Category Archives: News

Young Liberals need reform – and we need your help!

Young people play a vital role in the party. Beyond our ability to deliver vast sums of leaflets, or to liven up that local party picture, we shape the Liberal Democrats. We stand for public office; we lobby for youth issues and representation, we ensure that as society changes the party changes with it. However, lately the boundaries of who is young have changed, and the Young Liberals need to change too. That is why we are looking at possible structural reforms, including raising the automatic membership age cut off from 26 to 30.

No longer can even the luckiest of us expect a job straight out of education; more and older graduates have to turn to internships for work. As house prices skyrocket, moving out of the parental home is taking longer. Moreover, with the tendency to remain in education, even the culture and lifestyle associated with youth has come to be applied to a broader age range. With these changes in society, the political landscape has changed too. The needs of those preparing to leave school and the needs of those in their late twenties are more closely aligned than ever before. Ending long-term unpaid work, tackling the housing crisis, improving representation in education, and increasing funding for mental health care are just some examples of policies that would have a disproportionate impact on all of us under 30.

However, the Young Liberals as an organisation has been struggling to represent these needs. It is no secret that we have suffered deepening institutional memory problems as a result of these societal changes. Students now make up such a large part of our constituent members that it’s hard for us to develop a network capable of serving our school leavers and young professions. Our lives have also become more defined by instability – such as moves abroad or in and out of education. These sudden radical changes in circumstances can render members unable to contribute in the way they have done before, and so the consistency in the quality of our work has taken a hit. By virtue of our membership and structure it is getting pretty tough to run ourselves well, and if Young Liberals as an organisation cannot run well then all our members whether in their twenties or still in their teens lose out.

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Tory Confidence or Arrogance

One thing I have always noted is that some of the Tories are arrogant. This is not just their politicians in parliament but at the local level and some of their members. I don’t feel that is the case with members of other parties, but I have often thought that some of the Tories tend towards being guilty of their own inflated self-importance. I came across a small piece that dealt with this issue about the Tories.

For the Tories apparently, it isn’t about going to the right school or even education it’s about confidence. Confidence is perceived to come from a good education and success in a chosen profession. A confident person is what impresses them. A case in point is David Davies who didn’t go to a private school (or rather not a school like Eton) but was picked out for possibly high office, by his colleagues, because he was considered to be so confident. The article goes on to discuss that the one thing boarding schools embed in their pupils (It may not necessarily be good education) but it is confidence, and this is what they admire.

How does this Tory mentality reflect in their approach to negotiations with the EU?

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Brexit vote open thread: Government defeated again 242 – 391

Well, more than by I thought.

That was pretty emphatic.

Theresa May is making a statement and is now making the No Deal vote tomorrow a free vote. That means that Cabinet members will be able to vote against no deal and keep their jobs.

She confirms that the No Deal vote goes ahead tomorrow night and if the House declines to leave with no deal, the extension to Article 50 vote will happen on Thursday.

Surely this just shows the need to put this back to the people.

Vince’s first comment:

The Prime Minister’s authority is in tatters while Brexit as a project is also in tatters.

We now need to move quickly to extend Article 50 and for the Commons to consider legislation for a People’s Vote, just as the Liberal Democrats have argued for over two years.

Public opinion now looks to be firmly behind remaining in the EU rather than accepting this friendless deal.

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Minimum income: From Finnish trial to Lib Dem policy?

The Finnish Basic Income experiment ended at the start of the year, and preliminary results have now been reported publicly. Certain sections of the press blared out that the trial, which paid 2000 unemployed people an unconditional €560/month income for two years, was a “failure” – but was it? It is true that the experiment did not lead to significant increases in the experiment group finding work, but should we be judging the success or failure of a benefits system solely by whether it pushes people into any job that can be found? Our values and policy as Liberal Democrats should lead us toward different analyses.

Looking at the results closely tells a different, important, and encouraging story from a liberal perspective. Despite those opposed to guaranteed incomes claiming that a basic income would lead to nobody wanting to work, the data shows no drop in work-seeking among Finland’s experiment group. The fact that there was no rise either suggests that marginal income effects may be less important in influencing work-seeking than some had imagined; a lack of suitable jobs and retraining opportunities is not something for which any social security system will provide magic bullets. Other potential positive economic effects of a guaranteed income are, however, likely to have been invisible in this sparse study – increasing the spending power of the worst off and building a labour market that can be more flexible in retraining are significant potential positives that would only be effectively visible at scale.

The most important results from Finland’s trial, in any case, are the effects on wellbeing. The experiment group reported lower stress levels and better health outcomes than their counterparts in the control group. This is where we should be getting excited about the possibilities of a minimum income – freeing people from the psychological strain caused by income insecurity, freeing people to make the most of opportunities and build stronger communities, freeing people to live happier lives. Not only that, but consider the strain on other public services, the NHS in particular, caused by health issues that are largely down to poverty. Taking steps towards eradicating those ills is both smart and compassionate politics.

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WATCH: Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton talk about saving his 4 year old daughter from choking

I was heading to my bed on Saturday night when I saw this tweet from Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton:

Scary, scary stuff. The thought of my child choking was probably one of the things that scared me most. I made sure I knew what do do if that happened, but I’m glad I never had to demonstrate the skill.

Thank heavens little Darcy was fine, due to skills learned by her Dad  a quarter of a century ago.

I had a friend who doesn’t do social media and who’s on holiday in Australia contact me to say they’d seen Alex featured in the press so many people across the world will have seen his new found mission to raise  awareness of what happened to his daughter to make sure that every parent is equipped with first aid skills.

His actions will save more lives than Darcy’s.

The very next  morning a member of my family faced a medical emergency at which first aid was required. 

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Where are the extremists?

Most Liberal Democrats will live their lives in blissful ignorance of a weekly publication called the Methodist Recorder, to which I occasionally contribute book reviews. This week one of its more conservative readers, a retired minister (in Methodist parlance a “supernumerary” like me, which I think means “surplus to requirements”) appeared on the letters page raising some interesting points about extremism. He was concerned about one of the demands at the school pupils’ strike over climate change which he claimed had nothing to do with climate change. This was the demand for the voting age to be lowered to 16. He clearly didn’t see any great value in encouraging an age group, who are going to be at the sharp end of the consequences of  our success or failure at combatting climate change, to put their concern and energies into democratic political processes.

However he then went on to suggest that the Socialist Workers Party banners visible in the demonstration represented political extremists using children for their nefarious purposes. It takes a remarkably eccentric understanding of extremism to persuade me to defend the SWP! Liberal Democrats who have shared in broad-based campaigns with Socialist Worker members on a variety of issues will know that the SWP are very open in saying who they are. They turn up with as many red banners as possible emblazoned with “Socialist Worker” in large letters. In my experience these tend to be occasions for observing that flogging copies of the SWP newspaper appears to be a rather thankless task.

Provoked by my fellow Methodist minister, the serious point I want to make is this. “Extremist” can be as imprecise and slippery as the term “moderate.”  Some people will see the SWP as an extremist socialist party. Some of its members may find their way into other forms of less visible political activity that can give cause for concern. There are other groupings that are far more dangerous than this small political party. The extremists we should worry about are those who conceal their identity and intentions, operating through front organisations, or even infiltrating mainstream political parties. 

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FCC Report: The Amendments selected for Conference

With Spring Conference just days away, Federal Conference Committee met on Saturday for the almost-final selection of amendments and Emergency and Europe motions. You can see the full text of what we selected in Conference Extra.

Unfortunately, time is always the biggest factor when selecting amendments, and we simply can’t select all those that come to us. The list of unsuccessful amendments is below, along with those we will be debating. For those less familiar, there are two things that can happen with a successful amendment: They can be accepted for debate and vote, or if they are uncontroversial they can be drafted in (e.g. to bring a motion up to date based on revent events) and do not require a vote. The summaries are not those of the submittors, so only give a brief taste of the kind of thing the amendment addresses.

Several of the Supporter’s Scheme amendments related to areas that will be voted on separately in blocks. A full explanation of how the vote will be condicted is in Conference Extra as there are a number of alternative outcomes.

Due to the rapidly developing situation over Brexit, we have delayed the amendments deadline for this item to midday on Friday. This does not allow much time for people to draft and submit amendments in response to events on Thursday, so if you suspect you will be submitting we suggest you try to get the necessary ten or more members ready to sign ahead of time.

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9-10 March 2019 – the weekend’s press releases (part 2)

And, as promised…

  • Lib Dems: Labour must stop making excuses on a People’s Vote
  • PM must back independent investigation into Qatar World Cup bid
  • Home Counties knife crime rise shows crime epidemic is sweeping the UK

Lib Dems: Labour must stop making excuses on a People’s Vote

Responding to Keir Starmer’s announcement that Labour will not force a vote in favour of a People’s Vote on Tuesday, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Labour’s apparent belated support for a People’s Vote needs to be put to the test very soon. If not Tuesday, when? And their commitment must go hand in hand with a three

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9-10 March 2019 – the weekend’s press releases (part 1)

There’s no doubt that the Press Team have been busy over the weekend, and we’ll spread the press releases over two posts accordingly…

  • Lib Dems: Javid’s judgement has had tragic consequences
  • Lib Dems: We must now eradicate period poverty from society
  • Swinson: UK must help secure release of Egyptian woman Amal Fathy
  • Jardine reveals “embarrassing” gender balance of the Privy Council

Lib Dems: Javid’s judgement has had tragic consequences

Responding to the reports that the baby son of Shamima Begum has died, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said:

The news that a little baby has died will touch the vast majority of people’s hearts –

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Mark Williams re-selected to contest Ceredigion

Former MP Mark Williams has been re-selected as the Welsh Liberal Democrat Westminster candidate for Ceredigion.

Mark was the MP for Ceredigion from 2005 to 2017 and has remained an active local campaigner since, leading the protests against the closure of the Bodlondeb Care Home in Aberystwyth.

In 2017 the Welsh Liberal Democrats were just 104 votes behind Plaid Cymru, and the Party are determined to win the seat back.

Commenting on his selection Mark Williams said:

It’s truly humbling that party members have chosen me to contest the Ceredigion constituency once more and I am

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Jane Dodds selected to fight Brecon and Radnorshire

Good news from Wales. The Welsh Lib Dem Leader, Jane Dodds, has been selected as the Westminster candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire. Jane is a brilliant and caring politician who has been championing issues such as tackling loneliness. Last week, she wrote about her wish to see Universal Basic Income trialled in Wales.

We held the Westminster seat until 2015 and Kirsty Williams holds the seat at Welsh Assembly level. We also did well in the last local elections

Jane said:

I am really pleased that members from across Brecon and Radnorshire have put their trust in me to be their candidate for Westminster and I am proud to be part of the Welsh Liberal Democrat team for Mid-Wales.

Brecon and Radnorshire is being let down by our existing Conservative MP. Under the Conservatives, we’ve seen a sharp increase in cases of homelessness, the botched rollout of Universal Credit continues and, with only 20 days to go, we still don’t even know what is going to happen with Brexit.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats demand better than this debacle. We want to see a Wales which is fairer, international and puts a new green economy at the heart of everything we do.

I think I bring a new perspective on the issues which affect people in our communities and I look forward to working with our great Liberal Democrat Councillors and those who share our liberal values to bring about real and effective change which genuinely changes our society for the better.

Her colleague and predecessor as leader Kirsty Williams welcomed Jane’s selection:

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Women’s rights are human rights

The Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality put out a super short video for International Women’s Day.

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ALDC’s by-election review – 7th March

A  quiet night of by-elections saw one by-election take place in Haddenham and Stone for Aylesbury Vale DC. The solitary election saw a big loss for the Conservatives to the Green’s who increased their vote share 34.6% to snatch the seat from the Tories. Jim Brown and the Aylesbury Vale Lib Dem team flew the flag well and took 333 votes increasing their vote share by 2.3% so a big thanks to Jim and the team.

Next week we have a busier week with 3 by-elections taking place with Lib Dem candidates standing in all. See below our list for next week and how you can help.

Croydon LB, Norbury & Pollards Hill
Labour Seat. Cause: Death
LD Candidate: Guy Burchett
Get in touch – https://www.croydonlibdems.org/contact_us

Durham UA, Wingate.
Lab Seat. Cause: Death.
LD Candidate: Edwin Simpson
Get in touch – https://durhamlibdems.mycouncillor.org.uk/get-involved/?purpose=get%20in%20touch#page-content 

Southampton UA, Coxford Ward.
Ind Seat. Cause: Resignation.
LD Candidate Candidate: Sam Chapman [email protected]

Contact (campaign manager): Colin McDougal [email protected]

Good luck to all our candidates standing next week!

If you have a spare hour you can find contact details of who to ring to help out on our website.

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8 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

Govt decision on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe a step in the right direction

Responding to news that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been offered diplomatic protection, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Jo Swinson said:

This is a promising step in the right direction.

I welcome this action by the Government, which contrasts the reckless incompetence displayed by the previous Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.

Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s plight should give us all pause for thought. We must all do what we can to bring her home as soon as possible.

Moran: Fox wastes £2.6m on another vanity project

A Parliamentary Question from Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has revealed that …

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7 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases (part 2)

And now, as promised, the rest of the press releases…

  • Figures highlight extremely difficult time for high streets
  • Swinson: Employers must be held to account over gender pay gap
  • Chancellor must end the freeze on benefits and tax credits
  • Davey: Strip Home Office of immigration powers

Figures highlight extremely difficult time for high streets

Responding as the BDO High Streets Tracker reveals that sales declined by 3.7%, the worst February for lifestyle in-store sales since November 2008, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

Our high streets are clearly going through an extremely difficult time, thanks to a combination of long-term structural challenges and the damaging

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Caroline Pidgeon calls for blue plaque for Ealing’s Olympic tennis player Charlotte Cooper

Ealing had a women’s Olympic tennis champion, but I’d never heard of her until earlier this week.

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member has linked up with Southfield Councillor Gary Malcolm to support a Blue Plaque being installed to remember  Charlotte Cooper.

The tennis player, who was born in Ealing was the first ever woman to win an Olympic title, when women were admitted into the Games in Paris in 1900. She became the first woman in history to win a First Place Prize in tennis (medals were not given out until 1904).

Charlotte Cooper was five times Wimbledon singles champion, she also won the mixed doubles event, as well as the Swiss, German and Irish titles which were prestigious championships at the time.  Yet despite her numerous achievements there is no Blue Plaque to commemorate her life and her association with Ealing.

Caroline Pidgeon AM and Councillor Gary Malcolm’s nomination of Charlotte Cooper is part of a wider campaign by the London Assembly to ensure more women are recognised by Blue Plaques.

Caroline said:

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Meral Ece: Muslim women need our support to reach their empowerment

In yesterday’s Lords International Women’s Day debate, our Meral Hussein Ece looked at the barriers facing Muslim women, particularly in a climate when senior politicians make ignorant comments.

My Lords, I thank the Minister for introducing this important debate and pay tribute to the Government’s work in advancing women’s equality and rights globally, building on the work of successive Governments and the incredible work that has taken place around the world. It is a pleasure to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Gale, and I pay tribute to all the work she has done as well.

I come to this as somebody who has been involved in gender equality and working with women, particularly women from ethnic minority communities, for many decades. I founded the first domestic violence project ​for Turkish, Kurdish and Middle Eastern women 25 years ago, and I am proud that it is still going from strength to strength. Many of the women who initially came there for support have gone on to become empowered women, much more in control of their lives, and to help other women. That has been something that has followed down the track and been successful.

My contribution today is on the public discourse on black and minority ethnic women, particularly Muslim women. I want to touch on this because I have become increasingly concerned that narratives and stereotypes persist that Muslim women are either victims—subjugated, oppressed, controlled by their families and unable to speak English—or, at the same time, blamed for bringing up children who become radicalised. My contribution may not be popular but it needs to be said, because I have become increasingly uncomfortable. I have been at various events this week with other women from Muslim backgrounds—younger, empowered and educated women—who are fed up with this narrative that persists.

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Highlighting the “invisible” work women do

One of the features of International Women’s Day over the past few years has been Scottish feminist organisation Engender’s Make Work Visible campaign to highlight the work that women do that really makes the world work but that isn’t recognised.

Not only do women work at their jobs, they often have another full shift to do at home looking after children, or parents, doing the housework, organising stuff. Actually, quite often they do the emotional labour in their offices too, keeping the peace, remembering birthdays, supporting colleagues under stress, organising social events, that sort of thing.

This video from 2014 explains it some more.

Here are some of the highlights so far:

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Wera Hobhouse: We must not hold women back

Wera Hobhouse was the Lib Dem speaker in the Commons International Women Day debate yesterday. She concentrated on the discrimination women face in the workplace and the harm it does them and the organisations they work for:

It is an honour to be the penultimate Back-Bench speaker in this debate. We have heard many powerful contributions, including those dealing with discrimination leading to violence against women. I have experienced great solidarity on the issue of fighting discrimination in the past year and a half since I became a Member of Parliament, and if that solidarity continues, I really believe that we can make progress, particularly on the very dark side of discrimination.

Today I want to focus on something slightly closer to home—namely, my own experience as I was growing up. As I grew up in the 1970s, I looked forward to a future of exciting possibilities. The world was my oyster. I could follow my passions, study, develop my skills, build my career and have a family. It never occurred to me that my career options could be limited because I was a woman, that I would not automatically attain the same level of responsibility, pay and influence that my male counterparts would, that I might have to sacrifice my career aspirations when we started a family because I earned less than my husband, that there was an automatic assumption that I would take on the lion’s share of looking after our young children, or that in 2019 I would still have to speak out in this House against the ongoing discrimination and undervaluing of women in the UK. But here I am, and because I have a voice in Parliament, I am using it today to remind ​everybody that we must continue our efforts to fight discrimination—particularly its darker side—and to create a true gender balance in every sector of our society.

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7 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases (part 1)

A busy day yesterday and overnight, so today’s press releases will come in two sections…

  • Home Secretary ‘open-minded’ on right to work
  • Permanent Secretary exit only ‘managed departure’ from DExEU
  • Liberal Democrats demand better for women on International Women’s Day
  • Revealed: Home Office report rubbishes Boris Johnson’s Stop and Search claim

Home Secretary ‘open-minded’ on right to work

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine has secured assurances from the Home Secretary that he is ‘open-minded’ about her Bill which would loosen rules around asylum seekers’ right to work.

The Edinburgh West MP raised her campaign with Sajid Javid in a joint meeting organised by cross-party group, More …

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Celebrating International Women’s Day, Chelmsford style

We love this, from Chelmssford Lib Dems, celebrating their women candidates.

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It’s International Women’s Day, but 1/365 isn’t enough

Today, it’s International Women’s Day when everyone remembers that women exist and face daily discrimination. And just to pre-empt the first half dozen comments, yes, there is an International Men’s Day. It’s on November 19th. This is the day to follow Richard Herring’s very funny responses to those who ask that question on Twitter. And if you like what he does, consider making a donation to his Crowdfunder to raise money for Refuge. 

Liberal Democrats are demanding that the Conservative Government do more to improve the lives of women and girls across the UK and address the gendered inequalities that persist throughout society.

Lib Dem women MPs have been busy this week. Christine Jardine’s attempts to outlaw the “Pink Tax”, the gender price gap faced by women, Layla Moran’s bid for gender neutral school uniforms and Wera Hobhouse’s bill to ensure mental health postnatal checks hit the headlines. For heaven’s sake, Christine even made it into Vogue! 


In a joint statement Liberal Democrat MPs Christine Jardine, Jo Swinson, Layla Moran and Wera Hobhouse said:

It is frustrating and unacceptable that in the UK in 2019, women and girls continue to face so many everyday barriers.

The Conservative Government have passed the role of Minister for Women and Equalities around like a hot potato, whilst many of the issues that still disproportionately impact women and girls are failing to be addressed.

Liberal Democrats demand better for women and girls. Last year Liberal Democrats introduced legislation to make upskirting a specific offence and now it’s illegal. For International Women’s Day 2019 we’re fighting to improve the lives of women and girls in other ways: by banning the pink tax so that women do not pay more for the same products, introducing gender neutral school uniforms, and improving mental health care for postnatal women.

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Welsh Lib Dems Announce Ryan Jones as Candidate for Newport West

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have announced Ryan Jones as their candidate for the Newport West Parliamentary by-election on April 4th.

Ryan Jones, 32, lives in The Gaer, having been brought up in Cwmbran. He runs his own construction business in Newport employing 30 people in the city. As a local employer, Ryan is very keen on supporting young people who aren’t fulfilled within the traditional workforce.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Candidate for Newport West Ryan Jones said:

It’s an honour to be selected as the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for this Newport West by-election.

I look forward to opposing our Conservative UK Government, a government

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6 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

  • PM fails to stand up for rural communities over bank closures
  • Cable: Catastrophic no-deal would push economy into recession
  • Davey: Britain must be far more ambitious on offshore wind
  • Lib Dems: Yet another embarrassing rejection of May’s Brexit

PM fails to stand up for rural communities over bank closures

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron today used Prime Minister’s Questions to urge the Prime Minister to properly compensate communities that have been abandoned by the banks and forced to use online banking instead.

According to the consumer group Which? around 3,000 bank branches have closed over the past three years.

Meanwhile over the same time period, innocent customers have lost an extra £2billion in online and financial fraud.

Speaking during Prime Ministers Questions, Tim Farron asked:

Will she agree that the banks have taken without giving for too long?

Will she meet with me to force the banks to compensate victims of fraud, to compensate the communities they have abandoned and to prevent banks closing the last branch in town?

In response, the Prime Minister refused to help abandoned communities and victims of financial fraud, instead saying that banks are “commercial organisations and those are decisions that they take.”

Following the exchange, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:

It’s absolutely staggering and hugely disappointing that the Prime Minister has decided to turn her back on communities like Grange in my constituency that have been abandoned by the banks.

People who have been victims of financial fraud and those who have been let down by the banks deserve better than the Prime Minister shrugging her shoulders.

Cable: Catastrophic no-deal would push economy into recession

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Lib Dem bill to bring in mental health checks for new mums

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. And today, in advance of IWD 2019 our Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse will introduce a Bill to improve mental health care for new mothers.

I welcome this legislation. As a mother of three, I am well aware of what is currently offered to new mothers. It is not enough. This campaign will tackle one aspect which could be improved: introducing the requirement that the current routine NHS post-natal check-ups given six weeks after having your baby must include mental health checks and support.

It is called the Postnatal Check-ups (Mental Health) Bill, and the first reading is in Parliament today.

Wera said:

It is extremely worrying that nearly half of new mothers who have experienced mental health or emotional issues have not had their problem identified by a health professional or received any help or treatment.

Postnatal mental health issues are not a new phenomenon and are not uncommon. It’s time to remove the stigma, encourage new mothers to discuss their emotional well-being, and provide them with the mental health support they need.

The full text of the proposed bill is

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Help elect April in May

I first came across April Preston in, I think, 2016 when she crowdfunded the money to put on a proper feminist fringe at Conference. She got Jo Swinson to speak and it was one of the best fringes I have ever been to. I thought then what a fabulous elected representative she would make, speaking her mind and getting proper liberal stuff done.

So I really hope she gets elected in Withington ward in Manchester this year. Her campaign needs money, though. Here’s why:

Withington Ward Liberal Democrats work to put community back into the Council and with your support we will be able to challenge officials that neglect our beloved city.

Our candidate in this year’s elections is April Preston. April was the first spokesperson for Stockport Young Carers and has been passionate activist from the age of 10 and continues to campaign on a wide on a wide range of issues from mental health to children leaving care.

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6th March 2019 – Daily Press Releases and Top Lines

Press Releases

Cable: Catastrophic no-deal would push the economy into recession 

Commenting on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s report into the implications for economic growth as a consequence of Brexit, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

“The economy has been bumping along the bottom in the wake of Brexit uncertainty. This analysis by the OECD, while focused on a slowing global economy, picks out the UK as one of the worst performers among developed countries due to our weakening economic growth and falling business investment.

“Not only have our growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020 been severely downgraded, but the OECD

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Friends of Young Liberals: Launch

For many of us, the Lib Dems aren’t just a political party, but a political family too. We don’t just campaign together, but we socialise together, chat together, make friends, and in some cases, meet future partners, husbands, wives. Moreover, for many Lib Dems that I have spoken to, the Young Liberals (under any of its many former names) have played an integral part in that, providing a way for liberal-minded young people to get stuck in and meet others like them.

Moreover, the Young Liberals of today carry on as the legendary “golden generation” of the past did: we work up and down the country, flooding into campaigns in by-elections, distributing Focus leaflets to students, holding social events and conferences throughout the UK, and contributing to the party at all levels.

We try to shout about our work as much as possible, but I often hear people say that they wish they could keep in touch with Young Liberals and hear about our successes as well as our views and opinions more often.

That’s why, with the help of the current Young Liberals Executive, I am today launching a scheme called Friends of Young Liberals, which aims to help people do exactly that.

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5 March 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

We’re running a bit late today, mainly because a number of these releases were embargoed until after midnight…

  • Tory cuts are forcing schools to beg and borrow from communities – Moran
  • Lib Dems: Tories failing to fund adult social care
  • Tory cuts driving down quality of care homes
  • Govt must act to prevent another Windrush
  • Make school uniforms gender neutral – Lib Dems
  • Davey: End ‘right to rent’ checks and Hostile Environment
  • Swinson: PM’s guarantees to protect workers’ rights not worth the paper they’re written on

Tory cuts are forcing schools to beg and borrow from communities – Moran

Responding to reports that parents are being asked …

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Some More Detailed Questions on the Border in Ireland

With the persistent possibility of a “No Deal Brexit” and a ”Hard Border” the following questions might be of relevance.

As most of the border runs through a country where Catholics greatly outnumber Protestants, how can a hard border be created and maintained without the agreement of its population?

Is it securely likely that Catholics will accept such a border?

How could an international border be created and maintained in the face of sustained protests?

If a “Hard Border” is put in place, will it have to be defended permanently by British troops?

If the “Hard Border” is in a hostile environment, how will the equipment required for a “Smart Border” be kept safe and maintained?

If customs personnel are involved in running this border, how will they be confident enough of their safety unless there are police and British Army protection?

Such protection is highly likely to result in an international border incident involving injury and even death. How will this be dealt with in the immediate and the long term?

Also posted in Op-eds | 46 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Becket 20th Mar - 10:29pm
    She should be sectioned
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 20th Mar - 10:15pm
    The PM addressed the nation tonight. Why, oh why can’t she use an autocue? Her continually looking down at her notes smacks of insincerity. She...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 20th Mar - 9:56pm
    Time to revoke Article 50.
  • User AvatarTonyH 20th Mar - 9:40pm
    Shameful behaviour, but also very stupid. The TIGs have actually had very little media coverage since their launch, and their freshness was beginning to fade....
  • User AvatarRichard O'Neill 20th Mar - 9:38pm
    Corbyn seems much less bothered about the prospect of a No Deal than May is.
  • User AvatarDavid Warren 20th Mar - 9:19pm
    I have done a submission but have no way of knowing whether it has been received because I haven't received an acknowledgement. I did the...