Tag Archives: ed davey

Ed and Layla set out electoral reform hopes

It wouldn’t be a leadership election if we didn’t talk about PR at some point.

Layla and Ed have both written for the Electoral Reform Society setting out what they want to see in terms of changing our rubbish voting system.

Here are some highlights:

Layla

Under my leadership, the Liberal Democrats would therefore look to establish a common cross-party statement of support for legislation for PR ahead of the next elections.

The aim would be to establish a firm pre-election commitment to PR with support from across different parties. Keir Starmer has voiced his support for a fairer, proportional voting system, and it’s becoming clear that Labour is being increasingly disadvantaged by First Past the Post. This means there is an important opportunity for all those who believe in electoral reform to deliver on it.

I believe that under my leadership, the Liberal Democrats would be better placed to have these discussions with Labour and other political parties, and to help build a cross-party consensus for electoral reform.

Electing me as leader would send a strong signal that the Liberal Democrats are refreshed as a party and have put coalition behind us. That is why I am urging all those who believe strongly in electoral reform to support me at this election, so we can move forward together as a country and build a voting system in which everyone has a voice.

Ed

In respect of elections it is shameful that the United Kingdom continues to use the antiquated, First Past the Post System. I believe we should look to introduce a proportional system to both Westminster and local elections, at the earliest possible moment.

This is not just because the system is needed for both, but because the problem in some local areas is acute. There are areas which have become almost ‘one party states’ with votes for all mainstream parties being ignored and authorities left with little or no opposition scrutiny.

I am passionate about devolving power – all the more reason to make sure the scrutiny of these bodies is representative and effective. I believe there is an appetite to devolve powers from some in other parties and think making common cause on reforming our electoral process as we pursue this is a way to secure the changes we need.

Other areas around how we run elections are ripe for reform – we should introduce automatic voter registration to make it easier for people to vote and scrap the ridiculous plans to require voter ID at polling stations. The Conservatives’ desire to require ID creates another barrier and ends up with more people – likely from minority communities – not exercising their democratic right: it is indefensible.

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31 July 2020 – the day’s press releases

  • Lockdown announcement shows Government still doesn’t have a grip on virus crisis
  • Davey: Johnson must do more to protect livelihoods in the north
  • Davey: Government must step up financial support in light of further lockdown
  • Government must legalise humanist marriages without further delay
  • Johnson and Cummings acting like despots with plans to restrict judicial review
  • PM’s decision to give his cronies peerages further bloats House of Lords

Lockdown announcement shows Government still doesn’t have a grip on virus crisis

Responding to the Government’s change in guidance stating that separate households will not be able to meet indoors from today in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

Throughout this crisis, the Government’s communications have been an utter disaster. To announce a regional lockdown of millions of people not only just hours before it’s enforced, but with no clarity on the new rules coming into place, is beyond comprehension.

Considering their ability to tackle this pandemic relies on the clarity of messaging coming from the Government, it is unsurprising that just yesterday it was announced that England has had the highest excess mortality across Europe. If the Government want the British public to follow the rules they are announcing, then they must be clear, ahead of time, and they must have forewarned local authorities.

It remains unclear at what point Boris Johnson’s Government will finally manage to get a grip on the coronavirus crisis. Yet more mistakes reveal how necessary it is for an inquiry to be launched now – so that Ministers can learn the lessons ahead of a potential second wave.

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30 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Highest levels of excess deaths demands Government learn lessons
  • Liberal Democrats call for review into school exclusions
  • Liberal Democrats: Government are failing survivors of sexual violence
  • Government must step in with Green incentives to save the car industry
  • Liberal Democrats: Record high of self harm in prisons shows extent of crisis
  • Leaked letter shows thousands of care home residents being exposed to virus

Highest levels of excess deaths demands Government learn lessons

Responding to ONS statistics that reveal England has had the highest excess mortality across Europe in the first half of 2020, Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

The unforgiving consequences of the pandemic have left too many families mourning loved ones. It didn’t need to be like this.

It is clear the Government has made mistakes. With a possible second wave occurring in countries across Europe at the moment, the Prime Minister must launch an independent inquiry immediately.

This is not a time for protecting political interests. This is a time to learn from mistakes and protect the country from more heartache.

Liberal Democrats call for review into school exclusions

Responding to new figures for permanent and fixed-period school exclusions in England for 2018/19, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

These figures make appalling reading. Every year thousands of children – often the most vulnerable – are being written off by our education system. Children eligible for free school meals are more than four times as likely to be permanently excluded – that says it all.

This Government should be ashamed that they have presided over continually high rates of permanent exclusion. Cutbacks to school budgets undoubtedly play a part in this. So too does the culture which prizes exam results and league table rankings over care and support.

We need see action to address the disproportionate number of exclusions among pupils on free school meals, as well as Black Caribbean, Gypsy and Roma, and Traveller pupils. That’s why we need to see a review into disparities in school exclusions.

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Daisy Cooper MP writes….200+ Liberal Democrats back Ed Davey as the leader with ‘experience, vision and judgement’

Each week, LDV allows each leadership candidate one article on LDV. This is Ed Davey’s for this week.

As ballots open for the Liberal Democrat leadership election, we are endorsing Ed Davey MP as the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

We believe the Liberal Democrats need a leader with the experience, vision and judgement to navigate us through these turbulent times for our party and our country. The coronavirus pandemic leaves us facing economic chaos. The risk of a no-deal Brexit will only heighten those challenges. The fight against the climate emergency is ever more pressing. Our leader must be someone with the attention to detail and policy depth to tackle that triple threat. Ed Davey’s experience as a trained economist and of trebling renewable energy in Government are exactly what we need right now.

The party needs to rebuild on solid foundations, with a leader that will drive the party forward at a national level and will work with local parties and grassroots members in order to help them win crucial elections in 2021 and beyond. Ed Davey’s knowledge of the party and experience of winning in local, regional and national elections, as well as inside Government, will prove vital to that rebuilding operation.

Ed has presented a clear, coherent vision for the future of the party that stands for a fairer, greener, more caring country. A country where we give universal free childcare to parents, where we invest £150bn in green jobs and renewable homes and where we give the 10 million carers in the UK a new, better deal.

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29 July 2020 – the overnight press releases

  • PAC report on social care demands lessons are learned
  • Government continues to ignore bad deal economic warning
  • Government must do more to get young people into work

PAC report on social care demands lessons are learned

Commenting on a Public Accounts Committee report which condemns the “slow, inconsistent and at times negligent approach” to the social care sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, Liberal Democrat MP and member of the committee Sarah Olney said:

The coronavirus has left people worried about their future and mourning loved ones. While we have relied on frontline staff to protect us, the Government’s PPE shortages seriously let NHS and care workers down.

People deserve better. Ministers must read and act on this report before it is too late to prepare for a second wave. That means rapidly upscaling the strategy to test, trace and isolate every case of coronavirus to keep people safe and prevent new surges.

To improve public confidence, the Prime Minister must set out a timetable for the independent inquiry into the Government’s actions. With that, we can ensure the same mistakes never happen again.

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28 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Davey calls for PM to put Martin Forde QC in charge of a Coronavirus Inquiry
  • Davey: PM must take second wave risk seriously
  • Government gaps in support for freelancers leaving employers to pick up the tab
  • Government must apply same human rights standards to US when it comes to exports
  • Dodds: ‘Swansea Tidal Lagoon is a vital part of our post-Covid recovery’
  • Davey calls for PM to put Martin Forde QC in charge of a Coronavirus Inquiry

    Today Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has written to the Prime Minister with a plan for an immediate inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic.

    Ed has called on the Prime Minister to appoint Martin Forde QC as the chair of an independent coronavirus inquiry and to start work immediately. Martin Forde was the independent adviser on the design of the Government’s Windrush Compensation Scheme and is chair of the independent inquiry into Labour’s report on the party’s handling of antisemitism complaints.

    Ed also released proposed Terms of Reference for the independent inquiry agreed to by the Covid19 Bereaved Families for Justice.

    A spokesperson for the Covid19 Bereaved Families for Justice said:

    Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice are relieved that Ed Davey has seen the urgent need for a rapid inquiry.

    The Government’s own ‘Preparing for a challenging winter 20/21’ report (The Academy of Medical Sciences) predicts over 119,000 excess deaths this winter if urgent action is not taken now.

    That action has to be informed by this transparent inquiry. It’s time the Prime Minister put the well-being of the nation above politics.

    Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

    The Prime Minister confirmed to me weeks ago that there would be an independent inquiry, but we have seen no action from the Government since. Bereaved families I speak to are so disappointed that the Government is yet to begin an inquiry. They just don’t want any more families to go through what they have.

    The coronavirus threat remains very real. Were a second wave to happen during the winter, it could be even more deadly and damaging than the first. The Government must immediately start an inquiry so that we can learn from mistakes and properly plan for a second wave.

    This plan has been agreed by the Covid19 Bereaved Families for Justice. I hope Boris Johnson takes it seriously and sees it as an opportunity to get an inquiry going as soon as possible.

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Ed Davey writes: Putting Liberalism at the heart of diversity and anti-racism

Earlier this month, an open letter was published to both leadership candidates about race and diversity. I promised in the comments to publish a full response, because this is an issue that I take incredibly seriously. Our party’s record on diversity is poor – and when it comes to representation of Black and Asian communities it is unacceptable. It will be a central purpose of my leadership to sort this – working with people inside and outside our party. 

Two years ago, the Alderdice Review, set out the problem with great clarity – with clear recommendations for sorting the problem. Yet the Thornhill Review of the 2019 General Election rightly concludes progress has been glacially slow. This work now needs to be super-charged. 

It does require leadership from the top – the top of every level in our party. 

Take my constituency of Kingston and Surbiton. It is the most diverse of any constituency we currently hold in Parliament. And after 20 years of working with our large Tamil, Korean, Pakistani and Gujarati  populations, we now have one of the most diverse party memberships in the country and 8 out of our 38 councillors have BAME backgrounds. 

And while I know we still have much more to do, I do think my experience leading this local effort will be useful in the nationwide effort we must now urgently engage in. 

The key to our success in Kingston has been hard work – going out to listen and engage with every community in our area. I personally visit our mosques, Hindu temples and churches very regularly – indeed, for our Sikh community, I even helped them establish Kingston’s first gurdwara. And I’m a regular at the schools many of our diverse communities hold every Saturday to teach different languages and cultures – from Urdu to Arabic, Korean to Tamil. 

It’s this reach out I would lead and would ask every local party to lead. As a party, we have to do better than simply stand with our arms open and then hope people will come to us.

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Where to see Ed and Layla this weekend

It’s the last weekend in the leadership election before the ballot papers go out. Already there has been a good mix of regional and themed hustings to put the two candidates, Layla Moran and Ed Davey, through their paces.

There are five opportunities to see them in action over the next two days.

First up, the London hustings between 3 and 4:30 this afternoon.

Tonight, between 7 and 8:30, it’s the Welsh event and tomorrow the Scottish hustings take place between 2 and 3:30 pm.

What these three areas have in common is that they all have mayoral, Parliament or Senedd elections next May so it’s a chance to see how well the candidates understand the political environments in those very different parts of the UK.

The final hustings of the weekend, the North East, takes place tomorrow evening between 7 and 8:30 pm.

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24 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Drop in overseas visitors points to support need for tourism
  • Care sector is facing a new crisis as we emerge from lockdown – Davey
  • Scrap costly Police & Crime Commissioners
  • PM’s refusal to learn lessons shows why immediate inquiry is essential

Drop in overseas visitors points to support need for tourism

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron has called for more support to help the tourism sector as ONS statistics published today revealing there were 1.4 million visits to the UK by overseas visitors in March 2020, 54% fewer than in March 2019.

The Party has previously pushed for a review into the impact of coronavirus on the sector, to take into account options such as an extension of the furlough, grants and loans schemes until 2021.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:

Countless businesses are facing serious financial hardship and many more are worried about job losses, particularly across the tourism sector.

With half the usual footfall from flights in March, which we know has been worse since, Ministers must see this as a reminder that the tourism industry must be given the tools it needs to recover.

That is why Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to extend furlough support until it is safe and create and enhance bespoke packages for sectors like hospitality, leisure and culture.

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Centre interviews the Liberal Democrat leadership contenders (Part 2: Ed Davey)


In this podcast we covered a huge amount. It included academic selection at the age of 11, Academies, Brexit, electric cars, UBI and lots more. Below I have looked at some of the areas in the discussion that I found particularly of interest. You can listen to the full podcast here.

The first thing was selection at the age of 11 which has created grammar schools, secondary moderns and in some cases technical colleges. In this we debated at length about the system and its issues with the low proportion of SEN and disabled students in these schools. We also discussed how it could be fixed with Ed suggesting ideas such as grants and including this as an element of Ofsted reports. Whilst this is a step in the right direction I am very much of the opinion, as I said in the podcast, that selection should be scraped as I don’t see any way to actually get around this issue. However, I was very happy that Ed was open to reviewing the issue in the future, not least as we have a paper coming out on this issue in a few months.

The second area I found interesting in our discussion was, of course. Brexit. As I mention in the podcast, this is the second time I have debated with Ed on this issue, the other time being the Victoria Derbyshire debate between Ed and Jo. Once again Ed showed he was passionate on the issue of Brexit but had moved towards accepting of a softer Brexit for the time being. However, I was a little worried at the mentions of a “Norway +” or a “Norway +++” model, something not really possible as it would require trying to simultaneously apply EFTA and EU free trade deals. I do still have some worries that if we are to sell a coherent policy on the EU to the public, it needs to be thoroughly researched first.

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23 July 2020 – the overnight press release

Lack of economic planning for a pandemic highlights Government failures

Responding to a Public Accounts Committee report published today that finds an “astonishing” failure on the part of the Government to prepare for the economic impact of a pandemic, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Everyone agrees that COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge, but the Government’s failure to ensure there was a contingency plan at the ready has left thousands of families with no help whatsoever, and thousands of businesses making redundancies or closing down.

Considering that pandemics are one of the key risks any Government plans for, if

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21 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Pay rises without cash mean more cuts to schools and the police – Davey
  • Government must be clear higher debt won’t mean cuts to vital public services
  • Delyn MP must end ‘saga of scandals’
  • PM must announce a full investigation into potential Russian interference of our democracy
  • Braverman must apologise for endorsing Cummings

Pay rises without cash mean more cuts to schools and the police – Davey

Responding to reports that nearly 900,000 public sector workers will receive a pay rise out of existing departmental budgets, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said:

Accepting the independent review body’s pay recommendations was the very least the Chancellor could do. Yet, as overall budgets remain unchanged, the reality is our schools, police and wider public services will struggle to meet this award without significant cuts elsewhere in their budgets, including redundancies.

And utterly failing to recognise the outstanding effort of social care staff during the COVID-19 crisis is simply not acceptable. Councils and the wider care sector must be properly funded.

Since the early days of this pandemic, Liberal Democrats have been the first to argue for a better deal for NHS and care staff, yet Ministers seem to think that warm words and hand claps are sufficient. Boris Johnson should be ashamed for neglecting NHS and care staff again.

Government must be clear higher debt won’t mean cuts to vital public services

Responding to ONS statistics showing that Government borrowing for June was £35.5 billion – around five times more than the same month last year – Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

In an unprecedented economic challenge like the coronavirus pandemic people must come before the numbers. Any Chancellor should go beyond normal borrowing to help protect peoples’ health and livelihoods.

What the Government must now make clear is that, after Covid, higher debt will not and must not mean cuts to vital public services or less investment for our crumbling infrastructure – especially in the parts of the UK that need it most.

Liberal Democrats stand firm that we must grow our way out of this crisis with a Green Recovery Plan that will invest billions to transform our economy, fight climate change and create millions of good-quality jobs.

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UPDATED: Watch Ed and Layla at hustings

This post will be regularly updated with links to recordings of  Ed and Layla at the many hustings events that are taking place.

I’ll update it and re-post it whenever there is something new to add.

First up, the very first formal hustings, with the Social Liberal Forum on Saturday 11th July.

The most recent hustings took place on 1st August – the Norfolk County

Also this week, the Yorkshire and the Humber event

 

And a themed hustings – the Green Agenda, from Wednesday 29th July

The first of the party’s big set piece hustings, on jobs and the economy took place on Wednesday 15th July:

More events under the cut. First South Central from 11 July

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17 July 2020 – today’s press release

PM change to guidance is reckless and flies in the face of experts

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement on the change to guidance on using public transport and going to workplaces in England, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

While we all want life to get back to normal as soon as possible, people remain rightly worried about coronavirus. The Prime Minister’s plan to change current guidance for working at home and public transport use is utterly reckless and flies in the face of experts, including the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

With Government testing and tracing plans in an

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16 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • We need a proper Green Recovery Plan to protect jobs
  • People deserve better than this Government’s NHS Test and Trace system
  • Government must not use commission as an excuse to stall on tackling racism
  • Government’s half-baked merger plan is threat to international aid

We need a proper Green Recovery Plan to protect jobs

Responding to ONS unemployment figures showing that the number of workers on payrolls has fallen by 649,000 between March and June, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Every single person losing their job reminds us that coronavirus is a tragedy that cuts across every aspect of people’s lives. Managing this health and economic crisis demands the best possible leadership at the top of our country.

The Conservative Government’s shambolic handling of the pandemic has made the economic challenge we are facing far worse than it need have been. We need much better political leaders than Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings if we are going to help those losing their jobs.

With this sharp rise in job losses, the Chancellor must urgently look at additional support, otherwise there will be an unemployment tsunami in October.

And we need a real vision for creating new jobs and the jobs of the future. The Chancellor’s summer statement offered little more than a sticking plaster. The Liberal Democrats are instead calling for a major £150bn Green Recovery Plan that will create millions of good quality jobs, safeguarding the UK’s future.

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15 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats secure PM commitment to independent inquiry
  • Consequences of Government cuts for BBC is now clear as day
  • Failing Graying has undone PM, now ISC must publish Russia report
  • PM running scared of real scrutiny from Intelligence Committee

Liberal Democrats secure PM commitment to independent inquiry

Acting Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has today secured a commitment from the Prime Minister to an independent inquiry into the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis and called for the timetable to be set out immediately.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions today, Ed Davey warned that under Boris Johnson’s leadership the country has suffered “one of the worst death rates in the world and Europe’s worst death rate of health and care workers.”

Making reference to Boris Johnson’s support for an independent inquiry into the Iraq War, the Liberal Democrat Acting Leader again urged the Prime Minister to “commit in principle to a future independent inquiry”.

In response, the Prime Minister accepted his Government will “learn the lessons of this pandemic” and confirmed there will be in independent inquiry.

Ed Davey was the first party leader to call for an independent inquiry, back on the 21st of April, and the Liberal Democrats have consistently made the case since.

Speaking after the exchange, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

The Coronavirus crisis is taking an enormous toll on people and our country.

It is clear the Government has failed on so many fronts – failing to prepare properly for a pandemic, failing to protect care home residents and social care workers, and failing to properly communicate their plans and so much more.

With so many loved ones lost, people deserve to know what happened. After months of refusing the public that opportunity, I am pleased the Prime Minister has finally accepted Liberal Democrat demands for an independent inquiry.

The Prime Minister must now set out the timetable of this inquiry, and it must begin as soon as possible. The Government must be held to account to ensure that the same mistakes are never repeated.

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14 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Government must be more ambitious to save the economy
  • UK needs a Green Recovery plan to deal with biggest recession in 300 years
  • Liberal Democrats welcome Government’s “screeching u-turn” on Huawei

Government must be more ambitious to save the economy

Responding to this morning’s monthly GDP estimate from the ONS, showing that the economy grew by only 1.8% in May – lower than the 5.5% forecast by economists – Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Regrettably this dashes any hope of an early recovery and is bad news for millions of people experiencing real financial hardship. It confirms fears that

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13 July 2020 – the overnight press releases

  • Children of parents who lose jobs over summer risk losing free school meals
  • New Govt campaign will fill businesses with horror

Children of parents who lose jobs over summer risk losing free school meals

Children of parents who lose their jobs over the coming weeks risk missing out on free school meals over the summer because of a loophole in the scheme, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran has warned.

It comes following a wave of job losses this week, with John Lewis and Boots alone cutting 5,300 jobs.

The current government guidelines say you must apply for a voucher for the Covid …

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11-12 July 2020 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Govt must improve testing and tracing or they risk a second wave
  • Wasting money on Britain’s borders just more incompetence from Johnson’s Govt

Lib Dems: Govt must improve testing and tracing or they risk a second wave

Responding to Michael Gove’s comments this morning on the public returning to work and whether wearing face coverings should be mandatory in shops, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

Face coverings should be worn in enclosed public spaces, and it is important that any government guidance on the issue is clear on exactly when and where they are recommending the public should wear them.

However,

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Where to see the leadership candidates this weekend

With Layla and Ed duly nominated, they now embark on an eye-watering series of hustings events across the country. There are 4 this weekend.

In just under an hour you can see them at the Social Liberal Forum q and a at 11 am.

At 3:25pm, both candidates will be put through a job interview style interview at the Scottish special conference by former candidate Katy Gordon, who’s a senior HR person and John Ferry, a journalist. I wonder if they’ve been modelling their interviewing style on Claude from The Apprentice.

Tonight at 6pm, it is the South Central hustings.

Tomorrow at 6pm, it’s the Yorkshire and the Humber’s turn to question the candidates.

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Final nomination totals for leadership candidates


These are the final figures for the nominations for the next Leader of the Liberal Democrats – more details here.

You can see both candidates in action at the many hustings meetings (all via Zoom or YouTube, of course). Some are regional in character, others focus on specific policy areas or strategy.

Everyone who was a party member by yesterday will be able to vote in the election, which will run from 30th July to 26th August, with the results expected to be declared on 27th August.

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8 July 2020 – yesterday’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Yet more lies from PM as he tries to dodge blame for care homes crisis
  • Davey: We must match the scale of the crisis with the courage to invest

Lib Dems: Yet more lies from PM as he tries to dodge blame for care homes crisis

Responding to Boris Johnson’s comments during Prime Minister’s Questions that “no one knew early on in the pandemic that the virus was being passed on asymptomatically”, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

Yet again, we are seeing more lies from the Prime Minister. He and his Ministers knew about the asymptomatic transmission of this virus,

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7 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Davey: we need a devolution revolution to drive the green revolution
  • Govt decision on arms sales to Saudi Arabia shows lack of humanity
  • Govt green recovery plans do not match ambition of other countries

Davey: we need a devolution revolution to drive the green revolution

Today Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has delivered a keynote speech to the Local Government Association outlining his plan for a devolution revolution to drive a green revolution.

Ed Davey called for the government to make £45bn new funding available to local authorities over three years alongside a range of new powers so that local government can …

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6 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • The PM blaming care homes for his failure is shameful
  • Landmark domestic abuse legislation passes House of Commons

The PM blaming care homes for his failure is shameful

Responding to the Prime Minister’s comments today saying that “we discovered too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have,” Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

For weeks Boris Johnson told us he and his ministers had put a protective ring round our care homes. That was a lie and the public knew it. Today he is trying to shift the blame to those who risked

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Four ways Lib Dem MPs stood up for those with no income

MPs’ inboxes at the moment are flooded with the millions of people who are getting no support at all during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Imagine what that must feel like?

It’s people like self-employed hairdressers, physiotherapists, cleaners, decorators, people who own self-catering holiday homes who have been left with nothing.

Often their income from self employment was not that high anyway so they don’t have any sort of cushion.

After almost 4 months of this, many are at breaking point.

Liberal Democrat MPs have consistently called for more help for people who have been affected like this.

Here are four things that they have done this week:

Christine Jardine pressed the Prime Minister to introduce a Universal Basic Income

There are 3 million people in this country who get no support at the moment because they are self-employed or on contract. Our black, Asian and ethnic minority communities have an unemployment rate that is twice the national average and women are disproportionately affected by covid-19. The Prime Minister said a few minutes ago that he stands ready to help. Will he look at a universal basic income so that these people can get the help that they need now?

Typically the PM brushed off her suggestion, showing how little he cares or understands bout the predicament faced by too many.

Ed Davey called on the Government to scrap changes which would disadvantage contractors as reported by City AM:

Self-employed people face an unprecedented threat to their livelihoods due to the pandemic,” he said.

“The Conservative government’s insistence on their IR35 policy risks making the plight of many self-employed people even worse.

“Delaying the change to next April will do next to nothing to reduce the impact of Covid-19 which will be felt for months – if not years – to come. This is not the time to add to the burden of the self-employed.

And Jamie Stone is starting a new All Party Parliamentary Group which meets this coming Tuesday and aims to advocate for those who have been excluded:

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Coalition

Friends, Lib Dems, countryfolk, lend me your ears. I come to bury the coalition, not to praise it.

But I’m not here to damn it either. I just want to move on.

Same-sex marriage. The Green Investment Bank. The tripling of our renewable energy usage. All Lib Dem policies that we should be fiercely proud of. But, if we’re going to celebrate them, we need to acknowledge that they came at a human cost – and that we voted for that.

As a party, we are too quick to brush off these people who we hurt as collateral. We shrug and say compromises had to be made. But those “compromises” were human beings – some of them within our own party. I have nothing but respect and admiration for their resilience and their faith in our movement. However, their forgiveness does not absolve us.

I don’t think it has to be a mark of shame on us forever. But too many people just don’t trust us to not jump back in bed with the Tories. It’s why our refusal to back Jeremy Corbyn at the General Election, whilst electorally wise and the right thing to do, was met with such anger.

By expending all that energy defending the coalition, voters hear “we think working with the Tories was a good thing”. That puts us a step back when we’re trying to convince people we’re not going to do it again.

Furthermore, we cannot expect the public to move on when we refuse to do so ourselves.

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Three things we don’t need in this leadership campaign: a goody, a baddy and more policy

Embed from Getty Images

In politics it’s always tempting to think we can resolve problems by resorting to the same old solutions. That usually involves lionising a goody, demonising a baddy and a rollicking good debate about policy.

In the debate over our leadership, I’m seeing many people seeking to create a goody and a baddy, and loads of people banging on about policy.

But I don’t think we should be focusing on those in this leadership campaign. Here’s why.

Let’s start with the first problem. The traditional good v bad argument. We need to stop this nonsense. The fact that Ed served in the coalition should absolutely not rule him out from being the leader. In fact, we are fortunate to have somebody with his experience in government on the ballot paper. His achievements on the environment are matched by few in modern politics and he has an inspiring, touching personal story to tell too.

Layla is a talented politician, an effective campaigner and an excellent communicator. She may well enable us to access a demographic that has largely ignored us in the past three elections. It’s right that she’s willing to try to talk to people who just want a bit of ‘hopes and dreams’ in their politics and bought into that element of the Labour message. That’s a good thing and we should welcome it rather than deliberately misinterpreting her words.

This isn’t a battle of good v bad, it’s one liberal taking on another. Let’s not engage in the unattractive factionalism that we dislike so much in other parties. That gets us nowhere and gives succour to our opponents.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 14 Comments

Liberal Democrats in support of black lives and black livelihoods

An open letter to the candidates for Leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

3rd July 2020

Dear Leadership Candidate,

Though the espoused commitment of the Liberal project to achieve racial equality within the UK may indeed be sincere, a lack of diverse representation at all levels of the party betrays the fact that as liberals we have found it inexplicably difficult to practice what we preach.

In a post imperial, post-Brexit Britain, the rightful place for British Liberalism surely, should be at the vanguard of the fight for racial justice and equality. Yet on issues of race, we find ourselves perennially navel-gazing, apparently stuck in a holding pattern of our own making. The pace of change within the party, frustratingly glacial at best.

Martin Luther King taught that though legislation may be effective in restraining the heartless, it has little effect in changing a man’s heart and ridding him of his implicit biases.

If Grenfell, Windrush and Covid-19 have taught us anything post-Macpherson, it is that the cancer of racism is thriving in the UK; albeit, having evolved a degree of invisibility, metastasizing into aversive forms such as silence, stonewalling and political inertia, the manifestations of which continue to be largely ignored.

When Derek Chauvin placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck, hands in pockets, eyes devoid of empathy, emboldened by the wilful and negligent silence of his fellow officers, the cloak of invisibility slipped. The racial animus was evident to all who observed. And on this occasion, could not be hidden, ignored or explained away.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

1 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt must not abandon Hong Kong youth
  • Govt must stop overlooking green investment to create sustainable jobs

Govt must not abandon Hong Kong youth

Following Raab’s statement that China has broken the Joint Declaration by imposing the new ‘security law’ on Hong Kong, and that the UK govt will now be offering a path to citizenship for BNO status holders, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson and Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong Alistair Carmichael said:

It is right that the UK Government are taking swift action to help protect the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong, but they must go

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

30 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt must act swiftly in face of new law to uphold promises to Hong Kong
  • UK economy will need a Green Recovery Plan to recover
  • Johnson’s speech offers no green recovery plan and no help for vulnerable people
  • Tories’ Immigration Bill will deal enormous blow to NHS and British business

Govt must act swiftly in face of new law to uphold promises to Hong Kong

Responding to reports that China has passed a sweeping national security law giving it new powers over Hong Kong, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson and Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong Alistair Carmichael said:

This new law crushes what

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , , and | 3 Comments
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Recent Comments

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