Tag Archives: christine jardine

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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14 May 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Aerospace industry needs support to avoid mass redundancies in Wales
  • Govt misled businesses over post-Brexit customs checks
  • Lib Dems oppose Govt’s Immigration Bill
  • EU Commission launch legal action against UK government’s failings over citizens’ rights
  • Govt must continue to help businesses and families

Aerospace industry needs support to avoid mass redundancies in Wales

A dire assessment of the aerospace industry’s current situation by Aerospace Wales Chief Executive John Whalley has prompted the Welsh Liberal Democrats to call for the Welsh Government to give the industry a much-needed financial lifeline.

Aerospace Wales is the umbrella organisation which represent aerospace companies in Wales. Collectively it employs around 21,000 people, …

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Christine Jardine won’t stand for Lib Dem leadership

In a post on Facebook on Thursday, Christine Jardine told Scottish Lib Dem activists that she wasn’t going to go for the Lib Dem leadership.

The Edinburgh West MP’s remarks were reported in the New Statesman:

“After considering all the suggestions and requests, I have opted not to go for the leadership,” Jardine wrote. “Perhaps it’s lockdown but I realise my personal and family life has taken quite a hit in the past three years, and perhaps the people around me deserve a wee bit more of my time. I also don’t have a burning desire to be leader. I got into this to make a difference and I don’t have to be leader to do that.”

The current declared candidates are Wera Hobhouse and Layla Moran with current interim co-leader Ed Davey also expected to stand.
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28 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Tory proposals to end free movement will make it harder to recruit teachers, nurses and doctors
  • Liberal Democrats: Huawei decision shows no regard for its human rights record
  • Davey calls for ‘Net Zero’ department to slash UK greenhouse gas emissions
  • Liberal Democrats: Trump’s negotiations a sham

Tory proposals to end free movement will make it harder to recruit teachers, nurses and doctors

Responding to the publication of the Migration Advisory Committee report which has advised against against a full points-based system for UK, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

The Conservative Government wants to impose an entirely new immigration system in less than 12

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YouGov poll on Lib Dem leadership: Ed Davey is a country mile ahead (contains caveats)

Embed from Getty Images

Stephen Bush has written the following on the New Statesman “The Staggers” blog:

Ed Davey is on course to win the looming Liberal Democrat leadership election, a YouGov poll for the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Party Members Project, run out of the University of Sussex and Queen Mary University has found. YouGov asked members to choose between a field of Ed Davey, Layla Moran and Daisy Cooper, the new MP for St Albans, all of whom are widely tipped to stand. In that field, Davey wins outright in the first round, with 52 per cent of the vote against Moran’s 24 per cent and Cooper’s 9 per cent.

I did a little light Googling to see if I could find the data on this poll.

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27 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: UK access to crime databases at risk post Brexit
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats welcome landmark for Welsh education
  • Liberal Democrats challenge Minister on Met facial recognition surveillance

Liberal Democrats: UK access to crime databases at risk post Brexit

Following reports that the exchange of key security information is at risk post Brexit, due to concerns over Britain’s record in protecting personal information, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Our police rely heavily on co-operation with our EU partners to identify criminals and bring them to justice. It’s incredibly alarming that these government scandals threaten to undermine that co-operation, making us all less

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27 January 2020 – the overnight press release

New visa is nothing more than a Tory gimmick

Responding to the Government’s announcement of a “Global Talent” visa to attract top scientists, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

This announcement is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Boris Johnson is showing that he fundamentally doesn’t understand what makes our science sector so successful. Changing the name of a visa and removing a cap that’s never been hit is not a serious plan.

Science relies on thousands of researchers, and this announcement does nothing for the vast majority of them. If the Government is serious about championing UK science, it must

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24-26 January 2020 – the (long) weekend’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats welcome Citizens’ Assembly
  • Liberal Democrats: Sadiq Khan’s mass surveillance roll-out unacceptable
  • Ministers must explain soaring cost of HS2 to Parliament
  • Government must review assisted dying laws

Liberal Democrats welcome Citizens’ Assembly

Ahead of the first meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly on climate change, set up by House of Commons Select Committees last year, Liberal Democrat Climate Action Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

The climate crisis is doing irreversible damage to our planet. The UK must cut its emissions to net-zero, be it by improving how we heat our homes or cutting emissions from flying.

This Citizens’ Assembly could help the government take the difficult decisions

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23 January 2020 – the day’s press releases

Time to catch up with the press releases…

  • Tories’ headline-grabbing gestures on knife crime have clearly failed
  • Welsh Lib Dems – NHS Wales waiting times unacceptable

Tories’ headline-grabbing gestures on knife crime have clearly failed

Responding to the new official crime statistics, released today, which show knife crime continuing to rise to a new record high, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

These statistics are heart-breaking. Far too many young people are having their lives destroyed by knives and gangs. We urgently need to break the grip of this epidemic of serious violence.

The Conservatives’ approach has clearly failed. Their huge

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22 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems launch national lobbying campaign urging Tory MPs to back WAB amendments
  • Govt must strip South Western Railway of their franchise

Lib Dems launch national lobbying campaign urging Tory MPs to back WAB amendments

The Liberal Democrats have launched a national lobbying campaign urging Conservative MP’s to “restore public faith in politics” and back amendments in the House of Commons to protect the rights of EU citizens and child refugees in the UK.

The campaign was launched after Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords handed Boris Johnson his first parliamentary defeat since the election by passing three amendments to the …

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21 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Tories’ new counter-terror plans undermine civil liberties
  • Welsh Lib Dems: Every child has a right to RSE
  • Govt must invest to demonstrate it values teachers
  • Welsh Lib Dems: UK Government must rethink Withdrawal Bill
  • Lib Dem peers win vote to protect child refugees

Tories’ new counter-terror plans undermine civil liberties

Responding to the Government’s announcement of new counter-terror legislation, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

If you could stop terrorism by passing illiberal new laws, the Conservatives would have ended it ages ago.

It’s less than a year since the Conservatives passed their last piece of unnecessary, reactionary legislation in the name of combatting

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20 January 2020 – yesterday’s press releases

Apologies for the delay, press release fans! Unfortunately, the Parish Council I chair ran late, so I wasn’t able to get these up last night…

  • Young people deserve a clear, unambiguous commitment to Erasmus
  • Ministers must explain to Parliament why HS2 costs have soared
  • Lib Dems urge Govt to extend provision of free period products
  • PM must put child refugees above politics
  • Lib Dem peers defeat Govt on vote to protect EU citizens’ rights
  • PM negotiating deadline with EU woefully unrealistic
  • Lib Dems inflict another defeat on Govt’s Brexit Bill

Young people deserve a clear, unambiguous commitment to Erasmus

Responding to reports the Government is extending an exchange scheme …

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20 January 2020 – the overnight press release

Draconian changes to immigration rules are utterly unworkable

Responding to reports the Conservative Government could remove a temporary extension of the current immigration rules until 2023 and impose new restrictions on low-skilled migrants moving to the UK after Brexit, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Decisions like this make it loud and clear that this Conservative Government has no intention off ending the hostile environment. It’s a national embarrassment.

For business and our economy, such draconian changes to immigration rules is utterly unworkable. To think the Home Office could implement the changes in the time given is a joke.

The Liberal Democrats

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16 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems call on PM to back automatic rights for EU citizens
  • Lib Dems: Tories have failed on knife crime
  • Lib Dems demand more action on gambling addiction

Lib Dems call on PM to back automatic rights for EU citizens

The Liberal Democrats have called on the Conservative Government to back legislation to guarantee automatic rights for EU citizens, as new official statistics show the number not granted permanent Settled Status has risen to more than 1 million.

Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates this week tabled amendments to the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill to automatically guarantee EU citizens’ rights in law.

The latest EU …

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15 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems question FlyBe bailout
  • Tory minister wrong to promote flying in the face of climate emergency
  • Ed Davey calls for better support for bereaved families at PMQs
  • Government must repeal unlawful Snoopers’ Charter
  • Lib Dems: Prime Minister must now keep his promise to protect Erasmus
  • Lib Dems: PM agrees to work with Lib Dems on human rights abuses in Syria

Lib Dems question FlyBe bailout

Responding to news that the Government intends to bail out Flybe, Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson, Munira Wilson MP, said:

Flybe provides a vital service in connecting many regions of the UK which are otherwise hard to travel between, not least

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14 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Tories should be cutting emissions, not air passenger duty
  • Lib Dems call out Johnson duplicity on Iran Nuclear Deal
  • Home Office cover up slammed by Lib Dems

Tories should be cutting emissions, not air passenger duty

Following the reports that the Conservative government is considering cutting air passenger duty on domestic flights as part of a plan to save regional airline Flybe from collapse, Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

Flybe looks set to follow Thomas Cook, despite only being “rescued” last year. The way to ensure our businesses stay afloat is to provide certainty, rather than the chaos the Conservatives have presided over

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11-12 January 2020 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Govt must back Lib Dem bill for family reunion rights for child refugees
  • Lib Dems demand statement on arrest of British ambassador to Iran
  • Lib Dems demand reform to protect High Street retailers

Govt must back Lib Dem bill for family reunion rights for child refugees

Responding to an NGO report calling for child refugees to be given the right to sponsor close family members to join them, the Liberal Democrats have urged the Government to support their bill that would do just that.

Without My Family, a report published today by Amnesty International, the Refugee Council and Save the Children, criticises the …

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10 January 2020 – the overnight press releases

  • Govt must stop young people falling prey to ‘county lines’ gangs
  • Tories failing children’s mental health

Govt must stop young people falling prey to ‘county lines’ gangs

Responding to a report released today by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services into ‘county lines’ gangs, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

When children as young as 12 are being exploited by drug gangs, the Government’s approach clearly needs to change. We need to stop both the supply and demand of illegal hard drugs.

Unnecessary Tory cuts to the police have made it easier for organised criminal networks to spread. Cuts to

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9 January 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Transport Secretary needs to sack Northern
  • A&E waiting times will be worse with Tories’ extreme Brexit
  • Jardine secures Govt commitment to introduce Domestic Abuse Bill by Easter
  • Lib Dems continue to oppose dangerous Withdrawal Bill

Transport Secretary needs to sack Northern

The Liberal Democrats have called for the Transport Secretary to “sack Northern” following the announcement that the Government is considering awarding Northern a short-term contract.

Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Tim Farron said:

The Conservative Government’s big announcement on Northern is just more delay, something that rail passengers in the North are all too familiar with.

It’s completely unthinkable that the Secretary of State is prepared to award

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17 December 2019 – today’s press releases

We’re back, or at least, the Press Team are back, and thus this feature returns…

  • Reckless Johnson risking sending the UK straight off the no-deal cliff
  • Brexit jeopardises pigs in blankets
  • New figures show 2.3 million EU citizens without Settled Status
  • Boris Johnson set to crash UK economy
  • Lib Dems: Whirlpool’s stained reputation on the line

Reckless Johnson risking sending the UK straight off the no-deal cliff

Responding to reports the Government is to add a new clause to the Withdrawal Agreement to make it illegal for Parliament to extend the transition period beyond December 2020, interim leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

This Tory Government’s

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Rollercoaster

I’m just in from one of the worst nights of my political life. Don’t get me wrong, at my count, Liberal Democrats in every seat increased their vote share. For election after election, I, as Scottish Party Treasurer, would have to set aside a ridiculous amount of money that could have been spent on campaigning to cover lost deposits. Not many of them this time around.

Any other time we would be celebrating a bigger increase in vote share than any other party.

It is kind of ridiculous that a rise in the Conservative vote of 1.2% was met with 50 extra MPs while a rise in the Liberal Democrat vote share of 4.2% resulted in  one fewer parliamentarian.

And it’s truly bloody awful when that one parliamentarian is your leader of just 4 months. Jo took a courageous stand on Brexit and offered radical, generous spirited, liberal policies on other issues. Yet she lost out to the SNP by just 149 votes. There are no words to describe how heartbroken I feel about her loss from Parliament.

There is a cruel irony that many of the women she encouraged now make up the majority of our  parliamentary party. She’s delivered on one of her key interests to make the party more diverse but won’t be able to work with them in Parliament.

The night ranged from the shock of the exit poll to the relief that our data was more accurate. Christine Jardine eventually won with an increased majority. Yet just an hour’s drive away, our leader lost by 149 votes. Could we have done more to persuade people to go there to shore up our vote? We’ll hever know.

The sickening, stomach churning moment when that exit poll suggested that there would be no Liberal Democrat MPs in Scotland at all  We’d hoped for five – and we got 4 when we gained Wendy Chamberlain in North East Fife. She enters Parliament along with a second term for Sarah Olney.

Other lows included  not winning Sheffield Hallam, both Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger losing their seats. And Tom Brake losing Carshalton after 22 years by approximately 400 votes.

I’ll crunch some more numbers later, but it is worth noting that we might have had several more seats and Boris Johnson might have had some fewer if we had stood aside, say, in Chingford and Wood Green  against Iain Duncan Smith or the Greens had too aside in Sheffield Hallam. For future elections, we’ll need to work to ensure that we minimise the number of Conservatives in Parliament.

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1 December 2019 – the weekend’s press releases (part 2)

  • Jo Swinson: Boris Johnson is running scared of scrutiny
  • Lib Dems: Tory no deal Brexit would increase national debt by £220 billion
  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s comments show that he despises the poor and vulnerable in our society
  • Swinson outperforms Johnson cheerleaders
  • Farage, Trump and Johnson singing from same misogynistic hymn sheet

Jo Swinson: Boris Johnson is running scared of scrutiny

Responding to Boris Johnson’s interview with Andrew Marr, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, said:

Given Boris Johnson’s dismal performance this morning on Marr it is no wonder he is running scared of Andrew Neil and refusing to be held to account in debates.

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29 November 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s Brexit plans would let thousands of criminals off the hook
  • Liberal Democrats will invest £1 billion a year to restore community policing
  • Lib Dems: Ofsted stats reveal Tory failure on school standards

Lib Dems: Johnson’s Brexit plans would let thousands of criminals off the hook

  • Estimated 6,000 criminals could evade justice if Johnson’s Brexit goes ahead
  • UK police to be locked out of EU crime database used 1.6 million times a day
  • Brexit would undermine UK’s ability to tackle terrorism and organised crime

The Liberal Democrats have warned Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans risk enabling thousands of criminals to escape justice, after analysis revealed the …

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