved in local campaigns and social good projects. In 1998, he was elected to Manchester City Council and has continuously served its …

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13 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: Rising unemployment shows Chancellor must do more
  • Liberal Democrats: Record high hate crimes must be combatted

Liberal Democrats: Rising unemployment shows Chancellor must do more

Responding to the statistics released this morning showing that unemployment has reached 4.5%, the highest level in over three years, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Today’s figures throw into stark and depressing relief the scale of the issues facing families and businesses and act as a reminder that the Chancellor must extend more help.

Liberal Democrats have warned that by prematurely ending the Furlough scheme, this Government is potentially leaving thousands to face ruin.

Responsibility sits squarely on the Chancellor’s shoulders. Instead of dismissing lost jobs as not viable, he should be working day and night to protect people’s livelihoods.

Generations will judge whether this Government has taken every conceivable step to protect people’s’ livelihoods and futures, or tossed them on the unemployment pile marked non-viable.

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Luisa Porritt selected as our candidate for London Mayor

Luisa Porritt has tweeted this today:


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Party Awards: Thay Thayalan, a strong campaigner with a problem-solving, can-do attitude

Our third Party Award features Thay Thayalan, former Mayor of Kingston, who won the President’s Award at this year’s Conference. Watch the whole Party Awards segment below and read the full submission in support of Thay under the cut.

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12 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: Tories must stop dragging their feet on ethnicity pay gaps
  • PM has failed the north of England and the whole country

Liberal Democrats: Tories must stop dragging their feet on ethnicity pay gaps

The Liberal Democrats are calling on Conservative Ministers to “stop dragging their feet” and require large employers to publish their ethnicity pay gaps, as new figures released today from the Office for National Statistics show that, on average, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and certain mixed-race groups are paid 15% less than white people.

Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

Too many people’s lives are blighted by discrimination and inequality. Black and Asian children are more likely to grow up in poverty than other children, and ethnicity pay gaps contribute to that injustice.

Gender pay gap reporting, introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Government, has been incredibly powerful to help force employers to take steps to improve gender equality in the workplace. Now we must do the same for ethnicity pay gaps.

It’s now two years since the Government launched a consultation on requiring large employers to publish their ethnicity pay gaps, but they have still not introduced it. It’s time Conservative Ministers stop dragging their feet and act.

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Willie Rennie pays tribute to long-standing Lib Dem Cllr Ellen Morton

Sad news this week from Helensburgh. Ellen Morton, a councillor since 1999, has passed away.

From the Helensburgh Advertiser:

She was first elected to Argyll and Bute Council as a Scottish Liberal Democrat in 1999, representing the Helensburgh North ward.

From 2007, following the introduction of a new system of local government elections across Scotland, she became one of three councillors representing the Helensburgh and Lomond South area, taking in the Colgrain, Craigendoran and Churchill areas of Helensburgh as well as villages and hamlets including Cardross, Ardoch, Arden and Muirlands.

In her 21 years as a councillor she served in a variety of roles, including chair of the authority’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee and depute to long-serving council leader Dick Walsh, as well as chair of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park planning authority and chair of the Northern Roads Collaboration.

She is survived by her husband Gordon, children Catriona, Aileen, Andrew and Fiona, and grandchildren Kate, Logan, Emily and Elliot.

Willie Rennie highlighted her humour and leadership:

Ellen Morton was a lady that you crossed at your peril.

She was quick, bright and, occasionally, sharp tongued and she was kind, caring and such a hard worker.

Her twenty one years on the council were colourful because she had firm beliefs and was a fierce defender of her constituents.

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Building the Lib Dem North American Branch

Seventy-five years ago, the United States of America changed the world with two acts that define our current global order. Through dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, America simultaneously brought World War Two to an end and took on the mantle of the pre-eminent global superpower. As the nominal “leader of the free world”, America cultivated science and the arts at an unprecedented scale while taking on the role as the global beacon of liberal, internationalist principles. However, as James Croft has superbly illustrates in his upcoming article, being a “Liberal” in America has become a smear. But, it doesn’t have to be this way and wasn’t this way until recently.

For UK citizens working and living abroad, we have a unique perspective of the memories of the United Kingdom and the current experiences of our countries of residence. In a time where we are physically isolated due to Covid-19, we can also connect over our shared values and principles. In this environment, a group of likeminded, internationalist liberal activists has formed in the North American region – the North American Branch of Liberal Democrats Overseas.

The Branch has formed to action our liberal principles, be a forum for liberal discussion in the region and work to raise the profile of international liberalism. As a Branch of Liberal Democrats Overseas, we are the local ‘home’ for British liberals of all stripes, living in America, Canada and the Caribbean.

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Lib Dems and lockdown heroes honoured

The Queen’s Birthday Honours were postponed this year so they could include people who had served the community during lockdown. I’m sure a number of those will be Liberal Democrat members, so please let us know and we will update this post.

Congratulations to Councillor Susan Prochak, Deputy Leader of Rother District Council, who has been awarded an MBE for services to the community in Robertsbridge Parish, East Sussex.

We will add more names to this list if you let us know of other Lib Dems who have been honoured. Contact us on [email protected].

UPDATE from Caron

Two more Lib Dems I’ve spotted. Firstly a very well deserved OBE for Racial Diversity Campaign Vice Chair Josh Babarinde

And for John Loughton, whose Scran Academy operation provided thousands of meals to people who were isolating in Edinbugh, a BEM.

I’m not sure whether he is still a Lib Dem member, but he is a fantastic and inspiring man. I went to an event last year where he was motivating young people and encouraging them to make themselves heard to politicians and he truly is a force of nature.

 

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8-9 October 2020 – yesterday and today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: Government must grant EU citizens proof of settled status
  • Slow economic growth reinforces need for furlough extension
  • Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group at risk of collapse shows need for furlough extension
  • Liberal Democrats: Sunak’s offer does not go far enough

Liberal Democrats: Government must grant EU citizens proof of settled status

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to grant EU citizens the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need, as new Home Office figures reveal thousands are being refused and 1.8 million have not been granted the right to stay permanently.

The latest EU Settlement Scheme statistics, which were published this morning, revealed 16,600 people have been refused Settled Status – including 5,700 in September alone. They also revealed that 1.6 million have only been granted temporary ‘Pre-Settled Status’ and 180,000 are still waiting for a decision.

On Monday, the House of Lords passed a Liberal Democrat amendment to the Government’s Immigration Bill which would require the Government to provide EU citizens with physical proof of their Settled Status. The party is urging Conservative MPs not to overturn that amendment when the Bill returns to the Commons.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

EU citizens in the UK – our families and friends – have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for far too long. They must have the right to stay.

Boris Johnson and the Conservatives promised to automatically guarantee the rights of EU citizens to stay, but they have broken that promise, as they have with so many others.

This Government’s botched scheme is anything but automatic and, without physical proof of their rights, EU citizens will be at the mercy of the Conservatives’ Hostile Environment.

To prevent a new Windrush-style scandal, Liberal Democrats are fighting for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need.

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7 October 2020 – today’s press release

Liberal Democrats: PM’s speech no more than a pipe dream

Responding to Boris Johnson’s speech to Conservative Party Conference, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

The Prime Minister’s speech utterly failed to deliver a credible plan to beat Coronavirus. With the Government’s tracing system in meltdown, a quarter of the UK in lockdown and millions set to face unemployment, this speech was nothing more than a pipe dream.

People and business need not only reassurance from the Prime Minister, but concrete measures to help them face the next six months of this pandemic. They got neither.

Even when talking of recovery,

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Tom Brake, former Member of Parliament, appointed as Director of Unlock Democracy

PRESS RELEASE:

Unlock Democracy is pleased to announce Tom Brake as their new Director. Tom was until recently the MP for Carshalton and Wallington.

Tom brings a wealth of campaigning experience to the role from his years in Parliament. In Westminster he was active in pushing for democratic reform, including extending Freedom of Information (FOI) laws to private companies like Serco and Capita when they undertake work for the public sector, defending UK elections from foreign interference, and for votes at 16.

Tom leads the organisation at a time when the UK’s democracy and political institutions are under strain from: the pressure of responding to Covid-19, which has seen the Government given civil liberties-threatening emergency powers; an attempt by Government to shut down Parliament; and ID checks which will stop some younger people and people from disadvantaged backgrounds voting.

Speaking on behalf of Unlock Democracy’s governing Council, Chair Jessica Metheringham, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Tom to Unlock Democracy. At this critical time for democracy, our challenge is to bring together people from different backgrounds and perspectives. Together we can counter the threats to our democracy and build a better foundation for our political system. Tom brings experience and enthusiasm and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Tom Brake added:

“It is a great honour to be appointed Director of an organisation with a strong campaign pedigree and an experienced and committed team.

“The risks are genuine. The freedoms people cherish in their day-to-day lives depend on a strong and vibrant democracy.  Unlock Democracy’s mission is to deliver a written constitution, drafted following an open and engaging public process. This is the best guarantee that the freedoms we enjoy now will continue to be exercised by our children and grandchildren.”

Unlock Democracy is a pressure group that campaigns for a vibrant, inclusive democracy that puts power in the hands of the people, underpinned by a written constitution created through a participative process.

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6 October 2020 – today’s press release

Prime Minister “not ambitious enough” when it comes to renewables

The Liberal Democrats are calling for an investment of £150 billion over the next three years to drive a green economic recovery. The call comes as the Prime Minister is set to unveil plans to invest just £160 million in wind turbines in a speech at the Conservative Party Conference.

Ed Davey, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

People across the UK are worried about the planet and for their children’s futures. We need a Government that leads from the front when it comes to tackling the climate emergency. But just a

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5 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Chancellor’s speech will have disappointed millions in need
  • Lords defeat Government on Immigration Bill

Chancellor’s speech will have disappointed millions in need

The Liberal Democrats have claimed the Chancellor’s speech at the Conservative Party’s virtual conference will have “disappointed millions who were hoping to hear how he plans to help them through this crisis.”

Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

The Chancellor’s speech will have disappointed millions who were hoping to hear how he plans to help them through this crisis.

Instead of an extension to furlough, measures to help the millions excluded from help or a boost to universal credit, we were instead given

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Over 100 East Midlands Councillors sign letter calling for halt to Unitary Council plans

Over 100 Liberal Democrat councillors from across the East Midlands have signed a letter to the Secretary of State for Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP, calling for a halt to controversial Government plans to abolish Borough and District Councils across the region and replace them with larger Unitary authorities.

The letter, signed by 118 Councillors, was jointly authored by Lib Dem Hinckley and Bosworth Borough and Leicestershire County Councillor Michael Mullaney and Leader of Chesterfield Lib Dem Councillors Paul Holmes.

Michael Mullaney said;

Abolishing Borough and District Councils and creating huge unitary authorities would be disruptive at anytime. But to be considering this

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3-4 October 2020 – the weekend’s press release

Prime Minister full of bluster but offered little in the way of answers

Responding to the Prime Minister’s warning of a ‘tough’ Christmas and beyond on The Andrew Marr Show, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Daisy Cooper said:

The Prime Minister’s admission will leave people rightly worried about their loved ones. Sadly, as has become all too common with this Prime Minister, there was a lot of bluster but little in the way of answers.

It is now all the more important for the Government to take responsibility for its failures and deliver a comprehensive strategy to test, trace and isolate every

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How you could help improve party diversity and member engagement or represent the LIb Dems internationally?

There are a few opportunities to get involved in the running of the party at a national level. Nominations close this Friday at noon, so act quickly. All of these roles require nomination by two members of the Federal Board and you can find them here. 

Federal People Development Committee

The first is for a member of the Federal People Development Committee. From the ad on the Party website (which also tells you how to apply):

The Federal People Development Committee brings together three key functions of the party: training, diversity engagement, and membership recruitment, retention and activation. Since the completion of the 2019 General Election Review, it also has an important role to play in delivering the reforms it has called for.

The FPDC meets regularly (at least once a quarter) throughout the year during the evenings (typically 18:00-20:00) for about two hours. Since the start of Covid-19, all meetings have been by video call and continued remote participation will be possible even once all Covid-19 related restrictions are removed. Reasonable expenses incurred will be repaid in line with the Party’s expenses policy.

Applicants will be expected to be able to demonstrate experience working in diversity, training or membership development, and a commitment to the Party’s values in these areas. A proven record of communicating with members, particularly through social media would be highly advantageous. It is desirable that applicants have a proven track-record of delivering successful programmes in any of the three areas listed above and that they understand the oversight and scrutiny elements of a non-executive role.

The election is caused by the resignation of the previous chair and all elected members of FPDC are entitled to stand for Chair.

Vice Chair of the Racial Diversity Campaign

The second is for a Vice Chair of the Racial Diversity Campaign whose aim is to “support outstanding Lib Dem BAME members to seek and win public office.”

Here’s the ad in full:

The Racial Diversity Campaign (RDC) is the vehicle within the party which finds, trains and supports BaME candidates through to their selection and beyond to successful election.

Its principal aims are to increase the number of ethnic minority MPs, MSPs, MEPs, Assembly Members, elected Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners and. It would also work alongside ALDC to increase the number of ethnic minority Councillors and Council Leaders.

The Vice-Chairs of the RDC will be experienced in training and mentoring and have a deep knowledge of the party’s processes for candidates, from assessment through to fighting a campaign. The RDC is currently seeking to appoint a Vice-Chair to fill a casual vacancy.

More information about the RDC is available on its website.

The successful candidate will be elected to serve until 31 December 2022. The Liberal Democrats are committed to diversity and inclusion and we welcome applications from candidates from all walks of life.

Applicants for the roles of Chair or Vice Chair must be nominated by two members of the Federal Board, membership of which can be found here:

www.libdems.org.uk/federal_board.
For questions and further details, and to submit an application, please contact: [email protected]
Please apply by email attaching:

● Copies of emails (or equivalent) proving your nomination by two current members of the Federal Board.
● A manifesto of up to 200 words (additional words will be removed by the Returning Officer)

The Party will conduct due diligence on applicants and we encourage you to provide any materials you feel may be relevant. Optionally, you may also also attach a copy of your most recent CV.

Applicants are encouraged to inform us if any reasonable adjustments are needed to be made during any part of the recruitment process.

This advert will close at noon on Friday 9th October. All applicants will be presented to Federal Board and an election will be held, in line with standard internal procedures, in early October.

Two members of the Liberal International Executive

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Hobbes and Hattie compete to be Westminster’s top cat

We’ve just got through the leadership election and now two of our other MPs are facing off against each other.

Well, their cats are.

Wendy Chamberlain’s Hobbes and Jamie Stone’s Hattie are taking part in Purr Minister 2020, run by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Lib Dems have been successful before. Annette Brooke’s Billy won in 2015.

Wendy and Jamie have both taken to Twitter to drum up votes for their gorgeous cats.

And Hobbes posed a slight dilemma for Scottish Lib Dem Women

His manifesto is:

I’m named for the cartoon character and not the philosopher, but the social contract is purrly on my

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Munira Wilson gets another PMQ – and calls for removal of “draconian” Coronavirus law

Some MPs never get to ask the Prime Minister a question at the most hotly contested parliamentary event of any week.

Munira Wilson has been an MP for just 9 months, and has had two opportunities in the path month to ask a question at PMQs.

This week she asked him to work cross-party to get a consensus on the laws and powers around Coronavirus, calling the current measures “draconian.”

His response was as dismissive as you would expect:

We are making sure that everybody in our society gets all the protections they need. I am aware of the easements in the Care Act 2014 that the hon. Lady refers to. It was necessary to put them in temporarily, and we now need to make sure we give everybody the protection that they need. That is what this Government will do.

And here’s a reminder of Munira’s debut at PMQs last month when she took Boris Johnson to task over his government legislating to break international law.

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Lib Dem Councillor Julia Ogiehor “devastated” at acquittal of men accused of racially harassing her on tube

Last year we reported on Haringey Liberal Democrat Councillor Julia Ogiehor’s description of being racially abused while she was travelling on the London Underground.

At the time, she said:

“One of them called me uneducated, and looked like I didn’t go to university,” Ogiehor said. “I had my hands up saying I do not want to speak to you any more, then one of the guys tried to pull my hands down and demanded I get out of his sight.

“I recoiled and said please do not touch me, as he kept saying I had no common sense and that I was uneducated at the top of his voice. I was the only black person in the carriage and he seemed to expect everyone would be on their side. They seemed to be a little taken aback when that was not the case.”

She added: “They had such a sense of entitlement and sounded offended that I refused to go into my heritage and did indeed come from London.”

And Julie talked about the importance of showing solidarity when you see others under attack:

The fact I was helped is what gave me the courage to defend myself,” she said. “Hate crime is under-reported, so please speak up. They are the minority, and we need to stand up to bigotry.

Yesterday, Julia wrote on Twitter that she was devastated after the two men responsible had been acquitted of racially aggravated harassment.

She said that she felt that justice had not been on her side “How could it be when nobody on the jury looked anything like me?” She added that she had no regrets about reporting the incident and would continue to report racism every time.

The Ham and High reported on the court hearing:

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