Tag Archives: brian paddick

A progressive alliance for decency in the news media defeats the Government in the Lords

In writing my preview of last week’s events in the Lords, I rather glossed over the debate on the Data Protection Bill on Wednesday. That will rather teach me to do more research, as it turned out that there was to be an attempt to set up a new Leveson-style inquiry into the nefarious activities of some of our news outlets…

As the noble Lord Greaves pointed out last week, Wednesday saw the Government defeated on a vote to require them to set up and inquiry into issues arising from data protection breaches …

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Party organisations comment on resignation of Tim Farron

Two party organisations have commented on the resignation of Tim Farron.

LGBT+ Lib Dems highlight Tim Farron’s record as a friend of LGBT rights but note that his failure to adequately answer the questions on gay sex “cast a shadow on the campaign.”

Nonetheless, LGBT+ Lib Dems were at the forefront of the efforts to defend Tim based on his proven track record of friendship and support for our rights.

During Tim’s time as leader, the Liberal Democrats passed the most far reaching policy any party has ever had in favour of trans equality. In addition, he has been vocal on ending the “Blood Ban” on some people giving blood based on prejudices about their sexual behavior, and was the first party leader to speak out against human rights abuses against gay men in Chechnya.

We recognise that many of our LGBT+ members are also people of faith, and firmly believe that the Liberal Democrats should be a place open and tolerant for people of all faiths and none, just as much as it should be a place for people of all sexualities and genders. These are values that Tim has always stood for, and we would like to place on record our thanks to him, and to wish him all the best for the future.

We look forward to continuing our work with our new leader, once they are elected, promoting PrEP for all that want it, X gender markers on passports, and extending civil partnerships to all couples, amongst many other issues.

In the same statement, they also pay tribute to Brian Paddick for his work as Shadow Home Secretary and say that they don’t believe that he was part of an organised plot to oust Tim.

They conclude:

We very much hope and intend there to be space for all of us in the Liberal tradition when commenting on the matter, and as an organisation we will continue to offer our support to both Brian and Tim.

Humanist and Secularist Lib Dems praise Tim Farron’s record and say that it is his actions rather than personal beliefs that matter:

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Brian Paddick resigns as Lib Dem Shadow Home Secretary

Lib Dem Peer Brian Paddick has resigned from his position as Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary. Brian, a former Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has always been a credible and authoritative voice on matters pertaining to crime, terrorism and civil liberties. The party owes him a debt of gratitude for his work in the role.

It’s the fashion these days to use Twitter to make announcements. In a tweet this afternoon, Brian said:

He doesn’t specify what particular views, but speculation centres around the issues around gay sex and abortion. Tim’s voting record on these issues is pretty clear and he’s made it plain that he is 100% in favour of LGBT equality. This matters to too many people I love so I certainly couldn’t support a leader I didn’t trust to do the right thing on these issues. In any event, I don’t think Tim’s views or record had changed since Brian had accepted the role, so I am perplexed by the timing. Unless…

I may be completely wrong here, but I’m starting to suspect that some things which have happened over the past few weeks have not been entirely random. There’s always been a sense that those few in the party who don’t like Tim have been biding their time. I’m hearing reports of conversations being initiated during the election campaign by a few people who did not support Tim last time. Those conversations were spookily similar, as if they were sticking to a script, covering a few key points that people wanted to get across. Indeed, I had more than one person say them to me.

Yesterday, Lib Dem Peer Liz Barker retweeted an article calling on Tim to go:

And today, the Twitter account of the Political Office of Lord Anthony Lester said this in response to Brian’s tweet:

So far, this activity appears to be confined to people who have never been Tim’s biggest fans. Certainly, I am hearing from sources close to Tim that they are “unfazed” by what’s happening. Let’s hope that this is an end to it and that we don’t spend the next few months turning in on ourselves.  That would not be a good look. 

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LibLink: Brian Paddick: The Liberal Democrat plan in the fight against terrorism

Brian Paddick has written a piece for the Huffington Post about the Liberal Democrat ideas to tackle terrorism in the wake of the appalling atrocity in Manchester.

At times like this received wisdom is that Liberals should stay quiet and allow others to offer tough solutions and new laws to eradicate violent extremism and terrorism. Us bleeding-heart liberals have nothing to say and should stick to hand-wringing. That is wrong.

If we want to continue to live in an open, democratic society that values freedom and civil liberties we must accept that we can never be 100% safe, but that doesn’t mean we do nothing either.

The first is about stopping people becoming radicalised in the first place – and that means getting rid of Prevent:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Lib Dems to fund £300m a year extra for the police

Today’s big Lib Dem policy is an extra £300m a year for the police over the next Parliament.

Under Theresa May at the Home Office, and now as Prime Minister, the police have suffered over £2.2 billion worth of cuts in real terms. This represents a 22% real terms reduction.

As of 31 March 2016 the total strength of the 43 police forces in England & Wales reached just over 124,000 FTE officers. This is the lowest number of police officers recorded under the current strength measure.

Commenting on the announcement Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson, and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the …

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LibLink: Brian Paddick: If we value our national security, we will avoid a hard Brexit

A couple of days before Theresa May’s ill-judged ultimatum in her Article 50 letter over trade and security, Brian Paddick wrote for the Guardian about how hard Brexit could damage our security. That’s right. If Theresa May gets her way, we will be less safe.

He started off by talking about last week’s attack at Westminster in which 4 people, PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Leslie Rhodes and Kurt Cochran were murdered. How do we balance the need to keep Parliament accessible with the safety of those in and around it?

That security must be balanced with an obligation to keep parliament open to the people. We shouldn’t turn Westminster into Fort Knox, even if such a thing were possible. But we can improve security, for politicians, staff and, crucially, police on the frontline.

Those officers are not armed. Armed support is a distance away. No one wants an ostentatious display of force, which would only increase that sense of alienation many feel about “Westminster”. But this attack shows, alas, that armed officers should be directly behind that frontline. Otherwise lives will be lost that could be saved. In this attack, I gather, it was only because a minister’s armed close protection officer happened to be close by that the assailant was stopped.

While millions are spent on surveillance powers and the security services, over the past six years £1bn has been cut from the Metropolitan police budget. That’s huge.

He went on to talk about how a hard Brexit could compromise our security effort both in cost and co-operation. 

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Paddick: Spying on encrypted messages would be draconian and ineffective

The Home Secretary Amber Rudd has demanded that security services be given access to users’ encrypted messages on services like WhatsApp. It’s kind of good that we have someone who actually knows what they are talking about, because they have been an Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, to assess these plans. Brian Paddick is not impressed. He said:

These terrorists want to destroy our freedoms and undermine our democratic society.

By implementing draconian laws that limit our civil liberties, we would playing into their hands.

My understanding is there are ways security services could view the content of suspected terrorists’ encrypted messages and establish who they are communicating with.

Having the power to read everyone’s text messages is neither a proportionate nor an effective response.

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Lib Dem Lords vs the Article 50 Bill: Brian Paddick: You can’t keep people safe without ceding sovereignty

The Lib Dem Lords have made some cracking contributions to the debate on the Article 50 Bill. Ahead of its next Lords stages, we’re bringing you all the Lib Dem contributions over the course of this weekend. That’s no mean feat. There were 32 of them and cover more than 30,000 words. You are not expected to read every single one of them as they appear. Nobody’s going to be testing you or anything. However, they will be there to refer to in the future. 

Our Lords excelled themselves. Their contributions were thoughtful, individual, well-researched and wide-ranging and it’s right that we present them in full on this site to help the historian of the future.

As a former Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Brian Paddick knows his stuff when it comes to matters of crime and security. He talks about the process of inter-country information sharing taking weeks or months rather than instantaneously as present. So much for Brexit making us safer. 

My Lords, as the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, is in his place, I will thank him for the opportunity to debate this legislation which we might not have had if he had not played such a good role in the Supreme Court. As our party spokesman on home affairs I want to make absolutely clear that I support the protection of the rights of EU citizens resident in the UK and of UK citizens living in the EU.

This afternoon I seek to make only one point and to use one example to illustrate that point. The British people did not know the full consequences of leaving the EU at the time of the referendum and did not therefore make an informed choice. They are entitled to a vote on the final deal. As the noble Baroness, Lady Murphy, said, none of us, on either side of the argument, knew what the full consequences of leaving the EU were going to be at the time of the referendum—and, of course we will not know definitively until the negotiations are complete, although there are some things of which we are certain and which I will come to.

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Brian Paddick reveals that over a million days of police time were lost to mental ill health

Even with the best of resources, the job of a police officer is highly stressful. They deal with the most difficult of human circumstances – and often the most dangerous, too.

You would hope that police forces would be mindful of this and would ensure that the mental health of officers was properly looked after. However, research carried out by the Liberal Democrats show that 1.4 million days of police time were lost in the last three years due to mental ill health of both officers and community support officers.

This is worrying both in terms of the impact on the individual officers and on the effectiveness of the force.

Lib Dem Peer Brian Paddick has called for the government to take action to boost the mental health of police officers:

The figures show that mental ill health is widespread among the police service. Frontline officers deal with relentless trauma over years. This issue hasn’t been adequately addressed so far and the government must look at how they address this.

There is a stigma that is deeply embedded in the culture of the police service and it is now time to break it.

Many officers both serving and retired who deal with mental ill health want to be diagnosed and treated more quickly.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

What the Party said yesterday…

The Liberal Democrat Voice team now appear to be on the Party’s press release list – it wasn’t like that in my day (mind you, there were dinosaurs then…). It dawns on me that, for campaigners out there, and the generally curious, it might be interesting to see what the Party is telling the world…

Commenting on the Govenrment’s announcement that there is to be extra investment in cyber security Liberal Democrat Shadow Defence Secretary Judith Jolly said:

It is crucial that more is done to increase our cyber security in a world where attacks on computer systems are growing ever

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What our busy peers will be up to this week

Here are some of the things our team in the House of Lords will be doing this week:

Monday: Roger Roberts will be pushing the Government to take action to relieve the situation of unaccompanied refugee children. Tim Farron has been pushing the Government to accept 3,000 at risk refugee children but David Cameron has recently rejected the proposal. The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to find a solution which does not leave these children vulnerable.

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Lord Brian Paddick writes…Standing up for evidence-based policy on drug laws

Yesterday in the House of Lords I called a vote to change the government’s Psychoactive Substances Bill. The Conservatives and Labour refused to support the change and we lost the vote 314 votes to 95, which was a great result. So how can such a crushing defeat be good? Because we established, on the record, that neither the Tories nor Labour support a scientific, evidence-based approach to reducing the harm caused by drugs. And here’s why.

The Tory government, supported by Labour, is pushing through a draconian, authoritarian law that would ban any substance that changes the way you think or the way you feel (your mental functioning or emotional state). There is no doubt some of the substances that the legislation covers are highly dangerous, but Lib Dems do not support a blanket ban that could do more harm than good. Things normally consumed as food and prescription medicines are not covered but tea, beer and cigarettes would all be banned except for the fact that caffeine, alcohol and nicotine (and only those three things) are specifically listed in the bill as being exempt.

The government has made it quite clear that they do not intend to add anything else to the list of exemptions and the law also prohibits anyone from removing ‘the establishment’s drugs of choice’ from the exempt list. So despite the wealth of scientific evidence that shows how much more dangerous alcohol is than, say, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), both in terms of the harm it causes to individuals and to society, the government intends to use this Bill to ban it.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 11 Comments

Brian Paddick upsets the Daily Mail over drugs policy. Oh what a shame.

Brian Paddick is not some hippy anarchist. He used to be the Assistant Commisioner of the Metropolitan Police for goodness’ sake. He knows, therefore, about what works in trying to tackle drug addiction. And it’s not the futile “war on drugs” which successive governments have insisted on waging. Prohibition just doesn’t work. All the evidence points to that. Drug users who need help should get it through the health service not the prison service.

Funnily enough, the Daily Mail doesn’t much like his plan to amend the government’s ridiculous law banning legal highs.

This afternoon, Brian moved his amendments to the Bill. Here’s his speech in full:

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Brian Paddick’s first speech in the Lords as Lib Dem home affairs spokesman

We brought you the new list of Lib Dem spokespeople in the House of Lords on Monday, in which we reported that Brian Paddick would be the party’s Principal Spokesperson on Home Affairs in the House. Brian gave his first speech in that role on Tuesday, beginning with a tribute to Charles Kennedy:

My Lords, before I start my speech today, I want to say a few words about Charles Kennedy. Many on these Benches knew Charles very well and his loss is being felt acutely by Liberal Democrats across the country. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. As many others have said, Charles was an extraordinary communicator. His passion for social justice and Liberal Democrat values inspired not only those on these Benches but people of all parties and of none, not least because of his principled stand against the Iraq war.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

LibLink: Brian Paddick – Tackling terrorism without compromising the privacy of law-abiding citizens

Writing on the Liberal Democrat website, Lord Brian Paddick talks through the recent attempted jiggery-pokery in the House of Lords which could have seen the Snoopers Charter

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

++ LibDems block Snoopers’ Charter – again

Lib Dems in the House of Lords have, once more, blocked the Snoopers’ Charter.

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LibLink: Brian Paddick on the Counter Terrorism Bill

As the House of Lords settles down to begin its deliberations on the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill, Brian Paddick has given his impressions on the party website. His piece is very much a descriptive narrative of what the Bill aims to do. There’s no facility to leave questions on the website, but if you leave them here, we’ll see if we can get him to answer them.

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Brian Paddick on Homelessness, Domestic Violence and Social Exclusion: “We need a change of attitude in society and across the political spectrum”

brian-paddickBrian Paddick — former Deputy Assistant Commissioner in London’s Metropolitan Police Service, twice Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London and now a Lib Dem peer — spoke in this week’s House of Lords debate, ‘Women: Homelessness, Domestic Violence and Social Exclusion’. Here’s what he said…

Lord Paddick (LD): … As the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Leicester has already said, the issues of homelessness, domestic violence and social exclusion of women are linked. In particular, it is male violence against women that lies behind many of these problems. For example, as my noble friend Lady Tyler of Enfield said, the homeless charity, St Mungo’s, reports that half of its female clients have experienced domestic violence compared with only 5% of its male clients. Research already referred to by the noble Earl, Lord Listowel, shows that between 50% and 80% of women in prison have experienced domestic or sexual violence. Two-thirds of domestic violence survivors say that their problematic substance misuse began following domestic violence. The evidence is compelling, not only that women are disproportionately victims of domestic violence and abuse, almost always but not exclusively perpetrated by men, but that violence and abuse lies behind much of the homelessness and social exclusion faced by women.

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How – or will – Nick Clegg replace Norman Baker in the home office?

jenny willottNorman Baker’s decision to quit as Lib Dem home office minister — citing significant differences with his boss at the department, the Tories’ Theresa May — means a vacancy has opened up. How will Nick Clegg fill it? We’re unlikely to have long to wait, but here are what I see as his options…

Nick could simply promote a current MP. If he does so, then the obvious choice would be Jenny Willott. She covered Jo Swinson’s maternity leave at the business department, earning good reviews along the way. A promotion …

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Have you been ennobled, Lord Paddick, or are you just pleased to see us? (AKA Look! It’s Brian in his Speedos)

We don’t do caption competitions here at libDemVoice any more, but if we did this one would surely feature…

brian paddick

Here’s the official caption by way of explanation…

Lord Brian Paddick smiles after winning the race for the House of Lords during the The House of Lords v House of Commons Speedo Charity Swim at Porchester Hall on November 27, 2013 in London, England.

Posted in News | 4 Comments

Lord Brian Paddick’s maiden speech

It is a tradition for LDV to bring its readers copies of our new MPs’ and Peers’ first words in Parliament, so that we can read what is being said and respond. You can find all of the speeches in this category with this link. Last Tuesday, Lord Paddick made his maiden speech in the House of Lords during the debate on the Second Reading of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill. His words are reproduced below.

My Lords, I think the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede, was confusing my name with my current state of mind. …

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Paddick: Police have some explaining and reassuring to do on Miranda detention

Brian Paddick has just gone on the BBC News Channel to talk, very briefly, about the detention of David Miranda. The former Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate, recently ennobled by Nick Clegg, has a unique perspective on the issue.

He was quite careful in his use of language, but the overall impression I took from what he was saying is that he’s not entirely convinced that the detention was justified. He said that it was extremely unusual for a transiting passenger to be stopped in this way and that the authorities must have had some sort of intelligence that he would …

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So, who are these new Liberal Democrat peers, then?

Earlier today, we told you about the ten new Liberal Democrat peers. We thought you might like to know a little more about them.

Cathy Bakewell

Cathy was first elected to Somerset County Council in 1993 and has since gained expertise in a number of fields: fire and rescue, policing, equalities, safeguarding children and further education. Her appointment bolsters our local government experience in the Lords. She also served on Ruth Kelly’s 2007 commission which looked at the barriers to people becoming councillors. She may have similar ideas about addressing our under-representation of women in other areas.

Olly Grender

Olly Grender’s career has …

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New Lib Dem peers announced

The new Liberal Democrat Peers, announced today, are:

  • Catherine (Cathy) Mary Bakewell MBE – former leader of Somerset County Council
  • Rosalind (Olly) Grender MBE – former Director of Communications for Shelter and former Director of Communications for the Liberal Democrats
  • Christine Mary Humphreys – President of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and former Member of the National Assembly for Wales
  • Zahida Manzoor CBE – Former Legal Services Ombudsman and Deputy Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality
  • Brian Paddick – Former Deputy Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police Service
  • James Palumbo – Co-founder and chairman of Ministry of Sound Group, the

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Lib Dems set to name 7 new peers for House of Lords, says Sunday Times

rumi verjeeToday’s Sunday Times front page (£) splashes with a ‘Cash for peerages row hits Clegg’ headline. The reality is slightly less exciting: Rumi Verjee, a prominent donor to the Lib Dems, is apparently top of the list of seven names put forward for peerages:

Rumi Verjee, a multimillionaire who brought the Domino’s pizza chain to Britain, is top of a list of seven names compiled by the Lib Dems who are expected to be awarded honours within weeks. He has given £770,000 to the party since May 2010. … Verjee

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Who Lib Dem members think are the most effective non-MPs at promoting the party

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Oakeshott, Ashdown and Pack top your list

LDV asked: Which prominent Lib Dems who are NOT MPs (eg, peers, campaigners) are doing an effective job of promoting the party to the public? Please write-in.

    Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott
    Lord (Paddy) Ashdown
    Mark Pack
    Evan Harris
    Baroness (Shirley) Williams
    Lord (Chris) Rennard
    Caroline Pidgeon AM
    Willie Rennie MSP
    Baroness (Susan) Kramer
    Stephen Tall
    Kirsty Williams AM
    Lord (Tom) McNally
    Baroness (Ros) Scott
    Brian

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Opinion: Learning lessons from London – two and half quick reflections

Let’s start with the facts….

  • Overall turnout was down to 38%, from 45% last time.
  • Two Liberal Democrat Assembly members elected, compared to three in 2008 and five in 2004.
  • Mayoral vote was 92,000 (4.2% – and deposit lost), compared to 236,752 (9.8%) in 2008.
  • Our Assembly list vote was 150,447 (6.8% – just over the threshold), against 275,272 (11.4%) in 2008.
  • The Greens “pushed the Lib Dems into fourth place”: actually their Assembly vote flat-lined at 8.5%, although their Mayoral vote was up a bit, from 3.2% to 4.5%.

First off, a big thank you to Brian Paddick, his brilliant deputy Caroline Pidgeon, and the …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged | 27 Comments

London elections results open thread

The count for the Mayor of London and the members of the London Assembly is now underway in Olympia, ExCel and Alexandra Palace.

Once again, the electorate have had to cope with not one but three different voting systems.

Mayor of London

There are seven candidates for the Mayor of London, with Brian Paddick standing for the Liberal Democrats.

Voters had the opportunity to mark a first and a second preference candidate on the ballot paper. If one candidate achieves more than 50% of the first preference votes then that person is elected. If, as is more likely, no candidate passes the 50% ...

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

UKIP burn picture of Brian Paddick in Soho

Pink News reports that UKIP supporters burnt a picture of Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick in Soho this afternoon.

How did they find out? Because UKIP press officer Gawain Towler tweeted the picture.

If you look at his Twitter feed, Towler’s attitude undergoes a significant shift.

From justifiying the photo at 3:46 pm

to saying it was all a big mistake and he hadn’t seen the lighter just 43 minutes later.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Vote for change in London – Ashdown, Steel and Williams

Tomorrow those of you in London have the chance to make your voice heard by voting in the mayoral and assembly elections. It is vital that you do. We have an opportunity to do something to bring real change to London.

Throughout the campaign it has been clear that huge numbers of Londoners are undecided and unenthusiastic about voting for either Boris Johnson or Ken Livingstone. And the more they have seen and heard Brian Paddick the more they like him and believe he will bring real change. It is only now that election day is upon us that most of …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments
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  • User AvatarJoe Otten 17th Jul - 11:11pm
    Update: https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/labour-mp-dame-margaret-hodge-jeremy-corbyn-1.467296
  • User AvatarFraser Coppin 17th Jul - 10:59pm
    @Katharine Pindar - Freedom of movement CAN be controlled while still in the single market, as I said in the article, Liechtenstein already do it....
  • User AvatarRoland 17th Jul - 10:56pm
    @Dav - Surely the issue is whether it is 51% of the electorate or 51% of those who voted. As far as I'm concerned at...
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    Just in case anyone asks why Jo Swinson didn't vote Jo Swinson ‏Verified account @joswinson 3h3 hours ago Just how low will your govt stoop...
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    I hope that the Lords might decide there's enough doubt about the vote to send it back. We'll see. Proxy votes / maternity cover is...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 17th Jul - 10:28pm
    I am now aware that grass root members of this party are most unhappy with our leadership. It is not good enough, we would not...