Tag Archives: helen morgan

15 May 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Windermere illegal sewage dumps: A complete scandal that can’t go on
  • PMQs: Armed forces homes only to be repaired in emergencies as PM refuses to stump up extra cash
  • Sewage vote: Conservative MPs vote against law that would have sent water companies to court
  • 80,000 Scottish households face mortgage rate hike by November
  • Accounts Commission report shows councils have faced a scythe to their funds
  • “Deliver a payment scheme that farmers can have faith in” – Welsh Lib Dems call for Welsh Gov to listen to farmers over SFS reforms

Windermere illegal sewage dumps: A complete scandal that can’t go on

Responding to the news that untreated sewage was illegally pumped into Lake Windermere, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Tim Farron MP said:

This is a scandal. We can’t let them get away with this any longer.

The public are rightly furious that their favourite local rivers and lakes are being spoiled while water company bosses accept huge bonuses.

I hope Parliament accept my amendment today which could see water company bosses prosecuted for sewage pollution.

Rishi Sunak and his government must finally take tough action to tackle sewage dumping now instead of cosying up with the big water company bosses.

PMQs: Armed forces homes only to be repaired in emergencies as PM refuses to stump up extra cash

The Prime Minister today refused to commit extra cash for repairs for armed forces families homes despite the Head of Accommodation for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation revealing that military families could only expect repairs to their home in emergencies.

The lack of money for repairs was revealed by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s new Head of Accommodation in her first update to military families this month.

Air Commodore Leah Griffin assured families that she was working to challenge the budget settlement but said non-urgent repairs and home improvements were “not currently affordable”.

Air Commodore Griffin also said that she was having to “make the case for investing in Service family housing” due to finances in the DIO that are “more challenging than ever”.

It comes as serving personnel and their families are having important requests for home repairs and upgrades denied as a lack of funding means only emergency work is being approved.

This is despite long-running problems that have seen many families forced to live in damp, cold and mouldy accommodation and troops put up in shipping style containers at Tern Hill Barracks.

Lib Dem MP Helen Morgan challenged Rishi Sunak over his commitment to the armed forces today at PMQs after this shocking admission. In response, the Prime Minister refused to commit to any additional funding to address this situation.

The North Shropshire MP has had constituents report to her that their military housing has experienced horror stories ranging from exploding boilers to collapsing roofs. In one case, a constituent recently required alterations to their shower to access it after major surgery but was told this was not possible due to the lack of budget for housing repairs. The problem was only fixed when Helen became involved.

The news undermines the Prime Minister’s claims to be prioritising defence and the Government’s recent commitment to bringing all military accommodation up to the Decent Homes Standard – a pledge that came in response to a proposed law change from Helen Morgan who has been a long-time campaigner on this issue.

In response to the Prime Minister’s answer, Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire Helen Morgan MP said:

Rishi Sunak talks a big game about defence but he isn’t even prepared to guarantee service families decent quality homes to live in.

Military morale is lower than ever because those who serve our country have been subject to years of neglect by this Conservative government.

Service people put their lives on the line to keep us and our allies safe. The least they should get in return is a clean, warm and safe home.

Our armed forces deserve a Government that takes their needs seriously and backs up its words with real actions.

That means upgrading military housing and removing repair contracts from companies that don’t do their job.

We used to talk about building homes fit for heroes – and that’s the very least we can deliver.

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13 May 2024 – today’s press releases

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

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

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

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

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

Maternity Care: Time Govt end postcode lottery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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29 April 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Protect swimming pools and leisure centres from closure with “critical health infrastructure” status
  • Welsh Lib Dem leader meets Aber student union following scrapping of teacher training

Lib Dems: Protect swimming pools and leisure centres from closure with “critical health infrastructure” status

The Liberal Democrats have called for swimming pools and leisure centres to be designated as “critical health infrastructure” to protect them from closure.

It comes as new analysis by the party shows 266 local authority swimming pools and 261 leisure facilities have been closed since 2015.

Once new openings are taken into account, there has been a net loss of 31 local authority swimming pools and 19 leisure facilities since 2015.

A series of Parliamentary Questions from Helen Morgan MP to Ministers showed year on year closure of swimming pools across the country alongside the loss of leisure centres.

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Helen Morgan challenges PM on A and E waiting times in Shropshire

We reported earlier on Sarah Olney’s question to the Prime Minister today but she wasn’t the only Lib Dem called.

Helen Morgan has been pushing the Government to improve NHS services from ambulance waiting times to the time people spend in A and E.

Today, she questioned Rishi Sunak after learning that 10,000 pensioners had spent more than 24 hours waiting on trolleys and hard chairs, up from just 290 in 2019. That’s not to mention the 4200 adults who had the same fate.

She said:

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2 April 2024 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • Stealth taxes to drag 1.6 million pensioners into paying income tax
  • Sunak laughing on radio: Stop hunkering in offices and call an election
  • Cole-Hamilton: No one should have to wait 12 hours at A&E
  • More than 1,900 stuck in hospital

Stealth taxes to drag 1.6 million pensioners into paying income tax

1.6 million pensioners are set to be dragged into paying income tax due to the government’s stealth tax freeze by 2027/28, new research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The House of Commons Library analysis looks at the impact of the Chancellor’s decision to freeze the personal allowance at £12,570, the rate at which people start paying tax. Without the stealth tax freeze, the allowance would have risen to £15,220 in the coming financial year (2024/25) and up to £15,990 in 2027/28.

The analysis estimated that around 1.2 million pensioners will be dragged into paying income tax in 2024/25. By 2027/28, 1.6 million additional pensioners will be paying income tax compared to if the Personal Allowance had been increased in line with inflation.

The latest DWP figures show there are 12.7 million people receiving the state pension. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, well over 60 per cent of these pensioners now pay income tax, up from around 50% in 2010. The research found 8.5 million people over the age of 65 were now paying tax on their income, up from roughly 4.9 million in 2010.

Separate analysis from the Resolution Foundation has found that the freezing of income tax thresholds will leave the average taxpaying pensioner £1,000 worse off by 2027-28, or a collective hit of £8 billion.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

These stark figures reveal the stealth tax bombshell facing pensioners under this Conservative government.

Older people who have worked hard and contributed all their lives are now being clobbered with years of unfair tax hikes.

Jeremy Hunt’s pensioner-punishing Budget will not be forgotten come the next election. The Conservative Party faces a reckoning at the ballot from older voters sick of being taken for granted.

Sunak laughing on radio: Stop hunkering in offices and call an election

Responding to Rishi Sunak laughing at being asked when the next General Election will be on BBC Radio Tees, Liberal Democrat local government spokesperson Helen Morgan MP said:

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

  • Lib Dems call on Government to block Thames Water bill rises
  • 40% increase in hours of sewage dumped by Dwr Cymru last year
  • Renters reform: Gove caves in to Conservative MPs as manifesto promise left in tatters

Lib Dems call on Government to block Thames Water bill rises

  • The party is calling for a Ministerial intervention to block the proposals which could see customer bills rise by at least 40%
  • The Liberal Democrats have also demanded the Chancellor hold an urgent Downing Street summit with Thames Water bosses

Following the news that Thames Water’s shareholders have refused to inject £500 million of funding into the company unless water bills rise by 40% or more, the Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to block these proposals and ensure customers are not on the hook for the firm’s financial negligence.

The calls come after reports revealed that Thames Water is pushing the water regulator, Ofwat, to allow them to introduce large increases to customer bills in an effort to stay afloat.

The Liberal Democrats have also demanded for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to hold an urgent Downing Street summit with Thames Water bosses to provide reassurance to taxpayers that they will not be liable should the company go bust.

This follows calls made by the party for the firm to be put into special administration and restructured into a public benefit company. This would ensure Thames Water becomes stable again and no longer be reliant on its failing board, forcing it to work in the interest of customers.

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson, Sarah Olney MP said:

Thames Water are a polluting giant which has accrued billions in debt whilst pumping our rivers full of rotten sewage.

Ministers must intervene today and block any attempt by Thames Water to saddle customers with extortionate bill increases. Customers can’t be bailing them out of their own mess.

Jeremy Hunt should also call a Downing Street summit with Thames Water’s bosses to reassure taxpayers they will not be on the hook should the company go down.

Yet all this could still be avoided if Ministers put Thames Water into special administration immediately and reform it into a public benefit company. That’s the best way to ensure this polluting giant will begin working for its customers again.

40% increase in hours of sewage dumped by Dwr Cymru last year

New figures released by the Environment Agency have shown that Dwr Cymru discharged sewage into waterways for a staggering 23,354 hours last year, a 40% increase on 2022.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are now calling for tougher action against sewage dumping in Welsh waterways.

The party has also called for a halt on bonuses for water company bosses whose firms have dumped sewage into waterways.

Conservative MPs have consistently voted against measures which would have helped to tackle the crisis.

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Lib Dems react to Budget

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helen also mentioned a crucial omission:

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

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

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

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

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

Wendy Chamberlain did highlight one Lib Dem win, though:

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8 February 2024 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • No fault-evictions: PM must deliver on his government’s promises
  • Welsh Lib Dems react to “farcical” rise in train fares
  • Crumbling schools: Govt must stop sitting on its hands and speed up rebuilding

No fault-evictions: PM must deliver on his government’s promises

Responding to figures that show no-fault evictions spiked by almost a third last year, Liberal Democrat Housing spokesperson, Helen Morgan MP said:

Rishi Sunak’s failure to bring forward the ban on no-fault evictions is having devastating consequences for vulnerable families across the country.

No family should lose their home through no-fault of their own. Yet, under this Conservative government that is exactly what they are allowing to continue.

The Prime Minister needs to do something that does not come naturally to him, deliver on his government’s promises.

Welsh Lib Dems react to “farcical” rise in train fares

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have described the latest rise in train fares by the Transport for Wales as “farcical”.

The Welsh Government has announced that rail fares in Wales will rise by 4.9% from the 3rd of March, claiming that the rise was needed to allow Transport for Wales to meet higher costs and continuing investment.

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10 May 2023 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • Rise in homelessness shows ban on no-fault evictions needed now
  • Bridgen should resign and cause a by-election
  • Lib Dems force vote tonight to kill Illegal Migration Bill

Rise in homelessness shows ban on no-fault evictions needed now

Responding to the latest figures showing a rise in homelessness in October to December 2022, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson Helen Morgan MP said:

The shameful failure of the Conservatives to ban no fault evictions is directly responsible for this shocking increase in homelessness.

The Conservatives first promised to ban the practice when Theresa May was Prime Minister, yet still nothing has been done.

This ban needs to be brought in urgently before more families lose their home through no fault of their own.

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26 April 2023 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Chalk streams hit by 14,000 hours of sewage discharges last year
  • ONS figures: Sickness absence days at record high
  • CCHQ inquiry needed into Tory leaflet telling voters they don’t need photo ID
  • Barclay: This Government hasn’t a shred of integrity left

Chalk streams hit by 14,000 hours of sewage discharges last year

  • Chalk streams are known as “England’s rainforest” for animal habitats and unique to England
  • Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will today visit a chalk stream in Winchester with local dog walkers
  • Fears the amount of sewage dumped into chalk streams may be higher than feared with sewage monitors found to be broken

New analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed water companies dumped sewage into England’s chalk streams for a staggering 14,162 hours last year.

There were 2,240 incidents of sewage discharges into chalk streams by five of the country’s water firms: Anglian Water, Southern Water, Thames Water, Wessex Water and Yorkshire Water.

Chalk streams are a unique waterway found primarily in the South of England and Yorkshire. They have been referred to as “England’s rainforest” for their special qualities which allow wildlife and plants to thrive. They are a haven for iconic species like the otter, kingfisher and salmon amongst many others. However they have come under threat from abstraction and sewage.

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26 April 2023 – today’s press releases (part 1)

  • Brits less likely to swim in the sea due to sewage discharges, poll reveals
  • Police taking over five hours to respond to priority calls
  • Stop Voter ID: Govt are burying their heads in the sand
  • Braverman’s boasts will “ring hollow” for crime victims waiting hours for police to turn up

Brits less likely to swim in the sea due to sewage discharges, poll reveals

A new poll commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed over three in four (77%) Brits who swim in lakes, rivers or the sea, have said sewage discharges have made them less likely to go swimming.

The poll found half of all UK adults go swimming in the country’s rivers, lakes or the sea. Shockingly, the majority of those adults are now less likely to go swimming in public areas as a result of water companies discharging sewage into waterways.

Swimmers over the age of 55 are far more likely to be put off by the sewage discharges – nearly 9 in 10 (87%) said the water firms’ actions had put them off swimming in lakes, rivers or coastlines.

Swimmers in the South East and West Midlands (83%) are also most likely to say sewage discharges have made them less likely to go swimming in lakes, rivers and coastlines.

Last year, raw sewage was pumped into rivers and seas for 1.75 million hours, an average 825 times per day, according to official Environment Agency data.

Key bathing water status locations, which attract swimmers from around the country, have been flooded with sewage. In the South West, Lyme Regis’ Church Cliff Beach bathing water suffered from 81 sewage discharges last year, lasting 1493 hours

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Roads ‘plagued’ with potholes taking over 18 months to fix

  • Single pothole in Stoke took 567 days to fix after being reported
  • Government has slashed road maintenance funding by £500 million
  • Lib Dems call for end to “pothole postcode lottery” and restoring of road budgets for local authorities

Individual potholes are taking over eighteen months to be repaired in some areas, new figures have revealed.

Data obtained by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests has revealed that some councils in England are taking over a month on average to fix potholes once they have been reported, with some individual potholes left for 567 days before being repaired.

The Liberal Democrats have criticised …

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14 April 2023 – today’s press release

Scrap Voter ID when Parliament returns on Monday

Commenting on today’s warning from the Local Government Association not to underestimate the difficulties Voter ID will cause for local authorities, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson Helen Morgan MP said:

Today’s warning on voter ID from the LGA shows the Conservative Government cannot bury their heads in the sand any longer. This is a national scandal that could end in a disaster for our democracy.

The Government must urgently back my Liberal Democrat Bill which would end these regulations swiftly in the three weeks left before polling day.

The moment Parliament returns on Monday,

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Hat-trick of Lib Dems hammer Tories on broken health pledges

There was another hat-trick of Lib Dems at PMQs yesterday, and this time they tag-teamed to show the Conservatives up for failing to keep key health pledges in their manifesto.

Watch here, with the text exchange after the video.

First up, Ed Davey on the missing 40 hospitals.

It was a pleasure to meet the delegation from Kyiv before Question Time and to confirm that hon. Members across the House are united in our support for Ukraine and its brave heroes. The Conservative manifesto promised 40 new hospitals, but after three years most do not even have planning permission yet. Communities feel betrayed and taken for granted. As ITV showed yesterday, St Helier Hospital in south London is literally crumbling, but there is still no plan to save it, and Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire has sewage leaking into its wards and a roof that could collapse at any moment. Does the Prime Minister agree that no patients, doctors or nurses should have to put up with those conditions?

The Prime Minister
I am proud that we are investing record sums into the NHS under this Government, including record sums into NHS capital, which are going on not only upgrading almost 100 hospitals and developing 40 large-scale developments, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, but investing in more scanners and more ambulances across the board so that we can deliver vital care to people. I am very pleased that the most recent statistics on urgent emergency care show considerable improvement from the challenges we faced in December, and we are now on a clear path to getting people the treatment they need in the time they need it.

Next up was by-election winner Richard Foord, who quizzed the PM on what was going on in the south west:

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19 January 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Record ambulance delays reveal NHS “horror show”
  • Latest NHS figures on delayed discharges reveal “living nightmare”
  • Levelling up: Rural and coastal communities taken for granted

Record ambulance delays reveal NHS “horror show”

Ambulance response times in Wales have fallen to a record low in December with a staggering 60.5% of red calls (those deemed most life-threatening) being above the official target times. This figure is the highest on record and beats previous numbers in December 2021 and 2020, the latter of which was at the height of the pandemic.

Figures have also shown that a shocking 78% of amber calls, which include heart attacks and …

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22 November 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Debt figures: Conservative Chancellors have blown black hole in Britain’s finances
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats to Vote to Withhold Legislative Consent on the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill
  • OECD forecast: Damning verdict of the Government’s economic record
  • Sewage: Budget means almost £500 million less to tackle the sewage crisis
  • Levelling Up Bill: Conservative chaos to blame for cancellation of vote

Debt figures: Conservative Chancellors have blown black hole in Britain’s finances

Responding to new ONS figures showing the scale of UK government borrowing in October, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

These figures reveal just how badly the long list of Conservative Chancellors have trashed our economy. This Government has blown a massive black hole in Britain’s finances and is now expecting hardworking families to pick up the bill.

It is a national scandal that big banks are getting massive tax cuts whilst the squeezed-middle gets clobbered with endless tax rises.

The sensible way to solve this is surely to tax the richest companies making bumper profits. We can’t trust this Conservative Government to clean up their own mess. They should never be trusted to run our country’s economy.

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Nominate top women in Westminster: Helen Morgan “one to watch”

The House magazine runs an annual poll to identify the top 100 women in Westminster. To quote from the launch publicity from The House:

There are more incredibly talented women from across politics and public service than ever before, from parliamentarians, to journalists, civil servants, and activists.

Some might say, yes, but there is now a shortage of women in Rishi Sunak’s cabinet.

Putting that to one side, we Lib Dems and liberal thinkers have a lot of talented colleagues in both houses and across the broader Westminster village. Why not spend a few minutes shouting out for Lib Dem women that you admire? You can do so here.

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Boris Johnson to resign – reactions

Unbridled joy? Schadenfreude? Anger?

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Lib Dem MPs criticise Jacob Rees-Mogg for “get back to office” memo

This week Jacob Rees-Mogg left a very passive-aggressive note on a Whitehall noticeboard in an attempt to guilt-trip civil servants back to work. It is hardly surprising that a man who seems to be allergic to the 21st century can’t see the benefits in modern working practices which were very useful during the pandemic and helpful when infection rates are still so high.

Working from home is good for those with disabilities or caring responsibilities which make it more difficult for them to come into the office. A liberal approach would do all it could to ensure that everyone had the working model that suited them. For some, that will be coming in to the office at least some of the time because they feel better doing that. That liberal approach would also make sure that those who are working from home aren’t cut out of workplace power structures – those water cooler conversations, for example. That’s particularly important for those who changed jobs during the pandemic and are getting to know people in their new organisations.

Lib Dem MPs Jamie Stone and Helen Morgan took Rees-Mogg to task:

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Helen Morgan challenges Prime Minister on Day 1

Within a couple of hours of being sworn in, North Shropshire’s new Lib Dem MP (never going to get tired of writing that) Helen Morgan was challenging the Prime Minister over the state of ambulance services in her constituency.

Helen tried to get Boris Johnson to commit to a “full and proper review of ambulance services by the care quality commission.” The Prime Minister refused, showing pretty callous disregard for the residents who had endured some horrifying waits for ambulances in recent weeks. The closure of four local ambulance stations has only added to current pressures.

The exchange in full went like this:

I welcome the new Member, Helen Morgan.

Helen Morgan
(North Shropshire) (LD)
Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ambulance services and paramedics are desperately struggling to maintain a safe and timely service across the country. My constituency of North Shropshire is no exception, and inexplicably has seen two of its ambulance stations closed, as well as waiting times sky-rocket. With the crisis in emergency care escalating, will the Prime Minister commit today before this House to supporting my call for a full and proper review of ambulance services by the Care Quality Commission?

The Prime Minister
It is very important that everybody should get the ambulance service that they need. That is why we are investing £55 million more and that is why there are 500 more people on the ambulance staff than there were in 2018.

Afterwards, Helen said:

There is no time to waste in solving the local ambulance crisis which is a life and death situation in Shropshire.

It is essential that the Prime Minister and his Government tackle this crisis. It was disappointing to see him turn down my call for a full and proper review into services.

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Lib Dem MPs demand action on ambulance waiting times

Helen Morgan, the new MP for North Shropshire, started her first working day since the by-election win by demanding action on local ambulance waiting times. Helen Morgan, along with Lib Dem health spokesperson Daisy Cooper yesterday called for an urgent review into the ambulance crisis which leaves thousands in Shropshire waiting too long for emergency treatment.

The letter to the Health Secretary calls for a Care Quality Commission (CQC) review into ambulance services in England, with all ambulance services across the country now at REAP level 4 – the highest level meaning that ambulance services are under “Extreme Pressure”. With Covid rates rising, there is now a fear the ambulance crisis in Shropshire will worsen. The region already has one of the worst performing ambulance services, with new figures released over the weekend revealing 52% of patients at Royal Shrewsbury are left waiting more than 30 minutes in an ambulance before being handed over to A&E. The backlog in A&E, and shortages of ambulances, leaves those in need of emergency care left waiting dangerously long amounts of times before receiving care.

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North Shropshire: Helen Morgan says health crisis is first priority

We can’t have enough of Helen Morgan here on Lib Dem Voice. What a Christmas present! With Sarah Green’s win in Chesham and Amersham, we are beginning to build our strength on the national political scene. This morning, Helen spoke to Adam Green and Joanne Gallagher on BBC Radio Shropshire.

It was a very human interview covering the practicalities everyone faces on the first day in a new job. Helen said that one of her first priorities will be to write to Sajid Javid about the health crisis, which is nationwide but worse here in Shropshire. She promised to work on the casework that came up during the campaign and to focus on local issues.

Here are some extracts from the interview.

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North Shropshire: It wasn’t too good to be true after all!

A few minutes ago, I had that very satisfying feeling of adding Helen Morgan to my Twitter lists of Lib Dem MPs and Lib Dem Parliamentarians. A wee thing, but an immensely satisfying moment.

I am not at my best at the moment. It turns out that I’m not as good as I used to be at this staying up till 4:40 am then doing a day’s work malarkey. But I can’t stop smiling. This has been a very good day.

And that bursting of the Boris bubble made me smile. I enjoyed it much more than the Blue Wall bashing from June.

Exactly 6 months ago, hundreds of Lib Dems were wandering around Chesham and Amersham on a Summer’s evening trying to turn people out to vote. I was taking part in the phone knock-up. In a few hours’ time, we would welcome Sarah Green as our 12th MP. Even in our moment of glory after that, if you had told us that within 6 months, we’d be welcoming Helen Morgan as our 13th after winning North Shropshire, we’d have laughed.

When Owen Paterson announced his resignation on 4th November, the party had some decisions to take about how to approach this by-election. Within two days, we had leafletted half the constituency with a very clear message setting out that we were the challengers. Establishing yourself in that position is key. We knew that the local party was totally up for a fight and that was a key part of the decision to start looking for kitchen sinks.

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Ed Davey on historic North Shropshire win and Keir Starmer pact

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey spoke to BBC reporter Justin Webb earlier this morning. He said he was proud of our party and our campaigners. We have brought hope to the whole nation by proving the Conservatives can be beaten anywhere. Brexit was not an issue in the by-election. Voters were more concerned about ambulances and GPs.

Ed is cool on a pact with Keir Starmer for the next general election but confident that we can make more inroads into the Blue Wall.

Here is the transcript.

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Helen Morgan acceptance speech: “ Johnson you are no leader”

What a victory! Nearly six thousand majority. There are huge implications for the government and Boris Johnson. We’ll cover those in later articles.

In her speech, she told the prime minister, Helen said:

Our country is crying out for leadership. Mr Johnson, you are no leader.

She told the voters in North Shropshire:

Your amazing efforts have delivered a gift of hope to our country, just in time for Christmas… I promise I will work for you and only you. I will always put local people and our communities first.

Helen said the NHS in Shropshire is teetering on the brink. The rural economy is in a precarious state.

Below, we report Helen’s acceptance speech in full. Here is the recording.

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++++Helen Morgan wins North Shropshire!!!

March the brass bands. Beat the drums. Sound the trombones. Honk the horns. Dance through the streets. Silence the soothsayers, those that thought this by-election couldn’t be won.

We won this by-election and won it well. Turning a 22,949 “unassailable” vote for the Tories into a stonking win for us. A Tory majority of votes transformed into a stunning vote for the Lib Dems. A swing to us of 34%, giving us a majority of 5,925.

Helen Morgan won this by-election. The team supporting her won it. The hundreds of Lib Dem activists from around the country won it. Our national team won it. Ed Davey won it. Our MPs won it. Now they are 13 strong.

This was not just a bloody nose for Boris Johnson and the Conservatives. It was a bloody good win for the Lib Dems.

  • Lib Dems: 17,957
  • Conservatives: 12,032
  • Labour: 3,686
  • Green: 1,738
  • Reform: 1,127

We must now ensure that Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire are just the beginning. We have taken some hard knocks as a party in recent years. But now we have picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off. We have shown that we again can be winners. Winning here. Winning everywhere.

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How will you help Helen win North Shropshire tomorrow?

I’ve not long finished hosting the eve of poll Maraphone for Helen Morgan in North Shropshire. It was a busy night – breakout rooms and everything. And it took Eastbourne PPC Josh Babarinde a whole hour to find anyone who would admit to voting Conservative tomorrow.

And what was absolutely amazing was that Ed Davey came along and joined us for a while. The indefatigable campaigner wasn’t going to let a wee tussle with Omicron get him down. He has been to North Shropshire so often they will probably send him a Council Tax bill and he is clearly gutted that he can’t be there tomorrow. But to come and hit the phones despite feeling poorly is above and beyond the call of duty.

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North Shropshire: We’re using actual staples on our leaflets so this is serious

I’m just resting up before another blitz of Focii-ing in North Shropshire early this morning.

The constituency is similar to Brecon and Radnorshire in that you can drive for what seems like hours and still see orange posters, denoting that you are still in the constituency. – A vast and beautiful rural area with some wonderful towns.

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Johnson panic visit to North Shropshire a cynical attempt to gloss over decades of neglect

Commenting on Boris Johnson’s visit to North Shropshire today, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

The Prime Minister turning up in North Shropshire is nothing less than a panic visit, two weeks out from the election because he’s scared of an upset.

His visit will be seen for what it is – a cynical attempt to gloss over the fact that people are worried sick about ambulance wait times and feel taken for granted.

The people of North Shropshire are ready to send a message to Johnson’s government: their local health services have been failed, local farmers are being

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