Tag Archives: liberal democrat leadership election 2019

Ed’s Day – 18 June 2019

It’s been a very busy day for Ed Davey too.

From tackling transphobia on Mumsnet

And answering the Radical Association’s questions:

Liberal Democrats believe the market is our servant not our master. We want a mixed economy, and a diverse set of ownership models. We want to make sure markets don’t mistreat workers or the planet. Decarbonising capitalism is a profoundly radical approach to reforming the City, banks, stock exchanges, pension funds and debt markets – and is entirely in line with an approach of “responsible capitalism” promoted by Vince Cable, with new stronger regulations for better Environmental, Social and Governance policies for business. The reforms I introduced as Energy and Climate Change Secretary to reform the electricity market and to promote energy efficiency showed what can be achieved, by smart government intervention – as we saw renewable energy boom and I brought in minimum energy efficiency regulations for the rented sector.

I certainly don’t see the traditional shareholder corporate model as the only one. When I was a junior minister in BIS I worked closely with Co-op UK to push collective purchasing by consumers and then introduced this to the energy market through collective switching. I insisted that there should be a significant employee ownership of Royal Mail and am only sorry that after I left BIS the Tories scaled back the ambitious scale of employee ownership which we had. I introduced legislation which will allow a future government to mutualise the Post Office. At DECC I pushed for and published the UK’s first ever community energy strategy for renewables to provide a challenge to incumbent energy operators and after leaving government chaired a community energy company, helping many communities get into solar and even wind power. So I am passionately committed to delivering much wider forms of ownership than the traditional forms of corporate ownership.

And on rebuilding the party:

The inspiring thing is how a relatively small number of people can make a massive impact. Whether that was in past Lynne Featherstone in Hornsey and Wood Green to more recently Hannah Kitching in Barnsley and Adam Carter in Rotherham, big breakthroughs can be made. Often stronger nearby parties have helped in providing advice and support such as the Sheffield party in Rotherham but we can perhaps make this rather more structured.

And we also need to recognise that strong national messages appealing to people who share our values can have a massive impact. Who would have thought that in the European elections that we we would win boroughs such as Wandsworth and Westminster where we have no Councillors currently? As Leader my role will be to ensure that we put those supportive structures in place and that we have those clear national messages.

To be honest, there’s also the issue of raising money for the party. We have failed to hit fundraising targets in recent years – so we need to do much better. I believe I can go to businesses and individuals interested in our European ideas and our decarbonisation ideas, and get them to back us – and if we can raise significant extra funding, we can support less well-off areas, and support the rebuilding of the party in different parts of the country.

And talking to Liberal Reform:

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Jo’s Day – 18 June 2019

A busy day for Jo today.

Backing Stella Creasy on parental leave for MPs.

And appearing on Channel 4 News to talk about how important it was to do this in 2019.

Realising who Boris is really scared of…

Tackling the health secretary on protecting our NHS data in future post Brexit talks

And talking to the Times (£) about possible Remain pacts:

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Jo’s Day – 17th June 2019

Funnily enough, the big thing in Jo’s day was the online hustings too.

Here are some of her highlights.

Earlier in the day, Jo had been questioning the Government about the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf.

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Ed’s Day – June 2019

Today was mostly about the online hustings – as Sal Brinton said, the first to be held online by a political party in the UK to choose its leader.

Here are some of his highlights:

 

Earlier, he had visited a project in his constituency as part of Learning Disabilities Week:

And he had a wide-ranging interview with the New Statesman:

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Ed’s weekend – 16 June 2019

For Ed, the Nottingham hustings were a return to the place of his birth.

He spoke to the local newspaper.

I’ve always been very fond of Nottingham and I’m actually a Notts County supporter. It’s been a very difficult year for us but hopefully we’ll bounce back.”

He faced a challenging time aged 12 when his mother developed secondary bone cancer, and he became her carer for the next three years, before her death.

He was then brought up by his grandparents.

He added: “I was extremely fortunate to earn a scholarship to study at the Nottingham High School for 10 years, before I moved on to university.”

There’s a barrier between him and Ken Clarke, though:

“I am an admirer of Ken Clarke as a Conservative who has stood by his beliefs with Europe. Only problem is, he’s a Forest fan.”

Ed remembered Jo Cox on the third anniversary of her murder:

And he’s not impressed that some funders of the Johnson and Hunt campaigns are climate change deniers.

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Jo’s Weekend – 15-16 June 2019

It’s the third weekend of the campaign and that means hustings. From the north west on Friday night, the hustings train moved to Leeds on Saturday morning and Nottingham in the evening.

She took time to remember Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was murdered 3 years ago today.

This Radio 4 profile featured some familiar voices and you can find out which band she liked as a teenager, listen to a  fascinating excerpt from a school essay and find out the first song at her wedding – as well as some anecdotes from her first election campaign.

And there’s always room for a Douglas Adams reference:

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A good reason to check your emails

If you are a party member and you don’t know about the leadership hustings taking place between Ed Davey and Jo Swinson tomorrow night, you might want to check your emails as you will have an invitation to them.

You will need to RSVP in order to be sent the link to the proceedings.

It’s taking place tomorrow night at 7pm. If you can’t make it then, it will be uploaded to the party website after the event.g

Here’s the two in action at the London hustings to whet your appetite:

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Jo’s Day – 13 and 14 June 2019

She took Boris to task on how he had put a British woman in peril and separated her from her young daughter.

In a Politics Home interview, she said that she wanted to be Prime Minister.

I’d love to be Prime Minister,” she says. “I’m not underestimating the scale of the challenge but equally politics is more volatile than I’ve known it, so who knows?”

She also took apart the double standards over drug use:

“Not particularly Earth-shattering, lots of people did and still do,” she says. “We ought to change our drugs laws because they don’t work. We don’t treat drug abuse like a public health issue and we should.”

She hits out at what she sees as the hypocrisy from Conservative leadership candidates on drugs. She does not name Environment Secretary Michael Gove, but seems to have him in mind: “You’ve got people who get criminalised and the full weight of the law comes down on them and yet for cabinet ministers it’s just like ‘okay, fine then’. That double standard is really troubling. They pursue these drugs policies, the so-called war on drugs, trying to act tough even though they don’t work.”

On Friday, Jo remembered those who died at Grenfell:

And standing up for trans rights at the North West hustings:

And finally, on a more light-hearted note…

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Ed’s Day – 13 and 14 June 2019

So, Mr Umunna’s arrival, welcome though it was, kind of put paid to our scheduling plans. So we’ll be catching up with the leadership campaign over the next two nights.

Thursday seems such a long time ago now.

It started for Ed with local success:

Before he expressed that he was, shall we say, less than impressed with  the man who looks like he is going to be our Prime Minister.

On Friday, he remembered those who lost their lives in Grenfell Tower:

And then up north to the hustings in Manchester

And then he wrote for the New Statesman (£) reprising a catchphrase from Blair, Tough on Brexit, tough on the causes of Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats actually have myriad policies to tackle regional, racial, class and generational inequality. The pupil premium, free school dinners and the national apprenticeship scheme were landmark Lib Dem achievements that have helped profoundly. But we need fresh ways of fighting structural inequality, and then proclaim them.

That must mean (no ifs, no buts) an end to austerity now.

It should be no surprise that so many voted Leave – successive governments, of all persuasions, have often felt powerless in the face of vast global and historic forces. This has left an underclass further cut adrift from the rest of society than at any point since the Rowntree report more than a century ago inspired the New Liberalism of Asquith and Lloyd George to found the Welfare State. Progressive politics needs a re-boot every bit as radical today to give a stake in society to everyone who lives in it. If that were not challenge enough, we must tackle the calamity of climate change and the racist nationalism of Farage and Johnson that fires hate.

And he talked to the New European about putting a stop to some really scary stuff going on with the Russians and the Tories back in the days of the coalition:

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Ed’s Day – 12 June 2019

Ed’s first email to party members was published.

Climate change’s devastation won’t respect borders – you have to work internationally, with other countries, if you want to save our planet.

That’s what I did, as Energy and Climate Change Minister. At the European table and at the UN, I fought for tougher targets to cut carbon emissions.

And I won.

Now – just as we are leading the campaign to Stop Brexit – I want us to lead the fight to solve the Climate Change Emergency. With my radical economic plan, for carbon-free capitalism.

Then he took the Business Secretary to task over the Government’s record on the environment, dismantling a lot of what he did as Energy and Climate Change Secretary:

In wholeheartedly welcoming this statement, may I ask the Secretary of State to do two things? First, will he reverse the Government’s decisions to abolish the zero-carbon homes regulations, to ban onshore wind, and to proceed with a third runway at Heathrow? Secondly, will he agree to meet me to discuss how we can decarbonise capitalism, particularly in the City of London? Given that the City funds 15% of global fossil fuel investment, if we can decarbonise the City, that can have a massive impact on the whole world.

And in an article for the Times (£), he said he’d take Lib Dems into a Government of National Unity to stop Brexit.

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Jo’s Day – 12 June 2019

The candidates did their first emails to party members. Read Jo’s in full here.

My aim as Leader is to build on our 700+ gains in the local elections and our fantastic success in the European Elections to change Britain’s politics.

As Leader, I will win us the cut through we need to get our strong liberal message across.

As Leader I will reach out to the next generation, bringing new and vibrant talent into our party.

And as Leader I will ensure that the Liberal Democrats lead the liberal revival that our politics so desperately needs.

On BBC Politics Live, she was pretty robust on Boris’ lack of suitability for the top job:

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Jo’s Day – 11 June 2019

In an interview with Businesss Insider, Jo says that she can reach out to new voters:

She said that one of her key qualities was that she’s “not a tribal politician” and had an advantage over Davey in being in a stronger position to win voters from the Conservatives, Labour and elsewhere.

I was down at the Donald Trump protest last week and several people came up to me and said they had joined the Lib Dems as a result of seeing me on Question Time,” she told Business Insider. “It is working.”

She added: “In this election, it is about who can break through and take the Lib Dems above 20%. It’s a big ask and a big challenge but I believe the opportunity is for us to do that.”

She ruled out making a coalition deal with either the incoming leader of the Conservatives or Jeremy Corbyn:

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Ed’s Day – 11 June 2019

Today, Ed has expressed his concern over MI5’s inappropriate handling of data:

These revelations represent a shocking breach of civil liberties by one of the agencies tasked with safeguarding them.

The Liberal Democrats have consistently opposed giving MI5 powers to collect bulk communications data, and the serious issues raised by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner show that we were right to do so.

“Parliament needs to look again at the surveillance powers we give MI5 and other agencies, and roll back laws that unnecessarily erode privacy and liberty.

In an interview with i, he suggested that Conservative and Labour MPs were thinking about joining us.

Sir Ed, who is battling Jo Swinson to become leader of the party, told iconversations were taking place with opposition MPs to join the Lib Dems as the UK’s exit from the European Union had redrawn the political divide.

“There are some Conservative MPs who are thinking the unthinkable and there are some liberal Labour people who are thinking the unthinkable,” Sir Ed said.

But, as he said to the Huffington Post, they would have to win over party members.

In an interview with HuffPost UK, the Lib Dem leadership candidate said Chuka Umunna, Heidi Allen and others would be “welcome” to join his party.

But he made clear they would have to work hard to win over of local party activists who had spent years fighting them.

“Every election we have to get my local party members to reselect me,” Davey said.

“Anyone coming over would go through that process. They would need to win the trust of the local party members.”

 

He also outlined his plan to stop Brexit:

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Ed’s Day – 10 June 2019

Ed reacted to the worrying economic statistics this morning:

This is a really worrying indicator of the fragile state of our economy and should shame any Tory leadership candidate continuing to push for a no-deal Brexit. If just uncertainty can cause this shrink in manufacturing and our GDP, then it doesn’t bear thinking about what crashing out of Europe with no-deal could do.

These aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet, this is having an impact on the lives of people up and down the country employed in industries like car manufacturing who are already losing their jobs. Enough is enough. Things have changed since June 2016 – we have got to give the people the final say on Brexit with the option to stay.

He also supported a campaign to introduce same sex marriage in Northern Ireland:

And in an article in the Independent, he ripped into Boris and other Brexiteers.

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Jo’s Day – 10 June 2019

Jo started the day by agreeing with Jeremy Hunt. No, really:

In the Commons, Jo questioned Said Javid on a key civil liberties issue:

In his remarks about facial recognition technology earlier, the Minister for Policing rightly spoke about the need to take the public with us. Does the Secretary of State recognise that the imposition of Big Brother-style surveillance and fining people for covering their face with their coat is no way to secure the public’s trust? Will the Government halt the use of live facial recognition technology in policing until there has been a proper public debate, Parliament has considered a framework and there are civil liberties safeguards?

Unfortunately Javid’s desire to legislate in a really awful way came shining through.

New technology and AI is one of Jo’s key interests. She wrote for the New Statesman about why transparency and ethics should be at the forefront of development:

She highlighted that same facial recognition pilot:

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Jo’s weekend – 7-9 June 2019

Jo is used to a long commute home to East Dunbartonshire at the weekend.

She had a few hours’ extra to get to Aberdeen, though, for the first of two Scottish hustings.

The Edinburgh hustings was very busy1

And , finally, Newcastle.

And in an interview with the Independent, Jo said that her style matched the political zeitgeist:

She said there was “more agreement on policy between us than you would find with the Tory contenders”. But said she believed her “non-tribal” approach to politics and ability to cut through to voters outside London and the southeast and young social media users gave her the edge.

“I’m the leader that can be the rallying point for the liberal movement that we need to create to take on the forces of nationalism and populism, the likes of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson,” she said.

“The non-tribal way I do politics is perfect for this moment.”

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Ed’s weekend – 7-9 June 2019

On Friday, Ed made the long journey to Aberdeen – 7.5 hours on a train from London.

The first hustings took place there but, first, a look back to an op ed he did last week for the New Statesman on LGBT rights:

Over the last 50 years, the hard work by campaigners and rights groups has seen the UK take hugely progressive steps in the right direction. In my lifetime alone our country has overcome so many barriers in the fight for equality. I am proud to have been a part of this fight and particularly proud to have introduced the amendment to repeal the abhorrent Section 28 in 2003 and to have been a part of legislating for equal marriage when Liberal Democrats were in government. It is shocking to recall how recently the UK banned the “promotion” of homosexuality in Britain’s schools (under Section 28) and denied people the right to marry the person they love because of their gender.

And then on to more hustings at a a beautiful venue in Edinburgh:

The final hustings of the weekend was in Newcastle

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Jo’s Day – 7 June 2019

Today, Jo got the backing of the leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, Willie Rennie:

Sometimes it’s a battle to get the best media coverage for the party so we need a leader who has the skills necessary to be heard loudly.

“Jo is an excellent communicator and she’ll be a fantastic champion to take on the forces of nationalism and populism.”

He added: “Jo is a fantastic campaigner, who showed the determination and campaigning skill the party needs when she won her seat back from the SNP, and I’m excited to see how she brings all that energy and hard work tohttps://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/lib-dem-jo-swinson-on-unity-proxy-voting-a4162056.html the role of the leader of our party.”

And she told the Standard that she has no limits to the ambitions for the Lib Dems:

“Our job in British politics is clear,” says Swinson. “We are the rallying point for Remain, for people with liberal values. I don’t put any limits on the ambitions of the Lib Dems. Who knows what will happen — no one expected Corbyn to become leader of Labour, no one expected Trump to be President. We have a fracturing of the political system. This is an opportunity. I absolutely recognise the scale of the task but people want a different way of doing politics.” She is working with the former Change UK MPs and “recognises the courage it takes to leave a party you’ve been in for a long time”.

And she and Ed both ruled out Indyref2.

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Jo’s Day: 6th June 2019

75 years from D Day, Jo remembered those who took part in the invasion:

 

Jo appeared on Question Time with Rory Stewart last week. Today she questioned him at his first International Development Questions as Secretary of state:

I welcome the Minister to the Dispatch Box in his new Cabinet role, and I warmly welcome his clear and genuine commitment to tackling the climate emergency. Does he accept, however, that there is a contradiction between the excellent work that his Department does in helping to mitigate and adapt to the climate emergency in developing countries and the way in which, through UK Export Finance, we continue​to subsidise fossil fuels to the tune of billions of pounds? Will he use his leadership in Government, in whatever form, to ensure that he pushes to stop those fossil fuel subsidies?

She had a message of good luck for Beki Sellick:

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Ed’s Day – 5th June 2019

Ed’s day started in Surbiton, at a business breakfast with London Mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita.

He commented on the D-Day anniversary:

Then he, too, was off to Peterborough to see by-election candidate Beki Sellick ahead of tomorrow’s poll.

And, on World Environment Day, he commented on a Treasury Select Committee report about decarbonisation.

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Jo’s Day – 5th June 2019

Today is World Environment Day and Jo welcomed the Waitrose plan to reduce packaging, something she has long campaigned for.

Then it was on to Peterborough to help by-election candidate Beki Sellick.

And in a video recorded at the Trump protest yesterday, she described Boris Johnson as what would have happened if Donald Trump had went to Eton.

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Support your chosen leadership candidates – and the Lib Dem presence at Prides

Going to a Lib Dem event and wondering what to wear?

Want to show which leadership candidate you are supporting?

Well, the people who brought you the Bollocks to Brexit t-shirts have brought out a new range for the leadership campaigns.

You can buy your Team Jo and/or Team Ed t-shirts in a range of colours and sizes here. I should probably point out that these are unofficial and not merchandise of either campaign.

Jennie Rigg, who designs most of the t-shirts on behalf of the Awkward Squad writes here about how any profits go to LGBT+ Lib Dems to fund Pride packages. 

This will help to build our presence at the growing number of Pride events across the country. I absolutely love Pride. And I am kind of thrilled that the all day meeting in London I had on the day of Pride in Edinburgh has been cancelled. Nor do I have to work, like I had to last year, so I can immerse myself in the colourful, joyful events. Liberal Democrats have been at the forefront of LGBT+ rights for so long and it’s fantastic that both leadership candidates are enthusiastic supporters.

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Jo’s Day – 3rd June 2019

For both our leadership candidates, today has been relatively quiet after a frenetic weekend.

But there was a common theme in their tweets:

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Jo’s Weekend – 1st and 2nd June 2019

The Liberal Democrat leadership election has got off to a blistering start.We’ll be looking at what the leadership candidates get up to each day during the week and once at the weekend.  Here’s a summary of  Jo Swinson’s weekend.

There was a joint interview on Channel 4 with Ed Davey on Friday night.

And then the first party leadership hustings in London, which have been recorded here.

On Saturday there were hustings in Winchester. What a venue!

And on to Bath:

There was a Guardian interview too:

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Ed’s Weekend – 1st and 2nd June 2019

It’s been a hectic weekend for the leadership candidates. Numerous media interviews, travelling across the country for three sets of hustings. It’s a gruelling pace and there’s two months to go.

We’re going to try and keep up with them every day during the leadership campaign, once at the weekend.

The weekend kicked off on Friday night when the first hustings took pace in London.

Watch here:

And there was a joint interview on Channel 4 News. 

Yesterday it was on to Winchester

And Bath

Today, Ed was interviewed on Pienaar’s Politics on Radio 5 Live talking about the differences between him and Jo, climate change and Donald Trump.. Listen here.

Then he went to Wales to do some recall campaigning in Brecon and Radnor.

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Ed and Jo round 1 – the London leadership hustings

It’s going to be a gruelling month for our Lib Dem leadership candidates. They’ve both had a fair bit of media exposure the last couple of days and tonight they are in Jeremy Corbyn’s backyard having their first hustings.

If anyone who is actually there wants to write up a report of the event, it would be very gratefully received. There were a lot of you there – which is fantastic on a Friday night on not that much notice.

In the meantime, here’s the pick of the tweets from the event. London Lib Dems did a fairly comprehsensive blow by blow account. Here are some other voices.

New members are impressed:

Opening statements

 

Questions

First, Brexit

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