In other news… Mensch sticks up for Clegg, Rennie takes on Salmond, Bristol mayoral election latest & other stories

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past few days…

On day UKUncut protestors targeted Clegg family home, Tory MP Louise Mensch urges people to donate £5 to Lib Dem funds (ConHome)

Louise Mensch, the Tory MP for Corby is recommending that her followers donate £5 to the Liberal Democrats for today only. She thinks it will show solidarity with the Cleggs who have been targeted by UNuncut protestors today. Hundreds gathered outside the Putney home of the Lib Dem leader, some chained themselves to railings and they held a noisy but apparently peaceful street party. No arrests were made but a large contingent of police officers had to be deployed. The Cleggs have young children and it can’t have been pleasant for them (if they were at home) or for local families.

Rennie presses for hacking answers (PA)

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has repeated accusations that [Alex Salmond] is showing “contempt” to Holyrood by rebuffing MSP’s questions. He has now asked Scottish Permanent Secretary Sir Peter Housden and Detective Superintendent John McSporran, head of the phone-hacking investigation dubbed Operation Rubicon, for urgent answers. Mr Rennie said: “Regardless of the First Minister’s phone being hacked or not, we need to know if any official Scottish Government phones have been hacked by, for example, the News of the World or the Sun. … These are serious matters, Parliament needs to be informed. … Alex Salmond seems to be more interested in grandstanding at the Leveson Inquiry than addressing serious concerns about the potential impact on government business of his phone being hacked.

Lib Dem leaders opt to enter mayoral election (ThisIsBristol)

THE Liberal Democrats will field a candidate for an elected mayor in Bristol after all. There had been speculation during the past few weeks that the party might decide against being represented. But a meeting of the Bristol Lib Dems’ executive committee agreed overwhelmingly in favour of putting forward a candidate. … The favourite must be Bristol West MP Stephen Williams who has made no secret of the fact that he would be very keen to be the city’s first elected leader. … Mr Williams is a former leader of the Lib Dems on the city council and therefore has a thorough knowledge of local government. … Bristol’s new council leader Simon Cook must also be considered a front- runner. A former Lord Mayor, he has been Barbara Janke’s loyal deputy for several years but has been regarded as more than capable of doing the job himself. … Cabinet councillors Dr Jon Rogers and Gary Hopkins must also be considered as leading contenders to seek the nomination.

Lib Dem Cllr Yvonne Moore is Leamington’s new mayor (Leamington Courier)

MEETING more people and representing all townspeople are the things new Leamington mayor Yvonne Moore is looking forward to in the next 12 months. … Born in Jamaica, Cllr Moore has lived in England since 1958 and in Leamington since 1962. Elected as a town councillor in 2007, Cllr Moore is presently a trustee of the Warwick District Citizens Advice Bureau and is actively involved with North Leamington Neighbourhood Watch Association. She is also a magistrate. Cllr Moore said: “I am looking forward to meeting many of the diverse groups living in Leamington.”

Lib Dems rocked by resignation of second member (ThisIsCornwall)

A LEADING councillor in St Austell has become the second in a week to resign from the Liberal Democrats, citing an “immense disappointment” in national party politics. Last week Graham Walker resigned from the Lib Dem group on Cornwall Council and St Austell Town Council and joined the Independents, which is controlled by a Conservative-Independent coalition. … St Austell and Newquay MP, Stephen Gilbert, said: “It is disappointing Graham has left the Lib Dems. He has served the local community well over the last three years.”

Site news: thanks and best wishes to Iain Roberts (LibDemVoice)

Co-Editor Stephen Tall writes: Congratulations and farewell are due to Iain Roberts, a long-standing contributing editor to this site who’s standing down from the Collective which runs LibDemVoice. Iain joined the site in 2009, having won that year’s Lib Dem Blog of the Year for the excellent Himmelgarten Cafe. Having helped the Stockport Lib Dems to successful local election results, Iain has been elected to the council executive as lead on Economic Development and Regeneration, and is qite rightly putting that work (plus his family) first. Thank you, Iain, for all you’ve done for LibDemVoice over the years, and we look forward to your guest posts in the future! The full roll-call of honour of the site’s editorial collective is published here.

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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11 Comments

  • Obviously the Lib Dems in Bristol were always going to be “represented”. The question they were debating was whether to back a popular Independent and former Lib Dem instead of fielding their own candidate and risk splitting the liberal vote.

  • Noisy but peaceful street party scares children? Better cancel all the Jubilee celebrations then and the rest of the corporate torch run farce.

  • tony dawson 27th May '12 - 8:49pm

    When we come to be in receipt of charity from Louise Mensch, we are surely in a place which is lower than the lowest of the low.

  • Grammar Police 28th May '12 - 7:43am

    Good to see the nay-sayers. Personally, if Louise Mensch wishes to encourage people to give money to the Lib Dems I don’t care too much why.

    Anne – let us know where you live and I’ll come and organise a peaceful protest against you and your political beliefs.

  • What Louise Mensch is, is a canny politician. She is, I am sure, well aware of the deep fault lines dividing the Lib Dems, and that the cuts and their motivation are much more damaging to us than to the Tories, for instance (where there are some divisions, but where it tends to be a somewhat marginal issue). Take the vote for Liberal of 2011 when the discussion over the Occupy movement here (which is in the same general political space as UKUncut, of which there was also discussion).
    There were passionate views on both sides as to whether these movements were liberal, or supported liberal causes. Louise is trying to emphasise these differences, NOT trying to get anyone to donate to the Lib Dems.

    We would be disowning our liberal principles if we actively tried to discourage public dissent, but that is not to say mass expressions of anger are pleasant for those who are the target of that anger. Any new politics has to embrace this issue and the related one of politicisation of the police and targeting of protest movements. Somehow we have to come to an accommodation as a society and as individuals in how to behave and how to react to protests without trying to repress them. Anger is not an easy emotion to deal with, either for the angry, or the targets of anger.

  • Reading the Cornish Guardian article, the extract above omits a key fact about Graham Walker – that he was shadow spokesperson on Education. In other words, he is a key member of Cornwall Council’s Lib Dem hierarchy. In that sense, it should give the national party pause for thought.

  • @Grammar Police if any children were scared, which I doubt, then that would be because their carers made them so. This was a street party, no different from others, noisy and peaceful except for those scary police. Were any armed?. I’ve already had to put up with things against my beliefs such as that noisy peaceful corporate torch fiasco that prevented me from going about freely and closed the town. That sort of manipulation of the public, following Hitler’s lead, really scares me and should scare you.

  • The only claim I’ve seen that any children were actually scared came from someone who wasn’t there at the time – Nick Clegg.

  • Mensch is absolutely shameless.

    She is MP in a marginal Tory/Lab seat. She has a small majority of 2,000 votes, and the Lib Dems received about 8000 votes in 2010. It’s quite obvious she’s hoping word of this gesture gets to those Lib Dem voters, who have no chance of electing their own MP, but may vote tactically for her as an ally.

  • Alex Macfie 29th May '12 - 9:10pm

    @Anne: You think demonstrating outside people’s private homes is acceptable?

  • Stuart Mitchell 30th May '12 - 6:07pm

    “Having helped the Stockport Lib Dems to successful local election results…”

    Not recently. The Stockport Lib Dems lost overall control last year and lost a further three councillors earlier this month, including their leader.

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