Tag Archives: ed davey

Davey: Recall parliament after PM & Chancellor fined for partygate

Boris Johnson was enjoying a boost among Conservatives this week, until today, after his snap visit to Ukraine. No matter that he looked out of place in a suit and tie alongside President Zelensky and the escort in fatigues. The Conservatives like a good war and a leader that shows resolve in a time of crisis. But Johnson looked like he was going to a party not walking in a war zone.

Rishi Sunak on the other hand, has had a lousy week. The row over his green card and his wife’s non dom tax status has failed to die down. As a tax hiking chancellor, he is getting the flack for a system that is to his advantage while he has given many low income families a choice between food, fuel and warmth. There are press briefings that he will step down and leave politics for California.

Partygate now seems a minor issue and that is the emerging defence by Conservatives this afternoon who are arguing the prime minister should not be deposed and must not resign because of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Sir Roger Gale MP, a long time critic of Boris Johnson, told BBC R4 PM this evening now is the time.

That is not the view of opposition parties. Ed Davey has called for parliament to be recalled to discuss the crisis that is engulfing the a government that is already engulfed by its own sleaze and disregard for those having to choose between fuel and the food bank.

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5 April 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Sunak to cash in £40 billion VAT windfall as families face cost of living crisis
  • Brand Putin’s armies and mercenaries as terrorists in response to atrocities

Sunak to cash in £40 billion VAT windfall as families face cost of living crisis

  • Rishi Sunak set to rake in an extra £38.6 billion in VAT over next four years due to soaring prices
  • Typical family to pay £430 more in VAT next year, on top of National Insurance rise coming into force today
  • Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey launches local election campaign with call to slash VAT and save struggling families £600

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to rake in an extra £38.6 billion in VAT over the next four years, as skyrocketing inflation leads to higher prices in the shops, official forecasts have revealed.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats shows this means a typical family will pay an estimated £430 more in VAT next year, compared to what they paid in 2021-22. The figures are taken from the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

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Ed Davey: Boris Johnson must resign over “Partygate” fines

Ed Davey’s response to the news that the Metroplitan Police have issued an initial 20 fixed penalty notices over the Downing Street Parties held during Covid restrictions was short and sharp. (Plain text below.)

If Boris Johnson thinks he can get away with partygate by paying expensive lawyers and throwing junior staff to the wolves, he is wrong.

We all know who is responsible. The Prime Minister must resign, or Conservative MPs must sack him.

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Use bumper energy profits to scrap ‘grossly unfair’ energy bill postcode lottery

The Liberal Democrats have called for the scrapping of the regional differences in electricity and gas bills, which is seeing some households paying £124 more for their gas and electricity just because of where they live.

The UK is broken up into fourteen different pricing regions where it costs different amounts to get electricity and gas to people’s homes. This leads to people in the North of Scotland, Wales and South West England paying more for their gas and electricity bills than other parts of the country.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats shows that households in North Wales and Merseyside pay …

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22 March 2022 – today’s press releases

  • HMICFRS report: Met police needs new leadership not stitch up by Johnson and Patel
  • Oligarch ditches UK mansions after government sanctions delay
  • Nationality and Borders Bill: A traffickers’ charter that will cause deaths in the Channel
  • Patel must stop her assault on British rights and freedoms

HMICFRS report: Met police needs new leadership not stitch up by Johnson and Patel

Responding to the report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) into corruption in the Met Police and the case of Daniel Morgan, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

This shocking report lays bare the ingrained culture of corruption and cover-up at the top of the Met. Police officers put themselves at risk every day to keep us safe, but they are being let down by poor leadership.

The Met urgently needs strong new leadership. Choosing the new Commissioner is too important to be a stitch up between Priti Patel and Boris Johnson – especially when Johnson is under criminal investigation by the Met himself.

The next Commissioner must be someone who will shake things up and stand up to government ministers – and that’s someone Johnson and Patel will never choose.

That’s why Liberal Democrats are calling for a cross-party confirmation vote by both Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee and London’s Police and Crime Committee, to stop the Government stitching up this crucial appointment.

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Davey to Truss: Emergency airlifts for refugees on Polish border needed

Ed Davey has called for an emergency airlift for Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border who want to reach the UK. In a letter today to the Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary, Ed Davey has suggested the UK Government must now provide free flights to the UK, with coaches to the nearest Polish airports from key border crossing points and welcoming reception centres for the refugees on arrival at the UK.

The call comes following the Liberal Democrat Leader’s visit to the Polish border this week to meet with Ukrainian refugees and the charities supporting them. In contrast to the swift action of the British public to offer shelter and countless volunteers from the UK to help with the humanitarian crisis, Ed Davey was appalled by the absence of any UK Government personnel to provide swift and safe passage to those fleeing to the UK.

Boris Johnson’s reckless dismissal of security warnings about one wealthy Russian contrasts with his heartlessly inadequate response to countless Ukrainian women and children fleeing Putin’s bombs. This shames him and his Government.

Emergency airlifts are now the best guarantee for these refugees to get to the UK safely and swiftly, to the kindness and compassion of the British public waiting for them.

It was shocking to see so many other nations united and already helping refugees at a humanitarian aid centre near the Ukrainian-Polish border, whilst the UK Government had no-one.

The queues of refugees are exhausted and traumatised. Surely these families have been through enough. It’s urgent that people are now airlifted to safety and help so they can start rebuilding their lives.

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Ed Davey: Visiting Poland’s border with Ukraine

Yesterday Ed arrived in Poland at the Ukrainian border and saw first-hand how Polish people were welcoming their exhausted neighbours.

He shared some photos and stories with colleagues back in Kingston. Here are some of them.


Border crossing – the exhausted people are met with a short walk to the queue for the onward bus, and either side are multiple tents and “stalls” with hot food, drinks, nappies and toiletries, sim cards for the Polish telecom networks and initial information


12 year old Artsiom with his mum – just had a very long journey from Kharkiv which they said was in ruins. It is his dream to come to London.

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At what point would you have walked out?

There’s an event known as “Not the leader’s speech”, which seems to have gained semi official status in the party. While the leader gives their speech at the end of conference, a group of members meet up at a nearby pub. They follow the coverage of the speech on social media, and discuss at what point they would have walked out, if they had been there.

I’ve never attended “Not the leader’s speech”, but I do have a good deal of admiration for the irreverent approach of this group of members.

I don’t think I have ever actually “walked out of” a speech, in a Lib Dem context or otherwise. But there have been many occasions when I have sat through a speech, but could identify the moment at which perhaps I *should* have walked out. I did not actually attend Spring Conference this year, either in person or online, but I have watched the video of Ed Davey’s speech, and read through the text, several times. I certainly know the moment at which I would have felt like walking out.

Ed began by speaking very movingly of the suffering of the people of Ukraine, and of their heroism. Naturally, I have no criticism of this part of the speech, even though (and I hesitated about whether to write this), I did find myself thinking that I would have preferred to have heard these words spoken by someone who had not previously said publicly that he would be willing to personally “press the nuclear button”.

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Ed Davey’s speech to Conference: Lib Dems can defeat this awful Government

A powerful selection on Ukraine, a call for Priti Patel to be sacked, a celebration of Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire, a tribute to Lib Dem by-election stalwart Erlend Watson, a decent gag about Dick Turpin, an evisceration of the Tories over sleaze and partygate (including a call for a public enquiry into Boris Johnson’s relationship with Lebvedev) and an attack on Tory MPs for keeping Boris Johnson in power, setting out what the Lib Dems offer for health and education and a look forward to the local government elections in May…all this and more delivered by Ed Davey to Lib Dem members gathered in York.

 

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Ed Davey calls for nuclear power plant military exclusion zones

The news this morning that the Russians had seized control of the Zaporizhzhia power plant in Ukraine has send shock waves across the world.

Ed Davey has said the the UK must take the lead and call for the UN Security Council to place military exclusion zones around nuclear power plants.

He says:

People all across Europe – including in Russia – will have woken up today with fear in their hearts, following the reckless shelling of Zaporizhzhia power plant. While thankfully it looks like disaster has been averted, it is vital that we now use every diplomatic lever available to prevent any further strikes on nuclear facilities.

We simply cannot allow what is already a dire humanitarian tragedy to deteriorate in this manner.

The UK has a seat at the UN Security Council – we must use it today, to try and declare a military exclusion zone around nuclear power plants.

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Ed Davey: The Battle for Liberal Britain

The Conservatives disappearing into infighting and cheap populism has left the Liberal Democrats with our biggest opportunity in generations. As our stunning by-election wins in Chesham & Amersham and North Shropshire proved last year, we can provide a political home for thousands of former Tory voters who are decent people dismayed by the party’s incompetence, scandals and sleaze under Boris Johnson.

And the stakes have never been higher. Around the world, populism and nationalism – liberalism’s enemies – are on the rise. There is a battle for Liberal Britain and to win it, Liberal Democrats must offer a clear vision for the future of our country.

But people constantly ask me: “what do the Liberal Democrats actually believe?” I don’t think we as a party have answered that question – or in recent years, even asked it of ourselves.

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Absence of Gazprom and Rosneft from sanctions list is “elephant in the room”

Responding to the additional sanctions on Russian companies and individuals announced today by Boris Johnson, Liberal Democrat Leader and former Energy Secretary Ed Davey said:

The absence of Gazprom and Rosneft, part-owned by BP, in today’s sanctions list is the elephant in the room. The UK must do everything we can to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

Russia’s state-owned oil and gas giants stand to profit from this war and soaring prices. We must start treating Putin’s Russia like the rogue state it is and immediately cut off UK investment in these firms.

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“Unjust and unfair” to force people to pay £00s to visit loved ones – Ed

Embed from Getty Images

Responding to the Prime Minister’s spokpesperson confirming that people visiting loved ones in care homes will no longer be able to access free Covid testing, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Yesterday, Boris Johnson simply could not admit that it is his policy to put a new tax on caring by forcing people to pay for covid tests before they visit vulnerable people.

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Ed Davey: Scrapping Covid tests means 4 million face £500 tax on caring

Boris Johnson’s latest attempt to rehabilitate himself with sceptical Tory MPs is to scrap the need to self isolate if you have Covid in England. So you are now free to spread it far and wide. You would think that you would have to monitor the impact really carefully. That is way too sensible for this Government who also reportedly plan to scrap free lateral flow tests. So we will have no idea how many cases we have  until hospitals start filling up.

The BBC asked this week if this move was brave or stupid. NHS chiefs said it was an unnecessary risk and the Guardian reports that SAGE said that it would be harder for people to take precautionary measures and cause anxiety amongst vulnerable groups.

But following the science comes second to following the whims of Conservative MPs, it seems.

Ed Davey and the Lib Dems have done some research into the cost of lateral flow tests for those who need them to keep loved ones safe.

The latest figures show that every week nearly four million people take regular Covid tests, taking two tests a week on average. This includes people who take tests to protect their elderly relatives and friends, or vulnerable workers who work in people-facing industries such as hospitality and are concerned about their health.

Those people now face an average hit of £534 a year, assuming lateral flow tests cost around £5.80 each. This is based on the average costs of a lateral flow test in similar Western countries including Belgium, France, Spain and the US.

Ed said that this would lead to a lockdown by stealth for vulnerable people:

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Yet more chaos in Downing Street

Yet another week where the Prime Minister has floundered, and the country has struggled.

The week started with a Tory former chief whip urging Boris Johnson to withdraw an insinuation about the Labour leader Starmer refusing to prosecute the serial sex offender Jimmy Savile and which saw scenes where Starmer was accosted outside Parliament.

The UK Statistics Authority last week officially rebuked Boris Johnson and Priti Patel for misleadingly claiming that crime had fallen, following a letter of complaint by Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng then claimed this weekend that fraud isn’t something people experience in their day-to-day lives.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats show there were 100,393 fraud offences referred to the police in London last year, 8,957 fraud offences in Surrey which is home to Kwasi Kwarteng’s constituency of Spelthorne, and 11,829 fraud offences in Essex which includes Priti Patel’s seat of Witham.

Boris Johnson refused to agree to correct the record, after being challenged to by Ed Davey at PMQs on Wednesday.

Sir John Major’s keynote speech at the Institute for Government on Thursday was damning, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

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Ed Davey challenges Boris Johnson on fraud

Ed Davey used his question to the Prime Minister today to tackle the Prime Minister on the Government’s attitude to fraud:

He demanded that  Boris Johnson correct the record after misleadingly claiming crime has fallen, and apologise to the four million victims of fraud he has written out of the picture.

Seventy-four-year-old Janet had twenty-five thousand pounds stolen by fraudsters.

The money was my mum and dad’s and I just felt I let them down,” she told the BBC.

For Janet and for the 4 million people who fell victim to fraudsters and online scammers last year, fraud is a crime.

Does the Prime Minister understand the hurt he and his Ministers cause fraud victims like Janet, when they write them out of the crime figures, and dismiss fraud as something people don’t experience in their day-to-day lives?

Will the Prime Minister correct the record and apologise?

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WATCH: Ed Davey say Boris Johnson using Trump playbook to distract from his failings

Yesterday, our Andy Boddington asked if democratic dystopia was now the order of the day after the incident where Keir Starmer was threatened outside Parliament.

He said:

I was not prepared for a prime minister who, like Trump, became estranged from the truth. And like Trump, doesn’t understand that when you get something wrong and that is leading to civil unrest, you apologise.

We have always had protests. Protests don’t concern me. I have taken part in many. What scares me is the way that legitimate differences in points of view have become entangled with madcap and frankly dangerous conspiracy theories.

I don’t think we are yet a dystopian society, here, in the USA or in Canada. But I do think we are showing symptoms of political dystopia.

Since then, Ed Davey has spoken to the BBC about the Starmer incident. Watch here:

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Davey: We need leaders who can act over energy supplies

Writing in today’s Times, Lib Dem leader Ed Davey says that Boris Johnson has spent much of the past two weeks shacked up in his parliamentary office pleading for his own skin. Meanwhile, one hundred thousand Russian troops have massed on Ukraine’s border threaten the largest military action in Europe since the Second World War. Telling the Tories they need to get a grip fast, he warns that the gas Russia supplies to Europe could fall by up to 30 per cent and that already high gas prices will treble or worse.

Liberal Democrats have called for a “Robin Hood tax” on the super-profits of oil and gas producers and traders, including Russian energy giant, Gazprom.

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Lib Dem MPs challenge Boris Johnson on Sue Gray report

It’s been quite the afternoon in the Commons.

Boris Johnson faced sustained criticism over the findings of the Sue Gray report. The most effective were the contributions that fought his fire and bluster with ice rather than more fire.

That’s why Theresa May’s takedown of her successor was so effective. I will never forgive her for what she did at the Home Office, nor in her pursuit of a hard Brexit, but her contribution today was brilliant, asking him if he had read the rules, ignored them or didn’t think they applied to him.

Ian Blackford just had to make it all about him, daring the Speaker to throw him out of the Chamber for saying the PM had misled Parliament. The rule may be daft. But it is the rule, and not to observe it when we are talking about rulebreaking seems illogical. There is a debate to be had around whether that rule is fit for purpose when the man at the despatch box has plainly misled Parliament, but it should have been about Boris today, not Blackford. They are both experts at meaningless bluster and not so good at the incisive point.

There were two brilliant contributions from Ed Davey. He really spoke up for all of us who had followed the rules, often in searingly painful, heartbreaking circumstances.

Later he added that the PM’s performance had been “horrific.”

 

Christine Jardine said that people were livid not just at the culture of rule-breaking in No 10, but at the dodging of accountability by the Prime Minister.

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“Disgraceful but predictable” – Ed Davey on failure to publish full report

So it looks like Sue Gray’s report will not be as illuminating as it could be. And No 10 has apparently said it won’t publish the whole thing once the Met Police Enquiry is complete.

Ed Davey said

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Ed Davey: Boris Johnson is concentrating on saving his own skin, not rising living costs

In a strong appearance on The Sunday Morning Show, Ed Davey called on the Government to hold a cost of living summit in No 10, a work event, not a party, if you like.

He called for a windfall tax on energy companies and said that if the Conservatives had stuck with the policies he introduced when he was Energy Secretary, our bills would be £2.5 billion. You can watch the whole thing here:

He was challenged by Sophie Raworth on his tweet:

Ed replied that he had respect for rank and file police officers who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. For them to do their job, the public have to have confidence in them and the way the Met has handled this has undermined that.

He took us through the Met’s actions of the past few weeks, first saying they wouldn’t investigate the Downing Street Parties, then they said they might but wanted to let Sue Gray get on with her report, then they would investigate but Sue Gray’s report could be published in full and then they changed their minds for a fourth time and said that Sue Gray’s report had to wait for their investigation to be completed. “This is chaos, absolute chaos.” It might be cock up, he added, but it could also be something much worse.”

He said that he had called for an investigation by the Metropolitan Police several weeks ago. If they had done that then, they would have completed their  investigation and we wouldn’t have the paralysis in Government that we are seeing now.

He said that nobody wanted the Met to make such a hash of this and had a go at Boris.

“We have a Prime Minister who has broken the rules and lied about it to Parliament. No-one trusts this Prime Minister. It’s why I’ve called very strongly that he should resign.”

 

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Ed Davey on Holocaust Memorial Day

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day.

And from HQ:

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Government meltdown because PM cannot tell the truth – Ed Davey


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Ed Davey: Boris Johnson must resign over birthday party

Every time we hear of yet another time when Downing Street staff behaved like the rules didn’t apply to them, it just brings back the pain. This isn’t just politics. It’s about reliving the emotions of a really difficult couple of years.

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, it’s the hugs we didn’t have, the days we didn’t see our loved ones that really hurt.

Most of us bear the scars of this pandemic to a certain extent. If we hadn’t obeyed the rules, the death toll from Covid would have been so much higher. Staying at home for months on end was the only way to protect ourselves and others from a deadly virus.

But that came at a huge cost for many.

I am thinking of someone I love very much who wasn’t able to see their friends for months on end. They became very seriously ill as a result and could have lost their life. I heard yesterday about others who had not been so lucky and whose loved ones had died by suicide.

My son’s 21st fell not long before Boris Johnson’s birthday. He couldn’t see his group of friends.  His treat for the day was a trip to the drive thru McDonalds which had opened a few days previously. To be fair, he did get a nice home-cooked meal, but it’s far from the celebration he wanted.  I didn’t see my parents on their birthdays last year and my niece had to postpone her wedding. We’ve all got similar stories to tell.

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Lib Dems table motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson

Liberal Democrat MPs have tabled a motion of no confidence in Boris Johnson and have written to Jacob Rees-Mogg to ask that it is given parliamentary time.

The motion been so far been signed by 18 MPs from four parties. These include all thirteen Liberal Democrat MPs, two Labour MPs, two from Plaid Cymru and Stephen Parry from the Alliance Party.

The Liberal Democrats have also written to Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg, demanding he put the motion to a vote within the next week. Labour Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting says that Labour would back it in a Commons vote.

The question is, would enough Conservatives? And what would the public think if their Conservative MP backed a PM who has had such a chaotic approach to government and treats the laws of the land as an optional extra?

Ed Davey said:

It’s time for Conservative MPs to show where they stand. Are they going to continue to put up with a Prime Minister who lied to Parliament and to the public, who admitted he broke lockdown rules and refuses to hold himself accountable?

By remaining in Number 10 Boris Johnson is a threat to the health of the nation – no one will take anything he says seriously and that is simply unacceptable during a pandemic.

Conservative MPs should not only support our motion of no confidence but they should pressure Jacob Rees Mogg to give the motion time for a vote and soon. The country deserves a chance to move on from this deceitful Prime Minister.

The full text of Wera’s letter is below.

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Ed Davey: Boris why would you even want to party when people were dying

Writing in the Express, Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “Boris Johnson is a man without shame, or scruples. That is, in many ways, how he managed to ascend the greasy pole.”

Explaining why he had written to Cressida Dick asking her to investigate Boris Johnson’s involvement in the continuing Partygate scandal, Davey asked how anyone of sound judgement can – let alone the prime minister – think it is somehow okay to get out the party hats and knock back the wine on the very day that the government ordered everyone to stay indoors and avoid all human contact that isn’t strictly necessary.

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Ed Davey: Boris Johnson must resign

Ed Davey has said that Boris Johnson must resign over the Downing Street parties. He said:

“Boris Johnson has broken the law and lied to Parliament and the country, and he must now go.
“Millions of people obeyed the lockdown rules, often at huge personal cost. They missed funerals, cancelled weddings and said goodbye to dying loved ones on video calls – some on the very day that Number Ten illegally hosted a garden party.
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Email on Number 10 drinks party “adding insult to injury” – Ed Davey

Responding to reports by ITV News that Downing Street staff were invited to a drinks party in the Number 10 garden during the national lockdown on May 20 2020, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

This is yet more evidence that while the vast majority of people were sticking to the rules, those in Number Ten were breaking them.

It is a kick in the teeth for everyone who has sacrificed so much during the pandemic, from those who weren’t able to visit loved ones in hospital to nurses left wearing binbags as PPE.

To add insult to injury, on

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Dentist staffing crisis as almost 1,000 walk away

Data acquired by the Liberal Democrats has revealed a growing dentist staffing crisis as almost 1,000 practitioners have walked away from the profession in the past twelve months.

Official figures show there were 23,733 dental practitioners in 2021 – 951 fewer than the previous year, leaving more patients struggling to get the dental care they need.

The information, first covered in the Express, was published in response to a Parliamentary Question by Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey, who is calling for urgent action to ensure people can get the treatment they need.

Commenting, Ed Davey MP said:

The lack of NHS dentists across the

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Ed vs Boris – a load of old Balls

Today has been Helen Morgan’s day. First she was sworn in and then she questioned the Prime Minister about the state of North Shropshire’s ambulance services.

But we could not let this day go by without mentioning Ed’s question to the Prime Minister, which was not without amusing incident.

Poor Ed has been misidentified twice this week. On the New Year’s Day edition of The Weakest LInk (and isn’t Romesh Ranganathan an inspired choice for that?) Jenni Falconer was asked which Ed was the leader of the Liberal Democrats. “Milliband?” she  asked, without much confidence.

Today Speaker Lindsay Hoyle had one of those moments when he introduced Ed at PMQs:

I call Ed Balls—I mean Ed Davey.

Ed replied:

Happy new year, Mr Speaker! I am sure the Prime Minister will want to join me and my Liberal Democrat colleagues in welcoming my hon. Friend the new Member for North Shropshire (Helen Morgan).

People’s already high heating bills are about to jump by more than 50%, with average energy bills rising by nearly £700 a year. Gas price rises will push millions more families into fuel poverty, when we know many are already afraid even to open their heating bills. Does the Prime Minister accept that he could be doing much more than he is to prevent millions of people from going hungry and cold this year while he remains—for now at least—in the warmth and comfort of No. 10?

Boris Johnson of course took the mention of the word balls and ran with it. Pretty disgraceful when you consider that there are millions of vulnerable people wondering how they are going to heat their homes, disabled people wondering how they are going to pay the extra costs to keep their breathing machines going or charge their stairlifts or scooters, all of which use a whole load of electricity. He just doesn’t care.

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