Tag Archives: jenny tonge

David Ward: “if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? – probably yes”

A year ago David Ward, Lib Dem MP for Bradford East, had the party whip temporarily withdrawn after he accused “the Jews” of “inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel”. Though he apologised for blanket-labelling he said he would “continue to make criticisms of actions in Palestine in the strongest possible terms” and has tonight lived up to his word on his Twitter feed:

david ward tweets

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Martin Horwood MP writes… Why Nick Clegg’s response to Jenny Tonge was right

The controversy surrounding Jenny Tonge’s resignation from our party in the House of Lords has attracted a lot of comment online. I’m co-chair of the parliamentary party’s international affairs committee (although writing here in a personal capacity) and I think the stance which Nick took as leader was right.

Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine – for whom I have a great deal of time – have suggested that Jenny’s ‘intention was to imply that Israel’s wilful failure to uphold and respect the human rights of Palestinian Muslims and Christians is behaviour which is likely to lead to its …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 16 Comments

Lib Dem spring conference: a quick guide to the highlights

The traditional pre-conference rally at Liberal Democrat conferences seems more lively and informal than the main set piece speeches during conference, so expect even more football references than usual from Party President Tim Farron this evening when he speaks in Gateshead.

Nick Clegg’s speech rally speech will feature an attempt to set a different message for the party, looking much more positively to the future:

We’re in Government, and it is a better Government for it. Fairer, freer and greener.

Lower taxes for working people. Fairer chances for our children. And the beginnings of a new, green economy that benefits everyone in

Posted in Conference and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: Handling Israel/Palestine issues can be difficult, but…

I can still remember a night in 2009 when our canvass team came back from a night out on the doorsteps asking “Who is Jenny Tonge? We have just been canvassing and had the most awful time over this person who apparently is a Liberal Democrat…” I explained calmly and with a wry smile that Jenny was a former MP, now member of the House of Lords, that she held strong views and was not afraid to voice them. “But these residents are not going to vote Liberal Democrat because of the views she articulates,” said one of the canvassers. It was not a one-off incident.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 32 Comments

Tonge: Clegg acted “very hastily and ill-advisedly” in issuing apologise-or-resign ultimatum

Here’s the Press Association report of Baroness (Jenny) Tonge’s BBC interview following her resignation this week over controversial remarks about the future of Israel:

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Tonge has claimed her party leader Nick Clegg acted “hastily” in quickly disowning her after she said Israel “would not be there forever”. She was forced to give up the party whip after the Deputy Prime Minister told her to apologise or resign hours after her comments to students at Middlesex University were revealed.

During a talk at the university, she claimed Israel would “reap what it has sown” if the United States

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Jenny Tonge resigns Lib Dem whip over controversial “Beware Israel” remarks

A quick follow-up to our story, Jenny Tonge resigns

Baroness (Jenny) Tonge has this afternoon resigned the Lib Dem whip after coming under intense pressure following the widespread reporting of remarks she made last week declaring that Israel “will reap what they have sown” once the USA gets “sick of giving £70bn a year to Israel to support what I call America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East”.

It is by no means the first time Baroness Tonge has landed herself in hot water for her out-spoken views on Israel:

  • She was sacked by then leader Charles Kennedy as the Lib

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Jenny Tonge resigns

Baroness Jenny Tonge has resigned from the Liberal Democrats after refusing to apologise over her remarks about Israel.

According to Nicolas Watt of the Guardian, this follows Nick Clegg’s ultimatum that she should apologise for her remarks or resign.

HuffpoUK has the story:

Baroness Tonge has resigned the Lib Dem whip in the House of Lords, according to reports, after refusing to apologise for claiming that Israel would not “last forever”.

The Liberal Democrat peer, who once said she would consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were Palestinian,

Posted in News | 15 Comments

Liberal Left: why I’m underwhelmed

In theory, the launch of Liberal Left is something I should welcome as I’ve always thought that more and stronger party bodies make for a healthy party. They help give more meaning to internal party democracy by making it easier for people to co-operate with others of a like mind.

So why am I underwhelmed by Liberal Left’s launch?

It’s not that it covers some of the same ground as the Social Liberal Forum (disclosure: I’m on the SLF’s Advisory Council). Liberal Left looks to have a distinctive message and approach which diverges from, rather than duplicates, that of the …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 59 Comments

Lib Dem Peers rebel as Government defeated on Welfare Reform

The Government has suffered a series of defeats in the House of Lords tonight on various aspects of the Welfare Reform Bill.

The House of Lords was discussing amendments relating to the Employment and Support Allowance.

The Guardian reports that 3 Liberal Democrats, Jenny Tonge, Matthew Taylor and Roger Roberts voted for an amendment which protected young people’s right to claim Employment and Support Allowance.

The Government was also defeated on their one year time limit for claiming Contributory ESA. This was increased to two years by the amendment. The Liberal Democrat rebels were Dee Doocey and Jenny Tonge.

The third defeat was …

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone calls for peace in Jewish Chronicle

Lynne Featherstone has a balanced piece in the Jewish Chron this week:

In Hornsey & Wood Green in North London, there is a strong pro-Israel lobby and a strong pro-Palestinian lobby. When Jenny Tonge made her disgraceful and ignorant comments in the JC, calling for an inquiry into Israel taking organs in Haiti, I got emails from the pro-Israel lobby saying that the Liberal Democrats were pro-Palestinian.

When Nick Clegg then rightly sacked Baroness Tonge from the front bench, I received emails claiming that he had only done so because the “Zionist conspiracy” had got to him. Both were symptomatic of the

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 17 Comments

Clegg sacks Jenny Tonge

The BBC has the report:

The Liberal Democrat leader has sacked his health spokeswoman in the House of Lords after comments she made about alleged organ trafficking in Haiti.

Jenny Tonge told the Jewish Chronicle there should be an inquiry into claims that Israeli troops sent there after the earthquake were trafficking organs.

Nick Clegg said the comments were “wrong, distasteful and provocative” and dismissed her from her post.

He said she apologised “unreservedly” for any offence she had caused.

Full story here.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 75 Comments

Nick Clegg: angry liberal

Drama and political passion over at the Jewish Chronicle, where Nick Clegg vows to Martin Bright that he will not silence controverial Lib Dem peer Baroness (Jenny) Tonge, whose outspoken comments on the Israeli-Palestine conflict have in the past landed her in hot water.

Nick Clegg is angry. No, it’s beyond angry. Incandescent almost gets it, but that still doesn’t capture the full fury of the man as he leans forward from his chair in the Liberal Democrat leader’s office in the House of Commons.

The accusation that Mr Clegg had failed to honour his commitment to act against the pro-Palestinian Lib

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

BBC Question Time (15/1/09): open thread

A new year at Westminster, and the BBC’s Question Time is back (BBC1 and online, 10.35 pm GMT) – and so is the weekly LDV open thread. If you’re tuning in to watch, remember: don’t get angry, get commenting.

Lib Dem peer Baroness (Jenny) Tonge is the party’s representative… once again: I have quite a lot of time for Jenny, but, really, QT’s producers are getting boringly predictable in their bookings. Doubtless Baroness Shirl will be on their roster for this series, too. So, please, BBC: try a bit of fresh thinking.

Anyway, Jenny will be appearing alongside Tory-turned-Labour MP and …

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged , , and | 16 Comments

Jenny Tonge faces ‘show-down’ with whips today

Jenny TongeThe BBC reports that “A Liberal Democrat peer is to face party whips over claims she repeated remarks critical of the political influence of the “pro-Israeli lobby”… The party has the power to withdraw the whip (removing her from the Lib Dem group of peers in the House of Lords) after the hearing on Monday, if it is unsatisfied with her explanation.”

Following Jenny’s rebuke by the party leader last month which prompted a heated debate on Lib Dem Voice, Baroness Tonge contacted us to say: “My original …

Posted in News | 26 Comments
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