Tag Archives: daisy cooper

30 June 2022 – the overnight press release

Government neglect shown as quarter of GP posts could be vacant in ten years

Responding to analysis published today by the Health Foundation that says a quarter of GP posts could be vacant in a decade, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Daisy Cooper MP, said:

The Conservatives have been running our NHS and our health services into the ground for years. They have taken our health service for granted and that needs to change.

People are struggling to get appointments and GPs are under more pressure than ever, no one wins from this Conservative Government’s neglect.

GP surgeries are

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Ed, Daisy and Amna on Lib Dems’ local election success

Leader Ed Davey, Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper and Vice President Amna Ahmad have all been commenting on the Lib Dems fantastic election results this weekend.

Ed and Daisy were both on the Sunday morning shows.

On Sunday Morning, Ed said that Lib Dems wanted to get rid of this Conservative Government and the results show we can beat them. Watch the whole interview here from 22 minutes in.

Meanwhile, Daisy was on Sophy Ridge, hailing our fantastic results:

On Friday, Vice President Amna Ahmad was part of a Guardian panel analysing the elections. She said:

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Daisy Cooper highlights failure of Government to support 2 million pensioners

As Boris Johnson showcases his lack of understanding about the problems vulnerable people are facing as energy and food costs soar, Lib Dem Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper has highlighted that 2 million pensioners will not qualify for the Government’s Council Tax rebate.

The Prime Minister’s interview on Good Morning Britain was a further embarrassment for the Government. Susanna Reid told him about Elsie, a 77 year old pensioner, who gets just the basic State Pension and whose energy bills have gone up from £17 per month to £85 per month. She doesn’t qualify for the Council Tax rebate. She is eating just one meal a day and is spending her days travelling on buses to keep warm. Johnson’s first reaction was to congratulate himself for introducing the bus pass that Elsie was using and he had nothing else to offer her to make life easier for her.

Daisy Cooper was quick to highlight that there are over 2 million pensioners who, like Elsie, won’t benefit from the Council Tax Rebate. It is worth reminding ourselves that this is just £150 which barely covers 2 months of Elsie’s fuel increase.

Daisy said:

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Daisy Cooper: PM must tell Neil Parish to resign

Lib Dem Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper has called on Boris Johnson to tell Neil Parish, the Conservative MP alleged to have watched adult content on his phone in the Commons Chamber, to resign as MP for Tiverton and Honiton in Devon.

While Parish himself has said that he will do so if an enquiry into his behaviour finds against him, Daisy says that in any other workplace, an issue like this would be resolved speedily.

If Boris Johnson had any shred of decency left, he would tell Neil Parish to resign immediately.

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Federal Board reformed in “peak Lib Dem” debate

Chair Duncan Brack remarked late yesterday evening as he opened the debate on reforming the party’s Federal Board, we had reached “peak Lib Dem” as before us we had 4 options, constitutional amendments, standing order amendments, 3 requests for a reference back and 7 votes.

The Federal Board put forward those 4 options – 3 for reform, 1 to keep roughly the same arrangements in response to the Thornhill Review’s criticism of party governance in the 2019 General Election.

The option passed was to have a slimmed down board of 16 people who are:

The President, who shall act as its Chair;

B. The Leader;

C. The Chair of the English Party, the Convenor of the Scottish Party and the President of the Welsh Party;

D. The Vice President responsible for working with ethnic minority communities;

E. Three people who shall be party members elected by all members of the Party except that persons who, at the date of the close of nominations for election under this paragraph, are members of Parliamentary Parties set out in Article 17 shall not be eligible to be candidates for election under this paragraph. Casual vacancies amongst this group shall be filled in accordance with the election regulations;

F. A Vice-Chair of the Federal Policy Committee;

G. The Chairs of the Federal Conference Committee, the Federal Communications and Elections Committee, the Federal Finance and Resources Committee and the Federal People Development Committee;

H. The Chair of the Young Liberals; and

I. A principal local authority councillor, elected Mayor or Police and Crime Commissioner, elected by the principal local authority councillors, elected Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners of the Party.

This is controversial as it reduces the number of directly elected members of the Board from 15 to just 3.

A request for a reference back made by Board Member Simon McGrath, who criticised the plans here was defeated by a handful of votes.

Conference chose the option to create a Federal Council to scrutinise the work o the Board. Amendments were passed to give it some teeth – eg the ability to call in and overturn some Board decisions. The Federal Council will be made up of:

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Lib Dems stand in solidarity with Ukraine and call for UK to do more for refugees

The Russian Consulate in Edinburgh, like many places around the UK,  has seen peaceful demonstrations every day since the Russians invaded Ukraine.

Today was the biggest so far, with Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton and Christine Jardine MP.

Yesterday, Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper attended a similar event in St Albans

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Living with Covid: Shambolic Govt taking NHS & Care services for granted

Responding to the Government’s plan on Living with Covid, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

The Conservatives have been planning to end free Covid testing for more than two months, yet still we have no clarity on what this means in reality.

Boris Johnson wasn’t even able to answer the simple question of whether any free testing plans would be kept in place for essential workers, such as NHS staff, or for those who are clinically vulnerable.

This so-called plan has been cobbled together on the back of a fag packet. People are being asked to exercise personal responsibility whilst

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Daisy Cooper: Scrapping free lateral flow tests would leave the public flying blind.

Yesterday, LBC reported that the Government would scrap free PCR and lateral flow tests for Covid from as early as next week.

Lib Dem Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper highlighted the dangers in this approach, saying it would also make it impossible for those at highest risk of severe disease to properly assess what was safe for them to do. She also highighted the impact of making people pay or tests when they are already struggling with rising living costs.

Scrapping free tests when case rates are still sky high will leave the public and scientists flying blind. If there’s one sure fire way to put the country at risk of another lockdown, it’s scrapping all the warning lights like this.

It will also be impossible for the immunosuppressed to take ‘personal responsibility’ for assessing their risk if there’s no actual data on the level of risk in their community.

Charging for essential tests would hit those who can least afford it hardest, at a time when families are already being clobbered by rising taxes and soaring energy bills.

The Government was happy to waste billions of taxpayers’ cash on useless PPE, but is penny-pinching when it comes to providing people with vital Covid tests.

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Daisy Cooper on Question Time

Embed from Getty Images

Just to let you know that Daisy Cooper MP is appearing on Question Time this evening from Shrewsbury (10.35pm on BBC 1.)

 

 

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Daisy Cooper: Government must keep free lateral flow tests as long as they ask people to self isolate

They say that you shouldn’t believe anything until it has been officially denied. Education Secretary Nadim Zahawi has been doing the Sunday media telling us all that the Government “absolutely” has no plans to stop sending out free lateral flow tests to people. This is news to our health spokesperson Daisy Cooper who says that Ministers have already said to her that they would.

In Scotland, we are asked to test before we meet anyone, so my family of three is currently going through a box of seven tests every week. Everyone should be testing a couple of times a week as a matter of course.

My Facebook timeline has been full of friends posting pictures of their positive lateral flow tests for weeks and only discovered through testing that they had the virus and needed to stay away from others. If they had not tested, they may have gone home and visited Granny at Christmas time and spread the virus to her and other vulnerable members of their families.

Many others have been feeling pretty awful with what is supposedly a “mild” version of the virus, a reminder of how unpleasant t can be. And while hospitalisations and deaths are not, thankfully, rising in proportion with the huge rise in cases, the longer term damage from things like Long Covid is as yet unknown.

Zahawi’s denial certainly doesn’t convince me. We know already that there are tensions in the Government between those who want us all to get on with it and live with Covid with no government support and intervention and those who want us to get on with it and live with Covid with minimal support and intervention.

On the immediate issue of free lateral flow tests, Daisy said that the Government must not plunge us into a “cost of living with Covid” crisis and that the tests should remain free as long as people were being asked to self isolate:

It seems this Government is happy to hand out billions in crooked Covid contracts to their chums, but intends to scrap free covid tests plunging millions into a cost of living with Covid crisis.

Scrapping free tests when cases are at record levels would be hugely counter-productive and would hit those who can least afford it hardest, at a time when families are already being clobbered by rising taxes and energy bills.

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WATCH: Daisy Cooper call for greater help for “innocent leaseholders caught in living nightmare”

Daisy Cooper has devoted a huge amount of time to pushing the Government to doing more to help leaseholders who have been caught in an impossible situation since the Grenfell Tower fire which killed 72 people. They face massive bills for additional fire safety measures, including insulation, firebreaks, balcony safety as well as cladding and the Government is doing precious little to support them.

Yesterday she spoke to Sky News about this after a leaked letter from Michael Gove suggested that the Government might introduce a limited grant scheme for cladding replacement. She made clear that this was inadequate.

She is also quoted in an Evening Standard article on the subject.

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Daisy Cooper: PM ‘moving the goalposts’ on booster jabs

Responding to the Department of Health rowing back on the Prime Minister’s promise for everyone to ‘get their booster before the New Year’, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

Boris Johnson’s panicked announcement has once again caused chaos and confusion. Last night he promised people they could get a booster before the New Year, now ministers are moving the goalposts and saying people will only be offered one by then.

Their failure to prepare properly now means that NHS websites have crashed, lateral flow tests are running out, and everyone working to get people vaccinated have been left scrambling to

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Daisy Cooper: Boris Johnson needs to go

The constant drip feed of stories of Government Covid rule breaking continues, most recently with the picture of Boris Johnson taking part in a quiz as the Daily Mirror reports:

After this latest revelation, Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said that the Prime Minister was undermining the ongoing fight against Covid and needs to go.

She said:

This slew of rule-breaking revelations leaves Boris Johnson with nowhere left to hide.

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Omicron: Daisy Cooper says emergency plan needed within 72 hours

There is a lot to be learnt about Omicron. We know it is spreading fast. Faster than the dominant variant Delta. We don’t yet know its health impacts, the risks of those with one, two or three doses of vaccine getting Covid-19. We don’t yet know the health impacts of Omicron, the extent it will increase hospitalisation, lead to long term health consequences and deaths.

It is very early days on Omicron. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine study that triggered today’s media statement by Daisy Cooper has yet to be peer reviewed. But if there is a single lesson from this epidemic, is that earlier planning and earlier action can improve health outcomes and save lives. That is why she is calling for Boris Johnson’s government to set out its emergency plans to Parliament in the next 72 hours.

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30 November 2021 – today’s press releases

  • Storm Arwen: Govt “abandoning” rural communities hit by power cuts
  • Zahawi breaks yet another promise as school absences soar by 80,000
  • Bring back work from home to help save Christmas

Storm Arwen: Govt “abandoning” rural communities hit by power cuts

The Liberal Democrats have demanded that the Government provide emergency support to rural communities who have been left without power for days after Storm Arwen.

In a letter to ministers from Liberal Democrat Communities Spokesperson Tim Farron MP, Welsh Party Leader Jane Dodds MS and local North Shropshire candidate Helen Morgan, the party warns that rural communities in areas like North Shropshire are being taken for granted and “abandoned by the Government in their time of need.”

Tim Farron also raised the issue in Parliament yesterday and criticised the Government for failing to make an official ministerial statement on the issue.

The letter calls for ministers to step in and provide food, emergency accommodation and other essential supplies to vulnerable people on the ground impacted by the storm. It also urges the armed forces to be brought in to provide emergency electricity generators to communities until power is restored, and for the Government to provide additional support to engineers working hard to bring back power as soon as possible.

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29 November 2021 – today’s press release

PM must stop sale of vaccine manufacturing centre

The Liberal Democrats have demanded that Boris Johnson immediately steps in to halt the sale of the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre at Harwell near Oxford, describing the move as “short-sighted penny pinching.”

It was reported this morning that the centre is being sold off to recoup some of the money invested by the Government.

On a visit to the centre last year, Boris Johnson claimed that the new vaccine centre “will be able to manufacture enough vaccine doses for the whole UK population… which would transform how we beat this virus and prepare for future …

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Daisy Cooper outlines Lib Dems’ 5 point plan for clinically extremely vulnerable people

As the world’s scientists try to work out the extent of the danger posed by new Covid variant Omicron and Governments grapple with with what it might mean for the Winter ahead and Christmas in particular, Lib Dem Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper has set out a 5 point plan to address the needs of one group of people let down by the Government.

In the first lockdown, those who were clinically extremely vulnerable had to completely isolate. Our Mary Reid wrote a brilliant Isolation Diary which she later expanded into a book.

The impact on those who had to shield was profound but in recent months they have been forgotten. In fact, the Observer reports that over 100,000 people with compromised immune systems have yet to have their booster.

The emergence of Omicron will no doubt be yet another moment of anxiety for those who were shielding and those who love them.

Daisy said that the Government needs to do much more for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable:

It’s often said that how a society treats its most vulnerable is the measure of its humanity, but if that’s the case, then this Government does not measure up.

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable and their families are incredibly worried about the news of a new variant on our shores. For too long, the Government has ignored these people, their concerns around the vaccine programme and the lack of guidance and support.

The Government must not ignore them any longer: it must be proactive in tackling this new variant and protect those most at risk. The clinically vulnerable deserve clear guidance and support from ministers instead of being treated as an afterthought.

The decision to end the shielding programme – when many continued to shield – left our most vulnerable feeling like the rug had been pulled out from underneath them. It’s high time the Government put support measures back in place, including getting on top of the utter mess surrounding third primary doses and introducing a shielding programme that genuinely supports those who need it.

The five point plan is as follows:

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25 November 2021 – today’s press releases

It looks as though we’ve had another surge of press releases so we thought that we might share them with you…

  • Channel crossings: Govt must rule out dangerous ‘pushback’ tactics
  • GP Shortages: Only 4-in-10 able to get same-day appointment
  • Nick Fletcher’s Dr Who comments straight out of the 1950s

Channel crossings: Govt must rule out dangerous ‘pushback’ tactics

Responding to Immigration Minister Kevin Foster’s refusal to rule out using ‘pushback’ tactics to turn back small boats in the Channel, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

It is disgraceful that the government is even considering pushing boats back in the Channel after yesterday’s tragic

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Daisy Cooper: Ambulances are on high alert across England

A month ago Daisy Cooper submitted a question to the Government, and she has only just received a reply. Her question was:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ambulance trusts have moved into REAP Level 4 in the last six weeks; and how many in total are at REAP Level 4 as at 22 October 2021.

REAP = Resource Escalation Action Plan. Level 4 is the highest level and indicates Extreme Pressure.

The response did arrive after this prompt:

In the last six weeks, all 11 English ambulance trusts have been at or moved to REAP Level 4. On 22 October 2021, all 11 ambulance trusts were at REAP Level 4.

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Social care plans are “two broken promises in one”

Commenting ahead of the vote on the government’s social care plans, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

These social care plans are two broken promises in one.

Boris Johnson promised in his manifesto not to raise national insurance tax and that no-one would have to sell their home to pay for care. Now struggling families face being hammered by unfair tax rises, while still facing losing their homes to fund care costs.

The Liberal Democrats will oppose these unfair, divisive plans in Parliament this week. We will continue fighting for a fair and long-term solution to

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Daisy Cooper: Liberal Britain needs you

In her conference speech, Daisy Cooper – MP for St Albans since 2019, deputy leader and Lib Dem spokesperson for education – tackles liberty and rights. She talks about how how individual liberties and freedom of expression have been eroded by Labour and Conservative governments. And about how Liberal Democrats have challenged and protested over decades. Rights and liberties are under attack again from a nationalist Tory government which is attacking our right to peaceful protest and weakening the right of every individual to take the government to court when it fails them. A liberal Britain would give people the freedom to be whoever they want to be and live their lives as they choose. There will be more power to people to make decisions in their communities, at work and in their everyday lives.

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Daisy Cooper slams “barmy brainwashing” One Britain event

When I heard that some schoolchildren in the UK are going to be asked to sing a song saying how great Britain is on Friday, to be honest, I thought someone was just having a laugh. Surely nobody could be so crass?

I was wrong. As The Independent reports,

The Department for Education this week announced it would encourage schools to celebrate One Britain One Nation Day on 25 June.

Celebrations for the event include singing a song called the “OBON Day Anthem 2021”, which ends with the children repeatedly chanting, “Strong Britain, great nation”.

It also includes the chorus: “We are Britain and we have one dream, to unite all people in one great team.”

I find the whole thing nauseating.

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PHOTO FEATURE: Behind the scenes at Chesham & Amersham

Simon Foster has kindly permitted us to share his following photos from behind the scenes at Chesham & Amersham. All photos are All Rights Reserved by Simon Foster.

Went staking, found a Daisy

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Daisy Cooper smashes it on Question Time

Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper was on Question Time this week and won the support of so many audience members, particularly for her evisceration of the Government over its failure to help leaseholders affected by the cladding scandal. She was really excellent on everything from care homes to the Covid crisis in India to the Boris Johnson flat refurb.  Here are some of her best bits.

 

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21 March 2021 – the day’s press releases (part 2)

  • Reverse “deadly” aid cuts, say Liberal Democrats
  • Liberal Democrats call for greater measures to increase accessibility in education
  • Government must commit to 10k refugees a year, Liberal Democrats say

Reverse “deadly” aid cuts, say Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have called on the UK Government to reverse “unprincipled, unjustified and downright deadly” cuts to international aid.

The motion passed at its Spring Conference reaffirmed the Party’s commitment to the UK contributing 0.7% of GNI on Official Development Assistance and slammed the merging of the Department for International Development with the Foreign Office.

It also demanded the UK Government play a ‘proactive role in debt forgiveness and relief initiatives’ for developing countries struggling with the economic and health impact of Coronavirus.

Speaking after the motion was approved, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and International Development Layla Moran said:

The UK’s global reputation is disappearing fast. The decision to cut aid to the world’s poorest is not only wrong but short-sighted and strategically incompetent. The Conservatives are putting nukes before prosperity.

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What is the Tories’ problem with feeding children?

Just when you think that the Tories couldn’t sink any lower than their opposition to providing help to families with free school meals during the holidays, they have gone one further.

All over social media, there are pictures of the sorts of food packages that are being sent to children who would normally qualify for free school meals.

Daisy Cooper has written to the Education Secretary to ask him to investigate and sort this out – by giving vouchers to families rather than these “woefully inadequate” and “abysmal” packages:

It is completely unacceptable that parents have received woefully inadequate food parcels in place of free school meals.

The amount of food parents have received to feed their children is not anything like enough to provide an adequate, nutritious lunch every day. Nor do they appear to represent value for money, given what the parcels should theoretically be worth.

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Daisy Cooper: Close primary schools for two weeks to build Covid-safe plan

Lib Dem Deputy Leader and Education spokesperson Daisy Cooper has called on the Government to close all primary schools until 18th January to enable the development and implementation of a Covid safety plan.

We are calling for four things:

  • All primary schools to move to remote learning until Jan 18th, except for vulnerable children and children of key workers.
  • A review of Government plans for Covid testing strategies in schools.
  • A move to single-school transport.
  • A new pupil bubbling strategy to tackle the new Covid strain.

Daisy said:

With the government’s own scientific advisors saying that they cannot provide any analysis on what is required to control the new strain of the virus until mid-January, the Government must think again and adopt a plan to get ahead of the virus.

Time and time again, this Government has squandered opportunities to get ahead of the virus in schools and left pupils, parents and teachers understandably anxious if not terrified about returning next week.

For months, Liberal Democrats have been calling on the Government to come up with a proper plan to keep schools open safely. Instead, this latest botched decision and the Tories top-down attitude has once again led to last minute and inconsistent decisions that are wreaking havoc on people’s lives.

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26 October 2020 – today’s press release

PM’s claim “does not ring true” given Government stance on free school meals

Responding to the Prime Minister’s claim that the Conservative Government will “do everything in our power to make sure no child goes hungry this winter during the holidays”, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

Boris Johnson’s claim does not ring true given his hard-hearted refusal to u-turn on free school meals.

The idea that other measures will make up for the lack of provision just won’t wash – people know the real struggles that families are enduring. That is why so many communities and businesses have

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23-25 October 2020 – the long weekend’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats push for expansion of Hong Kong citizenship offer
  • PM’s failure to listen to scientists has made family Christmas less likely
  • Tories must “wake up to reality” and do the right thing on Free School Meals

Liberal Democrats push for expansion of Hong Kong citizenship offer

A Liberal Democrat Bill to grant all Hong Kong Citizens a pathway to UK citizenship and “strengthen the UK’s historic bond with the people of Hong Kong” is scheduled to have its Second Reading debate in the House of Commons today.

The Bill, tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael, Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong and Patron of Hong Kong Watch, would create a route to UK citizenship for all Hong Kongers.

By expanding British National Overseas (BNO) status to all Hong Kongers, the Bill goes well beyond the Conservative Government’s current citizenship commitments, which extend only to specific groups currently eligible to claim BNO status.

The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Home Office’s “deceptive” claim that the cost of a five-year visa for Hong Kongers will be just £250, as the true figure will be well over £3000 once the Immigration Health Surcharge is taken into account.

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Daisy Cooper’s first PMQ – standing up for hungry children

This week, Daisy Cooper had her first chance to question the Prime Minister at PMQs and the issue she chose was one close to Liberal Democrat values – helping children in poverty by providing them with free meals during holidays until next Easter.  This can only be sensible when many of their parents will be struggling to make ends meet because of the current situation.

Here she is, highlighting how Welsh Lib Dem Education Secretary Kirsty Williams was the first to do this:

And here’s the exchange in full:

Daisy Cooper

On 16 June, the Prime Minister agreed to provide free school meal vouchers to hungry children over the summer holidays after claiming just 24 hours beforehand that he was completely unaware of the campaign that was calling for it. Last week, the Liberal Democrat Education Minister for Wales, Kirsty Williams, guaranteed that free school meal provision during school holidays would continue until at least Easter 2021, and yesterday the Scottish Government committed to do the same. Can the Prime Minister confirm that he is indeed aware of these announcements, and, if so, when does he plan to do the right thing?

The Prime Minister

Governments of all stripes have supplied free school meals since 1906, and I am proud that it was this Conservative Government who extended universal free school meals to five, six and seven-year-olds. The Labour party was in power for 30 of the past 100 years and never did anything like that. We support kids of low incomes in school, and we will continue to do so, but the most important thing is to keep them in school and not to tear off into another national lockdown, taking them out of school. We will continue to use the benefits system and all the systems of income support to support young people and children throughout the holidays as well.

Boris Johnson was very keen to take credit for the policy of free school meals which the Liberal Democrats pushed through in coalition to the consternation of the right wing press.

Last week, Daisy and other Lib Dem MPs wrote to English Education Secretary Gavin Williamson asking him to  guarantee meal provision during holidays:

When this was debated later on Wednesday, Daisy made a very powerful speech saying she felt ashamed to be an MP when the government drew the red line at hungry children:

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