Tag Archives: Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson and Duncan Hames welcome third son

Former Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and her husband Duncan Hames are getting used to being outnumbered by their children at the moment. On Friday night, their third son, Robin arrived.

Last night, his proud mum announced his arrival on Instagram

Welcome to the world, our baby boy Robin! Born at home on Friday night, a happy and healthy 8lb 3oz bundle of love.
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The best things come to those who wait, and though he didn’t appear until 17 days after his due date, he didn’t hang about in the end: first contraction to delivery a very intense 1hr 45mins!
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We’ll never know if it was the dates, raspberry leaf tea, curries, pineapple, birth ball bouncing, multiple sweeps, the more fun ways to induce labour or just the fact that he had to come out sometime. But – well – my waters broke 4 hours after @duncan.hames and I watched Barbie, maybe that was #kenough?

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Kicking off the weekend

Welcome to the first proper weekend of the Summer holidays,  in England at least. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, we’re about half way through.

Powys Lib Dems help low-income families during Summer holidays

For many of us, it’s a chance to relax and unwind with our families. For others, it can be an incredibly stressful time. For parents on low incomes, the Summer holidays can be a nightmare. In Powys, Liberal Democrats have helped a bit with that, as we reported earlier in the week, by finding the money to continue the vouchers for families entitled to free school meals in their area. It was shocking that the Welsh Government scrapped the scheme introduced by our Kirsty Williams when she was Education Minister.

Labour is doing its best to kick struggling low income families in the teeth with Keir Starmer’s announcement that Labour would not get rid of the two child limit on benefit claims. He’s got himself in hot water with his own party. I have to say that if I had been a single mother with 3 kids in Uxbridge,  struggling to pay the bills, I’d not have been inclined to go out and vote Labour on Thursday. They can blame ULEZ all they like for their narrow defeat, but could they have won if they had had anything hopeful to say to people living in poverty?

Somerton and Frome shout-outs

Of course, it’s always great to wake up on the Saturday after a glorious by-election win. The heroes of the campaign have, I hope, managed to get some sleep. A huge shout out to Paul Trollope, whose arrival in Somerset within 24 hours of the by-election being a reality got the short campaign off to a flying start. Ruth Younger, match fit from 3 by-elections already helped deliver Sarah Dyke’s victory yesterday.

I suspect all of the staff involved had plans for the Summer which probably involved getting some r and r before the build up to a General Election year. For the fourth time in two years, they mobilised and delivered a cracking campaign so well done to all of them.

And to everyone who travelled there, including the fair few who went from Scotland, a massive thank you.

One group of people who don’t often get thanked are the volunteers who host the Maraphones. Richard Huzzey, Jacquie Gammon, Stephanie Ouzman and Hannah Perkin have been running these events at least 4 days a week since June. On polling day, they were joined by Federal Conference Committee Chair Nick Da Costa who just popped in to make calls but ended up pulling a 12 hour shift as a host to help with the many people who joined in the event. Thousands of calls were made during the maraphones, to voters and to members to encourage them to go, which is crucial in the early days of the campaign to build momentum.

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World Book Day – What are your favourite books?

Today is World Book Day, a chance to celebrate our favourite books and authors and talk about what we love to read.  So, please use the comments to talk about your favourite political books and those you read for pleasure.

One of the things which upsets me most about Long Covid is that I have been able to read so little for pleasure. Normally I’d read one book a week. Last year,  in total, I read one whole book and two half books.  However, in January alone, I’d already surpassed that. February has not been so good as I’ve been slowly increasing my hours at work which has used up pretty much all my energy.

It’s always good on World Book Day to scroll through social media and see all the children heading off to school dressed up as their favourite character. It’s a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of their parents. All too often they find out at 8pm the night before that such an event is happening and have to magic an outfit out of nowhere.  And as we come up to International Women’s Day next week, it’s worth mentioning that it is likely to be the unseen and under-appreciated work of women that  makes these things happen.

My favourite political book of all time has got to be the memoir of the 1992 US presidential campaign written by James Carville and Mary Matalin. He was Clinton’s campaign director, she was a senior member of the Bush campaign. They fell in love just before the campaign kicked off.  All’s Fair – Love, war and running for President was their hilarious account of that campaign, which shows their eccentricities off at beautifully and is a superb piece of history.

Purple Homicide, by John Sweeney, is a brilliant reminder of one fo the 1997 election’s non Lib Dem highlights. Former BBC journalist  Martin Bell took on Conservative MP Neil Hamilton in an anti-sleaze campaign after Hamilton was implicated in the Cash for Questions affair.  Again, this account is hilarious, getting its title from the “homicidal purple” trousers worn by Christine Hamilton to a dramatic encounter on Knutsford Heath.

Shirley Williams’ autobiography Climbing the Bookshelves is another special book for me. Shirley is one of my political heroes and when I read it I hear the words as she would speak them. From her evacuation across the Atlantic as a child during the war to her election as an MP, to her career as a Labour minister and then with the SDP and Liberal Democrats.

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It’s Equal Pay Day – the financial double whammy facing women

Today is the year when, because of the gender pay gap, women are effectively working for free for the rest of the year. Data from the Fawcett Society shows that the gender pay gap this year is 11.3%, slightly down on last year.

This arises for several reasons. Despite legislation outlawing this being passed more than half a century ago. women are often paid less than men for work of equal value.

Women also suffer from unfair barriers to career advancement because they are more likely to have caring responsibilities. This could be addressed by requiring employers to allow more flexible ways of working.

The Fawcett Society has produced a briefing which outlines the extent of the gender pay gap and makes recommendations to reduce it. They call for:

Improve pay gap reporting by:
Introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for employers
Requiring employers to publish action plans to tackle their pay gaps, so that
real action is taken toreduce pay inequality with accountability and
transparency built in

Lowering the threshold for pay gap reporting to 100 employees, bringing the UK closer to the standards set by other countries

Require employers to offer flexible work arrangements as default and advertise jobs with flexibility built-in

Reform the childcare system to increase affordability whilst ensuring our children get the best start in life

Ban questions about salary history during recruitment and require salary bands to be displayed on job advertisements

Introduce a free standing and legally enforceable ‘Right to Know’ what a male colleague is paid for equal work

Not only are women at the sharp end of the Gender Pay Gap, but they are also being disproportionately affected by the cost of living crisis. Scottish feminist organisation Engender has produced a report on this, calling for targeted support for women on low incomes, particularly those with caring responsibilities who are likely to have higher energy needs. They explain why this contributes to greater inequality between men and women:

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Babies in Westminster

Pub quiz question: Who was the first MP to take a baby through a voting lobby?

<spoiler alert>

 

 

The picture of Jo Swinson is a red herring.

It was her husband Duncan Hames, then MP for Chippenham, who carried young Andrew on one occasion when he voted in 2014.

Duncan and Andrew Hames make history

By the way, the reference to Harriet Harman turns out to be an untrue rumour, but neatly encapsulates the values 30 years before.

Four years after Duncan’s pioneering act Jo took their second baby (as seen in the photo) into the Commons for a debate, appropriately on allowing proxy votes for new parents. She wrote about the experience, and the backlash she received afterwards.

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Lib Dems mark Sabina Nessa vigil

Last night a vigil was held in Lewisham for Sabina Nessa, the young teacher murdered as she took a short walk at around 8:30 on Friday 17th September to meet a friend.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Rabina Khan was there and posted the heartbreaking speech from Sabina’s sister, who showed incredible courage in speaking.

Former leader Jo Swinson, who lives in that part of London, said:

Women and Equalities spokesperson Wera Hobhouse:

Earlier in the day, Rabina had been on the Today programme, talking to Nick Robinson about the fact that when women of colour go missing or worse, their stories attract much less attention than when white, middle class women go missing.

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Jo was right about Boris

It is self-evident we have a calamitous Prime Minister; we spelt out the warning ourselves.  Johnson presides over a cabinet of mediocre yes-men not selected for ability, but for their Brexit purity and for their low risk in upstaging Johnson with an unexpected whiff of competency.  The Tory conference is a time to take stock. Even amongst Conservative members there are signs of queasiness: in a recent ConservativeHome sounding of party members, only Gavin Williamson outflanks Johnson for dissatisfaction.

Less than 10 months ago Jo Swinson clearly upbraided Johnson for having ‘dragged the office of Prime Minister through the mud’. Johnson has not only continued to besmirch his office but, by disregarding the rule of law, has shredded the UK’s standing around the world.  The UK can no longer criticise breaches of international law without inviting an inevitable riposte.

‘Johnson is not fit to be Prime Minister’ Jo continued, ‘not just because he doesn’t care, not just because he lies but because also he is complicit in stoking division and fear and in our communities.  Johnson has no shame when it comes to the language he uses about race’.  She was spot on; for manifold reasons Johnson is unfit for his role. Shame seems a sentiment unknown to Johnson, moreover he is indolent, unable to master his brief, expecting the general public to know what is asked of them better than he does himself.

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Jo Swinson on the impact of the pandemic on gender equality

Former leader Jo Swinson highlighted the ways i which the covid-19 pandemic could adversely affect gender equality in the workplace.

She was giving a lecture on the future of work to Cranfield School of Management which was reported on Personnel Today.

There are some inequalities there which might well be a lasting legacy of the pandemic, despite the fact that there are other elements which ought to make things better for people who have caring responsibilities, by making it more accessible to work flexibly and to work from home,” she said.

She set out her concern that marginalised groups may find themselves at the sharp end of poor employment practice:

Swinson was concerned that those in groups that are already marginalised, such as BAME workers and those with disabilities, will experience greater challenges in the turbulent jobs market that is likely to be seen over the coming months.

My fear is that employment prospects, which are looking pretty stark for the next few months particularly as the furlough scheme and support for jobs comes to an end… will be restricted as the number of applicants per job sky rocket. There is a danger that we will go backwards ,” she said.

In times where employers can recruit very easily there’s less of a market pressure for them to make sure they are valuing each employee. Good employers will recognise the benefits of doing that… but there’s no doubt there will be employers who will look for the opportunity to slash costs to the bone, to not treat their employees well, and easier to get away with it.”

But there may, said Jo, be a positive aspect from the new ways of working we’ve found during the pandemic.

However, Swinson thought that the new ways of working brought about by the lockdown have the potential to increase the employment rate among certain groups, such as those with long-term conditions or disabilities who are unable to commute or work long hours.

“The idea that everybody needs to be working the same hours will recede because if people are going into the office they still might prefer to go in earlier, or at half past 10 when the public transport will be quieter,” she said.

“In the UK we notoriously work very long hours – is that what people feel is required?”

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Jo Swinson appointed as Director of PN4E

Partners for a New Economy (P4NE) have announced that they have appointed Jo Swinson as their new Director.

P4NE is a philanthropic donor organisation that makes grants to projects that support new economic thinking. As they say:

At P4NE, we fund innovative projects and build communities that bring new thinking and approaches to traditional economics. These “change catalysts” play a pivotal role in helping to repurpose our economic system, and together they’re helping to build a movement for an economic system that’s fit for the challenges of the 21st Century.

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Jo Swinson: I’m not finished making change in the world

I know that many readers will be wondering how Jo Swinson is getting on.

Her leadership, which offered so much promise, came to an abrupt end at the General Election.

She has written an article for the Sunday Times today in which she describes how she learned to deal with a sudden mid-life career change.

Given what she has been through in the past few months, it is really uplifting and optimistic.

In looking for what to do next, it wasn’t a surprise that she looked for guidance in books:

I longed for simplicity in reinventing myself. But most big career changes aren’t simple, says Herminia Ibarra, a professor of organisational behaviour. Having studied people transitioning from bankers to novelists, and psychologists to monks, Ibarra concludes that people rarely set out with a clear and simple plan that they execute. More common is the test-and-learn approach.

Reading her book, Working Identity, gave me confidence to explore the possibilities. I mixed paid speaking engagements and consultancy with volunteering and board experience. Networking was crucial and people were kind with advice. I learnt that by helping others with your own expertise, you can complete the circle of kindness. It is a feature seen in business more than politics.

Jo was an early adopter of Twitter and won an LDV award back in the day for using it, but she’s mostly stayed away:

Some things, such as avidly reading Twitter for the latest news, put me in the headspace of my old job. Breaking that habit helped me focus on the future.

One thing you will never find me trying, but is also very typically Jo:

When a friend told me she went open-air swimming, my initial reaction was incredulity. Then I figured, why not give it a go? So one January morning I found myself squeezing into a borrowed wetsuit and wading into a 2C lake. I loved it. I’ve even found myself changing al fresco into my swimming costume in appalling weather and high winds.

And, as always, her Dad, Peter is a key inspiration:

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“An accident waiting to happen” – comprehensive, astute and blunt panel report on the 2019 elections


Embed from Getty Images

Over the weekend, I have been thoroughly reading, and inwardly digesting, the 61 page panel report on the 2019 elections.

I started making notes of passages which would make good quotes for this article. But my list was soon very long. Pulling out pithy quotes turned out to be like shooting fish in a barrel.

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Jo Swinson…for leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats?

Embed from Getty Images

A few days after the general election, in a state of numbness I’m sure you are all familiar with, my thoughts were on our former leader, Jo Swinson.

I admit, I was not a full-throated supporter of Swinson’s. I believed she would have problems building the relationships and alliances essential to stopping Brexit, so backed Ed in the contest. In my opinion, she had an opportunity to set Scotland on a more positive course against independence. The real north, as I described it last week, could have begun to work more closely to tackle our unique crises. We would have been better able to hold the SNP’s feet to the iron, somewhat ironically, had we spent less time engaging in running point-scoring battles. We had the same aim. Those failings I find hard to set aside.

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Showing her customary resilience, Jo Swinson marks the new decade with a flurry of reflective tweets

Something you may have missed: On 31st December, Jo Swinson reflected on the last decade with a Twitter thread of photos, concluding by looking forward to the new decade with the words:

Whatever the next decade holds, I look forward to meeting it head on.


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Annoyance of LibDem MPs over power of “new sexy people” in 2019 election decisions – Five candidates ready for party leadership contest – Timetable today

Ailbhe Rea has written a long article on the Liberal Democrats for the New Statesman.

There are some interesting points about the 2019 election covered, based on reported conversations with our MPs:

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Rumour: Jo Swinson set to be awarded a peerage

This fortnight’s edition of Private Eye is proving to be quite a goldmine. I thoroughly recommend buying a copy at your local newsagent or similar outlet.

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“Her disastrous miscalculation” – Sir Nick Harvey’s view on Jo Swinson’s support for December election

Former North Devon MP, Sir Nick Harvey stood down as Liberal Democrat party chief executive shortly before 20th October last year.

In this fortnight’s Private Eye, a letter from Nick is published which severely criticises a decision made by the then party leader, Jo Swinson, soon after he left the role on 28th October.

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“Thank you!” – an open letter to Jo

Dear Jo,

As many others have pointed out in the last few days a bit of masochism never comes amiss if one is a Liberal Democrat. Pain and sorrow come with the territory.

When my 70-year old Mum cruelly lost her hard-worked council seat in 2014, courtesy of the Coalition, we got separated slightly from our colleagues after the count. We are not prone to emotion but, two dumpy ladies of 5ft nothing, we clung together as her result was announced and Labour activists surrounded us and screamed their glee. One of them trod on me in the hubbub.

Later, back home, as …

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Sal Brinton on the next steps for the Liberal Democrats

Party president Sal Brinton has emailed party members tonight to let them know what is happening with the general election review and leadership election.

The Federal Board discussed both yesterday.

We decided that everyone was knackered over the election and needed a rest over Christmas. The Federal Board meeting in January will look again at when to hold the leadership election but the feeling was that we aren’t in a massive hurry. The process takes around 9 weeks once it is kicked off.

I think this is a good idea. The 2015 leadership election was conducted when we were all still grieving after the result and was a pretty gruesome affair as a result.

We need to rest and recharge before we do anything.

Here is Sal’s email.

I want to thank you for all your hard work over the last six weeks. Everyone did everything they could in this campaign but the result has been deeply disappointing.

Despite Liberal Democrats gaining 1.2m votes and our share of the vote increasing in every region of the UK, we are now one seat down compared to 2017. Under a proportional system, we would now have 84 MPs.

In many contests, we achieved some of the biggest ever swings in election history. But in six tight races, we lost by just a few hundred votes.

For me, Jo missing out by just 149 votes was heartbreaking. In her time as Leader, she gave us hope about a new progressive politics. If you missed her moving speech you can see it here.

We also lost too many other exceptional MPs: Jane Dodds, Tom Brake, Stephen Lloyd, Luciana Berger, Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston, Sam Gyimah, Philip Lee, Angela Smith and Antoinette Sandbach. Each had made their mark as outstanding MPs standing up for liberal principles. We will miss them all.

And of course, to see the Conservatives win a majority after their disgraceful campaign is appalling. As was Nicola Sturgeon’s awful reaction to Jo’s news.

Our task now is to learn and look ahead.

Under the Party Constitution, if the Leader loses their seat, the Deputy Leader in the Commons and the President jointly take on the role of co-interim Leader. Ed Davey and I are already working closely together.

I am delighted to say that Mark Pack has been elected as Party President from 1 January, and I will hand my share of that role to him then.

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Jo, you smashed that glass ceiling! Thank you!

It’s fair to say that these have been a disappointing set of election results. I don’t want to get into the election campaign itself, but instead I want to thank Jo Swinson.

I am beyond proud of the leadership Jo has provided in these volatile political times. Her dedication to upholding and defending liberal values in the face of extremist politics has not gone unnoticed and has set an example for all of us. Although her leadership of the Liberal Democrats was short-lived, she has been an extraordinary leader, and I truly mean that. She has provided a home for millions of Remainers and given a voice to all of those who want to fight for liberal values and build a fairer and more equal society.

I first met Jo properly at a climate strike in London in February this year and was then privileged to be part of her leadership campaign team. In the short time I’ve known Jo, her dedication to the Liberal Democrat cause has shone through. She is one of the most honourable and decent politicians of our time. I know Jo as someone who, regardless of popularity, always stays true to her values, questions the way things are and doesn’t just settle for the status quo. She never compromises on what she believes in and consistently has the best interests of others at heart. I am proud of the campaign she ran – it was bold, energetic and inspiring. She never avoided scrutiny, faced tough audiences and questions and was at the receiving end of a lot of abuse, often underlined by a repulsive tone of misogyny. That ‘girly swot’ stood her ground and definitely didn’t let anything stop her.

As Jo said in her speech to party members the day after the election, “One of the realities of smashing glass ceilings is that a lot of broken glass comes down on your head” – boy did she smash that glass ceiling. She became the first woman to lead the Liberal Democrats, brought in MPs who had been abandoned by their old parties, gave a home to those who wanted to stop Brexit and fearlessly led the Liberal Democrats into the election campaign – for that, we owe Jo an enormous debt of gratitude. I can say proudly with great conviction that my faith in Jo has certainly not been misplaced.

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Jo Swinson speech following General Election

This winter election has been dark in more ways than one.

Leaders evading scrutiny, whether it was Corbyn ducking phone-ins or Johnson hiding in a fridge.

Voters feeling forced to choose the least worst option, squeezing out positivity.

Even before it started, we saw an exodus of MPs, especially women, ground down by abuse, intimidation and threats.

I’m proud that the Liberal Democrats provided a welcoming home for those abandoned by their parties, those who were hounded out, like Luciana Berger.

sadly the results have seen us lose Luciana from Parliament and many other talented MPs such as Tom Brake, Sam Gyimah, Chuka Umunna, Jane …

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Rollercoaster

I’m just in from one of the worst nights of my political life. Don’t get me wrong, at my count, Liberal Democrats in every seat increased their vote share. For election after election, I, as Scottish Party Treasurer, would have to set aside a ridiculous amount of money that could have been spent on campaigning to cover lost deposits. Not many of them this time around.

Any other time we would be celebrating a bigger increase in vote share than any other party.

It is kind of ridiculous that a rise in the Conservative vote of 1.2% was met with 50 extra MPs while a rise in the Liberal Democrat vote share of 4.2% resulted in  one fewer parliamentarian.

And it’s truly bloody awful when that one parliamentarian is your leader of just 4 months. Jo took a courageous stand on Brexit and offered radical, generous spirited, liberal policies on other issues. Yet she lost out to the SNP by just 149 votes. There are no words to describe how heartbroken I feel about her loss from Parliament.

There is a cruel irony that many of the women she encouraged now make up the majority of our  parliamentary party. She’s delivered on one of her key interests to make the party more diverse but won’t be able to work with them in Parliament.

The night ranged from the shock of the exit poll to the relief that our data was more accurate. Christine Jardine eventually won with an increased majority. Yet just an hour’s drive away, our leader lost by 149 votes. Could we have done more to persuade people to go there to shore up our vote? We’ll hever know.

The sickening, stomach churning moment when that exit poll suggested that there would be no Liberal Democrat MPs in Scotland at all  We’d hoped for five – and we got 4 when we gained Wendy Chamberlain in North East Fife. She enters Parliament along with a second term for Sarah Olney.

Other lows included  not winning Sheffield Hallam, both Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger losing their seats. And Tom Brake losing Carshalton after 22 years by approximately 400 votes.

I’ll crunch some more numbers later, but it is worth noting that we might have had several more seats and Boris Johnson might have had some fewer if we had stood aside, say, in Chingford and Wood Green  against Iain Duncan Smith or the Greens had too aside in Sheffield Hallam. For future elections, we’ll need to work to ensure that we minimise the number of Conservatives in Parliament.

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11 December 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Swinson: One day left to stop Boris Johnson and stop Brexit
  • Welsh Lib Dems: Put a penny on income tax to transform mental healthcare

Swinson: One day left to stop Boris Johnson and stop Brexit

Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson will today (Wednesday 11th December) deliver her final speech of the election campaign in Esher and Walton, urging voters to back the Liberal Democrats to stop Boris Johnson getting a majority and stop Brexit.

Jo will be attending a series of rallies with activists throughout to the day including in the Conservative-held seats of Esher and Walton, Guildford and Wimbledon.

Jo Swinson is expected …

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10 December 2019 – the overnight press releases

  • Lib Dems: Brexit is already costing our public services more than £350 million a week
  • Swinson warns of Johnson threat to human rights
  • Business backs the Liberal Democrats
  • Lib Dems are listening to Gen Z’s climate emergency fears

Lib Dems: Brexit is already costing our public services more than £350 million a week

The Liberal Democrats have revealed that Brexit is already costing the government £380–470 million a week – money that could have been spent on the NHS instead.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has estimated that GDP is £55–66 billion lower this year than it would have been without Brexit, mainly …

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9 December 2019 – today’s press releases

Apologies to our regular readers for the temporary disappearance of this regular feature – I was away and had some surprisingly poor internet access. Anyway, on with the show…

  • Liberal Democrats set out ambitious spending plans to tackle the climate emergency
  • Lib Dems: Brexit leak on Northern Ireland checks shows Johnson is lying to the public
  • Lib Dems: Johnson refusing to look at picture of sick child shows mask has slipped
  • Question Time debate shows Jo Swinson is a next generation leader

Liberal Democrats set out ambitious spending plans to tackle the climate emergency

The Liberal Democrats have …

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Jo Swinson on brilliant form on transgender rights

If you haven’t seen this clip, it’s worth watching. Jo is on brilliant form as she responds to an LBC caller who criticised boys wearing skirts. As Nick Ferrari wades in about “national security” and risks for British citizens in Saudi Arabia, Jo is passionate and concludes:

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The most frustrating thing about Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson was on Sophy Ridge this morning, setting out very clearly that every single Liberal Democrat MP elected on Thursday would be absolutely focused on stopping Brexit.

She emphasised that Liberal Democrats could stop Boris Johnson getting a majority.

She also defended our policy of revoking Article 50 if the Liberal Democrats won a majority, saying that it was the most popular option amongst remainers, including Labour remainers. She could have mentioned that 6 million people signed a petition to do just that just a few months ago so the idea clearly has support.

Here are her highlights:

Sophy Ridge asked her about …

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Jo Swinson shines in Andrew Neil interview

Jo Swinson was 3 when Jeremy Corbyn became an MP in 1983. That longer experience did not help him when he faced Andrew Neil last week. He was tin-eared, evasive and failed to connect with the audience.

Boris Johnson can’t even be bothered to show up.

In contrast, Jo was amazing tonight. Neil didn’t hold back, asking her some very tough questions. She answered every single one with clarity, competence and candour. She was very clear that she hadn’t got it right on everything  in the coalition and said the word that politicians so rarely use – sorry.

At the same time, she articulated a proper, liberal, internationalist message, showing how we are open, generous spirited and inclusive.

I have known Jo for long enough to know that she never gives up. Our election campaign has not seen the rise in the polls we deserve, given that we have a manifesto that is more redistributive than Labour’s, is the most economically competent and is much better on social justice than anyone else’s. A lesser leader could have turned their face to the wall. That is not Jo’s style. She and we will keep fighting for every single vote right up until 10pm next Thursday night.

Here are her best bits:

And we can stop Brexit We did it twice and we can do it for good:

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Jo Swinson is impressive under the Andrew Neil grilling

Jo Swinson gave a very impressive performance under the grilling of Andrew Neil this evening on primetime BBC1. (You can view it here).

She was confident, offering contrition on the mistakes of the coalition and outlining the Liberal Democrat positions clearly.

There are plenty of past examples of car crash interviews with Andrew Neil at the helm. Jo did very well under his forensic questioning.

Here’s a selection of tweets reacting to tonight’s programme:

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1 December 2019 – the weekend’s press releases (part 2)

  • Jo Swinson: Boris Johnson is running scared of scrutiny
  • Lib Dems: Tory no deal Brexit would increase national debt by £220 billion
  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s comments show that he despises the poor and vulnerable in our society
  • Swinson outperforms Johnson cheerleaders
  • Farage, Trump and Johnson singing from same misogynistic hymn sheet

Jo Swinson: Boris Johnson is running scared of scrutiny

Responding to Boris Johnson’s interview with Andrew Marr, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Jo Swinson, said:

Given Boris Johnson’s dismal performance this morning on Marr it is no wonder he is running scared of Andrew Neil and refusing to be held to account in debates.

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30 November 2019 – the weekend’s press releases (part 1)

  • Ed Davey: Only the Conservatives would think it is the right policy to put rail fares up now
  • Swinson statement ahead of World AIDS Day

Ed Davey: Only the Conservatives would think it is the right policy to put rail fares up now

Responding to the news that rail fares will increase by 2.7% for millions of commuters on the 2nd January next year, Liberal Democrats Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

With the railways in crisis and passengers continuing to suffer delays and cancellations on a daily basis, only the Conservatives would think it is the right policy to put fares up now.

It’s time

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