Tag Archives: chuka umunna

10 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Tories’ plans on health tourism enforcement unit is the latest example of dog-whistle politics
  • Lib Dems: GDP figures show economy is grinding to a halt under the Tories
  • Lib Dem launch poster urging Remainers to stop Boris Johnson
  • Lib Dems: Boris Johnson is lying on a bulldozer instead of in front of one
  • Lib Dems: Johnson attack on international aid will destroy our global credibility

Tories’ plans on health tourism enforcement unit is the latest example of dog-whistle politics

The Liberal Democrats have today branded the Tories pledge to double the budget of the ‘health tourism enforcement unit’ as dog-whistle politics.

The Conservative manifesto states that …

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In pictures: Hugh Grant campaigning for Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger

Here, from Getty Images, is a slideshow of Hugh Grant’s visit to support Chuka Ummuna yesterday, and Luciana Berger on Sunday evening.

Please use the arrows to go back and forwards across the slideshow, and hover your mouse or finger over each photo to read its caption:


Embed from Getty Images

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Hugh Grant on Boris Johnson: Sinister, narcissistic and alarming with potentially no principles at all

Chuka Umunna and Hugh Grant talk with the press yesterday in St John’s Gardens, London SW1

“Could someone interview Hugh Grant tomorrow?” came the call from our esteemed LDV editor Caron, late on Sunday.

Well, one of the advantages of being gloriously retired is that you can often turn on a sixpence. So I jumped at the chance to interview the great man despite basic logistics issues such as “where” and “when” being still unclear. As these basics remained unclear as hours passed I realised I would have to bring forward my powers of initiative and assertiveness.

Fortunately, thanks to the great assistance of our old friend Dr Evan Harris of Hacked Off and Helen Davies, chair of City of London and Westminster Liberal Democrats, yesterday I was introduced to Hugh Grant as a “friend” and got my three minutes with him. You can hear the whole interview here on SoundCloud. (It includes a section about press abuse.)

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Hugh Grant goes canvassing for Luciana today, Chuka tomorrow

It was great to see actor Hugh Grant out canvassing for Luciana Berger today.

In the first of a series of visits to Lib Dem, Labour and Independent remain supporting candidates who could deny Boris Johnson a majority, he canvassed with Luciana then attended a packed rally.

The best tweet has to come from Gabriel Rozenberg, quoting that great line of Andie McDowell’s from that last scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral – still an incredibly funny film, if you haven’t seen it.

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29 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Boris Johnson admits no deal still on the table
  • Chuka Umunna: Boris Johnson continues to let down Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
  • Statement on Lib Dem campaign following London Bridge attack
  • Lib Dems are the only party that can stop the Conservatives

Boris Johnson admits no deal still on the table

Responding to this morning’s joint press conference with Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Gisela Stuart, in which Johnson admitted that no deal preparations will continue, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

Seeing Johnson, Stuart and Gove back on stage together will give people flashbacks to the lies of the 2016 Vote Leave campaign. But, after

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28 November 2019 – today’s press releases (part 2)

And here are the rest…

  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s comments show he is no champion of women’s rights
  • Sarah Wollaston: Number of GP practices falls to record low as winter crisis approaches
  • Lib Dems won’t let your future melt away
  • Tory threat to Channel 4 is attempt to cover up Johnson’s cowardice

Lib Dems: Johnson’s comments show he is no champion of women’s rights

Responding to Boris Johnson’s comments on single mothers, Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Christine Jardine, said:

So many of us in this country know the reality of the sacrifice and effort made by single parents. But yet again these comments show Boris Johnson is

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27 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dem poster attacks Johnson for lying to Queen, Parliament and people
  • Lib Dems: Trump to profit from Brexit Britain
  • Lib Dems – Immigration detention must be absolute last resort
  • Welsh Lib Dems welcome votes at 16
  • Leaked documents show US offered PR advice to UK over chlorinated chicken

Lib Dem poster attacks Johnson for lying to Queen, Parliament and people

The Liberal Democrats will today unveil a poster attacking Boris Johnson for lying to the Queen, Parliament and the people.

Another poster will show Boris Johnson flanked by Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, stating: “Brexit is good for …

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26 November 2019 – (most of) today’s press releases

  • Lib Dem policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty
  • Lib Dems: Barnier comments show Johnson is lying to the country
  • Johnson’s Brexit Plans Disastrous for Welsh Farmers

Lib Dem policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty

A report by the Resolution Foundation has found the Liberal Democrats’ policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty by 2023-24, making it the most progressive of the three main parties.

The report also found child poverty risks reaching a record high under Conservative plans.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Tim Farron commented:

This report is a damning indictment of the Tories’ heartless welfare policy, which is

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Umunna: Defence budget would be £1bn higher under Lib Dems than Tories

  • If the UK leaves the EU under Johnson’s leadership we will become more reliant on Trump, and risk becoming a vassal state of the United States.
  • Johnson is part of a network of populist, right-wing, authoritarian nationalists
  • In order to stop Boris Johnson getting a majority, seats need to be taken from the Tories which the Lib Dems are best placed to do
  • Ahead of the NATO Summit the Liberal Democrats are committing to spend extra money on defence and aid.

Yesterday, Liberal Democrat Foreign Secretary Chuka Umunna delivered a speech in Watford ahead of the NATO leaders conference.

The Liberal Democrats’ Shadow Foreign …

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Catch-up: 24 November 2019 – the day’s press releases (part 1)

Gotten myself into a bit of a backlog position, I’m afraid – the price you pay for going to St Albans, it seems…

  • Lib Dems to invest 7 billion to save our schools
  • Lib Dems: McDonnell refuses to come clean on Brexit
  • EU staff at Johnson’s local NHS trust feel “anxiety” over Brexit
  • Lib Dems: Tory manifesto is built on a lie

Lib Dems to invest 7 billion to save our schools

The Liberal Democrats have today announced an extra £7 billion over five years from the Party’s infrastructure budget for new school buildings and repairs to keep up with rising pupil numbers.

The funding will …

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Chuka on Question Time – open thread

Chuka Umunna is about to be on Question Time.

I should be going to bed, but I can’t resist staying up and watching.

Who’s with me?

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18 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Arcuri interview suggests Johnson abused his position as Mayor
  • Umunna: Repressive scenes in Hong Kong are ‘totally unacceptable’
  • Lib Dems: Leadsom shows Tories have no answers to key questions facing businesses
  • Swinson: Liberal Democrats will scrap business rates

Arcuri interview suggests Johnson abused his position as Mayor

Responding to Jennifer Arcuri’s interview on ITV last night, Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture Secretary Layla Moran said:

The evidence is mounting that the Prime Minister, the then mayor of London at the time, absolutely abused his position to forward the business interests of his friend Jennifer Arcuri. This flouts the very rules he was meant to uphold and is

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15 November 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

  • Tories pushing ‘Trumpian agenda’ on immigration
  • Lib Dems: Record waiting times show Tories “dismal record” on NHS
  • Tusk comments show there is “light at the end of the tunnel” for Remainers
  • Tories pushing ‘Trumpian agenda’ on immigration

    Responding to Priti Patel’s comments regarding cutting overall levels of immigration, Liberal Democrats Shadow Home Affairs spokesperson, Christine Jardine said:

    This country needs people to come here to keep our NHS and so many sectors properly skilled and staffed. The Conservatives’ approach to immigration is an insult to the millions who have come to the UK and made it their home. Immigration brings so much to our

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14 November 2019 – yesterday’s overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems unveil plan for Equalities and Human Rights
  • Lib Dems: Spiralling class sizes shows brutal impact of Conservative cuts
  • Lib Dems: Reforming Gender Recognition Act can’t wait (see here)

Lib Dems unveil plan for Equalities and Human Rights

The Liberal Democrats will today (Thursday 14 November) unveil the party’s Plan for Equalities and Human Rights. The plan is at the heart of the party’s vision to build a brighter future for everyone.

The ambitious policies being revealed at a press conference today by Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna include:

  • tackling the rise in hate crimes by making them all aggravated offences
  • providing funding for protective

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WATCH: Luciana Berger describe her experience of anti-semitic abuse in the Labour Party

Lib Dem MP Luciana Berger described her experience of anti-semitism in the Labour Party at a campaign event today. Watch here;

This came on the day Jo Swinson signed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition on antisemitism, which all candidates are being asked to sign this Election.

The party published its plan for Equalities and Human Rights  today, which covers everything from protecting civil liberties, banning use of facial recognition technology for police surveillance, protecting the Human Rights Act, a Lovelace Code of ethics to cover use of personal data and ending the snoopers’ charter on communications data to extending equal marriage and abolishing the unfair spousal veto and reinstating marriages which were forced to be dissolved because of the gender recognition process.

Chuka Umunna said we would take on the right wing forces of nationalism:

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12 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Refusal to publish Russian interference shows Johnson morphing into Trump
  • Gyimah: Labour plans fail meet the needs of working people
  • Lib Dems set out plans to strengthen support for survivors of violence and abuse
  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s speech shows he is misleading voters again
  • Lib Dems: Selection of Chris Davies shows Tories’ contempt for voters

Refusal to publish Russian interference shows Johnson morphing into Trump

Following the reports that Hillary Clinton has said it is “inexplicable and shameful” that the UK government has not yet published a report on alleged Russian interference in British politics, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Chuka Umunna said:

No-one knows the extent

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7 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems are the party of real change, not Labour
  • Davey: OBR pulling public finances forecast “smacks of political interference”
  • Unite to Remain agreement will deliver Remain MPs across England and Wales
  • Davey: Tories and Labour writing promises on cheques that will bounce
  • UK growth prospects suffer as a result of Tory Brexit chaos
  • Brake: Labour offers nothing to the millions of people who voted Remain

Lib Dems are the party of real change, not Labour

Ahead of Labour’s unveiling of the slogan ‘it’s time for real change’ on their campaign bus, Chuka Umunna, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary for Foreign Affairs, said:

Jeremy Corbyn’s claim to

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LibLink: Chuka Umunna: What are ITV playing at excluding Jo Swinson from its Leaders’ Debate?

Chuka Umunna has been meeting senior executives at ITV to try to persuade them to include Jo Swinson in their Leaders’ Debate.

And he used this week’s Independent column to take them to task for not inviting her to take part:

He first highlights ITV Chief Executive Carolyn McCall’s positive record on diversity issues:

Dame Carolyn is widely regarded as a role model for many women in leadership and has said “we need to inspire the next generation of women leaders”. She clearly takes this seriously and, with regard to ITV’s own record on equality and diversity on and off screen, has said ITV is “focused on on-screen … but we have more to do”. In ITV’s latest annual report the company declares: “We want to increase social mobility, while also improving and promoting better representation across gender.”

He looks at the reasons why Jo should be allowed to take part:

The decision sends a terrible message when it comes to equality.

“Surely you are not arguing Jo Swinson should be included in the debate simply because she is a woman?” is a question I was ironically asked by an ITV news outlet yesterday. Of course not. Under section 6.2 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code “due weight must be given to the coverage of parties and independent candidates during the election period” and “broadcasters must take into account evidence of past electoral support and/or current support”. Crucially, candidates with “significant views and perspectives” should receive appropriate coverage.
And Jo has a better claim to a place in the debate than Nick Clegg did back in 2010:
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4 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Trump and Johnson are two peas in a pod
  • Lib Dems: Tory Gower candidate should be removed
  • Blocking intelligence report undermines the democratic process

Trump and Johnson are two peas in a pod

Responding to President Trump’s comments that Boris Johnson was “the right man for the time” and he should “come together” with Nigel Farage, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Chuka Umana said:

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are just two peas in a pod. They have the same old right wing, nationalist politics. No wonder the President is falling over himself to find an opportunity to endorse Johnson.

With his desperation to please

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Intelligence report must be published before election – Umunna

The Liberal Democrats have written to the Cabinet Secretary, Mark Sedwill, to demand that everything in his power is done to ensure the publication of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report before the dissolution of Parliament.

In the letter, Chuka Umunna MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary, raises concerns that No.10 are sitting on the Intelligence Security Select Committee’s report on potential Russian interference in the UK’s democratic process. The report contains information of significant relevance to the upcoming General Election.

Umunna calls on the Cabinet Secretary to clarify the process and timelines for publication of such a report …

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31 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future.
  • Brexit hinders growth in green, clean cars
  • Davey: Labour’s spending plans “can’t be squared with the cost of Brexit”
  • Self-harm and assaults in prisons preventing rehabilitation
  • Lib Dems: Donald Trump and Boris Johnson both unfit for office

Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future.

Today, Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats are launching their slogan for the General Election campaign: Stop Brexit. Build a brighter future, alongside a campaign poster launch.

This election is a once in a generation opportunity to reshape our politics, and give hope to the millions of people who want a fairer, brighter future.

The Liberal Democrats’ slogan reflects a positive …

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Sunday morning media open thread – Chuka on Sophy Ridge, Jo on Marr

UPDATE: Summary

3 things about Lib Dem plan for election on December 9th:

Rules out no deal as it only comes into force if EU grants an extension

Prevents the PM changing the date of the election

Makes sure that PM can’t ram his awful bill through Parliament.

Conservatives dismiss it and Labour is in two minds – Diane Abbott says maybe and Jon Ashworth says it’s a silly stunt to get us on the telly.

Both Chuka and Jo emphasised how our preferred solution is a people’s vote but it doesn’t have the numbers because Labour won’t support it. They also point out that if the Withdrawal Agreement Bill gets through it will be on the basis of Labour votes.

Here’s the blow by blow account.

We have two Lib Dems on the main Sunday morning politics programmes this morning. No doubt they will end up being interviewed simultaneously, but we’ll have the details here.

Sophy Ridge will interview Chuka Umunna on Sky News and Jo Swinson will be on Marr.

So far on Ridge, Nicky Morgan has dismissed the Lib Dem calls for an election pre Brexit and says that if the Government doesn’t get its way, it will keep asking to see if MPs will change their mind.

Yet they won’t give the people the chance to change their mind on a decision made by a narrow majority 3 years ago when things have massively changed since then.

It’s also interesting that a common Tory theme is that we’ll spend 2020 on two referenda – a People’s Vote on Brexit and on Scottish independence. Of course, stopping Brexit would make demands for an independence referendum much less likely.

And, obviously, people need to be told that spending a few months of 2020 on a people’s vote is much better than spending much of the 2020s on trade negotiations and a potential no deal crash out at the end of next year.

Philip Hammond now saying that he wants to get Brexit sorted before an election. He says that he will run as an independent in any election if he doesn’t get the Tory whip back. And he makes clear that he won’t be toadying to the current leadership in order to get it.

He says that he expects that Parliament will amend the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to give itself more powers and in ways that are going to be difficult for the government.

The highlights of Chuka’s interview:

Loving how Chuka has got into the Lib Dem habit of outlining three things:

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LibLink: Chuka Umunna: Dark and dangerous threats against MPs like me are a sign that No 10 and Cummings are getting utterly brazen

The Government is reportedly investigating MPs who have had dialogue with representatives of foreign governments. It also intends to introduce legislation to stop MPs talking to foreign governments. In an article for the Independent, Chuka Umunna said that this had a whiff of the 1930s about it.

However, the right-wing nationalists running the government are now taking things to an altogether different level – this is quite frightening, particularly if they were to get a majority at the general election whenever it comes. They are seeking to persecute and harass MPs by falsely accusing them of colluding with EU governments over Brexit. It is an absurd proposition given that the EU27 and the UK government are all working to ensure the withdrawal agreement Johnson has negotiated with the EU is delivered, and he himself wrote to them over the weekend urging them to ignore parliament’s desire for article 50 to be extended.

This, he said, was a brazen attempt to suppress dissent.

These accusations are made to call into question our loyalty and patriotism. Former Conservative backbenchers and ministers Oliver Letwin and Dominic Grieve, and Brexit Select Committee chair and former Labour minister Hilary Benn are reportedly under investigation.

This has a strong whiff of the 1930s about it – it is a brazen attempt to suppress dissent and persecute political opponents in parliament by this right wing, nationalist government.

One foreign office official put it well today when they said: “Threatening MPs with investigation is something you would expect the government to be stopping abroad, not encouraging at home.”

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Labour MPs surely can’t support the bonfire of workers’ rights in Boris Johnson’s deal

One of the many compelling reasons to stay in the EU (alongside peace and prosperity) is the protection that workers get from being in the single market.

To create a level playing field, there are minimum standards on things like maternity leave, TUPE (protection if your job is outsourced), working hours and paid holidays. Certainly our current law goes beyond the minimum protections in many ways. However, if we leave the EU, all bets are off. We simply can’t trust the most right wing government in living memory with workers’ rights.

If our rights were safe, surely they would at least have kept in the pretty weak protections Theresa May put in to try and entice Labour MPs to vote for it.

But, no. The author of Article 50, John Kerr, told the Edinburgh March for Europe in September that UK negotiators had asked for all the labour, social and environmental protections to be removed from the Withdrawal Agreement..

The People’s Vote campaign outlined the other day exactly what the differences were. There’s a lot of shall and should in the previous version. Now it’s more “these are a thing.”

The first quote is from Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement

“With the aim of ensuring the proper functioning of the single customs territory, the Union and the United Kingdom shall ensure that the level of protection provided for by law, regulations and practices is not reduced below the level provided by the common standards applicable within the Union and the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period in the area of labour and social protection and as regards fundamental rights at work, occupational health and safety, fair working conditions and employment standards, information and consultation rights at company level, and restructuring.”

What Boris Johnson’s legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement says on workers’ rights:

“AIMING at continuing to promote balanced economic and social development in the area, in particular in terms of labour conditions, and continuing to ensure the highest levels of environmental protection in accordance with Union law”

 TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady condemned the proposals and called for MPs to reject the deal:

I understand this is a difficult time. But defending working people’s rights is at the heart of everything trade unions believe in. For the sake of working families now and in the future, we can’t support a deal that will trash those rights. We ask MPs to vote against it.

And our Chuka Umunna made an apt analogy on Twitter:

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14 October 2019 – the overnight press release

Labour’s renationalisition plans set to cost billions

Responding to the analysis by the CBI that the cost of Labour’s renationalisation plans is estimated to be £196 billion, Liberal Democrat MP Chuka Umunna said:

The Tories are pursuing an ideological hard Brexit, depriving the Exchequer of much needed revenue, whilst Labour plans to do the same with a Labour Brexit in addition to spending billions of pounds with no idea how they will pay for it.

The only sensible alternative to these two broken parties is to stop Brexit and use the resulting Remain bonus to invest in people and public services – the

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12-13 October 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Compulsory voter ID is an attempt to rig our elections
  • Lib Dems: Govt must ban arms sales to Turkey

Lib Dems: Compulsory voter ID is an attempt to rig our elections

Responding to the reports that the Government are set to announce it will be compulsory for voters to show identification at the next election, Liberal Democrat shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, Tom Brake said:

The move by the Government to make voter ID compulsory is a thinly-veiled attempt to rig the results of future elections. We know from the pilot back in 2018 that voter fraud was inconsequential, whilst what

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8 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Davey: Brexit would mortgage our children’s future
  • Jane Dodds Calls for Pledge to Maintain Last-in-Town Banks
  • Blame for the Brexit mess sits with the Tory Govt

Davey: Brexit would mortgage our children’s future

Following reports from the IFS that a no-deal Brexit will push UK debt to the highest levels since the 1960s, Lib Dem Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

This new analysis is a body blow to Boris Johnson’s election spending plans – as it shows the cost of Brexit is much higher than thought.

Brexit would mortgage our children’s future, plunging Britain into the red and threatening years of new austerity.

There is simply no

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7 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Govt grovelling over food standards to try and secure US trade deal
  • Swinson: Corbyn could be the block to stopping a No Deal
  • Heidi Allen joins the Liberal Democrats (see here)

Lib Dems: Govt grovelling over food standards to try and secure US trade deal

Responding to the reports from a leaked document stating that the Department for International Trade will try to lower the UK’s food standards to secure a trade deal with the United States, Liberal Democrat shadow Foreign Secretary Chuka Umunna said:

The promises made by Boris Johnson and the Conservative Government that the UK would have a whole

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New seats for our new MPs

This afternoon it’s been announced that Phillip Lee will be taking on John Redwood for the Liberal Democrats at the General Election. He will move from his current seat in Bracknell to Wokingham, which is considered winnable for the party.

According to the Wokingham Paper:

THE Liberal Democrats have announced that their candidate for Wokingham will be one of its newest MPs, Dr Phillip Lee. It sets up a Leave v Remain contest against the incumbent, Sir John Redwood.

Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrats deputy leader, announced the news to a packed meeting of Wokingham party members held at the Hilton St Anne’s Manor hotel in London Road.

The seat is one that polling by ComRes suggests could switch to the Lib Dems.

A projection suggests that the party would have a 37% vote share, compared to 33% for the Conservatives and 14% for Labour.

However, it also lists the Brexit party as 9% – the party is unlikely to field a candidate in Wokingham constituency as Sir John Redwood is a committed Leaver.

This move will be more controversial than Chuka Umunna moving to Cities of London and Westminster or Luciana Berger moving to Finchley and Golders Green. Both of these moves were widely welcomed in the party.

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20 September 2019 – yesterday’s press release

Umunna: Thornberry must withdraw Taliban remarks

Responding to the comments made by Emily Thornberry comparing the Liberal Democrats to the Taliban, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Chuka Umunna said:

Emily Thornberry should withdraw her inappropriate remarks. Language counts – comparing the Liberal Democrats to a murderous organisation is no laughing matter.

It is also grossly insulting to the 6 million people who signed the revoke Article 50 petition launched earlier this year, including many of the Shadow Cabinet’s constituents.

The Liberal Democrats are clear that every vote for us is a vote to stop Brexit.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 14th Dec - 2:03pm
    Mike Dixon " whilst also preparing for and playing their party in the General Election campaign" Typo? should 'party' be 'part'? both words pass a...
  • User AvatarAlex B 14th Dec - 2:03pm
    The main problem was that we were shut out of any vehicle to promote ourselves or Jo. Our best friend in the Press is the...
  • User AvatarGraham Jeffs 14th Dec - 2:03pm
    Labour - "progressive". You must be joking. Class-based dinosaurs more like
  • User AvatarCrispin Herrod-Taylor 14th Dec - 1:53pm
    Agree and Disagree. Apart from the obvious errors in the campaign, we attacked both large parties at this election. While this is great fun in...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 14th Dec - 1:53pm
    Paul, Point taken. Thanks for reconsidering. You are that man and much more.
  • User AvatarSteve Trevethan 14th Dec - 1:51pm
    T.Y.F.T.E.A! Perhaps the prime duties of a party, especially in minority opposition, include research, education, information and communication, internal and external? This applies especially to...
Tue 7th Jan 2020