Tag Archives: leaders debate

12 June 2024 – today’s press releases

  • GDP: Conservatives have utterly failed to deliver the growth promised
  • Ed Davey calls for young carers to receive education support as latest TV broadcast released
  • Thames Triathletes sickness: Environment Agency investigation needed
  • Craig Williams bet on election date: Sunak must suspend him
  • Conservatives: Record of failure on defence
  • Sky Leaders’ Debate: Sunak “out of touch” on NHS waiting lists

GDP: Conservatives have utterly failed to deliver the growth promised

Commenting on the latest GDP estimates, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney said:

As Rishi Sunak’s time as Prime Minister peters out, so does the UK’s economic growth.

The Conservatives have utterly failed to deliver the growth they repeatedly promised, instead presiding over stagnation and economic misery for hardworking families across the country.

The Conservatives’ manifesto shows they simply lack the ambition and vision to get the economy moving again. It’s clear for voters across the country that the only way to make it happen is to vote them out of office on 4 July.

Ed Davey calls for young carers to receive education support as latest TV broadcast released

  • Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey speaks to carers in latest TV broadcast airing later tonight
  • Liberal Democrats propose Young Carers Pupil Premium, ensuring carers keep up with their learning
  • Ed Davey, who cared for his mother as a child, says the plans will help young carers fulfil their potential
  • Up to three in 10 (27%) of young carers are missing school

The Liberal Democrats will announce plans for young carers in England to receive extra funding for their education as part of a major expansion of the pupil premium. The policy would support over 50,000 children with caring responsibilities to catch up on their learning.

The latest policy announcement comes as Ed Davey’s new Party Election Broadcast airs tonight on BBC and ITV, with the party leader hearing from carers.

In the film, Ed Davey, who cared for his mother as a child and now cares for his disabled son, hears from a young carer who struggles to balance their learning with caring responsibilities.

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4 June 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Long-term sickness risks £18 billion black hole under Conservatives as Lib Dems call for mental health MOTs
  • Debate: The country deserved better than that
  • Cole-Hamilton: SNP’s mishandling of health costing the economy
  • Welsh Lib Dems react to school year announcement
  • Cole-Hamilton: SNP have failed to get to grips with A&E crisis
  • Mental health treatment targets missed again
  • Scottish Liberal Democrats: SNP must go further and faster with rail travel

Long-term sickness risks £18 billion black hole under Conservatives as Lib Dems call for mental health MOTs

  • The Liberal Democrats announce regular mental health ‘MOT’ checks at key points in people’s lives including for new parents and retirees
  • Ed Davey said the Prime Minister’s “failure to cut NHS waiting lists is damaging the economy” and party’s new commitment would “help people get back to work”
  • Analysis reveals that over the course of the next Parliament long-term sickness could cost the economy £18.3 billion

Record levels of long-term sickness under the Conservatives are set to blow an £18.3 billion black hole in the public finances over the next Parliament, new analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The party said it shows that Rishi Sunak’s failure to bring down NHS waiting lists is holding the economy back and costing taxpayers billions.

Each person out of work due to long-term illness costs an average of £5,200 in lost tax revenue, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility. The latest figures show a shocking 2.8 million people were out of work due to ill health in February 2024, up around 700,000 compared to the start of this Parliament in 2019. It means the rise in long-term sickness under the Conservative Party is leading to a staggering loss of almost £3.7 billion in lost tax revenue per year, or £18.3 billion over the next parliament.

Rishi Sunak recently admitted the government has failed to cut NHS waiting lists with 6.3 million people still waiting for treatment, double the number since 2015. Over 1.35 million (53%) of those inactive because of long-term sickness reported that they had a mental health condition such as depression, bad nerves or anxiety.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for the introduction of regular mental health check-ups at key points in people’s lives when they are most vulnerable, to help tackle the root causes of the mental health crisis. This would include new parents, children and young people, men in their 40s, carers and retirees, all of whom are at high risk of mental ill health.

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3 June 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Ed Davey launches plan for free personal care to end hospital crisis and help people stay in their own homes
  • Chamberlain: Liberal Democrats will restore public service to our politics
  • McArthur responds to SNP Government scrapping recycling target
  • Alex Cole-Hamilton’s opening statement in STV Leaders’ Debate

Ed Davey launches plan for free personal care to end hospital crisis and help people stay in their own homes

  • Liberal Democrats announce groundbreaking plans to offer free personal care to all those who need it
  • Ed Davey will put care at the heart of the Liberal Democrats’ plan for the country, becoming the first ever party to have a dedicated chapter in manifesto on care
  • Latest figures show over 12,700 hospital beds taken up by patients ready to be discharged with some waiting months
  • The party’s flagship social care announcement will be funded by reversing tax cuts given to big banks by the Conservatives

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will today launch a bold plan to fix the social care crisis, including providing free personal care to help elderly people stay in their own homes for longer.

The groundbreaking policy would revolutionise the care system in England and alleviate pressure on the NHS, by providing free personal care for everyone who needs it. The plan would help more people to receive the care they need in their own homes and prevent people having to sell their house to pay for personal care.

Personal care covers nursing care, help with mobility, hygiene and medication, whether people are in their own home or a care home. Those needing residential care would still have to contribute towards their accommodation.

Ed Davey, who has been a carer himself throughout his life, said that too often family carers were being left to “pick up the pieces” because the care system wasn’t there for them. He added that fixing the care crisis is fundamental to tackling the crisis facing the NHS.

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2 June 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems call for new protections for rivers and coastlines as sewage dumped over 100,000 times in bathing water areas
  • Rennie writes to Justice Secretary following FAI report on M9 crash
  • Cole-Hamilton responds to £450m EU funding revelation
  • Cole-Hamilton speaks ahead of first Scottish leaders’ debate

Lib Dems call for new protections for rivers and coastlines as sewage dumped over 100,000 times in bathing water areas

  • Rivers to be given new protected status against sewage discharges with current government scheme branded “toothless”
  • Party uncovers water firms have discharged sewage over 100,000 times in current bathing water status areas
  • Lib Dems set out “boldest manifesto on cleaning up our rivers and coastlines”

The Liberal Democrats have announced a massive expansion of marine protected areas and a new Blue Flag status for rivers will be included in their general election manifesto.

In response to sewage being pumped into bathing water status rivers, the party has announced plans for new Blue Flag rivers, setting legally binding targets to prevent sewage dumping in those sites. Blue Flag rivers would give special protected status for swimmers and wildlife.

The current government bathing water scheme has failed to protect waterways from sewage discharges by only requiring increased water quality testing. Analysis by the Liberal Democrats has found since 2020, water companies have discharged sewage into bathing water areas 105,347 times, equating to a staggering 694,487 hours worth of sewage.

The two worst offending companies were United Utilities, which dumped sewage into the Lake District, and South West Water, found to be polluting beaches in Cornwall and Devon.

The Liberal Democrats are also announcing new plans to protect coastal marine wildlife, which would see the expansion of the blue belt of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to cover at least 50% of the UK territorial waters by 2030.

Marine environments are currently in a state of crisis due to sewage and plastic pollution. The new target on MPAs would be achieved by working in partnership with UK Overseas Territories, as well as mandating the government to monitor the sites.

The latest announcement on water quality follows the party announcing its plans to abolish Ofwat, introducing a new regulator with greater powers, as well as a ban on water company executive bonuses.

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8 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: If the PM thinks NI deal is so good – why doesn’t the rest of the UK have it?
  • Lib Dems: BBC now complicit in establishment stitch-up to exclude Remain voice

Lib Dems: If the PM thinks NI deal is so good – why doesn’t the rest of the UK have it?

Responding to comments made by Boris Johnson that Northern Ireland has got a great deal by keeping access to the Single Market and free movement, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

The Single Market and freedom of movement are a great deal – even Boris Johnson

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The SNP and the Tories are using the same playbook to delegitimise opposition and checks on their power

There has been a very unfortunate trend in recent years of those in power condemning anyone who stands in their way. We all remember the failure of the Conservative Justice Secretary Liz Truss to stand up for the Supreme Court judges who upheld the law after the “enemies of the people” headline. However, that wasn’t the first time the judiciary had come under such attack. Back in 2011, Alex Salmond insulted Lord Hope, a judge who had found the Scottish Government to be wanting on human rights. As I wrote at the time:

Peter Cadder, whose case sparked the SNP’s casual quadrupling of pre-charge detention time in an afternoon last year, won his human rights case because, then a teenager, he had not had access to a lawyer before a police interrogation that led to his conviction for assault.  Now, to me, it seems eminently reasonable that people should have access to lawyers. A system that does not allow that is flawed. Rather than slag off judges and court judgements, surely the Scottish Justice Department would be better off comparing Scots law with European human rights law and sorting out where there could be problems. You could argue this should have been done years ago.

Alex Salmond is pandering to a Daily Fail type agenda with is comments and he needs to catch himself on.

The Tories and the right wing press are playing from the same playbook with their “saboteurs” and “enemies of the people” narrative as if they alone are the true diviners of the will of the people as if that is as immovable as Mount Everest. There’s a certain irony about those who claim to be all about enacting the will of the people zealously ensuring that the people don’t get a chance to mark their homework.

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Farron: I am determined to protect decent people from being taken for granted by a heartless Conservative Government

Well, I certainly chose a fine two days to be sent to the Highlands campaigning. I mean, I’ve barely been able to catch up with the manifesto launch yesterday and the leaders’ debate tonight. I’ve been in the most wonderful places on the planet as far as I am concerned, but have been experiencing the broadband and connectivity problems first hand.

I will be back home tomorrow night. I haven’t yet seen the Leader’s Debate, but by the magic of technology, I can bring you Tim Farron’s opening and closing statements.

He kicked off with a powerful and personal appeal:

I got into politics to fight.

To stand up to those who take you for granted.

I grew up in Preston in the 1980s.

I saw what happens when decent people are taken for granted by a heartless Conservative government.

I am determined to stop that happening again.

The decent Britain I love is under threat.

Theresa May – backed by Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn – is going for an extreme Brexit deal that will damage our future for generations.

Don’t give up.

The Britain I love is not lost yet.

No matter which way you voted in the referendum:

If you care about our children, do not cut our schools.

If you care about our elderly, don’t leave them on trollies in corridors.

If you want Britain to lead the world, do not turn your back on it.

A brighter future is possible.

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Candid, competent Clegg puts in good performance in debate that fails to break the poll deadlock

The NHS doesn’t need warm words, it needs hard cash.

Probably the line of the debate for me, from Nick Clegg as he highlighted Liberal Democrat plans to invest £8 billion in the NHS in England with resultant Barnett Consequentials. Clegg was at the top of his game tonight. Paddy Ashdown said he was flawless, but I wouldn’t quite go that far. He stumbled a bit on immigration – taking the right line but with some strange comments about good and bad immigrations. I actually feel prouder of him than I did in 2010. After all the grief he’s taken, after everything that’s happened in the last five years, for him to come out with humility and clarity and perform so well was very good.  As I write, a public speaking expert says that he thought Nick was excellent.

He was pretty strong on the economy, too and repeatedly challenged Cameron on the Tory plans not raising taxes on the rich.

Having lived through the independence referendum and all the nonsense spread by the Yes campaign that the NHS had been privatised in England, it was good to see Nick call Nicola out on that.

Nicola Sturgeon  was very good too. It was funny when she turned and faced Cameron to ask him to specify his welfare cuts and he turned away from her. She made a lot of claims about what was happening in Scotland, from NHS Funding (actually going down), NHS car parking (you still have to pay in some places) and on the failure of the SNP to keep its promise to dump student debt. Oh, and let’s not forget the young people denied opportunity because of the SNP’s slashing of college places. 

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The popcorn’s ready for the debate tonight – what I want to see from Nick Clegg

It was one year ago tonight that Nick took on Nigel. And tonight he takes on Nigel and five others. All of them will be queuing up to attack him. Nigel because Nick’s open, liberal, internationalist stance is the antithesis of all he stands for, Ed, Nicola, Leanne and Natalie because that’s what they do and Dave because the last thing he wants is another coalition with the Nick. After all, he did tell the Daily Mail that he’d govern like a proper Tory if it weren’t for Nick. When the Prime Minister talks about Ed Miliband being in Alex Salmond’s pocket, you can tell he feels that he’s been in Nick Clegg’s for the past five years.

But lets just take a moment and smile. This is the first major occasion like this at a UK level when there will be an equal number of men and women on that stage. I wish it wasn’t remarkable and I hope that in my lifetime it won’t be. Natalie Bennett, Nicola Sturgeon, Leanne Wood and Julie Etchingham, you are making history.

So, let’s look at the basic housekeeping first. The debate can be seen on STV and ITV live and you can watch online on the Lib Dem website here. I will probably watch the BBC News Channel, where, alongside the debate, they’ll have the Worm, which shows selected viewers’ instant reactions to what is being said.


Each leader gets a one minute statement. Then there are four question and answer sessions on the topics of health, the economy, immigration and the future of the UK. Each section, after each leader has had an uninterrupted minute to answer the question, lasts for up to 18 minutes.

My advice to Nick

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