Tag Archives: layla moran

Rishi Sunak recycling aid money deals “damaging blow” to UK reputation ahead of COP summit

The Liberal Democrats have warned a UK government decision to effectively slash the aid budget by billions more pounds will send “completely the wrong message” to the world ahead of next month’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

It comes after it was reported that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak will include the UK’s share of financial assistance provided by the International Monetary Fund through Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) as part of the 0.5% aid target. The move is expected to reduce the aid budget by another £4bn to £5bn over a number of years.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs …

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Government must ‘not let the sun go down’ on the UK performers

Liberal Democrats have backed calls from Sir Elton John for the UK Government to urgently resolve the growing crisis facing the UK cultural sector.

At their national Conference today, the party has unanimously backed calls for swift action to address the red tape and paperwork that is stopping UK artists, performers, and musicians from being able to tour and perform in Europe.

Sir Elton has been a vocal critic of the Government’s failure to resolve this issue, which was caused following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU without a full scheme in place to enable paperless travel for performers.

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Senior Lib Dems mark 9/11 anniversary

Senior Lib Dems have been reflecting on 9/11 and its aftermath:

 

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Layla speaks up for Afghanistan’s women and girls

Lib Dem Foreign Affairs spokesperson Layla Moran spoke up for women and girls in today’s debate, quoting a young Afghan woman who said “we just live to exist, nothing else.”

Daisy Cooper intervened to emphasise the point that the voices of Afghan women must be heard.

Layla also slammed the Government’s inadequate refugee plan, saying that it’s barely 7 people per constituency this year. The full text of her remarks is below:

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What can we expect the Lib Dems to say in today’s Parliamentary debate on Afghanistan?

Parliament returns to day to spend five short hours debating the crisis in Afghanistan.

What can we expect Liberal Democrats to be saying?

The first priority is about getting people to safety. Yesterday, Layla Moran tweeted that we should be taking at least 20,000 refugees, a figure based on what we had called on for Syrians and what the Canadians had proposed.

Crucially, she added that this had to be backed up by proper funding to local councils to resettle refugees and provide them with the support that they need.

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Ed Davey: Government is failing Afghan people

The idea of the Taliban getting closer to power in Afghanistan is very worrying indeed. That it comes at a time when we are withdrawing troops and slashing foreign aid by 78% shows astonishing irresponsibility on behalf of our government.

You can’t just walk away and leave people in the lurch as we are doing.

Ed Davey has spoken of his concerns about the advance of the Taliban:

As the Taliban take swathes of territory on their advance towards Kabul, millions of women and girls are facing the prospect of a new era of injustice, inequality and brutality – while the

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Layla slams Government for “opening floodgates to new variants” and failing to protect troops

Good work from Layla Moran in today’s press.

First, the Guardian reports the Commons Library research commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, which Layla chairs, which shows that the number of positive cases tested for variants has fallen dramatically.

The results suggest that in the three weeks to 17 March, there were an estimated 1,769 to 1,827 positive tests from people entering the UK from red list countries, of which somewhere between 63% and 68% were sequenced to determine the variant involved.

By contrast in the three weeks to 30 June, there were an estimated 445 to 507 positive tests from people entering the UK from red list countries, with estimates of the proportion sequenced ranging from 12% to 33%.

Layla highlighted the dangers of this:

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Backbench victory could reverse overseas aid budget cut

Rishi Sunak’s £4 billion cut to the overseas aid budget last November was a populist move, playing to the sections of the media that believe most aid is wasted and we should keep the money for ourselves. But the cut of almost a third from the budget is having an impact on relief and development projects, on education for girls and on the UK’s standing in the developing and developed world.

Backbench MPs are angry. So angry that a Conservative amendment to an unrelated bill of Monday looks like being supported, providing it is selected by the Speaker. This would reinstate our nation’s commitment to spending 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid.

Boris Johnson will perhaps spend the weekend wondering whether it is worth the damage to his reputation ahead of the G7 summit over what one of his ministers calls a “small” cut in overseas aid.

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Local lockdowns by stealth?

The Government has been having to deal rapidly with the cock-up over the restrictions in areas where the Indian variant is spreading.

Munira Wilson was in the Guardian today, after confusion reigned in Westminster:

An appearance in the House of Commons on Tuesday by the vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, failed to clarify the matter.

“What we’re asking people in those affected areas is to be cautious, is to be careful – so on visiting family, meet outdoors rather than inside where possible. Meet 2 metres apart from people you don’t live with, unless you have formed a support bubble,” said Zahawi. “Yes, people can visit family in half-term, if they follow social distancing guidelines.”

But then he added: “Avoid travelling in and out of the affected areas, as the prime minister said on the 14th, unless it is essential, for example for work purposes.”

In the House of Commons, the Twickenham MP, Munira Wilson, challenged Zahawi about whether her constituents should be avoiding travelling across the borough boundary into neighbouring Hounslow to shop or go to school.

The minister replied: “People need to exercise that caution, that common sense.”

It’s a pity that the Government didn’t follow it’s own advice and act with common sense in the first place.

Layla Moran, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, joined in on the BBC News:

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Roman Protasevich abduction – time for Britain to act?

The criminal hijacking of a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius, with a Belarussian anti-government activist on board has led to calls from across Europe and beyond for firm action to be taken against the Belarus Government led by Alexander Lukashenko, whose agents advised the flight crew that there was a bomb onboard, and then seized Protasevich and his partner, Sofia Sapega, whilst the plane was on the ground in Minsk.

Layla Moran was quick to call upon Dominic Raab to respond;

Meanwhile, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe, in advance of today’s European Council meeting, demanded;

  • The immediate release

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Scrapping Vagrancy Act should be part of Queen’s Speech

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Layla Moran has put this very well:

Today it’s still the law for rough sleepers to be arrested and prosecuted for the crime of not being able to afford a roof over their head. It’s a moral outrage that a Victorian-era law continues to punish those who desperately need help.

The clock is ticking for this Government. We urgently need a more compassionate and holistic approach to ending homelessness in this country. There is significant cross-party support for the Vagrancy Act to be repealed as

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8 Lib Dem GAINS in Oxfordshire – including Tory Council Leader’s seat

Lib Dems in Oxfordshire have taken 8 seats from the Conservatives and are now just one seat behind them.

One of the seats was that of the County Council Leader in Woodstock.

To add to Tory miseries, they also lost a seat in affluent Chipping Norton to Labour.

And there could be more..

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India COVID disaster: Layla Moran calls for UK to begin donating vaccines through COVAX immediately

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The Liberal Democrats have written to the Prime Minister calling for the UK to begin donating vaccines through the COVAX programme immediately.

The letter, co-signed by all the party’s MPs and spearheaded by Layla Moran, echoes calls the party made to join COVAX as part of a ‘parallel rollout’ back in February. With the situation in India now worsening, the urgency of the call has intensified.

It also highlighted how aid cuts are making the global situation worse and called for a number of other proactive measures such as safely accelerating approval processes in regulatory bodies.

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Layla speaks out on Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe decision


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The BBC reports:

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been sentenced to a further year in prison and a one-year travel ban after being found guilty of propaganda against the regime in Iran.

Her lawyer said she was accused of taking part in a protest in London 12 years ago and speaking to the BBC Persian service.

The prime minister said the UK would “redouble” efforts to free her.

The British-Iranian charity worker was first jailed in Tehran in 2016.

She has always denied the spying charges levelled against her.

Confirming the latest sentence, her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said the court’s decision was a bad sign and “clearly a negotiating tactic” by the Iranian authorities – who are in the middle of discussions over the country’s nuclear activities.

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21 March 2021 – the day’s press releases (part 2)

  • Reverse “deadly” aid cuts, say Liberal Democrats
  • Liberal Democrats call for greater measures to increase accessibility in education
  • Government must commit to 10k refugees a year, Liberal Democrats say

Reverse “deadly” aid cuts, say Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have called on the UK Government to reverse “unprincipled, unjustified and downright deadly” cuts to international aid.

The motion passed at its Spring Conference reaffirmed the Party’s commitment to the UK contributing 0.7% of GNI on Official Development Assistance and slammed the merging of the Department for International Development with the Foreign Office.

It also demanded the UK Government play a ‘proactive role in debt forgiveness and relief initiatives’ for developing countries struggling with the economic and health impact of Coronavirus.

Speaking after the motion was approved, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and International Development Layla Moran said:

The UK’s global reputation is disappearing fast. The decision to cut aid to the world’s poorest is not only wrong but short-sighted and strategically incompetent. The Conservatives are putting nukes before prosperity.

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20 March 2021 – the day’s press releases (part 2)

  • Government must fix its response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Liberal Democrats review to plot paths to closer relationship with EU
  • We must get serious on Russia for the sake of our democracy

Government must fix its response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to fix its response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the Party’s Spring conference.

The proposals include plans to fix the Government’s approach to self-isolation through better and more generous support; ensure Test and Trace makes better use of local government; and securing the rollout of surplus vaccines to the world’s poorest countries.

The party also called for an immediate independent public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic, as promised by the Prime Minister last autumn.

Munira Wilson MP, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Health, said:

The Government failed to learn the lessons of the first wave of the virus and they did not act to stop the pain and suffering this terrible disease inflicted on the UK in the second.

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Layla Moran calls for compensation for key workers who have long Covid

Layla Moran has been talking to the media today about long Covid. She makes the case that it should be recognised as an occupational disease, and that compensation should be given to key workers who suffer from it.

She is appearing on Question Time this evening, so she may well take the opportunity to press her argument.

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An example from the EU on what to do when you screw up

Oh my, the EU screwed up badly yesterday. There is no doubt about that. Invoking Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol, however briefly, to prevent Covid vaccines getting into Northern Ireland via the Irish Border.

The Northern Irish and Irish Governments made clear their displeasure and, in very short order, the EU backtracked, as it should have done.

It was an example of the appropriate way to behave when you get it wrong. The EU is no more immune to screw-ups than the rest of us. In fact, it was really quite incredible that it got through the Brexit process by being pretty reasonable most of the time, in the face of extreme provocation from our ministers.

Last night, their leaders, when confronted with the consequences of their actions, didn’t hunker down and get all belligerent about getting Article 16 done, or anything. They stopped digging. Earlier this month, Boris Johnson was pretty gung-ho about the possibility of us invoking the same provision. I doubt that it would be resolved so unremarkably if he ever does.

Our Layla Moran talked about the need for calm heads in a difficult situation:

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Layla Moran writes… Liberal Democrats stand with others today to oppose trade deals with countries committing genocide

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The UK should not sign trade deals with countries committing genocide.

A statement I hope we can all agree on. Unfortunately, the Government seems to disagree. They’re refusing to accept cross-party amendments to the Trade Bill that would put human rights at the heart of our trade policy.

This is particularly important because of what is happening to the Uyghur people in Xinjiang and across China. The Foreign Secretary last week described the mounting evidence to the Commons:

Internment camps, arbitrary detention, political re-education, forced labour, torture and forced sterilisation—all on an industrial scale.

And yet he refused to call it genocide. As I told Autumn Conference in September, and following Alistair Carmichael as the first MP to raise the plight of the Uyghurs, it is increasingly clear that that is exactly what this is.

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Layla Moran: Protect frontline workers who have Long Covid

You would think, wouldn’t you, that if you caught a disease because of your work, that your employer would be obliged to look after you.

This is not the case for frontline workers, even public sector workers. In a parliamentary debate she’d secured on Long Covid, Layla Moran highlighted the cases of three who had experienced the wrath of HR departments after contracting long Covid.

Take Daisy, an NHS nurse in Wales. For four months she received reduced and then no pay from NHS Cymru, which told her that it was unable to support staff who contracted covid-19. Her case was resolved, but she continues to say that this issue has not been resolved at a national level in Wales. That story, and many others like it, have left me speechless—a headteacher and a nurse, key workers on the frontline, who have no choice but to do their job with inadequate personal protective equipment and testing, and now face financial ruin for doing their duty. It is unacceptable, which is why the APPG recommends that the UK Government recognise long covid as an occupational disease and institute a long covid compensation scheme for frontline workers.

She asked the Minister for three things – better reporting of Long Covid – with the daily stats – research into the condition and how to treat it and recognition of the condition in the social security system and by employers.

I know several friends who have Long Covid and it is really debilitating.

Alistair Carmichael also spoke in the debate, saying that he expected problems in the social security system which had already shown its utter uselessness in dealing with people with ME.

There must be more flexibility in how the system responds to people who are affected in this way. The point has been made to me by constituents that there is a lot of crossover between the symptoms and treatment of people with long covid and those who suffer from ME; I think that point was also made by the hon. Member for Oldham East and Saddleworth (Debbie Abrahams). Certainly, looking back over the years at the way in which the benefits system has coped with people who suffer from ME, let alone the medical profession, we can see that this will be a problem with which we shall have to come to terms for some considerable time.

A Universal Basic Income would make a big difference, he said.

As the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Long Covid, Layla can speak with some authority on these issues. I think that the UK Government has been better than the Scottish Government which doesn’t even have a decent strategy for dealing with Long Covid and that in part is due to the fact that Layla’s leadership on this has been so good.

Here is Layla’s whole speech:

I would like to start by thanking the Backbench Business Committee for giving us time to debate long covid today. I also thank members of the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus, especially the hon. Member for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich (Dr Poulter) and my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne), who co-sponsored the debate. Most of all, I want to thank everyone who has written to me, the all-party group or their own MP in the last few weeks with their stories. Their accounts are deeply moving. Today’s debate is for them.

In one such email, a constituent of mine said,

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Lib Dems support Small Business Saturday

After the year they have had, small businesses need a break.

So many have struggled as a result of the pandemic, either unable to trade or severely restricted.

Think of all those little independent shops who have been closed, open, closed and open again throughout the year.

The weeks before Christmas should be their busiest time.

The first Saturday in December is always Small Business Saturday, a day when we encourage people to support small businesses. This year it has even more resonance. We would miss the vibrant diversity of our local communities if we lost these assets.

Lib Dem parliamentarians have been out and about supporting small businesses in their constituencies. Here’s a flavour of what they have been up to:

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Lib Dems mark Diwali

Ed Davey has released this message for Diwali, highlighting how friends and family are not able to celebrate as they would wish because of the Covid restrictions:

Layla Moran also posted a message talking about how she in her teaching days would celebrate Diwali with colour and joy.

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4 November 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Attempts to undermine US democratic process must be condemned by UK Government
  • Fixing test and trace must be priority for Government during national lockdown
  • Tories have betrayed their promise to protect British farmers

Attempts to undermine US democratic process must be condemned by UK Government

The Liberal Democrats have warned any attempts to undermine the democratic process in the US must be condemned by the UK Government.

The call comes in response to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab failing to condemn Donald Trump’s incorrect claims of victory in the US election.

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Layla Moran said:

We must not come to any premature conclusion about the election result, regardless of what the President or his campaign are saying.

Now is the time for peace and patience in the US, and for trust in the democratic process.

Any attempt to undermine that must be condemned by the UK Government and the international community in the strongest terms.

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26 September 2020 – conference day 2 press releases

  • Liberal Democrats condemn health inequalities “exposed in technicolour” by Covid crisis
  • Liberal Democrats demand Raab steps up sanctions against China over treatment of Uyghurs
  • Liberal Democrats call on Government to tackle ‘Long Covid’

Liberal Democrats condemn health inequalities “exposed in technicolour” by Covid crisis

In her first keynote address as Liberal Democrat Health, Wellbeing and Social Care spokesperson Munira Wilson will condemn the health inequalities “exposed in technicolour” through the COVID-19 crisis, and call for a Minister for Wellbeing to ensure that Government decisions are “fundamentally in keeping with health and wellbeing.” She is expected to say:

The coronavirus has not just laid bare the fundamental problems facing our NHS and care sectors, it has exposed in technicolour the health inequalities facing the UK, and shown us why we need to rethink the way we see healthcare as a whole.

We have seen the impact of poor and overcrowded housing, insecure employment and our broken welfare system on not just our physical health, but also our mental health and wellbeing.

We have seen those health inequalities play out in real time, most shockingly in the disproportionate impact of COVID on people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, on people with disabilities, and on the poorest.

When we think about the future, it’s clear that going “back to normal” is not an option. It is time to re-boot and re-think the way we live our lives, and the Government’s role in helping us to do so in a more sustainable, healthier way.

That starts with making someone at the Cabinet table responsible: a Minister for Wellbeing who will scrutinise the Government’s actions and ensure they are fundamentally in keeping with health and wellbeing.

As well as this, in the same way that Equality Impact Assessments pushed equality up the agenda, we need to introduce wellbeing assessments to make sure new laws empower people to live healthier lives.

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Speeches of #ldconf: Layla Moran’s first as Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

On Lib Dem Voice: Reportage | Contribute
On the official party website: Conference home


Layla Moran made her first keynote speech since taking over the Foreign Affairs spokesperson and showed that she has mastered her brief very quickly. She was as passionate and compassionate as you would expect and called out the Government on its failure to do enough to support human rights around the world.

 

Here is her speech in full:

And the text is below:

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22-28 August 2020 – the week’s press releases

It’s summertime, not much happening at Westminster, and most attention on the Liberal Democrats was focussed on the leadership contest. Time to catch up with what you might have missed…

  • Cost of tackling food crime soars more than 1000% due to Brexit, Liberal Democrats reveal
  • Boris Johnson put saving his advisor above the national interest
  • Williamson allowing someone else to take the blame for exam fiasco
  • Liberal Democrats: Missed test and trace targets show need for inquiry

Cost of tackling food crime soars more than 1000% due to Brexit, Liberal Democrats reveal

The Liberal Democrats have revealed the cost of the National Food Crime Unit, vital in making sure food sold in the UK is safe, has seen costs soar by more than 1000% in the past five years as a direct result of Brexit.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron warned the cost of Brexit is “increasingly clear” and urged Ministers to uphold high food safety standards and prevent the UK being “flooded with cheap imports that put our health at risk.”

Figures uncovered by a Liberal Democrat freedom of information request have revealed the NFCU budget has gone from a budget of just £420,739 since it’s creation in 2015 to more than £5.7m in 2020/21.

The extra funding comes via the expanded Food Standards Agency budget, in order to facilitate NFCU readiness for “any risks or opportunities presented by the UK’s exit from the EU.”

Liberal Democrat Food and Rural Affairs Spokesperson Tim Farron:

We all want to know what’s in every product we consume, and have faith that it’s correctly labelled.

While it is right the Government provides essential funding to tackle food crime, we cannot ignore the fact that the costs have gone up more than 1000% as a result of Brexit.

The true cost of falling out of the EU is increasingly clear. As Ministers struggle to cut trade deals, we are set to lose access to many protections that will cost millions to replicate here in the UK.

To end the uncertainty and prevent soaring costs, the Government must commit to upholding our high food safety standards, supporting British producers and ensuring our markets are not flooded with cheap imports that put our health at risk in the future.

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Ed Davey announces key appointments on Twitter

Ed Davey has started to make his announcements of his shadow cabinet on Twitter.

Layla Moran made a huge impression during the leadership campaign and has been rewarded with a promotion to Foreign Affairs Spokesperson. https://twitter.com/LaylaMoran/status/1300410349913608194?s=20

I can see an education dimension to this as well in terms of supporting education, especially for women and girls, around the world.

Christine Jardine takes up her third major office of state in three years. She covered Jo Swinson’s maternity leave at Foreign Affairs in 2018 and has been Home Affairs spokesperson for the last year. She is now the first woman to become Treasury spokesperson. As a former journalist, she will see this role very much in terms of stories and not numbers and will be able to articulate our liberal vision for a society that is fairer and values wellbeing.

And taking on Christine’s old portfolio at Home Affairs, Alistair Carmichael emerges from his Whiply shadows. It’s not clear if he will still be Chief Whip as well. We’ll have to wait and see.

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A letter to disheartened Layla supporters

In the aftermath of our leadership election, emotions are high. I know there are people disappointed by the result. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disheartened to be on the losing side. I know Ed is a great liberal, a caring person, and a hugely credible environmental campaigner and I’m still a Liberal Democrat at the end of the day no matter what.

With that said, many of you saw the need for new energy, a fresh start and a revitalisation of our party.

The leadership is only one aspect of our party and one piece of the puzzle. Please don’t give up.

Local, Scottish and Welsh elections are approaching.

We have lots of fresh faced, energetic and bright young talent in the party. People who embody what it is we loved about Layla in the first place. People like Molly Nolan in Caithness, Sutherland & Ross and Jenny Marr in the Scottish Borders.

Support them. Lift them up.

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+++Breaking news – the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats is …

Congratulations to Ed Davey who has just been elected by members as Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

If you missed the announcement and speech by the new Leader, then you can catch up here.

Huge thanks must go to both Ed Davey and Layla Moran who fought a clean but impassioned fight, demonstrating what great assets they both are to our party.

Votes cast were:

Ed Davey: 42,756

Layla Moran: 24,564

Turnout: 57.6%

 

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Make your mind up time: Lib Dem Women’s hustings

There are just 19 hours left in the Lib Dem Leadership election. Many of you will still be making your final decision on who to vote for.

If you are still not sure, why not watch some snippets of the 47 hustings that have taken place so far?

One event that isn’t on the website is the Lib Dem Women event that took place last month. They have recently uploaded it on to You Tube and you can watch here.

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