Tag Archives: ed davey

15 August 2022 – today’s press releases

  • 34 hospital buildings revealed to have dangerous roofs at risk of collapsing
  • Lib Dems call for “double bill freeze” this winter to save families £2,000

34 hospital buildings revealed to have dangerous roofs at risk of collapsing

  • The poor quality roofs described as “chocolate aero bars” by fearful hospital bosses
  • NHS chiefs are emergency planning for the roofs to collapse at 16 different hospitals
  • One of the hospitals affected is in Liz Truss’s Norfolk constituency

A new Parliamentary Question tabled by the Liberal Democrats has revealed 34 hospital buildings across 16 different NHS trusts are fitted with roofs which NHS chiefs have warned could collapse at any moment. Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey is demanding the Government action plan for emergency upgrades to the hospitals as patients and staff safety are put at risk.

The government revealed that 34 buildings at 16 NHS trust have been identified as being fitted with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) which is said to be ‘structurally weaker’, ‘lightweight’ and ‘cheaper’ than a regular fitting.

NHS chief executive of Queen Elizabeth in King’s Lynn, Caroline Shaw, likened the material to a “chocolate Aero bar” with bubbles that could break and collapse at any point. It has been reported that some of the roofs are even being held up by steel props due to their structural weakness. This hospital is in Liz Truss’s constituency in Norfolk.

Hinchingbrooke in Cambridge, also impacted by these dangerous roof fittings, last year banned patients weighing more than 19 stone from having surgery in two of its operating theatres in case it put too much strain on the floor.

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14 August 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Government set to recover just a third of the £1 billion it pledged to claw back from Covid fraudsters
  • IPPR Analysis: Energy bills threaten to plunge millions into poverty this winter

Government set to recover just a third of the £1 billion it pledged to claw back from Covid fraudsters

  • The Government promised to recover £1bn between April 2021 and April 2023, but with just £226 million collected in 2021-22 it is all but certain to break its pledge.
  • Fraudsters are now on track to get away with £8 of every £10 they stole with £3.7bn of taxpayers’ money written off.
  • Liberal Democrats call on Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to appoint a new fraud minister on day one to track down stolen taxpayers’ cash

The Government’s Covid fraud taskforce is on track to recover just a third of the £1 billion it pledged to claw back from fraudsters, new analysis of HMRC figures have revealed.

In 2021 Ministers set up the Taxpayer Protection Taskforce with the aim of recovering £1 billion of stolen funds related to its Covid support by the end of 2022-23. But new figures published by HMRC show the Government is lagging far behind this target.

They show the taskforce has recovered just £226 million so far in 2021-22, plus a mere £9 million in the first month of 2022-23. If it continues at this sluggish pace, the taskforce would bring back just £335 million by April 2023 – missing its target by two thirds, and allowing fraudsters to get away with another £665 million of stolen taxpayers’ money.

It means Covid scheme fraud is currently set to land taxpayers with a total £3.7 billion, with fraudsters keeping £8 of every £10 they stole. That money could fund the increase of nearly 2.3 million families’ energy bills as prices are set to rise again this October.

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Davey: Conservative candidates in parallel universe on cost of living crisis

Writing in the Express today, Ed Davey called for parliament to be recalled to pass legislation to halt the increase in energy prices that are driving much of the cost of living crisis. With food prices rising and set to rise further, the Lib Dems are calling for a broader package. Davey said we should double the Warm Homes Discount and extend it to more people. Double the Winter Fuel Allowance to give 11 million pensioners up to £600 off their bills. Raise Universal Credit by £20 a week. And thinking longer term, he says the government should begin an emergency home insulation programme, starting with homes in or at risk of fuel poverty.

Energy bills soaring, inflation soaring, interest rates soaring, and as the cost-of-living crisis turns into a cost-of-living catastrophe our government is that of a zombie, limping on – helping no one.

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Davey: A cosy meeting with energy companies isn’t enough

 

Ed Davey has warned that tomorrow’s meeting between government ministers and energy companies risks becoming “a pointless talking shop” unless a tougher windfall tax is confirmed.

He demanded that the Business Secretary and Chancellor impose a tougher windfall tax on energy companies to fund the scrapping of October’s energy price rise. He wants the rate raised from 25% to 30% and its scope increased to include profits since October 2021.

He thinks this could raise around £20 billion, four times more than the government’s weaker levy is currently expected to generate.

Ed said:

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Ed Davey: Cancel energy price rise to avoid a social catastrophe

Here’s Ed Davey on yesterday’s Good Morning Britain  talking about his radical call for the Government to cancel the energy price cap rise planned for October, paying for it by a windfall tax on energy companies and increased VAT receipts.

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Cancel October energy price rise says Ed Davey

Just last Friday I was saying that while we were saying some good things about the cost of living emergency, we needed to come up with something bolder to deal with such a massive economic shock.

I should have been more patient. Ed Davey has stepped up to the mark, calling for October’s energy price rise to be cancelled, with part of the cost covered by a windfall tax on the energy companies. Given that some of them are making quarterly profits larger than the GDP of some countries, that is entirely justifiable.

Under our plans, the 70% increase in the energy price cap expected to be announced by Ofgem later this month would be cancelled, with the Government instead paying the shortfall to energy suppliers so that they can afford to supply customers at the current rates. The party estimates that this would save a typical household an extra £1,400 a year.

This is not cheap, but the party says that the estimated £36 billion cost should be met by expanding the windfall tax on oil and gas company profits, and using the Government’s higher-than-expected VAT revenues as a result of soaring inflation.

The party is also calling for more targeted support for vulnerable and low income households. This would include doubling the Warm Homes Discount to £300 and extending it to all those on Universal Credit and Pension Credit, while investing in insulating fuel poor homes to bring prices down in the long term as well as reinstating on permanent basis the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift introduced during the pandemic.

Ed said:

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Lib Dems comment on dire economic news – but we need to say more

This week has had more than its fair share of dire economic news. The prospect of a deep, prolonged recession at a time of soaring prices means that people on the lowest incomes are really going to suffer. Let’s think about what that looks like. It means that people on the lowest incomes will simply not be able to afford the basics that they need to survive. If they don’t face the prospect of losing their home, heating it to an adequate level will be a challenge.  Putting food on the table will be tough.  Even if they just manage to get by, an unexpected car repair bill, or a washing machine breakdown, could be problems that they can’t cope with. It is quite likely that we will see levels of poverty and suffering that we thought were gone for good.

It’s the most terrifying economic landscape since 2008. And with recession comes the prospect of people losing their jobs. We didn’t have energy and living costs on a steep upward curve then.

I remember only too well the recession of the 1980s. That ITN Jobs round up every Friday showing so many jobs being lost every week. Soaring unemployment as, one by one, our key manufacturing industries crumbled.  Remember UB40’s One in Ten?

At that point though the welfare state met more of your living costs if you lost your job. You at least had some chance of getting by. And students could get help with Housing Benefit and could sign on during the long Summer holiday if they couldn’t get a job. Now, benefits are less generous, and woe betide you if you dared have more than two children since 2017 because you won’t be able to claim any Universal Credit for them.

During the 90s recession, I worked in the civil courts in England and it was heartbreaking to see the huge rise in both mortgage and rent possession cases. Each one of those meant that someone was in danger of losing their homes, and many did.

As interest rates rise, so do mortgages. Already high private sector rents are likely to increase as landlords pay more on their buy to let mortgages.

It all seemed terrible back then, but now the prospects and the pressures on incomes are even worse.

Inflation on its own is bad enough but then you have a nearly £1300 rise in energy costs from their already high level from October with the prospect of further rises every three months. If you are on a low income you are more likely to be on a prepayment meter and will find it more difficult to access help while you pay proportionately higher prices.

And all the time prices continue to rise with the Bank of England warning that inflation could hit 13%.

There is not much in the way of respite coming your way. The extra money already announced isn’t going to go very far if you are low paid.

All of this comes at a time when the Conservative Government have been cutting public services for too long. So where councils might have been able to provide much needed help in the past, they are not able to do so now. Advice agencies also need investment so that they can help people find their way through and advocate on their behalf.

Senior Liberal Democrats have been talking about the crisis. Here’s Ed Davey on the news of the energy price cap rise:

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NHS crisis: Never have so many been ignored by so few

The NHS is in an unparalleled crisis and the whole system seems at the edge of breakdown. Everything from care primary from ambulances, A&Es, staffing of hospitals, through to discharge to care is in crisis. Yet, the NHS is being almost ignored in the leadership debate and by the zombie government.

Last night, ITV news ran a short item on the crisis ahead of tonight’s report on the crisis on Tonight (ITV 8.30pm). Ed Davey said the item was “hard to watch”:

Many might find the leadership debates, or perhaps I should say leadership debacle, hard to watch. The economy is vastly important but it is not the only game in town. The NHS should not be a sideshow in the pursuit of politician’s ambitions.

Never have so many been ignored by so few.

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And then there were two …

So the contest will be between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

The votes for Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt were very close, with only 8 between them.

And now we know that the next Prime Minister is going to be chosen by 160,000+ people who worship the memory of Margaret Thatcher.

Ed Davey used his slot at Prime Minister’s Questions to demand a general election once the leadership election is over.

While Tim Farron commented on Johnson’s final remarks.

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PM blocks Vote of No Confidence

Politics Home is one of the many media platforms covering Boris Johnson’s reaction to the Vote of No Confidence motion proposed by Labour, and supported by the Lib Dems.

It quotes Erskine May:

By established convention, the Government always accedes to the demand from the Leader of the Opposition to allot a day for the discussion of a motion tabled by the official Opposition which, in the Government’s view, would have the effect of testing the confidence of the House.

Instead, the Prime Minister has refused to allow the debate.

Although it was unlikely that the motion would have been passed, it was seen as a marker of the concern felt by many over Boris Johnson’s continued presence in No 10 over the summer.

It seems the refusal to allow the motion is based on a rather legalistic interpretation of the rules. The actual wording of the motion is this:

That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government while the Rt Hon Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip remains Prime Minister.

A Government spokesperson claims that it isn’t valid “because the Prime Minister has already resigned”. Well, we all know that, but clearly the motion is referring to the interim arrangements – the two whole months between his resignation and the installation of a new Prime Minister. This transition period can work smoothly in the hands of a person of integrity, and I include many former Prime Ministers in that, but is a dangerous period for democracy in the hands of someone shown to lack any moral compass. No wonder he has been compared with Trump – which is exactly what Ed Davey said in response:

This sounds more like Donald Trump than a serious British Government.

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Support grows for a no confidence vote in Parliament

Last month, around the time of the Tories’ own internal no confidence vote, Ed Davey called tabled a no confidence motion in Parliament. At that stage it had no hope of succeeding, but was clearly stating the Lib Dem position on Boris Johnson as PM.

Today Angela Rayner is publicly voicing support for the idea.  She says Labour will call for a no confidence vote if Boris Johnson is still in post on Monday. Ed Davey has said he will back it.

Of course, the motion will only succeed if it some disgruntled Tories vote for it – but there are quite a few of them at present.

All this is designed to put pressure on the Tories to do the decent thing and make sure Johnson exits No 10 at the earliest opportunity. Here is Ed speaking this morning on Sky News.

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Davey: He has shredded the public’s trust in politics

Ed Davey has been writing on the Guardian website. He lashes out at Boris Johnson but reserves his main criticism for the Tory MPs who have kept Johnson at the helm for far too long:

He broke the law. He lied. He has failed disastrously to tackle the cost of living emergency or the crisis in our NHS. He has shredded the public’s trust in the government and in politics.

But Johnson didn’t act alone. For three years, he has been backed to the hilt by more than 350 co-conspirators on the Conservative benches. They nodded along to every shameful lie. They gladly went on TV to defend the indefensible and excuse the inexcusable. They willingly trooped through the voting lobby in support of every disastrous policy.

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Boris Johnson to resign – reactions

Unbridled joy? Schadenfreude? Anger?

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Another day of chaos

A Twitter round up, including a great question to the PM from Munira Wilson and a punchy interview with Christine Jardine.

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On the road

Beth Rigby, the Political Editor at Sky News, has been chatting with Ed Davey.

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Ed Davey: Johnson and Shapps pretend they can’t end the rail strikes. That’s nonsense

The train strike has already had a devastating impact on businesses and on the general public.

Ed Davey has written an article in The Guardian under the headline: Johnson and Shapps pretend they can’t end the rail strikes. That’s nonsense.

He writes:

The Liberal Democrats are against the rail strikes and if a summer of discontent is not to turn into a winter of discontent and full-on stagflation, ministers must step back from the brink.

The position of lower-paid workers across our country should be at the forefront of ministers’ thinking – not that of the highest earners in the City, whose pay and bonuses the government announced this week would not be limited in any way.

The solution?

The solution to such distressing stories is clear: instead of strikes, there should be dialogue between government ministers and union bosses.

Ministers must now clean up their own mess. Liberal Democrats are calling for an emergency Cobra meeting to kickstart a practical compromise and to keep Britain moving.

And here is Christine Jardine (our Treasury spokseperson) telling the BBC what Grant Shapps and the Government should do. It is a national emergency so it would be appropriate for Cobra to meet.

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Tiverton & Honiton: Observer and Davey call for tactical voting

The Observer leader column today calls for voters in Tiverton and Honiton to vote tactically for the Lib Dems and voters to tactically vote for Labour in Wakefield.

In an editorial that does not pull its punches, the Observer describes Conservative MPs who voted to keep Boris Johnson in office as “morally myopic and politically foolish”.

“A double whammy of byelection defeats will frighten Conservative MPs in red wall seats and those traditionally true blue. A scare, the bigger the better, is exactly what the Tories need before this government slithers into even worse degeneracy.”

The newspaper says there is no shame in tactical voting. While “political outcomes are distorted by an antique and unfair first-past-the-post electoral system”, voting tactically is the only way to mobilise “the anti-Tory majority”.

The Tories are running scared and Johnson is running so scared he flew to Ukraine rather than face his own Red Wall MPs on Friday. But nothing is certain until the votes have been counted. It is time for that final push.

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Why does the PM need an Ethics Adviser?

Yes, indeed.

This reminds me of a question posed to my husband when he was Mayor. He was visiting a school and the Mayor’s attendant that day was also a children’s entertainer, and some of the children recognised him. One of them asked “Why does the Mayor need a magician?”.

But back to the Prime Minister. The role of an Ethics Adviser (technically the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests) was established in 2006. The adviser is appointed directly by the Prime Minister.

The Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests is appointed by the Prime Minister to advise him on matters relating to the Ministerial Code. The post holder is independent of government and expected to provide impartial advice to the Prime Minister. (Terms of reference)

The previous Ethics Adviser, Sir Alex Allen, was asked in 2020 to investigate bullying claims against Priti Patel and had found that she had broken the Ministerial Code, which would normally result in resignation . Boris Johnson backed Priti Patel and stated that he had full confidence in her, so Alex Allen resigned.

And now a second Ethics Adviser appointed by Boris Johnson has resigned. Lord Geidt informed the Prime Minister of his decision on Tuesday and last night his resignation letter was published (after some anger at its delay).

The trigger for his resignation was when Boris Johnson asked him to approve a plan to extend tariffs on steel imports, which would have broken World Trade Organization rules.

Here is the key extract from Lord Geidt’s letter:

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LibLink: Ed Davey says Tory MPs are now responsible for Johnson’s behaviour

The Guardian has a round-up of views across the political spectrum (although, not surprisingly, no loyal Tory MPs have contributed) under the headline “Boris Johnson survived the no-confidence vote. Can he cling on to power?“.

Ed Davey writes:

Tory MPs are now responsible for his behaviour

After months of defending the indefensible, Conservative MPs had a golden opportunity to finally put an end to Johnson’s sorry premiership. Instead they doubled down, narrowly choosing to put the career of a lying lawbreaker over the good of the country.

The scenes prior to yesterday’s no-confidence vote made clear that the Tories are headed for a civil war while this desperately weak prime minister attempts to cling on to office. This will mean a summer of discontent for the rest of us. For Johnson, the cost of living crisis and spiralling NHS waiting times are merely collateral. His entire focus is self-preservation. His selfishness is hurting our economy and harming families up and down the country.

In spite of the spinelessness of most Conservative MPs last night, what is clear beyond all recognition is that the people of Britain have lost confidence in Johnson. They recognise that he is not fit for office. So why can’t Conservative MPs? Liberal Democrats are fighting this Conservative government in seats across the country. The people of Tiverton and Honiton will speak for Britain in giving their verdict on Johnson in two weeks’ time – the Conservative party will have no choice but to listen.

And here is Ed in a reflective mood, but with the same message.

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Caption Competition: What are Davey and Starmer thinking?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. They say that body language tells all.

At yesterday’s Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign in St Paul’s, Sir Ed Davey and Sir Keir Starmer were seated next to each other. So, what were the two men thinking?

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Ed Davey’s Platinum Jubilee Message

As the nation gets ready to either throw themselves into bunting and street parties or steadfastly ignore what is going on, Ed Davey paid tribute to the Queen:

I would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s remarkable reign which has been the bedrock of our country for the past 70 years. The Queen has led our country through both good and challenging times, and for that we owe Her Majesty a great gratitude.

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Ed Davey on Queen Elizabeth, jubilees and parachuting monarchs

A week ago, Lib Dem leader Ed Davey joined members of the House of Commons in paying tribute to the Queen.

Davey said: “The whole country will agree that our Queen has more than fulfilled her promises made to our nation. With her sense of selflessness and her steadfast commitment to the nation, these values and her service have defined Her Majesty’s seven-decade reign and will continue to define her. The unwavering nature of her service and duty is made all the more remarkable by the length of Her Majesty’s reign.”

Reminiscing about the silver jubilee, he said: “My strongest memory of 1977 is the Queen’s smile and personal delight as Virginia Wade won Wimbledon. My fingers are crossed that Emma Raducanu might serve up something similar later this year.”

Davey said the highlight of the diamond jubilee in 2012 was watching the Queen parachute down to the opening ceremony of the summer Olympics. Asking Queen Margrethe of Denmark when she was taking up parachuting. She replied: “When I’m over 80.”

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Davey: We’ll work with others to out this indecent government

In a podcast interview for Politics Home, Ed Davey said there is no formal pact with Labour but it was simply rational behaviour for both parties to put their resources where they have the best chance of winning.

He said the Lib Dems intend to take on Labour in areas where we can think we can beat them.

The interview also covered Partygate, the economy and the cost of living crisis, Tiverton and Honiton, and Lib Dem values.

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Ed Davey highlights “Sunak Scam” and other Lib Dems respond to Chancellor’s statement

Ed Davey was unimpressed with the package announced by Rishi Sunak aimed at helping people with the soaring cost of living.

He described it as the “Sunak Scam.”

The Chancellor is hammering families with a £800 tax hike this year, more than wiping out what he announced today.

It is the Sunak scam, promising you help but picking your pockets while you’re not looking.

Soaring inflation and devastating tax rises have left proud families who never dreamed they would find themselves in trouble struggling to pay the bills.

The British people need help right now, but instead have been left abandoned again for months on end.

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Reactions to the Sue Gray report

Ed Davey spoke in the Commons following the Prime Minister’s statement on the Sue Gray report.

As you might expect, other Lib Dem MPs also expressed their anger.

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17 May 2022- today’s press releases

  • The Liberal Democrats are the main challengers to the Conservatives in Tiverton and Honiton
  • NI Protocol Changes: Risks starting a trade war with our largest trading partner
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats call for 24/7 mental health service

The Liberal Democrats are the main challengers to the Conservatives in Tiverton and Honiton

Responding to the announcement that the Tiverton & Honiton by-election will take place on Thursday 23rd June, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said:

People in rural communities like Devon have had enough of being neglected by this Conservative government.

The Conservatives’ failure to tackle the cost of living crisis has left millions struggling to pay their bills, while people wait hours for an ambulance and weeks for a GP or dentist appointment.

The Liberal Democrats are the main challengers to the Conservatives in Tiverton and Honiton. On the 23rd June voters can send Boris Johnson’s government a message they cannot ignore – and elect a strong local champion who will stand up for them.

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Ed Davey: Queen’s Speech shows Conservatives are neglecting rural communities

Ed Davey has said that the Queen’s Speech does nothing to help rural communities:

This Queen’s Speech does nothing to help the millions of families and pensioners facing soaring bills and eye watering inflation. The Conservatives have failed to deliver a cut to VAT that would have saved families an average of £600, failed to help pensioners and failed to help the most vulnerable in our society.

“The Conservatives are continuing to neglect rural communities. There was nothing in these plans to support farmers on the brink, to tackle soaring ambulance waiting times and GP shortages, or to stop the dumping of filthy sewage into our river and seas.

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

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

Ed and Daisy were both on the Sunday morning shows.

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

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

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

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Ed Davey : Lib Dems are winning again

As of 7:45pm, the Liberal Democrats accordinf to the BBC, have gained 190 councillors in today’s elections in England,  20 in Scotland and 11 in Wales. It’s fair to say that this way exceeds our expectations.

In Ed Davey’s home patch in Kingston, our Council must be doing something right. We achieved 41 seats compared to 3 Tories and an Independent. The final ward is subject to a deferred election because of the sad death of one of the candidates.  This is even better than the Richmond result where we won 48 seats (up 9) with just 6 opposition seats.

As if that wasn’t enough, we then go and gain 20, yes that is 20 not 2.0 seats in St Albans.

We now control 16 councils which is up 3.

And Peter Taylor was healthily re-elected as Mayor of Watford.

We are undoubtedly the big winners of the election across the country.

Ed Davey has been touring the country meeting our new Councillors. Here he is on the BBC with a beautifully arranged backdrop of Somerset councillors:

Earlier in the day, he told a crowd of Wimbledon Lib Dems, fresh from their 12 gains in the ultra marginal seat:

What began as a tremor in Chesham and Amersham, became an earthquake in North Shropshire, and is now an almighty shockwave that will bring this Conservative Government tumbling down.

It is the movement of millions of people who are saying loud and clear: “We have had enough.”

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Ed Davey calls for Windfall Tax on energy companies to help people cope with rising prices

Ed Davey went on BBC Breakfast this morning to call for a windfall tax on energy companies as BP announced soaring profits for the first three months on this year. Funds raised would be used to give people who are struggling with high bills “a really big tax cut.” Ed said that the Conservatives were totally out of touch with what was going on in the country.

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