Tag Archives: dominic raab

23 May 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Debt Figures: Proof of more Govt economic mismanagement
  • Raab must stand down now and trigger by-election
  • Braverman: Sunak’s endless dither and delay must end now
  • Dentist Numbers: Sunak must correct the record

Debt Figures: Proof of more Govt economic mismanagement

Responding to the latest debt figures which show the UK borrowed more than expected last month, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

These figures continue to show the mess caused by the Conservative Government’s economic mismanagement. The British taxpayer is still feeling the hit from Liz Truss’ disastrous mini-budget.

It is frankly shocking that the Government has still not put people first by putting a proper windfall tax in place and reversing its unfair tax cuts for the big banks.

It is safe to say that the Conservatives can never be trusted to run our country’s economy ever again.

Raab must stand down now and trigger by-election

The Liberal Democrats have called on Dominic Raab to stand down now and trigger a by-election, warning that the people of Esher and Walton deserve better than a “bully MP who has thrown in the towel.”

It comes after the Liberal Democrats overtook the Conservatives to become the largest party on Raab’s local Elmbridge Council at the local elections on 5 May, gaining six councillors.

The Liberal Democrats topped the poll in the Esher and Walton constituency at the local elections, gaining 41% of the vote compared to 31% for the Conservative Party.

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24 April 2023 – today’s press releases

  • 51 million GP appointments lasted less than 5 minutes in past year
  • Five times Sunak betrayed British businesses
  • Sewage vote: Judgement day for Conservative MPs
  • Raab Urgent Question: Lib Dems challenge PM to come clean over advice on bullying complaints

51 million GP appointments lasted less than 5 minutes in past year

51 million GP appointments in the last year lasted less than five minutes, new research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The figures also reveal a postcode lottery with more than 21% of GP appointments in some areas lasting five minutes or less.

The party warned that the government’s failure to recruit more GPs has meant patients are “waiting for weeks to get an appointment only to be rushed through in a matter of minutes.”

The Commons Library analysis is based on NHS figures for the year between March 2022, when the data was first published, and February 2023. It provides a figure for the first time on the number of five-minute GP appointments over an entire year, broken down by local area.

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22-23 April 2023 – the weekend’s press releases

  • 1.4 million people’s work suffering due to NHS backlog
  • Raab: Sunak must withdraw Conservative Whip

1.4 million people’s work suffering due to NHS backlog

1.4 million people currently waiting for NHS treatment are seeing their work affected by it, new figures have revealed.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said the figures showed Rishi Sunak is breaking two of his key pledges, to grow the economy and bring down NHS waiting lists. He warned this record of failure meant millions were being “left in limbo,” with many unable to return to work while they wait for treatment. The Liberal Democrats will today set out a plan to bring down NHS wait times, get people back into work more quickly and boost the economic recovery.

The Office for National Statistics survey found that more than one in five adults report they are waiting for a hospital appointment, test, or to start receiving medical treatment through the NHS. Of these, 19% said waiting for NHS treatment had affected their work, equivalent to over 1.4 million people across the country. The survey suggests 350,000 people have reduced their hours and 140,000 have gone on long-term sick leave in the past month as a result of waiting for NHS treatment.

The latest figures showed that a record 7.22 million people were waiting to start routine hospital treatment at the end of February, despite Rishi Sunak’s flagship pledge to bring down NHS waiting lists.

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The Tolley Report is worse than you might think from the media reporting

I have spent this morning reading Adam Tolley KC’s report into the complaints about Dominic Raab’s behaviour. Of its 48 pages, the first half is devoted to the process and dealing with multiple criticisms of his methods from Dominic Raab. It’s always interesting that those accused of bullying behaviours often spend a lot of time picking holes in the investigations against them that could arguably have been spent reflecting on their own behaviour and its impact on others.

Tolley’s conclusions are being spun as though Raab has not been found to have done much wrong and that he had to deal with these civil servants who were not up for doing his bidding.  Raab makes much of the conclusion that he didn’t swear at people or throw anything at them as though overt aggression is the only way to intimidate people.

In addition to the two findings of fact that led to Raab’s resignation, Tolley criticises his Raab’s “black and white” approach:

The DPM tends to take a clear view of an issue, whatever it may comprise. This applies across the range of matters with which he deals, from policy decisions to the presentational format of papers. In the context of the investigation, this approach manifested itself in what I considered to be a somewhat absolutist approach in his response to certain points, such as whether a particular conversation had occurred, either at all or in a certain way. His responses were frequently put in ‘black or white’ terms, with no room for nuance even where nuance might reasonably be expected. I did not find this approach persuasive.

Tolley also makes the very valid point that even though Raab does not appear to have held grudges against individuals, it was understandable that they didn’t see it quite that way:

The DPM tends to ‘wipe the slate clean’ from one occasion to the next; he will neither expect to offer criticism nor necessarily offer it. What is, however, also apparent is that some officials, not used to the DPM’s approach, may reasonably anticipate that one occasion of criticism from the DPM will necessarily lead to another. The anticipation of criticism may well be
inhibiting to good performance.

The report paints a picture of someone with insufficient emotional intelligence or self awareness to be trusted with leading a department and enacting any transformational change.

Tolley goes out of his way to commend the civil servants’ sincerity and hard work.

I find that the complainants were in every case acting in good faith in raising concerns which they genuinely held. In some cases, their experience involved a significant adverse impact on their health. While I have not been able to reach any findings on whether such effects were in fact caused by the DPM’s conduct, I recognise and accept that the impacts communicated to me had genuinely been experienced.

And far from being the “snowflakes” that some would suggest, they are well aware of the high pressure environment and high quality of work expected.

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21 April 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Raab resigns: By-election now
  • Ed Davey on way to Raab’s constituency to a demand a by-election
  • 10 million people give up on getting a GP appointment creating “ticking time bomb” for NHS

Raab resigns: By-election now

Responding to the news of Dominic Raab’s resignation from Cabinet, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said:

Dominic Raab has shown he is not only unfit to serve as a minister, but is totally unfit to represent his constituents in Parliament. He should resign as an MP and trigger a by-election so the people of Esher and Walton can finally have the MP they deserve.

Voters across Surrey and the Blue Wall are fed up with this endless Conservative chaos and MPs who take their communities for granted. At the next election in Esher and Walton, it will be a two horse race between more Conservative party chaos or a hardworking Liberal Democrat MP who will listen and stand up for local people.

Ed Davey on way to Raab’s constituency to a demand a by-election

Today, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will be knocking on doors and speaking to Liberal Democrat activists in Dominic Raab’s constituency, Esher and Walton.

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Dominic Raab and Lib Dem Voice

Back in 2015 Lib Dem Voice had an interesting “conversation” with Dominic Raab, which we would like to share with you again.

The trigger for this was a post we published in February 2015 by Roisin Miller: Opinion: An MP who takes me for granted has left me feeling disenfranchised. In it she wrote:

Confession time. I’m a political activist and I’m not currently registered to vote. I have dropped off thanks to individual voter registration and I haven’t sought to redress it.

This is something which I find reprehensible, yet I am lacking the motivation to correct it.

I live in Esher and Walton which since 1906 has only ever returned a conservative MP. The lowest majority was in the 1930s, it was 16%. Dominic Raab got 58% of the vote in 2010, a majority of around 18,000.

I’ve written to Raab on a number of occasions and always got a reply. Often quite half hearted but it’s always come.

Do I feel represented? No. Regardless of party affiliation, he isn’t a particularly good MP. He was not really on local election literature, I’ve had nothing from him since I moved in 3 years ago and I’ve not once been canvassed.

Compare this to my parents in Havant, also a seat where the Conservative gets over 50% of the vote. David Willetts does not have to campaign as if his seat was marginal yet you always get an annual report, canvassing at local elections and a very heartfelt casework service (in fact I would go so far as to say the best of any MP I’ve come across, including worked for). Despite it being a safe seat, I was always compelled to vote, I felt it mattered.

Why the difference?

The answer is clear- it lies in the willing of local parties to engage with the electorate. Despite Havant being true blue Willetts clearly sees the importance of talking to his electorate.

It strikes me however that when someone as politically engaged as myself is left feeling disengaged by the state of my local politics, how must others feel? It comes as little surprise to me that many feel politicians don’t care when I know they do, yet at home I still feel like this.

The following day Dominic Raab added this comment below the post:

I have posted a full response to Roisin Miller’s post on my blog (for the record Liberal Democrat Voice declined to post it):

To which Mary Reid replied:

Dominic – Lib Dem Voice did not refuse to post it. You sent it to the personal email address of one of the editors instead of to the voice email address, so it was not picked up for a while.

As today’s editor I posted it a good 25 minutes before you placed your comment above.

So what was the full response that we received from him?  Here it is in full: Lib Dem Spin Doctor feels ‘Disenfranchised’.

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20 April 2022 -today’s press releases

  • 4.3 million anti-social behaviour reports go unattended by police in past five years
  • Lib Dems demand food summit in Downing Street to tackle “tsunami” of rising food prices
  • Welsh Health Statistics – Emergency Social Care Plan Needed
  • Raab Report: More dither and delay

4.3 million anti-social behaviour reports go unattended by police in past five years

  • Over 2,000 incidents of anti-social behaviour went unattended by police each day last year
  • Some police forces attending fewer than one in five (19%) incidents
  • Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey calls for “return to proper community policing” with more bobbies on the beat

A staggering 4.3 million reports of anti-social behaviour have …

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Judgement day for Dominic Raab

The Deputy Prime Minister’s problems could come to head later today – or maybe not. The report into the allegations that he bullied civil servants is due to be handed to the Prime Minister this morning. Sunak will then decide on his response which will be published at the same time as the report itself. That could happen later today, or it could be delayed a few days. I don’t think it can be kicked into the long grass.

According to The Guardian “Senior MoJ officials ‘could quit if Dominic Raab cleared of bullying’” – or, no doubt, if there is an attempted cover-up.

Of course, Dominic Raab’s position is of serious political significance, and not just in the Cabinet. His seat in Esher & Walton, which is next door to Ed Davey’s in Kingston & Surbiton, is a marginal Blue Wall seat. In 2019 he took 49% of the vote, with Lib Dem Monica Harding on 45% (with a 27% swing to us).

The constituency lies within Elmbridge District Council, which is currently controlled by a coalition of Lib Dems and local residents associations. When we look at the Council wards within Esher & Walton, only 11 seats out of 39 are currently held by Conservatives, with 10 held by Lib Dems and the remaining 20 by various residents groupings. Next month sees a third of those seats up for election and Lib Dems are campaigning hard to increase their representation.

Esher & Walton has several neighbouring Lib Dem areas – it is bounded by the parliamentary constituencies of Twickenham as well as Kingston & Surbiton, and Richmond Park is close by. Those three constituencies are spread across Richmond and Kingston Boroughs, and the two Councils between them have the largest majority of Lib Dem councillors in the country. Two other neighbouring Boroughs (Mole Valley and Woking) are Lib Dem controlled and to the south lies Guildford Borough, where again we share power with various residents groups.

So Esher & Walton is a perfect Blue Wall challenge for the Lib Dems. We will be watching the results on 4th May with great interest, whatever the outcome of today’s report.

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The alternative reality of the political right

Liberal Democrats operate in a world in which we assume that those we talk to and work with are reasonable, open-minded, fair and generous, and share broadly the same assumptions about society that we do. Except, of course, that those in power don’t. To an increasing degree, Conservatives who read the Telegraph, Mail and Spectator, watch Talk TV and GB News, follow research by right-wing think tanks and see US Republicans as their closest political soulmates live in an alternative reality.

Liz Truss is a classic example of this. After her rapid exit from the Prime Ministership, she travelled to Washington, to institutes already well-familiar from previous visits, to regain her intellectual self-confidence. The lengthy essay the Telegraph has since published for her was headlined ‘I was brought down by the Left-wing economic establishment’. That’s the Treasury, the Office for Budget Responsibility, the City of London, the solid ranks of economists in leading universities in the UK and other wealthy countries, even the business journalists of the Times. They’re all part of a left-wing consensus, against which right-wing free marketeers must valiantly struggle, with only the support of hedge-fund and property billionaires to finance their fight.

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1 February 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems plan to block taxpayer money for water companies unless they commit to end sewage discharges
  • Raab: PM should publish Cabinet Office advice and give evidence to the inquiry
  • Raab denial: Prime Minister is taking the public for fools

Lib Dems plan to block taxpayer money for water companies unless they commit to end sewage discharges

Liberal Democrat MP slams “a blank cheque written with taxpayers’ money to fund polluting, profiteering firms”.

Today, the Liberal Democrats are seeking to ensure the Government’s new Infrastructure Bank does not invest in water companies unless they produce a costed and time-limited plan to end sewage discharges into local rivers.

MPs will vote on a new Bill which would enshrine into law the UK Infrastructure Bank. Liberal Democrat MP Richard Foord has tabled an amendment to ensure strict sewage discharge conditions are placed on water companies before they can receive funds from the proposed Infrastructure Bank.

The Liberal Democrat MP slammed taxpayers’ funds going to water companies as “scandalous”, amid water companies paying their executives millions of pounds in bonuses, while permitting voluminous sewage discharges.

Analysis of Companies House records by the Liberal Democrats found that the twenty-two water bosses paid themselves £24.8 million, including £14.7 million in bonuses, benefits and incentives in 2021/2022. This is despite destructive sewage discharges in rivers and on seafronts, harming both wildlife and swimmers.

Liberal Democrat MP for Tiverton & Honiton Richard Foord said:

It would be a scandal if taxpayers’ money was given to the same firms that continue to poison our rivers and coastlines.

Without adding strict sewage conditions to the bill, it will be a blank cheque for taxpayers’ money to fund these polluting, profiteering firms.

These are the very same water companies that line their executives’ pockets with bonuses worth millions of pounds. Now they expect public money to bail out the companies and patch up the leaking pipes they’ve long neglected.

My own constituency has suffered from regular sewage gushing onto beaches and into our rivers. Until that stops, the Government shouldn’t be throwing taxpayers’ money at water companies.

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31 January 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Suspend Raab, say Lib Dems
  • IMF forecast “damning verdict on Conservative Government”
  • Conservative Record on Businesses ‘in tatters’ as dam bursts on insolvency rates
  • Jane Dodds to Vote to Protect Welsh Farmers
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats Call for Negotiated Solution on Teachers’ Strikes

Suspend Raab, say Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats have called on Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab to be suspended, following reports which have emerged alleging that at least 24 civil servants have complained about his conduct.

In November 2022, Rishi Sunak opened a formal investigation into Dominic Raab after formal complaints were made by officials about his conduct in the workplace. Now, reports have alleged that the number of complainants is potentially as many as 30 individuals.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain has written to the Prime Minister, calling for Raab to be suspended for the duration of the investigation into his conduct, given the reported scale of complaints against him.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain commented:

The reported scale of the allegations against Dominic Raab raises real questions for Rishi Sunak. Why hasn’t the Prime Minister suspended Raab yet, for the duration of this inquiry?

Rishi Sunak promised to govern with integrity but I’m afraid his track record so far is the opposite. Scandal after scandal continues to emerge about various members of the Cabinet, yet Sunak is incapable of doing the right thing and taking decisive action.

From Zahawi to Raab, from Braverman to Williamson, the British public are fed up with Conservative sleaze which sadly appears to have taken root at the very heart of government.

IMF forecast “damning verdict on Conservative Government”

Commenting on the new IMF forecast which shows the UK as the only major economy to shrink, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP:

This is a damning verdict on the Conservative Government. High inflation, high-interest rates and high energy bills have left our country and hardworking families and pensioners suffering as a result.

While Number 10 lurches from one sleaze scandal to another people up and down the country are suffering from their incompetence and mismanagement. People deserve better than this Conservative shambles.

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24 November 2022 – today’s press release

  • Government ‘must get a grip’ as asylum backlog soars to 143,000
  • Raab emails: Lib Dems write to Cabinet Secretary demanding investigation
  • Michelle Mone: Lib Dems table amendment to scrap VIP lanes
  • Richard Foord MP raises sewage report in Parliament after his son fell sick swimming in Devon river
  • Full Review in Social Services in Wales Needed After Logan Mwangi Report

Government ‘must get a grip’ as asylum backlog soars to 143,000

Responding to new official figures showing that the asylum backlog has risen to 143,377, with 97,717 waiting more than six months, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

The Home Office is a disaster zone, and it’s clear who is to blame. By their own admission, the Conservatives have broken our asylum system and shattered public trust in it.

Tens of thousands of refugees have been waiting months for a decision, banned from working or renting their own home. The Conservative chaos at the Home Office is wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money every day.

The Government must finally get a grip. It should take asylum cases away from the discredited Home Office and set up a new independent unit to make decisions quickly and correctly.

We need a fair, effective asylum system that treats everyone with dignity, and that everyone can have confidence in.

Raab emails: Lib Dems write to Cabinet Secretary demanding investigation

The Liberal Democrats have written to the Cabinet Secretary asking for an investigation into reports that Dominic Raab has been using his personal email for Government business.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain, who wrote the letter, commented:

The public deserve answers, not more cover-ups.

The drumbeat of allegations against Dominic Raab is relentless. From reports of bullying to allegations he has followed in the footsteps of Suella Braverman by using his personal email for government business, it is obvious that investigations are needed.

The Deputy Prime Minister cannot be relaxed about national security, especially at a time when Britain’s enemies are stepping up their cyber attacks. It is only right and proper the Cabinet Office investigate these reports and determine immediately if overseas enemies could have seen national secrets sent by Dominic Raab.

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23 November 2022 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Senedd Member Calls for Action on the Cambrian Line
  • Raab bullying inquiry: Sunak must sack him if allegations upheld
  • Debate on Nurses Pay – Liberal Democrats Back Calls for Higher Nurses Pay Offer
  • Conservative MPs break manifesto pledge by voting against business rates review

Senedd Member Calls for Action on the Cambrian Line

Concerns have been raised today in the Senedd over the rail service on the Cambrian Line which runs through Mid Wales.

Speaking in the Senedd, Welsh Liberal Democrat Member for Mid & West Wales Jane Dodds raised delays in the much anticipated hourly service between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury, stating that the delays were just another sign of Mid Wales being forgotten about by the Labour-Plaid Cymru partnership in Cardiff Bay.

An hourly service between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury was announced in 2014, but has faced repeated delays since, with the latest delaying the introduction from 2022 to 2024.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have stated that an hourly service stopping at all stations along the Cambrian Line is essential to encourage more passengers to use the railway instead of cars and for businesses given it will also play an important role in making connections from Shrewsbury easier.

The Party has called on the Welsh Government to prioritise the introduction of the service and tackle delays head-on.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

We really need the Labour-Plaid Cymru partnership in Cardiff Bay to prioritise this route, it is essential for businesses and the public in Mid Wales.

The fact it has been continuously delayed for almost a decade shows that once again Mid Wales is being forgotten about by Labour.

With Transport for Wales now fully nationalized and owned by the Welsh Government, there is no excuse.

If Labour wants to put a ban on all new roadbuilding the least they can do is ensure we have well-functioning public transport networks.

I am calling for the Welsh Government to prioritise the rollout of this service and put an end to repeated delays once and for all.

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16 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Inflation stats: Families struggling to get by because of Government’s inaction and incompetence
  • Raab: Ethics advisor must be appointed to stop a whitewash report
  • Raab investigation: “another Conservative stitch up”

Inflation stats: Families struggling to get by because of Government’s inaction and incompetence

Responding to the latest ONS figures showing inflation has reached 11.1%, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

This Government’s biggest economic failure has been their disastrous attempts to get inflation down. Families are now struggling to get by because of this Government’s inaction and incompetence on spiraling prices.

After inflicting so much chaos, the latest Conservative Chancellor is now expecting the public to clean up their mess with grossly unfair tax rises. Our crumbling hospitals and run down classrooms are on the brink of savage cuts all because the Conservative party crashed the economy to fund tax cuts for the richest companies. The country will never forgive them for this.

This week Jeremy Hunt should target the oil firms and banks making bumper profits to fill the blackhole in Britain’s finances, rather than inflicting more pain and misery on struggling households.

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11 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Welsh Liberal Democrats Statement for Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday
  • GDP stats: People will never forgive this Government for crashing our economy during a cost-of-living crisis
  • Conservative stealth cuts leave up to 110,000 children without a free lunch
  • Dominic Raab behaviour: Cabinet Office must investigate immediately

Welsh Liberal Democrats Statement for Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

Today and on Sunday we pay tribute to all who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country during its darkest hours.

Their sacrifice has allowed us to live in a society based on both freedom and liberty.

Today we think of not only the lives that were lost, but of the wish of survivors of both World Wars that we should strive to build a world free of war and violence.

This year as we remember those who fought for freedom and liberty during previous conflicts, many of us will also be thinking of the brave men and women of Ukraine, who are at this very moment standing in face of tyranny with winter approaching.

We remain ever thankful to those who stood to protect our country. We will remember them.

GDP stats: People will never forgive this Government for crashing our economy during a cost-of-living crisis

Responding to the latest GDP figures which reveal the UK economy contracted 0.2% in the third quarter, marking the first step towards recession, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

Today’s figures show the Conservative Government is leaving our economy smaller and all of us poorer.

People will never forgive this Government for crashing our economy during a cost-of-living crisis and putting up their mortgages by hundreds of pounds a month. The Conservative party can never again claim that they are the party of sound money.

Ministers must now do whatever it takes to protect households from the economic downturn they have caused, starting with a mortgage protection fund to ensure nobody loses their home this winter.

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Dents in the blue wall?

There are stirrings in Dominic Raab’s constituency of Esher & Walton.

You might imagine this to be solid blue wall territory, but trouble started for him in the 2019 General Election when he scraped in with just 49% of the vote, closely followed by Liberal Democrat Monica Harding on 45%.

Raab’s constituency lies entirely within the Borough of Elmbridge, which is currently run by a coalition of Liberal Democrats, Residents and Independents. Indeed all but three of the wards in Elmbridge lie in the Esher & Walton constituency, so any changes in Elmbridge on 5th May could be quite significant for him. Note that elections here are by thirds.

Looking at the 39 Borough ward seats that actually make up the constituency of Esher & Walton, only 14 are currently held by Conservatives. There were 16 Conservatives, but in February Councillors Christine Richardson and Alan Kopitko resigned from the party and now stand as Independents.

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How do you solve a problem like Dominic Raab?

This morning Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, exposed his own ignorance on live television:

Lib Dem Women and Equalities spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

“It’s little wonder the Conservatives are failing to tackle misogyny when their Justice Secretary doesn’t even seem to know what it is.”

“These comments are an insult to the millions of women and girls impacted by misogyny and show just how out of touch the Conservatives are on this issue.

“Women and girls deserve better than these callous remarks. The Government must make misogyny a hate crime so that police forces take these crimes more seriously and support women and girls who are being so desperately let down.”

This is, of course, the very same Dominic Raab who, when Brexit Secretary, said the following:

“We are, and I hadn’t quite understood the full extent of this, but if you look at the UK and if you look at how we trade in goods, we are particularly reliant on the Dover-Calais crossing.

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Liberal Democrats table motion to dock Raab’s pay

Today in Parliament the Liberal Democrats are tabling an Early Day Motion to dock Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s pay over his handling of the Afghanistan crisis.

They are also calling for the Government to use the money saved to fund the resettlement of Afghan refugees, following reports of a £557m shortfall in resettlement funding.

Commenting on the motion, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

Dominic Raab is one of the worst Foreign Secretaries in British history.

He has presided over the worst foreign policy disaster since the Suez and decided to spend more time on the beach instead of picking

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Open letter to the Foreign Secretary on global human rights

Embed from Getty Images

The Rt. Hon. Dominic Rennie Raab MP
First Secretary of State
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

Dear Foreign Secretary

Please accept my best wishes.

With the merger of the FCO and DfID in mind and the incorporation of development policy into your brief, I was encouraged by your statement in Parliament on July 7th 2020 which included the words:

‘As we forge a dynamic new vision for a truly global Britain, this Government are absolutely committed to the United Kingdom becoming an even stronger force for good in the world … on human rights, where we will defend media freedoms and protect freedom of religious belief; and, with the measures we are enacting and announcing today, hold to account the perpetrators of the worst human rights abuses.’

I wish to raise with you two examples where the UK has up to now supported EU efforts to impose sanctions and take other measures to apply pressure on ‘the perpetrators of the worst human rights abuses’ as you put it; Cambodia and Turkey.

As you will be aware the world’s longest-serving Prime Minister is Hun Sen of Cambodia, former member of the government of the genocidal Pol Pot regime. An international post-civil-war peace treaty in 1991, the ‘Paris Peace Accords’, set out a path to democracy, human rights and key freedoms, with UK support.

However, step-by-step Hun Sen consolidated power and eroded democracy and human rights provided for in the Accords, a process which accelerated after Hun Sen developed a close commercial relationship with Xi Jinping and his ministers in China. That is the same Xi Jinping that you condemned in an Oct 6th 2020 statement as committing ‘serious and egregious’ human right violations. The erosion of democracy and human rights in Cambodia was carefully documented by the United Nations Special Rapporteur.

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7-8 September 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

Swinson: Rudd resignation another blow to Boris Johnson

Responding to the news that Amber Rudd has quit both the cabinet and the Conservative Party, Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson said:

Amber Rudd’s resignation is yet another blow to Boris Johnson and his reckless plans to crash the country out of Europe without a deal. His disregard for the country’s interest and those who are meant to be his colleagues is symbolic of how broken our politics has become.

As this Government continues to decay, the need and urgency to stop Brexit cannot be clearer – we need a people’s vote with the option

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Paddy gives short shrift to tyrant-slaying boast attributed to Brexit minister

Embed from Getty Images

In yesterday’s Sunday Times (£) there was a report of an interview with Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. The interview was conducted by Tim Shipman and the report was entitled:

Dominic Raab: I saw off bully Slobodan Milosevic. Michel Barnier needs a softer touch

Now, I should preface this post with the proviso that The Times has form in regard to inaccurate précis via headline. It could be that the Sunday Times has now been infected with that dodgy headline disease.

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Fancy sending a message to our new Brexit Secretary?

Dominic Raab is a staunch Leave MP representing a constituency which voted strongly to Remain.

He was elevated to the Cabinet after David Davies’ resignation presumably because Theresa May was doing everything she could do to avoid giving the job to Michael Gove.

He and the Prime Minister crossed swords before, back in 2011, when he referred to feminist ideas as “obnoxious bigotry”

If you want to learn more about him, he actually wrote on this site back in 2015. The comments tell you a bit more about why.

Later that year, during the election campaign, Tim Farron said he represented

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Nick Clegg’s “worker’s bonus” – what I said about it on BBC’s Daily Politics

stephen-Tall-Daily-PoliticsI guested on BBC2’s Daily Politics on Monday to discuss Nick Clegg’s announcement that he wants the Coalition to offer a “worker’s bonus” in the next budget, taking the personal allowance up to £10,500 – beyond the £10,000 that was promised by the Lib Dems at the 2010 election.

The other two guests were ex-No. 10 Labour policy wonk Matthew Taylor, now chief executive of the RSA, and Conservative backbench MP Dominic Raab.

You can watch the 10-minute debate here (til 25th November).

Here’s my view in 6 sentences:

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After the Coalition: A Conservative agenda for Britain

Collections of policy essays from new or junior MPs rarely have much of an impact or shelf-life in British politics, but however fallible their predictions for the future they can be illuminating about the current state of the authors’ party and its broad ideological direction.

So it is with After the Coalition which is very different in tone and hope for the future from last year’s Which Way’s Up? by Nick Boles. The contrast is there in the sub-titles for the two books. Boles had “The future for coalition Britain” whilst the five authors behind this volume have gone for …

Posted in Books | Also tagged , , , , and | 9 Comments

Is annoying people the way to persuade them to change their mind?

That’s the question which is – or perhaps more accurately, which should be – at the heart of many online lobbying campaigns which seek to flood people’s inboxes with emails. Done well, at the right moment and aimed at the right target, these mass email campaigns can be a very effective tool for stressing the level of support for a point of view and making people engage with it. Done badly, they are an extremely effective way at lowering the reputation of the lobbying organisation and damaging its cause.

A good recent example has been the online campaigning around electoral reform, …

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged | 14 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • Paul Barker
    Thanks for a very useful article. Something like a quarter of 2024 conservative Voters are likely to die before the next General Election - that shift on its ...
  • David Le Grice
    Why the hell do we only get two questions? We got more than half the seats and votes that the Tories got, if they get a whopping six then we should get at least...
  • Peter Davies
    @Paul Yes. Most organised areas do tallying....
  • Peter Davies
    "even in London we have no councillors (and so no councillor tithes) in 19 of the 32 Boroughs" it's not really 'even'. London Boroughs have the highest proporti...
  • Paul Culloty
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