Tag Archives: lib dem mps

Layla Moran challenges Sunak on Thames Water incompetence

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran had a question to the Prime Minister today.

She challenged him on Thames Water, who are putting charges to her constituents up, despite providing a terrible service. She said:

Thames Water is a shambles. During the recent flooding in Oxfordshire, it dumped sewage from 270 sites along the Thames in one week. Waste was backing up into people’s homes because of drains that it had not unblocked, and it could not even refill its own reservoir because the rivers were too dirty. Rather than offering a rebate for this shoddy service, Thames Water is intending to put bills up for everyone by 60%. Will the Prime Minister explain to my constituents why they are being asked to foot the bill for Thames Water’s gross incompetence?

Sunak responded by basically reaffirming Layla’s point that Thames Water had been terrible, but without much in the way of understanding or action to prevent such a massive increase in charges.

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Farron: Children are missing school to go abroad for dental treatment

We all know that NHS dental appointments can be almost impossible to access in many areas of the country.

Liberal Democrats have been highlighting this for months and calling on the Government to do more to ensure people can access this key service.

Yesterday, Tim Farron spoke in an opposition day debate on dental services and said that he had been told that some children were missing school to go abroad for dental appointments because they couldn’t get them locally:

I have heard at first hand from my constituents about the shocking scale of the difficulty of getting access to appointments for children. One attendance officer at one of our primary schools wrote to me earlier last year after she found that families in her school were going abroad for dental appointments. She said:

“Tim, I felt compelled to email you to tell you… We have a high number of children who are regularly missing out on education due to being unable to register with a local NHS dentist. A large number of our children have Polish, Romanian, Latvian and Ukrainian parents and therefore will find it easier to travel back to their parents’ original home country rather than wait for a local NHS dentist who is accepting patients.”

Wow! Let us be clear: she is saying that some children in Cumbria find it easier to get dental treatment travelling to a war zone than to access the NHS dental care that their parents have already paid for through their taxes.

He also highlighted that tooth decay was the number 1 reason for paediatric hospital admissions on his path. That is so shocking. The implications of poor dental health in childhood can last for a lifetime. Tooth decay is preventable and manageable. Free access to a dentist should be a right for children.

Tim said:

In 2022, the BDA found that one in four five-year-olds in my community in Cumbria had tooth decay, and that tooth decay was the No. 1 reason for hospital admissions among young people. Regular dental appointments are vital for preventing tooth decay, and even more so for children, whose teeth tend to decay more quickly. However, fewer and fewer children are able to access those Toggle showing location ofColumn 195appointments because of the negligence of this Government. In Cumbria, the proportion of children seen by a dentist in the NHS each year went from 64% in 2018 to just 50% last year, a drop of 14% in five years. Half of our children in our communities—from Grasmere to Grange, Appleby to Ambleside, Kendal to Kirkby Stephen and Windermere to Warcop—do not have access to an NHS dentist. That is a disgrace.

The situation was worse for adults, with a structural problem in that the NHS Trust only receive half the money it needs to provide services for everyone who needs them.

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Look how hard Lib Dem MPs work!

As MPs head off on their Summer break, which will often include weeks of visiting every community in their constituencies, the House of Commons Library has produced a sort of “end of term report” which shows how much they have contributed in this Parliament from December 2019 to the beginning of this month.

To access the data, you need to go to this page and put in their constituencies. You will then see the four graphics for each of them.

You can see how many debates they have taken part in, how they voted, how many questions they have asked, how many words they have spoken, what Committees they are on and there’s even a word cloud which shows the words they use most. It’s hardly a surprise that people, health and community feature so strongly. As well as the names of their constituencies.

When you consider that the average length of a novel is around 90,000 words, and most of our MPs are well over that, it shows just how much they contribute to life in Parliament.

A few MPs’ local papers have highlighted that they are the hardest working MPs in their area.

The Edinburgh Reporter stated that Christine Jardine was Lothians’ busiest MP:

Earlier this year, Ms Jardine was re-selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Edinburgh West at the next general election, having first taken the seat from the SNP in 2017.

Christine Jardine MP said:  “It is a real privilege to represent the people of Edinburgh West in the House of Commons, and I see these figures as little more than a spur to do so much more.

“For me the most important thing is being available to constituents and anyone who lives in Edinburgh West can make an appointment to meet me in my office or at my surgeries around the constituency, to discuss any issues they may be having.

“So often what we do in Parliament is as a result of issues that constituents bring to the office, rather than any party policy or point to be made.

“But for me, these figures also prove that when people elect a Liberal Democrat, they get a Member of Parliament that will always fight their corner in Westminster.

“I am committed to making our community a better place to live and work for everyone, and I will continue to stand up for what is right for Edinburgh West.”

Behind a paywall, the Courier highlighted that Wendy Chamberlain was the hardest working MP in Fife and Tayside.

These figures are truly impressive when you consider that they only spend around 40 weeks of the year in Parliament and they do so much more work in their constituencies attending events, holding surgeries. That’s not to mention what they do on the media, going on things like Any Questions and Newsnight and the local press or what they do for the party, going to dinners and regional and state party conferences.

Here’s how many words each of our team has spoken in this Parliament, and the percentage of votes they have taken part in.

The OGs

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Lib Dems react to Zelensky speech

This was not the day MPs and peers expected when they got up this morning.

Interspersed with the usual Wednesday merry-go-round of PMQs and associated media came a surprise visit from Ukraine’s leader, Volodymyr Zelensky to address both Houses of Parliament in the historic Westminster Hall. His leadership and the determination of his people has impressed anyone who cares about democracy, human rights and freedom. He has made a robust case for international help and has constantly pushed western powers for more. He has had to support too many of his people through brutal atrocities and the destruction of their way of life.

The presence of a leader who has spent almost a year fighting off the Russian onslaught, against all the odds, certainly made at least the weekly clash between the Prime Minister and Keir Starmer a bit more civilised.

As MPs gathered in Westminster Hall to hear Zelensky’s address, that new grown up spirit wasn’t always in evidence, though. Never one to miss the opportunity for fun, Alistair Carmichael did bunny ears behind Munira as he took a selfie.

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Sarah Olney criticises “appalling” rush to pass anti Strike Bill

Lib Dem Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney has criticised the “appalling” way the Government is trying to “sneak” through its new anti strike measures with the bare minimum of Parliamentary scrutiny. MPs will have two days to debate the measures.

Reported in the Standard, Sarah said:

It’s appalling for Conservative ministers to try and sneak this sweeping new law through with barely any scrutiny from MPs. It’s almost like they know their Bill would fall apart under even the lightest examination.

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Lib Dem parliamentarians Disneyfied

There’s an app on your friendly neighbourhood app store called Toon me.

It enables you to make cartoon images from photographs.

To cheer us all up, Oxford Lib Dem James Cox has put some of our party VIPS through this.

He started with the MPs:

By popular demand, he then started on the MSPs

Here’s Beatrice Wishart, Liam McArthur and Mike Rumbles

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Lib Dems to vote against Boris Johnson’s “threadbare” EU trade deal

Ed Davey has announced tonight, in news that will surprise few people, that the Liberal Democrats will be opposing Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal because it fails to deliver on the promises the Brexiteers made to the electorate and it makes the country so much worse off.

It’s not about tariffs. The whole point of being in the single market was not to have to bother with bureaucracy and red tape. Businesses who have been watching these ads saying that things are changing on 1st January (but we have no idea how) are going to find out for the first time in almost 30 years what a pain in the backside it is to have to fill in paperwork to trade with our closest neighbours.

We will no doubt be attacked for our stance as we will be told that the alternative is no deal and we’re against that. However this is going to to through tomorrow whether we like it or not given that most Tories and Labour MPs will vote for it. It is entirely consistent with our approach to Brexit.

There was a coherent case to be made for abstention on the grounds that it was at least better than no deal and it puts distance between us and the ultra nationalists both north and south of the border. Having said that, we’ve spent all my political life fighting off accusations of fence-sitting and being wishy-washy so do we really want to just sit on our hands? I’ve seen other people argue well that we should vote in favour, rather than abstain, for the same reason. However I think it is important that the Brexiteers are made to own this. When it all goes wrong, I don’t want them saying “but you voted for it.” We’ve come too far on our internationalist and open values to suddenly become shields for those who have taken us to this place.

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Stephen Lloyd resigns Lib Dem whip over Brexit deal

According to BBC South East’s Helen Catt.

It’s because of what he called “irreconcilable differences” between what he sees as his obligations to his Eastbourne constituents and the party’s anti Brexit position.

Stephen promised his constituents, a majority of whom voted to leave that he wouldn’t block Brexit. Perhaps the party’s mistake was allowing him to stand on that basis in 2017.

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