Farron: We must challenge the Conservative orthodoxy that is tearing this country apart

Tim Farron gave a speech in response to the election result at the National Liberal Club this morning. You can watch a little bit here:

This was the hardest of elections, marred by the tragedy of those vile terrorist attacks in Manchester and in London.

And now the future of our country is less certain than it was when Theresa May called this election a month and a half ago.

For the Liberal Democrats, we have made progress in incredibly difficult circumstances and we face the new parliament in a far stronger position than we left the last one.

I am delighted to welcome back some old friends. In Jo Swinson, Vince Cable and Ed Davey we are bolstering our ranks with big figures who have served our country in government and will now be able to put their talent and experience to shaping what comes next. In Stephen Lloyd we welcome back a force of nature – a brilliant campaigner and loyal servant to his constituents.

Alongside Alistair Carmichael, Norman Lamb and Tom Brake, they are returning to a formidable team.

And I am also incredibly proud to welcome new faces to our ranks. Christine Jardine, Wera Hobhouse, Layla Moran and Jamie Stone are all fantastic campaigners who will be outstanding MPs for their constituents and our country.

I am especially proud that our parliamentary party is not only bigger but more diverse. After the 2015 election we were reduced to just eight seats – and all eight were white men. We are not yet at the point where our party fully reflects the diversity of our great country, but we have made real progress.

But while we have made great gains, we have also lost colleagues who will be very sorely missed.

History will be kind to Nick

Nick Clegg is a giant of British politics, a friend and a hero to me and to countless others. Not only did he lead our party into government for the first time in generations, he did so in the most difficult of circumstances and for the most noble of reasons.

Our party paid a political price for joining the coalition government, but it is nothing compared to the price our country would have paid if Nick had not shown the steel and determination to do the right thing when it was needed most.

In 2010 our economy was on the edge of a precipice. Because of Nick Clegg it survived and flourished.

The pupil premium, which has helped so many children to get the start in life they deserve, would not have happened without Nick Clegg.

Same-sex marriage, would not have happened without Nick Clegg, the children of asylum seekers would have remained held behind bars without Nick Clegg.

The raising of the income tax threshold, which has helped millions of people on low and middle incomes, would not have happened without Nick Clegg.

I could stand here and keep listing Nick’s achievements, but it would take hours.

People say they want politicians to put their differences aside and to put the country first. Nick Clegg did that. Have no doubt, history will be kind to Nick. And the new parliament will be immensely poorer without the insight, expertise and passion he brings especially to the Brexit debate.

We also say goodbye to Greg Mulholland, Mark Williams and Sarah Olney. Greg has been a brilliant, dedicated and determined campaigner and a loyal servant to the people of Leeds North West. Mark a powerful voice for Wales, for Ceredigion, for rural communities.

And Sarah, in her few short months in parliament, showed that she had the makings of a brilliant MP and a real star of the party’s future. Our parliament is worse off without them. I am sure, that if they want to, Greg, Mark and Sarah can return to our ranks in future.

“No deal is better than a bad deal”

Theresa May called this election expecting it to be a coronation. She took each and every one of us for granted in the most cynical way possible. Like David Cameron before her, our Conservative Prime Minister rolled the dice and put the future of our country at risk out of sheer arrogance and vanity.

And now in her diminished state, she reaches out to the right to form her own coalition of chaos. Theresa May has done the opposite of what Nick Clegg did. She put her party before her country. She has been found out. She should be ashamed.

We will now have a government that is weaker and less stable at a time when we are about to embark on the most difficult and complex negotiations in our history. Theresa May promised strong and stable leadership. She has brought weakness and uncertainty. If she has an ounce of self-respect she will resign.

The Tories have taken our country for granted too many times. Whatever happens in this coming parliament, the Liberal Democrats will fight for you, your family and for your community.

And if Theresa May, or any other Conservative, approaches the Liberal Democrats and asks for our support to deliver their agenda, let me make our position clear: no deal is better than a bad deal.

There will be no deals, no coalitions and no confidence and supply arrangements. If the Government puts a Queen’s Speech or a Budget in front of us, we will judge it on whether or not we think it is good for the country – and if it isn’t then we will not support it.

This parliament faces a challenge greater than any for generations – Brexit. And yet, both the Conservatives and Labour went to great lengths to make sure this election was about anything but.

Their plans were paper thin. Their ambitions built on little more than platitudes. Now they must lay their cards on the table. Brexit is about to get very real – and its consequences will be felt by every single person in this country.

Hard Brexit rejected by the British people

One thing that is clear from the result of the election is that the mandate Theresa May sought for her extreme version of Brexit has been rejected by the British people. It is simply inconceivable that the Prime Minister can begin the Brexit negotiations in just two weeks’ time. She should consider her future – and then, for once, she should consider the future of our country. The negotiations should be put on hold until the government has reassessed its priorities and set them out to the British public.The British people have a right to expect that our Prime Minister will explain to them what it is that she seeks to achieve.

My party has always been proudly pro-European. We believe as much today as we ever have that we are stronger, safer and more prosperous when we work closely with our neighbours. So we will fight every day in the new parliament to make sure Britain gets the best possible deal in the years ahead. Just as we will fight to make sure our NHS, social care and schools are properly funded and fit for the years ahead.

I believe that history will judge us to have stood on the right side of the argument on Europe. We championed a very clear and simple position: the right of the British people to conclude the journey that began on 23rd June last year. For all of us to have the final say on the most important question facing us and our children.

And as the negotiations play out and the reality of Brexit becomes clearer, I believe the case for giving the people the final say over the Brexit deal will only get stronger.

Britain needs our Liberalism

Make no mistake, the battle for Britain’s future started with this election, it did not end.

The referendum showed us to be a dangerously divided country. This election has highlighted those divisions in technicolour: young against old, rich against poor, north against south, urban against rural. If we are to have any chance at healing, at coming together, we must ask ourselves some tough questions.

Are we, as a country, going to embrace the challenges of the future – an ageing population, new technology, a greener and more creative economy, working with our neighbours on the big challenges of security and climate change?

Our attitude to Europe will be an amplifier for each of these. Or are we going to shy away and bury our heads in the sand, becoming a backwards-looking and parochial country, wallowing in nostalgia, or will we focus on building a brighter future for our children?

And perhaps the biggest question. If we choose to rise to the challenges we face, how do all those who share our liberal values congregate in the same space and challenge the Conservative orthodoxy that is tearing apart our country?

We must identify a liberal common purpose in free trade, environmentalism, human rights and political reform that breaches party lines and can deliver an earthquake that turns our politics upside down.

We must also take time to listen to our country – and then talk with passion and with humour, telling stories of our politics that resonate with people and demonstrate that we really do understand the challenges and fears they face.

In 2015, our party was dealt the most devastating blow since we were founded. In 2017 we have shown that we will not be extinguished.

Now, more than ever, Britain needs our liberalism. It needs the hope and energy of our members who believe that there is a kinder, more decent politics to be had.

It needs our stubbornness, our refusal to give up in the face of overwhelming odds. It needs our belief in a fairer, greener and more optimistic country. We will continue to rebuild our party, drawing on the talent and commitment of the tens of thousands of members who have joined us in the last eighteen months.

We will continue to challenge this Conservative government’s authoritarian and cruel agenda.We will continue to stand up for those who otherwise feel marginalised and left behind.

I love this party. It is in my DNA.

Leading it for the last two years has been the utmost privilege. You have shown me the most phenomenal support – and your commitment to our communities, our country and our cause is astounding.

There is now even more work to do and I know that you will need no encouragement to throw yourselves back into the fight. Thank you – to every one of you.

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  • Bill le Breton 9th Jun '17 - 5:34pm

    Call me old fashioned but why are we being so reasonable to her about things like budgets and Queens speeches? Until she goes we should vote against the Queens Speech. People want her gone. All that young ferver created among the young. How will they understand that we not doing everything in our power to hasten the time of her going?

  • “Leading it for the last two years has been the utmost privilege. You have shown me the most phenomenal support”

    has been? Interesting use of the past tense?

  • ‘And I am also incredibly proud to welcome new faces..’. Present tense.

  • ‘We must… we will…’ Future tense.

  • Farron confirmed he would continue as leader, to loud applause from assembled party members. “I love this party. It is in my DNA,” he said. “Leading it for the last two years has been the utmost privilege.”

    Source Guardian.

  • I stand corrected. Thank you CassieB – would not be a fan of a change right now!

    Actually, whilst all the talk is about Nick today in both this speech and the press (rightly so – I do think history will judge him kinder than he is being credited with for now), I wanted to say a couple of words about Norman.

    I actually punched the air when this result came through.
    Even though I think and still do, Tim was the right person to lead a couple of years ago, Norman impressed me hugely at both the hustings.
    This seat was widely (almost unanimously) by the pundits thought to be lost if only under an expected UKIP re entering of the womb so to speak.

    I’m sure a huge team effort went in here too, but Norman’s local popularity, sense of balance, fairness, quiet determination and respect across the political spectrum I hop were the values that led to him winning the seat well in the end against all expectations.

    It’s often said that at the end of the day, “they either like you or they don’t”!

    Likability, authenticity, consistency and standing up for the little guy/gal isn’t always fashionable but I hope in this case trust in your local politician won the day.

    Now there is something worth voting for – I doubt these kind of values are on Mrs May’s mind today – maybe (pardon the pun) they should be?

  • Eddie Sammon 9th Jun '17 - 8:44pm

    Unfortunately we’ll be waiting 200 years for a Lib Dem government if we don’t find some ruthless ambition. As I’ve said: Tim is a good MP but the public have largely made up their minds on him and it’s time to find someone else for leader.


  • It’s not the right time to change leader now, the party needs more of a cutting edge and political ideas, it was ideas that helped labour’s cause. The jettisoning of most of the Orange Bookers now is a step forward, Tim now needs to re-define liberalism and align it even more closely with support for the pubic sector, environmental issues and social justice with some radical ideas in the mix.

  • Matthew Huntbach 10th Jun '17 - 12:24am

    Tim Farron

    In 2010 our economy was on the edge of a precipice. Because of Nick Clegg it survived and flourished

    Well that could be read as “We support Conservative right-wing economic policies”, and I suspect most people reading it will interpret it that way. If people want to know why we did so badly in the election, here it is.

  • I agree that history will be kind to Nick, and we should thank him for his contribution and for carrying a very heavy burden during the coalition years.

    Nevertheless this election has also highlighted the longer-term lost opportunity of the catastrophic mistake he made in abandoning our commitment to younger voters and with it the chance of building a core vote amongst the young. The medium-term damage from his mistake already painfully obvious to all of us.

    This election has done him and us a favour in freeing him from parliament. Despite his intelligence and skills, he could never have escaped from the tuition fees catastrophe – just as May will never recover from Thursday – and having him hanging around parliament as a shadow of his former self, dragging his legacy around like an old man chained to a heavy rock, wasn’t helping him or us. He won’t have any difficulty finding something more rewarding (and hopefully socially worthwhile) to do with his time.

  • @ Matthew, I don’t think most people would interpret those comments as you do. Many in Labour have admitted changes were required, and few will think badly of kind words towards a colleague. Anyone see Baroness Varsi on The Last Legs last night? She was also kind, saying how nice he is, with the unexpected compliment being that he was the member of cabinet who wouldn’t have tried to eat your leg if they got stranded somewhere!

    Nevertheless, I agree with the general sentiment that Clegg was and always will be associated with the idea of having abandoned students to huge debt, which our rivals play on. Fresh faces at this election will help us to move on.

  • Matthew Huntbach 10th Jun '17 - 8:47am


    Nevertheless this election has also highlighted the longer-term lost opportunity of the catastrophic mistake he made in abandoning our commitment to younger voters

    No, he did not do that. Accepting tuition fees with in return a loan system open to everyone saved the university system. Had this not happened, the response to the LibDems insisting on carrying on with government subsidy of universities would have been massive cuts in universities to reduce costs, plus further cuts elsewhere as there was no way the Tories would have agreed to higher taxes to pay for it. Would massive cuts in university places have been keeping to our commitment to younger voters?

    The incompetence of the leadership of the Liberal Democrats, past and present, is shown by the way this point was not pushed forcefully along with the clear message that if you want it from government it has to be paid for somehow and THAT is actually what much of politics is about.

    It needed to be made clear that this, along with most of what else happened in the Coalition, was most definitely NOT our ideal, but rather a compromise that had to be made because thanks to our disproportional representation system there was no alternative but a government dominated by the Tories.

    Tim Farron COULD have made this point in his “History will be kind to Nick” bit. But he didn’t. Instead he used words which suggested uncritical support of Tory policy.

    Given that we were going to be attacked over tuition fees mercilessly in the election, we should have made that point then instead of not mentioning it, supposing that would mean people forget about it. We should have said that as a first step we would end interest charged on the loans. We should then have spelt out precisely what it would cost to have returned to full government subsidy of universities in terms of taxation and ask people would they be willing to pay that.

    Next step, I think, would have been to make repayment of tuition fee loans deductible from tax payment, like charity Gift Aid. In effect that turns it into pure government loans.

    Anyway, Corbyn tells us he’s going to put forward full alternative policies. So, let’s see, how would a Labour government REALLY pay for it?

  • Tim did address the tuition fees issue in the question time programme I watched and was right to say it was never about fees it was all about trust.
    No end of wittering about now the new fees system works and is better than before will win trust back for you.
    During the campaign Tim went a long way along the line of winning back trust and in the weeks and months to come it is vital that the parliamentary party uses its votes in parliament to back up the things said and promised during the election.

  • 1. David Cameron calls for a referendum on membership of the EU as part of the 2015 GE campaign
    2. The referendum is run in a way which leaves the country bitter and divided
    3. Leave wins and Cameron resigns
    4. It’s quickly revealed that there is no plan for a leave vote
    5. Boris, Gove, Crabb, Leadsom shoot themselves in the foot and May walks into No.10
    6. May states she won’t call an early election
    7. May calls an early election and runs the weakest campaign in my memory
    8. May joins up with the DUP in order to keep a majority government leading to media questions about the Good Friday Agreement

    Since the Tories won the election in 2015 there have been two years of chaos and confusion and the pound being hit hard twice (at point 3 and point 7.5). I’d say its been a self-serving move for the Tory party but considering how many Tories have been desperate to dodge the bullet of leading Brexit negotiations I suppose it’s been about serving their major party donors instead, and yet it’s the Tories who remain the party with the most seats in Westminster and they grew in Scotland?!?!

    From a personal view, May has a close bond with Ruth Davidson (rising star of the Tory party) and now has political relationship with DUP while Tories did not have a good night in Wales. We have seen in the past that this government offers better deals to those they have close ties to so can expect that Wales falls behind in terms of investment and attention. Sadly, the Lib Dems also had a bad night in Wales (Mark Williams having to separate himself from his campaign at one point and Eluned picking the wrong seat to run in) which means that there is no MP here for the first time in 150 years, I believe. Not enough is being made about how large and disheartening a fact that is by Tim Farron and the like.

  • Robert Wootton 10th Jun '17 - 9:44am

    History should, indeed be kind to Nick Clegg. All the achievements he made in the coalition government demonstrates how the fairness and justice of the Liberal Democrat party translates into government policy. Unfortunately, the deceitfulness of the Conservative party knows no bounds; it took all the credit fo the raising the lower paid out of tax and for all the other of Nick’s initiatives. The price of getting these policies implemented was to accept the Conservative policy on tuition fees for which all the political flack was very wrongly directed at the Liberal Democrats.

    Good luck Nick. I wish you all the best for the future.

  • @Matthew an academic’s approach to political strategy will get you, or us, nowhere.

  • Peter Martin 10th Jun '17 - 11:54am

    @ Matthew Huntbach,

    “So, let’s see, how would a Labour government REALLY pay for it?”

    The same way as any Government pays for anything. In the old days they’d just write on a cheque. Now its all done by computer on their BoE “super platinum account”. They own the bank so they get a pretty good deal!

    It’s usually referred to as “Tax and Spend”. But it really should be the other way around. Its “Spend and Tax”. In other words the government creates the money and then taxes later to prevent inflation and give the currency a value.

    Money created and spent by Government always comes back in taxation unless someone saves it in a piggy bank or buys some Govt bonds or whatever. So the Government’s deficit equals everyone else’s savings.

    If the Government spends too much (relative to the level of taxation) on students, or anything else, they’ll create too much inflation. If the Govt spends too little (relative to levels of taxation) we have too much recession.

  • Keith Browning 10th Jun '17 - 12:10pm

    If we are the 5th/6th largest economy in the World and with one of the smallest pieces of geography there must be some wealth hidden somewhere, because it is not tangible in either our infrastructure or the pockets of the people. Just been on a rail tour of six countries in Europe and the difference between us and them is like the prince and the pauper – us being the one with the begging bowl.

  • Roger Billins 10th Jun '17 - 12:45pm

    The big question is how are we going to get out of being at 8% and fighting 20 by elections and get back to the days of Charlie Kennedy when we had over 20 %, 62 M.P’s and ran big cities and London Boroughs. Certainly not by obsessing over second referenda and having legalising canabis as a major policy plank. We must have a radical agenda to make Cobyn look what he is-a dowdy has been. We have to face up to the challenges of now
    1. The challenges to employment by robotics
    2. Universal income
    3 the gradual replacement of taxes on income, which I consider to be immoral, by taxes on wealth, land and anti environmental behaviour
    4 a re-modelling of community politics for a digital age

    Recent elections have shown that the public are red up with boring, tinkering at the edges and 1p on income tax to pay for the NHS will not cut it

  • David Evershed 10th Jun '17 - 2:50pm

    Mathew Huntbach – “We support Conservative right-wing economic policies”, and I suspect most people reading it will interpret it that way. If people want to know why we did so badly in the election, here it is.

    The Conservatives got elected as the government with liberal economic policies. Why not us next time? After all we are the Liberal party and the Conservatives under May seem to be deserting liberal economic policies.

  • Tony Dawson 10th Jun '17 - 5:31pm

    @Eddie Sammon:

    ” Tim is a good MP but the public have largely made up their minds on him and it’s time to find someone else for leader.”

    Eddie, Tim Farron is doing considerably better with the public right now than Paddy Ashdown did at the same time after becoming Leader. His kindness to Nick Clegg also shows an enormous sense of balance and a recognition of what is needed as a national leader: healing. Nick Clegg was a great governor in the Liberal cause. He was also the ‘Leader’ who led our Party electorally backwards forty years. To a considerable extent, the result this week is the second wave of that same Tsunami. It’s time to get out the shovels and rebuild the port, the town and the sea wall. Tim Farron will do that job better than anyone else I see anywhere on the horizon.

  • Andrew McCaig 10th Jun '17 - 9:08pm

    I have not checked this but I suspect our % vote went down in almost every seat north of a line drawn from North Norfolk to Bath, and most seats south of that line outside London. Even in Scotland it was swings from SNP to Tory that gave us seats more than any increase in positive support for us..

    In Huddersfield and Colne Valley we lost the deposits we saved 2 years ago. In most parts of Britain we have become less popular, not more, and we need to look at this carefully!

  • Little Jackie Paper 10th Jun '17 - 9:15pm

    Keith Browning – ‘If we are the 5th/6th largest economy in the World and with one of the smallest pieces of geography there must be some wealth hidden somewhere’

    Housing and hyperinflated house prices.

    If you want some idea of what happens when you talk about that particular source of wealth as the solution to problems then I suggest you look at the Dementia Tax. That piece of nonsense may well jump up and bite some people in the future.

  • Mick Taylor 11th Jun '17 - 2:11am

    A change of leader is needed like a hole in the head.
    We have far more important things to be getting on with. Like starting a serious conversation with the electorate along the lines the highly successful Canadian Liberal Party did after their relegation to third place two elections ago. We also need to discover how to retain seats and not lose them as well as winning them.
    I suggest Tim announces immediately that there will be the required leadership election, that he will be a candidate and challenge people to let him get on with the job of rebuilding the party.
    Lest you forget, the parliamentary party, far too small though it is, would still be male and pale if Tim hadn’t taken the initiatives he did to ensure that women and minorities were standing in winnable seats. 1/3 women with one of them an ethnic minority is a better proportion than at any time in my lifetime. Had we won a further 10 seats, many of them would also be women.
    Tim is above all else a real Liberal. I support him and want him to continue as leader.

  • Tim has now got the kind of media exposure (and experience) that the Lib Dems could only dream of a couple of months ago.
    He is learning all the time and improving and will almost certainly continue to do so. Unless there is clear evidence that the public don’t like him and won’t support him, any talk of replacing him would seem to me ill advised.

    As far as I can gauge, the only serious contenders are either previous coalition ministers, tuition fee supporters, or both.

    The only real advantage of Nick’s unfortunate result, is the opportunity to move forward with a more radical centre left vision which in time may broaden the core vote, bring more seats into play, bring the youth and hopefully public sector workers back on board and above all let time and new personal restore the TRUST of ‘no more broken promises’

    For the Lib Dem’s to even contemplate electing a leader who voted for tuition fees would in my view be absolute folly and make the questions about Tim’s faith (largely now dealt with) seem trivial.

    Nothing in my humble view, would stop the party in its tracks quicker.

  • I would just like to endorse the above two posts.
    I joined this party last year owing to Tim Farron’s leadership, and I suspect that I was not the only one. He combines sound centre-left instincts with an ability to talk to, and relate to, ordinary people. He has an unforced sense of humour and a grasp of popular culture – all assets. He is a great figurehead for the party because he embodies working class aspiration united with a social conscience. He is a world away from the Cameron/Blair public-school clone which was Clegg.

    There is no other contender in the party who isn’t sullied by the coalition years – and in the current climate of mass revolt against `neo-liberal` economics that is crucially important for us.

    The election results have been a disappointment for us but this does not invalidate either Farron or his approach. The simple fact is that May pulled the rug from under our feet by calling a snap election: the anti-Brexit and anti-populist positioning of the party needed more time to consolidate and become known to the public. Now we have that time, and our message has become more urgent than ever.Meanwhile Farron has been cutting his teeth in the election debates and has been growing in stature accordingly.

    If Farron were to go, then I would too. That’s not a threat, just a fact – and I suspect that the same applies to quite a few other newbies too.

  • Edward is right. We gained a lot of new members under Tim’s leadership, and it would be an insult to them to ditch him.

    It is important to listen to criticism and concerns about the party and how we present ourselves, but we must not be unduly influenced by the whining of people who never had any intention of voting LibDem in the first place. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever before to hear the opinions of millions of people, but we must remember that those that shout the loudest or tweet the most, are not always the ones we need to listen to. Scratch the surface and you’ll soon discover that many of those apparently put off by Farron are in fact hard-core Brexiteers who would find something to be upset about regardless of who was in the leadership role.

    It’s fair to say that we would benefit from having other members of the party in more prominent roles, and having extra MPs, especially women, will help enormously. We don’t need a change in leadership to achieve that.

  • Laurence Cox 11th Jun '17 - 12:11pm

    The trouble with our Party over the student tuition fees debacle was that our leadership misrepresented the true costs by pretending that it was just a time-limited graduate tax.

    First, the 9% payment rate meant that any student earning over £21k would have been paying a marginal rate of tax of 41%, while any student in a good job who was earning above ~£42k would have been paying a marginal tax rate of 51%, higher than any multi-millionaire, or any graduate who had benefitted from having their tuition fees paid in the past. Less than 2p on income tax rates would have been enough to fund the whole expenditure and, indeed that was our policy. Requiring students to repay the costs of their education is nothing less than the Thatcherite view that “there is no such thing as society”.

    Secondly, as the rise in inflation also increases the amount owed (6.1% interest rate from September, based on the March 2017 inflation rate), fewer graduates will ever pay off their student loans. In thirty years time as graduates today will be entering the last decade and a half of their employment and beginning the transition from being wealth creators in the economy to wealth consumers, the Government of the day will be having to find funds to write off student debts. We are stealing from our children on a massive scale, not just those who are too young to vote now but also those who are not even born and who will suffer from our loading them up with not only personal but also Government debt.

  • Richard Underhill 12th Jun '17 - 10:40am

    Bill le Breton: A defeat of the Queen’s Speech does not meet the precise language of a motion of confidence / no confidence in the Fixed Term Parliament Act.

  • Russell Kent 13th Jun '17 - 2:59pm

    “Britain needs our Liberalism”
    I agree totally with this, so I find it very puzzling that we have denied Britain any chance of our Liberalism by stating that we would never be a part of any coalition.

    Result, DUP will take part in coalition with Conservatives. Not much chance of Liberalism taking centre stage here then.

    Before the election, I thought this was a particularly unfortunate statement to make , even more so now. It seems that the country has once again embraced 2 party politics, and if this is the case, any vote for a centralist Liberal point of view will be seen as a waste of a vote.

  • Galen Milne 16th Jun '17 - 8:32pm

    Looking back in catch up mode on this site it’s a great speech by Tim Farron. Too quick to judge by the holier than though brigade has now unfortunately consigned yet another leader of the LibDems to history. So if the cap fits, shame on you.

  • John Littler 18th Jun '17 - 3:30pm

    The brexit debacle and Tory leadership debacle does offer a potential opportunity to come back rapidly if there is another election soon as a result.
    Kennedy was rewarded with 63 seats partly for being right on the Iraq War. This issue is domestic economics, so is far larger and again.

    The LibDems would need the right leader this time.

    Labour’s position cannot be separated from the Tories, even if Remain voters wishes it was or made assumptions, so in that respect this is like Iraq.

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