Tag Archives: liberal democrat mps

Chuka: Lib Dems offer the best chance to improve the lives of the people I represent

I am convinced the Liberal Democrats, as the spearhead of a broader progressive movement in civil society, offer the best chance to improve the lives of those I represent as well as countless other citizens across our country.

The time has come to put past differences behind us and, in the national interest, do what is right for the country. So I urge others to join the party too.

So says the newest Lib Dem MP Chuka Umunna in an article on the Lib Dem website. He’s also been on the Today programme this morning (at about 7:12 am if you want to catch him on catch up) knocking it out of the park, to be honest. It was a very strong and positive interview in which he described how, as a social democrat with liberal values and a passionate internationalist, his values matched up to ours.

In his article and interview, he tackled his prior criticism of the Liberal Democrats’ role in the coalition.

I found it hard to come to terms with the impact of the public spending cuts which were instigated by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government of 2010-2015.

I did not disagree with the need to reduce the public sector deficit and debt – indeed Labour’s last Chancellor Alistair Darling accepted this.

But I did disagree with the speed and severity of fiscal consolidation, and the extent to which cuts to public spending as opposed to tax increases were made to carry the burden.

Four years on from their time in office, things have changed.

The Liberal Democrats have voted against every Tory budget since 2015. They stood on an anti-austerity manifesto in 2017 with, for example, commitments to end the public sector pay cap, increase tax to pay for the NHS and reverse cuts to housing benefit and Universal Credit.

Senior figures – including Vince – have since said that, although they curbed George Osborne’s worst excesses, they should not have allowed measures like the bedroom tax to be introduced.

They also accept that a major mistake was made in making and then breaking a pledge on university tuition fees, which should never happen again.

Most importantly, the biggest impediment to ending austerity currently is pressing on with Brexit.

It is worth pointing out that many Lib Dem members were incredibly unhappy with some of the things we allowed to go ahead as part of the coalition – including me – even if we did see some of the good that we were doing.

His experience since leaving the Labour Party has taught him the importance of having an established party structure:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 58 Comments

How did Liberal Democrat MPs vote on the Assisted Dying Bill?

Yesterday the House of Commons voted to reject the Assisted Dying Bill at its first stage by a majority of 330 votes to 118.

How, then, did Liberal Democrat MPs vote? It should be noted that although the party has policy in favour of assisted dying in England and Wales, our MPs’ right to vote according to their conscience is enshrined in both motions. We have been criticised in the past for publishing who votes what way in these sorts of votes, but the information is a matter of public record and there is no reason that we shouldn’t draw it to our readers’ attention.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 18 Comments

The one thing missing from Tim Farron’s Commons speech on the refugee crisis

Yesterday Tim Farron spoke twice in the Commons. We covered his tribute to the Queen, but I want to look at his speech in the SNP’s Opposition Day debate on the humanitarian crisis on our doorstep.

Actually, the speech itself was very good and said all it needed to say. I’ve been pretty lucky this week. I’ve managed to switch on the tv twice and, by chance, catch two Liberal Democrat MPs speaking, Alistair in the emergency debate on Tuesday and Tim yesterday.

Tim spoke about his experience in Calais, about how the Government’s response to the crisis has damaged and continues to damage the UK’s standing in the world and he also had a go at them, reinforced by Tom Brake, for raiding the international development budget to pay for the refugees coming here.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 28 Comments

Study shows that voters in Liberal Democrat seats trust their MPs more

Mike Smithson at Political Betting talks about data from the British Election Study that shows how well thought of MPs are in their own constituencies. Liberal Democrat MPs come out well on top, being much more liked even among opponents than their Tory and Labour counterparts. His graph illustrates thus:

LD MPs wider respected

Posted in News | Also tagged | 41 Comments

Annette Brooke is new Chair of Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party

Annette BrookeAnnette Brooke is the new Chair of the Parliamentary Liberal Democrat Party. Annette was elected unopposed, and took her place as Chair of a meeting of Liberal Democrat MPs last night.

Annette’s new role will involve the chairing of Parliamentary Party meetings, interaction with all colleagues, providing a communication channel to represent views where appropriate and providing a listening and supportive pastoral role to complement the work of the Liberal Democrat Whips.

Annette will bring a wealth of experience to the role, having been a member of the Chairman’s Panel in Parliament …

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