Tag Archives: liberal democrat leadership election 2019

A playlist fit for a new leader

Those of us watching the announcement of our new leader last Monday were treated to an excellent playlist while we were waiting for the result to be declared.

Listen here and watch Jo’s fantastic acceptance speech.

The long delay, was, I understand, the wifi in the venue not being quite up to the job of giving us the result instantaneously at the touch of a button. But we got there in the end. And we got to listen to some really good tunes while we waited nervously.

At one point, my son actually came through and said “Why are YOU listening to such cool music?” To be fair, I don’t listen to music that often. I’m mostly into podcasts or Radio 4. However, when I do, my son has to endure my random collection of trash and musical theatre.

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WATCH LIVE: Jo Swinson’s first rally

Liberal Democrats are gathering in London to welcome Jo Swinson as leader at a rally. Watch it live here.

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In full: Jo Swinson’s first speech as Lib Dem Leader: Don’t just shout at the television, join us and transform our country

Text below:

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And our new leader is…….Jo Swinson

 

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Final chance to vote for Ed or Jo

If you haven’t yet voted in the leadership contest, you had better get your skates on as the ballot closes at 1pm today.

If you are still trying to make up your mind which of our excellent candidates to vote for, our Liberal Democrat Leadership election tag, with our Ed’s Day and Jo’s Day series and other things might help.

Their BBC2 hustings from Friday night is here. 

If you can’t find your ballot paper, you need to email [email protected] quickly for a replacement – but act NOW.

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Jo Swinson MP writes….A campaign we can all be proud of

We are nearly at the end of this Leadership election, with voting closing tomorrow. Regardless of who you’re supporting, I want to thank every member who has engaged with this campaign. Everyone who came to a hustingsmeeting, emailed a question to Ed or to me, posted onto social media or caught up with us on visits – thank you.

There is a golden opportunity ahead of our party now. I have been so excited to see all the new members coming to hustings meetings, hearing their questions, thoughts and ideas. We have a unique offer and vision for the country and people are open to our message. We can continue this growth and build our movement further together. We can stop Brexit and compete to win a General Election.

This campaign has reminded me of how strong our party can be. We have such a range of skilled, talented people working around the country. We still need to do more to harness the incredible knowledge and expertise that we have in our members and supporters. I’ve been really buoyed up by seeing so many local success stories everywhere we have been. I know the new members I have met are going to be adding to those success stories soon too.

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Ed Davey MP writes….My reflections from the Campaign Trail

This map may resemble the route of one of Ian Botham’s never-ending charity walks or the British leg of the Tour de France where the organiser forgets to place a finishing line. But it’s actually a record of my campaigning odyssey over the past year, through our fantastic local and European elections onto my campaign to become leader of our party.

I’ve loved every minute – from Aberdeen to Penzance. Like my hero Paddy Ashdown and indeed most Liberal Democrats, I’m happiest out of Westminster meeting people – or, when with our brilliant Brecon candidate, Jane Dodds, meeting the odd sheep while clambering barbed wire fences. (Have you been to B&R yet?!)

I’ve been gate-crashed in Nottingham by Steve Bray, the amazing Stop Brexit campaigner – so we performed a great Stop Brexit duet; I’ve climbed a wind turbine in North Cornwall whilst campaigning to decarbonise capitalism; and I’ve endured the vagaries of the rail network – as I’m calling for rail improvements to discourage internal flights, my campaign is flight-free, to the occasional frustration of my diary manager.

On Sunday, after a head-to-head with Andrew Marr, I sacrificed all prospect of watching the Cricket and Wimbledon to go and speak to members in Oxford – and was welcomed by a healthy crowd, despite the competition!

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WATCH: LBC LIb Dem Leadership Debate

Iain Dale has spent much of the last few weeks going round the country chairing Conservative leadership hustings.

In what must have been a refreshing change, with a much higher quality of candidates, he put Ed and Jo through their paces in an hour long debate last night.

Watch it here.

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Ed and Jo talk to the Electoral Reform Society

The Electoral Reform Society has been talking to both our leadership candidates about their plans for constitutional and political reform.

We are delighted to publish their interviews with their permission.

Here’s Ed’s

The transcript is available here. 

And Jo’s

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Ed Davey goes to Brecon to campaign for Jane Dodds

It was Ed Davey’s turn to head for Brecon and Radnorshire today.

He met Jane Dodds in what looks like a gorgeous town, Crickhowell.

And he visited a zero waste shop:

And encouraged us all to do the same:

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Ed and Jo answer Lib Dem Immigrants’ questions

As the hostile environment continues to ruin lives, Lib Dem Immigrants posed questions to the leadership  candidates.

Here are their answers.

Q1:  If Brexit happens, what should the voting eligibility of resident (non-Commonwealth, non-Irish) EU citizens be? What about resident citizens of other (non-Commonwealth) countries?

Jo:I believe that it makes no sense to withhold voting rights from people who live, work, and have settled in the United Kingdom. We saw in the Euro elections this May the impact of having a double standard of voting eligibility – councils unable to administer the system and people unaware that they weren’t going to be able to vote. To add insult to injury, the idea that people born outside the Commonwealth don’t have a vote simply because they weren’t once taken over by Britain as part of the Empire, is outdated and completely unfair. Put simply – I believe that if you’re living in this country long term, you should be able to vote.

Ed:
• the voting eligibility of resident EU citizens (I presume you mean people who have permanent residency rights) should be full, i.e., all elections.
• to widen the franchise to give voting rights to non-EU, non-Commonwealth citizens, would be a major departure. Nonetheless, I would be very keen to do it for local elections, but would want to consult widely before giving voting rights for national elections.


Q2: The party is committed to reducing visa fees to the cost of administration. What other steps could we take to stop visa regulations tormenting immigrants? For example, how could we make work visas less of a barrier to career progression?
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How to book your place for the final Liberal Democrat Leadership Hustings

It’s been a pretty gruelling month for Ed Davey and Jo Swinson.

The hustings phase of the leadership campaign comes to an end on Wednesday 10th July.

The event takes place at the National Liberal Club on Whitehall Place at 6:30pm.

All members of the party are welcome to attend, but you need to tell the NLC first.

As well as questioning the candidates, it’s a great opportunity to nose around the NLC, a beautiful building replete with history.

From their official press release:

The final leadership election hustings of the campaign will take place this Wednesday evening at the National Liberal Club.

All members of the party are welcome to attend this event (regardless of whether they are members of the National Liberal Club).

Members are asked to arrive at 6pm to submit questions, the hustings itself will commence at 6.30pm and conclude by 8.30pm.

All members are welcome to attend, but as capacity is limited, members are requested to book in advance by emailing the Club office: [email protected]

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Jo’s Days – 1-2 July 2019

Yesterday was the all important voting day. As ballots were being dispatched, Jo and Ed were on Sky News.

And on to Channel 4

And an hour with Iain Dale…..

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Ed’s Weekend – 29-30 June 2019

The final weekend of Ed’s campaign was as hectic as the previous month.

Talking to Nick Robinson on the BBC Political Thinking podcast.

Backing Hong Kong citizens:

Thanking forces on their day

And on to that Stratford hustings:

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Jo’s weekend – 29-30 June 2019

The final weekend of the campaign saw a massive push for votes by both leadership candidates.

But for Jo, Saturday was a special day. Her son Gabriel’s first birthday.  In a Twitter thread, she described the events of 29 June 2018.

But before any birthday cake could be consumed, it was the final hustings of the campaign  at ALDC’s Kickstart event in Stratford-upon-Avon.

An interesting graphic from the Sunday People for an article by Jo on Boris:

There’s plenty of evidence of Boris Johnson’s character in the public domain already.

We know he’s a liar. He’s been sacked for it twice – once by a newspaper and then by Michael Howard.

And that was long before he toured the country with a big fat lie emblazoned on the side of his bus.

We know he has no hesitation using hurtful, divisive language – calling black people picaninnies with water melon smiles or Muslim women letterboxes.

We know that he is irresponsible.

As Foreign Secretary his blunders were used as evidence by Iran against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

As London Mayor, he wasted public money on a series of vanity projects like a Garden Bridge to Nowhere and an airport in the Thames Estuary that never took off.

And she appeared on Ridge on Sunday:

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Jo’s Day – 28 June 2019

Friday started with an endorsement for Jo (£) from the Independent:

Sir Ed trumpets his greater experience, which would serve the party well in such troubled times for the country. But we think Ms Swinson’s instincts on the critical issue of relations with other parties make her the right choice for Lib Dem members.

And a message on the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

The G20 needs to fix the world’s broken social contract, argued Jo in a piece for Wired:

We need a hopeful vision for the future, powered by a strong, liberal voice that understands that the new economy can neither be left to its own devices or be overly-managed by the state. Rather, it must be harnessed for the benefit of everyone. And it must take the public with us, building trust by placing liberal values of privacy, accountability, and transparency at its core.

The UK can and must be at the forefront of this change, leading the G20 and the world in creating an ethical tech-led economy centred on social well-being and environmental sustainability. That means overhauling how our society works, valuing the strengths of empathy, passion, and resilience that make us human, while embracing technology as an indispensable ally in meeting our biggest challenges.

In fairness to Ed, we do have to put a massive health warning before the next item. YouGov did a poll to determine the outcome of the next election around various scenarios of potential Labour Party policies.

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Ed’s Day – 28 June 2019

Our Netflix style binge through the last week of the leadership campaign before the ballots come out tomorrow nears its conclusion.

For Ed, Friday started with a reflection on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Challenging Putin on the end of liberalism

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Jo’s Day – 27 June 2019

First of all, answering the major question of the day:

And on to the Victoria Derbyshire BBC live tv hustings

And, later on, the Gatwick hustings:

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Jo’s Day – 26 June 2019

On Wednesday, the world was incredulously amused at Boris’s revelation that he liked to make model buses.

Jo got it, though:

Jo was also at the Climate Lobby

Onto the Lobby Hustings

And then a Facebook Live with our newest MP, Chuka Umunna.

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Jo’s Day – 25 June 2019

Continuing our catch-up for the two leadership candidates.

On Tuesday, Jo’s interview with our former editors Mark Pack and Stephen Tall came out.

And sharing photos of constituency visits.

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Ed’s Day – 25 June 2019

Our campaign diaries have fallen a bit by the wayside this week due to life and illness getting in the way. But we decided to catch up now so we have a full record of the campaign and so that you can binge watch, Netflix style, in the couple of days before the ballot papers arrive.

So, let’s go back to Tuesday.

Boris and Jeremy are getting the Iain Dale treatment at Conservative hustings around the country. He interviewed Ed on his radio show on Tuesday night.

Watch the whole thing here:

Earlier, he had been working cross party to challenge the impact of privatising the visa application process was having on people, forcing them to travel long distances to make applications.

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Victoria Derbyshire Lib Dem Leadership hustings open thread

Stay with us as Jo and Ed take part in a live head to head tv debate on BBC2 and BBC News Channel in a few minutes. This is particularly important as ballot papers are despatched tomorrow.

The BBC have actually been promoting this well, too.

The pair will take questions by a studio audience comprised of Lib Dem members and voters.

And we’re off.

(UPDATE: Watch the whole thing here.

The budget doesn’t seem to have stretched to stools, thankfully.

First up – each gets a minute’s pitch

Jo says she says country is crying out for a liberal movement to stand up against the narrow nationalism Farage and Johnson. Our country deserves better, a vision of hope. We need to build an economy that puts people and planet first.

Ed says he wants to end Brexit quickly by a people’s vote. If we stay we’ll have a lot of money to tackle problems like inequality and building public services. He says that we need to green our economy and that his experience and vision are what we need. He reveals that he turned down the chance to be “double oh davey”. He chose to work for Paddy Ashdown rather than MI6.

Derbyshire challenges them that there is no time for a People’s Vote. It can’t be done by October 31st.

Jo Swinson says that we will get an extension from the EU for a People’s Vote. The prospect of a No Deal exit focuses the mind of MPs who have not yet backed a people’s vote.

Ed Davey says that MPs need to grab the order paper to require a vote by MPs before we leave.

He describes the nuclear option of a vote of no confidence in the government which could lead to a general election. He would prefer a government of national unity headed by a backbench Labour MP which will pass legislation for a People’s Vote.

Ex Lib Dem Member Luke to join Renew asks what they would do to work on a Remain Alliance.

Jo says we should do whatever it takes to stop Brexit as the threat to our country is so huge. Lib Dems are biggest, most consistent remain party. In a general election, we need to be smarter about working together. In Peterborough all of the practicalities were put in place for a Remain candidate before he pulled out at the last minute. She says that local members are important.

Ed says he agrees with Jo. We have to get the Remain vote together in a general election. He advocates tactical voting as in 1997 and 2001. He says he’d be up for going further  if we are faced by the horror of a Leave alliance between Farage and Johnson. Lib Dems have been least tribal – standing down for Caroline Lucas.

Torrin Wilkins from Liberal Leave (Victoria Derbyshire observes this must be a lonely life) says if we end up with a Norway style deal after another referendum, would Lib Dems deliver that.

Jo says People’s Vote needs to have a specific Brexit on the ballot paper. In 2016, Brexit meant whatever you want it to say.

She says that now we know what Brexit means, people will be able to vote on that specific proposal.

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Two important Lib Dem leadership debates

Ballot papers in the leadership election will land in people’s letterboxes and inboxes from 1st July.

The 105,000 Lib Dem members will have two opportunities before then to see the two candidates, Ed Davey and Jo Swinson, go head to head on live tv. The first is on Victoria Derbyshire at 10 am on Thursday 27th July. The second is on Adam Boulton’s All out Politics on Sky at 9am on Monday 1st July.

We’ll catch up with Ed and Jo properly tomorrow but today has seen the first direct conflict of the leadership campaign.

In an article in the Times (£) this morning, Ed would have wanted the discussion to be around his plan to stop Brexit. People actually picked up on a quite violent turn of phrase:

So I hereby float the idea of a Remain alliance to decapitate that blond head in Uxbridge and South Ruislip if Johnson calls a snap election to deliver Brexit.

Quite obviously not meant literally, but still more violent than many people felt comfortable with.

Jo was uncomfortable with the way Ed expressed the view of Boris being a total disaster:

The language we use is important. We have to be able to have robust debate in our politics without resorting to graphic, violent imagery. We have to rediscover the ability to disagree well with each other.

This is not language I would use, and in the current climate I don’t think we should speak in those terms.

Boris will be a disaster for this country, but we can make that case without resorting to violent language.

Later in the day, Ed recognised that a less violent metaphor would have been more appropriate:

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Ed’s Day – 24 June 2019

Ed started the week by having a good go at Boris on Politics LIve

And then on to the New Statesman hustings tonight.

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Jo’s Day – 24 June 2019

Monday started with Bollocks to Boris as well as Brexit- an article in The Times (£)

How much hardship will now be endured to satisfy Boris Johnson’s ego? How many families will find life harder for the sake of his ambition? How many patients will wait, propped up on plastic chairs in hospital corridors, for that £350 million a week he promised on the side of a bus?

One thing is for certain, Boris doesn’t care. Consequences are for other people. Just ask Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

And what do the Lib Dems offer?

Britain needs leaders who are up front and honest about the choices facing our country. I make no apology for wanting to stop Brexit — whatever version we end up getting will be a national disaster. And I’m not afraid to make that case to the British people.

The Liberal Democrats were the first to call for a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal and I am proud to have been the party’s lead in that campaign, working alongside people of all parties and none in pursuit of a common goal. The European elections have now proved that we are UK’s biggest and strongest party of Remain.

And tonight, she and Ed took part in the New Statesman hustings.

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Jo’s Weekend – 21-23 June 2019

Jo’s interview with the New European came out:

I ask Jo Swinson why she should lead the Liberal Democrats and she takes a deep breath and manages to get it out in all of three sentences. “I’m the best person to lead the movement because I can reach out to new voters, through traditional broadcast media, where I have a high profile, and through social media, where I have a high following.

I also think I can reach out across the generations and across the country. I have cross-party relationships and a non-tribal style, which I think is exactly what we need at the moment.”

And she talks about the need for a more diverse country:

I recognise that ours is still a racist country. We have not dealt with those issues as much as we would have liked to, even if there has been progress in some areas. I would hope that one day soon we could have a black leader of a political party.

Ours should be a country where every individual has an opportunity to thrive. That is not currently the case – partly on the basis of race, gender, disability, socio-economic background, sexual orientation or whatever – and, as it is, we are probably in line for another Etonian prime minister. Quite frankly, a large number of people are still not achieving their potential in our country, and, as a liberal, I am not happy with that and want to change it.

In Wales, she met Welsh Leader and Brecon and Radnorshire by-election candidate Jane Dodds.

 

And in Cornwall she was helping campaign for fairer NHS funding for the county:

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Ed’s weekend – 21-23 June 2019

We last left Ed about to go on Question Time on Thursday night.  You can, and should, watch the whole thing here. He answered very effectively questions about Boris (which sparked his lengthy and brilliant Twitter rant of many of the worst things Boris has done), Brexit and knife crime and the importance of winning the arguments on vaccinating children.

On Friday, it was time for his Politics Home interview:

He talked about his idea for a government of national unity:

Davey is clear he would like to be Prime Minister. However, in the current Brexit deadlock, he is also advocating a Government of National Unity.

“I think there are just about enough MPs from a plethora of parties who are so alarmed at a no deal prospect, who are so alarmed at the way our politics has been polluted by these hard-right Brexiteers, that they will come together. It will not be easy, but I could see a backbench Labour MP, I wouldn’t name them but you can guess who they might be, being given support from enough people from enough parties that we could send a message to the Palace that if they send for that member of Parliament they will be able to command a majority of the House of Commons.”

He says that this “Government of National Unity” would not be a coalition. “It would be a temporary phenomenon in order to stop no-deal. In order pass the paving legislation for a people’s vote and then be a caretaker government to oversee the process until that vote happened.”

He talks about the Lib Dems being the party of business:

“I’m pro-competition. I’m pro-entrepreneur. I’m pro-free trade. It is in our liberal economic agenda, but we do not think markets are there to tell us what to do, we’re there, through democratic means, to shape those markets.”

Davey says there are lots of examples of this in action, but “the one I’m focussing on is climate change”. “It is absolutely outrageous that people in our country are allowed to not take account of climate change risks in their decisions. We are facing a climate emergency.”

The former Environment Secretary wants to make sure “all these institutions and corporates have to disclose both their investments in fossil fuels”.

He wrote a blistering article in the Independent about how the Tories have learned nothing from their Windrush Scandal failure:
A year on from the first Windrush Day, the hostile environment is as hostile as ever.

These policies, which turn teachers, doctors, police officers and bank clerks into border guards, are exactly the policies that led members of the Windrush generation to be deprived their rights, detained and even deported. The Windrush scandal should have been the end of them. And yet, for all the Conservatives’ apologising and hand-wringing, they remain in force

Most outrageous is the Conservatives’ refusal to scrap their “right to rent” law. This requires landlords to check the immigration status of tenants or prospective tenants, with the threat of a criminal conviction if they rent to someone they shouldn’t.

When the Conservatives first tried to introduce this law in 2014, the Liberal Democrats in government blocked it. We argued that making landlords criminally responsible for immigration enforcement would lead to racial discrimination.

He highlighted the story of the man who had to sleep in a shed because he had no way of proving he had the right to stay here.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has shown clearly, through a “mystery shopper” exercise, that the Liberal Democrats’ fears were well-founded. On the basis of that and other supporting evidence, the High Court ruled in March that the Conservatives’ “right to rent” policy breaches fundamental human rights because it essentially forces private landlords to discriminate against prospective tenants who are Bame or who don’t have a British passport.

What would we do about it?

That’s why the Liberal Democrats would take responsibility for immigration away from the Home Office altogether.

The Departments for Business, Education and International Development should make policy on work permits, student visas and asylum respectively. And we would set up a new, arms-length, non-political agency to take over the actual processing of visa and asylum applications, with the training and resources to process applications quickly, decide cases fairly, and get them right the first time.

He also wrote for the Huffington Post about why we need a Boris-busting Remain Alliance:

Anyone who hopes Johnson won’t commit a Brexit calamity is basing that on his dishonesty. And he is indeed capable of yanking up the handbrake on the Brexit bus and committing a massive, shameless u-turn. But we cannot rely on him for that or indeed anything else.

Which is why a Remain Alliance is needed in Parliament, anchored around the Liberal Democrats – the only major national party to call for a People’s Vote from the get go and now with the democratic legitimacy of having beaten every other party in Parliament in last month’s European elections.

This Remain Alliance must first stop a no-deal Brexit. From a Humble Address to Her Majesty to passing a new law requiring a vote of MPs before the UK could leave the EU, we must examine every option to stop Boris. And we must be ready to use Parliament’s ultimate weapon – a vote of no confidence in a Johnson government.

There were hustings this weekend in Wales – good coincidence on the day that we find out that there’s going to be a by-election in a seat that we used to hold following the recall of the MP who was convicted of submitting a fraudulent invoice.

 

And he cleaned the beach in Bude ahead of the Cornwall hustings:

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Ed’s Day – 20 June 2019

Ed is on Question Time tonight at 10:35 pm along with the ultra Brexity Weatherspoons owner Tim Martin.More on that tomorrow.

Earlier, he had a right go at the Home Office for tweeting about Pride when it treats LGBT+ people so disgracefully.

And a message for Clean Air Day..

And I don’t know about you, but I get the feeling that he’s not a fan of Boris. This is a very long thread but you really should read the whole thing.

Both candidates had the chance to have an email sent out by Lib Dem HQ. Here’s Ed’s:

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Jo’s Day – 19 June 2019

Jo’s day started by tackling the Secretary of State for Scotland about the impact of Brexit and the prospect of No Deal on her constituency:

Brexit is already having an impact on East Dunbartonshire’s major employers. Aviva has announced that there will be job losses in the coming years, and a major engineering firm—an award-winning exporter—has told me about the negative impact Brexit is having on its business. Knowing what he does about the devastating impact on Scotland, how can the Secretary of State possibly countenance the no-deal or hard Brexit being offered by his colleagues in his party’s leadership election?

She was, with Ed, on the Jeremy Vine Show. Listen here from around 42:56.

On coalition, she said that we made the right decision to go in and we got a lot of things right but if we take the credit for successes we need to be honest about where we got it wrong – like the Bedroom Tax.

She attacked David Cameron for framing our relationship with the EU as a transactional relationship about benefits for Polish plumbers rather than a strategic necessity for our country.

She talked about a more pluralist politics where you work together with people in other parties.

And she was challenged on local Lib Dems fighting onshore wind farms which we are supposed to be in favour of.

She talked about targeting support for people who are impacted by particular policies.

Later,  she did a Facebook Q & A of her own:

An interview with the Press Association was reported in the Belfast Telegraph:

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Ed’s Day – 19 June 2019

It’s Wednesday, it’s eve of poll, and there’s a by-election in Merton

Earlier, Ed and Jo were on the Jeremy Vine Show talking about the coalition.  He said he was proud of our record in the coalition, that we put country before party and did so many good things, quadrupling nuclear power, raising the state pension and taking many people out of income tax. He highlighted Norman Lamb’s work on mental health.

He talked about the compromises we had to make go give the country stable government. He contrasted with this “appalling” government. Apart from Brexit, he said that austerity has got worse under the Tories.

He highlighted recent gains to say that Lib Dems are on the up.

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  • User AvatarPeter Martin 21st Oct - 2:15pm
    @ Richard Underhill, You're right to point out I have credited Donald Tusk with too much say in the decision making process. I should have...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 21st Oct - 1:42pm
    @ Arnold Kiel, I'd like some more detailed references for the source of your numbers. I seem to remember we have had this discussion before....
  • User AvatarGeorge Potter 21st Oct - 1:34pm
    Great to see Jo appointing, as Shadow Justice Secretary, an MP who's previously advocated forced hard labour for those convicted of minor crimes (along with,...
  • User AvatarWilliam 21st Oct - 1:31pm
    Wow, that's quite the insult to the members who left over the handling of Lee's defection to the party. https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/09/04/lgbt-liberal-democrats-phillip-lee-jennie-rigg/
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Oct - 1:20pm
    The question for Labour MPs is in my view not what is written in a Johnson-deal, but whether to allow one to pass, irrespective of...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Oct - 1:07pm
    I hope my old friend William is willing to concede the social liberal tradition in the party would have been stronger (and my other old...