Tag Archives: christine jardine

30 July 2020 – the overnight press release

Liberal Democrats: Tories’ appeasement of anti-immigration lobby will cause chaos

Responding to a report from Migration Watch criticising the Government’s planned “points-based” immigration system, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

This shows how short-sighted it is for the Conservatives to focus all their attention on appeasing the anti-immigration lobby who will always want more.

Groups like Migration Watch are still not happy, even though the Government’s new immigration system will be incredibly damaging to the NHS, social care and small businesses across the UK by excluding people with a valuable contribution to make.

Six months is nowhere near enough time for either

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16 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • We need a proper Green Recovery Plan to protect jobs
  • People deserve better than this Government’s NHS Test and Trace system
  • Government must not use commission as an excuse to stall on tackling racism
  • Government’s half-baked merger plan is threat to international aid

We need a proper Green Recovery Plan to protect jobs

Responding to ONS unemployment figures showing that the number of workers on payrolls has fallen by 649,000 between March and June, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Every single person losing their job reminds us that coronavirus is a tragedy that cuts across every aspect of people’s lives. Managing this health and economic crisis demands the best possible leadership at the top of our country.

The Conservative Government’s shambolic handling of the pandemic has made the economic challenge we are facing far worse than it need have been. We need much better political leaders than Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings if we are going to help those losing their jobs.

With this sharp rise in job losses, the Chancellor must urgently look at additional support, otherwise there will be an unemployment tsunami in October.

And we need a real vision for creating new jobs and the jobs of the future. The Chancellor’s summer statement offered little more than a sticking plaster. The Liberal Democrats are instead calling for a major £150bn Green Recovery Plan that will create millions of good quality jobs, safeguarding the UK’s future.

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13 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats table Bill to introduce ‘X’ gender option on passports
  • Government’s destructive immigration plans will cause chaos and confusion
  • “Outrageous” social care exclusion from Government’s new Health and Care Visa

Liberal Democrats table Bill to introduce ‘X’ gender option on passports

Ahead of International Non-Binary People’s Day , Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Christine Jardine will present a Private Members’ Bill in the House of Commons to require the Government to introduce an ‘X’ gender option on passports.

Christine Jardine’s ‘Non-gender-specific Passports Bill’, supported by Stonewall, would “require the Secretary of State to make non-gender-specific passports available to non-gendered, non-binary and other people who …

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9 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Settled Status figures show need for automatic right to stay
  • Publishing Russia report top of the list for intelligence committee
  • Lib Dems: Consequences of Chancellor ignoring our high streets already clear
  • Govt must foot the bill to keep TV licences free for over 75s
  • Ministers must act to ensure public can have confidence in NHS Test and Trace
  • As the country opens up Test and Trace is more important than ever

Settled Status figures show need for automatic right to stay

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to grant EU citizens the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need, as new Home Office figures reveal thousands are being refused and millions await a final decision.

The latest EU Settlement Scheme statistics, published this morning, reveal 2,300 people have been refused Settled Status, 1.4 million have only been granted temporary ‘Pre-Settled Status’ and 250,000 are still waiting for a decision.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

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

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

With so many people being refused Settled Status, granted only temporary ‘Pre-Settled Status’ or still waiting for a decision, it’s clear that the Government’s scheme is anything but automatic.”

And without physical proof of their rights, EU citizens will be at the mercy of the Conservatives’ Hostile Environment. They must not become the victims of a new Windrush-style scandal.

Liberal Democrats are fighting for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need.

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6 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • The PM blaming care homes for his failure is shameful
  • Landmark domestic abuse legislation passes House of Commons

The PM blaming care homes for his failure is shameful

Responding to the Prime Minister’s comments today saying that “we discovered too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have,” Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

For weeks Boris Johnson told us he and his ministers had put a protective ring round our care homes. That was a lie and the public knew it. Today he is trying to shift the blame to those who risked

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4-5 July 2020 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Health Secretary failing to create comprehensive and trace system
  • Lib Dems secure cross-party support to protect migrant women in “historic” Domestic Abuse Bill

Health Secretary failing to create comprehensive test and trace system

Responding to Matt Hancock’s interview on The Andrew Marr Show, Liberal Democrat Health, Wellbeing and care spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

The Health Secretary talks a lot about wanting to protect our NHS, but the best way to protect it is by actually creating a comprehensive Test and Trace system that allows local authorities to keep the virus under control. Ultimately if we want to avoid a second peak that will put

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Four ways Lib Dem MPs stood up for those with no income

MPs’ inboxes at the moment are flooded with the millions of people who are getting no support at all during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Imagine what that must feel like?

It’s people like self-employed hairdressers, physiotherapists, cleaners, decorators, people who own self-catering holiday homes who have been left with nothing.

Often their income from self employment was not that high anyway so they don’t have any sort of cushion.

After almost 4 months of this, many are at breaking point.

Liberal Democrat MPs have consistently called for more help for people who have been affected like this.

Here are four things that they have done this week:

Christine Jardine pressed the Prime Minister to introduce a Universal Basic Income

There are 3 million people in this country who get no support at the moment because they are self-employed or on contract. Our black, Asian and ethnic minority communities have an unemployment rate that is twice the national average and women are disproportionately affected by covid-19. The Prime Minister said a few minutes ago that he stands ready to help. Will he look at a universal basic income so that these people can get the help that they need now?

Typically the PM brushed off her suggestion, showing how little he cares or understands bout the predicament faced by too many.

Ed Davey called on the Government to scrap changes which would disadvantage contractors as reported by City AM:

Self-employed people face an unprecedented threat to their livelihoods due to the pandemic,” he said.

“The Conservative government’s insistence on their IR35 policy risks making the plight of many self-employed people even worse.

“Delaying the change to next April will do next to nothing to reduce the impact of Covid-19 which will be felt for months – if not years – to come. This is not the time to add to the burden of the self-employed.

And Jamie Stone is starting a new All Party Parliamentary Group which meets this coming Tuesday and aims to advocate for those who have been excluded:

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30 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt must act swiftly in face of new law to uphold promises to Hong Kong
  • UK economy will need a Green Recovery Plan to recover
  • Johnson’s speech offers no green recovery plan and no help for vulnerable people
  • Tories’ Immigration Bill will deal enormous blow to NHS and British business

Govt must act swiftly in face of new law to uphold promises to Hong Kong

Responding to reports that China has passed a sweeping national security law giving it new powers over Hong Kong, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson and Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong Alistair Carmichael said:

This new law crushes what

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25 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems “delighted” by move to increase protection for abuse survivors in family courts
  • Cross-party group urge Govt to agree to increased aid scrutiny in wake of DfID axe
  • Lib Dems: Jenrick must resign or be sacked
  • Irresponsible for Govt to change social distancing at schools
  • Govt must guarantee NHS Test & Trace fully functional before lockdown eases

Lib Dems “delighted” by move to increase protection for abuse survivors in family courts

The Government has confirmed it will strengthen protections in courts for survivors of domestic abuse through an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill, following calls from campaigning organisations and the Liberal Democrats.

During Committee Stage of the Bill, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine tabled an amendment calling for the introduction of ‘special measures’ in family courts during Committee Stage of the Bill.

The Government has today announced that it will bring in these changes in their own version of the amendment.

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22 June 2020 – the overnight press release

Mark Windrush Day by giving the right to remain to all NHS workers, Lib Dems say

The Liberal Democrats are marking Windrush Day by renewing calls on the Government to give all NHS and social care workers who have worked in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic indefinite leave to remain.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine urged Ministers to make clear by backing these calls that “those who have put their lives at risk for our country are welcome to live in it.”

The Royal College of Nursing are also calling for reform, citing statistics from the Nursery and …

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19 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Cross-party group urge Govt to “right the wrong” done to Chagos Islanders and respect the ICJ
  • Debt response must be green recovery plan
  • Govt must do more to tackle disproportionate BAME Covid-19 deaths
  • Sir Simon McDonald’s premature departure raises serious questions
  • Challenge is for Govt, not teachers

Cross-party group urge Govt to “right the wrong” done to Chagos Islanders and respect the ICJ

The Liberal Democrats are leading cross-party calls for the Government to adhere to United Nations’ calls for the Chagos islands to be returned to Mauritian control and come good on the promise of a £40m package of support for the Chagossian community.

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael, who has secured the support of 29 other MPs from across the political spectrum, criticised the Government’s “arrogant” rejection of the International Court of Justice’s ruling on Chagos and warned it is jeopardising the UK’s credibility on a world stage.

The intervention comes after the UK Government issued a response to the UN Secretary General’s report on implementing Resolution 73/295 – which advised it to end the unlawful occupation of the islands – earlier this week.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the cross-party group quote the Prime Minister of Mauritius who highlighted the connections between the Chagossian struggle and the Black Lives Matter movement by warning “the occupation of the Chagos Archipelago inscribes itself in these historic wrongs.”

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

I’m saddened but not surprised at the Government’s decision to reject the International Court of Justice’s ruling on the illegal British occupation of the Chagos archipelago.

The ICJ has very clearly instructed the UK to return the island chain to Mauritian control. The Government’s refusal to do so is arrogant and jeopardises our credibility on a world stage.

The Government must abide by the ICJ’s ruling and ensure the £40m package of support promised to the Chagossian community is paid out in full.

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18 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems use Urgent Question to challenge Govt on DFID merger
  • Govt must regulate big tech companies’ use of COVID-19 app data
  • Lib Dems call for Race Equality Strategy

Lib Dems use Urgent Question to challenge Govt on DFID merger

Liberal Democrat International Development spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain has today challenged the Foreign Secretary on the “wrongheaded” decision to merge the Department of International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

In an Urgent Question in the House of Commons, Wendy Chamberlain blasted the Prime Minister’s description of DFID as a “cashpoint in the sky”. She also raised mounting concerns about future funding for DFID projects …

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17 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems support amendments to put humanity at heart of Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Lib Dems slam Govt’s £900k makeover of RAF Voyager as “absurd waste”

Lib Dems support amendments to put humanity at heart of Domestic Abuse Bill

Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine has today spoken in favour of amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill to put “humanity at the heart” of the Bill. If passed, the amendments would ensure an abuse survivor’s immigration status does not affect the support they receive.

The Bill currently fails to make provisions to support “one of the most vulnerable groups” affected by domestic abuse: …

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16 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt spending £120m on Festival for Brexit instead of free school meals over the summer
  • PM’s decision to scrap DFID shows Govt turning its back on most in need
  • Govt must act to address disproportionate impact of pandemic on BAME communities
  • Govt must go beyond u-turn on free school meals to give every child best start
  • PM must think again on DFID in face of COVID-19 global health emergency

Govt spending £120m on Festival for Brexit instead of free school meals over the summer

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Government of being “callous and heartless” for spending £120m on a Festival For Brexit, when the same amount of money could be spent on extending free school meals over the summer.

Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson, Layla Moran, made the intervention ahead of an opposition debate today on calls to extend free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Government recently confirmed that the Festival for Brexit will be going ahead in 2022, with £120 million of taxpayers’ money earmarked for the event. This is the exact same amount it would cost to extend free school meals to all eligible pupils over the six-week summer holiday.

Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

Leaving children hungry while ploughing millions into Brexit propaganda is callous and heartless. This appalling waste of money shows where the government’s priorities lie.

It’s not rocket science. If the government can spend £120 million on a Brexit ‘festival’, they could easily spend the same on ensuring the most disadvantaged children have enough to eat over the summer holidays.

It is about time that the Education Secretary went to the training ground with Marcus Rashford to take some lessons on how best to support the most vulnerable pupils.

PM’s decision to scrap DFID shows Govt turning its back on most in need

Responding to reports that the Prime Minister will announce later today that the Foreign Office and Department for International Development are set to be merged, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for International Development Wendy Chamberlain said:

Not content with depriving disadvantaged kids of their free school meals, the Prime Minister is now choosing to abolish the department whose job is to support the most vulnerable people around the world.

UK aid prevents suffering. The Liberal Democrats have always made absolutely clear our unequivocal support for Britain’s role as a world leader in providing aid to those most in need. By working internationally we can achieve so much more than we can alone.

This decision shows the extent of the Prime Minister’s determination to see the UK turn its back on the world.

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey added:

Boris Johnson has wanted to use the 0.7% for international aid for his own political projects ever since entering government. This news comes as the most vulnerable brace themselves for the Coronavirus, which has already torn through many countries.

In the last 24 hours this Government has refused to offer the poorest children in the UK free school meals. They have now turned to cutting funding away from some of the worlds poorest. Boris Johnson is playing culture war games and some of the most vulnerable people here at home and abroad are paying the price.

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15 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Conservatives are gambling with our future
  • Davey: Johnson’s trade tactics will hurt economy
  • Wrongheaded to reject spare spaces for schools, Lib Dems warn
  • Lib Dems call on PM “not to turn your back” on child refugees
  • Govt deliberately moving away from expert advice
  • Lib Dems celebrate victory in the Lords

Conservatives are gambling with our future

Responding to the new Boris Johnson has set a deadline of July to secure a deal with the European Union, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds said:

The PM is trying posture his way out of the corner that he’s backed himself into. He wants to stage manage the situation so that he can blame the EU if talks fail.

A negotiation is a two way process. We cannot expect to lay down all our red lines and never budge, as Theresa May learnt the hard way. By refusing to genuinely negotiate the Conservatives are gambling with our future.

The PM needs to ditch this reckless deadline and commit to trying to secure a deal that enables Welsh farmers and businesses to continue to have tariff-free access to our vital European markets.

Davey: Johnson’s trade tactics will hurt economy

Responding to reports that the PM has said there needs to be a deal done with the EU by the end of July, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Boris Johnson’s arrogant assertion that he wants a Brexit deal rushed through in a few weeks shows he still doesn’t care about the impact a bad deal could have on people’s lives.

At a time when the UK is facing the deepest recession for 300 years, it is unthinkable that the government would rush through a half-heated deal, or worse get no deal at all.

A rushed, bad Brexit deal would hit our NHS, jobs, and the economy. It would impact the most vulnerable the hardest, making life more difficult for those already struggling to make ends meet.

Johnson should stop with the bravado. Liberal Democrats will continue to call on the government to extend the transition period and commit to ensuring we agree a Brexit deal that leaves no one behind.

Wrongheaded to reject spare spaces for schools, Lib Dems warn

Responding to the Government’s new guidance for schools, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

The real test of this guidance is whether it will build the confidence needed for parents, teachers and pupils to go back to school without fear of putting their health at risk.

For schools that don’t have the capacity to have more pupils return within existing guidelines, the Government must do more. That includes providing laptops and internet access to all disadvantaged children in need.

It is also wrongheaded to reject Liberal Democrat proposals to use suitable empty buildings in the community as learning spaces. Ministers should think again.

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15 June 2020 – the overnight press releases

  • Govt must not use new commission to avoid tackling racism straight away
  • Govt must support struggling families

Govt must not use new commission to avoid tackling racism straight away

Responding to the Government’s announcement of a cross-governmental commission to address the inequalities that BAME communities face, Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Too many people’s lives are blighted by discrimination, inequality and injustice. The Government must move further and faster to redress institutional racism in the criminal justice system and many other parts of our society.

The Liberal Democrats have joined with BAME communities in calling for a government-wide race equality strategy, so this

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13-14 June 2020 – the weekend’s press release

Lib Dems condemn Govt decision to scrap GRA reform

Responding to reports that the Government will ban conversion therapy, but has dropped plans to simplify the gender recognition process, Liberal Democrat Equalities spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

We have fought long and hard to ban conversion therapy, but if the Conservatives think the fight for LGBT+ rights ends there, they are very wrong.

The Liberal Democrats will always stand up for equality and human rights for all, and that includes reforming the Gender Recognition Act to make it easier for people to gain legal recognition of their gender identity.

With trans people continuing to face

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Wendy Chamberlain leads parliamentary debate on electoral reform

Every night, House of Commons business closes with an adjournment debate for half an hour. It’s a half hour in which an MP raises an issue and a Government minister has to respond.

It was worth staying up last Monday night to watch Wendy Chamberlain lead a debate calling for electoral reform. She made a brilliant case both for PR and votes at 16. She was supported by Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine and Layla Moran.

You can watch the whole thing here – and it is worth doing so to see how well they make the case – and how the Government Minister responding is all over the place, presumably because she knows fine that they were right.

Here are some key highlights thanks to Make Votes Matter:

 

You can read the debate in Hansard here and Wendy’s speech in full is below:

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10 June 2020 – the overnight press releases

  • Record levels of domestic abuse demands tougher law, warn Lib Dems
  • New flexible employment rights for carers in new Bill proposed by Ed Davey

Record levels of domestic abuse demands tougher law, warn Lib Dems

Responding to reports from the NSPCC that children impacted by domestic abuse have soared to an average of one an hour during the coronavirus lockdown, Liberal Democrat Homes Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Domestic abuse leaves a devasting, lifelong impact on survivors. To know that cases have spiked to a record level during the coronavirus lockdown is terrifying.

Ministers must act. Not only must the Government address shortages

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8 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Empty pharma stockpiles show govt must rethink transition extension
  • Covid-19 infection rate in Welsh prisons tops 20%
  • Derisory increase in asylum support is appalling
  • Testing announcement shows protective ring around care homes claim untrue
  • Rees-Mogg must follow through on promises to look at voting rights for carers

Empty pharma stockpiles show govt must rethink transition extension

Responding to reports that No Deal Brexit stockpiles “significantly reduced and/or used up entirely” by Covid pandemic, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

These reports show the recklessness of the government’s approach to Brexit negotiations and protecting our economy and NHS.

The stockpiles created to protect against the risk of a no deal Brexit have now been used up, and building them back up to safe levels by the end of the year is going to be very difficult.

So by pushing the UK into a no deal Brexit the Conservatives could be putting more lives and more jobs at risk.

The calls to extend the transition period have come from people who voted leave and remain a like. The government must put national interest ahead of Brexit ideology and extend the transition period.

Covid-19 infection rate in Welsh prisons tops 20%

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have reacted with shock at the situation of Covid-19 in Welsh Prisons, after new figures reveal an infection rate of more than 20% for inmates.

Figures published by the UK Department for Justice have shown that Wales has 165 recorded cases of Covid-19 within prisons. This represents 12.4% of cases across England & Wales, with 1,329 total cases being logged – 882 Staff, 447 Prisoners.

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5 June 2020 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Tariff proposals show Johnson’s willing to break his word on Brexit yet again
  • Govt must be clear on process for regional COVID-19 lockdowns
  • Lib Dems push to strengthen support for survivors in Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Davey: Coronavirus death toll a national tragedy

Tariff proposals show Johnson’s willing to break his word on Brexit yet again

Responding to reports that the UK Government is considering accepting tariffs as part of any UK-EU transition deal, Liberal Democrat Brexit and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

This proposal is the latest chapter in a long story of the Brexit reality failing to meet Boris Johnson’s rhetoric.

Johnson told British businesses, including farmers, they’d have tariff free access to the EU market.

But just as he promised Northern Irish businesses that there would be no checks in the Irish Sea, and consumers that we wouldn’t have chlorinated chickens on our shelves, it seems that this too is an issue he is willing to break his word on.

The Government risks selling out UK farmers and industry all for their ideological Brexit.

Govt must be clear on process for regional COVID-19 lockdowns

A Cambridge University and PHE England study has suggested the decline in the COVID-19 death rate in England may arrest by mid-June. Responding to this, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care Munira Wilson said:

Scientists and public health officials sounded the alarm when the Government eased lockdown this week, given the COVID-19 risk level is still “high”. These findings show that they were right to advise caution.

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5 June 2020 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • Lib Dems: Ministers must commit now to any recommendations from inequalities inquiry
  • ONS figures highlight the devastating COVID-19 care home crisis
  • Lib Dems call for legally binding targets to restore natural world
  • Lib Dems: Extend Brexit transition now

Lib Dems: Ministers must commit now to any recommendations from inequalities inquiry

Responding to the announcement that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission will lead an inquiry into the racial inequalities exposed by the coronavirus outbreak, Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

The consequences of the coronavirus crisis are exacerbated for some communities by the existing inequalities in our society. The announcement that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission will investigate the disproportionate impact the virus has had on people from different ethnic minorities is particularly welcome considering Public Health England’s report earlier this week offered no proposed Government action.

The EHRC’s Inquiry will set out clear recommendations and Ministers must commit now to following them. The Liberal Democrats want to see a government-wide plan to tackle BAME inequalities, with a review by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to determine whether its funding is adequate. Once the Inquiry has been carried out, the Government should set this in motion with their recommendations.

Too many individuals have lost their lives to coronavirus, and we know that a disproportionate number of those we have tragically lost are from BAME communities. It is clear that not only does the Government need to do more to tackle the spread of the virus, but it also needs to do more to tackle the injustice and inequality in our society.

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4 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • PM must ensure COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge to all
  • Lib Dems: Govt must do more to protect the vulnerable from modern slavery
  • Lib Dems: Face mask announcement yet another example of Govt’s slow response

PM must ensure COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge to all

The Liberal Democrats have urged the Prime Minister to ensure a coronavirus vaccine is patent free, affordable for all governments and free of charge to all.

The call comes as the Prime Minister today hosts a Global Vaccine Summit in London.

The Liberal Democrats are also calling on the Prime Minister to endorse the WHO COVID Technology Access Pool …

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27 May 2020 – today’s press releases

Good evening, everyone. Please accept my apologies for the absence of this regular feature for a few days. To be honest, I’ve taken a few days off to attempt to regain my mojo and, whilst it hasn’t been wholly successful, I am at least back. Let’s pick up with today’s releases, and I’ll catch up the past five days as we go along…

  • High time for Govt to extend Brexit transition period
  • PM must instruct Home Sec to lift no recourse to public funds rule for coronavirus crisis
  • Govt strategy must also support people in isolation

High time for Govt to extend Brexit transition

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21 May 2020 – today’s press releases (part 3)

  • Parents, children and teachers need answers before schools open
  • Securing the Midlands Manufacturing Prowess – in spite of devastating news of 9000 job cuts at Rolls-Royce
  • Hong Kong power-grab by Beijing condemned
  • Migrant NHS & social care workers must be given must be given right to remain

Parents, children and teachers need answers before schools open

Responding to reports that the scientific advice on the safety of reopening schools will be published tomorrow, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:

Parents, children and teaching staff are worried about the threat of coronavirus and need reassurances ahead of reopening schools.

Liberal Democrats have demanded from the outset that

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21 May 2020 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • 24,320 EU nationals are stuck in limbo
  • Govt warned Councils are struggling to cope with homelessness
  • Decrease in business turnover demands action with extended transition period
  • PM should face London Assembly after IOPC report

24,320 EU nationals are stuck in limbo

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their calls for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, as new official figures show over 24,000 in Wales have not been given the right to remain.

Of the 57,140 EU nationals in Wales who have applied for permanent residency, only 32,370 have been granted settled status.

5,560 EU nationals in Wales have applied …

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21 May 2020 – today’s press releases (part 1)

And if you thought that yesterday was intense…

  • Lib Dems: Tackling the climate crisis is at the heart of coronavirus recovery
  • Govt must reimburse missed tuition to student nurses called up to the frontline
  • 51,906 asylum seekers trapped on just £5.39 a day during coronavirus crisis
  • EU Settled Status deadline must be scrapped, as grants crater during coronavirus crisis
  • New stats show damaging impact of Priti Patel’s nasty immigration rhetoric

Lib Dems: Tackling the climate crisis is at the heart of coronavirus recovery

The Liberal Democrats have secured cross-party support for their calls for local authorities to be empowered to enact measures that would help tackle the climate emergency as well as recover from the coronavirus crisis.

The cross-party letter sent to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick states “we cannot simply return ‘back to normal’” and that “tackling the climate emergency is at the heart of our recovery”.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for the Climate Emergency, Energy and the Environment Wera Hobhouse initiated the letter, putting forward measures that include incentivising councils to support sustainable travel, revitalising high streets and allowing local authorities to close streets to traffic at allocated times.

Following the letter, Wera Hobhouse said:

We cannot return to ‘normal’ following the Covid-19 crisis. The measures introduced by the Transport Secretary to promote the use of sustainable transport are welcome, but without cross departmental buy-in they will fail to have a lasting impact on how we travel.

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20 May 2020 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Govt risking public safety with plan to bring back Parliament
  • Davey presents bill to extend transition period
  • Lib Dems: Govt has serious questions to answer over app delays
  • Lib Dems condemn failure to properly recognise contribution of foreign nationals working in NHS and care
  • Lib Dems: Charities need a multi-billion pound package to survive

Govt risking public safety with plan to bring back Parliament

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Government of risking public safety and warned “everyone deserves equal representation, including those who are shielding and those with family responsibilities.”

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael MP raised these concerns with the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, having secured an Urgent Question in Parliament today.

Speaking via Zoom from Orkney, the Liberal Democrat MP accepted “none of us are blind to the inadequacies of online scrutiny,” but added “if it is a choice between that and putting the safety of members, their families and the staff of this House at risk then that is no choice at all.”

In response, despite MPs taking part in debates and ask questions via Zoom over the last few weeks, Jacob Ree-Mogg rejected the call to allow MPs to work from home and refused to acknowledge any of the concerns raised.

Following the exchange, Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said:

Tens of thousands of people have already died during this pandemic. To protect vulnerable people, we should all follow public health advice and work from home when we can. We must set the right example.

It is an insult to those who have suffered and died for Jacob Rees-Mogg to suggest that MPs should put their communities at risk by traveling hundreds of miles to London each week for the whims of the Government.

Parliament has demonstrated in recent weeks that we can scrutinise the Government while working from home and ensure communities across the United Kingdom have their voices heard. Everyone deserves equal representation, including those who are shielding and those with family responsibilities.

We should instead be looking at how we can retain the best features of the virtual system to ensure safe and equal representation for every part of the UK. The Government must think again.

Davey presents bill to extend transition period

Today, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has put forward a bill which, if passed, would force the government into a two year extension of the transition period.

An extension to the transition period is essential, ensuring that the government could focus its full attention on tackling the spread of coronavirus crisis.

Speaking ahead of the Bill’s presentation, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

It is clear the government have not made nearly enough progress on the Brexit trade talks.

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20 May 2020 – today’s press releases (part 1)

So many press re;leases today…

  • Lib Dems announce digital conference and fresh timetable to elect next leader
  • Govt must drop ‘dog ate my homework’ approach to Prevent review
  • PM backs Lib Dem calls for COVID hero honours round
  • Govt has no answers for Brexit border issues for Northern Ireland

Lib Dems announce digital conference and fresh timetable to elect next leader

The Liberal Democrats have announced a fresh leadership election timetable and plans to hold an online Autumn Conference – the first for any major political party – in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At a meeting of the party’s Federal Board last night, the party agreed to holding their leadership election from June through to August. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the contest will make use of online hustings and online voting.

President of the Liberal Democrats Mark Pack, who chairs the Federal Board, also confirmed the Liberal Democrats decision to hold a digital conference in the Autumn follows “careful consideration of the latest expert advice.”

Liberal Democrat Party President Mark Pack said:

Following careful consideration of the latest public health advice concerning the coronavirus pandemic, the Liberal Democrats are planning to run the biggest online conference in British politics.

Conference plays a key role in our democratic party as well as being an important training and information exchange event. I am therefore pleased we will host an online alternative, the first for any major political party.

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Liberal Democrats mark IDAHOBIT

Today is the annual International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

During lockdown, many LGBT people will be stuck at home with families that don’t accept who they are.

Imagine what that does to your mental health. If you know a young person in these circumstances, reach out to them today, and every day.

And if you leave home because of it, it can be very difficult to get help. Rejection on this basis is not classed as domestic abuse.

I was moved by these stories on the BBC website. Lucy talks about her family not accepting her transgender identity while Matt was thrown out of home by parents who rejected him for being gay.

Layla Moran talks about this is as Honorary President of LGBT+ Lib Dems:

And interim co-leader Ed Davey looks at how far we have come:

Over on the Lib Dem website, Christine Jardine writes that we need to be aware of these sorts of experiences:

As Liberals we should be aware of the danger of assuming that everybody feels equally respected and protected in the current crisis. These past two months have posed problems for us all that we never thought we would have to face, and demanded strength we did not know that we had.

But we are not there yet.

In striving to reach that moment we would do well to remember the words of US politician Daniel Patrick Moynihan:

“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society.
The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

That is the task we must set ourselves.

Former MEP, now Chair of the Lib Dems Federal People Development Committee tweeted:

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