Tag Archives: ed davey

Momentum builds for Lib Dems in N Shropshire as Ed Davey visits again…

So the Lib Dems are certainly dominating with tweets on North Srhopshire and also with campaigning on the ground.

The campaign is really taking off as party members from all over the country visit. If, like me, you can’t travel at the moment, see under the cut for details of how you can be part of this.

There won’t be many from further away than Alistair Carmichael who has been in Wem this weekend instead of at home in Orkney.

This has all the hallmarks of the Great Lib Dem By-Election campaigns. It’s hard work and lots of fun!

And Ed Davey is enjoying himself, he’s back for his third visit in two weeks:

He spoke to the local paper, telling them:

When I am talking to people on their doorsteps I would think about a third of them are telling me about problems they had faced themselves.

I have been told of eight to nine-hour waits for ambulances – that really shocked me.”

The Liberal Democrat leader raised the issue of the closure of North Shropshire ambulance stations in the House of Commons.

London Ambulance Service changed its mind about closing down stations. Here West Midlands Ambulance Service has already closed Oswestry and Market Drayton,” he said.

And here are some of the others who have flocked to the constituency this weekend:

 

 

But there might be all sorts of reasons that you can’t get there. Read on to find out how else you can help.

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Look who’s turned up in North Shropshire…

Look who spent their Sunday in North Shropshire…

Ed made around 16 visits to Chesham and Amersham earlier this Summer. He is the first party leader to show up in the by-election caused by the resignation of Owen Paterson over allegations of paid advocacy.

The Lib Dem campaign seems to have got off to a very good start. My spies tell me that we have delivered a LOT of leaflets this weekend. Given that we didn’t know this by-election was happening until Thursday lunchtime, that is impressive.

We haven’t selected a candidate yet, but I suspect that will happen very quickly.

Ed told local activists in Whitchurch:

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives are pumping sewage into our rivers and sleaze into our politics. People in North Shropshire including many lifelong Conservative voters are sick of having their concerns ignored and being taken for granted.

It is clear that the Liberal Democrats are the challengers to the Conservatives in North Shropshire. Labour and the Greens cannot win here.

For too long, the Conservatives have left North Shropshire lagging behind with the local NHS facing real difficulties. A Liberal Democrat by-election victory would send a powerful message to the Conservatives that the people of North Shropshire need to be listened to.

He was accompanied by Helen Morgan, our candidate in the 2019 General Election, who said:

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Davey: Government is taking carers for granted again

Carers UK today release a report showing that one in five unpaid carers fear they may not be able to cope financially over the next 12 months.

And along with that, carers face increasing strains on their health and wellbeing.

From the report:

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen 81% of carers take on increasing hours of care, often with less or no outside support. This has had a significant and detrimental impact on carers’ health and wellbeing; over two-thirds of carers (69%) reported that their mental health has worsened, and 64% of carers said their physical health has got worse as a result of caring in the
pandemic. Our results confirm that the pandemic is continuing to have a
negative impact on carers’ own health and wellbeing and they are facing
additional health inequalities.

Ed Davey, himself a lifelong carer for parents, grandparents and now his disabled son responded to the report:

With the cost of living spiralling this winter these damning figures show the struggle that many unpaid carers face.

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WATCH: Wendy and Ed take part in cross party Make Votes Matter video

Wendy Chamberlain and Ed Davey represent the Liberal Democrats in a new video for the Make Votes Matter campaign:

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LibLink: Ed Davey: China will dictate the success of COP 26

When it comes to major global climate change talks, Lib Dem leader Ed Davey has way more experience than Boris Johnson. As Climate Change Secretary, he knows how to bring people across the world together and make progress.

He has written in the Standard about the challenges facing those who want to reach a binding agreement to limit carbon emissions and therefore temperature rises.

China is key. Unless they come on board, it will be very difficult to make the necessary changes. Ed says how he did it the last time:

Having led the UK’s negotiations at three previous COPs, I know the Chinese are tough. In my time we used air pollution to reel China into the fold. Smog is a national crisis in China, killing hundreds of thousands every year, if not millions.

When I appeared on China’s equivalent of BBC’s Question Time, solving air pollution was the only question. How had we eradicated London’s smogs? So we made the link: tackle local air pollution and, at the same time, global air pollution. China was won over for the Paris Treaty. But what we need this time is far, far bigger. For Glasgow to succeed, the UK must lead the task to persuade China to go much further — to reduce and end coal usage far earlier and far faster than it currently plans.

He says that there are carrots as well as sticks:

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Ed Davey replies robustly to a Tory MP’s enquiry about our selection procedures

Philip Davies MP recently wrote to Ed Davey enquiring about the Liberal Democrats’ internal selection procedures.

Ed’s reply is a joy to behold! It is worth reading the correspondence in full.

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Ed Davey takes on “sexist dinosaur” Philip Davies with humour

It’s not often I’ve felt the need to thank Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley for anything. I am kind of glad, though, that he felt the need to write to Ed Davey on House of Commons paper to complain that we didn’t use an all-women shortlist when we selected Bobby Dean as our candidate for Carshalton and Wallington, because Ed’s blistering, beautifully crafted response showed a new side to him.

Davies’ attitude is surprising given that he’s actively campaigned against measures to protect women for some time. Back in 2017, Laura Bates wrote a brilliant article in the Guardian outlining some of the worst. She said:

He has previously described feminists as “zealots”, voted against equalities legislation, argued against equality targets in the workplace and once tabled a private member’s bill that would have repealed the Sex Discrimination Act 2002. Last year, he spoke at a conference organised by the Justice for Men and Boys party, which is known for presenting petty “whining feminist” certificates to women’s rights advocates, and promoting inflammatory, misogynistic articles on its website such as one entitled “13 reasons women lie about being raped”.

Charming.

Now, I have always been in favour of all-women shortlists, but the fact is that they were so successful that we are not allowed to use them any more because our Parliamentary party in Westminster is 2/3 women. I don’t think it is fair, given the huge democratic deficit women face. There are only 222 women out of 650 in Parliament. It just isn’t good enough when your all-time high is 34%.

Ed just let Davies have it in return:

Writing on party paper, way more appropriate for the purpose than Commons stationery, Ed reminded us all of Davies’ prior views and expressed and pleasure that he may have finally seen the light:

I can only imagine that your interest has been triggered by a “Road to Damascus” moment and a realisation that we live in 2021 not 1821. Making a transition from sexist dinosaur to someone who champions the rights of women will not be easy for you. The list of people you need to apologise to is long.

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Lib Dems oppose new oil drilling site

Ed Davey is quoted extensively in the Independent on the plans to build a new oil drilling site in Surrey at Horse Hill, which is not far from Gatwick Airport.

Surrey County Council’s decision to permit the development will be reviewed in the Court of Appeal next month after challenges by local residents. The Government is expected to defend the decision – just days before COP26.

Ed has written to Alok Sharma, the climate minister:

This new oil field is the equivalent to ministerial colleagues breaking your cricket bat just as you walk out to the crease at Cop26.

Your job is to hold China to account for their new oil infrastructure – how can you do that when your government is building its own?

As the minister responsible for Cop26, you must put party allegiances aside, and call for the government to oppose this new oil field and immediately call in the planning application.

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WATCH: Sir Ed Davey pays a moving tribute to Sir David Amess

During yesterday’s House of Commons tributes to Sir David Amess, our leader Sir Ed Davey made this moving speech.

To a hushed chamber, Ed showed great sympathy to David Amess’ Concervative colleagues. He quoted from local Lib Dem councillors in Southend constituency. And he recalled the killing of Andrew Pennington and the injuring of Nigel Jones.

It is a very moving, dignified and heartfelt tribute.

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Ed Davey calls for extension of Warm Homes Discount scheme to help poorest with soaring energy costs

On Trevor Phillips on Sky this morning, Ed Davey did a fantastic job of taking down the Conservatives over their “cruel” cuts to Universal Credit.

As a former Secretary of State for Energy, he speaks with some authority on rising fuel prices and how to help the poorest through that.

He called for the Warm Homes Discount, currently worth £140 to those on certain benefits or low incomes to be doubled or tripled and for eligibility to be extended.

He also highlighted how he had continued the insulation programmes in place when he took over, but the Conservatives had failed to keep that work going.

He was also asked about the story this morning that the UK Government had not paid France what it owes for border work. Ed spoke about how people needed safe and legal routes to come to this country to settle as refugees or to be reunited with family.

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Ed Davey calls for Royal Commission to look at ways of ending men’s violence against women and girls

Following yesterday’s sentencing of Sarah Everard’s murderer and further revelations about the Metropolitan Police, Ed Davey, has called for a Royal Commission into male violence against women and girls and for misogyny to be immediately declared a hate crime.

Ed said:

Enough is enough. Since Sarah Everard’s tragic death, 80 women have allegedly been killed at the hands of men. It is time to treat this issue with the most serious response possible.

The undermining of the authority of the police around the safety of women means that only the most senior form of inquiry into this matter will do.

Alongside immediate action to make misogyny a hate crime, a Royal Commission is the best way to bring long lasting change.

The Conservatives promised a Royal Commission in their 2019 manifesto to look into the criminal justice system, in their first year in office. While they failed to deliver then, they should now establish a Commission with a more focused remit, specifically into men perpetrating violence against women and girls.

Violence by men against women and girls is like a pandemic and should be treated with the same attention and urgency. After so many heartbreaking events this year alone it beggars belief that too many women still feel unsafe just walking alone. We can’t live in a country where half of the people in it feel unsafe and under threat both in the street and for too many, tragically, in their own homes.

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Ed Davey: Prioritise NHS and care workers for fuel

The government must ensure that health and care staff, teachers and other essential workers are given priority access to fuel, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has said.

The former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change warned that the government mustn’t “allow their incompetence to damage people’s health and undermine our children’s education.”

It comes amid a warning from the British Medical Association that as pumps run dry “there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs”.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Nurses and doctors are struggling to get to work, vulnerable people

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Davey on the energy crisis and a Tory winter of discontent

Ed Davy makes a storming attack on the Conservative administration into today’s Guardian. The mounting cost of heating bills and food price-hikes due to increasing transport costs and the energy crisis means the poorest people will be hit the hardest. Davey says no one should be surprised that Boris Johnson has dismissed these problems. He wants us to believe it’s a global problem, with nothing unique to the UK. And he wants us to think it will all be over quickly. He is wrong. This is just the latest example of the Conservative party taking people for granted.

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WATCH: Ed Davey’s speech in full

WATEd Davey has just spoken to Federal Conference. He had a specially invited live audience of around 100 people at a venue in Canary Wharf.

Here is the text in full:

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Ed Davey profiled on BBC Radio 4

In his usual, often sardonic, style, Ed Davey has profiled by Mark Coles. In this 15-minute broadcast, we hear things we knew and things we probably didn’t. The profile begins with his birth on Christmas Day. Being orphaned. Neighbours leaving food on the doorstep. His school but good exam performance. Setting up a debating society. Being a prog rocker. Falling asleep at parties. In a gap year working in the local pork pie factory before interrailing and on to Oxford for PPE. Despite bad green jumpers, MI6 tried to recruit him. Rescuing woman from path of ongoing train.

And then …

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The Guardian on Lib Dem strategy: Bringing down the “blue wall”

In an almost effusive leader column, today’s Guardian praises Ed Davey, Lib Dem strategy and calls the Chesham and Amersham victory stunning. It says the Liberal Democrats are determined to make that win just the first step in bringing down the Conservatives’ “blue wall”. Boris Johnson can’t be ejected from Downing Street without a Lib Dem revival. Although Ed Davey will not be telling delegates to go back to their constituencies and “prepare for government” there are good reasons to believe something is happening, including the May by-election results.

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Ed Davey to rule out a coalition with Boris

The Financial Times today reports that Ed Davey will use his conference speech on Sunday to position the party as an unambiguously anti-Tory force. He will vow never help to help put Boris Johnson back into Downing Street.

When asked if the Lib Dems would facilitate a Tory government at the next election, Davey replied: “No.”

Davey defended the decision to hold a virtual conference, arguing that planning was done well in advance before it became apparent what the coronavirus situation would be.

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Senior Lib Dems mark 9/11 anniversary

Senior Lib Dems have been reflecting on 9/11 and its aftermath:

 

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Lib Dems slam Government as National Insurance rises and triple lock suspended

Lib Dem MPs have slammed the Government for breaking two election promises in as many hours.

Today Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak announced that they were going to pay for social care in about the most regressive way possible, by placing the burden on National Insurance. That takes in more lower paid people. The £130 it will cost for someone on £20,000 a year doesn’t sound much, but, believe me, the poorest households will feel every single penny. There were fairer ways of doing this, but you can’t expect that from a Conservative Government.

Emma Kennedy had it right on Twitter:

Ed Davey said of the plans for social care:

These broken manifesto promises are betrayals that will haunt Boris Johnson’s premiership. Whether it’s young working families, carers or small business owners, those catastrophically failed by the Conservatives during the pandemic are now being asked to pick up the tab.

The Liberal Democrats will oppose these unjust plans in Parliament tomorrow and urge all Conservative MPs to do the same. For the past two elections we have been clear about how to fix the social care crisis in a fair and progressive way. The Government must do the sensible thing and sit down with other parties to find a consensus, instead of drawing up divisive policies on the back of a fag packet.

And then we have the Lib Dem triple lock being suspended for a year. The brainchild of our Pensions Minister Steve Webb during the coalitiion years, after miserly 75p rises during Labour’s time in office, it guarantees pensioners a rise in the State Pension equivalent to the greater of average earnings, 2.5% or inflation.

Now, there will be some who will say that a rise of 8% would have been too much and unfair on the young who are bearing the brunt of the pandemic. This is where I would like to see us embrace the power of and to help both. Too many pensioners are living in poverty – 1 in 5 and most of them are women. They will feel the impact of this and not in a good way. Maybe the Government should raise pension credit by 8% to give hem some targetted support.

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Afghans and their loved ones pay the price of a UK PM who doesn’t care

Jo Swinson was right about many things. Just after she became leader in 2019, she told Iain Dale that the worst thing about Boris Johnson is that he just doesn’t care about anything other than himself.

Nowhere has that been more obvious than in the way he has behaved over the evacuation from Afghanistan.

The way you act when you are in a leadership position is a powerful signal to those below you about how important you think something is. If you are passionate about getting something done, it’s very clear.

There’s a reasonable expectation that, at times of crisis, your leaders are going to look a bit like they are devoting everything to sort things out. You want to see a bit of worry, empathy, stress on their faces. We, instead, have a carefully dishevelled Prime Minister looking like he doesn’t have a care in the world, asking stressed staff at the Foreign Office if they are the ones being inundated by emails. I mean, I am sure that if Armando Iannucci had suggested that scene for The Thick of It, they’d have binned the idea as being too far-fetched. Ed Davey said that the video showed Johnson in his true light:

These flippant remarks show Boris Johnson in his true light, uncaring and unable to master the detail during this awful crisis.

The emails he refers to are from desperate family and friends worried that the Taliban will kill their loved ones.

Perhaps if Boris Johnson had understood and planned for the dangers of the Kabul evacuation, thousands of people would not be at crisis point.

Wendy Chamberlain added on Twitter:

Our MPs have been really good at supporting their staff with the emotional impact of this work with Ed taking time to message his appreciation.  Their caseworkers work alongside MPs supporting worried loved ones and all of them really care about the people they are trying to help.

And then we discover from the Observer today that many of the emails sent to the Government from MPs were not even read.

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LibLink: Ed Davey says private capital must switch from dirty to clean

Now here’s an interesting thought. Why not ban any new listings of fossil fuel companies on the London Stock Exchange?

Ed Davey flags up this idea in an interview with The Guardian today to mark his first year as Party Leader.

Under the plan outlined to the Guardian by the Lib Dem leader, Ed Davey, another immediate policy would be to stop new bonds being issued in London to finance oil, coal or gas exploration.

Fossil fuel firms already listed in the UK would then have two years to produce a coherent plan about how they would reach net zero emissions by 2045, or risk being struck off the LSE.

In the longer term, pension funds would have to disinvest from fossil fuels by 2035, with all companies with fossil fuel assets removed from the exchange by 2045.

Ed said:

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Ed Davey: Boris Johnson has failed again

Ed Davey has criticised Boris Johnson for failing to make any progress at the G7 summit today.

He said:

Boris Johnson has come out from this summit with nothing. Britain should stand tall in the world, but this Prime Minister falls short at every turn.

He has failed on the global stage once more, and the consequences could not be more devastating.

We abandoned all those who needed us in their hour of need; those who have put themselves in danger to protect British troops, vulnerable women and girls, and all those who simply fought to make their country a better place to live.

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WATCH: Ed Davey’s Afghanistan speech: Boris Johnson is a national liabilty

Ed Davey had a tough slot today, coming just after Tom Tugendhat’s powerful speech.

He did well, though. He laid bare Boris Johnson’s share of the responsibility for what had happened:

I cannot hold President Biden to account in this House, but I can hold our own Government to account. Our Prime Minister and his Cabinet cannot escape their culpability for this disaster—for both the mistaken decision to withdraw, and how the withdrawal has turned into such a catastrophe. From the Prime Minister’s self-evident lack of influence and clout in Washington, to his negligent inability, yet again, to master his brief

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What should Liberal Democrats be saying about Afghanistan?

Ed Davey called for Parliament to be brought back from its Summer holidays to discuss the growing crisis in Afghanistan. His comments two days ago seem even more urgent now as the Taliban advance on Kabul in an entirely predictable consequence of the withdrawal of US and UK troops from the country.

I am not a fan of military action. There have been very few deployments of our troops I have been in favour of because we often seem to ultimately make things a lot worse. There have been a few exceptions to this, for humanitarian purposes, such as intervention in Kosovo, but it does take a lot to persuade me of the need for it.

On this occasion, our withdrawal before there is a strong enough political and physical  infrastructure to bring stability,  and a better life for the people has put the population in huge danger. Not only that, but the Taliban has form for stoking international terrorism so their presence makes the world less safe.

Joe Biden is in a difficult position. Surely he must know that Afghanistan and the world have become less safe because of the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw US forces, but he is basically worried  of Trump in three years’ time if he sends them back in.  The Trump administration’s peace agreement with the Taliban in February last year was a disgrace with no guarantees on human rights or even a mention of women’s rights. Subsequent talks aimed at finding a political settlement for Afghanistan between the Government and the Taliban had few women in the room.

The Government of Afghanistan’s record on human rights is far from exemplary. Amnesty’s 2020 report on the country said:

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Should we boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics?

As the Olympic Games in Tokyo draw to a close and we look back on two weeks which has laid bare serious issues of wellbeing of athletes and blatant sexism in sport funding, as well as some brilliant performances in an incredible range of sports.

I hadn’t realised negotiating complicated climbing walls at speed was an internationally recognised sport but I swear I didn’t draw breath as I watched people take their lives in their hands.

And the cross country cycling was brutal with all sorts of obstacles thrown in the path of the riders.

I hadn’t been particularly invested in these Games but got drawn in.

Preparing to compete in the biggest of international sporting events is hard enough in the best of circumstances.  Athletes have to endure crushing physical and mental pressures and make huge sacrifices. Behind every length in the swimming pool in an Olympic final are years, maybe decades of getting up at 5am to do a couple of hours in a pool before school and evening training. But the pandemic added an extra layer of complexity to their preparation with athletes having to lift weights in their gardens rather than the gym.

Because of the year’s delay to the 2020 Olympics, it’s just six months until the Olympic circus starts up again for the Winter Olympics. I may be petrified of snow and ice in all its forms if I have to walk on them, but I’m quite happy to watch people lie down on tea trays and speed down helter skelters at amazing speeds, or jump off a high ramp on skis.

The problem with this event is that it takes place in Beijing. Would our participation in these Games in the wake of the brutality of the Chinese Government towards the Uyghur Muslims be in any way appropriate?

Ed Davey thinks not. In February, he called for us to boycott the Games. From The Guardian:

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Ed Davey: Johnson’s refusal to self isolate “Barnard Castle on steroids”

Boris Johnson’s blatant avoidance of self isolation as a staffer who tested positive for Covid further undermines confidence in this Government.

I feel sorry for anyone who has to be around him over the next few days. He could pass a potentially deadly virus on to them or ultimately their vulnerable relatives. It is an anxious time for them.

The Guardian has the story and Ed Davey’s reacton:

The group were tested upon landing, and the official’s result was positive so they went into isolation. Some whose result came back negative were told to make their own way home, while others, including Johnson, finished the tour. The prime minister was then pictured meeting the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, the Scottish Tory leader, Douglas Ross, and the Conservative MP Andrew Bowie.

Johnson and several members of the No 10 contingent are not isolating – but a government source said “the whole lot should be”. The Downing Street spokesperson also refused to say if he had been tested since the positive case was discovered.

Ed Davey, the Lib Dem leader, also called on Johnson to confirm he had not been asked to isolate again. Referring to the excuse Dominic Cummings used for breaking lockdown rules last spring, Davey said of the prime minister: “If it turns out he has scorned his own government’s policy on self-isolation again, the public reaction will be Barnard Castle on steroids.”

This is the second time in 3 weeks that the PM has tried to get away with not isolating after being in contact with someone who has tested positive. It’s not acceptable. If anyone becomes ill as a result of his behaviour, then he will have to take responsibility.

This comes close on the heels of the story about Alok Sharma, our climate change minister, dotting back and forth around red list countries and not quarantining despite being in risky situations of indoor mixing.

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Ed Davey: Government is failing Afghan people

The idea of the Taliban getting closer to power in Afghanistan is very worrying indeed. That it comes at a time when we are withdrawing troops and slashing foreign aid by 78% shows astonishing irresponsibility on behalf of our government.

You can’t just walk away and leave people in the lurch as we are doing.

Ed Davey has spoken of his concerns about the advance of the Taliban:

As the Taliban take swathes of territory on their advance towards Kabul, millions of women and girls are facing the prospect of a new era of injustice, inequality and brutality – while the

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Climate Crisis – the challenge is to confront reality

As COP26 – December’s international convention in Glasgow – becomes a major media focus, the scrutiny of environmental plans and policies will be intensified.

Parties across the political spectra are now preparing proposals that will sound good but not offend their core supporters.  They’ve had plenty of practice.  References to fine words buttering no parsnips date back to at least 1634.

To identify the underlying causes of ecological distress one must first strip away mis-characterisations (it’s just a natural cycle) and finger pointing or ‘othering’ (it’s all their fault) and vested interests that stand in the way of progress.  It’s time then to critically review where leaders think they are leading.

Under Ed Davey the Libdems don’t just have a plan – we have a Green Recovery Plan but is that enough to get to the heart of the issues?  Given the scale of the challenge, are the plan’s elements sufficient?  Will many millions of small initiatives be practical and effective, or are major policy reforms required?

  • Save British Countryside
  • Green Every Home
  • Clean Air for Kids
  • Transport revolution
  • Energy Switch

Looking at the details behind these headlines there is much to applaud – and nothing to cause offence.  But will these elements be enough to arrest the current levels of our planet abuse?

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That 3% rise for NHS staff in England

Lib Dems have been quick to respond to pay rise of 3% to NHS staff in England. Munira Wilson is our Health & Social Care Spokesperson and here she is challenging the Government in the Commons BEFORE the pay rise was announced:

Only a hour later she was tweeting:

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PHOTO FEATURE: Chesham and Amersham by-election

It seems timely to show some of the excellent Getty Images which are available, depicting the Chesham and Amersham campaign. Scroll down to view them all or click on them individually to view them within the Getty Images website.

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