Tag Archives: ed davey

17 May 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Davey calls for big mental health investment on visit to Mid Dunbartonshire
  • Hunt owes an apology to millions of hardworking Brits after tax hikes
  • McArthur to host assisted dying Q&A at Scottish Liberal Democrat conference
  • Welsh Lib Dems blast Welsh Gov for failing women suffering from cancer
  • “It’s time to back our GP’s”- Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds

Davey calls for big mental health investment on visit to Mid Dunbartonshire

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has called for more support for people suffering from mental ill-health on a visit to the Milngavie and Bearsden Men’s Shed.

Ed, who is visiting Scotland for the Liberal Democrats’ Conference, will be joined by Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Alex Cole-Hamilton and Mid Dunbartonshire candidate Susan Murray.

Ed is calling for a trebling of the tax on social media giants to raise an extra £770 million for Scotland over the next five years, to fund dedicated mental health professionals in schools and GP surgeries and cut waiting times for patients.

Trebling the Digital Services Tax would raise an extra £9.5 billion for the UK over the next five years, of which £770 million would be allocated to Scotland.

Later in the day, Ed will deliver a keynote speech at the Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference in Hamilton.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said:

The SNP have been too caught up in their carousel of chaos to deal with the real and serious issues people are facing like the mental health crisis.

Right across Scotland people deserve to be supported by their local health services, for too long we have seen mental health, in particular, be neglected.

That’s why Liberal Democrats are calling for a big expansion of mental health services across Scotland, funded by the social media giants who are such a big part of the problem.

Above all, we need the ongoing melodrama from the Scottish nationalists to end so the Government can focus their time on delivering for the people of Scotland, not saving their sinking ship.

Hunt owes an apology to millions of hardworking Brits after tax hikes

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats has found 6.5 million people are being dragged into a higher tax band as a result of Conservative party budgets, including 15,000 in Jeremy Hunt’s own constituency.

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16 May 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Mortgage repossession claims reach five-year high as families risk losing their homes to Conservative chaos
  • Carer’s Allowance report: Government cannot bury its head in the sand
  • Scottish Liberal Democrat conference to call on Swinney to ditch SNP’s takeover of social care
  • Welsh Lib Dems call for foster carer salary
  • Cole-Hamilton urges First Minister to tackle rural healthcare crisis

Mortgage repossession claims reach five-year high as families risk losing their homes to Conservative chaos

Mortgage possession claims have reached their highest level since 2019 as soaring mortgage rates since the mini budget hit homeowners, figures published by the Ministry of Justice today have revealed.

Mortgage possession claims occur when banks or lenders take homeowners to court before repossessing their home. The latest figures show there were 5,182 mortgage repossession claims in the first quarter of 2024, the highest number since 2019.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

These deeply worrying figures show a steep rise in families at risk of losing their homes due to soaring mortgage rates.

This Conservative government crashed the economy with their disastrous mini budget and sent mortgage rates spiralling. But now Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have failed to lift a finger to help those impacted by this Conservative chaos.

It is unforgivable and shows just how out of touch the Conservative Party is with people struggling to get by.

Carer’s Allowance report: Government cannot bury its head in the sand

Responding to a Government report on the experiences of those claiming and receiving Carer’s Allowance which said that there was ‘room for improvement’ in preventing overpayments, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Thousands of carers are caught up in the overpayment scandal, and we’ve heard many heart-breaking stories about the fear and distress it is causing.

The Government cannot bury its head in the sand and pretend this is a minor issue. It is an outrageous national scandal and Ministers must act now: writing off old overpayments and reforming their flawed and failing system.

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13 May 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Bathing water: Govt needs to go further and stop sewage being pumped into bathing water sites
  • Maternity Care: Time Govt end postcode lottery
  • PM speech: Sunak should listen to the public and call a General Election
  • McArthur comments as legal action launched over deposit return scheme losses

Bathing water: Govt needs to go further and stop sewage being pumped into bathing water sites

Responding to the government announcing new designated bathing water sites, Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson Tim Farron MP said:

The government needs to go much further and stop sewage being pumped into bathing water sites. Conservative Ministers allowed disgraced water firms to spill sewage into these sites over 30,000 times last year. No swimmer should have to fear raw sewage making them sick.

Today the Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment to make water companies criminally liable for their sewage pollution. I am urging MPs from all parties to back this and finally get tough on these firms.

Maternity Care: Time Govt end postcode lottery

Commenting on the the Birth Trauma Inquiry, Liberal Democrat MP and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss, Helen Morgan MP said:

This inquiry has exposed what many of us have long feared about the state of the country’s maternity services.

For so many women to have such traumatic experiences of birth is nothing short of a national tragedy. Too many are being failed in pregnancy, birth and aftercare as this report shows.

It’s time the Government took action to end the postcode lottery in maternity services. I urge them to accept the report in full.

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Ed Davey at PMQs – asking PM to back “Ann’s Law” on care home staff

Ed Davey today questioned the Prime Minister on whether he would back a proposal to ensure safety for residents of care homes.

The proposed law is named after Ann King, whose abuse while in a Surrey care home was exposed by hidden camera footage captured by her children.

Following her death in October 2022, her children, including her son who is a constituent of Ed’s, are now campaigning for “Ann’s Law” which includes:

A register for care workers.

CCTV in care homes overseen by independent third parties.

New guidance for police and prosecutors on dealing with abuse of vulnerable people.

Ed said to Rishi Sunak:

The abuse suffered by 88-year-old Ann King at the hands of staff in her care home was captured on a hidden camera. The footage is stomach-churning.

Ann died in October 2022, and it took nearly a year before the CQC launched a criminal investigation.

Now, Ann’s children are working to protect other care home residents from being subjected to such appalling abuse. Her son came to see me as his MP, to ask for my help in their campaign.

So will the Prime Minister join me in backing ‘Ann’s Law’ – a proposal that would include a national register to professionalise the care workforce and hold those staff who are abusive to account? And will he meet with Ann’s family and me to discuss this?

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Ed Davey tabling no confidence motion today

The House returns today after the Bank Holiday weekend, and Ed Davey is ready for it with a no confidence motion. If it passes it will force a General Election next month.

The actual wording is: “That this House has no confidence in His Majesty’s Government.”

Ed says:

These local elections showed the country has had enough of Rishi Sunak and his out-of-touch Conservative Government.

The Conservatives were pushed into third place for the first time in a generation as Liberal Democrats swept the board in former true blue heartlands.

Yet Sunak continues to desperately cling on to power, holed up in Downing Street until the bitter end.

Conservative MPs need to wake up and smell the coffee, and back giving the country the election it so desperately wants and needs. The longer this appalling government stumbles on, the worse it is for the NHS, people’s living standards and our environment.

So what are the chances of the motion passing? The last time a Government lost a no confidence vote was in 1979, when Jim Callaghan was Labour Prime Minister. It was brought by the Leader of the Opposition, Margaret Thatcher, who formed the subsequent Government. It is worth noting that Callaghan was leading a minority Government, and he lost the motion by one vote. It is very rare for a vote of no confidence to succeed when a party has a solid majority.

Since then there have been 9 unsuccessful motions of no confidence, all targeted at Conservative Governments. One of these was brought in the House of Lords.

The convention is that a motion of no confidence takes precedence over anything else timetabled for the day. Today’s will give opposition parties an opportunity to note the Conservatives’ very poor performance in last week’s local elections and to raise the demand for an early General Election.

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2 May 2024 – today’s press releases

  • OECD report: This Conservative government is economically illiterate
  • Polls close: Voters want an end to this appalling Conservative government
  • Cole-Hamilton responds to SNP leadership news
  • “End this nonsense and give the money back”- Welsh Lib Dems urge First Minister to return dodgy donations

OECD report: This Conservative government is economically illiterate

Responding to the OECD report which says that the UK will have the slowest growth of the largest developed nations next year, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, Sarah Olney MP said:

This Conservative government is economically illiterate. Their no-growth policies have left the public enduring sky-high mortgage rates, the price of a weekly shop going through the roof, and stealth taxes hammering both pensioners and working people.

The only way through this quagmire of economic stagnation that the Conservative party has led us into is a general election. This Conservative government is out of touch, out of ideas and should be kicked out of office.

Polls close: Voters want an end to this appalling Conservative government

Responding to polls closing for this year’s local elections, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

The message across the country today was loud and clear. Voters want an end to this appalling Conservative government.

People are sick of the Conservative party’s endless infighting, unaffordable mortgages, an NHS in freefall and filthy sewage being pumped into their rivers and seas.

They want change and they want to see the end of Rishi Sunak’s Conservative party in office. That is why, up and down the country, so many lifelong Conservative voters backed the Liberal Democrats today, because they know Liberal Democrat councillors will never take them for granted and fight for the issues they care about.

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1 May 2024 – yesterday’s Federal press releases

  • Waters containing shellfish suffer from 200,000 hours worth of sewage
  • Conservatives “legalising car theft” as over three in four cases go unsolved
  • Up to 1 million pensioners in Tory seats to be dragged into paying income tax
  • Davey: Time for Sunak to face the music

Waters containing shellfish suffer from 200,000 hours worth of sewage

  • Amount of sewage spilled into shellfish water jumps by a fifth
  • South West Water and Southern Water sewage discharges into shellfish water doubles
  • Liberal Democrats call for urgent action and increased testing

This year saw a large jump in the number of hours sewage was discharged into waters containing shellfish, Liberal Democrat analysis of Environment Agency data shows.

Last year, high levels of E.coli were discovered in oysters and mussels In Cornwall, leading to the closure of 11 shellfish fishing waters, with the Environment Agency blaming sewage discharges.

Now, it has been revealed that water firms in England discharged 192,248 hours worth of sewage into shellfish areas, up 21% from the year before (158,797 hours).

The worst offender was South West Water, which doubled the hours of sewage dumped into shellfish water from 49,863 in 2022, to 98,149 last year. Their total sewage spills into these designated areas also rose to a staggering 12,927.

Southern Water also doubled the hours of sewage discharged into these areas, to 72,943 hours this year.

Since 2020, there have been 108,360 sewage spills into shellfish designated waters.

Some of the country’s best known fishing areas have been hit by these dumps. The longest spills recorded were:

  • Chichester Harbour: A total of 6542 hours of sewage discharged over 286 spills
  • Exe: A total of 4089 hours of sewage discharged over 214 spills
  • Morecambe Bay: A total of 3927 hours of sewage discharged over 223 spills

The Liberal Democrats have called for an urgent investigation into water quality in shellfish habitats, as well as a clampdown of sewage being discharged into waters used by the fishing industry.

Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson, Tim Farron MP said:

This environmental scandal is putting wildlife at risk of unimaginable levels of pollution. The food we eat, and the British fisheries industry, must be protected from raw sewage.

The public will be rightly furious that England’s precious shellfish, including lobsters and crabs, are also being subjected to filthy sewage dumping.

We need the Environment Agency to carry out an emergency investigation into the water quality of shellfish habitat. Ministers need to clampdown on water firms polluting fishing waters. It is a national scandal that this Conservative government is letting water firms destroy shellfish habitat. It is getting worse on their watch and there will be real concerns for the fishing industry if this trend continues.

Conservatives “legalising car theft” as over three in four cases go unsolved

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservative Government of “legalising car theft” as new figures reveal that in 2023, three in four car theft cases went unsolved and police took up to 24 hours to respond to calls.

The Home Office’s own latest figures show that in 2023, a whopping 108,934 cases of car theft went unsolved – equivalent to 298 cases a day. This accounted for a staggering 77% of all car thefts recorded. Meanwhile, just 3% of cases resulted in a suspect being charged or summonsed.

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30 April 2024 – yesterday’s (Federal) press releases

  • Uber Ambulance: Thousands in need of urgent care making their own way to A&E
  • Homelessness figures: Ban no fault evictions before more families made homeless
  • Ed Davey says voters are fed up with “out of touch Conservatives” on visit to Tunbridge Wells
  • First Rwanda flight is “cynical nonsense”

Uber Ambulance: Thousands in need of urgent care making their own way to A&E

  • Patients in need of “very urgent emergency care” making their own way to A&E increased by nearly 40% since 2019
  • The number of elderly patients in need of emergency care going to A&E not in an ambulance has shot up by more than 20%
  • The Liberal Democrats warn Conservative government is creating an “Uber ambulance crisis”

There has been a near 40% increase in the number of patients in need of “very urgent emergency care” making their own way to A&E over the past five years, Freedom of Information requests (FOIs) by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

NHS Trusts were asked for the number of patients who arrived at their A&E departments not in an ambulance, broken down by the urgency and severity of their condition.

504,276 patients classed as Code 2, meaning they were deemed to be in need of “very urgent emergency care”, arrived at A&E not in an ambulance in 2023. This was up 11,500 (2.4%) compared to the previous year, and up 141,000 (38.9%) compared to 2019.

The Liberal Democrats warned the Conservative government is creating an “Uber ambulance crisis” and called on ministers to urgently invest in ambulance services, staffed hospital beds and social care to reduce delays.

The figures also show there has been a particularly sharp rise in elderly patients making their own way to A&E despite needing urgent care. 96,000 patients aged over 65 in need of “very urgent emergency care” made their own way to A&E last year, up 45.4% since 2019.

53 of 140 NHS Trusts responded with complete data meaning the true numbers of patients needing urgent care making their own way to A&E is likely to be far higher.

Some Trusts saw staggering rises in the number of patients arriving in A&E not in an ambulance with very urgent emergency care needs. In York and Scarborough there was a more than eight-fold rise in Code 2 patients coming to A&E not in an ambulance with the figure last year reaching 7,669, up from just 808 in 2019.

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19 April 2024 – today’s press releases

  • River Thames Tsar should be created to tackle sewage crisis
  • Menzies Scandal: Ethics adviser must investigate Conservative Chief Whip
  • Sick note speech: Sunak blaming British people for failures on NHS and economy
  • Lib Dems respond to SNP interview on ditched climate targets

River Thames Tsar should be created to tackle sewage crisis

  • Liberal Democrat Leader calls for new government appointed role to hold Thames Water to account for sewage pollution
  • New role could pave the way for wider reforms of water industry with increased environmental accountability and new representation on water company boards
  • Ed Davey will make the announcement during a local elections visit to the River Mole in Esher and Walton today

The Liberal Democrats are calling for a new River Thames Tsar to be appointed by the government, in a bid to hold the country’s biggest water firm to account.

Leader Ed Davey visits the River Mole in Esher and Walton, a marginal Surrey constituency, to announce the policy. The Esher and Walton constituency was in the top 100 worst for sewage dumping last year and saw a staggering 135% increase in spills.

This policy is part of the party’s plan for water industry reform, including transforming water companies into “Public Benefit Companies”, by ensuring environmental experts sit on water utility boards. The reforms aim to put an end to water companies putting profit before the environment. The Liberal Democrats have also called for Ofwat to be abolished, so a new tougher water regulator can be created.

The new River Thames Tsar proposed by the Liberal Democrats would have various roles, including:

  • Attending Thames Water board meetings
  • Hosting public meetings with river users and environmental groups
  • Ensuring the Environment Agency follows up on reports of sewage pollution into the Thames and its tributaries

The latest policy announcement follows the Government’s decision to appoint a River Wye Tsar last week, amid concerns of agricultural pollution. The Liberal Democrats are calling for the new River Thames Tsar to have a high public profile, with Feargal Sharkey and Steve Backshall suggested as possible candidates.

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18 April 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Police taking up to 17 and a half hours to respond to anti-social behaviour calls
  • Thames Water: This corporate clown show must end
  • “Flushed away”- Welsh Lib Dems urge Welsh Government to support maintenance of public toilets
  • Scot Lib Dems respond to SNP and Greens ditching climate change targets
  • Khan manifesto launch
  • Cole-Hamilton speaks after more days of turmoil for Humza Yousaf

Police taking up to 17 and a half hours to respond to anti-social behaviour calls

Average police response times to anti-social behaviour incidents have increased by 37% since 2021, with some forces taking an average of 17 and a half hours to arrive at the scene, shocking new figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The figures were obtained through a series of Freedom of Information requests to all police forces in England. 27 forces provided full responses.

In 2023, it took an average of 3 hours and 40 minutes across police forces for an officer to turn up to the scene of anti-social behaviour incidents. This is an increase of 34% compared to average wait times across police forces in 2021, which stood at 2 hours and 44 minutes.

The figures revealed a disturbing postcode lottery, with huge differences in average response times between police forces.

Suffolk had the longest wait times in England last year, with police taking an average of 17 and a half hours to attend anti-social behaviour reports, followed closely behind by Norfolk where wait times were 17 hours and 29 minutes. Cambridgeshire also had extremely long wait times, which stood at 11 and a half hours.

Meanwhile, anti-social behaviour calls in Essex were attended to in less than 8 minutes on average.

In recent years, some forces also experienced huge deteriorations in wait times. In Surrey, where Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey will be making a campaigning visit today, wait times have increased by 281% since 2021, up to nearly 5 and a half hours.

London wait times have more than tripled in that same time period, up a staggering 353%.

The shocking figures come just months after the Crime Survey for England and Wales found that in the year ending September 2023, more than one third of people had experienced or witnessed some type of anti-social behaviour, with the police recording 1 million incidents.

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservative Government for these figures, arguing that years of ineffective resourcing have left local police forces overstretched, under-resourced and unable to effectively respond to local crime. This includes taking more than 4,500 community officers (PCSOs) off the streets since 2015.

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12 April 2024 – today’s press releases

  • GDP figures: Economy stuck in the slow lane
  • Defence: Only the Lib Dems are committed to reversing troop cuts
  • Energy Minister stands down: Drumbeat of Conservative resignations is becoming deafening
  • More than half of councils see rise in sewage dumps
  • Jardine Secures Commons Debate on Consular Assistance

GDP figures: Economy stuck in the slow lane

Responding to the latest GDP figures, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

This sluggish growth shows the UK economy is stuck in the slow lane under the Conservatives.

This government has no plan to fix the damage they’ve done to people’s living standards.

Instead we have a prime minister and Chancellor totally out of touch with families feeling the pinch. The only way to get the economy moving again is to kick this economically illiterate Conservative government out of office.

Defence: Only the Lib Dems are committed to reversing troop cuts

Responding to Labour and the Conservatives announcements on defence policy today, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Only the Liberal Democrats are committed to reversing the Conservatives’ irresponsible cuts to Army troop numbers. With Putin waging war in Europe and Trump threatening the future of NATO, cutting the British Army by 10,000 troops is a major threat to our long-term national security.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives and Labour only offer meaningless talk about vague aspirations for some unspecified time in the future.

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11 April 2024 -today’s press releases

  • Sunak in “parallel universe” as NHS waiting lists grow by 330,000 since he pledged to cut them
  • Nick Fletcher endorses Lee Anderson: Sunak should kick him out of Conservative Party
  • Donelan libel costs: Donelan must pay this money back now
  • Lib Dems to create London Housing Company – Blackie: “I will get London building again”

Sunak in “parallel universe” as NHS waiting lists grow by 330,000 since he pledged to cut them

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has said Rishi Sunak is living in a “parallel universe,” after today’s figures reveal NHS targets are being missed while waiting lists have grown by 330,000 since the Prime Minister pledged to cut them.

NHS targets missed include:

  • NHS waiting lists: NHS waiting lists stood at 7.54 million outstanding treatments in February 2024, up from 7.21 million in January 2023 when Rishi Sunak pledged to cut them. This is an increase of 330,000 (NHS England).
  • 65 week waits: There were 75,000 65-weeks for treatment in February, despite a target to eliminate them by March 2024 (NHS England).
  • A&E: 71.3% of patients were seen within 4 hours in all A&E in February, against a target of 76% (NHS England).
  • Cancer: 63.9% of people treated began cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral in February 2024, against a target of 85% (NHS England).

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

This week we uncovered that over 150,000 people waited over 24 hours in A&E last year. Now we find that waiting lists have gone up by 330,000 after Rishi Sunak pledged to cut them.

To add insult to injury, the Conservatives have cut NHS spending while millions of patients are suffering in pain on endless waiting lists.

Rishi Sunak is living in a parallel universe if he thinks our National Health Service is recovering. The Conservative Party and the Prime Minister are out of touch, out of ideas and deserve to be kicked out of office.

Nick Fletcher endorses Lee Anderson: Sunak should kick him out of Conservative Party

Responding to Nick Fletcher, Conservative MP for Don Valley, telling voters in Ashfield that Reform UK MP Lee Anderson is the area’s “greatest champion” and that he needs to be back in Westminster, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

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Ed Davey’s message for Eid

We at Liberal Democrat Voice would like to wish everyone celebrating Eid Mubarak.

In his message for Eid, Ed Davey talked of our collective values of compassion and justice and assured British Muslims that the Liberal Democrats stand with them in solidarity and celebration.

He said:

Eid Mubarak to everyone in the UK and across the globe celebrating Eid.

As we mark the end of Ramadan, let’s reflect on our values of working together, of compassion and gratitude for what we have in common.

I know there are so many of you who have gone through this holy month and are now with your families and friends celebrating this moment.

And I know it has been a difficult time for British Muslims and Muslims across the world with the rise of Islamophobia and the horrible, awful conflict in Israel and Palestine and we commit ourselves to working for the peace we all need.

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9 April 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Hospital’s spend £3million on pest control as patients suffer from rats and insects
  • Cameron and Trump: European leaders’ summit needed to seize frozen Russian assets
  • Cole-Hamilton: SNP have failed to help A&E recover
  • Lib Dems launch London Transport Policy – Blackie: “No more bus cuts”

Hospital’s spend £3million on pest control as patients suffer from rats and insects

  • Staff report being bitten by bugs as rats roam maternity and emergency wards
  • Freedom of Information requests reveal NHS Hospitals coping with 18,000 pest incidents since 2021
  • Liberal Democrat Leader demands urgent repair fund for crumbling hospitals

Freedom of Information Requests by the Liberal Democrats have revealed the extent of pests roaming NHS Hospitals. As the NHS repair backlog reaches record levels, these new revelations show staff and patients subjected to poor conditions.

Since 2021, over 60 NHS Trusts have reported £3.7 million spent on pest control at their hospitals. Imperial College NHS Trust, which includes St.Mary’s Hospital London, spent a staggering £383,597 on pest control, including dealing with 748 pest incidents last year alone.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust spent £119,199 to deal with mice in the kitchen, maggots in the mortuary and rat droppings in a corpse bag, amongst many other pests.

The most shocking incidents were reported by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust, which includes Colchester Hospital and Ipswich Hospital. Staff reported:

  • Black insects are biting the legs of staff
  • Ants and fly infestations
  • Rats in the ambulance area

At Ashford NHS Trust, dead headless pigeons and dead rabbits, as well as slug and ants were reported. Royal United Hospitals Bath reported pests in the children’s ward and breast clinic.

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3 April 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Aid worker deaths: Davey calls on government to suspend arms sales to Israel
  • Royal Mail proposal to cut second class deliveries: Another slap in the face
  • London Lib Dems response to Khan economic announcement
  • Worst hit rivers for sewage dumps revealed as Lib Dems call for new Blue Flag status
  • Rennie responds to CalMac boss stepping down

Aid worker deaths: Davey calls on government to suspend arms sales to Israel

The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to suspend arms sales to Israel, following the deaths of seven aid workers including three British nationals in an Israeli air strike in Gaza.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

The deaths of these British aid workers in Gaza is an absolute disgrace. These brave people were trying to help starving families in Gaza.

Clearly, the thought that British-made arms could have been used in strikes such as these is completely unacceptable.

The government must take swift action to suspend arms exports to Israel. We must redouble our efforts to secure an immediate bilateral ceasefire.

Royal Mail proposal to cut second class deliveries: Another slap in the face

Responding to the news that Royal Mail wants to reduce second class deliveries to three days a week, Liberal Democrat Business Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

These plans are a slap in the face for families being asked to pay more for less.

The cost of first and second class stamps has gone up sharply in recent years. It risks creating a cost of postage crisis, as people feel forced to pay for first class stamps because second class delivery days are being slashed.

People shouldn’t have to pay the price for Royal Mail’s failure, after executives missed their delivery targets and paid themselves eye-watering bonuses.

London Lib Dems response to Khan economic announcement

Responding to Sadiq Khan’s joint economic announcement with Rachel Reeves today (Weds), Rob Blackie, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, said:

Labour’s plan ignores London’s biggest economic problem – Brexit. Labour are too scared to say that Brexit has damaged London’s economy, making us poorer and costing us jobs.

For instance, technology companies now have to spend time and money complying with two data laws, one each from the EU and the UK. And too many European citizens in London are made to feel unwelcome.

As Liberal Democrat Mayor I will campaign to fix the damage done by Brexit, and bring in a London passport to protect London’s EU citizen rights.

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2 April 2024 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Government childcare announcement: More Conservative chaos hurting families
  • Only 0.1% of police dedicated to rural crime teams

Government childcare announcement: More Conservative chaos hurting families

Responding to the Government’s childcare announcment, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

This latest Conservative chaos is hitting families hard. Parents are seriously worried about what the Government’s botched childcare expansion will mean for them.

Free hours are no good if parents can’t find a good nursery or childminder for their child – and thanks to Conservative underfunding, more than 3,000 providers have closed in the last year alone.

Instead of plunging families into even more chaos, the Government should take up the Liberal Democrats’ clear and properly-funded plan to ensure all parents can access childcare that is flexible, affordable and fair.

Only 0.1% of police dedicated to rural crime teams

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservative government of “neglecting” rural communities as new data reveals that only 258 police officers and staff are dedicated to rural crime teams across England and Wales – just 0.1% of the overall workforce. It means fewer than one in 1,000 police officers around the country are dedicated to rural crime teams.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey will today call for Police and Crime Commissioners to be scrapped so the savings can be invested in frontline policing, including ensuring that every police force has a properly resourced rural crime team. It is estimated the move would save £150 million every four years.

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Lib Dems mark Transgender Day of Visibility

This Transgender Day of Visibility, the message to trans people from the Lib Dems, and this site, is very much “we see you, we love you, we have your backs.”

For a community under daily attack in the media, it is vital that we stand with them. Our trans siblings are real live people with lives, ambitions, hopes, feelings and needs, not weapons in a right wing culture war.

My trans loved ones are amongst the bravest people I know and I for one will not stand by and see them vilified and demonised. Wherever the attacks come from, I will be there for them. I hope that everyone reading this site will be with me on that one.

It’s good to see that the party is so supportive of trans people. Ed Davey and senior Liberal Democrats have regular meetings with trans members to learn from them what barriers they are facing and how we can help as a party.  It’s so important to have that dialogue when there is so much wilful misinformation out there.

On Twitter today, the party said:

On #TransDayOfVisibility we celebrate trans people and stand with the trans community against hatred and discrimination. To all our trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming members, supporters, friends and followers: we respect you, we value you – today and every day.

Cllr Chris Northwood, who is our Deputy Group Leader in Manchester, has written for the LGA especially for Trans Day of Visibility. She talked about the toxicity of social media but also said that away from that, people are more concerned with things like road safety and affordable housing. She said:

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WATCH: Ed Davey’s Easter message

Watch Ed Davey’s Easter message below:

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Ed Davey: “The Lib Dems and Labour aren’t fighting each other”

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There’s a very interesting article over on the New Statesman website. George Eaton writes on his interview with Ed Davey.

The article covers a variety of fascinating topics – how many seats the LibDems will win the general election, working with other parties, the chances of Reform UK, Keir Starmer, John Rawls, the Orange Book, the Post Office scandal, and where the LibDems sit on the political spectrum:

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27 March 2024 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Ed Davey warns Sunak facing sewage local elections backlash on campaign visit to Dorset
  • Khan already failing on Met recruitment
  • Sewage spills rise: 21,660 “disgusting” sewage dumps in 2023
  • Scottish Liberal Democrats respond to Housing Bill
  • Cole-Hamilton responds to hackers’ threat of publishing NHS stolen data
  • Rennie: Ministers’ fingerprints all over Tydeman sacking

Ed Davey warns Sunak facing sewage local elections backlash on campaign visit to Dorset

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will today warn that Rishi Sunak is facing a “sewage backlash” at the ballot box in May’s local elections, on a visit to West Dorset as part of his campaign tour of the West Country.

Ed Davey will be meeting CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, Giles Bristow, and visiting West Bay beach, a popular tourist destination where pollution alerts were put in place after raw sewage was discharged last year.

The Liberal Democrats have led the campaign in Westminster to tackle the sewage scandal since 2021, and it’s been a key issue in their big victories in previous local election campaigns and four parliamentary by-election wins.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the water industry to be “ripped up from top to bottom” to ensure profit is no longer put above environmental goals, and the creation of a new tougher regulator to replace Ofwat. Since the Liberal Democrats were the first party to call for a ban on water firm executive bonuses over two years ago, a number of water CEOs have given theirs up.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Rishi Sunak and Conservative MPs are facing a sewage backlash after years of blocking tough measures to crack down on water firms. The water industry needs to be ripped up from top to bottom, to stop profits and shareholders’ dividends driving everything. It is time to start again.

Sunak may have bottled a General Election, but he cannot hide from voters in the local elections where communities will voice real anger at this environmental scandal.

From Dorset to Yorkshire, lifelong Conservative voters across the country are switching to the Liberal Democrats because they’re fed up with seeing their rivers and beaches ruined by sewage.

Under this Conservative government both sewage in our rivers and water company profits have increased hand in hand. Enough is enough: it is clear the only way to end this sewage scandal is to boot the Conservatives out of government.

Khan already failing on Met recruitment

Responding to Sadiq Khan’s announcement that a possible Labour Government would give London more resources to recruit police officers, Lib Dem Mayoral Candidate Rob Blackie said:

This smacks of another pre-election gimmick from the Mayor. Surely any future Government wouldn’t deny London the resources it needs if it decides to elect a different party into the Mayoralty?

In any case, the Mayor is already failing on police recruitment. Numbers are going backwards and he has had to hand money back to the Government for his lack of success. So Londoners will be sceptical. Sadiq Khan has made similar promises before and not delivered.

Under Sadiq Khan’s leadership, a police officer told the Casey enquiry into the Met police that detection rates for sexual offences and rape had fallen so low that ‘it may as well be legal’ in London.

Today the Metropolitan police are catching rapists half as often as when Sadiq Khan became Mayor in 2016. And 6,000 police are stuck in the back office instead of the frontline.

This is not a policing record to be proud of. The Liberal Democrats’ top priority will be to fix the Met.

Sewage spills rise: 21,660 “disgusting” sewage dumps in 2023

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today demanded that the SNP and Greens stop defending outdated sewage standards as new Scottish Water figures revealed a 10% increase in the number of sewage dumps in 2023.

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27 March 2024 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • NHS satisfaction survey: Govt can’t be trusted with NHS
  • Sewage spills rise: Ed Davey calls for national environmental emergency to be declared
  • Lib Dem comment on E.coli in Thames
  • Scotland’s sewage crisis 40% worse than previously thought
  • Bus journeys plummet by 31%

NHS satisfaction survey: Govt can’t be trusted with NHS

Responding to the British Social Attitudes survey on NHS satisfaction, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

This is a damning assessment of the Government’s management of the NHS. Years and years of neglect and incompetence has run our NHS into the ground.

NHS staff work around the clock to see thousands and thousands of patients but the public are understandably frustrated that they’re often waiting too long to see a GP, or to get a hospital appointments for diagnosis and treatment.

The public know this Conservative Government cannot be trusted with our NHS, and they will want to deliver their verdict at the next general election.

Sewage spills rise: Ed Davey calls for national environmental emergency to be declared

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has called on the government to declare a national environmental emergency after the number of sewage spills in 2023 increased by 54% on the previous year, putting ecosystems already at breaking point on the brink of collapse.

As part of this national environmental emergency, the Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) to review the impact of sewage spills on human health – for river and sea swimmers in particular. Campaign group Surfers Against Sewage released a report last year showing almost 2,000 people reported getting sick last year after swimming in the sea or rivers.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

The Liberal Democrats have been warning this Conservative government for years that the sewage scandal is ruining the country’s rivers and beaches and pushing ecosystems to the brink of collapse.

Rishi Sunak and the Conservative Party have failed to listen and as a result sewage spills are increasing, our precious countryside is being destroyed and swimmers are falling sick.

It is time for this Conservative government to finally deal with this disgraceful situation and declare a national environmental emergency. That must include convening an urgent SAGE meeting to look into the impact of sewage spills on people’s health.

Only by treating the sewage scandal with the urgency it demands can we save our rivers and beaches for future generations to enjoy.

Lib Dem comment on E.coli in Thames

Commenting on findings of high E.coli levels in the Thames by River Action today, Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Rob Blackie said:

This is the consequence of 72 billion litres of raw sewage pumped into the Thames in London since 2020.

It amounts to an environment catastrophe in the capital.

The Conservative government have let water companies get away with polluting for too long. It must crack down on Thames Water.

Instead of action, we have seen huge increases in sewage dumped into the river.

If elected I will work to stop sewage being dumped into our rivers and campaign to make water companies pay for the damage they’ve done.

Scotland’s sewage crisis 40% worse than previously thought

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today accused the Scottish Government of being “defenders of outdated sewage standards” as figures published by Scottish Water revealed that that there were an additional 5,668 sewage dumps in Scotland in 2022, on top of the initial 14,008 that were reported in March.

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22 March 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Ed Davey statement regarding The Princess of Wales
  • “The system failed Kaylea, we cannot allow it to happen again”- Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds
  • Tory support in freefall – Rob offers London liberal choice
  • Scottish Liberal Democrats respond to publication of Fair Fares Review

Ed Davey statement regarding The Princess of Wales

Responding to the Princess of Wales’ video statement, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said:

What sad news. My thoughts and prayers are with the Princess of Wales tonight.

Liberal Democrats join the whole country in wishing her a speedy recovery and hope the Royal Family will be given space and privacy at this difficult time.

“The system failed Kaylea, we cannot allow it to happen again”- Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds

This week in the Senedd, the Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds urged the Welsh Government to learn from the tragic case of Kaylea Titford and improve the child safeguarding system here in Wales.

The disabled 16-year-old passed away in 2020 after being found in conditions that were described as “unsuitable for an animal”.

Kalyea’s parents were both charged with manslaughter by gross negligence and are currently serving a combined total of 18 years behind bars.

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20 March 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Ed Davey launches local election campaign with hourglass stunt
  • SEPA log thousands of complaints about state of Scottish waterways
  • Welsh Lib Dems raise concerns over future of dentistry in Wales
  • “Communities must benefit from new grid developments” – Welsh Lib Dems

Ed Davey launches local election campaign with hourglass stunt

  • Lib Dem Leader unveils hourglass stunt in Blue Wall Hertfordshire, declaring “Time’s running out for Rishi Sunak”
  • Ed Davey focusses his party’s campaign on local health and social care services, sewage pollution in rivers and the cost of living crisis.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has launched his party’s English local elections campaign with an hourglass stunt, declaring “Time’s running out for Rishi Sunak”, and calling on the country to vote for change in May.

Ed Davey visited the Blue Wall battleground of Harpenden in Hertfordshire, which is set to be a marginal constituency at the next election. He will begin his local election tour this week, visiting every corner of the country as the party looks to make further gains on local councils.

The Liberal Democrats made major gains across Hertfordshire from the Conservative party in last year’s local elections. In 2023, the Liberal Democrats gained over 400 council seats across the country.

At today’s launch, Ed Davey unveiled a blue and gold hourglass in front of Liberal Democrat activists. After turning it upside down, the sand revealed the words ‘Time’s Running Out Rishi!’ He was joined by St.Albans MP and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Daisy Cooper, and Victoria Collins, the party’s parliamentary candidate for Harpenden and Berkhamsted.

The Liberal Democrats will focus their local elections campaign on local health and social care services, as well as the local environment and the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Speaking after the stunt, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Time’s running out for Rishi Sunak. He might have bottled a May General Election.

He might hope the tide will turn, squatting in Downing Street for a few more months.

But even the Prime Minister can’t deny people across England the chance to have their say in local elections on the Second of May.

Rishi Sunak’s government is running out of road because people know it is time for change.

And people are voting for us because it is time for the Liberal Democrats.

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WATCH: Ed Davey’s speech to Spring Conference

There were some very interesting nuggets from Ed Davey’s speech on Saturday. At last we seem to be showing a bit of what we’re about. And what better a place to start than with sorting out our democracy by showing people the harm the current system does to them:

It distorts democracy.

It leaves millions of people feeling powerless and excluded.

Unable to hold those in power properly to account.

Conference, we know proportional representation would be so much fairer…

So much better for our politics and our country.

And a majority of the British people now back electoral reform.

So why hasn’t it changed? Why are we still the only party fighting for political change?

He also mentioned the word Europe in such a way as to send the Daily Telegraph into a tailspin:

Only Liberal Democrats have a clear plan to rebuild this relationship with a better deal for Britain.

To renew the ties of trust and friendship,

To set us on the path back to the Single Market.

Our plan to repair the damage the Conservatives have done,

And, in time, to restore Britain’s place at the heart of Europe. Where we belong.

There’s nothing new in there. It’s been our policy since 2021, but he did say the single market phrase out loud.

Watch here.

The text is below:

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19 March 2024 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Almost 20,000 older people waited over four hours for an ambulance after falls last year
  • Half of places on secondary postgrad teaching courses unfilled
  • Almost a third of pupils missing school and decline in support for teachers and pupils

Almost 20,000 older people waited over four hours for an ambulance after falls last year

  • The Liberal Democrats launch their local election campaign unveiling shocking new figures of elderly patients waiting too long for an ambulance
  • Ed Davey to visit Hertfordshire where he will declare this May “the chance to send this out of touch Conservative government a message”
  • Number of older patients waiting over 4 hours for an ambulance after falling has almost doubled since 2019/20
  • One patient waited close to three days for an ambulance to arrive after a fall

Almost 20,000 older people in England waited more than four hours for an ambulance to arrive after having a fall last year, more than double the number in 2019/20, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will visit the Blue Wall battleground of Hertfordshire to launch his party’s local election campaign. Ed Davey will focus his party’s campaign on local health services.

The new data was uncovered by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests to ambulance trusts in England. It shows there were 19,904 incidents in 2022/23 where someone aged over 65 had a fall and had to wait more than four hours for an ambulance to arrive, or an average of 54 people a day.

This is a stark 96.5% rise since before the pandemic in 2019/20 for the trusts that provided data across the full four years.

Even more shockingly, 1,411 older patients waited over 12 hours for an ambulance to arrive after falling last year, a more than tenfold increase compared to 2019/20. The East of England Ambulance Trust had the worst record with nearly 8,000 incidents that took longer than four hours and 769 that took longer than 12 hours to respond last year.

The West Midlands had an average response time for elderly falls of one hour 54 minutes and in that region a patient waited close to three days after experiencing a fall.

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£109bn household debt bombshell to wipe out National Insurance tax cut

  • Debt interest costs to rise by average of £1,917 per household this year, double the amount before Liz Truss’s mini budget
  • The debt bombshell will be ten times higher than the government’s National Insurance rate cut
  • Lib Dems warn Budget was a “Conservative con” with households still paying the price for Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng crashing the economy

Households will spend a staggering £109 billion this year servicing their debt, including mortgages and credit cards, double the figure before Liz Truss’s mini-budget.

Figures buried in the small print of the Budget reveal the enormous household debt bombshell, which is more than …

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6 March 2024 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Budget: Rishi’s recession followed by Hunt’s hangover
  • Scot Lib Dems respond to a spring budget that lets down NHS and mortgage holders
  • “Bottler’s Budget”: Hunt and Sunak slammed for running scared of May General Election
  • Dock Donelan’s pay to foot £15,000 legal cost
  • Rwanda Bill Votes: Policy is fatally flawed

Budget: Rishi’s recession followed by Hunt’s hangover

Responding to the Spring Budget, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said:

This is a bottom-of-the-barrel Budget from a Conservative government that has given up on governing. Rishi’s recession is being followed by Hunt’s hangover, with years of unfair tax hikes while local health services are stretched to breaking point.

This Budget had nothing to offer for people seeing their mortgage soar due to Conservative chaos or being left waiting for months in pain for NHS treatment.

The public will see this for what is: a desperate last throw of the dice by a Conservative government that has neglected the NHS, trashed the economy and overseen a record fall in living standards. It couldn’t be clearer that we need a general election now so voters can finally kick this tired and out-of-touch government out of office.

Scot Lib Dems respond to a spring budget that lets down NHS and mortgage holders

Responding to the Spring Budget, Liberal Democrat Scottish Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

This really is a budget with little to offer families struggling with Rishi’s recession. It felt like a few scraps from a government which knows it’s out of time.

The national insurance cut is meaningless because of stealth taxes elsewhere.

Scottish Liberal Democrats are on the side of hardworking Scots who want to see their bills and NHS waits cut. Where was the help for people with soaring mortgages or spending months in pain waiting for NHS treatment?

The sooner voters get the chance to deliver their verdict the better.

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Lib Dems react to Budget

Well, there you go. Another Conservative budget served with more invective directed against the Lib Dems than you might expect. You would be forgiven for thinking that they were frightened of us in the Blue Wall. Tim Farron was quick to jump in on Twitter:

The Chancellor wouldn’t waste his breath slagging off the Lib Dems if he wasn’t terrified of losing to us.

A speech carefully crafted into soundbytes for social media. Lots of impressive sounding numbers, but being a big number doesn’t mean it’s an adequate number. It’s so annoying when politicians of all flavours do this. Here’s £xoo million to build y million houses. Why don’t they express themselves in terms that actually reflect the human impact and the scale of the problem?  Because their solution is simply not good enough.

Anyway, what do our leaders make of the electioneering effort put in by Jeremy Hunt today? Ed says that it’s time to just get on with the Election:

This is a bottom-of-the-barrel Budget from a Conservative government that has given up on governing. Rishi’s recession is being followed by Hunt’s hangover, with years of unfair tax hikes while local health services are stretched to breaking point.

This Budget had nothing to offer for people seeing their mortgage soar due to Conservative chaos or being left waiting for months in pain for NHS treatment.

The public will see this for what is: a desperate last throw of the dice by a Conservative government that has neglected the NHS, trashed the economy and overseen a record fall in living standards. It couldn’t be clearer that we need a general election now so voters can finally kick this tired and out-of-touch government out of office.

The thing is, people still feel under a lot of economic pressure. They blame the Government for it and that is bound to affect their vote.

By-election winner Helen Morgan echoed Ed’s message:

Don’t be fooled by the Chancellor’s efforts to pull the wool over people’s eyes. This budget won’t touch the sides for people facing soaring mortgage bills, paying more at the fuel pump, and seeing the cost of going to the shops rise every week. We need a General Election now.

Helen also mentioned a crucial omission:

The Chancellor spent a lot of time listing parts of the country today (notable exception of Shropshire). Yet the Budget itself includes NO mention of rural areas and NO mention of farming. Further proof the Conservatives don’t care about the countryside.

Alistair Carmichael says that voters are past listening to the Conservatives;

The Chancellor has tried to paper over a Tory recession and Tory tax hikes which have hit families across the country. Ministers have searched for election gimmicks but voters are past listening. Few would take this government at its word after years of falling living standards.

Wera Hobhouse was right to point out that the extension of the Household Support Fund for 6 months was far from enough to tackle poverty when the safety net has so many holes in it that it is barely there any more:

I am glad that the Chancellor has heeded my calls to extend the Household Support Fund in today’s Spring Budget. But for the thousands in Bath who rely on its support to put food on their plates and heat their homes – a sixth month extension simply doesn’t cut it.

Wendy Chamberlain did highlight one Lib Dem win, though:

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5 March 2024 – today’s press releases (part 3)

  • Embargoed budget trail: The Conservatives are the great tax swindlers
  • Welsh Lib Dems accuse Welsh Gov of abandoning rural Wales in final budget debate
  • “Funding our futures” – Welsh Lib Dems demand action on school deficits
  • Welsh Lib Dems call for major culture change in care system

Embargoed budget trail: The Conservatives are the great tax swindlers

Responding to the Chancellor’s embargoed budget trail, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

The Conservatives are the great tax swindlers after years of hiking them on hardworking families.

Rishi Sunak has led the economy into a recession and forced families to pick up the tab. They have no shame.

The Conservatives must put the NHS at the heart of the budget. It is no wonder the economy isn’t growing when millions of people are stuck on NHS waiting lists, unable to work.

The only way out of this mess is a General Election to deliver the change this country desperately needs.

Welsh Lib Dems accuse Welsh Gov of abandoning rural Wales in final budget debate

Today in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have accused the Welsh Labour Government of abandoning rural Wales.

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5 March 2024 – today’s press releases (part 1)

We’ve now managed to gain access to press releases from our Scottish colleagues, and so, welcome to our newly enhanced press release coverage…

  • Lords Rwanda Bill votes: “Morally bankrupt government” defeated five times
  • Ed Davey visits Chancellor’s seat ahead of Budget as GP funding in Surrey slashed by £10 million
  • January the worst month on record for waits over 12 hours at A&E
  • Scot Lib Dems respond as council debt at record levels

Lords Rwanda Bill votes: “Morally bankrupt government” defeated five times

Responding to the series of five heavy defeats for the government on their Rwanda Bill in the House of Lords this evening, which saw several Conservative peers voting against the government’s position, Liberal Democrat Leader in the Lords Dick Newby said:

For months this Conservative government has been pushing this policy that does nothing to solve the asylum backlog. This Bill has cost hundreds of millions of pounds, and doesn’t combat dangerous Channel crossings or create safe, legal routes.

By declaring Rwanda safe when it is clearly anything but, and excluding the courts, the Bill also undermines the rule of law. It is the product of a morally and politically bankrupt Government.

Ed Davey visits Chancellor’s seat ahead of Budget as GP funding in Surrey slashed by £10 million

  • GP funding in Surrey fell by 5.3% in real terms between 2018/19 and 2022/23, equivalent to a £9.2 million cut when accounting for inflation
  • Funding per patient took an even starker hit, falling by 8.6% in real terms resulting in a £14 per patient shortfall
  • Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey will visit a GP surgery in Jeremy Hunt’s seat ahead of the Budget to call on the Chancellor to cancel his planned £1.3 billion real terms cut to NHS spending
  • A recent poll of the Chancellor’s seat showed it was at risk of falling to the Lib Dems with voters in the seat naming the NHS as their top priority as 59% of them had close friends and family who had struggled to get a GP appointment

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will today (Tuesday 5th March) visit a GP surgery in the Chancellor’s Godalming and Ash constituency ahead of the Budget to demand that Hunt cancel his planned real terms NHS spending cuts.

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