Tag Archives: luciana berger

Jo Swinson appoints new MPs to Shadow Cabinet

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson has today announced an expanded Shadow Cabinet.

New MPs Luciana Berger and Phillip Lee will take on Health, Wellbeing and Social Care and Justice respectively. Angela Smith has been appointed Shadow Secretary of State for International Development while Sam Gyimah will shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:

As we enter a crucial few days for the future of our country, I am delighted to announce the new Liberal Democrat shadow cabinet.

This team will take the fight to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, and offer a brighter future

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How super Lib Dem MPs contributed to Super Saturday

Here are the Lib Dem contributions from our MPs in yesterday’s “Super Saturday” debates.

First up was Jo, basically telling the Prime Minister that he was too feart to put his deal to the people:

The Prime Minister’s deal removes protections on workers’ rights. It puts a border down the Irish sea and, according to the Government’s own analysis, will damage our economy on a scale greater than the financial crash. Today, hundreds of thousands of people will be outside demanding a final say in a people’s vote. Is not it the truth that the reason why the Prime Minister refuses their calls is that he knows that, if given the option, the people will reject his bad deal and choose to remain in the European Union?

Which he didn’t answer, of course.

Then Luciana tackled him on the fact that the Government hadn’t even provided back of a cigarette packet figures for how the deal would impact on the economy:

The Prime Minister’s Brexit Secretary was on television this morning. He confirmed that no economic analysis of the deal has been done. I ask the House to let that sink in: no economic analysis of the deal, on which we are all expected to vote today, has been done. How does the Prime Minister anticipate that Members on all sides the House can, in good faith, be expected to vote on a deal today that will impact on our country for decades to come?

Answer came there none. And the same when Sarah Wollaston had a go later:

Evidence matters, Prime Minister. How can he possibly assure our constituents that this is a good deal if he has not carried out an economic impact assessment of what it will cost them? If he has carried that out, why on earth are we not able to see it as we debate this today?

Tom Brake challenged him to rule out leaving at the end of the transition period without a deal:

Would the Prime Minister agree to pass an Act making it unlawful for us to leave at the end of the transition phase without a deal?

And he refused to do so. Quelle surprise. But look at what he said, while thanking ministers and civil servants for procuring the deal:

I respectfully say to the right hon. Gentleman that I do not think their position has been made easier by measures passed in the name of the right hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn). Not a good idea!

A bit of a contradiction since he’s been hailing this brilliant deal he brought back with the Benn Act in place.

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Poll sensation for Luciana Berger

A couple of weeks ago, Luciana Berger announced that she was leaving Liverpool to contest Finchley and Golders Green for the Liberal Democrats.

A Survation poll has put her way ahead of the Conservatives.

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Vince, Luciana and Norman write about mental health

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day. Three of our MPs wrote articles on different aspects of mental health.

Vince Cable wrote for Times Red Box (£) about his mother’s post natal depression and the impact on their family.

When I was aged ten, shortly after my brother was born, my mother had a breakdown. She had to go into a mental health unit for the best part of a year. My brother was fostered. When she returned from hospital a year later, she was somewhat better, but her confidence had been shattered.

Today it is still young mothers, or children and young people, who because of the underlying problems in mental health services, are often those who are struggling to get help. Even generally, over half of adults with a diagnosed mental health problem have to wait four weeks to see a specialist. These long waiting times can only make the mental health crisis worse.

And what did he learn about what helps people to recover?

One of the things that really helped my mother improve, both in terms of her mental health and in terms of confidence, was adult education.

Engaging with others, having a supportive structure, did wonders for her wellbeing. That is why the Liberal Democrats will deliver mental health support, not just through the NHS but through communities and throughout society.

By creating a reward scheme for employers who invest in the mental wellbeing of their employees, restoring funding of ‘early help’ services that were cut by the Conservatives, and improving training for health professionals in spotting signs of postnatal depression, the Liberal Democrats will deliver better mental health support for everyone, and ensure help is there before problems becomes crises.

Luciana Berger has long campaigned on mental health issues. For Rethink Mental Illness, she wrote about suicide prevention at a strategic and an individual level:

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New seats for our new MPs

This afternoon it’s been announced that Phillip Lee will be taking on John Redwood for the Liberal Democrats at the General Election. He will move from his current seat in Bracknell to Wokingham, which is considered winnable for the party.

According to the Wokingham Paper:

THE Liberal Democrats have announced that their candidate for Wokingham will be one of its newest MPs, Dr Phillip Lee. It sets up a Leave v Remain contest against the incumbent, Sir John Redwood.

Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrats deputy leader, announced the news to a packed meeting of Wokingham party members held at the Hilton St Anne’s Manor hotel in London Road.

The seat is one that polling by ComRes suggests could switch to the Lib Dems.

A projection suggests that the party would have a 37% vote share, compared to 33% for the Conservatives and 14% for Labour.

However, it also lists the Brexit party as 9% – the party is unlikely to field a candidate in Wokingham constituency as Sir John Redwood is a committed Leaver.

This move will be more controversial than Chuka Umunna moving to Cities of London and Westminster or Luciana Berger moving to Finchley and Golders Green. Both of these moves were widely welcomed in the party.

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The Luciana Phenomenon

I attended the fringe meeting to meet Luciana Berger MP in a small room fit for perhaps 30-40 people. Whoever thought that would be enough at a Lib Dem Conference for a meeting with the dynamic, young Jewish MP who had just joined the Lib Dems after 10 years as a Labour MP?

The room was rammed to the doors with another huge group outside the open doors. It was clear that Luciana hadn’t expected such a welcome. The room was so crowded that the person due to chair the meeting couldn’t get in!

A chair, who happened to be from Luciana’s constituency in Liverpool took over and we had an hour of intense questioning from the audience. Luciana answered all the questions with no evasion or missing the point. She told us what her skills were and about her journey to join the Lib Dems. Those of us who were there were left in no doubt as to her commitment to our party.

Posted in News | 39 Comments

+++The first defectors are initiated in the Liberal Glee Club tradition

Live from the Conference hotel:

Sarah Wollaston and Luciana Berger have just had the guts to be subjected to initiation by Glee Club. They got up front to sing a special new version of “‘Twas on a Monday morning…” which has been adapted to the continuous flow of defectors to the party….

Posted in Conference and Humour | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Why Luciana Berger joining the Liberal Democrats is important

As someone who has been both involved in campaigns against the growing, vile, antisemitism, and for the engaging with the Independent Group members of parliament, the decision of Luciana Berger, to become a Liberal Democrat gives real delight and is a pivotal defection, and, indeed,  a poignant one. This warm, eloquent, dynamic woman, is a courageous and feisty opponent of the prejudice and abuse she and others experience, and in support of a better more caring society and politics. She is a voice for mental health and a dedicated mp. She has been the target of far left Labour baiting.

For researching articles I have written for the Ustinov Prejudice Awareness Forum,  at which I am a member and writer, I have been made aware of the extent of frequent taunting, inappropriate insinuation, direct insults, ongoing trolling, many who are Jewish, experience. This particularly complex and insidious prejudiced attitude, is a racism that has developed more, not less, in our country, in Europe, and even in the US. In the UK, it is statistically, thankfully, less. We are a more liberal and tolerant country, but victims of racism do not want to be tolerated.

The extent of her opposition to Brexit, as with Liberal Democrats , is obviously based in part, on her, and our belief, that only by greater unity, more harmony, real involvement, in each other’s societies, do we, as Europeans, counter the emerging narratives of populism and nationalism, that we witness, but must not  and, as Liberals, do not ignore. Racism is a consequence of extremism, ever since modern societies emerged, and at periods in history before such things were fully realised, these two have been bed fellows.

The resilience, determination, creativity, humour, of Jewish communities, and individuals from within them, over hundreds of years, has been and is, inspiring and inspired. These fellow citizens of this and any country, are amongst the most longstanding, to have emerged from immigration. It is no coincidence that Emma Lazarus, the remarkable young woman, lost to this world so young, was Jewish. She  was the writer of the great poem, that is on the plinth of the Statue of Liberty. ” Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This is a rallying cry for liberals, progressives, humanitarians worldwide. It is now denigrated from the right. Even in the US.

Posted in Op-eds | 2 Comments

5-6 September 2019 – two days of press releases

Gosh, that’s embarrassing. Yesterday evening, I came home from a meeting of my County Association of Local Councils and felt the urge to both write it up for my blog and produce a report for my Parish Council and clean forgot about Liberal Democrat Voice. And so, you get a bumper(ish) edition at the end of what has been an utterly bewildering week…

  • Luciana Berger MP joins the Liberal Democrats (covered here)
  • Lib Dem membership rises to over 120,000
  • Bill to stop no-deal passes through the Lords
  • Lib Dem membership rises to over 120,000

    The Liberal Democrats have today announced that there are

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Liverpool Lib Dems welcome Luciana Berger

On behalf of Liverpool Liberal Democrats, I have  welcomed the news that Luciana Berger has joined the Liberal Democrats. I do so not only as the Leader of the Lib Dems in Liverpool but also as the now ousted Lib Dem PPC for Liverpool Wavertree!

Yesterday was an exciting day which started at 9.15 with a call from Jo Swinson giving me the news. I was able to tell her that I was certain that Liverpool Lib Dems would be supportive of this. We had already agreed as a Party to not fight against as a Change UK candidate. We were unsure what to do if she tried to stand as an Independent but I suspect that we would have come to the same decision.

Basically, we were able to move to this position with little debate because we have always respected her as an individual and have tried to work with her both locally and nationally. Last night, we held an emergency Executive Committee in accordance with the Party’s protocols and after hearing from James Gurling, the chair of the Party’s Federal Campaigns and Elections Committee,  endorsed her membership of the Party and then she became  officially the Lib Dem MP for Liverpool Wavertree!

Luciana arrived in Liverpool at the 2010 General Election where was a tense campaign in which we were quite aggressive (more than I would have liked) about the fact that she was arriving fresh from London and had no Liverpool roots at all. That, of course, is not our tradition. We are used to helping work up our local patch and riding a tide of support that we helped to create.

Since then she made her home in this City, got to know her patch well and has given birth to proud young Scousers who we hope will “lern to tork proper!”

We have always respected Luciana even when she was a Labour MP and have come to know her better in the last few months. She has endured an appalling hate attack in the Labour Party since the rise to power within the Party of Corbyn and his cult.  She was female, Jewish and bright. Unforgiveable sins in the eyes of many Labour members. She was subject to vicious abuse both inside her Party and externally. Even as a Labour MP we extended a hand of friendship to her to try and help her.

Liverpool Wavertree Constituency Labour Party is not a good organisation to be part of. Of the four Labour councillors elected this May one has resigned first as Lord Mayor and then as a Council for distributing racist video. Another one has been suspended for sexism including calling local Labour MEP a f*****g b***h on a video filmed is a pub!

Locally, she has worked hard and has not always been on the same side as the Lib Dem team on local issues. However, as many Lib Dems will tell you MPs and councillors in the same Party often have to disagree because they have different jobs and see things with a different perspective.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

++++Breaking….Luciana Berger joins the Liberal Democrats

Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger is the newest member of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary team.

She said:

This is a moment of national crisis. The Liberal Democrats are unequivocal in wanting to stop Brexit and are committed to securing Britain’s future as a tolerant, open and inclusive society.

I am joining Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats today, in the national interest, to offer a vital, positive alternative to Johnson and Corbyn and help build a future that our country deserves.

Jo Swinson welcomed her:

Luciana is a passionate advocate for women’s and LGBT+ rights, and she’s at the forefront of efforts to counter anti-Semitism and prevent discrimination. I’m delighted to welcome her to the Liberal Democrats, where we can work together to stop Brexit and build a fairer, more equal society for all.

Posted in News | 41 Comments

An Open Letter to Luciana Berger

Dear Luciana,

As someone who spent many years as an activist in the Labour and trade union movement I follow developments in your current party closely. From what I can see you are being constantly hounded by people who currently have control of the Labour machine.

You are being attacked both for your policy positions and your Jewish heritage. The recent attempt to put a motion of no confidence in you is as I am sure you realise is a vehicle to ensure that you cannot stand as the partys’ candidate at the next General Election.

I am afraid to say this kind

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 55 Comments

Why Luciana Berger was so wrong to attack Norman Lamb

When you start a fight, you should choose to fight the side who is damaging you or the cause the most. You should also make sure you have the right backing and tools at hand to win the fight.

Luciana Berger has decided to both ignore the current Government’s reneging on spending for mental Health, whilst also choosing to attack Norman Lamb who has done more to put mental health on the political radar than anyone, whilst she has…well…what, exactly?

The point-scoring attempt this week to blame Norman for the continuing crisis in mental health services finally broke the straw that I’ve been carefully balancing for a while now.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Opinion: Why do Liberals (and Greens, and Conservatives) fund the Labour Party?

Why are Liberals, Liberal Democrats, Greens, Socialists, Plaid Cymru, and non-party supporters funding the Labour Party?

“In 2008, an overall financial contribution of £646,000 (2007: £646,103) was made to The Co operative Party”. The Co-operative Group website.

Every non-Labour supporter should read this.

My friend Keith Turner told me a couple of years ago that he didn’t bank with the Co-operative Bank because they funded the Co-operative Party. I had seen nothing about this and thought it unlikely given that our party have had an affinity deal with the Co-operative Bank for years.

I was upping my holdings in the Bank …

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“Crash landing” for Luciana Berger in Liverpool Wavertree

Yesterday The Independent profiles the contest in Liverpool Wavertree between Colin Eldridge and Luciana Berger:

Crash landing for Labour candidate parachuted into Liverpool
When London-born Luciana Berger was chosen as the Labour candidate to fight the seat of Liverpool Wavertree three months ago she was tipped as a rising star with a future ministerial career ahead of her. Unfortunately it was not long before things started to go horribly wrong.

There had already been rumblings of discontent within the local party at the imposition of an all-female shortlist for this eminently retainable heartland seat. Then the Labour leadership in London was accused

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Labour candidates hit trouble in Liverpool and Northampton

Labour’s Liverpool Wavertree candidate Luciana Berger is in trouble again:

Wavertree’s Labour candidate, Luciana Berger fell to pieces in the first debate of the Election campaign, which saw Colin Eldrigde for the Liberal Democrats and Conservative, Andrew Garnett attack the Londoner from both sides.

In a filming for ITV1s ‘Party People’, the three candidates were grilled by presenter Rob McLoughlin over their policies on crime and the economy.

When given 30 seconds to sell themselves in the debate at Riley’s Snooker Hall near Picton Clock, Berger froze, clasping her hands over her head repeatedly saying: “Sorry, can we start again?”

Following the re-take, which

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Luciana Berger and the customised number plate

The Mail on Sunday reports:

As a Labour candidate in a working class area of Liverpool, glamorous 28-year-old Londoner Luciana Berger has gone to great lengths to prove her down-to-earth credentials.

The privately-educated friend of the Blairs’ son Euan has spent months canvassing on jobs, schools and hospitals.

And such is her devotion, the former management consultant has even ditched a car with a £5,000 personalised numberplate spelling out her name.

You can read the full story here and catch up on the previous travails of Luciana Berger here.

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Daily View 2×2: 28 February, featuring Luciana Berger, homeopathy, Ethiopia and more

It’s Sunday. It’s 9am. It’s time for the latest news from Ethiopia, but first the blogs from the UK. Today we also have a special Luciana Berger update (never let it be said she’s going for the quiet competent candidate approach).

It’s also good to note that Liberal Democrat MPs have not been remiss in keeping up with the latest Twitter craze. Step forward and take a bow, Mr Rennie.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here’s are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

The opposition: weak organization, lack of preparedness, appallingly low finances

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

How many minders does a Parliamentary candidate need on the doorstep?

This moment from a Granada Regional News report into Luciana Berger, the controversial Labour candidate for Liverpool Wavertree, caught my eye:

Luciana Berger TV report screenshot

One Labour candidate on the doorstep, talking to one member of the public – but with three other Labour people minding her by the looks of it. Perhaps just a little over-staffed 🙂

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Luciana Berger to be opposed by ‘Roylety’?

Things may be going from bad to worse for Luciana Berger, the newly-selected Labour PPC for Liverpool Wavertree. After mutterings about the selection process, followed by concerns about the candidate living in the same house as hundreds of ballot papers, the actor Ricky Tomlinson, famous for roles in Brookside and the Royle Family, has announced that he will be seeking the nomination of Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party for the seat.

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Luciana Berger hit by yet more Labour infighting in Liverpool Wavertree

The story so far: Labour selects Luciana Berger as their candidate for Liverpool Wavertree, despite the fact that she was also a candidate for the local elections in Camden, London. Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle attacks Luciana Berger’s selection. Off the back of her Camden connection, a Liverpool paper decides to put Luciana Berger’s Livipudllian credentials to the test; a test that she then fails.

And now there are mutterings of discontent over how the selection process was run – because it turns out that during the selection contest she was staying in same house as Jane Kennedy, the retiring …

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Crikey, I appear to know more about Liverpool than the new Labour candidate

A few days ago I blogged about the infighting in Liverpool Labour over the selection of Luciana Berger to be their Liverpool Wavertree candidate (majority: 2,911 over the Lib Dems) with Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle attacking her.

As the Liverpool Daily Post pointed out, some in Labour have complained that Luciana Berger is a “young southerner”. In fact, until selection in Liverpool she was one of the candidates for the Camden council elections in London.

So perhaps no surprise that another Liverpool paper, the Liverpool Echo, decided to put her to the test by …

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“Labour goes to war over the selection of Luciana Berger for Wavertree”

So reports the Liverpool Daily Post:

The Labour party has descended into civil war over Luciana Berger’s success in winning the candidacy for Wavertree.

Last night Walton MP Peter Kilfoyle broke cover branding Miss Berger a “student politician” and questioned her support for Israel, views she shares with Jane Kennedy, the outgoing Wavertree MP who supported her campaign.

Mr Kilfoyle and Ms Kennedy may well have history, but his intervention has merely added fuel to a fire that was already alight since the decision was announced on Sunday.

He has given voice to a feeling of discontent shared with others in the local

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