Tag Archives: chuka umunna

Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry write: The Independent Group and the Lib Dems working together is grown up politics

Today one of The Independent Group of MPs (TIG), Anna Soubry, will be speaking at a fringe event organised by IPPR North at the Liberal Democrats’ Spring Conference.  Inevitably, the Westminster village will ask why and speculate as to what this means.  But outside of Westminster, the idea that people who share similar values and have common views on things should work together is not news, its common sense.

There is no doubt that our politics is broken and needs fundamental change. We have a Government and an Official Opposition who are deeply divided, have failed to provide coherent leadership and to discharge their duties with the competence the British public are entitled to expect.  All public opinion research shows millions of politically homeless people are crying out for an alternative and something new – we left the main parties to create one.

A key facet of the culture of TIG is that we are non tribal – we share the same progressive values but we hail from different political traditions.  The fact people come from different political backgrounds should not preclude anyone working with others where there is agreement.  It is this belief that paved the way for the formation of our group and it is precisely why we had all worked with Liberal Democrat MPs long before our group formed on a number of issues, especially on Brexit, and will continue to do so. This is made easier by the fact that, unlike the main parties, the Lib Dems have not been taken over by parties within parties promoting the extremes of left or right.

In this sense, it should come as no surprise that at this time – when Brexit is the dominant issue facing our nation – our Brexit spokesperson should be speaking on a platform with Jo Swinson, the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats. We were delighted to have the full support of all Lib Dem MPs for Sarah Wollaston’s cross party Peoples Vote amendment which was voted on in the House of Commons last night.

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14 January 2019 – today’s press releases

As we start another week, is there an emerging consensus on where we go next? Tomorrow sees the meaningful vote in the Commons, whilst tonight saw a somewhat less meaningful one in the Lords, although it perhaps offers a portent of what is to come…

  • Cross-party group publishes legislation for People’s Vote
  • Cable: Research shows UK companies hit hard by ‘Leave’ vote
  • Lib Dems: EU letter changes nothing
  • Lords defeat ’embarrassing setback’ for Theresa May

Cross-party group publishes legislation for People’s Vote

A cross-party group of MPs has today (January 14th) published legislation to bring about a ‘People’s Vote’ referendum on the Government’s Brexit deal in …

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Cable, Umunna and Lucas demand Brexit answers from the Prime Minister

As Theresa May prepares to set out her five tests of a Brexit deal, Vince Cable, Chuka Umunna and Caroline Lucas have demanded that she and her ministers live up to the promises that they have made since the referendum, most of which revolve around cake and the eating thereof.

Open Britain co-ordinated a letter which is short and sweet. It’s the appendix in which the words of Ministers are outlined that is useful.

The point of the letter is not so much that they think the Prime Minster is going to take any notice, but more so that they can raise awareness of how far the Government is falling short of its own promises.

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear Prime Minister,

You have been Prime Minister for more than a year and a half and yet it has taken you until now to explain in any detail to the public what you believe the future relationship between the UK and the EU should be. It was your decision to rule out membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union, yet you and the Brexit Secretary have misleadingly claimed we can do this and at the same time retain all the benefits of membership.

Since the referendum, you and your ministers have made a number of promises about our future trading relationship with the EU:

  1. The exact same benefits as today
  2. No hard border on the island of Ireland or across the UK
  3. Fully negotiated by March 2019
  4. No payment for access to the EU market
  5. A complete end to EU rules and regulations
  6. Continuation of all EU trade deals and new deals ready to come into force

Listed below are the promises made by you and your Ministers, in your own words.

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Vince on the Government’s “Road to Brexit” plans

Vince summed up in a tweet what many people are thinking about the Government’s Brexit plans and yet another attempt to show that they actually know what they are doing.

Please someone make that a cartoon.

He also had this to say on the comments by Anna Soubry and Chukka Umunna on the Andrew Marr Show that MPs could vote down a Brexit deal that wasn’t good for the country.

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Vince Cable and Chuka Umunna criticise Government’s industrial strategy in Independent article

Vince Cable has teamed up with Chuka Umunna in an Independent article that warns of the likely consequences if Vince’s former department of Business, Innovation and Skills suffers the massive cuts predicted. It’s not a protected department, so its budget could be cut by up to 40%. That would make it difficult to continue Vince’s successful industrial strategy:

One of the positive legacies of the Coalition government was the establishment of an ‘industrial strategy’ with the same objectives. It was successful in attracting a lot of support from business in general and in key sectors like automotive, aerospace, bio-tech, creative industries, energy and railway supply chains and construction. In vehicles and aerospace, especially, a large amount of private sector and government money was committed to R&D. The approach was flexible, accommodating and welcoming of disruptive technologies and the emergence of new industries. Before the election, the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems (and the SNP) subscribed to the industrial strategy.

There has been a deafening silence since. We are now past the first 100 days: the government’s honeymoon. There is no excuse for lack of clarity over a key area of government policy. There may be an innocent explanation: a wish by the Conservative government to rebrand the industrial strategy as part of its ‘Long Term Economic Plan’, while work quietly proceeds in the background. A more worrying possibility is that the ideologues in government have got their teeth into it believing, against all previous experience, that market failures will correct themselves and that the UK economy will achieve balanced, sustained, recovery thanks to resurgent banking and app start-ups in Shoreditch.

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Vince Cable in his own words on the sale of Royal Mail

Vincent CableThe publication of a report today by the National Audit Office criticising the “deep caution” of Vince Cable’s department in setting the sale price of shares in Royal Mail has, inevitably, been leapt on by opponents of the policy. Critics who would, of course, have been equally happy crowing if the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills had set the price too high causing the flotation flop.

Vince Cable went to the despatch box of the Commons today to defend his department’s actions, making headlines for unambiguously stating, “The last thing …

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LDVideo: Vince Cable praises Royal Mail’s “very good launch” onto the stock market

Royal Mail shares soared on their first day’s floatation yesterday, prompting inevitable accusations that the company had been priced too low. Here’s Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable explaining his aim to assure long-term investment irrespective of the froth of the “spivs and speculators”:

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Labour’s stance on high pay leaves the ball firmly in Vince Cable’s court

The appearance of cross-party consensus in politics usually makes me welcoming and wary in equal measure – welcoming as it signals a weakening of the fierce discord between political tribes, wary because the sheen of consensus often betrays a deep underlying suspicion of the ability of any party to take on the challenges they face.

Excessive remuneration appears to be the latest issue on which the three main parties appear to agree – it apparently unites the hitherto unlikely trio of Vince Cable, Ed Miliband and, latterly it seems, David Cameron around the recognition that extremes of …

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Councillor Warren Swaine apologises for offensive tweet

Reading Councillor Warren Swaine has issued an apology for his actions on 27 January.

I would like to take this opportunity apologise for making derogatory comments during the BBC Question Time programme on the 27th January especially those relating to Chuka Umunna MP. I made a lot of comments that were insulting that night and I regret that.

In respect of one particular tweet, no offense was meant but I absolutely acknowledge that it was recklessly worded and liable to an interpretation that was never intended. For that I would like to offer my sincere apologies to Mr Umunna and

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Councillor Warren Swaine reinstated after Twitter race row

Reading Councillor Warren Swaine has had his Liberal Democrat membership restored after being accused of making a racist remark about a Labour MP in February – but will have to complete diversity training if he wishes to be an officer for the Liberal Democrat council group.

The Reading Chronicle reports:

The Lib Dems’ South Central office announced today that Reading borough councillor, Warren Swaine, who represents Katesgrove ward, will have to undergo diversity training if he wants to be a spokesman for the group in the next two years.

The decision comes more than five months after Cllr Swaine was suspended

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Do CCHQ staff have to bring their own toilet paper in to work?

I only ask, you see, because earlier today the Conservative Party’s press team decided to highlight the fact that a Labour MP, Chuka Umunna, claimed £43.12 for “soap, toilet roll etc”.

Toilet paperWell, the claim was for his office where staff work. So quite why would someone want to pick on an employer providing toilet roll (and soap! yes, soap! the sheer luxury!) for his staff?

But perhaps that’s how CCHQ works and the staff there are so used to having to bring their own toilet paper …

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What not to tweet, part 94

From the Reading Post:

The Lib Dem councillor at the centre of the “racist” Twitter storm has been suspended from his party.

Cllr Warren Swaine quoted an Ali G catchphrase “Is it because I is black” in a tweet about mixed race Labour MP Chuka Umunna when he was appearing on Question Time…

Henk van Klaveren, Liberal Democrat national office spokesman, said: “The Liberal Democrats have a zero tolerance policy on racist comments and behaviour. The regional party has suspended Councillor Warren Swaine pending further investigation.”

And from Political Scrapbook:

With a meeting approving cuts of £65 million and 1,300 redundancies, the leader

Posted in News and Online politics | Also tagged , , , and | 11 Comments
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