Tag Archives: lorely burt

LibLink: Lorely Burt: The Government must act now to end period poverty

This week Lib Dem Peer Lorely Burt called on the Government to do more to end period poverty. Earlier this year it was revealed that some girls were missing school when they had their periods because they couldn’t afford tampons or towels. In an article for the Huffington Post, she said:

The simple truth is period poverty is a hidden problem; if it wasn’t for teachers and those volunteering at food banks reporting that this was a real issue, we probably would still be oblivious to it. Tragically we simply don’t know how many young girls it affects because embarrassment stops them from seeking help. Anecdotal evidence tells us that young girls who can’t afford sanitary products often end up using tissues, old socks and other totally inappropriate items. Shockingly this is happening up and down the UK – a prosperous and compassionate country.

Before the election, Lorely and others had extracted assurances from the Government that they would look at doing something about this but precious little has happened:

This week I wrote to Justine Greening asking for an update at very least. It seems that this Government thinks it can wash its hands of the problem and leave businesses like Bodyform and Boots, along with charities such as Freedom4Girls and In-Kind Direct, to pick up the pieces. Bodyform for example has promised to donate 200,000 packs of sanitary products by 2020, whilst Boots have placed donation boxes in their stores for customers to donate sanitary products to be distributed to girls in need.

We can’t get away from the fact that often these young girls and their families don’t have the money to purchase these vital hygiene products, thanks to cruel Conservative austerity measures that hit the poorest hardest. It is a scathing indictment of this government that girls in our country are suffering like this. Conservative ministers shouldn’t be allowed to just turn a blind eye and hope the issue goes away.

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Lib Dems to fight period poverty by giving out free sanitary products in schools

A few weeks ago, Lorely Burt raised the issue of period poverty in Parliament after it was reported that some girls were missing school because they couldn’t afford to buy sanitary products.

Today the Guardian reports that the party would ensure that school nurses had stocks of pads to give out to all girls:

The party said it would fund the scheme so school nurses could keep a large stock of sanitary products for girls who need them, rather than singling out the teenagers likely to be struggling with the costs and giving out the products to them directly, which campaigners

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Lorely Burt calls for help for girls in “period poverty”

Every time I remember when I’m in the supermarket, I try to buy a packet of sanitary towels to stick in the food bank donations trolley because I know how difficult it is for women facing poverty to deal with the additional cost that periods bring. The BBC reports this week that girls are missing school because they can’t afford sanitary protection.

Girls in the UK are missing school because they cannot afford sanitary protection, a charity has said.

Freedom4Girls was contacted by a school in Leeds after it became concerned about teenage girls’ attendance.

The group provides sanitary products to women in Kenya – but is now doing the same in West Yorkshire.

One teenager told the BBC she taped toilet roll to her underwear and missed school “every month” because of her period.

Two teenage girls spoke to BBC Radio Leeds about how they tried to cope without tampons, sanitary towels or pain relief.

A discussion on Women’s Hour this morning also highlighted the problem.

It’s good to see that our Equalities spokesperson, Lorely Burt, is bringing this up in her speech in the Budget debate in the House of Lords.

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Lorely Burt writes: We can’t call ourselves a democracy when men monopolise public life

The theme for International Women’s Day 2017 is ‘Be Bold for Change’ – this got me thinking about how we, as Liberal Democrats, can do our bit to help forge a better and more gender equal world. Of course, as a party we have already taken a great leap forward for the future to make sure we reflect the diversity of the country with the ‘Electing Diverse MPs’ motion passed almost a year ago. But as individuals what can we do to make sure that more women get involved and active in the party at every level?

It was less than six months ago that we, both men and women pulling together, managed to get Sarah Olney elected to Parliament. Like many of you there was a defining moment that made her join the Liberal Democrats and get stuck in, but we have to remember that not all women will put themselves forward like that and some may need more encouragement than others. We all have a responsibility to reach out to those women we think would make great Liberal Democrat elected representatives, and let’s face it we can all think of one or two. The evidence is clear – if a woman is approached to stand then she is most likely to consider it.

Change will not happen overnight, it will take all our efforts to make these incremental changes. Let us never be complacent, as this year’s theme reminds us – we must be bold. We are a country that prides itself on being progressive and inclusive – yet Parliament, our country’s highest decision-making body, is only 30% female.

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Marking the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of RemembranceNovember 20th each year is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s the day when we honour those who have lost their lives through transphobic violence. The list of those who have been murdered for being who they are is so harrowing to read.

Nobody should face fear, intimidation, discrimination and violence because of who they are. As the forces of intolerance appear to have the upper hand in politics in too many places, those of us who believe in freedom, diversity and equality have our work cut out for us.

This is a day to remember those who have died but also to re-affirm our own commitment to not put up with a world where this sort of thing happens. It isn’t going to become a more tolerant place by itself. We have to make it happen, one person at a time, by questioning prejudice whenever we see it, whether it’s round the dining room table with our grandparents, in the pub, at work or in the party.

LGBT+ Lib Dems has statements from Lorely Burt and LGBT+ secretary Zoe O’Connell, who is one of the few transgender people to have stood for Parliament.

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Burt: Leaked letter shows some of problems with Tory politically motivated attack on Trade Unions

This weekend a leaked letter from Skills Minister Nick Boles showed that the Government is considering conceding certain points on the Trade Union Bill in the face of almost certain defeat in the House of Lords. Liberal Democrat BIS spokesperson Lorely Burt had this to say:

We are pleased that the Government apparently recognises the need to allow electronic balloting of trade union members if they want to impose voting thresholds on unions. We hope they will therefore listen to Liberal Democrats who have tabled amendments to the Trade Union Bill to allow electronic voting.

This leaked letter shows just some of the problems with this politically motived attack on trade unions. This is not about good industrial relations, it is about attacking one of their political opponents.

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Get rid of expiry dates on gift cards

 

Did a kindly relative give you a gift card for Christmas? If you enjoy shopping, then a shop card or voucher provides the double pleasure of receiving a pressie on the day and of later choosing an item that is exactly what you want.

But have you also found a forgotten gift card lurking in your pile of papers-to-deal-with-someday, and discovered that it was past its use by date, hence worthless?  If you assume these cards are like cash and not time limited, then you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.  The actual expiry terms vary from company to company, and are often overlooked, so you can easily be caught out.

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Lib Dem Lords’ maiden speeches: Lorely Burt on Trade Unions

Last week, Lorely Burt made her maiden speech in the House of Lords. She spoke in the debate on trade unions. Here it is in full:

My lords, I am grateful for the opportunity to make my maiden speech today.  I feel enormously privileged to be here, and I hope to make a productive and positive contribution to this house. I am grateful also for the welcome I received from noble lords and ladies at my induction and for the enormous support, courtesy and patience of parliamentary staff in the way they prepared me and helped this particular ‘new girl’.  I have found the politeness and helpfulness of all the staff in this place without parallel. However, I’m sure it will take me a while to get used to the ways and customs here, so I feel now is a good opportunity to apologise in advance for any faux pas I’m likely to make as I feel my way! Now I have been told that one’s maiden speech should be relatively non-controversial. My lords – I’ll try!

Having been bruised and battered many times in the fray of the Other Place I have been impressed by the politeness and civility I’ve witnessed here, in this chamber.  It is refreshing and I hope to measure up to the standards you maintain here. Politics, in my past experience, has been a brutal game.  I have served in local as well as national elected chambers – as a local councillor in Dudley (Lenny Henry country) and for ten years as MP in the rather more genteel Solihull, overturning a 9,400 majority in 2005.

This result came as an enormous surprise, not only to the ruling party but also to many in my own party!  At least one colleague on election duty with the media that night asked them to double check the result before they would discuss it on air! But although it was the street-fighter from Dudley who originally won the seat, I chose Solihull for my peerage title.  Because today I am a silhillian – live there, love it and love the people I’ve served these 10 years.

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Lorely Burt’s Conservative opponent lectures her on sexism

It all started with an innocent tweet from Solihull MP Lorely Burt:

It’s all about this story in which Steve Webb plans to allow payment habits, good or bad, of absent parents who pay maintenance for their children. If an absent parent doesn’t pay their maintenance, then this information, passed on to credit reference agencies, could stop them getting credit or a mortgage You shouldn’t require an incentive like that to actually provide for your children, but, unfortunately, some people do.

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Ayoub Khan selected as Liberal Democrat candidate for West Midlands Police and Crime Commisioner by-election

Police helmetA by-election is to take place on 21st August for the post of West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner after the sad death of the incumbent, Labour’s Bob Jones, on July 1st.

The Liberal Democrat candidate will be Ayoub Khan, the 41 year old barrister and former councillor who fought the election in 2012.

From the Birmingham Mail:

The 41-year-old from Aston, who administered first aid to a gun-shot victim fifty yards from his house in 2002, was called to the bar in 2005.

He was a Birmingham City

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Lorely Burt to support female entrepreneurs

lorely-outside-parliament-1 lorely burtVince Cable has appointed Lorely Burt to a new role aimed at promoting and supporting female entrepreneurs. From the Yorkshire Post:

Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt will help women-led businesses to understand the help available to their new and growing firms.

She started her career in the prison service and rose to become assistant governor at HMP Holloway, a tough female-only prison in North London.

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Maybe stick to the day job, Lorely?

From the Huffington Post:

A Liberal Democrat MP wore a Nigel Farage mask at the party’s conference as she mocked the Ukip leader’s penchant for beer.

Just before Nick Clegg’s appearance, Lorely Burt also mocked a former-Ukip councillor’s claim that this winter’s floods had been brought on by the introduction of gay marriage.

This was not, shall we say, the funniest thing we have ever seen. It wouldn’t, to be honest, have been funny even at the traditional end of Conference late night sing-a-long the Glee Club.

To be fair, though, after an inauspicious start, Lorely went on to make a serious speech, …

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Lorely Burt: Liberal Democrats offer best of both worlds

Lorely Burt has given an interview to the Huffington Post. The lengthy report is dominated with discussion of the Liberal Democrats’ attitude towards women in the wake of her defeat by Malcolm Bruce in the Deputy Leadership election. She said that the party was desperately trying toe how that it was welcoming to women:

At the last general election we had women in 40% of our most winnable seats,” Burt explains. “We just didn’t win them.” Which is a bit of a problem. “At the next election there are eight Lib Dems who are standing down, of those six selections have

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LibLink: Lorely Burt – “Then I went to Holloway”

lorely-outside-parliament-1

Yesterday, Lorely Burt was beaten by Sir Malcolm Bruce (some say closely) to the Deputy Leadership of the Parliamentary Party.

A few days ago The House Magazine interviewed her. In the article headlined Wouldn’t it be Lorely?, Lorely explains how her  “imaginative parents” chose her unusual name.

There was another child who was named Lorely and as far as I know there has only ever been two of us. They heard about this other child and thought ‘ooohhh that’s a nice name.’

She makes a number of comments relating to women in politics including the “very chauvinistic environment” in the Commons.

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Lib Dem Deputy Leader election: result expected today at 7pm

Three Lib Dem MPs hope that by this evening they will be elected Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems – the post was vacated by Simon Hughes when he was appointed Justice Minister. The three competing for the post are (in strict surname order) Gordon Birtwhistle, Sir Malcolm Bruce and Lorely Burt.

The electorate is comprised of their fellow MPs – technically the post is Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons, though only the first two words of the title are commonly used – with the wider party membership getting to choose the Party President (for which there will also be a vacancy later this year when Tim Farron’s second two-year term expires).

We’ll find out the result this evening, but to whet your appetite the BBC has this two-minute profile of the runners and riders…

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Sir Malcolm Bruce to stand for Lib Dem Deputy Leader post?

It had seemed almost certain that this month’s Deputy Leader contest – triggered by Simon Hughes’s decision to resign the post to become Justice Minister in the Coalition – would be between Solihull MP Lorely Burt and Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle.

However, there’s an intriguing suggestion in today’s Independent that Gordon MP Sir Malcolm Bruce (who’s retiring from the Commons at the 2015 election) will also throw his hat into the ring:

Lib Dem MPs are planning to vote next week in the party’s deputy leadership election. Lorely Burt, the MP for Solihull, is being urged to use the contest

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+++ Lorely Burt to stand for Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader

lorely-outside-parliament-1Solihull MP Lorely Burt has announced that she is to stand for the Deputy Leadership of the Liberal Democrats. The post became vacant when previous incumbent Simon Hughes became a Minister last month.

Lorely has secured the nominations of 24 of the required 29 MPs.

Lorely has a background in business and is described as having broken many glass ceilings during her career, including being the first women to chair the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary Party.

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Paul Burstow is new chair of the Parliamentary Party

Paul BurstowA bit of party news today with various posts being filled. Paul Burstow has been elected chair of the Parliamentary Party, succeeding Lorely Burt who in the reshuffle became PPS to Danny Alexander.

Meanwhile there have also been changes at both the Commons and Lords end to the Co-Chairs of various Liberal Democrat Party Parliamentary Committees (often given the same acronym, PPCs, as used for party candidates).

The full list of names now is:

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Hunt out to dry? Clegg refuses to back Tory culture secretary as Lib Dem MPs push inquiry

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is piling the pressure on Jeremy Hunt, whose closeness to the Murdoch empire has been embarrassingly laid bare by the Leveson Inquiry in the past few weeks, by refusing to endorse David Cameron’s decision not to refer his culture secretary to the official adviser on the ministerial code, Sir Alex Allan. Here’s how The Observer is reporting it:

Nick Clegg refuses to back Jeremy Hunt as Lib Dems demand investigation

Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, has refused to give unequivocal backing to Jeremy Hunt over his handling of the BSkyB takeover controversy as senior Liberal

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Which of the five Lib Dem reshuffle options will Nick Clegg pick?

Five scenarios for your delectation:

The Lib Dem night of the long beards

The drastic, dramatic and painful option. Clegg says the Liberal Democrats need David Laws’s expertise and media savvy at the heart of economic decision making, restoring him to Chief Secretary to the Treasury and expressing tearful regret that Danny Alexander is off out of the Cabinet, with a resting place as a new Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Cabinet Office where he will not have to handle quite so many tricky TV interviews.

Education, education, education

Too problematic to bring back Laws in a tax and cut role? Bring him …

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Grassroutes to Government – a new Lib Dem activists’ network launches today.

A new network of grassroots activists under the leadership of the veteran peer, Roger Roberts, has been formed to develop communications with the party’s senior management. and parliamentarians.

 Grassroutes to Government is drawn from across the membership and we launch today via a virtual launch on all the party’s social media platforms.

We can already point to a range of new lines of communication that will ensure the members have a clearer voice and we expect to have continuing discussions to underpin the importance of our activists.

Planning for the new group began soon after Federal Conference in Birmingham last September. Roger Roberts says:

 “Pressure

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Lorely Burt MP writes… Freelancers: championing and protecting the little guy

You don’t need me to tell you that things are tough out there for small businesses. I know: having run several small businesses and having previously been our party’s Small Business spokesperson. The UK’s 4.5 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make a huge contribution to our economy, but today they are caught in a perfect storm between contracting markets, a failure of banks to lend, and late payments.  The result of these problems is that many viable small businesses have sadly failed.

There is however one sector of small business that is growing. Over the last three years we have …

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PMQs: Your boys took a hell of a beating

I’m looking forward to the comments this week.

We saw a newly confident Nick Clegg at Prime Minister’s Questions today.

I’ve written before that Nick’s early Dispatch Box appearances were a bit like bear bating. He stood there, red-faced and growling as Labour MPs jabbed at him from all angles.

But, today, we saw an assured and relaxed Nick Clegg who was convincingly combatative. Most impressively, he discharged the session with barely a single reference to a piece of paper. Not for him the “chained to my indexed folder” look of David Cameron. In short, Nick Clegg was Prime Ministerial. “Best ever” was …

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Nick Clegg does PMQs – my tweets

As always, Paul Walter will be along later with his imitable account of PMQs, but I thought that seeing as our own Nick Clegg was standing in for David Cameron today, we could have a bit of a bonus.

I tweeted my way through a session that could have been a tough one for our leader – but he managed to deal with the predictable Labour attacks on unemployment and the Health and Social Care Bill thoughtfully and without aggression or rancour.

Here is a link to my tweets – with apologies for the spelling mistakes. My fingers had trouble keeping …

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LibLink: Mr Clegg Goes to Peterbrook

We’ve not often LibLinked through to the ‘Breaking News’ section of Peterbrook Primary School’s website. In fact we never have before. But their report of Nick Clegg’s visit, alongside local Solihull MP Lorely Burt, deserves a wide audience, and here’s a snippet:

Together with Solihull M.P Lorely Burt and an entourage of press and media broadcasters, Mr. Clegg came from London to see us so that we could share with him our curriculum developments using ‘Pupil Premium’ funding to support the learning and personal development needs of all pupils, with a specific focus at times, on those pupils who are eligible

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Dealing with Labour’s mess, Part 93: Lib Dems secure future of post offices

Remember the last Labour government’s record on post offices? Their numbers fell by more than 7,100, or 38%. But not any more, as a result of Lib Dem action within the Coalition — as Lib Dem Voice first reported here almost 18 months ago.

This is how the Press Association reports it:

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The Independent View: And then there was one… (Unmasked! The only backbench Lib Dem MP 100% loyal to the Coalition)

When a quarter of the parliamentary Conservative party rebels, everyone sits up and takes notice. On 24 October, 2011, 81 Conservative MPs defied a three-line whip to vote in favour of an EU referendum: cue a blaze of negative publicity for David Cameron and the Tory party whips.

But a week or so later one-quarter of Lib Dem MPs rebelled, and (almost) no one noticed. In nine separate votes on 1 and 2 November, a total of 14 Lib Dem MPs voted against various aspects of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. The largest …

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Nick Clegg’s speech to the Liberal Democrats conference rally

Welcome to Birmingham, a city with a great, outspoken liberal tradition. The home of Joe Chamberlain, where Gladstone called for Home Rule in one of the most rousing speeches of his life, and where Lloyd George nearly lost his life when he spoke out against the Boer War. Now it’s the home of those great modern day, outspoken liberals – John Hemming and Lorely Burt.

I have spent the last few weeks criss-crossing the country, speaking to as many of you as possible, hearing your concerns and answering your questions. We did what Lib Dems do: discussed, debated, argued – …

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The cheque bounces back

The government said yesterday that it would scrap plans to abolish cheques after strong opposition from a variety of groups representing tradespeople, the elderly and disabled, and charities.

From the FT:

A controversial plan to abolish cheques has been scrapped, after banks were warned in parliament that they had “scared the pants off middle England”.

Worried members of the public sent more than one thousand letters and emails to MPs after it was announced that the 350-year-old payment system was to be phased out by late 2018.

The U-turn came after the government indicated it would intervene unless a suitable alternative was found.

The

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Where next for Lib Dem ‘muscular liberalism’?

Over on the BBC News site, BBC political correspondent Norman Smith has written a piece looking at how the Liberal Democrats will continue to exert their influence in a more public way within the coalition after the combined effect of the AV referendum, the local election results and the success of the party’s push to re-think the NHS reforms.

As Norman says:

From the top to the bottom of the party, there is a hankering for clear yellow lines running through government policy.

However, where those lines should be drawn to best reassert the Lib Dems’ independence, is much harder to agree.

There …

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